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Topic: Does anyone take Strontium for bone health?

Forum: Bone Health and Bone Loss —

Talk with others about bone density, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and ways to keep your bones strong

Posted on: Sep 4, 2014 08:27PM

cp418 wrote:

I came across this older article and am looking for more recent information.  I read that when supplementing, strontium should accompany calcium, although not at the same time. Take calcium in the morning and strontium in the evening or vice-versa.

Strontium: Breakthrough Against Osteoporosis

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


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Sep 5, 2014 02:36AM Momine wrote:

I looked into it, but as far as I can gather, the reason the drug never took off for treating bone loss is that there are some very serious SEs. From Wiki:

Strontium ranelate increased the risk of venous thromboembolism, pulmonary embolism and serious cardiovascular disorders, including myocardial infarction. Its use is now restricted.[10] The most common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, headache and eczema, but with only 2–4% increase compared with placebo group. However, most of those side effects resolved within 3 months. Occasional severe allergic reactions have been reported including Drug Rash with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS syndrome)[11]

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 5, 2014 04:01AM leggo wrote:

Someone has to clue me in. I thought strontium was a radioactive isotope.?? I'm confused. I could have sworn the last time I got rads to my bones, the rads onc said that was what they used.

"Once more into the fray... Into the last good fight I'll ever know... Live and die on this day... Live and die on this day." - The Grey
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Sep 5, 2014 04:26AM Heidihill wrote:

I know someone who takes it. She is a doctor and probably prescribes it to herself. She is stage IV but no bone mets and has been taking Femara at least 15 years, since being diagnosed stage IV. Here is a link on use for osteoarthritis.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121111153432.htm

Dx 8/2007, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/25/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 5, 2014 09:33AM - edited Sep 5, 2014 09:36AM by cp418

http://www.nbihealth.com/t-strontium-osteoporosis.aspx

Found this article too referring to some clinical trails in Europe.  However, the Strontium supplement they used is not available in USA. 

Strontium was referred to me by my nutritionist as I have osteopenia again right hip.  My Oncologist started me back on twice yearly Zometa infusions but I have concerns about fracture risk.  I have a call into the office and waiting to hear what he says if I can take it.  Frankly I have concerns about taking either the supplement or infusion but these are the issues I'm dealing with taking Femara.


http://www.jarrow.com/eMarketing/StrontiumFAQ_Dec9.pdf

 

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Sep 5, 2014 12:19PM leggo wrote:

Never mind, figured it out.

"Once more into the fray... Into the last good fight I'll ever know... Live and die on this day... Live and die on this day." - The Grey
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Sep 5, 2014 03:00PM cp418 wrote:

Supplement was Strontium Citrate and Onc office said they were unfamiliar and not to take it.

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Sep 5, 2014 05:50PM dlb823 wrote:

I think some of the newer, "advanced" natural bone building formulations contain strontium, as well as boron, zinc, and a few other things.  I took Progressive Lab's Osteo-Mins A.M. for a couple of years -- a mineral supplement you take in addition to calcium-magnesium, but at a different time of day, and it has strontium in it.   I now use Solaray's Calcium Citrate Supreme, which I see doesn't have strontium.  So this thread just helped me figure out something that had been on my mind about why one company said it was imperative to take their minerals separately from your calcium supplement, and the newer one I'm using has everything in one.    

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Sep 6, 2014 07:47AM anniealso wrote:

Hi there ladies.  I had two cancers, both stage 1s, one with a lumpectomy and rads, the second (they  had missed a bit evidently)  had skin sparing mastectomy and recon lat flap.  5 years each, tamoxifen and arimidex.  I now just had my bones scanned for the first time in years. 

(My CP violently opposed to bone drugs) so now I am about to find out how the bones held up.  I suspect not well.  I went into t his with osteopenia and am tiny (5' and 110 lbs., slight frame).  I've lost height, so that could've been from the oophorectomy I had 5 years ago, or bones.  I did not have DEXAs as I also am opposed to bone drugs, so wouldn't have taken anything anyway.  What is, is.  Took plenty of calcium, D3, magnesium, exercise.

My GP is very very pro strontium.  Both she and  I have researched extensively.  It has been safely used in Europe for more than 10 years and the SEs are far less than the common bone drugs used now in the US.  GP is very into the research, a Harvard Dr., and feels strontium a great choice for me.  I have type II diabetes (perfect control with diet and exercise) also, so she wants a safer option for me.  The SEs listed are much more common and severe with all the bone drugs commonly prescribed now for us in the US.  Strontium is much safer.

