Strontium stimulates new bone growth by improving bone turnover rather than inhibiting it as do many of the osteoporosis medications. It does this by stimulating osteoblast formation (the bone building cells) and inhibiting osteoclast activity (the bone breakdown cells). There have been several clinical double-blind placebo-controlled trials evaluating the effectiveness of strontium in supporting bone growth. Strontium Ranelate, a particular salt form of strontium is available by prescription in Europe and the UK. The results of a larger clinical trial were published in 2004 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study evaluated the progress of 1649 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
The treatment group received 2 grams daily of Strontium Ranelate plus calcium and vitamin D. After 3 years those taking the strontium had increases in bone density of 14.4% in the lumbar spine, 8.3% in the femoral neck of the hip, and 9.8% in the total hip. Also, those taking strontium had 41% fewer spine fractures over the 3 years than those in the control group. Other studies have reported benefits with a 1 gram daily dose. Some have concluded 1 gram daily as ideal for prevention and 2 grams daily for the treatment of osteoporosis.
Many forms of dietary supplement strontium are now available such as carbonates, citrates, chlorides and so on. Though all act similarly regarding bone metabolism, no studies have been done comparing them