Garden of Life Bone Grow?: A friend who... - American Bone Hea...

American Bone Health: Osteoporosis

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Garden of Life Bone Grow?

motherofmany profile image
19 Replies

A friend who had been diagnosed with osteopenia took Garden of Life's Vitamin Code Grow Bone supplement and experience a +3 and +7 result on her repeat DEXA 1 year later. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist on 2/10 to discuss treatment options (spine -2.9, hip -1.4, femoral neck -2.1, fracture risk 8.8%) and was wondering if this might be a viable option. Has anyone taken this supplement? Any results? Thanks in advance!

19 Replies
lilo789 profile image

According to this link it contains 680 mg. of strontium so yes, it would increase one's T-scores. Strontium is heavier than calcium and 'fools' DXA so to speak. According to Dr. Aliya Khan who is a scientific advisor to the IOF strontium does not reduce fractures.

I suggest your friend complete American Bone Health's fracture risk calculator to verify so-called 'osteopenia' is worth being concerned about.

With respect to your T-scores the difference between the total hip and femoral neck T-scores suggests either a positioning error or an error in the region of interest.

yogalibrarian profile image
yogalibrarianModerator in reply to lilo789

One thing to keep in mind about the osteoporosis/osteopenia distinction is that fractures happen at all bone densities -- including osteopenia...

lilo789 profile image
lilo789 in reply to yogalibrarian

A recent publication from the IOF:

"Despite this, the overall detection rate for these fractures (sensitivity) is low and 96% of fractures at the spine, hip, forearm or proximal humerus will occur in women without osteoporosis."

yogalibrarian profile image
yogalibrarianModerator in reply to lilo789

Yup, I read an article recently in a medical journal about the history of osteoporosis diagnosis. Originally it was diagnosed post-mortem during autopsies. (Not very helpful for the living.) We keep refining the diagnoses and treatments as our tools improve.

motherofmany profile image
motherofmany in reply to lilo789

Thanks, lilo789. I plan to as my endocrinologist about the DEXA discrepancies at my next appointment!

Met00 profile image

As lilo789 says, it's the strontium in the Grow Bone that will guarantee improved t-scores from a DEXA scan. Strontium ranelate (the prescription form) is banned in the USA, but used in Europe. Studies have shown that it can reduce fracture risk and appears to attract extra calcium into the bones, rather than just the strontium. There are some potential health risks from taking strontium ranelate, but these appear to only apply to those who have existing heart and kidney issues, so in Europe it's considered safe it you don't have such health problems. Strontium citrate (the strontium used in Grow Bone) is likely to work in the same way as strontium ranelate. Because it's a supplement, not many studies have been done into its effects, but naturally lots of research has been done into strontium ranelate before allowing it (or in the USA banning it) to be used. It isn't known whether strontium citrate could pose the same health risks as the ranelate form, but it's advisable to err on the side of caution and only take it if you have a healthy heart and kidneys, including not suffering from high blood pressure. It may raise your blood pressure, so this would need to be monitored. I've been taking strontium citrate (not Grow Bone, but a separate strontium supplement) for just over a year with no ill effect, but my blood pressure is at the bottom end of the normal range anyway. I'm due a bone scan towards the end of this year, so will find out then whether it's made any difference. My understanding is that you have to halve the increase in bone density to allow for the impact of the denser strontium that's likely to have been absorbed into your bones. Interestingly, since taking strontium, my blood calcium, which was previously consistently in the middle of the normal range, has dropped to the bottom of the range, with no change in calcium intake. I don't know whether this is an indication that more calcium is being absorbed into my bones, or whether something else is going on, but it does seem a very big coincidence!

motherofmany profile image
motherofmany in reply to Met00

Thanks again, Met00. I now have specific info to talk with my endocrinologist. I hope she is knowledgeable about strontium.

Met00 profile image
Met00 in reply to motherofmany

Because strontium is considered risky in the US, it's unlikely your consultant will be supportive. In the UK some medics are supportive, though most would advise caution with a supplement as opposed to a pharmaceutical product. In this case, strontium citrate is likely to act in a very similar, if not identical, fashion to strontium ranelate (the strontium content is the same), so the same precautions apply to strontium citrate use as to strontium ranelate.

yogalibrarian profile image

Please stay away from anything with strontium in it. I spent an hour on the phone recently giving a really detailed explanation to a client -- and walking her through a large stack of supporting documents.

