Strontium: Bony Builder for Icy January DaysJanuary 14, 2014
|Strontium: Bony Builder for Icy January Days|
|Reference: Meunier NEJM, COMB Study Genuis 2012
Have you ever heard of strontium? Likely not, though you may have used it. It used to be about 10% of the toothpaste Sensodyne for sensitive teeth. You naturally eat about 1-2 mg a day of the stuff, and you probably have about 250 – 300 mg of it in your skeleton. As an element, it acts precisely like calcium with a 2+ charge, but it’s the next “size” up on the periodical table of elements. (Remember high school chemistry?).
Now, we Americans have a curious problem shared with Western Europe, but not much of the rest of the world. We break bones like crazy. Our hip fracture rate is orders of magnitude greater than many parts of the world where folks eat more alkaline diets (more vegetables), eat more grass-raised animal products (Vitamin K2) and have more physical activity.
But this January, I’ve had a bunch of friends who have fallen on the ice and hurt themselves with one fracture or another. And I’ve had family with broken wrists, broken hips, and almost worst of all, horrible kyphosis (bent spine). With kyphosis you compress one spinal bone and the pressure builds on the next one, so they all start squishing and you get more and more bent. These fractures are all preventable. But not without lifetime and lifestyle effort.
That’s where strontium comes in. Turns out strontium, all by itself, works to make bone stronger. It fits in right where calcium does in the crystal lattice of bone, but seems to be a bit bigger and fits more “snugly”, making for stronger bone. That’s what multiple different studies have shown. The New England Journal study, published almost a decade ago, made the topic mainstream. In that study, over 1600 women with thin bones and at least one vertebral fracture were treated with strontium ranelate, two grams a day, for a couple of years. The very first year they had a 49% reduction in repeat fractures with a subsequent 41% reduction the following intervals. Calcium and Vitamin D were added too.
In the COMB study, Vitamin K2 was added to Strontium and Magnesium, Vit D and Fish oil. It demonstrated an 8% increase in bone density in just one year. That is about 4 times greater than the density increase you get with the artificial patent medicines pushed by modern pharma and advertised on TV all the time. What’s appalling is that now our health care systems have taken up the trumpet call and hound you to be on bone density drugs of one brand or another (at a cost of $ 3000 a year) without offering you the safe and natural alternative of natural strontium. Bone isn’t built with just calcium, or just Vitamin D. It takes a complex mix. Another interesting trivia is how well prunes build bone, probably because of the boron in prunes. Magnesium, zinc, copper, silicon, manganese, selenium potassium, molybdenum and B12 round out the mix in addition to Vit D and K2. You can get most of those in a mix called Osteo-Mins, or Pro-Bono from OrthoMolecular.
WWW. What will work for me. I’m officially “older” and my risk of fall and fracture is like yours. I’m taking K2, D, magnesium, strontium, fish oil separately. I have shoveled my driveway at least 40 times this winter without falling so far. I think I’m very deficient in silica right now and am contemplating how to expose myself to 100 of yards of it, with Vitamin D and very little exercise in Ft Myers, ASAP.