Apparent strontium toxicity from strontium serum lab results?

My recent strontium serum lab results certainly needs some of this site's strontium experts to weigh in with their assessment. For a quick definition of terms, I was surprised to find out that strontium serum/plasma (strontium in the blood) can be measured with a simple blood draw - urine can also be used as a measure. Such a blood draw does not tell what is in your bones but what it does indicate is startling:

Strontium: Serum/Plasma
Range: 10.0 - 45.0 ng/ml

My result: 1916.3 ng/ml High
(My comment - that is a whopping 4,258 % higher than the upper limit of normal of 45.0 ng/ml)

NOTE: Result verified by repeat analysis.
Strontium analysis performed by inductively coupled plasma / mass spectrometry (ICP/MS).

My endo ordered the test with my last lab draw in March through Lab Corp which is a large laboratory corporation here in the U.S. that also tests for heavy metals, among them strontium. My endo knows I take strontium but wishes I did not and this last lab result has him even more concerned as to renal failure or osteomalcia.

As for me, I started strontium citrate last Oct 2012 but had a reaction and had to switch to strontium carbonate which is very hard to find. I also added the supplements others have used with success on this site. And I also use Calcitonin-Salmon nasal spray. So that is my osteoporosis recipe - for disaster?

I would guess the rest of you taking strontium would have similar strontium serum results......and nothing in Lara Pizzorno's book Save Out Bones addresses this issue of the meaning of measurable high strontium serum, urine, or plasma. So what do I, do WE, do now? I realize that we are a small "n" who take daily strontium supplements so there is no range established for those of us ingesting strontium on a daily basis. However, at the same time there actually is something called strontium toxicity that can be found on PubMed.

Do those taking Strontium Renalate have this same high strontium serum? It is one thing to have strontium in the bones but this is a measure of the strontium circulating in my blood. I am open to any discussion or explanation or input but I am feeling very uncomfortable.

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Amanda124, I have no idea what you are talking about. Please let me know what you are referring to so that I may answer you properly.

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Tamhart, you took the words right out of my mouth.

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Please don't misunderstand my intention. The author is going to question her resources (health professionals) before a reply is given. The reason I contacted the author is because I feel any author "owes" their readers (or followers) a reply to any questions regarding information written in a book. We have many members that have followed the suggestions from the author.
I don't feel my request has anything to do with the position of the author. If an author leans towards strontium citrate, I feel any questions or concerns about strontium citrate should be addressed. The author is usually very good about sharing resources.
Although I may or may not agree,I want to keep an open mind and give the author an opportunity to seek out the answers before I come to my own conclusion about any toxic effects of SC.
And we are not here to prove one way or another whether a member should take SC, other supplements or medication.
A member that feels confident with their choices needs to have their choices respected whether the choice is medication or OTC.
Thank you

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This is a thread about serum Strontium levels, so how in the heck did bisphosphonates get brought into this conversation (again)? I have been taking Strontium Citrate since the beginning of March. My next Rheumy appointment is in May and I will ask him about his concerns for use of Strontium and the possible side effects of renal failure or accumulation of this supplement in my body. I had a nasty side effect with another OP drug so I am very hesitant to begin any other drug regimen. I think that asking Lara is just fine. It would, however, be nice to hear more than just one doctor's or researcher's opinion since I believe that more is merrier. As far as "cherry picking" references go, give me a break...everyone does that here. We all want to believe that we are doing the best we can for improving our health so we look for evidence to support our decisions. I really wish all of this arguing and one-upping each other would stop.

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Tamhart, In my opinion- it would not be beneficial in any way to have a physician of any type respond to this post. Ask 10 drs about their opinion on treating op and you will get 10 different answers. Sandi wisely asked for Lara's opinion as she wrote a book on the use of strontium. We already know your stance on strontium, and it is beginning to seem like you are here on Inspire waiting for proof that you are right and we are wrong. I do not respond on here when others praise the meds, I just bypass that post. Maybe you could do the same when the subject is strontium? This is not an attack, I am simply wondering.

