If you have osteoporosis, I hope you’ve heeded my warning about bisphosphonates. Years ago, I told you about studies showing how these osteoporosis drugs can destroy the bone in your jaw. More recent studies say they can affect bone throughout your body. You definitely don’t want to take these drugs, as they cause the very problem you’re trying to prevent ... bone loss.
Many dentists refuse to see women taking these drugs. However, most in the dental community have insisted that these drugs are completely safe. But cries from women who have suffered this painful and disfiguring “side effect” forced the medical community to re-evaluate.
Their stories have made their way onto blogs and into magazines and newsletters, rightfully hurting the “safe” reputation these drugs have enjoyed. As a result, researchers went to work to figure out why some women lose bone when they take these drugs. And they think they have figured it out.
Researchers at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine discovered that some people may, indeed, be at risk. It all depends on your genetics. According to Medical News Today, “The researchers found that patients who had a small variation in the RBMS3 gene were 5.8 times more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw than those without the variation.”
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To find out who has this genetic variation, the drug companies can increase their profits by offering a genetic screening test to every woman at risk for osteoporosis. This test will determine who can safely take these drugs.
Here’s the problem. This is one study. And it had a very limited scope (only 30 white women). We don’t know if this is accurate across the board or if the screening test will effectively eliminate this side effect from occurring. It’s much too early to put much stock in the study or the screening test. And we also have to ask, “Why take the drug in the first place, when there are safe alternatives that work?”
As you may know, there are nutrients available that safely prevent bone loss whether or not you have this genetic variation. They are widely available and have zero negative side effects. I’ve told you in the past about magnesium and the need to take as much as your bowels will allow (up to 1,000 mg daily). I’ve also told you about strontium. It can significantly increase your bone density and flexibility. Just be sure to take strontium away from dietary or supplemental calcium and magnesium for best absorption. You can find strontium and many other bone-conserving nutrients in Ultimate Bone Support from Advanced Bionutritionals. You will never suffer osteonecrosis of the jaw with any of these nutrients.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Columbia University Medical Center. "Genetic Variation Revealed That Raises A Risk Linked To Bisphosphonates." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 30 Jan. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/240877.php.