Most people’s only reference for the element strontium is strontium-90, a highly dangerous, radioactive product of nuclear fallout. However, directly below calcium on the periodic table of elements, lies element number 38, a stable, non-radioactive, version of strontium, which is non-toxic even in high doses and happens to be one of the most effective substances found so far for treatment of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.
Trace amounts of strontium are found naturally in soil, and in appear in relatively high doses in foods such as spices, seafood, whole grains, root and leafy vegetables, and legumes. In the body strontium is found in the bones in a concentration of around 100 micrograms in every gram of bone. It is important for healthy bone growth and is part of the same chemical family as calcium and magnesium, two other minerals vital for healthy bones. Thus, supplementing with natural sources of strontium will make more of this vital natural element available for your bones.
Often the body’s bone cells are caught in a continuous cycle of growth and re-absorption (when the body runs low on minerals stored in bone); bone growth drugs or rock-based calcium supplements really only affect the resorption part of the cycle, but scientists have discovered that strontium’s unique method of action provides two functions in your bones. Strontium actually inhibits bone resorption while at he same time, stimulating bone growth. No other natural substance known to man provides this double effect.
Animal and human studies on strontium have been conducted since the early 1950s, and over the years these studies have shown strontium to have important bone health properties. Unfortunately, most recent studies on strontium have looked at strontium ranelate, a patentable, and therefore profitable, compound created by binding strontium to the synthetic cation ranelate. Unlike natural forms of strontium, the ranelate form could be dangerous because it contains phenylalanine (a neurotoxin when consumed in high doses) and can cause dermatitis and venous thromboembolism.
Fortunately, there have also been some clinical studies looking at several natural strontium salts, which have also had positive results with no resulting side effects. They have shown that strontium is, in fact, the active component, not the carbonate, ranelate, lactate, or citrate part of the compound the strontium is attached to.
We at BauWave believe it is always better to obtain all vitamins and minerals needed from a healthy and balanced diet before resorting to supplementation, but we also realize this is not always an easy task and sometimes extra help is needed. In the case of strontium, consuming significant amounts of spices, seafood, whole grains, root and leafy vegetables, and legumes may be enough to protect a healthy person from osteoporosis, but if you have already been diagnosed with low bone density or osteoporosis, supplementation is certainly a necessity. When choosing supplements, we do not recommend hard-pressed tablets; instead look for natural source, real-food extracts, as your body will recognize them as food and absorb them much better than with synthetic supplements.