What are strontium supplements?


Strontium is a trace mineral (indicated by the symbol Sr in the table of elements) that is similar in molecular structure and behavior to calcium . Because of this, alternative practitioners often recommend strontium as a natural remedy for osteoporosis (loss of minerals in the bones).

Strontium is the fifteenth largest element on the planet. The silvery yellow metal is not radioactive and has several medical uses. Radioactive strontium-89 is given intravenously to relieve bone pain in people with advanced bone cancer . Strontium chloride hexahydrate is added to toothpaste to relieve pain in sensitive teeth (for example, in products like Sensodyne ).

Although some people take strontium as a dietary supplement to prevent bone loss, there is insufficient evidence to support its safety or efficacy when taken by mouth.

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What is strontium used for?

About 99% of the strontium in the human body is found in bone. Although strontium is similar in nature to calcium, it is not an essential mineral and is found in relatively small amounts compared to calcium. Strontium is found mainly on the surface of bones in amounts 1000 to 2000 times less than calcium.

Despite the widespread belief that strontium supplementation can prevent osteoporosis, since a similar drug called strontium ranelate has been approved for such use in Europe, it has been found to increase heart attacks, deep vein thrombosis (DVT ) and pulmonary embolism , and is currently in use. Limited for use only in postmenopausal women with severe osteoporosis. (Strontium ranelate has not been approved for use in the United States.)

Scientists also questioned the benefits of strontium ranelate, since bone growth was achieved by replacing natural calcium in bones with strontium.

Investigation conflicts

Strontium chloride or strontium citrate are the most common forms found in dietary supplements in the United States. Most of the evidence supporting its use is limited to animal studies or randomized case studies.

A 2016 study of a woman with severe osteoporosis and recurrent spinal fractures reported that a daily dose of 680 milligrams of strontium chloride taken for 2.5 years increased bone density in the spine and one hip.

Despite the positive results, the conclusion is wrong for several reasons.

First, the study does not take into account the effect of long-term strontium supplementation. When taken in higher than natural amounts or with food (about 2 milligrams per day), strontium can build up, increasing the risk of bone damage as calcium is gradually replaced by strontium.

If this happens, the bones will not get stronger; they just get heavier because strontium weighs more than calcium. Therefore, while bone mineral density may appear to be increasing on DEXA scans , this is not the same as creating new bone. Bone breakage can still occur, especially if no other intervention is performed.

Excessive strontium intake is not expected to clearly affect other organs, but research on the long-term effects of supplementation is limited. There is evidence that excessive consumption can affect the kidneys and liver, which are responsible for removing strontium from the body.

Possible side effects.

The safety of strontium supplements is unknown. In practice, strontium supplements are unlikely to pose a health risk, as you must excrete enough in your urine and feces to prevent build-up. This, of course, can vary from person to person based on age, weight, and kidney or liver condition.

Sometimes an upset stomach occurs if you take a supplement on an empty stomach (especially strontium citrate).

Strontium supplementation should be used with caution in certain groups, especially in people with chronic kidney disease who are less able to excrete strontium efficiently. People with Paget's disease ( bone disease) should avoid taking strontium supplements because their bones tend to absorb strontium more aggressively than other people.

There are even those who believe that strontium chloride or strontium citrate should be avoided in people at risk for cardiovascular disease, given the experience with strontium ranelate.

Strontium should be avoided in children as it can displace calcium in growing bones, causing rickets and irreversible bone damage. The same applies to pregnant or lactating women who may expose their children to excessive exposure to strontium.

Although it is unlikely that humans could overdose on strontium chloride, causing side effects not because of the strontium but because of its chloride component. Symptoms can include severe hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels).

Drug interactions

Strontium supplements can also interact with some medications, reducing the concentration of the concomitant drug in the blood or preventing the elimination of strontium. Possible interactions include:

Dosage and preparation

Nutritional supplements like strontium chloride or strontium citrate don't need the careful research that pharmaceuticals like strontium ranelate do. Because of this, the quality of the supplement can vary from brand to brand.

If you decide to take strontium supplements, choose brands that have been tested and approved by an independent certification body, such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab.

Strontium supplements are available in tablet, capsule, or softgel form. Although there are no guidelines governing its proper use, doses below 680 milligrams for adults are considered safe for short-term use.

Strontium is also obtained from the environment and from the food you eat. Strontium is abundant in seawater and, as a result, in the shellfish and shellfish you eat. It can also be found in relatively large amounts in cereals, leafy vegetables, and dairy products.

Other questions

Are there situations where strontium supplements can help you?

Based on the available data, the answer should be no .

Since strontium is not an essential mineral, there is no level at which it is considered deficient. In short, there is no reason why someone should take strontium supplements, especially since there are other more effective treatments for osteoporosis .

At least the strontium supplements are a waste of money. At worst, they can potentially harm your health.

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