Your ‘Ask Vivian Week’ Answers
I thank you all for posting your questions during ‘Ask Vivian Week’. I am really excited that the Save Our Bones community is so active and intelligently inquisitive.
There were no less than 925 questions submitted and I wish I could answer them all…
But I promise you that there will be other Ask Vivian weeks in the future. And remember this quote from Bernard Baruch: “Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why” – so continue to ask ‘why’.
Till next time,
Question & Answer #1
I have the Save Our Bones Program and am keen to stop taking medication and calcium/vitamin D, prescribed a couple of years ago, after a bad fall led to a spinal fragility fracture. I have discussed this with my GP and also acupuncurist/nutritionalist.
I am 63 years of age and active and also practice yoga etc.
Is there any specific additional advice you are able to give, please, for someone in my position? My father had osteoporosis and his spine ‘crumbled’ badly towards the end of his life – (he died aged 92). I obviously wish to avoid following that possible ‘inherited pattern’. Thank you.
It sounds as though you really are on the right path! To answer your question, I’d like to clarify that, contrary to what mainstream medicine would like us to believe, there isn’t a known genetic pattern for osteoporosis.
You surely know from the Save Our Bones Program that osteoporosis is not a disease, so this is actually not surprising. It makes sense that there isn’t a demonstrable inheritance pattern for quantitative bone loss. However, an inheritance pattern may exist for peak bone mass. Here’s a quote from an article published in Endocrine Reviews by M. Peacock. M.D. et al. (2002):
“There is evidence that there are several regions that harbor genes affecting both peak bone mass and femoral structure. As these studies expand and progress, they will confirm or refute the initial results.”
First of all, I find it fascinating that mainstream scientists actually acknowledge genes that may determine peak bone mass. Here’s why. The relatively new osteoporosis parameters compare the bone density of a middle-aged person to the average standardized bone density of a randomly selected group of women in their 20’s of which we know nothing about. Remember that we reach peak bone mass precisely within that age span. If peak bone mass is determined by genes, then the “standard” bone mass used to measure bone loss is flawed from the get-go. What if peak bone mass genes vary within geographical areas or inheritance patterns that may be recessive rather than dominant gene expressions? The answer is obvious.
So my additional advice to you is that you shouldn’t fall for scare tactics based on a mythical osteoporosis inheritance pattern. Continue to follow the Save Our Bones Program, knowing that you are not tampering with your bone metabolism.
I wish you and yours a long and healthy life.
Question & Answer #2
As I am on Warfarin, I am not allowed to take any other medication for osteoporosis, so how can I improve my bone density? Please help.
Consider it a blessing in disguise. Osteoporosis drugs are a short-sighted solution and may cause a slew of undesirable side-effects. So the Save Our Bones Program is a great way for you to have strong and healthy bones and to improve your bone density without ever risking dangerous and debilitating side effects.
Since you are currently taking the blood thinner Warfarin (Coumadin), I recommend you stick to the program as much as possible. Anticoagulant drugs have been linked to an increased risk of fractures. Here’s why: warfarin inhibits Vitamin K, best known as essential for the production of blood clotting factors. But Vitamin K is also related to osteocalcin, or bone Gla protein, which binds calcium and works with Vitamin D. Vitamin K is important to proper bone formation, and for that reason it is one of the Foundation Supplements in the Save Our Bones Program. So you should consult with your doctor before taking Vitamin K. He or she can adjust the warfarin dosage as needed.
In good health,
Question & Answer #3
Where I live the soil is very acidic, and my tap water has a pH of 4.0. You mentioned somewhere that you recommend distilled water for drinking and cooking. I would like to understand better the effect of water and its pH on my body, as it is such a basic part of what I ingest. Thank you!
Indeed, water is crucial to bone health and general health as well. There are several problems with tap water, besides its acidic pH: it contains many toxic and acidifying chemicals that we should not ingest. As I explain in great detail in The Missing Link, a book that is part of the Save Our Bones Program, besides chlorine, chloramines, and other undesirable chemicals used to disinfect tap water, fluoride is of great concern to your bone health.