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I also think it is unfair to call Lara Pizzorno "anti medication". She is anti bishposhonates, but you have no idea about the rest of her opinions on medicine outside of osteoporosis. I would also be interested in the statement you say she made about algaecal. Was it her clearing up an issue? Maybe you should find that post before you start discussing it in abstracts.

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Does anyone know if strontium malonate has been approved in the US by FDA? I can only find earlier mid-clinical trial information. If it has been approved, an alternative strontium treatment might relieve some of the anxiety re. using non prescription strontium citrate. I personally would feel much more comfortable taking strontium by prescription, given the clinical trials. I have yet to find a single MD (in any field) near Providence RI who has heard of strontium, much less be able to advise or monitor its use. There is more data on the toxicity of certain oil soluble vitamins than on strontium citrate! This really leaves me angry that the medical profession (here and perhaps elsewhere) seems unaware of strontium's anecdotally positive response as treatment for OP. I'm impressed by people on this site who have found benefit from its use and shared it. I hate to think of another lengthy wait until a new pharmaceutical challenge, i.e. strontium renelate or other variant, begins clinical trials in this country.

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SCW, so far it appears that nobody else has had this test done. It would be nice if someone has though so they can compare results with you ... whether they take strontium citrate, carbonate, or the prescription Protelos (strontium ranelate).

Other than that, I don`t know about you, but I think that I`m going to go have myself a dose of ``Vitameatavegamin``. ;)

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I correct myself, when referring to Lara as anti medicine I was referring to the bisphosphonates only!
Also Lorrieanne I specifically ssid that Lara's statements I was referring were regarding her response to a post about lead in algecal. And yes I know exactly the post where she said this and am not talking in abstracts. I specifically said that the way she felt about the misleading information reported about algecal is the way I feel about her misleading information about bisphosphonates.

I am always interested in the different methods people are using to treat their OP, so if I feel like I want to comment on something I will.

Also it is very presumptuous of you to asume that I am waiting to be proven right and others wrong. The way you say "you and us" insinuates that you believe we are two different groups of people competing against each other, The way I view it; there is no "us or you" it is WE. We all have the same condition and should be here to support one another.

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Only with you, Tamhart, do I feel that it is you vs me. I have been here over a year and have never felt this from another member.

As for the original post, I too am wondering if anyone on strontium ranelate has this test done. ??

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Did anyone open the 2 links I sent, lol? It compares strontium r to strontium citrate. Im sure more studies can be found and we can research. It seems to say the Scientific study showed citrate form stays in the body longer and may circulate in the blood longer.

<<Bone strontium levels in rats administered strontium citrate were significantly greater (p<0.05) than rats administered strontium ranelate and vehicle.>>

On s.citrate case study:
<<The intriguing results show bone strontium incorporation and retention follow a pattern, suggesting strontium levels, at least in the ankle, do not plateau within two to three years and will continue to increase over time, as an individual takes strontium supplements>>

I'll step aside since this gets personal and not in a good way but remember this is ALL of us. We all need to know and not by anyone with an agenda on either side. Good luck to all of us.

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Yes I opened your links and found them interesting! Thank you for sharing them! I appreciate being able to read scientific studies. I think maybe people believe that Strontium citrate acts the same as strontium ranelate in our bodies. This study seems to show it may not. It also stated that the effects of strontium citrate on bone is largely unknown. I wonder too since SCW was taking the over the counter form of strontium and not the prescription if this played a role in the toxic levels in her blood. Recently there have been numerous reports showing levels of supplements are not always accurate. I reread her post and was surprised to see that she had only been taking it since October. That is only 6 months. I assumed she had been taking it for years! This is all very interesting and I hope everything turns out to be fine for everyone.

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Well said, Amanda.

