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Home > Supplement Categories > Minerals > Strontium
Exploring the Benefits and Side Effects of Calcium

Strontium Health Supplements, Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage

What is Strontium?

Strontium (Sr) is a chemical element that is very similar to calcium. Although it is considered a trace element (a substance needed only in small amounts by the body to maintain health), it is actually an abundant chemical found in the soil, rocks, as well as in seawater. This substance is a metal that is silvery, soft, alkaline, and non-radioactive. It easily reacts with air and water, so in nature it often occurs combined with other elements or compounds to form more stable compounds such as carbonate strontianite (SrCO3) and sulfate mineral celestite (SrSO4).

In the environment, there are strontium compounds that are water soluble and those that are water-insoluble. Water soluble strontium compounds may pollute water and pose a threat to health; however, they occur in very small amounts. Strontium is also used for many non-medicinal human activities in various forms.
Almost all (99%) of the strontium found in the body is found in the bones.

Strontium Food Sources

All strontium compounds eventually end up in the soil and water, which may be taken up by plants and animals. Seafoods such as fish and shellfish are the major dietary source of strontium. Other food sources include whole milk, meat, other dairy products, poultry, wheat bran, grains and root vegetables.

What is Strontium Used For?

There are many medical and non-medical uses of strontium. Strontium is used in medicine in different forms:

 

  • Strontium ranelate is used to treat osteoporosis (weak, fragile bones) especially in older, postmenopausal women. This form of strontium is sold as a prescription drug (Protelos) in Europe and Australia for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. However, it has not been approved in the USA.
  • Strontium gluconate has been shown to be useful for the treatment of metastatic bone cancer (cancer that has spread to the bones). An injectable prescription drug has been found to reduce bone pain related to cancer, but oral forms are also available.
  • Injectable strontium compounds are possibly beneficial for treating prostate cancer that does not respond to other forms of treatment, as studies suggest.
  • Other strontium salts such as strontium lactate, strontium citrate and strontium carbonate are used as dietary supplements to promote the growth of cartilage in osteoarthritis, which is characterized by inflammation of the joints. Others believe that they may increase bone density and prevent fractures.
  • Strontium chloride has been found to be effective for sensitive teeth when added to toothpaste, which is used twice a day.
  • Some studies suggest that strontium compounds may also help prevent dental carries.
  • A radioactive form of strontium (not available in dietary supplements) maybe used to kill cancer cells.

 

What are Strontium Side Effects?

Strontium compounds that are prescribed and available as injections are safe as long as they are used under medical supervision. However, side effects of strontium ranelate may include headache, stomach pain and diarrhea. Very high doses of strontium for osteoporosis may damage the bones, but there are not enough studies to prove this.

Oral strontium supplements are generally safe when taken in recommended doses and toothpastes containing strontium have gained FDA approval for safety.

Special warnings include:

 

  • For pregnant and breastfeeding women strontium toothpaste is safe, but experts warn against using strontium supplements as well as radioactive strontium.
  • The safety of strontium supplements for children has not been established.
  • Individuals with Paget's disease of the bones seem to absorb more strontium than other people, but the health effects are not known.
  • Strontium must be avoided by people with kidney disease since it may accumulate in large amounts when not adequately excreted. Likewise, people who have other serious conditions such as heart disease must avoid its use.
  • Strontium must not be used in people who have problems with blood clotting, since it may increase risk for developing blood clots.

 

If you are taking some medications, talk to your doctor about taking strontium supplements or strontium for osteoporosis treatments. Drug interactions include:

 

  • Use of antacids like calcium carbonate and aluminum hydroxide may reduce strontium absorption.
  • Strontium reduces the absorption of quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin,enoxacin, and norfloxacin and reduces the effectiveness of tetracyclines such as demeclocycline and minocycline.
  • Hormones like estrogen and androgens may reduce the excretion of strontium, which can lead to accumulation of large amounts in the body.

 

Strontium Dosages

The optimal dosage for strontium for bones is not known. Based on studies however, it has been found that one to two grams daily of strontium ranelate is effective in reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis as well as preventing progression of the disease.

Previously, scientists found that strontium ranelate at a dose of 680 mg/day was effective and safe in preventing vertebral fractures in women with osteoporosis. A more recent study involving a larger group of participants found that oral strontium ranelate taken at two grams per day for three years increased the bone density and reduced the risk of vertebral and hip fractures in postmenopausal women.

One study involving the use of strontium gluconate, which is more easily absorbed than strontium carbonate, showed that a lower dose of 274 mg/day is effective in reducing bone pain in patients with metastatic bone cancer.

References:

Lenntech. Strontium-Sr. http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/sr.htm

WebMD. Strontium. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1077-STRONTIUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=1077&activeIngredientName=STRONTIUM

WorldHealth.net. Strontium: Breakthrough Against Osteoporosis.

http://www.worldhealth.net/news/strontium_breakthrough_against_osteoporo/

WebMD. Strontium Treatment for Osteoporosis.

http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/guide/strontium-treatment-osteoporosis

MedicineNet. Strontium. http://www.medicinenet.com/strontium-page3/supplements-vitamins.htm

 

Disclaimer:

This information should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your health care providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health.


Products (Total Items: 8)

Strontium 227 mg 90 Capsules by Pure Encapsulations
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Strontium 227 mg 90 vcaps by Vital Nutrients
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Strontium 60 caps by Europharma
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