Fluoride, a poison used mainly for pest control, is added for the purpose of preventing tooth decay. It not only has failed to show any clear benefits to dental health, many scientific studies confirm that fluoride increases the risk of fractures.
On the other hand, distilled water is obtained by collecting what has been turned into vapor, so that in effect all the impurities are left behind. Because distilled water is made of only two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, it produces a negative ion reaction in the body, and is therefore alkaline forming.
There is misinformation about this as well: distilled water does test acidic for its pH. However – and this is what makes it so beneficial – because it is negatively charged, it attracts the positively charged acidic waste products and flushes them out of your body. Perhaps that is why another common myth about distilled water is that it causes essential minerals to leach out of the body.
To your bone health!
Question & Answer #4
I’m trying to eat 80% “alkaline-producing food and 20% acid-producing food but don’t seem to be able to eat that way yet. I eat about 70% alkaline-producing food. My urine pH is usually 6.5 to 7.0 first thing in the morning. Is this good enough to save my bones?
Congratulations! Your pH is within the desirable range for optimal bone health. Here’s proof that even if you don’t follow everything in the Save Our Bones Program, you can (and will) “save your bones”.
Keep up with the program and relax knowing that you are building your bones naturally.
Question & Answer #5
1. Are your recommendations equally valid for men?
2. Is Protelos as different from the other bone building products as they say?
3. Does Glucosamine help or is still unproven?
Even though women are more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis than men are, the recommendations in the Save Our Bones Program apply equally to both. Actually, there is a section titled Men and Osteoporosis in Chapter 1 of the manual.
Protelos is one of the brand names for Strontium Ranelate. It is different in that strontium is a naturally occurring element. However, Protelos is combined with ranelic acid, a purely synthetic molecule. Protelos has its own list of side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, headaches, fainting, and blood clots. Studies have shown that strontium mainly thickens the outer cortical portion of bones.
Regarding your last question, glucosamine is typically recommended for joint aches as in the case of osteoarthritis. It is produced in the body by the combination of glucose with the amino acid glutamine. Studies have shown that glucosamine helps slow degeneration of cartilage and relieves pain. In addition, glucosamine has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant factors.
Stay healthy and curious,
Question & Answer #6
I am excited to try your program, however, I do take 50 mcg of synthyroid med. I read that it depletes calcium in the body. Do I take more calcium than what is recommended?? And, will this med affect any chance of overcoming osteoporosis?
Synthroid is one of the most prescribed drugs in North America. Studies have shown that taking Synthroid with calcium supplements can decrease the drug’s absorption. All you have to do is take your organic calcium supplement four hours after you take Synthroid. You don’t need to increase the calcium supplementation.
Question & Answer #7
My T -scores are bad. Why can I expect up to only a 20% improvement with a diet change…why not a 50% or 75% improvement?
First of all, keep in mind that T-scores don’t provide the whole bone health picture. They only give an indication of density, and there’s a lot more to your bone health than just density. But of course, you want to increase your bone density as much as possible without tampering with your bone metabolism. That’s where the Save Our Bones Program can really help.
You can most certainly expect more than a 20% bone density score improvement. My own bone density scores increased by that much in one year, but many in the Save Our Bones community have experienced greater increases.
Here is one example, posted in the Save Our Bones blog on June 16th, 2010:
“My mother was confronted by her doctor with evidence of decreasing bone density, and one of these drugs was recommended. I told her NO and we began the Save Our Bones Program. I have the density scans that verify we increased her bone density by 50% in TWO YEARS! Keep telling EVERYONE about this vital information.”
So believe in your bones, and believe in yourself!
