Strontium is an element found in nature. It has been used to strengthen bones and prevent fractures. Strontium has also been used to promote dental health and prevent cavities. It can be taken as a pill or used as an ingredient in toothpaste.
2 grams daily
What Research Shows
- Osteoporosis —likely to help prevent fractures and promote bone health B1-B9
May Be Effective
- Sensitive teeth —may ease sensitivity C1-C3
Not Enough Data to Assess
- Knee osteoarthritis A1
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe to take strontium in small doses for a short time, but diarrhea is possible. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid high doses of strontium.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
A. Knee Osteoarthritis
A1. Gregori D, Giacovelli G, et al. Association of Pharmacological Treatments With Long-term Pain Control in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2018 Dec 25;320(24):2564-2579.
B1. O’Donnell S, Cranney A, et al. Strontium ranelate for preventing and treating postmenopausal osteoporosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;(4):CD005326.
B2. Stevenson M, Davis S, et al. The clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of strontium ranelate for the prevention of osteoporotic fragility fractures in postmenopausal women. Health Technol Assess. 2007 Feb;11(4):1-134.
B3. Collette J, Bruyère O, et al. Vertebral anti-fracture efficacy of strontium ranelate according to pre-treatment bone turnover. Osteoporos Int. 2010 Feb;21(2):233-241.
B4. Ringe JD, Doherty JG. Absolute risk reduction in osteoporosis: assessing treatment efficacy by number needed to treat. Rheumatol Int. 2010 May;30(7):863-869.
B5. Gallacher SJ, Dixon T. Impact of treatments for postmenopausal osteoporosis (bisphosphonates, parathyroid hormone, strontium ranelate, and denosumab) on bone quality: a systematic review. Calcif Tissue Int. 2010 Dec;87(6):469-484.
B6. Hopkins RB, Goeree R, et al. The relative efficacy of nine osteoporosis medications for reducing the rate of fractures in post-menopausal women. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2011 Sep 26;12:209.
B7. Kanis JA, Johansson H, et al. A meta-analysis of the effect of strontium ranelate on the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fracture in postmenopausal osteoporosis and the interaction with FRAX(®). Osteoporos Int. 2011;22(8):2347-2355.
B8. Cheng MH, Chen JF, et al. Osteoporosis treatment in postmenopausal women with pre-existing fracture. Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Jun;51(2):153-166.
B9. Freemantle N, Cooper C, et al. Results of indirect and mixed treatment comparison of fracture efficacy for osteoporosis treatments: a meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int. 2013 Jan;24(1):209-217.
C. Sensitive Teeth
C1. Kobler A, Kub O, et al. Clinical effectiveness of a strontium chloride-containing desensitizing agent over 6 months: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Quintessence Int. 2008;39(4):321-325.
C2. Bae JH, Kim YK, et al. Desensitizing toothpaste versus placebo for dentin hypersensitivity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Periodontol. 2015 Feb;42(2):131-141.
C3. Grünberg C, Bauer F, et al. Effectiveness of dentifrices with new formulations for the treatment of dentin hypersensitivity - A meta-analysis. Am J Dent. 2017 Aug;30(4):221-226.
Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC Last Updated: 3/27/2020