Strontium Citrate Safety

I am interested in knowing if anyone has seen an improvement in bone density after using strontium citrate for about a year. I know a calculation has to be made for strontium to get an accurate BMD reading.

I have been taking 1200 mg highly absorbable calcium; 800 mg vitamin D; plus minerals, and some bone friendly foods like salads, vegies, fruits, fat-free milk, etc. And taking the strontium 4 hours away from the calcium, minerals, vitamins and food nutrition. I plan to have a BMD test soon and am hoping to see some improvement and I will let you know. In the meatime, I would like to know if anyone has been taking strontium long enough to see any results; or hopefully not--any problems?

I hear that many very elderly women have improved their bone density with strontium ranelate supplementation. The European studies do not indicate any harmful sides like high BP, blood clots, blood toxicity, dental caries, etc.

Strontium is sourced mainly from China where there are many impure and toxic products; and purity and cleanliness standards are mostly not regulated. I am wondering if there are affordable and trustworthy brands of strontium with optimal purity and safety?
I think Canada and France distribute pharm grade pure and refined strontium ranelate named Protelos. I have read that the FDA has not approved Protelos for fear of loss of pharm market revenue to strontium; while fronting the explanation that insufficient clinical trials have not been done; when indeed they have for years in France, Canada, and Europe.

As usual, women's health and women's diseases have been pushed to the back of the bus; so sad. Indeed, a primary health care provider told me outright that not much money or research goes into "women's" diseases like osteoporosis, arthritis, etc. Most of the money goes to heart disease, stroke, cancer and the diseases that primarily affect men. Women should be out in the street screaming and waving with their signs; and demanding equal access to quality health care; yet women remain meek and silent as lambs. Why are U.S. women not protesting the deeply engrained sexism in the U.S. medical establishment that negatively impacts the quality of their lives and their health? Will women have to move to Canada or France to save their bones?


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Hey Merl,

Let's be careful on the sexism there ;~)

I have actually pondered what seems like reverse gender discrimination when it comes to OP. However, as a guy, it would be really tough to insult me <grin>. Virtually everything I read on OP is written for the fairer sex, but of course with good reason. I suppose it does me some good to be in a minority situation for a change.

I agree however, that more could be done. I'm just not sure about waving signs on the street, especially with 80% of my accomplices being ladies.


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Hello, I recently attended NOF's advocacy meeting which I will share with the community in January. In the meantime, I'm going to suggest that you visit and check through the advocacy information. We don't have to scream and wave signs, but we do need to make our voices heard. There are many ways to bring attention to our needs; not only through government officials, but please be patient and I'll share what I learned asap. But please do check through the advocacy section on NOF. Thanks. Sandi

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Meri, Where did you read, " I have read that the FDA has not approved Protelos for fear of loss of pharm market revenue to strontium; while fronting the explanation that insufficient clinical trials have not been done;"

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How can you deny there is sexism in medicine without being sexist yourself? You had better be careful about denying sexism. White men are an advantaged group and cannot be seen as victims. Women have been historically disadvantaged; as have Blacks and other minorities, who often side with women regarding discrimination.

Less than 100 years ago, women gained the right to vote. Before that, women were virutal slaves with no voice; no rights. Indeed, women were lynched and hung is Salem; and called witches if they were intelligent, pretty, lively; or anything else but quiet and meek. A man could beat his wife for any reason within an inch of her life; for the mere fact of displeasing him in the slightest way. Rape was considered the woman's fault; and still in in many court rooms today; if not more victims would come forward.

It is still considered all right to humiliate and otherwise make women intimidated or uncomfortable in the workplace, because that after all to sexist men that is their role. And many lawsuits have and are being put forward to end this double standard in the workplace. Males are still using vicious tactics against women; not used against men to disadvantage women in the workplace. Men have got to learn to work with people who have different work styles, ethics, and values than the standard white Protestant work ethic, miliary industrial style that is highly offensive to women, Blacks, and other minorities.

In most of the world, women still live in virtual slavery or second class citizenery: consider the Middle East, China, the vast Asian continent; parts of the S. Pacific, and Mexico; and other Latino countries where crimes of passion against uppity women are virtually condoned.

I would advise anyone who makes light of or denies discrimination against women to educate themselves by reading the works of Susan Brownmiller, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinim; and other modern feminists.

Are you aware of the history of medicine; and of women's health? Within the past 50 years before women started screaming and waving their bras; and demanding their rights in society; women's assertions and opinions were discounted in medicine and elsewhere on the grounds of women being "hysterical, emotional, illogical, and just plain dumb". Remember, the Harvard professor that was recently forced to resign because he said women were less intelligent than men. Yeah, sexism is still rampant.

It has only been in the past 20 years that a minority of women make over $100,000 a year; and there are very few women CEO's making over a million a year.
Although I am a highly educated woman and make a good salary;as does my husband, I am aware of the status of those less fortunate. I also would like to make a million a year; however, not by being a entertainer;or other lower status jobs, even though the income is fabulous. I am thinking about the status of women in this society; and wanting women to be loved and valued as persons; not as objects designed to please men.