Question & Answer #8
I’m 62, took a hard fall in June and broke my wrist. Bone Density test results are T-scores of 2.8 & 3.0 for hips and 4.6 for my spine. Dr. gave me instructions to take 2000 mg Calcium, 800 iu Vitamin D, limited exercise and Boniva. I have read your information, reviewed the Boniva warnings and now need to make the decision whether to take drugs or not. I asked the Dr if I can improve my T-score without Boniva. He said, “No, your 4.6 is too serious. Boniva is necessary to stop the bone loss and limit the risk of fracture, vitamins and exercise alone will not do it”. Are there any statistical results to indicate this statement is based on fact. Do you have any results from your clients with numbers as bad as mine, to share improvement results? Thank you for your work and focus on our challenge with osteoporsis.
Your doctor is wrong in saying that 4.6 is too serious a T-score to improve it without taking drugs. Because no matter how much bone loss you may have, your bones can regenerate themselves (if you know what to do) and you can increase your bone density naturally. Dr. Karl Insogna, Director of the Bone Center at Yale School of Medicine says that
“We tend to think of the skeleton as an inert erector set that holds us up and doesn’t do much else. That’s not true. Every bit as dynamic as other tissues, bone responds to the pull of muscles and gravity, repairs itself, and constantly renews itself.”
Your doctor is also recommending too much calcium. If you haven’t yet, read my blog post on calcium and heart attacks to understand why 2000 mg of calcium is excessive.
Your doctor is right in that vitamins and exercise alone will not do it: you also need to apply the simple yet revolutionary nutritional guidelines of the Save Our Bones Program. Thousands are improving their T-scores with the program. Below is one example of many posted on April 30th, 2010. Notice the huge improvement in the spinal T-scores:
“I am 61. About 2 1/2 years ago I stopped Fosamax due to heart palpitations. Thankfully, I came across Vivian and ordered the program. I decided to a calcium supplement called Cal Apatite Forte. In one year my bone density results went from -3.1 in the spine to -1.9 and -1.9 in the hip to -1.4. I am in awe of this. Thanks, Vivian…”
In good health,
Question & Answer #9
Recently I paid a visit to my health care provider when I was questioned about what I am taking in the way of pharmaceuticals for my “osteoporosis”, I promptly told her I was following your recommendation of modifying my diet to cut out processed foods, and to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables which you recommended in your program.
Well, she just about came unglued – saying things such as “what credentials did this person you) have, what studies have been done, have I examined both sides of the argument, and finally giving me the standard warning that if I didn’t take biphosphonates (such as Actonel or Reclast), that I was at very high risk for fractures which could result in my demise. My question to you now is, what studies can I point her to, so that she can see what else there is besides pharmaceutical companies claiming that they have the ultimate “cure” for osteoporosis? Thanks Vivian.
- Carole K.
There are many studies that confirm alternative bone health solutions other than prescription drugs. In fact, the Save Our Bones Program has a bibliography of over 100 scientific studies published in mainstream journals. Here are some examples: Journal of Bone Mineral Research, Endocrinology, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, New England Journal of Medicine… Indeed, the list is long. I think that your doctor should not only look at the studies; he or she should read the Save Our Bones Program.
Question & Answer #10
How long on your program diet will it take to get back to an acceptable level. I am currently -3.7 & have followed your program strictly since buying your book 18 months ago.
There are many variables that can affect bone remodeling, so it is very difficult (if not impossible) to predict the time frame for a bone density improvement. The good news is that I’ve received emails from community members that have gotten rid of osteoporosis in as little as six months!
But what you need to keep in mind is that bone density is not the only bone health indicator. Mainstream medicine needs clear-cut numbers for the purpose of prescribing drugs, so the T-score is used as a guideline for this purpose. It is important to remember that the main goal is to prevent crippling fractures, and that thicker and “older” bone is more prone to fracture than renewed and younger bone.
So continue with the Save Our Bones Program and know that you are doing what’s right for your bones and your general health. I’m sure you’ll get outstanding results!