Your Weight Affects Your Bones: True Or False?

If you thought that mainstream medicine can’t get any wackier, well… it has. Here’s a line from a recent Women’s Health Magazine article:

“Being heavier helps fend off osteoporosis, for example, because a little extra mass helps strengthen bones” (http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/fat-acceptance).

There you have it. In the words of Women’s Health Magazine, being overweight may be great for your bone health.

This is such an outright distortion of the truth that I feel I have to set the record straight.

Put on the pounds to pack on the bone density; or don’t?

First, let’s take a look at an excerpt from the Merck Manual of Health & Aging (Section 3, Chapter 22. Risk Factors for Osteoporosis. Merck Research Laboratories. 2005). You surely know by now that Merck is the maker of Fosamax, the osteoporosis drug “wunderkind” boasting billions of dollars in sales since its debut in 1995:

“Thin people tend to have less dense bones than heavier people. Part of the reason is that body weight puts stress on bone, stimulating it to form more bone.”

Based on the above information, which was obediently adopted by mainstream medicine’s seemingly insatiable appetite for half-truths, it appears that if you want to stave off osteoporosis, you’d be smart to put on the extra pounds and join the already too large overweight population.

Is this one more example of warped scientific conclusions, or could it be that osteoporosis is the ultimate medical renegade challenging a universally accepted health rule? After all, it is no secret that thin people are generally healthier than overweight people and have a greatly reduced risk of falling prey to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Predictably, there is no shortage of studies attempting to answer this question. And they all have one thing in common: they contradict each other. Many conclude that those who are overweight don’t have any bone health benefits over their thinner counterparts. But several other studies show exactly the opposite, with some scientists attributing the increased density to higher levels of leptin, a hormone that among other things, regulates appetite and metabolism and is produced in larger quantities by plus-sized people.

Breakthrough technology provides a common-sense conclusion

One breakthrough study tackled this issue and quite conclusively demonstrated that excess body fat is actually detrimental to bones, as it is to just about every other body organ and biological process. And no less important is that this study finally elucidates why.

Scientists at the University of Georgia pioneered the use of a unique type of bone scanning equipment to research the link between bone health and excess weight. Instead of the usual two-dimensional scans, they used three-dimensional bone scans.

After adjusting for differences in muscle mass surrounding the bone of the 115 study participants, the results showed that the bones of those with high body fat were nine percent weaker than those of normal body fat participants.1 While the women in this study were merely teenagers – 18 and 19 years old – their bones had stopped growing and age-related bone loss had not yet begun.

The study authors briefly point to Wolff’s law of bone formation, which I cover in detail in the Save Our Bones Program. In short, Wolff’s confirmed theory – which dates back to the 19th century – postulates that bone growth is stimulated by the constant force applied by muscles. Since overweight people typically have more muscle surrounding their bones than thinner people, prior to this study many researchers arrived to the skewed conclusion that being overweight is good for bone health.

But this study found stunning evidence of an important variable to this equation. As Norman Pollock, the lead author of the study explains:

“When we corrected for the amount of muscle, we found that overweight people were not making as much bone as they should for the amount of muscle that they had. Researchers hadn’t observed that in the past, because they weren’t using the three-dimensional scan.”

And Richard Lewis, one of the co-authors and professor of foods and nutrition in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences comments that:

“The exact mechanisms by which excess fat hinders bone strength are unclear, but studies of obese rats show that they produce more fat cells in the bone marrow and fewer bone cells. Because fat and bone cells derive from the same precursor, it may be that fat-cell production is favored over bone-cell production in overweight people as well.”

Common sense backed by good science blows away flawed conclusions

This is a perfect example of how we must always question study results that defy logic and ignore the principles of our integrated biology.

How to stay at your ideal weight

Here are two comments that members of the Save Our Bones community posted on one of my other blog posts:

“I am so grateful to have found you and I’ve quit taking Fosamax. I even feel better since I quit about 1 month ago. I’ve been trying to eat healthier and have even lost almost 10 lbs. in the last month. Thank you for your research. I look forward to more of your findings!”

– Rita Hoffman (Submitted on 4/10/2010)

“It has helped not only my osteoporosis but my cholesterol has come down since my last visit to the doctor which i have been seeing six months, and lost 20 lbs as well thank you.”

– Elisa Olgin (Submitted on 1/14/2010)

You see, the beauty of the Save Our Bones Program is that it not only increases your bone density, but it also balances your entire body. So if you’re looking to shed some pounds, the balance you achieve with the program will get you there. And if you’re at your ideal weight, that’s where you’ll stay, and you’ll feel better than ever.

Leave your comments below and feel free to tell your story. Till next time…

References

1Pollock N, Laing E, Baile C, Hamrick M, Hall D, Lewis R. “Is adiposity advantageous for bone strength? A peripheral quantitative computer tomography study in late adolescent females”. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 86, No. 5, 1530-1538, November 2007.

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90 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. GG February 23, 2017, 1:35 pm

    Lately I have been wondering about my bone health. I was consistently underweight between the ages of about 13-16, but I don’t remember any prolonged periods of time when my periods stopped. They were somewhat irregular but whose aren’t at that age? I was diagnosed with anorexia when I was 16, with a BMI of 15, and in recovery I gained enough weight to reach a BMI of 18.5. Since then I’ve relapsed a few times, but my periods have never really been affected and when I’m doing well, my BMI is usually between 18 and 19. I know this sounds low, but I honestly don’t think it shows in how I look. I’m slim, yes, but I do look healthy at that weight. So I’m wondering if my bones are less dense from being underweight as a teen? Would that account for my weight being low even though I don’t look like I’m too thin? Presumably bones that are less dense weigh less too. I remember them saying in treatment that they’d do a bone scan at some point but they never did. Should I ask my doctor for one?