Also, since osteoporosis effects far more women than men; it can safely be called a women's health issue or a woman's disease.


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Hi Sharon

The FDA will not approve Protelos because it says; that natural substances cannot be patented. That regulation needs to be modified for the sake of women's health; as it has in every other countries, except the US that is behind the curve. Protelos is pharm grade, virtually pure, high potency strontium ranelate with far less impurities and toxic heavy metals contained in many US strontium supplements. Also there is no guarntee that many US strontium supplements have as high a potency as stated; and as high as Protelos. This is part the job of the FDA to regulate potency, purity, and safety of drugs.

It would be great to have Protelos approved in the US because we could be sure of safety, purity, potency, and effectiveness of what we are taking. My husband who has a biology degree says he would not advise taking US strontium supplements due to the lack of purity, safey and regulations. Also, most strontium comes from China that has problems with tainted products.

The DDS I see also advised me of the dangers of strontium that is not Protelos, and strontium in general coming from China that is not guaranteed pure.

Recent studies have also shown a correlation between strontium and blood clots. So we need to be cautious. Are the clots coming from the strontium or the additives and impurities. More work needs to be done.

Genistein is also said to help bone growth. However, it is also not totally safe possible effects of estrogen.

It ain't easy gettin' old and unfortunately we just have to try our best; demand the best; and accept what we cannot change.

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Wow, Merl734, apparently your interpretation of Tom's post is a lot different from mine! You have enlightening information to share, and you seem to be very passionate about it, but I really can't see how it's warranted or appropriate to deliver it as an attack on Tom. That's my opinion...

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Wow Merl, I kinda struck a nerve there. I agree with most of what you said, but I'm certainly no liberal. I have seen my wife treated just as you said by the medical community over the 44 years we've been married. I cannot condone any of it. In the workplace I've been lucky to see some improvements for women in recent years, but that is only the white collar environment. I'll certainly stand beside you in the osteoporosis cause.


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I have been taking strontium citrate and have been unaware of the frequent China connection. That worries me. I will have been on strontium for 10 months and will certainly share my bone scan results in February.
I will be heading for London in a couple of weeks. Does anyone know whether it is possible to get Protelos over-the-counter there? Much of Europe is less concerned about prescriptions than we are.

Thank you,

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Someone on this osteopenia site says that AlgaeCal Strontium is made in Canada. Some of the company's algae comes from Latin America. She says Doctor's Best Strontium is made in the USA. I recently learned that the Vit. C I had been taking for 10 years was made in China. I mean, what DO we make in the USA any more? It is getting hard to find any supplements not made elsewhere. I don't have a problem with American/Chinese made things. I definitely would have a problem with buying supplements in Chinatown, tho.

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Hi Chirp

My reply to Tom was not meant as an attack as much as letting people know that women still have a long way to go to get the same respect from society that is automatically granted to men without question regardless of their age, income, social status.
Men in general just do not respect women; nor does society in general. Don't challenge me to prove it, because that only will encourge me to write a vicious screed; that as you say will not be entirely appropriate here; and will also give me fodder for a PhD dissertation. Do I sound like a liberal version of Ann Coulter; lol? I am not as funny as she is though I am working on it.

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I'm not sure the following supporrts the statement that "The European studies do not indicate any harmful sides like high BP, blood clots, blood toxicity, dental caries, etc."
From Servier site
4.4 Special warnings and special precautions for use

In the absence of bone safety data in patients with severe renal impairment treated with strontium ranelate, PROTELOS is not recommended in patients with a creatinine clearance below 30 ml/min (see section 5.2). In accordance with good medical practice, periodic assessment of renal function is recommended in patients with chronic renal impairment. Continuation of treatment with PROTELOS in patients developing severe renal impairment should be considered on an individual basis.

In phase III placebo-controlled studies, strontium ranelate treatment was associated with an increase in the annual incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE), including pulmonary embolism (see section 4.8). The cause of this finding is unknown. PROTELOS should be used with caution in patients at increased risk of VTE, including patients with a past history of VTE. When treating patients at risk, or developing risk of VTE, particular attention should be given to possible signs and symptoms of VTE and adequate preventive measures taken.
4.8 Undesirable effects

PROTELOS has been studied in clinical trials involving nearly 8,000 participants. Long-term safety has been evaluated in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis treated for up to 60 months with strontium ranelate 2 g/day (n=3,352) or placebo (n=3,317) in phase III studies. Mean age was 75 years at inclusion and 23% of the patients enrolled were 80 to 100 years of age.

Overall incidence rates for adverse events with strontium ranelate did not differ from placebo and adverse events were usually mild and transient. The most common adverse events consisted of nausea and diarrhoea, which were generally reported at the beginning of treatment with no noticeable difference between groups afterwards. Discontinuation of therapy was mainly due to nausea (1.3% and 2.2% in the placebo and strontium ranelate groups respectively).

