Why You Should Not Take Strontium And Calcium Supplements At The Same Time Of Day


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People on bone-building supplements have often wondered if they should be taking Strontium and Calcium supplements together. In a purely technical sense, the answer is ‘No’. The two supplements are to be had apart. In the strict sense Strontium should be had an hour before breakfast time and approximately three hours after dinner. [1] In other words, it should be had on an empty stomach. In almost a contrast of dosage timings, Calcium is taken with food so that when food nutrients are being metabolised, the calcium absorption happens along with the other nutrients in the same digestive phase.

However, it seems almost impractical to follow the schedule mentioned above, without making it the follow-up/tracking and focus of the whole day on which supplement is to be had at what time. So why do the doctors set apart the timings of the two supplements? The answer lies in the way Strontium and Calcium are absorbed in the gastrointestinal tracts.

It is understood by the medical fraternity that both the Strontium and the calcium supplements are absorbed in our gastrointestinal tracts using the same mechanism. Thus, if we take both the supplements together or at the same time, the two will compete for absorption by the body. Studies run on this issue have demonstrated that when the two supplements are taken together, the system absorbs twice as much Calcium than it does Strontium. This makes the bioavailability of Strontium an issue despite taking the supplement.

A report published by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) titled Osseor, INN-strontium ranelate Summary of Product Characteristics) – clearly says that intake of food, milk, derivative products as well as medicines reduces the bioavailability of Strontium by as much as 60% – 70%. For this reason, it goes on to recommend that strontium products should be separated by at least two hours from food intake time. [2]

In fact, the dynamics of the two supplements can also be looked at from another perspective – from that of how they work once they are absorbed into the blood stream. Both Strontium and Calcium supplements work in very similar ways, they excite the calcium receptors which in turn trigger bone formation. This means the production of osteoblasts (i.e bone cells responsible for bone formation) now begins and there is a reduction in the production of osteoclasts (i.e. bone cells responsible for removal of bone tissue and bone minerals) Together the process helps to increase bone density. [3] When we take both these supplements together, both the minerals will compete for ‘x’ number or volume of calcium receptors with calcium overtaking Strontium and thus rendering the intake of strontium supplement less than optimum.  Since it is important that Calcium and Vitamin D be taken along with Strontium for it to be able to deliver the maximum bone health benefits, it is advisable that the intake of Calcium and Strontium be taken apart from one another in the way prescribed by the doctors.


  1. Can You Take Calcium with Strontium?; End Fatigue; December, 2011;  http://www.endfatigue.com/health_articles_o-q/Osteoporosis-calcium_with_strontium.html
  2. Summary of Product Characteristics (Page 4); European Medicines Agency; December, 2011; http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_-_Product_Information/human/000561/WC500051121.pdf
  3. Strontium Support II (Video); Innovative Research Scientific Integrity; December, 2011; http://www.aor.ca/html/products.php?id=97

For more technical/scientific information on Strontium and Calcium absorption, you may read the Clinical Chemistry report at:

  1. Intestinal Strontium Absorption: From Bioavailability to Validation of a Simple Test Representative for Intestinal Calciurn Absorption; Clin Chem; December, 2011; http://www.clinchem.org/content/41/10/1446.full.pdf

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10 thoughts on “Why You Should Not Take Strontium And Calcium Supplements At The Same Time Of Day

  1. Let me try this again (accurately): If what this article states about taking calcium and strontium separately is true, then why does Garden of Life Grow Bone System have both together? As stated in their materials: “AlgaeCal RAW(TM) is the first raw, vegan, whole food plant source of Calcium naturally rich in bone-building Code Factors(TM) such as Magnesium, Boron, STRONTIUM [emphasis mine], Vanadium, Silica as well as other naturally-occurring trace minerals.”

    • Hi Joan, thanks for your question as it is a good one that maybe should have been addressed in the article. Yes it is true that AlgaeCal is a whole food plant source of calcium and other important bone building co factors like magnesium, boron and strontium, but the naturally occurring amounts of strontium is very little.

      The naturally occurring amount of strontium found in AlgaeCal is only around 5 mg, so it is not enough to cause any problems with absorption. When you are taking a calcium and a separate strontium supplement that is in the 680 mg dosage range like Strontium Boost then it is important to take these supplements at different times of the day as they will compete for absorption.

      you can find more information on Strontium Boost here http://www.store.algaecal.com/Strontium-Boost-p21.html

      I hope this answers your question.

  2. I have had extremely good results in my BDM using Algae Cal for the past 3 years and now, due to risk of arteriosclerosis, my doctor wants me to come off Strontium for a year. What do you think of that as a risk and how long should the beneficial effects of the Strontium last?
    Thank you,

    • Hi Moyra,

      Thank you for following our blog, we are very glad to hear about your positive BMD results. As for strontium and the risk of arteriosclerosis, We have never heard of these risks or side effects? I would definitely ask your doctor for the clinical studies involving strontium that have shown this to be a risk or side effect?

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. After losing approximately 5% of bone density every year for about 5 years, I started to take AlgaeCal and Strontium. When I went for my next bone density test about a year later, I found to my delight that, instead of losing bone density, I had, in fact, increased it, as you had promised. However, I had had a lot of pain and my doctor said that the extra bone had been artificially prompted to grow more bone, as opposed to stronger bones, so I now had swellings on my bones and bone spurs. He also said that it was likely that a lot of the extra calcium would end up in my arteries.
    Now I am both confused and very torn between losing more bone density and having more pain from these extra bone growths as well as clogged arteries. Please advise.

    • Hi Susie,

      That is great news regarding your increase in bone density! I am not sure what to say about your doctor claiming that your bones being artificially prompted to grow more bone and that is the reason for swelling and pain? We have never had any reported side effects like this, and I would ask your doctor what proof he has of this? I am not sure why he would attribute these issues to taking AlgaeCal or any other calcium and strontium products?

      Thanks for sharing your concerns, and I hope find a solution to the problems you are experiencing.

  4. Ann Parke Hughea on said:

    I have been diagnosed with avascular necrosis. I need to take a calcium supplement that will spark new bone growth where the bone is dead or dying. Also, I am concerned about hearing that taking calcium could cause heart attacks in women. I am in need of advice.

  5. Hi Moyra, I read your wonderful clear article and all the research you listed and it makes perfect sense to me why I should take strontium on an empty stomach. I take 680 mg. of strontium citrate daily and on the bottle it says to take WITH MEALS but not with calcium. So now I am totally confused. Would it be different with citrate verses ranelate? Trying to time the strontium, calcium and my thyroid med that is suppose to be taken alone on empty stomanch is turning out to be a challange. Now I am not even clear about taking it on an empty stomach. Please help! Your advise will be greatly appreciated.

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