  2. Lisa August 6, 2016, 7:46 pm

    I do not think anyone is saying become Obese to make bones stronger, but if your anorexic, gaining 5 or 10 pounds could help

    and if your 100 lbs overweight, losing weight could help

  3. Beatriz noel June 17, 2016, 11:12 am

    I have osteoporosis on my back n osteoponia on my left neck fosamax is not for me is proila better? I notice I loose some weight n loosing fats I front of my shoulders .thanks for your advise. Betty.

  4. dr junaid January 19, 2016, 4:24 am

    being an orthopedic surgeon i add to it that bones of fat ppl are much weaker and osteoporotic and i never found strong bones in fat ppl while operating upon them . and its difficult to manage their fractures

    • Constance M Isaac December 20, 2016, 11:15 am

      Hi there I am extremely curious I recently lost 92 pounds you can about 14 months because I had breast cancer once I became in remission my twin girls got into a massive car wreck where one was killed the level of stress. Was so overbearing I didn’t want to eat I was never hungry. I noticed the weight coming off so I started exercising I’m very active I am I have been since I was young I am 53 years old and I have a small body frame I went from 218 pounds being that heavy for about 15 years to I weigh 146 now. The extra skin I guess if you will is massive on me my I’m short 54 I have a small body frame and my crazy thank you what is that because of this weight loss and the extra skin on my stomach and my breast because there march I have broken my collarbone my scapula and my clavicle. Not by I fall a wreck on any kind of a heavy injury anything like that . earlier this year I moved l lifting a heavy box I heard my clavicle crack , I now have my bones on my neck one sticks out way farther than the other . After that I was making my bed I felt my collarbone pop thinkingit popped out of jointsocket that was actually A hospital rush because I also at the same time broke my scapula in my back . My question which is a extremely long one and I’m quite sorry I’m a talker is it possible for a small framed person to lose that much weight and break your bones even though you’re active on your life could that possibly be because of the weight of the extra skin ?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 19, 2016, 10:57 am

      That’s interesting, Dr. Junaid. Thank you for sharing your observations!

  5. stats fan January 17, 2016, 9:28 am

    Could some osteoporosis diagnoses be statistical artifacts?
    I was not born in the US. People where I was born are not as fat or as tall as Americans.
    I am a female aged 70.
    I am an accident-free ski instructor (and so, physically fit).
    I weigh 100 pounds as recently recorded at a doctor’s. Size-wise, I can still wear the same clothes I have been wearing all my adult life.
    Placing myself on the chart linked here:
    http://halls.md/average-weight-women/
    which I assume shows data for American females weights, I find that weight-wise, I am extremely close to the bottom edge of the range of the data for weight.
    How then can any conclusions about my supposed bone density, based on that population, have any meaning? (Would you attempt competing in a car race on a lawnmower?)
    Also, for the T score, do they assume a 20 year old now in the US is similar to a 20 year old 50 years ago and in a different country? That assumption is obviously unsustainable.
    Could your site publish something about this? Thanks.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 18, 2016, 9:28 am

      Hi Stats Fan,

      Your thinking is on the right track. DEXA scanners beam X-rays at the lumbar vertebrae and the hip to measure the shadow cast by the bones. Software in the machine estimates the amount of calcium in the bone based on the darkness of the shadow. This means that DEXA scans are not three-dimensional; they are two-dimensional, like a plain X-ray, so it is very “insensitive.” This two-dimensional reading, therefore, causes errors in the “reading” of actual bone density.

      Let’s say a woman has large vertebrae and she’s tall and big-boned. The DEXA X-ray beam must travel farther to get a reading on her bones than on a woman that has smaller bones (because it only detects two-dimensional distance). Meanwhile, the smaller woman could have more calcium in her bones and more resilient and healthy bones. The DEXA scanner cannot detect this. So DEXA scans measure quantity of bone rather than quality.

      The T-score does not tell you if the bone is strong; it simply places your results within a certain age and gender group. And several studies point to the inexact science of measuring bone density. And as you point out, ethnicity is not considered when the Establishment decides these parameters.

  6. Lynne Pendleton March 20, 2012, 12:44 pm

    Dear Vivian,

    Do you have any suggestions on what are calorie dense foods that are also alkalizing? I am trying to gain weight and so many foods that are good for you are low calorie.

    Thanks,
    Lynne

    • Betty Halley March 24, 2012, 12:46 pm

      I have the same problem. In recent years I have lost weight. I have been on Save Our Bones program for about
      two years or so and, of course, eat mostly fruits and
      vegetables. Before going on this program I was a BIG
      ice cream and cookies person. But I would like to gain
      a few pounds. I have shrunk from 5 ft 3 to a little under 5 foot and I now weigh 85 pounds down from the 115 I weighed at 5 f 3

  7. Connie July 29, 2011, 11:13 am

    A part of my profession is being a Bone Densitomery Tech. I do perform DEXA examinations on patients once week. At first I thought that women who are overweight would really have good bone density. A lot of them are, but I have done some women who are overweight that does have osteopenia or even borderline osteoporosis.

    Your articles really are an eye opening on on this side of health issue. We thank you very much sharing all this informatio to us.

    Connie

  8. crystal May 21, 2011, 10:41 am

    I’m wondering about a connection between osteoporosis and osteo arthritis. Can cartilage be restored as well as bone?