Adverse reactions, defined as adverse events considered at least possibly attributable to strontium ranelate treatment in phase III studies are listed below using the following convention (frequencies versus placebo): very common (>1/10); common (>1/100, <1/10); uncommon (>1/1,000, <1/100); rare (>1/10,000, <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000).

Nervous system disorders
Common: headache (3.3% vs. 2.7%)

Gastrointestinal disorders
Common: nausea (7.1% vs. 4.6%), diarrhoea (7.0% vs. 5.0%), loose stools (1.0% vs. 0.2%)

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Common: dermatitis (2.3% vs. 2.0%), eczema (1.8% vs. 1.4%)

There were no differences in the nature of adverse events between treatment groups regardless of whether patients were aged below or above 80 at inclusion.

In phase III studies, the annual incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) observed over 5 years was approximately 0.7%, with a relative risk of 1.4 (95% CI = [1.0 ; 2.0]) in strontium ranelate treated patients as compared to placebo (see section 4.4).

In phase III studies, over 5 years, nervous system disorders were reported with higher frequency in patients treated with strontium ranelate, compared with placebo: disturbances in consciousness (2.6% vs. 2.1%), memory loss (2.5% vs. 2.0%) and seizures (0.4% vs. 0.1%).

I took strontium citrate as part of the ProBono formula . My dexa was spine -1.3 and hip -2.6 before, and spine -1.2 and hip -2.2 after 11 months on the strontium. ( I was also taking calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and doing an exercise routine). I stopped the strontium aafter reading about the risks and will be curious to see what my next dexa, due next month, will show.

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I think you were wise to discontinue the strontium citrate. It doesn't appear to have made a great deal of difference in your dexa scores to take the risk of taking something considered experimental by the FDA. I know people think it is not on the market for money reasons, but who knows really. Best to error on the safe side.

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Hi Merl734,

You're right! Women do still have a long way to go... and in many ways.

So, let's move on... Let's keep enlightening and learning, and let's especially keep encouraging people to be informed, and to stand up for themselves and get the kind of respect and health care they deserve.

More knowledge and understanding is a key part of this process; in this spirit I really do look forward to more of your helpful input. (By the way, thanks for mentioning the "made in China" aspect, something that hadn't occurred to me...)

(And no, I'm not even *thinking* of challenging you... Consider me warned!)

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To Merl and Tom-

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Hello Everyone! The statement by Merl734 that the FDA will not approve Protelos because it says that natural substances cannot be patented is erroneous because strontium ranelate is not a natural substance. Ranelate was synthesized by Servier, the manufacturer of Protelos, so it could patent strontium ranelate. Strontium, found chiefly as celestite (strontium sulfate) and strontianite (strontium carbonate) is a natural substance. Natural substances cannot be patented and are not regulated by FDA.

The real reason Protelos is not FDA-approved for use in the USA is that Servier has chosen, for whatever reason, not to seek FDA approval. I emailed Servier several months ago and got a response from a company spokesperson. My question and her response is posted below:

Is your company seeking approval of Protelos (strontium ranelate)for osteoporosis in the United States of America? If so, at what stage in the process is it?


Thank you for your interest for Protelos. Protelos is registered in 84 countries worldwide but has not yet been filed to the FDA and thus, for the time being, it is not possible to give you any indication on availability date in the USA.


M. Rebuffé-Scrive
Scientific Director Servier International Canada, USA, Northern, Central & Eastern Europe

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Strontium Ranelate contains Aspartame... could this be the reason why people get nauseous and upset stomachs when using it? Apparently many consultants in Europe (I'm in the UK) have requested that another sweetener be used - or dropped altogtether. But so far, Servier have refused. Have you looked up Aspartame on the internet?! scary reading.

It is very frustrating, as it deters a lot of people from taking it... and then, what do we do? Take risks with strontium citrate? Which, then, is more risky - long-term use of Aspartame or Strontium Citrate? I don't know.


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I'm totaly confused now!

I thought Strontium citrate is different then Strontium ranelate?
I do not eat fake surger. yuk..

I also thought Ranelate you could not get in the Usa, and isnt the Strontium citrate showing good results to the bones, with out side effects?

Are all Protelos the same?

So confused!


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Just an aside for others to ponder upon- I'm 49, been taking strontium citrate 680mg for a couple months and yes I do have other medical conditions so who knows- but I just have gotten home from over a wk in the hospital for a "massive" MI (heart attack). My cardiologist says she doesn't know anything about strontium.

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I'm so sorry. I hope you will have a good recovery. Whether we are taking meds or alternatives, we don't really have any way of knowing exacting what is going on inside of our bodies until our bodies speak to us ... unfortunately as your body did with a heart attack. We all have different lifestyles and stresses that may affect the interaction of what we ingest. Taking strotrium is no different than taking meds in that we are all rolling the dice hoping that our choices will be the right choice for our bone loss. Meanwhile, I'm so glad you are home. Please keep us updated on your recovery. Take care. Sandi

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Thank you for that!

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