I am about to begin it....I do not yet know the state of the bones (onc 6 month visit on Monday) but am scared out of my gourd.  My onc is a doom and gloomer and he terrifies me.    None the less, it's time to go and see w hat's what.  What is the usual dose of strontium?  My understanding from my GP is that it is taken away from calcium as they utilize the same pathways and one can cancel the other.

 

Thanks for any info, anyone has to share on this drug.  My understanding also is that strontium is now being widely accepted as an alternative to bone drugs in the medical community per my Dr. 


 

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Sep 6, 2014 08:36AM cp418 wrote:

anniealso - Thanks for your very detailed reply.  I've done some reading on Strontium but obviously need to research it more.  I have exactly the concerns you mentioned about the bone drugs - problems with making bones brittle and prone to fractures.  I previously received Zometa infusions in the past when the research was promoting it to prevent/protect against bone mets.  I developed osteopenia after 2 years taking Femara so was given 6 infusions of Zometa over next 3 years.  Well now the research says this is not true for Zometa.  My nutritionist is against bone drugs but I wanted my Onc to know I was given this supplement.  Frankly I was disappointed when his office called back because I assume it was a nurse - she never heard of strontium supplement.  No clue what I was talking about and thought it was some IV drug.  Really??!!   An oncology office whose patients may have bone issues yet no knowledge of supplements for bone health.  I don't have another apt until Dec and am afraid to take the strontium due to recent Zometa infusion.  Frankly I may refuse my next Zometa dose.  I need to talk directly to my Onc instead of whoever returns office calls. 

If you have any links that your GP may have referenced to you - I would greatly appreciate it. 

So far I've encountered many doctors who simply are ignorant about integrated health regarding supplements.  They have been trained to push drugs and that is all they know IMO.  These drugs certainly serve a purpose when necessary but there are situations when there are other alternatives.  Simply telling a patient to eat healthy and exercise but be completely ignorant of supplements is very frustrating.  I keep being told that supplements are not monitored by the FDA like drugs.  IMO the FDA isn't doing such a good job with safety regarding these Pharma contractors who mix/package drugs and contaminate the ingredients or get them mixed up. 

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Sep 6, 2014 09:40AM Momine wrote:

CP418, I have the same concerns that you do about the effects of zometa (and prolia). I only have serious bone loss on 2 vertebrae, which means that I really need to know how zometa, for example, will affect my perfectly healthy and strong hips and femurs. So far, I have not gotten an answer from any of the docs I asked. 

Another alternative to the bisphosphonates is calcitonin, which apparently is a nasal spray with few side effects. I can't work out why it is not used more.

One thing is certain, many docs do not know enough about this whole area at all, and as far as I can tell solid research is also lacking.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 6, 2014 02:06PM dlb823 wrote:

I just wanted to add... shortly after I found out I have diffuse bone mets, I ended up in the ER with two fractures -- one at the top of my femur, and one in my pelvis.  The pathology from a hip replacement found some bc cells in the bone that was removed, so my breaks were termed "pathological fractures due to bc mets."  However, I've always wondered if the femur fracture especially might have actually been caused by the natural bone building stuff I was on -- the one that contained strontium -- because its location was textbook perfect for where those breaks due to bone building drugs occur.  Or maybe that's just the location that bears the most weight, so would fracture there no matter what the root cause?  

Also, I was osteopenic prior to my naturopathic doctor RX'ing Osteo Mins A.M., and had significant improvement in my osteopenia while on it -- to the point that my ortho surgeon said my bones were extremely strong and no sign of osteoporosis -- just the weird fractures in areas with very little bone mets.  So what I'm getting at is... is it possible that any bone building compound that truly makes the bone harder, pharmaceutical or natural, possibly lead to a femur fracture?   Just a thought...     Deanna

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Sep 6, 2014 02:08PM anniealso wrote:

Gee, I'm also going to ask re: calcitonin!  Maybe the two together would be useful.

I too, cannot for the life of me understand the love affair with bone drugs.  My onc seems to think they solve everything.

My GP says the bone they make is so thick it causes dramatic breaks when it breaks.  She is highly anti.

Can't win here.  I will just say thank you but no thank you tomorrow , come back and report, and see what to do.

My GP is very pro Strontium.  Says it has shown zero bad effects in the 10 years it has been on the market in Europe.  No strokes reported.  No heart issues. 

