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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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Alternatives to Citrate Products—Strontium and Calcium and Magnesium

Some people get an upset stomach when taking citrate supplements, such as calcium or magnesium or strontium citrate. A citrate is a derivative of citric acid. What are these people to do?

One possible substitute for strontium citrate is strontium carbonate. Health Concerns BioStrong tablets contain 750 mg of strontium carbonate (340 mg active) and BioPerine (Black Pepper Fruit extract). The manufacturer suggests two tablets per day between meals. This product is available at Strontium carbonate is not as well absorbed as sr. citrate. The BioPerine is supposed to help absorption; so, this may be a good formula, but I have not tried it. It has a 5-star rating and 5 reviews at Amazon.

When it comes to calcium supplements, there are many choices beside ca. citrate. Other choices include   calcium alpha-ketogutarate, ca. ascorbate, ca. aspartate, ca. carbonate, ca. gluconate, ca. hydroxyapatite, ca. lysinate, ca. malate, ca. pyruvate. Some calcium supplements combine calcium from several calcium salts. Coral calcium is a calcium salt derived from fossilized coral reefs (primarily from limestone and coastal deposits). Coral calcium is composed primarily of calcium carbonate, with small amounts of magnesium and other trace minerals. Oyster shell calcium is calcium carbonate from oyster shells.

I use Country Life, Gluten Free, Calcium-Magnesium Complex tablets. One serving (two tablets) contains 1000 mg calcium (as calcium hydroxyapatite, citrate, aspartate, alpha-ketoglutarate, lysinate), 500 mg phosphorus (as calcium hydroxyapatite), and 500 mg magnesium (as magnesium oxide, citrate, aspartate, taurinate, alpha-ketoglutarate). I take only one tablet (1/2 serving) per day. The rest of my calcium comes from food plus 162 mg (as calcium carbonate) in my multivitamin. This formulation does contain calcium citrate and magnesium citrate, but they are combined with several other sources of both minerals. This product has a 4 ½-star rating, 180 reviews for the 180-tablet size and 51 reviews for the 360-tablet size at, where I buy all my supplements.

Solgar, Chelated Calcium contains 1000 mg calcium (as calcium glycinate amino acid chelate, calcium carbonate) per serving of six tablets that can be taken in two doses or more, preferably with meals. This product has 4 ½-stars at I have not tried it.

There are several sources of magnesium besides magnesium citrate. As noted above, I get my magnesium from Country Life, Gluten Free, Calcium-Magnesium Complex. The magnesium in this product is from five sources: magnesium oxide, citrate, aspartate, taurinate, and alpha-ketoglutarate. Other sources of magnesium include magnesium chloride, glycinate chelate, malate, and oxide. 

One tablet of Now Foods, Magnesium Malate, 1000 mg contains 150 mg magnesium (from 1000 mg magnesium malate) and 100 mg calcium (from calcium carbonate).  As a dietary supplement, take one tablet 3 times daily, preferably with meals, for a total of 450 mg magnesium and 300 mg calcium. This product has a 4 1/2-star rating and 57 reviews at I have never tried these tablets.

Bluebonnet Nutrition, Chelated Magnesium has 200 mg magnesium (as magnesium glycinate chelate, magnesium oxide) in one capsule. It has a 4 1/2-star rating and 66 reviews at I have not used this product.

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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.