  9. diana wessels November 29, 2010, 9:41 pm

    Your research is encouraging for me as I’ve felt alone in my decision to stop taking a drug for osteoporosis. One other lady in my low impact aerobics class has also stopped taking any drug. The two of us have been supporting each other, nearly everyone else takes a drug.

    I’m glad to hear that your program is not only effective for bone building but also helps in lowering cholesterol, another problem of mine, and again I have stopped taking the statin. My doctor agreed that I should stop taking it to improve my quality of life. It really has, but I do worry about cholesterol.

    My husband and I have really improved our meals with more vegetables and fruit and less meat. I have lost 10 pounds and he has lost weight too. It wasn’t difficult because of the way we eat now.

  10. Rosemary Lambert June 29, 2010, 10:33 am

    Question about Vit D from someone with -3.5 bone scan. I was taking a form of VitD after my bone scan for 6 months in liquid form from Biotics Research Corp. It is called Bio-D-Mulsion Forte. One drop a day gave me 2000 IU. My Vit D count was up to 89, which the Doctor thought good, but I have a slight swelling in in left thyroid, and at the same time was taking that same company’s iodine supplement. I was wondering if any of these could have caused this problem.
    I also try to take some of their bone building “Osteo-B II calcium-magnesium (300mg each) if you can get 6 pills down. I end up with head aches from just one pill, as well as trying tons of other calcium combinations I have gotten from the health food store. All gave headaches. My chiropracter suggested adding liquid magnesium to the mix, and I also take some of their multi vitamins, but only 2 capsules of those rather then the reccomended 6, as the chiropracter muscle tested me for this many.
    Is muscle testing effective at all? Why the head-aches from so many foods and supplements? Bananas taste great , but again I get these awful head and neck aches from so many foods. Does anybody else have this?
    I have so many food allergies, its hard to follow any diet, but I’m trying to take small steps toward more alkali foods. It’s very difficult to change.
    Vivian, it would help to show some sample meals , so I could get an idea how to eat. I’m afraid of fainting without my brown rice cereal with honey in the morning which I eat with a few raisens, walnuts, and a lot of cinnamin and ginger thrown on. I skipped putting milk in. Before I eat that, I eat a half grapefruit, and try to take the calcium and muti-vitamin with it. Do you see anything wrong with this? It’s just so hard with all the food allergies!
    I try to walk about 5 miles a week and have added 1 lb. arm weights.
    Anybody have some helpful comments they can e- mail me at roseinthewoods@gmail.com
    THANKS!

  11. Jane Herman June 26, 2010, 5:36 pm

    I started on your bone health diet about 6 months ago when my Dr. prescribed the reclast shot. Checking on Google for side effects of this shot, I came across your web site. A relief because I was afraid to take the shot. While I have not been retested yet for bone density, I have had some happy results in other areas. My cholesterol has dropped 20 points, and I have lost 15 lbs. Also feel better and can sleep without hip pain. Thank you, Vivian for all your research! Jane H.

  12. Pat Richards June 21, 2010, 2:26 am

    I have Osteoporosis and after reading the side effects of it I don’t know if I should take it or not.
    I’m a smoker also have heart problems, acid reflux, and stomach problems.
    What should I do?
    Pat Richards

    • Dave June 23, 2010, 6:05 pm

      I have advanced stage osteoporosis (-2.8), osteoarthritis, scoliosis & sciatica. I have a bulged disc in lower back for over 20 years, December 2009 I pushed my car and caused compression fracture to T9 and bent the spines end-plate from the osteoporosis. I’m in severe pain daily and a few weeks ago was rushed to emergency with heart pain, they ruled out heart attack, x-rays on my lungs, blood tests for clots and others and found I was developing chronic pain syndrome and it feels like I’m having a heart attack daily now when I walk or cough or do anything like dishes, I have to stop after 5 minutes and lye down or take breaks. I had to ask my Dr for bone density tests and they finally did xrays in Feb, results showed the osteoporosis and my Dr said I don’t have to worry about fractures or breaks and he put me on 50,000 IU Vit D (my count is below 35) and a prescription for risedronate 35mg. My Dr wouldn’t send me for MRI or pain management and I know it was a fracture that alerted me to get the bone scan and he is telling me I don’t have to worry with a score of -2.8, the chart only goes to -2.5. I went to an urgent care center and was sent to an osteoporosis specialist, they did more blood tests and 20 more xrays. I’m still on noting for pain or anything, I am drug free and I am going to try to wear weight belts if given the OK from fractures and see how my bone density tests come back. If all you folks reading this could help me out with a vote, I would really appreciate it, but please only vote for me if you feel my case deserves more attention then others, as I can still walk and talk & I’m getting the ball rolling with the Doctors & I know so many others may still be waiting to find out their options. I will be one of the biggest whistle blowers if simply wearing weight belts will help my bones become strong again. I also grew up in Karate and was hard on my body & I’m only 38 years old.

      Everyone here & Their Families with osteoporosis, blood & bone cancer or parathyroid tumors or anyone reading this, I Wish You All the Best in Health & Love and Please Keep Hope and think Twice before taking the traditional medicines. If you have parathyroid tumors and take Vit D and Calcium with osteoporosis meds, you could cause your brain to have a major stroke, so please be cautious and rule out all other possibilities before letting your Dr treat you or your loved one for osteoporosis.

