Skeleton Pirate

Skeleton Pirate
Artist: LindaB


Have you experienced, or read about, negative, and even dangerous, side effects from Fosamax (alendronate), Boniva (ibandronate), Actonel (risedronate), and other bisphosphonates prescribed for osteoporosis? If you have, then rest assured there is a safe, effective treatment for this condition. Strontium, primarily in the form of strontium citrate, is taken orally once a day.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

When to Stop Taking Strontium

When to stop taking strontium after having taken it successfully for a number of years is a good question. Once you reach normal bone mineral density (BMD), it makes sense to stop taking strontium and just monitor your BMD. If your BMD readings are at the osteopenia stage, defined as a T-score between -1.0 and -2.5, the decision becomes more complicated. As I see it, the choice, at that point, is either to reduce the dosage or continue with the full dose until normal BMD is reached. I would definitely not stop taking it altogether after reaching a BMD in the osteopenia range.

I have been taking 680 mg strontium from strontium citrate for osteoporosis for six and a half years. My lowest T-scores have always been at the spine. Last year (2013), my T-score at the spine from L1-L4 was -1.6, which is in the range of osteopenia. I have continued taking the same dosage since then. I may wait another year until my next DXA before deciding on any change.

One person I know from an osteoporosis forum says she had osteoporosis and achieved normal BMD after 4.5 years on strontium citrate (lucky lady!). She says she took 680 mg strontium for 3.5 years and then 340 mg for the final year. She then stopped taking strontium but had yearly DXA scans. Two years later, her BMD is still at the normal range. Don’t be discouraged if your results aren’t quite as spectacular; mine aren’t compared to hers. What is really encouraging to me is that she has retained most of her gains in BMD after two years! (Charella’s update after two years off strontium is nestled within a discussion started by another forum member.) (Charella’s update after more than one year off strontium citrate is featured in a discussion she initiated.)

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Wandering Skeleton

Wandering Skeleton
Artist: Joel Hoekstra

Osteoporotic Bone

Osteoporotic Bone

How Strontium Builds Bones

Strontium is a mineral that tends to accumulate in bone. Studies have shown that oral doses of strontium are a safe and effective way to prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Doses of 680 mg per day appear to be optimal. See my "For More Information About Strontium" links section.

Osteoporosis is caused by changes in bone production. In healthy young bones there is a constant cycle of new bone growth and bone removal. With age, more bone is removed and less new bone is produced. The bones become less dense and thus more fragile.

Scientists believe that strontium works in two ways. It may stimulate the replication of pre-osteoblasts, leading to an increase in osteoblasts (cells that build bone). Strontium also directly inhibits the activity of osteoclasts (cells that break down bone). The result is stronger bones.

When taking strontium, be sure to take 1200 mg calcium, 1000 IU vitamin D3, and 500 mg magnesium daily. It is best to take strontium late at night on an empty stomach. Calcium and strontium may compete with each other for absorption if taken together.