You can find the condensed version on the American Bone Health website.

lilo789 profile image
lilo789 in reply to yogalibrarian

Could not possibly agree more with you yogalibrarian. Fooling the DXA scan and reducing fracture risk are two very different matters. I see on social media that strontium is touted as being free from 'side effects'. This is incorrect - I have read posts of people taking AlgaeCal with strontium experiencing renal failure and more read of recently possibly some sort of neurological issue.

yogalibrarian profile image
yogalibrarianModerator in reply to lilo789

I developed a short education module for an exercise program a couple of years ago, The take-away was that inadequately tested does not equal safe, (And to run in the oppposite direction from anything recommended by Dr. Oz.)😀

I'll look at the AlgaeCal side effects.

ratoncita profile image
ratoncita in reply to yogalibrarian

What about boron? Helpful or not?

motherofmany profile image
motherofmany in reply to yogalibrarian

Thanks for this good info, yoga librarian. I plan to read the attachment before my appointment. You had mentioned talking with someone for one hour about the dangers of strontium; may I ask in what capacity? Just wondering if you're a volunteer, or medical person? Thank you.

yogalibrarian profile image
yogalibrarianModerator in reply to motherofmany

I am a retired librarian. (We love finding info...) I currently teach yoga, tai chi, and exercise focusing on osteoporosis. I've also been a long-time volunteer at American Bone Health.

Cazms53 profile image

I recently started taking the Garden of Life Grow Bone supplement but after reading the information here on strontium, I am going to discontinue using this portion of their formula.

Reese4 profile image

Just my two cents but to be fair I'll add my experience with Strontium citrate. I've been taking it for 16 years with absolutely no side effects. No fractures either at 75 years of age. Granted my dexa is skewed but my doctor, with whom I've recently had this discussion, is allowing for that.Now if I could just get my results from the January 20th scan I'd be appreciative. I've asked twice, as recently as yesterday so maybe today? If so I'll share my numbers.

motherofmany profile image
motherofmany in reply to Reese4

Good to hear your experience, Reese4 - there are two sides to every coin. Are you taking the Grow Bone Supplement by Garden of Life?

Reese4 profile image
Reese4 in reply to motherofmany

No, I'm not. I take 1MD OsteoMD calcium hydroxyapatite with vitamin D3 and K2 as Mk7. It also contains Calzbone which you can learn more about on the 1MD website. I take Strontium separately.

chloropha profile image

Check out boron, seekers. There is significant scientific evidence for its function in bone health and alleviation of arthritis, although this information has been unrecognized by the medical community and government agencies (USDA, etc.). Yet companies such as Garden of Life are squeaking this token amount (bare minimum to avoid glaring health deficits; far from a therapeutic dose) into a formula. Jorge Flechas, MD uses his own case study in a very accessible and compelling lecture –

I have been reading the research over the past three years, and personally taking ~ 60-80 mg of boron. In the form of – yes – BORAX. (I am trying to get my DEXA from 5 years ago to compare it to that of 2020.) I started the regimen upon a rib fracture in 2018, because I had a scheduled cycling (and swimming) trip six weeks out. The rib was 100% mended in 5 weeks: extremely rapid, especially for a 61 year old female. I cannot prove, or even know in certainty, that the boron did it. But I am a disciple ever after.

Boron (nor borax) is NOT a poison. It is less toxic than common table salt. Moreover, WHO finally recommended a substantially higher intake in mg/kg body weight (0.4 mg/kg body weight or about 28 mg/d for a 70-kg person). There is compelling evidence in geographic areas such as Turkey and Israel, who have extremely high boron content in water, of phenomenally low rates of arthritis among the population.

If you want to know why we know next to nothing about boron, and why borax has been banned in many European and other countries, read the fascinating paper by Walter Last, (Biochemist, Research Chemist, Nutritionist; Germany, Australia).

Two other of the most prominent researchers and proponents of boron's essential functions are Rex Newnham, PhD, DO, ND; Australia (the doctor who initially brought this mineral to light)


Forest Nielsen (Research Nutritionist, Biochemist, Research Chemist; US)

Another interesting read: Nothing Boring About Boron

And a last minute bonus, on dried plums, boron, & other:

Bone-Protective Effects of Dried Plum in Postmenopausal Women: Efficacy and Possible Mechanisms

"Among the compounds found in dried plum is boron, which is a trace element critical for bone health as a deficiency or excess in consumption of boron can be harmful to bone. Dried plum contains a higher amount of boron than most fruits. In fact, the content of boron in 47.7 g dried plum (~5 dried plums) is about 1.1 mg [23]. The average daily intake of boron is about 1–2 mg/day, depending on sex and age, among other factors [47]. Boron has been shown to stimulate bone growth and bone metabolism [48], and play an important role in preserving BMD, bone microarchitecture, and bone strength [49,50,51]. A study by Chapin et al. [52] showed that rats fed diets containing 20 or more mg boron/100 g diet had a significantly improved vertebral strength."


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