      • Dee Doherty August 28, 2010, 12:05 am

        I have an enlarged thyroid with nodules and am taking Vitamin D & calcium. As of now I quit taking Fosomax. Please tell me more about how the brain could have a major stroke from the meds. My Bone Density test came back -3.1 and I’m only 58 years old. Thanks! Dee Doherty

    • Catherine Ash June 22, 2010, 1:54 am

      i was diagnosed with oeseoporosis 1st June 2010. i am not going to take the medication subcribed as i have read the side effects on Save Your Bones. Have ordered the book but am having trouble downloading the rest of your programme all i get is squiggles.
      I have made an appointment with a dietition. I have allergies to various food and medications. At 71 years i am quite fit and have done exercises all my life. Ten years ago i was doing martial arts and earned a black belt. Am now doing Tai Chi so how did i develope Osteoporosis and nobody seems able to explain the rating analyist sheet to my satisfaction. Where does this rating come from and what is normal for all persons? Medical people say look after your own health but when one tries and questions some get huffy. The questionable cure ( MEDICATION )

  13. Pat Richards June 21, 2010, 2:19 am

    Vivian,
    I have been diagonesed with Osteoporosis and my Dr. put me on Fosamax but after reading all the side fffects, should I start taking the Medicine?
    I’m scared of it and don’t know what to do.
    I’m a smoker also I have acid reflux and stomach problems.
    What should I do?
    Pat Richards

  14. Roma June 21, 2010, 12:07 am

    I noticed that one person is concerned that she is taking steroids and that this may have an effect on her bones. I also am taking prednisolone – not large doses, but nevertheless am feeling worried about the effect on my bones. Has anyone else found themselves in this situation?

    • Dave June 23, 2010, 6:14 pm

      Just ask your Dr for a bone density test (blood) & Bone Scans. It’s better to find out now and know your options before its too late and you suffer a fracture or become very severe.

      I wish you the Best in Health

      Hippy

  15. Patti Ream June 20, 2010, 10:23 pm

    I work two jobs and don’t get on my home computer but once a week for a short period of time, whatever information you can mail me would be greatly appreciated.
    thank you
    Patti

  16. Mary Klatt-Saar June 20, 2010, 11:10 am

    Finally I don’t have acid-reflex anymore. It was caused from taking actonel and I have been off it for over six years. I went on it when my doctor said I needed to because my bone-density was low. I have been a vegetarian for 32 years and have always felt I eat healthy. Now I feel as good as I did before taking actonel. I feel I am doing the right things and if I feel good why start taking drugs that make me feel bad.

  17. mary t ball June 20, 2010, 10:59 am

    How does one take weight off with an underactive thyroid?

    Incidently, there was an article in last weeks Daily Mail newspaper about serious cases of osteoporosis being given twice annual injections sometime in the future of the latest drug to rebuild bones.

    Sounds good to me!
    MARY.

    • Roma June 20, 2010, 11:51 pm

      doesn’t sound good to me. It still means you’re getting the same poison in your body, only at different intervals.

  18. Bonnie Kirkpatrick June 19, 2010, 1:56 pm

    I do not listen to study reports, most of them change their findings from week to week. Most of them being unreliable, is a waste of public moneys

  19. Lucy June 19, 2010, 7:58 am

    Hi Vivian

    Re the link between weight and Osteoporosis, another aspect could be that in post menopausal women fat cells can be a source of ostrogen. Oestrogen strengthens bones so may help with osteoporosis but being overweight would be detrimental to health in other ways. The link between weight and bone density would need to be investigated with post menopausal women to get a clear picture.

    Have you tried a natural phyto oestrogen supplement made from red clover (Promensil make one that has been successfully tested)?

    Someone above also mentioned Denosumab, which appears to be the latest development and may be used as preventative treatment in the future, what are you views on it?

    I think that your dietry and exercise advice is also helpful so thank you.

    Regards

    Lucy

  20. Nu Ly June 19, 2010, 6:14 am

    I am thin not tall, everage.

    To be short and to the points. I hardly follow your program in food 80/20 which made me all of a tremble. I have high blood pressure, too much veggie made my blood pressure too low, in Australia is Winter now and I am old too. I have the babit to meassure it everyday before I take the tablet.

    But at last, I get much benefits from your program. It cured all my old diseases, one was the ulcer of the tonque , it always happened, the other one was insomnia, all above two things were disappeared.

    How amazing this feeling, I have never have had, I sleep well. In 2008, I saw the Chinese doctor in the whole year, he only helped a little. Now, I know that,s the Foxamax side effect.

    Contine your good work, I am appreciated

  21. Bula Chick June 18, 2010, 9:52 am

    It is so amazing what the medical people “try” to tell their patients . Thank goodness for all of your hard work. I have always tried to take care of my body. Now you make it easier. Years ago when I first started having bone scans. The tech kept mentioning hormones. So I always thought he worked for one of the drug companies or would get a “kick back” for pushing hormones!! 🙂
    Thank you!!

  22. Shirley Wetzel June 18, 2010, 9:27 am

    That explains why I was told I have osteoporosis! I’m very thin.

  23. Audrey Lees June 18, 2010, 3:57 am

    Thank you for the last email. I am quite “skinny” I am 76 yrs old, am 5′ 5″ tall & have weighed 8 and half stone for the last 40+ years. I have high cholesterol and my GP rescribed Crestor. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis & have been taking Actonel. I took myself off Crestor when I developed “restless legs” & read about this being a side effect (on the web). After reading your info about Actonel I have stopped taking that. I seem to have lost my sense of taste. I am rarely hungry but eat reasonable meals because I know I should & try to follow your food recommendations for good cholesterol & osteo. At the moment I certainly don’t feel any worse, but also cannot see any particular improvement. But I’ll keep trying. Tnank you for all your info. Regards, Audrey

  24. Elizabeth June 18, 2010, 2:55 am

    Hi Vivian, thank you again for passing on your much appreciated info. I have found a Calcium supplement which I hope will improve my bone density and for anyone that may like to visit the website here it is. http://www.extend-life.com This formula seems to have the necessary ingredients and offers more than any other product I have found before. Merely a suggestion! Thank you for your on going research and dedication.

