Strontium And Osteoarthritis
Research on strontium and osteoarthritis suggests that strontium may reduce cartilage degradation in the knees.
Prescription strontium ranelate is currently licensed in Europe to reduce the risk of spine and hip fractures in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis. But recent research suggests that strontium may also reduce cartilage break-down in the knees which can be so debilitating for those with osteoarthritis.
In March, 2012 the results of an international study on strontium ranelate were presented at the European Congress on Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis. The study, which included researchers from King's College, London and Southampton General Hospital, found an 1g per day of strontium ranelate reduced ‘end in joint space width' by 0.14mm compared with placebos and 2g per day resulted in a reduction of 0.10cm. The three-year Phase III study of more than 1,300 patients is the first to show a treatment that can slow cartilage degradation in knees.
Although strontium ranelate is not available in North America, strontium citrate is widely available and thought to provide similar benefits. Osteoporosis patients are often attracted to strontium treatment as side-effects are rare and the resulting bone quality is believed to be superior to that supported by many osteoporosis medications.
While strontium has not yet been approved for the treatment of osteoarthritis, research has shown that strontium can improve bone density 8%-14% when taken with sufficient calcium and vitamin D. Patients who suffer from both osteoporosis and osteoarthritis may find treatment with strontium to be attractive providing they have the discipline to take the full program of vitamins and minerals required to support bone health. As strontium should not be taken at the same time as calcium, some patients find the supplement routine to be confusing, especially if they are taking a variety of medications.