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I'm interested in Lara's response(s) And like others here, I am also interested to hear from others that have had
testing themselves to check the levels.
I am not willing to put OP medicines in my body at this time - if ever. That's just my personal choice.

So, I find the more research that's been done or being done in this area to be useful to me.

I did find this study interesting. It only takes place for a year. The science here is not bias. Just maybe not
long enough ( only 1 year cited here of following the results)
A few people it seems didn't stay on the program at all times in this study. This study was independently done so
no one is being sold anything. Why I see it as non bias.

Thank you to the person who started this thread.

All the Best,


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I've come to this discussion late, but I want to comment on your initial post in which you wrote:

Strontium: Serum/Plasma
Range: 10.0 - 45.0 ng/ml

My result: 1916.3 ng/ml High
(My comment - that is a whopping 4,258 % higher than the upper limit of normal of 45.0 ng/ml)

NOTE: Result verified by repeat analysis.
Strontium analysis performed by inductively coupled plasma / mass spectrometry (ICP/MS).

The normal range reflects the blood values of people who were not taking supplements of strontium. So it should be no surprise that your values are much higher, but I don't see that that is any cause for concern.

In a study entitled "Efficacy and safety of strontium ranelate in the treatment of osteoporosis in men" --, the authors wrote, "After 2 years, the blood strontium level (129 ± 66 μmol/L) was similar to that in trials of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Strontium ranelate was generally well tolerated."

If we convert μmol/L (the units in which the blood values used in the study were expressed) to ng/ml (the units in which your own blood values were expressed), we can compare your blood level of strontium with that of the study's participants in whom the mineral was well tolerated.

The molecular weight of elemental strontium is 87.62 g/mol. In order to convert μmol/L to ng/ml, we first have to find out what the molecular weight is in terms of μg/μmol. A μg (microgram) is one-millionth of a gram, and a μmol (micromole) is of course one-millionth of a mole. Obviously, the molecular weight in terms of μg/μmol is the same as the molecular weight in terms of g/mol: one gram per mole is equal to one microgram per micromole. The Greek letter μ (mu) stands for "micro." So the molecular weight of strontium is 87.62 μg/μmol. That means that one μmol equals 87.62 μg or that one μmol/L equals 87.62 μg/L.

So how does that translate into ng/ml? Well a nanogram is a billionth of a gram, and a microgram is a millionth of gram. That means there are a thousand nanograms in a microgram (1 ng = 1,000 μg). Similarly, there are a thousand milliliters in one liter (1 L = 1000 ml). So 1 μg/L = 1 ng/ml. Therefore, 87.62 μg/L = 87.62 ng/ml.

Now the study quoted above said that "after 2 years, the blood strontium level (129 ± 66 μmol/L) was similar to that in trials of postmenopausal osteoporosis.”

So what is 129 ± 66 μmol/L in terms of ng/ml?

If 1 μmol = 87.62 μg, then 129 ± 66 μmol = 129 ± 66 x 87.62 μg, which equals 11,302 ± 5,782.92 μg/L.

So, if my calculations are correct, the result reported in the study is equivalent to 11,302 ± 5,782.92 ng/ml, and this very high blood level is from supplements that were well tolerated. So I don't think that your own relatively modest value of 1,916.3 ng/ml is anything to worry about.