  25. stella murphy June 17, 2010, 11:44 pm

    i,ve been reading your emails and am learning a lot, i have bad bones, now a heart condition,
    i would love to have your book but its hard for me to even buy the right food to eat,i cant work and we live on my husbands disibility
    we make to much they say to even get food stamps, my medical bills keep pilling up
    i want to eat healthy i just cant aford the food,

    thanks for listening
    stella

    • jesi June 18, 2010, 6:57 am

      VIVIAN
      I have heard alot about those new posture shoes that they are comfortable…..(various brands) but I wonder will they take away from the impact of walking that helps the bone growth be stimulated? They seem quite padded on the sole.
      jesi

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 26, 2010, 10:05 pm

        Don’t worry about the padding. Your bones are “smart” and when you walk, they’ll “sense” that they must carry you upright.

  26. Dorothy McKenna June 17, 2010, 11:17 pm

    Because of Vivian I have gone off of Actonel, kept my weight at 124 lbs. and made sure I had an hour of weight bearing exercise daily. I am 83 years old and take NO medications.

    • jesi June 18, 2010, 6:59 am

      tell us your weight bearing exercises…i get bored with the same old thing and i heard you should switch your exercise routine regularly to keep your body “guessing” or is this another myth.
      jesi

  27. Cheryl JOhnston June 17, 2010, 8:32 pm

    I started getting heart palpitations almost two years ago in October,2008 from what I believe was from taking actonel> I took the drug for about three years. The Palpitations were very intense (couldn’t stand up for very long). I had to stop going to the gym for about four months. A cardiologist gave me metoprolol which eased my discomfort but the palpitations lasted for one and a half years. I just started to feel better. I stopped taking actonel of course and I have decreased the metoprolol to 1/2 a tablet a day. Getting better every day. I have bought your book and I am trying hard to follow it. I have a low thyroid for which I am taking synthroid. Is there a way to treat this condition naturally? Thanks for your e-mails I enjoy getting them.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 26, 2010, 10:04 pm

      When you follow the Program you’ll avoid fluoride. This might help your underactive thyroid. Follow your endocrinologist’s directions and see what happens 🙂

    • Sharon Perriello June 20, 2010, 5:50 pm

      I also have a low thyroid. I’ve read that low iodine can be the cause. I started eating 2 containers of greek yogurt (fat-free) daily and had my blood checked 6 weeks later and my thyroids levels have been normal for a year. Hope this helps. I’m not on meds. for thyroid.

    • Diana Davidson June 19, 2010, 2:12 pm

      I see myself in this comment. I was on Fosamax for 17 months and Actonel for about 6 weeks back in 2002-2003. My family dr. who had prescribed both finally took me off Fosamax when I developed severe lower intestinal discomfort and bladder problems (not an infection, but felt like one with the frequency and discomfort). Years later I learned I had developed interstitial cystitis (which is now relieved with an herbal supplement called CystoProtek). No doctor could do much to relieve the bladder problem, a urologist trying Elavil, vagifems, diflucan helped a little temporarily. Now I feel the acidic nature of Fosamax may have damaged my body. But it is healing since I am now alkalizing my diet at age 67 with more fruits and vegetables. About that time 2004, I retired and began to exercise more. I began to have a stressed heart and by 2007 when I moved to Arizona, severe palpitations. My arrhythmia consultant did the SVT ablation procedure and diagnosed dual AV node, which luckily he burned out in an outpatient procedure without damaging my heart’s electrical system. He said I was probably born with the condition and it came out in later life. Right, could I have been stressed from that powerful acidic drug supposed to help with stronger bones. I have felt so much better without the Fosamax. My bone density still shows osteopenia and I walk almost every morning for 30-40 minutes. How many women are risking their health by taking Fosamax, Boniva, etc.?? Thank you, Vivian, for your wonderful book which I am passing along to all my friends also with this osteopenia/osteoporosis diagnosis.

  28. Debbie Harrison June 17, 2010, 8:02 pm

    Vivian… i was told that a long time ago …. thin people have a great chance of thinner bone mass. I am now 113 and use to weigh 124… i do aerobics 4 times a week and eat a very healthy diet…. i have cut back on sugar …. which made me lose so much….. as we know sugar is poison…. i feel extremely healthy and a lot of energy. Take lots of vitamins… and wish people were more concious of what they eat….. Debbie…. in my seventies….. Don’t tell

  29. Angela June 17, 2010, 7:35 pm

    Vivian’s program has made it easier than ever to manage my weight. I want to share this great, bone-friendly recipe that was originally published in Country Living Magazine (May 2010). I tweaked it by adding the almonds – it tastes great, is good for your bones and low in calories.

    New Carrot Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
    Country Living Magazine

    Makes 4 servings

    Zest & juice of 2 limes
    3 Tablespoons olive oil
    2 Tablespoons honey
    1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
    pinch crushed red pepper
    sea salt
    1+ 1/4 lbs fresh carrots, peeled and sliced crosswise
    1/2 cup sliced dried apricots
    3 small scallions
    1/2 cup slivered almonds

    1. In a medium pan over low heat, cook lime juice, honey, olive oil, mustard and red pepper until warm; about one minute. Remove from heat and cover.

    2. In a large pot bo boiling salted water cook carrots until just tender – 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to serving bowl.