Hmmmm.....let's see if I've got any bones left first.  I'll be back and thanks!

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Sep 6, 2014 02:11PM anniealso wrote:


Deanna, what you surmise makes sense to me.  However, my GP (and this is just one dr., here) says that this is why she wants me on strontium and not on bone drugs.  That the strontium doesn't do that.

Does it?  Seems plausible to me. 

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Sep 6, 2014 02:33PM dlb823 wrote:

Hopefully your GP is right, anniealso.   There's a lot of denial with a mets dx, so my suggestion re. a bone building supplement possibly causing my fractures may have something to do with that.

My onc really wants me on Xegeva (like Prolia; technically not a bisphosphonates), and has pretty much convinced me that it will benefit me.   So I'm getting some dental work taken care of now, and will at least try it.  Dreading it though because I strongly believe in a natural approach whenever possible; but she told me in my situation natural bone builders won't accomplish the same thing.   Deanna

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Sep 6, 2014 04:00PM anniealso wrote:

Here's an article on it.  I wouldn't put too much stock in Wiki pages.  My MD pooh poohed them as medical info.  Hopefully that's true.

If you are concerned about the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, one treatment you may have heard of and considered is strontium. WebMD takes a look at the potential benefits and risks of this supplement purported to improve bone health.

What Is Strontium?

Strontium is a trace element found in seawater and soil. The main dietary source of strontium is seafood. Foods with lesser amounts of strontium include whole milk, wheat bran, meat, poultry, and root vegetables.

Strontium is chemically similar to calcium. It appears to play a role in the formation of new bone while slowing the breakdown of old bone, and thus may influence bone density. There is some evidence that women with osteoporosis may not absorb strontium as they should.

In several European countries and Australia, a patented form of strontium, called strontium ranelate (Protelos), is available as a prescription medication for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and related fractures. Protelos is not approved in the U.S.; however, unpatentable forms of the element, such as strontium citrate, are widely available as nutritional supplements in supermarkets and health food stores.

Continue reading below...

Possible Benefits of Strontium

A 2004 study from New England Journal of Medicine suggests strontium ranelate may be protective for women with osteoporosis. In the three-year study of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, strontium ranelate increased bone density in the hip and spine and reduced the risk of fracturing a vertebra by 41% compared to placebo. A longer-term study published by the same group in 2009 showed strontium ranelate, compared to placebo, reduced the risk of vertebral fractures by 33% over four years.

Unfortunately, the supplement forms of strontium have not been tested in large studies like the prescription drug strontium ranelate. Furthermore, supplements are not regulated the same way as prescription drugs, so it's not always possible to know the quality of the supplement you are taking or the amount of the active ingredient in a product. 

If you are interested in taking strontium supplement, ask your doctor to recommend one for you.

Possible Risks of Strontium

When taken in recommended doses, strontium supplements appear to be safe. Aside from occasional mild gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea, side effects are rare. However, excessive doses of strontium may replace too much calcium in the bone and hurt vitamin D metabolism, causing them to weaken.

Use with caution if you have kidney problems or history of blood clots.

What Else You Should Know About Strontium

The optimal strontium dose is not known. If you are on medication treatment for osteoporosis, it is not known whether strontium supplements will enhance or diminish the benefits.

Also, it's important to note that while strontium may increase bone density, improvements seen on bone density testing may appear more impressive than they really are. That's because strontium in bone can affect interpretation of bone mineral testing. If you are taking strontium regularly, you should let the radiologist know before you have the bone mineral density test

 

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Sep 6, 2014 08:39PM - edited Sep 6, 2014 08:40PM by cp418

Momine - sounds like we are in the same boat - confused and need more information.  I had some bone loss in vertebrae but then some improvement - major loss in hips mostly right side.  Like you I do lots of daily walking.  I also do lots of barn work - heavy lifting and cleaning stalls.  So I guess that covers lifting weights LOL! 

dlb823 - I recall my Onc mentioned Prolia.  But there was some issue with my insurance not covering it unless I progress from osteopenia to osteoporosis.  Crazy bleep bleep bleep......

anniealos - thank you for the added information.  I MOST certainly be asking questions the next visit to my Onc in December.  I certainly hope he knows more than the nurse who returned the phone call.  What I find so FRUSTRATING is there are certain treatments approved in Europe yet not available here in USA or Canada.  It makes no sense to me if these are drugs coming from Pharma companies that are here and sending NDA submissions to the FDA.  It makes no sense!!???

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Sep 7, 2014 03:29AM Momine wrote:

Scratch the calcitonin, apparently it is about to be taken off the market because of concerns about it causing cancers and causing tumors to grow.

As for strontium, I found several articles that argued against it. One problem, apparently, is that strontium, when absorbed in the bone, is heavier than calcium, so it makes it look like your bones got stronger when you get a DEXA, but it is a false improvement. This site seems quite informative and reliable: http://www.4bonehealth.org/?s=strontium

I am also leaning towards the prolia, much as I hate the idea. 

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 8, 2014 10:24PM anniealso wrote:

I just got a book...the "Save Our Bones Program."  Haven't read it yet.  Touts alkaline diets.

I honestly do not know yet what to do.  Not a fan of bio phosphates and Prolia hasn't been out long enough for me to feel comfortable with it.  Today, my onc tells me that they have flip flopped on biosphosphates and now say that in post menopausal women they do have some benefit of stopping cancer recurrence.  So another added wrinkle....

re that article it is written by folks touting their own brand of calcium vs. strontium.  I'm not really pro or con either way, but that particular article has its own agenda.  When you get a dexa and tell them you take strontium, they adjust the results to reflect that.

What is Xegeva, please?  And YIKES no calcitronin for me!!

Think I'm just taking more D and the hell with it.

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Sep 9, 2014 02:48AM Momine wrote:

Annie, as far as I can see, the article is from a non-profit site run by doctors to educate about bone health. Nowhere on the site do I see attempts to sell supplements. But maybe I missed it.

My surgeon told me that there will be a major doctor pow-wow in October, where they will go through all the research on the bisphosphonates and BC, then come up with some guide lines for when and why to use these drugs. He is one of the docs on the committee, so if I get advance notice, I will pass it on.

Xgeva is a version of prolia. Like you I am a bit concerned about the newness of the drug, but it does seem slightly less likely to cause nasty SEs than the bisphosphonates.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 9, 2014 05:10AM Heidihill wrote:

The European Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee says strontium ranelate should no longer be used for osteoporosis (as per January 2014).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strontium_ranelate

 

Dx 8/2007, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/25/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 9, 2014 09:25AM anniealso wrote:

Momine, I will wait for that to happen and then decide!  We s hould have much more info as it changes constantly.

I too, hate drugs and I am especially fearful of biophosphates.   I know too many who have suffered major bone breaks on t hem for modest improvement.

Heidihill, thank you but this is about strontium ranelate, the RX formula, which is not what I nor my Dr. is considering.  We are only going to use the strontium citrate supplements.  Not at all the same thing without the risk profile.

Also, the study fails to mention that the elderly patients studied already had these existing health factors.  I think it's always good to be cautious though!!  Per my GP, she is fine with me trying it, since I have no existing heart issues, hbp etc.  Theydid not occur out of the blue in people without these conditions, nor in younger people.


 

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Sep 10, 2014 03:35AM Heidihill wrote:

I see that Momine already had a link with the news on strontium ranelate. Sorry for the duplication.

Dx 8/2007, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/25/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 10, 2014 10:06PM anniealso wrote:

Yeah, the Forbonehealth is written by an MA, not an MD.  I have her book.  It has many great theories in it, and she claims to have cured her osteoporosis by using an alkaline/acid ratio diet.  I wish it were that easy.  Nonetheless I bought it, and it sends you to her site which touts her creation"algaecal" and calcium supplement made from algae.  All t his is not to say I won't try it!  I'm at the end of my rope. 

2 weeks and still no results from Dexa scan....

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Sep 10, 2014 10:08PM anniealso wrote:

And I sure hope something comes out of the big pow wow in October for us that is useful!!!

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Nov 28, 2014 06:49AM sylviaexmouthuk wrote:

Hello everyone

I have just read all your posts with great interest and am so glad that I have found these two threads about osteoporosis, strontium ranelate, strontium citrate, etc.

I have been taking strontium citrate for a few years without any side effects. I have been giving it a rest,but am wondering whether to order some more. How are others doing on it. I have always refused bisphosphonates and strontium ranelate.

Sylvia.

Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food - Hippocrates B.C. 390 Preadjuvant chemo 3 months epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, 3 months docetaxel. Mastectomy RB Sentinel node pos Radiotherapy 3 weeks + boosters Dx 6/20/2005, IDC, 6cm+, Grade 3, 1/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/31/2005 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/16/2006 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 6/14/2006 Breast

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