Strontium is a naturally occurring mineral present in water and food. Trace amounts of strontium are found in the human skeleton. Strontium has an affinity for bone and is taken up at the bone matrix crystal surface. The influence of strontium on bone metabolism has been researched since the 1950’s.1 Recent studies show that strontium positively affects bone metabolism to promote bone formation and decrease bone resorption, leading to normalized bone density. Strontium citrate supplies strontium that is safe and suitable for consumption as a dietary supplement. (This form strontium is entirely different from the radioactive “strontium-90” formed by nuclear fission.
Strontium is a bone-seeking mineral incorporated by ionic substitution for calcium onto the crystal surface of bone.2 In the test-tube (in vitro), strontium inhibits the activity of osteoclasts, bone cells that break down bone, or “resorb” bone as part of the normal bone remodeling process.
The effect of strontium, in the form of strontium citrate (a salt of strontium and ranelic acid), was studied in monkeys over a six-month period. Strontium altered the remodeling of bone in the monkeys, resulting in decreased bone resorption with a concomitant maintenance of bone formation. A trend toward increased volume of osteoid, the organic matrix of bone, was observed, although this was not associated with defects in bone mineralization.