    3. Add dried apricots and scallions and toss with honey-lime dressing. Sprinkle with lime zest and almonds before serving.

    • jesi June 18, 2010, 7:02 am

      mmmmm sounds yummy

  30. Carol June 17, 2010, 6:25 pm

    Thank you for this report on weight and bone density. A few years ago I decided to eat healthy and lose weight. Well, I lost 35 pounds only to hear afterward that losing that much weight after age 50 decreases bone density. I was very upset because none of the doctors who keep saying to lose weight had ever said that. This report makes me feel better about my decision to lose weight. I was thinking that I had made a big mistake.

  31. Margie Shiffman June 17, 2010, 6:18 pm

    Hi Vivian: You have made a great difference in my life. I not only quit Fosamax over a year ago, but lost the 7 lbs. I wanted to lose and am feeling 100% better. I now weight 115# and am maintaining it by eating better; i.e. alkaline balanced with acidity foods. Thank you so much, Vivian. Margie Shiffman

    • Krishna December 24, 2012, 8:10 am

      The plums look gorgeous and piinckg them straight from the tree oh yes! Your plum crunch is just fabulous, wish I had a bowl full.If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my group A SRC recipe this month: .Lisa~~

  32. Elizabeth Wright June 17, 2010, 5:35 pm

    Hi Vivian… GOD BLESS YOU. I do believe that you are sincerely looking after us by researching and sending us your truthful emails. Thank You.
    I have weighed from 108 – 110 pounds ALL MY LIFE… My doctor said to
    not worry about it… I am healthy.
    EVERY MORNING, I do a an exercise on my bed, (leg ones), take 2 calcium tablets, 1 aspirin, a banana, 1 tablespoon of flax seed oil, eat vegetables, fruits, not much meat, go up and down my flight of stairs, bowl, walk,
    have a good faith, laugh a lot, think like a child and behave like an adult
    Tell my doctor I don’t like to take medication unless it is an emergency.
    Blessings… Elizabeth W.

  33. Andrea Moore June 17, 2010, 5:33 pm

    Hello to everyone!
    I believe that it is as much a health concern to be significantly underweight as to be overweight. The situation is unhealthy, in either case, and really should be seen as a problem to deal with. It is equally important, I believe, to put on needed weight using good nutrition as it is to practice good nutrition when taking off unwanted pounds. I try to keep a healthy weight level by regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. I do see a red flag if I experience too much weight loss, or weight gain, and then set out to try and remedy the problem, hopefully, before things get too out of hand. Bulking up with an increase in muscle mass is good, but significant increase of body fat, I believe, is never a good thing.
    I am glad that this topic came up and thanks to Vivian for her insight and for sharing.
    Best to everyone,
    Andrea

  34. Shula June 17, 2010, 3:50 pm

    Dear Vivian

    Thank you for this new information on weight. I am and always was underweight; Not happy about it at all, but happy to know it won’t affect my bone density.

    Shula

  35. Judy June 17, 2010, 2:34 pm

    Hi Vivian,
    I am new to your site but found it very informative.
    Do you know anything about vibration platforms that rebuild bone.
    My osteoporosis is getting worse since getting off Actonel last year
    and I am concerned.

    I know there are a number of vibration machines that are dangerous
    because the energy level is too great. I am looking for someone to
    direct me in this area. As you know, there is a lot of misinformation
    out there.

    Thank you,
    Judy

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 26, 2010, 10:01 pm

      You don’t need the vibration platforms to increase your bones density. The Save Our Bones Program tells you everything you need to know to build strong and healthy bones.

  36. LIN.CAR June 17, 2010, 1:35 pm

    To be slim is not only healthy but elegant. Did you know that there is a new drug which is free from biphosphonates? Its called PROLIA and costs equivalent to £1 a day. Its a cheap six monthly jab and actually helps bone to regrow and has no side effects. The new drug is also known as DENOSUMAB. Perhaps you can research it for yourself and see the result.

    All the best
    Lin

    • Sherry February 4, 2011, 12:33 pm

      Before anyone takes this new drug, I would think you would want to research it first. If it were not that which interferes with normal functioning of the body in some way, it would be called a food, not a drug. Frankly I would not come near anything called a drug, period!

    • Alex July 15, 2010, 1:21 pm

      Thanks for reviewing this drug Vivian.

  37. Marilyn June 17, 2010, 1:00 pm

    I am very interested in more info about the three dimensional bone scan. I am due for another bone scan in August. Is it available to the public? How does it work?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 26, 2010, 9:58 pm

      3-D scans are not widely available to the public. You might want to check with your doctor. There is a method called Quantitative Computed Tomography (QCT), but don’t go for it since it emits a lot of radiation.

  38. Jean June 17, 2010, 12:22 pm

    Came off Bonviva 18 months ago am only 106 pounds do plenty of walking every day and eat sensibly, am much better off the medication
    but not yet 100 per cent but getting there
    am 76n years of age in December and no-one can believe it LOVE Jean

  39. KATHY June 17, 2010, 12:16 pm

    HI VIVIAN;
    I TOO AM SMALL FRAMED THIN BONED WAS 5 2 NOW I NOTICED I LOST AN INCH..AND I HAD TO BONE SCANS DONE FRIST ONE MY BONES SUPPOSSINGLY SHOWED -3 THEN ANOTHER ONE JUST A FEW WKS AGO AND WAS TOLD IMY SPINE WASDOING A LITTLE VERY LITTLE BETTER..I HAVE PHYSICAL ISSUES TOO LIK THE ONE LADY DOES..HAD GALL BLADDER REMOVED 3 YRS AGO / I HAVE HAD SOME WHAT PROBLEMS EVER SINCE!!!!!I WAS ON CHOLESTEROL MEDS TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OVER AN YR SPAN AN I WONT TAKE NONE OF THEM AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!AFTER THE GALL BLADDER WAS REMOVED I WAS PUT ONTO PRILSEC AND NOT MUCH HELP AND THEN PUT ON PROTONIX AND JUST BOUT 2 1/2 MONTHS AGO I QUIT TAKING IT AND MY DR INSIST ON ME STAYING ON IT AND NOW (LIKE THE OTHER LADY) THIS SAME DR INSISTS ON ME HAVING THE IV RECLAST AFTER READING ON THE THIGNS THATS IN IT / WHAT THEY CAN DO (SIDE EFFECTS)IM NOT TAKING ANY OF THEM ….MY HUSBAND / I BOTH HAVE A HABIT OF SMOKING AND R SERIOUSLY THINKING ON QUITTING THEM …ONE THEY R COSTLY / IT WOULD HELP OUR LUNGS!I VE BEEN A SMOKER FOR ALL MY LIFE …(BUT THATS ANOTHER ISSUE)I WAS TAKING CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENTS THEN STOPPED…AND THAT WAS BECAUSE OF SERVERE INJURIES I SUSTAINED IN WRECK YRS AGO…I JUST BOUT SHEARED MY SPINAL CORD OFF DURING IT …..MY BONES AT TIMES IN MIDDLE / LOW BACK FEELS SO RAW OR SENISTIVE TO THE TOUCH I CAN HARDLY STAND TO BE TOUCHED!IT HARD TO FIND A GOOD DR WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY R DOING BESIDES PERSCRIBING DRUGS!!!!!!THEY MAKE US POOR / THE COMPANIES FAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL..WE TRY TO EAT HEALTHY / WALK OCCASSIONALLY…WHEN I HAVE THYROID TESTED IT DOES COME BACK NORMAL I JUST WOULD LIKE TO KNOW JUST HOW TO GET BONE DENISTY BACK IF THATS THE CASE!!!!MY DENTIST SAID A FEW YRS AGO I HAD BONE DENSITY LOSS WHEN HE PULLED A TOOTH OUT THAT BONE WAS CONNECTED TO IT ….THERES SO MANY VITS PILLS OUT THERE TODAY IT S ALL CONFUSING AT TIME SFOR ME ANY WAY…IM BASICALLY CONCERNED WITH THIS RECLAST MY SELF IM SURE ITS JUST LIKE THE REST OF THEM EXCEPT IT GOES THRU YOUR SYSTEM FASTER!!!!!!!!I THINK IT ALL HAS THE SAME INGREDIENTS IN IT LIKE BONIVA. FOSAMAX ETC.ID LIKE YOUR OPION ON IT ….AND I WILL BE READING / GLEANING THINGS FROM MY EMAIL IN WHAT STEPS TO TAKE !!!!! THANKS

    • Diana Davidson June 19, 2010, 2:27 pm

      Like you, I need chiropractic from being in several several auto accidents back in the 1990s. Two years ago, I switched from regular back-cracking, twisting chiropractic to NSA, which is Network Chiropractic. My doctor’s website is http://www.livinginline.com. If you check it out, perhapa you could find something similar in your area. My doctor has me lie on a massage table, face down for 20-30 minutes and gently or firmly touching the places along my neck and spine to stimulate self-healing of my body’s electrical/nervous system. It is wonderful. I rarely have to take Motrin or anything for pain compared to before. At 67, I no longer wanted to have the snap and crack of the neck and pelvic bones that regular chiropractors du. Yet having a healthy spine is so important to overall health and energy. If you can find a local NSA chiropractor, I know Medicare pays for 52 visits a year. May the blessings be.

  40. Lucy June 17, 2010, 11:42 am

    I am still trying to find all the vitamins that are needed. Have you any information on how to do this? Not all health food stores have knowledgeable people.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 26, 2010, 9:49 pm

      The bone-healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are discussed in the Save Our Bones Program. None are “exotic” or difficult to find.

  41. gerri sovak June 17, 2010, 10:41 am

    Thanks Vivian for all your info. I have been on your program and off boniva and nexium since November. I will have a bone scan in August and will report back with the findings. As for fat folks having better bones, that defies logic. They have to have more accidents because their balance can’t be that good. Gerri

  42. Tere June 17, 2010, 10:18 am

    Thank you for this enlightening article.

    I have been concerned about my weight, but afraid to do anything to loose weight because a Dr. told me that if I lost weight I would also loose bone mass.

  43. anna June 17, 2010, 10:10 am

    what do you know about reclast iv my oeteop. is bad

  44. Dr. L C Pyzik June 17, 2010, 10:06 am

    I cannot recall an “overweight” patient that I have performed DxA osteoporosis scans on that had a low value. This does not mean that overweight is “healthy”. It does take a lot more effort to move more weight. I will await more “scientific” proof as to the mechanism of this finding.

    • Terri B. June 17, 2010, 12:24 pm

      In response to the Doctor, my BMI recently reached about 30%, and my DEXA scores for the back had even gotten worse than the 2.8 of two years ago. I’m 56 and trying to become more active for strengthening; weight loss; and general well-being.

  45. Debbie June 17, 2010, 9:40 am

    Thank you Vivian for keeping me inform with your new emails. I enjoy your comments.

