It’s likely you’ve not heard much about this often overlooked mineral or its health benefits. It’s number 38 on the periodic table of elements (just below calcium), was discovered in 1808, and gets its name from a town in Scotland named Strontian. Closely related to calcium, strontium is found in the air, water and soil, as well as in plant and animal tissue—including human bone tissue.
Since strontium is chemically similar to calcium, strontium is believed to provide nutritional support for normal bone and teeth health and strength.† In studies where guinea pigs and rats were fed larger amounts of strontium, their teeth and bones were stronger and healthier.†
But bone health effects do not appear to stop with rats and guinea pigs. In 1985, Dr. Stanley C. Skoryna of McGill University in Montreal, conducted a study that may have helped pioneer strontium’s potential role in bone health.† After intakes of strontium, participants showed healthier, stronger bones.†
Simply put, researchers believe strontium stimulates bone cells called osteoblasts while inhibiting the cells that break down bone tissue called osteoclasts—and this process of building up and tearing down of bone tissue is a natural one. For children, the building up of bone tissue is usually predominant, but sometime during the late 20s or early 30s, the tearing down of bone tissue generally prevails and accelerates quickly as you age.
Bone-supporting nutrients like strontium support bone health in adults.† For instance, even a synthetic form of strontium—strontium ranelate—is reported to have strong bone health benefits.† Strontium ranelate, however, is not currently available in the U.S.
Fortunately, natural forms of strontium—citrate, carbonate, gluconate, lactate—are available in supplement form and have garnered positive feedback, too. Ward Dean, M.D., says that strontium “appears to be one of the most effective substances yet found for bone health.”†
Dr. Dean is not alone. Back in 1959, Mayo Clinic researchers concluded that 84 percent of strontium lactate users maintained bone health.† Jonathan Wright, M.D., of the Tahoma Clinic, also believes that natural strontium supports healthy bones.†
While more research may be needed on strontium’s benefits, this mineral has certainly created a stir about bone health.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.