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wdyer - thanks for the conversions! I was visiting my naturopath today. I take strontium citrate on her recommendation. I asked her about if it is unnatural to take so much of a supplement that only occurs minutely in nature. She sort of laughed and waved her hands over all the bottles of other vitamins that I brought to her to show what I was taking. She knows from the strontium ranelate studies that it prevents fractures. Here in the U.S. we only have OTC citrate (maybe carbonate). She also has me on D, K2, etc. She says after her patients bone scans improve she weans them off of high doses of everything and the bones seem to stay OK. So she is waiting for me to get my next scan, and if is good, she will probably recommend I cut back on the strontium (which actually I have from 2 pills down to 1). I know it does not cause plaque in my arteries. I am 62 and I had a scan of the arteries in my neck that measures thickness, etc, and I have no plaque at all. On the other hand, my sister -in-law who is French said she read something from what she considers 2 top doctors in France and they did not like the drug because of safety concerns. Since we are dealing with an OTC there are not enough studies to 100% convince me it is totally harmless, so I just have to weigh my choices. We know that so many drugs, even, though supposedly studied, get recalled years later. I do take comfort that a number of Inspire members take strontium citrate and have not reported any kidney or liver problems that they can attribute to it, and mine are OK. There is not a perfect answer. We can only offer our experiences to try to help one another and then we ourselves have to decide. By the way I showed my naturopath Pizzorno's book (naturopath knows her) and the K2 and the Calcium Paradox but she does not have to read them, because she reads all the studies that they quote anyway.

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Hi again, SCW here, the original poster, actually my name is Susan. I have some other issues going on right now with an OP sacral insufficiency fracture so I am distracted. But this post is uncovering and discussing all the issues very well. My concerns are the same as to what has already been raised in all the posts and thanks to those doing their own research as well. As one poster said - How does it affect the body? Symptoms? Outcome?

Wow Bill - wdwyer - you must be a chemist or engineer or PhD. That was quite an impressive analysis. I will take that to my next endo appointment in May. I am quite persuaded by your analysis but still............what does strontium circulating throughout the bloodstream at any measurable level do besides what has been documented in the bone?

My endo says he does not know what to do with this information. If I needed medical care due to strontium toxicity or other OTC strontium side effects there are no doctors that he knows who would know how to treat me. He says more or less what dexaguru says - that I am ingesting many millions more times the trace amounts of naturally occurring strontium and what are / will be the unknown consequences, if any?

My endo was on the NOF Board and is a smart man and has listened to me and my rants and looked at all my articles and knows what I am doing but says he cannot help me with this as he doesn't know what it means medically. Am I toxic and if so what do I do other than stop taking strontium? If I stop, do I wait until my strontium levels go down (if they do) and then make my choices among the other much discussed prescription drugs. Lilypads and The Bone Lady have had good lives on strontium so maybe BIll's excellent analysis sorts it all out.

Yet, I am confused nonetheless and I don't know what to do with it or about it.............and my endo does not agree with the strontium renalate studies. He said he talked to the number one OP researcher in this country on the NOF Board (sorry - forgot his name and the exact details of our conversation) and this MD/PhD says that strontium renalate will never be approved by the FDA as the studies are flawed or words to that effect. So even though Bill's calculation shows that my relative level is not that high, my endo is not convinced that ANY FORM of strontium is appropriate.

And, by the way, my Lab Corp bill arrived today and all the labs were covered by my insurance except the strontium which was $256. It would be helpful if some other poster also tested their strontium levels but it is an expensive blood test.

To fill in my Hx have been taking strontium for 7 months and about half that time just 340 mgs. I started strontium citrate on October 18 but had to switch to strontium carbonate on January 16. My understanding is that the carbonate form is less well absorbed than the citrate. Nevertheless, I have continued to take the only strontium carbonate OTC supplement available BioStrong - or as Little-Sparrow posted above, her dose of ``Vitameatavegamin`` which gave me quite an I Love Lucy chuckle for those in the know!

So I am open to any and all discussion and was quite a hard knock on the head. There isn’t a drug prescribed that I don’t react to so I do not know what to do as somehow even this level of strontium circulating in my blood does not seem right. Sorry about no links, but it is easy to do a search on Pub Med using strontium.

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Why don't you just chew on it a while--you'll figure out the best thing to do, for you. For me, I will continue taking SC.

Based on your expensive lab bill for the Strontium test, I guess I now know why Kaiser did not suggest doing a Strontium serum test... (Kaiser is very good at raking in the premiums, however!)

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Thank you Krissty for this link
Very interesting read.

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Thank you arrowsp

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