Vivian Answers Day #27: Hip Fracture And Forteo Injections, Drinking Cow’s Milk, Filtered Water, Vegetarian Protein Sources, And More!
Question & Answer #1
I fractured my hip a month ago my doctor wants me to consider injections of Forteo. I fell, and this is how I got the fracture. What do you know about these injections. I am scared. It has serious side effects.
First of all, I am sorry to hear about your fracture! I wish you a complete and speedy recovery.
While I am not an advocate of feeling fearful about osteoporosis, you are right to be afraid when it comes to osteoporosis drugs like Forteo. As you point out, it does indeed have serious side effects.
Forteo is teriparatide, a synthetic form of the human parathyroid hormone, or PTH. It’s given as an injection and is usually prescribed for those who can’t tolerate the digestive side effects of bisphosphonates. This strange drug’s mechanism of action remains a mystery, even to its manufacturer. And in animal studies, Forteo was shown to cause a lethal form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma. This side effect is so risky that Forteo can only be prescribed for 2 years or less.
So really, taking Forteo doesn’t make much sense. Why risk a deadly cancer over a possible fracture?
In contrast, the Save Our Bones Program is risk-free. There are no side effects, unless you consider stronger bones and a healthier body “side effects”!
Keep asking questions,
Question & Answer #2
My question is about milk being harmful because of acidity. I drink two glasses of milk a day. If it is only the matter of acidity, how much of it is in 500 g of milk comparing with acidity of an average apple? or a slice of lemon?
The topic of milk consumption has been one of the more controversial ones at Save Our Bones.
I never recommend drinking milk, and the acidity you mentioned is just one of the reasons. Because milk is an animal protein, it creates an acidic environment in the body. The calcium contained in the milk is not enough to neutralize this acidic state, so the body pulls calcium from the bones to balance the pH. Of course, this weakens your bones!
Another reason why I do not recommend drinking milk is that it is simply not natural to do so. As I write in the Save Our Bones Program, monkeys do not drink zebras’ milk, and cows don’t drink goats’ milk. If they did, they’d get quite ill. So why do we seem to think that drinking the milk of another species “does a body good”?
While no food or beverage is off-limits in the Save Our Bones Program, including acidifying foods, I don’t recommend that you make milk a part of your 80(alkaline)/20(acidic) diet.
Instead of cow’s milk, I suggest an alkalizing beverage like almond milk or a refreshing bone-healthy lemonade.
Lemons are actually alkalizing foods. I know it can seem contrary to what you’d think, because lemons taste acidic. But when digested, lemons actually help create an alkaline environment in the body. Many foods exhibit this ironic alkalizing property, such as tomatoes and other citrus fruits.
Check the Save Our Bones Program for a complete list of alkalizing and acidifying foods – there you’ll find clear charts that explain and give examples of both kinds of foods, as well as a Recipe Sampler with creative, delicious preparation ideas.
Here’s to your milk-free future!
Question & Answer #3
Vivian, I have two questions. One is regarding water purification. Does the Brita charcoal filter provide clean water after filtration? And, second, does almond milk provide a significant amount of calcium?
Brita filters do filter out impurities and organic matter, but they do not remove fluoride or lead. (This is true for any brand of charcoal filter, not just Brita).
Fluoride in tap water is a growing health concern. As I write in The Missing Link, one of the bonus reports included with the Save Our Bones Program, fluoride ingestion has been linked to increased risk of fracture, particularly hip fracture. There have been so many studies on this topic that an entire website is dedicated to listing them.
The claim that fluoride in tap water prevents cavities is also suspect – it turns out that healthy teeth have far more to do with improved oral hygiene and diet than fluoride in the water. In addition, any dental benefits of fluoride come from topical application of this chemical, not from drinking it.
In short, fluoride is an industrial chemical used in pesticides and fertilizers, and it should not be ingested.
Regarding your other question about calcium in almond milk – most of the calcium added to almond milk is calcium carbonate, a very unabsorbable form of calcium, especially in high doses. But the amount in almond milk is small enough for your body to process.
I don’t recommend you make almond milk your primary source of calcium. Supplementing with organic, plant-derived calcium supplements and eating foods rich in this mineral (such as plain yogurt, spinach, kale, and sesame seeds) are the best ways to get the calcium your bones need.
Keep your bones strong, naturally!
Question & Answer #4
I am a vegetarian and have osteoporosis. How can I get protein without eating meat or fish ? I am allergic to soy.
Thank you for all your help.
“Am I getting enough protein?” is one of the main questions vegetarians ask, and it’s understandable. The USDA dietary recommendations really push protein and give it a big spot on the government’s “food plate.” But you really don’t need a lot of protein – especially animal protein – to have healthy bones.
In the Save Our Bones Program, I write about “the protein myth,” which is the notion that you need protein to build strong muscles. But the world’s most enormous and muscular animals, elephants and gorillas, are exclusively plant-eaters! Here’s the secret: your body actually builds its own protein from the foods you eat. Once food is broken down into amino acids, your body puts them together in the right order to form protein.
If you do wish to consume a complete protein, whey is an excellent source. Despite its cow’s milk origins, whey is alkalizing, and it contains a substance called lactoferrin. This amazing bone-builder naturally inhibits bone break-down and stimulates the manufacture of new bone. It does not do this in an unnatural way, like bisphosphonates; instead, it works with the body’s own bone remodeling cells to achieve stronger bones.
And no worries about being allergic to soy – most soy crops are genetically modified, so you’re better off not ingesting them.
Question & Answer #5
Vivian, I have been diagnosed with severe osteoporosis and have already broken my left wrist once and my right twice. What results do you predict for me on the Save Our Bones Program? I am torn between natural and drugs (which I have already done plenty of, but don’t want to take anymore). Thanks for your response!
Congratulations, Carol – you’re already on the right track! You’re obviously doing your research and looking into alternatives to osteoporosis drugs. I am sorry to hear about your broken wrists, and I wish you a speedy recovery from those injuries.
There are so many individual variables that it’s impossible to predict exactly what the Save Our Bones Program will do for you. They key is to develop your own bone health philosophy, and go forward from there. A bone health philosophy is basically an understanding of why you’ve chosen your particular path with regard to your bone health. In addition, your bone health philosophy is formed from your personal thoughts on how the body works. You’ve already taken the first step – you’re looking for answers and information as you decide whether to continue the osteoporosis drugs or take “the road less traveled.”
If you’re not sure where you stand, and if you’d like more guidance on forming your bone health philosophy to facilitate your decision, you can take our Bone Health Quiz. Click here to give it a try.
Remember that drugs, whether prescribed or over the counter, if they help at all, it’s only temporarily – but there’s always a high price to pay. Osteoporosis drugs actually harm your bones in the long term, because they disrupt the body’s natural bone remodeling cycle. You see, your bones must shed worn bone cells in order to replace them with new ones. Osteoporosis drugs stop the bones from shedding worn cells, which at first sounds good, until you realize the drug is building bones made of worn-out cells and fewer healthy cells. This may make your bones appear denser in a bone scan, but the scan fails to measure the hard, brittle, dry nature of the bone. This lack of tensile strength actually makes the bone more likely to fracture.
To read more about osteoporosis drugs and how they affect bone remodeling, please click here.
Best wishes moving forward, Carol!