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Osteoporosis caused by Celiac Disease

February 08, 2011


Celiac disease has caused me to have osteoporosis, so I get an annual infusion of reclast. I also take a supplement that contains calcium, vitamin D and strontium. What is strontium and why should it help with osteoporosis?




Hi Julie. Thank you very much for your question regarding strontium and its role in helping with osteoporosis. Strontium is a trace element found in seawater and soil. It is found in seafood, and to a lesser degree in whole milk, meat, poultry and root vegetables. Strontium is chemically similar to calcium, and it may play a role in the formation of new bone while slowing the breakdown of old bone, thereby possibly influencing bone density. 

Strontium ranelate (Protelos) is a prescription medication available in Europe and some other countries, but, to my knowledge, it hasn’t been approved yet for use in the U.S. Research on Protelos has suggested that strontium ranelate may be protective for women with osteoporosis. I’m guessing, however, that the supplement you are taking likely contains strontium citrate, which, unfortunately, hasn’t been tested in large studies. When taken in recommended doses, strontium supplements appear to be safe; however, excessive doses may replace too much calcium in the bone and hurt vitamin D metabolism, causing them to weaken. 

I suggest you consider reviewing your current supplementation with your physician or a registered dietitian to make sure you are using a supplement appropriate for your needs, and based upon how much calcium and vitamin D you are getting from your current diet. In addition, if you haven’t done so already, you may consider asking your physician to test your vitamin D level to make sure your current levels are optimal.

In good health,

EA Stewart, BS, MBA, RD

References: Web MD www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/stronium-treatment-osteoporosis

*For more information about the link between celiac disease and osteoporosis, visit NFCA's Related Diseases - Osteoporosis page.