I’ve said this before many times and now two new studies have come to the same conclusion: bisphosphonates like Fosamax and Actonel contribute to broken bones. Your bones may look dense on bone density tests, but the quality of bone is worse.
I first read of this phenomenon several years ago and wrote about it at that time. Researchers found that women taking bisphosphonates have poor bone quality in their jaws. I spoke about this with my dentist, whose specialty is functional medicine. She had seen this change in bone quality in the jaw bones of some of her patients who took bisphosphonates. And she refused to perform some dental procedures on women who had taken them for several years. Now more dentists are seeing and doing the same thing.
At first it appeared that bisphosphonates affected only the bone quality in jaw bones, and only when doctors administered them intravenously. Now we’re finding they can cause brittleness in bones throughout the body when you take them for four years or more. The longer you take them, the more brittle your bones.
Now a study out of Columbia University has found that the integrity of bones improved with bisphosphonates initially, but bones became more brittle with long-term use. A second study compared women who took bisphosphonates with women who hadn’t been treated. Both groups had bones that appeared to have the same structure. But the bones of women on bisphosphonates weren’t as strong as those who didn’t.
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What’s going on?
Researchers believe that bisphosphonates interfere with the body’s natural process of building bone.
So what’s a woman to do? I’ve found two steps that not only build bone density, but bone flexibility. One is a supplement, Ultimate Bone Support. Its main ingredient is strontium. But it also contains many other bone-building ingredients. Strontium is particularly helpful in building strong, flexible bones when you take it along with calcium and magnesium. But you need to take strontium away from these minerals. So take Ultimate Bone Support on an empty stomach and calcium and magnesium with food.
If, at the end of a year, this isn’t enough, add Calcitonin nasal spray. This is a prescription drug made from salmon. Unlike bisphosphonates, Calcitonin won’t make bones brittle. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s both effective and safe. Bisphosphonates aren’t either.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand