Alert! New Study Confirms That Bisphosphonates Cause Microcracks That Weaken Bones - Save Our Bones

A study has just been released that confirms what Savers have been warned about for years. I have written extensively about the dangers of the osteoporosis drugs developed, marketed and sold by the pharmaceutical industry.

The harmful and paradoxical impact of these drugs on bones has been shown in the results of several experiments, and those findings are underscored and further explained by a new study that was just published.

Read on to learn the latest news that further confirms how bisphosphonates actually increase the risk of fracture and to learn about the exact mechanism by which they undermine bone quality and tensile strength.

The Study

Today’s alert comes courtesy of scientists at Imperial College London, whose findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports. For the study, they took trabecular bone samples from the femoral heads of three different groups of patients:

  • Group one had been treated with bisphosphonates and had suffered a fracture
  • Group two had suffered fractures, but had not taken bisphosphonates
  • Group three was a healthy ageing group who had neither suffered a fracture nor taken bisphosphonates

The quality of this study, and the reason it provides such damning evidence, stems from the information created by comparing the bones of these three groups for similarities and differences. Let’s have a look at the results, in the words of the researchers:

“Bone from bisphosphonate treated fracture patients exhibited fewer perforations but more numerous and larger microcracks than both fracture and non-fracture controls. Furthermore, bisphosphonate-treated bone demonstrated reduced tensile strength and Young’s Modulus. These findings suggest that bisphosphonate therapy is effective at reducing perforations but may also cause microcrack accumulation, leading to a loss of microstructural integrity and consequently, reduced mechanical strength.”1

In essence, bisphosphonates were causing the study subjects’ bones to develop these microcracks, which lead to the loss of bone quality and tensile strength. It is relevant to mention here that tensile strength is of extreme importance.

Quoting from the Osteoporosis Reversal Program:

“Tensile strength is the ability of a material or member to resist stretching and pulling, and is different from compressive strength. The latter means that a material or member has the ability to resist compression or crushing… Bone compressive strength is always much greater than tensile strength; tensile strength must therefore be of primary concern.”

The study results will be easier to understand when you consider the way in which bisphosphonates attempt to rectify bone loss.

Bisphosphonates: How They (Don’t) Work

Bone is continually rebuilt over the course of our lives. Far from a fixed, unchanging substance, bone is continually in flux. This is what makes bone such a dependable and repairable supporting structure.

The process of bone remodeling is comprised of two main steps: the creation of new bone (bone deposition) and the removal of old bone (bone resorption). When this out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new cycle is functioning properly, our bones stay strong, healthy and quite literally young. But when the two parts of the process fall out of synch, the integrity of our bone is severely compromised.

The bone removal process or resorption is carried out by osteoclasts, creating the “perforations” that the study quote mentions above. Bisphosphonates act as a suppressant to the osteoclasts, reducing the amount of old bone that is removed. In this way, old bone accumulates as the osteoblasts continue to pile on new bone. This is why the bones of the study subjects in the sample treated with bisphosphonates had fewer perforations.

However, the pharmaceutical suppression of osteoclasts simply results in greater bone quantity, instead of stronger, healthier, younger bone. You wouldn’t build a house on a cracked foundation would you? So why would you force your body to build your support system on old, crack-filled bones?

The Mechanics Of A Failure Of Mechanical Strength

The pervasive presence of microcracks in the bones of the study subjects who had taken bisphosphonates begs the question: why would preventing the resorption of old bone cause an increase in microcracks? The answer is quite simple, but perhaps not obvious at first.

The bisphosphonates are not directly causing the microcracks. They’re just preventing those damaged parts of bone from being removed and replaced.2

Of course, functioning osteoclasts are not swooping in and removing perfectly healthy bone! That wouldn’t make any sense. The damaged bone acts as a trigger, stimulating the osteoclasts to remove weakened parts of bone like those with microcracks.3 But, as mentioned earlier, the drugs interfere with the natural function performed by osteoclasts. Without this process, damaged bone accumulates and your bones actually get weaker.

Here’s a good visual description of this process:

“These microcracks are like the small cracks that emerge when you repeatedly flex a plastic ruler — they gradually weaken the structure and may potentially make it more prone to breaking.”4

This News Isn’t That New

In the Osteoporosis Reversal Program you’ll find an earlier study that showed the accumulation of microcracks that occurs when bone resorption is blocked. These studies were conducted on the bones of dogs, which have analogous functioning to human bones. They provided evidence of what the Save Institute has been warning about from the very beginning. Pharmaceutical solutions to osteoporosis don’t work, and in fact they cause further damage to already weakened bones.

This new study proves that humans experience the same bone damage that was seen in dogs. This is truly a smoking gun, and should clear any doubts about the dangerous nature of bisphosphonates.

Keep Your Bones Healthy Without Drugs

You can build your bones and keep them strong by allowing the natural remodeling cycle to take place without interference. And with the right nutrients, bone-building exercises, and a holistic approach to bone health, you can have stronger and more resilient bones without ever having to take dangerous osteoporosis drugs.

I know that making changes to dietary or lifestyle habits can seem daunting. But with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program by your side, you’ll get step-by-step guidance, and you’ll quickly realize that the changes are much easier than you thought and really worthwhile.

Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss

Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.

Learn More Now →

You deserve to live your best, fullest life, and it starts with taking care of yourself and your bones naturally and scientifically!

Till next time,


1 Shaocheng Ma, En LinGoh, Andi Jin, Rajarshi Bhattacharya, Oliver R. Boughton, Bhavi Patel, Angelo Karunaratne, NghiaT. “Long-term effects of bisphosphonate therapy: perforations, microcracks and mechanical properties.” Scientific Reports. 06 March 2017. PDF:
2 O’Brien, F.J., Brennan, O., Kennedy, O.D. et al. “Microcracks in cortical bone: How do they affect bone biology?”. Current Osteoporos Reports. 2005. 3:39. Web:
3 Dieter Kardas, Udo Nackenhorst. “Studies on Bone Remodeling Theory Based on Microcracks Using Finite Element Computations.” PAMM 9(1):147 – 148. December 2009. Web:
4 “Drug used to treat weak bones associated with micro-cracks.” Kate Wighton. Science Daily. March 1, 2017. Web:

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Jeanne Judson

    Thanks for the helpful explanation, which I plan to share with my doctor.
    Can you give me advice about the value of taking strontium rather than calcium?

  2. Jane

    I was diagnosed with osteopenia. My doctor said they would report it as osterperosis so insurance would cover the medication they were going to prescribe (fraud?). I took the medicine, reclassify. Exactly four days later I became an invalid. Could hardly get out of bed. Lost 20 pounds (weighed 118). All joints hurt, swelling on bones. I was diagnosed with drug induced lupus, which I had for a full year until the reclast medicine got out of my system. I told my doctor, a rheumatologist at a famous clinic, I would not try another medication, but instead do vitiminins, and other lifestyle changes, he fired me as a patient. I found on the internet that he receives$500,000 from Big Pharma to perscribe these meds.

  3. Alison Neisloss

    Hi Vivian, I am joining your conversation from a different perspective. I was diagnosed and treated for Stage 1 Breast Cancer a year and a half ago. My oncologist now wants to put me on a biophosphonate because my medication (Anastrazole) can cause bone loss and she told me that there is evidence that biophosphonates can help prevent metastasis to the bone in the future.

  4. carrie

    For 7 years I took biophosonates. Results: fractured ankle and 2 fractured vertebrae.

  5. Lisa

    Hi Vivian,
    I am trying to share some of the information you have provided with my primary care physician who is an excellent doctor, and open to talking about a different take on caring for bones, but is understandable wary of “internet information.” Hence, I’m trying to give him the actual research to look at. I can get to this most recent one from the internet URL you provided, but I can’t get to the one about micro-cracks which relates to it. (It just gives me an error message.) Can you check that URL and update it please?
    Thanks for all you do.

  6. Rosie

    Hi Vivian, like so many others I am so glad I found your website and have followed your exercises and diet recommendations……so glad to be part of this community. I live in Australia and don’t seem able to find the True Osteo in our health care shops or chemists……am I able to buy it from your website at all? Look forward to your posts, so many many thanks

    • Yvonne Jehenson

      I learn so much from you. Thanks to you I have now given up taking Fosamax. My Dexa showed that I do have osteopenia, but I have decided not to take the new drugs the doctors suggested. Am I right in making such a choice? Thank you, Yvonne

  7. Joy

    Vivian you are so….. special – thank you for all your work on osteoporosis!
    My problem is that I have tried to come off anti-depressants ( I take Cymbalta/cymgen) three time, & I have now realized that I just can’t come off them because I can’t handle myself at all & believe it or not, they really help me – they help me cope & take the edge off – so I am back on them for life (been taking them for +- 12 years! What I wanted to know is are the anti-depressants doing the same thing to my bones as being on bisphosphonates? please send me a reply. Elizabeth usually answers me.
    Thanks so much, & be well,

    • Save Institute Customer Support

      Hi Joy,

      Please check your inbox for a message from Customer Support. 🙂

  8. Marlene

    Thank you so much for the information has been most helpful.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Youŕe welcome, Marlene!

  9. Estelle Stam

    I have had osteoporosis for at least 8 years. I was allergic to all the oral medicines. I did have infusions of Reclass for two years, but quit in 2016. So grateful to find your site when I was looking up the side effects of Prolia, which the doctor suggested I go on to save my bones. I have only been using your program for 2 months and trying to digest all the information. (1) A question I have is that I have Thyroid challenges and have read that I need to stay away from cruciferous vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower etc) as they do not metabolize well with thyroid issues. Are there substitutes I can use in your recipes for these items? (2) I am also gluten intolerant, so I have to stay away from whole wheat products, barley and malt. Do you have suggestions that I could use in your recipes to replace whole wheat flour with? Can you use almond flour, or bean flour or quinoa flour? (3) Another question is I just finished the cleanse, and that was the first time I had ever eaten artichokes. They are very pricy and not much to eat off the leaves. I tried to do some research on how to prepare them and use them. Wondered if you had any guidelines about artichokes. Thanks for all your information. I love learning from you. Wish I had found your site 8 years ago.

  10. Idunn

    I’m wondering if this also applies to the youger ones that also suffer from osteoporosis? I am 30 years old and found out about a year ago that I had T-scores around -2.6. I got two Aclasta infusions last year after having three stress fractures over the last two years. I did not know about this webpage. The doctor now wants me to start on HRT (Sequidot) and I am uncertain wheather I should do this or not. I have always been eating healthy and exercised (running, skiing, strength etc). As it is not natural to have low bone density and low estrogen levels at youger age, do you still thinks that the saveourbones program should apply to us?

    • Yvonne

      I learn so much from you. Thanks to you I have now given up taking Fosamax. My Dexa showed that I do have osteopenia, but I have decided not to take the new drugs the doctors suggested. Am I right in making such a choice? Thank you, Yvonne

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        If it is the choice you are comfortable with, Yvonne, then it’s the right one. 🙂

  11. Marlene

    Good evening Vivian,
    Thank you very much for sharing these EXCELLENT
    Have a wonderful evening.

  12. Debbi

    I changed my diet. I am doing wt training AND I am taking the TrueOsteo as suggested.

  13. Debbi

    I had a bone scan done in July of 2015. I was told I had osteoporosis in my back and osteopareunia in one of my hips. Instead of taking the recommended meds I started the Saveourbones program. Today, I was told that the possible break or ganglian cyst in my finger was arthritis. I am taking another bone scan in May to compare the results from July 2015. If I don’t show any improvement I am considering taking the meds recommended by my physician. My finger is extremely painful IF I press on the “bump” that has recently (and pretty quickly) formed.

  14. FM

    Hi Vivian, This is fantastic information as is this site, thanks to you!
    You gave me hope and the courage to change my lifestyle for the better. I told the bone specialist that I had stopped eating dairy (exception being-eggs,yoghurt with cultures and cottage cheese) because despite upping my dairy intake – milk,hard and soft cheeses,butter and cream my dexa results had worsened, as unsurprisingly had my cholesterol levels. His response was that if I had not increased my dairy intake then the dexa results could have been even worse. I decided I’d rather take the saveourbones route to health. Today I found out that my urine calcium result has showed that, according to the prof., I do not need calcium supplements at present. I feel that the past six months of following your advice has massively set me on the right road. THANK YOU so much!

  15. Deborah

    Please take ORGANIC calcium. I take True Osteo. It works!!

  16. Helen

    Thanks, Vivian! If this isn’t a smoking gun, I don’t know what is. Your dedication to keep all of us informed on the latest research is a gift there are not adequate words to express gratitude for.
    To everyone who’s joined recently: congratulations on a major decision to take control of your own health! And take heart. This program is solid and works. When I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 1992, the doctor told me I was losing density so fast I was sure to be in a wheelchair within 15 years.
    Well, thanks to Vivian, I’m not only osteoporosis-free, but still dancing in my kitchen.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Helen, that warms my heart. Thank you so much for sharing your triumph over osteoporosis!

  17. Barbara

    I’m a 66 year-old woman who last year was diagnosed with osteoporosis. In my 50s, I had osteopenia, and was put on Boniva for perhaps 5 years. I went off of it myself after reading about some side effects, against the wishes of my doctor. Last year, I suffered a compressed vertebrae in my lower back, and went in for a Dexa scan which gave me my current diagnosis. I found out about Savers, and have been following that advice for that last year. I also go to a place called Osteostrong weekly, which has a machine which apparently applies pressure to both bone ends and therefore strengthens bones. I will not know if this is working until my next Dexa scan. I have two questions: Is anyone else using Osteostrong? And, given that I took Boniva for all those years, is there any way to get it out of my system and undo the micro-fissures that may have taken place???

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      A warm welcome, Barbara!

      I am sorry to hear about the compression fracture in your back. That must be painful! But the good news is, normal bone remodeling will resume at some point now that you have gotten off the Boniva.

      The half-life of bisphosphonates is approximately 10 years, meaning that it takes 10 years for the body to get rid of half of the drug that attached itself to bone. As you know, these drugs stop normal bone metabolism, namely bone remodeling, but as the drug gets released and there is less attached to bone, normal bone remodeling resumes…the question, of course, is when? As with everything else in the human body, this varies with each individual. But for a general idea, according to a Harvard Medical School study, pre-drug bone metabolism is restored to “normal” levels in an average of five years.

      While it’s impossible to pinpoint an exact timeline, rest assured that at one point normal bone remodeling will happen. 🙂

      As far as the Osteostrong goes, it sounds similar to the bioDensity machine, discussed in this post:

  18. Terri

    Thanks, Vivian, for alerting us to this study. Although I was told to take either Fossamax or Prolia a year and half ago due to -2.75 spinal reading, I have resisted because of an earlier autoimmune disease diagnosis (Crohn’s). I couldn’t tolerate the drugs given to me back then (25 yrs ago) and found that diet modification helped me cope (after one initial three-month course of prednisone which may be the reason for my spine reading).

    I believe we shouldn’t dwell so much on the DEXA readings and just take control of our health as much as possible through careful diet and consistent, moderate exercise, such as in the Save Our Bones program.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      “I believe we shouldn’t dwell so much on the DEXA readings and just take control of our health as much as possible through careful diet and consistent, moderate exercise”

      I couldn’t have said it better myself, Terri!

  19. Susan

    Just received my Bone Density report.
    56 years, female
    L1-L3 Spine: T-score: -4.90 and Z-score: -3.70
    R Femur: T-score -3.20 and Z-score: -2.10
    L Femur: T-score: -2.90 and Z-score: -1.80
    Of course, the doctor wants to start me on Bisphosphonates and I refused.

    I feel I am the only one with these bad readings…..and kinda scared!

    I started following the “save our bones” protocol about 2 months ago. In one year doctor wants to retake the test. Should there be improvement in only one year? or should I wait a few years?

    • Save Institute Customer Support

      Hi Susan,

      Please check your inbox for a message from Customer Support. ?

    • Kristy Patterson

      Read about vitamin D and vitamin K2 and be tested for both. Educate yourself as to how much to supplement. Don’t let a traditional doctor be your guide. In 3 years of supplementing with these vitamins and not taking calcium or exercising, I increased my femur by 6.5 % and my spine by 14%. I no longer have osteoporosis.

  20. Carly Plamer

    I am 67 yrs old with osteoprosis… I have MS and have taken lits of steroids in the past. I now have breast cancer it is er positive so they are giving me tamoxifen which can cause bone loss.. They gave me an yearly infusion of Reclass which I became sick for four days… Soooo can I change my bone scan # from -2.6??

    • Save Institute Customer Support

      Hi Carly,

      Please check your inbox for a message from Customer Support. ?

  21. Lori

    Someone told me that Cherrios, Gluten free, is bad for you. Do you know if that is true? And Stacy’s Pita Chips. Thanks. Lori

    • Save Institute Customer Support

      Hi Lori,

      Please check your inbox for a message from Customer Support. 🙂

  22. Rosalie Higgins

    I am a 66 yr old, Osteopenia has just turned into Osteoporosis, Dr wants to put it me on Prolia, so happy to find you site. Working so hard to fight back, nutritionally, physically, mentally. Wish I could talk with someone, but am so thankful to find a beautiful site,R

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Welcome, Rosalie! Solid information has a way of dispelling fears. I encourage you to keep researching and learning!

  23. Joan Kirkby

    I am so grateful to you for all you postings regarding health and osteoporosis.
    I am wondering if anyone has any opinions or information regarding Prolix.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are welcome, Joan! And Suzy has good advice – there is a lot of information on Prolia (if that is what you meant) on this site. 🙂

    • Suzy

      Joan, could you possibly be referring to Prolia? If so, Vivian has a lot of information on that particular product. Just put Prolia into the search line at the top of the saveourbones webpage, and you’ll find some articles. If that’s not what you’re looking for, then I can’t help you.

      • Joan Kirkby

        Yes, I did misspell Prolia – a combination of poor eyesight and bad typing !!
        Thank you for directing me to more information

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