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Bone Density

this is my dilemma, they have diagnosed me with osteoporosis, I fell last year and broke my wrist, right away, they told me to go on fosomax, and I read so much about it, that i was totally discouraged, right now i’m taking 10,000 vit d, and calcium, and a multivitamin, when I took my bone density, they told me that i was borderline, therefore, I kept a copy of my bone density of 2006 and they compared it, and were surprised that my results were that 2010 was better than 2006, their answer was that sometimes the machines make mistakes, and insisted that i take the fosamax, and scared me, that im looking for problems, as im browsing i saw your site, and found it very interesting, please give me your opinion, thanking you

As you can tell, there is much subjectivity in the practice of medicine. However, the science of Fosamax is this: it improves the DEXA scan score by interfering with the repair process of normal bone. This means that the score improves while the strength of the bone diminishes because it can no longer repair itself.

This is why there is an increase in jaw and hip fractures in people taking Fosamax (or Actonel).

My approach is this: supply the minerals (nutrients) needed for bone repair. These are all found in a potent multivitamin (about 6 per day, as the 1 to 2 per day can’t have sufficient calcium or magnesium because they take up too much space) except strontium and silicon. I sell these out of my office because it is so hard to find them. Vitamin D is a good idea, although levels should be obtained if you maintain that high dose for an extended period of time. Vitamin K is also important.

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Safe Treatments for Osteoporosis

What about once a month Boniva?  Does it fit in the category of a safe treatment for osteoporosis?

Boniva, Actonel and Fosamax are in a category of medications call bisphosphonates. They interfere with the repair of bones.

Bones are live tissue, like any other tissue in the body. When bone tissue needs repair, osteoclasts are sent into the area. For 3 to 6 weeks, they break down and remove the tissue needing repair so that the osteoblasts, which now build a strong matrix, can finish the repair process in the next 2 weeks.

Bisphosphonates interfere with the osteoclastic repair. This makes the DEXA scan or X-ray look better 6 months later because the holes in the bone formed by the osteoclasts aren’t there. Unfortunately, the X-ray cannot tell if the bone is strong or weak, just the amount of calcium or lack of ‘holes’ present. Within 2 years after these medications were given to millions of people, there appeared in the literature a marked increase in jaw fractures. These were traced back to the use of these medications, which makes sense since they interfere with bone repair. I am opposed to the use of all bisphosphonates.

In order for the bones to be healthy and be able to repair themselves, they need certain nutrients. Most of the minerals are found in potent multi-vitamins:

  • calcium,
  • magnesium,
  • boron,
  • zinc,
  • manganese,
  • copper.

Strontium and silicon need to be added separately. In fact, strontium at high doses (1,000 mg per day) stimulates bone repair and makes the DEXA scan look equally improved 6 months later as with the use of bisphosphonates, without the increased fracture risk.

Vitamins are also necessary for bone health-especially

  • vitamin C,
  • A,
  • B6,
  • folic acid,
  • K and
  • D.

All the above suggestions you can do on your own. There are certain hormones that also effect bones, but you may need  physician to help assess those needs. Hormones important for the proper functioning of bones include

  • parathyroid hormones,
  • thyroid hormones,
  • growth hormone,
  • DHEA,
  • estrogen and
  • progesterone.

Dietary changes are also important-the following must be avoided:

  • phosphates in soda pop,
  • sugar and
  • caffeine (all of which increase the loss of calcium from the kidney).
  • Eat lots of green leafy vegetables.
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Vitamin D Deficiency and Bone Loss (Osteoporosis)

I am 72, and have developed Osteomalacia (an adult form of Rickets) from a vitamin D deficiency, which has been treated and is now better. I also have the beginning of Osteoporosis and am struggling to learn how to treat myself. How do I find out just how much of all the minerals I need to stop bone loss, and how much is “a high dose” of strontium, so I can indeed reverse my bone loss?

The body is in a constant cycle of repair and maintenance of all tissues in the body. This includes bone tissue. When the bone needs repair, the body mobilizes ‘osteoclasts’ which enter the area of repair and break down the damaged bone area. This creates a hole in the bone, and will be seen on X-ray as calcium loss, or osteoporosis. After about 3 to 6 weeks of this, ‘osteoblasts’ are sent in to rebuild the bone. This takes about 2 weeks. During that period of time, all the minerals need to be present to build the bone matrix, and collagen tissue is also added so the bone is not so brittle.

Calcium and magnesium are two important macro-minerals, and 750 to 1000 mg should be ingested, including both supplements and food intake. Most of the other minerals are in adequate quantities in a potent multivitamin—zinc, boron, biotin. Two minerals tend to be deficient—strontium and silicon. The bone only needs 2 to 3 mg of strontium per day to build new bone, but if taken in the 1,000 mg per day range, it acts as a stimulant for reversal of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Vitamin C is important for collagen building, so I would take at least 1,000 mg per day, and perhaps up to 4,000 mg per day. Of course, ‘real’ food is important, which means avoidance of processed foods, especially soda pop, which has a phosphorus buffer that pulls calcium out of bones when it is ingested. Fluoride should also be avoided, as it can be placed in the bone as a mineral and make it weak.