Results of Bone Mineral Density Survey

IMPORTANT UPDATE: On October 1, 2014 the European Medicines Agency’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) recommended that strontium ranelate (Protelos/Osseor, Servier) no longer be used to treat osteoporosis because of data demonstrating serious negative side effects.


I heard from six people, all vegan, who have improved their bone mineral density (BMD). Three of them used strontium and I will have more to say about strontium tomorrow ̶ assuming no other nutrition or other crisis!

It should be strongly noted, this is only anecdotal evidence and I am not recommending anyone do anything based on these results without first talking to their doctor.

Here are the results:

A 72-year old woman whose BMD has gone up since age 50 on a regimen of:

a) Increasing calcium to recommended levels
b) Doing an hour of weight bearing exercise most days (about 6 days a week)
c) Vitamin D

A woman who improved her osteopenia on a regimen of:

a) Weight bearing exercise
b) Calcium
c) Magnesium
d) Strontium
e) Vitamin K2
f) Vitamin D3
g) Increased a variety of foods, you can read more by clicking here

A woman who improved her osteoporosis to osteopenia since 2005 with less than a year of drugs and then:

a) Strontium
b) Weight lifting

A woman whose bone mineral density improved after almost a year of:

a) Strontium citrate

A 41-year old man diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency and osteopenia improved bone mineral density after a year of:

a) Vitamin D
b) Calcium

A woman who improved her BMD while taking Fosamex and whose BMD “plummeted” when she went off it.

A note on strontium and BMD scans from WebMd: “[I]t’s important to note that while strontium may increase bone density, improvements seen on bone density testing may appear more impressive than they really are… you should let the radiologist know before you have the bone mineral density test.”

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3 Responses to “Results of Bone Mineral Density Survey”

  1. Ricki Says:

    Fascinating results! Looking forward to reading more about strontium, too.

  2. Elaine Says:

    This gives me a little hope. I had severe osteoporosis even before I went vegan in February 2011. I was diagnosed via dexa scan in 2006. I had a full hysterectomy and ovaries removed in 2005 at the age of 33. I have always been very thin, have had hypothyroidism for 23 years, and an eating disorder (anorexia nervosa) since 2006. I am also very active and lift weights and do cardio most days of the week. As an omnivore, my first three dexa scans showed my T score in L spine to be -3.2 and -3.0. Hips ranged from -1.2 to -1.8. My last dexa was in 2010. I just had one recently after being vegan for three years. My weight has been similar, calorie intake similar, still on hrt, supplementing with calcium/d (but vegan versions), exercise the same. My recent scores are -3.6 T score L spine, -1.8 T score hip. I was shocked that my l spine took such a hit. The only two factors I can isolate are 1. lack of protein and calcium in my diet as a vegan, although I have been making sure to drink fortified plant milks and get several cups of low oxylate leafy greens daily and sometimes vegan yogurts and tofu. I have a hard time getting my protein over 40 grams per day and eat a strict whole foods diet, but I am beginning to try to relax more with my diet and not be so strict with pure whole foods, such as occasionally eating the fake meats and so on. The second factor is that I have had to have my thyroid meds lowered four times since going vegan because my TSH is always too low when checked. I was warned that soy intake would cause me to need more thyroid med but it has been the opposite. I need way less thyroid med as a vegan and am on the lowest dose I have been on in 23 years. But I believe being on too much thyroid med has hurt my bones too, putting me in a state of hypercalcemia. My vitamin D levels have tested normal all along, and all my other tests have been excellent (B12, iron/hemoglobin, cholesterol etc). But my bones are taking a hit. It is very discouraging and I don’t know what else to do naturally. I see a rheumatologist in late May and he is going to want to put me on meds. I do take a bioidentical estrogen replacement being so young and in surgical menopuase. I still supplement calcium/D, do weight bearing exercise etc. None of it has been enough to stop the dramatic bone loss as a vegan. I have not yet tried Strontium (keeping in mind that Strontium Rantelate is not available in the U.S., only Citrate which has not been shown in studies to increase bone density). I have been trying to be more diligent about protein needs and caloric intake in general, and put on a little weight. Any suggestions before I see my rheumatologist would be great! I would like to find more stories of vegans who have overcome osteoporosis too!

  3. Jack Norris RD Says:


    I’m sorry to hear about your bone problems.

    > Strontium Rantelate is not available in the U.S., only Citrate which has not been shown in studies to increase bone density).

    But it hasn’t been shown *not* to, has it?

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