  46. Rebecca Sullivan June 17, 2010, 9:36 am

    My doctor, who told me I’d spend my last years in a nursing home, if I fell and broke a hip because I’m a thin person, also told me because I’m so thin I needed to take fozamax and another hormone replacement drug. He said b ecause I was thin, I had osteoporosis. I’m 5 ft. 4 in. and weigh about 108 lbs. I watch what I eat, jump rope, ride my bike, walk, and swim and try to get lots of exercise. I will be 79 next month. Right on, Vivian and I’m so glad I found you. THANK YOU!!!!!

  47. Katie June 17, 2010, 9:18 am

    Thanks Vivian, for highlighting this study. I find it to be very interesting. As a medic who has struggled to keep her weight down all her life I find such information very reassuring – it certainly encourages me not to go putting on those pounds again after having so painstainingly lost them!!

    Thank you for keeping me informed with your regular emails.

    God bless you.

    Katie

  48. Kelsey Fickling June 17, 2010, 9:00 am

    Thanks again Vivian, I assumed that heavier people would have stronger bones – I’m hoping to have another bone scan (it is 12 months since my 1st scan) I would really like to know if what I’m doing is making a difference!!!! Keep up the great work Vivian – Blessings – Kelsey Fickling, Townsville, Queensland, AUSTRALIA.

  49. Brian Quinlan June 17, 2010, 8:30 am

    My son has pulmonary hypertension, he also has Downs syndrome.
    He is the oldest survivor of pulmonary hypertension after the heart & lung pressure reversed.
    We stabilized and corrected his condition without drugs…using the information you have in your ‘SAVE OUR BONES PRORGAM’.
    Thank you for doing what you do.
    Brian

  50. Alex June 17, 2010, 7:50 am

    Thankyou!!! – some more sense.
    It’s all too easy to take on a fatalistic view of oneself with a diagnosis of osteoporosis. I am lean but pretty fit and if i mope around feeling like i’m doomed because of not having enough fat on me then my fitness for “anything” drops. I come from a family of fairly petite and lean individuals. That doesn’t mean we are all destined for bone breaks. I’m 35 with osteoporosis in my hips but have never broken a bone in my life. Hopefully i will go on strong for many many years. Sitting at home stuffing myself with pies never helped me gain weight, just makes me feeeeeeeeeel like a lump. One has to do what feels best and most strengthening.
    I just got a gorgeous new pair of running shoes – went out last night and felt great! Had the best night’s sleep after too.
    Thanks!

  51. Anne June 17, 2010, 7:35 am

    Hi Vivian
    I have been using the information about diet and exercise to maintain my bone density, as I am on steroids long term and realise this can cause problems.

    So far I am keeping very well and enjoying relatively good health.

    Thanks for the support

  52. Jane June 17, 2010, 7:19 am

    Hi Vivian
    I am writing from Australia, I have both your books and am trying to foliow your eating habits but I am a bit worried because I am losing weight. I am very small 5′ 2″ and small boned but I am now only 40Kg (88lb) I think is the right conversion. I have stopped taking Evista about 4 months ago now and was wondering what I can do to make some more weight. Not your normal problem I know but a problem all the same
    Jane

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 26, 2010, 9:47 pm

      Jane, try to eat more calorie-dense foods and have a few snacks during the day.

    • Judy Vollmer June 17, 2010, 11:17 am

      Vivian,
      I have been on your wonderful bone health diet for 8 months and stopped taking Fosamax at the same time. But, I am also a small person and very active. My Doctor has got on to me because I have lost too much weight.I feel great-just alittle too thin. Thank you for all your information and your research.

    • Anna June 17, 2010, 7:43 am

      Jane you are well below the normal weight range and unless you are post menopausal I would be surprised if you are menstruating normally. Although there is truth in the above articel Vivian fails to mention the other extreem – being TOO thin. I have suffered from anorexia for 22 years and have never menstruated. My bones are extreemly bad as a result and despite the articel above being underweight is VERY BAD for your bones for a multitude of reasons:1) unliekly to menstruate, 2) less body mass puts less stress on bones, 3) liekly to be quite stressed so high cortisol which leaches calcium from bones, 4) less likely to be able to absorb nutrients correctly, 5) less protection in the event of an accident.
      The best thing you can do is get your weight up so that you are functioning correctly through eating a healthy nutritious diet. Weight bearing exercise is useful but in moderation and do not let it prevent you gaining weight.
      I hope this is helpful.

      • Yvonne White June 18, 2010, 1:43 am

        During one year in college (age 19) I weighed only 85 lbs at 5’1″ in height. (I have very small bones.) However, I had normal menstrual periods. Managed to gain weight over the years and have been 104-105 for decades now (occasionally and intentionally going up to 107 or 110 and once 113). I feel much better at the lower weight. However, after a few accidents/incidents that I had no control over, beginning 7 years ago, I am now more than six inches shorter. This resulted from spinal compression fractures. I still weigh 104/105 and am not a bit fat, but I LOOK fat because I’ve lost all the space in the middle that would be analogous to the middle of an hourglass. And also all that skin and underlying tissue in that area that was once stretched out is now all scrunched together. (I’m 65 years old.) Do you think I should lose more weight to match my height? I hope not because (1) I would have to buy a whole new wardrobe and (2) I cannot eat nearly as much food anymore because of all my internal organs being very crowded. I do take a ton of good supplements. Thanks for any thoughts you may have.

        Yvonne

      • rthie June 17, 2010, 3:28 pm

        the truth is usually somewhere in the middle.too much weight is no good but too little is also dangerous. the problem is always with taking extreme views. like with sun exposure. too much sun can cause skin cancer and as a result of the warnings people avoid the sun and therefore lack vitamin D. so some exposure is neccesary and very healthy.
        moderation is the key.

        • Alex June 17, 2010, 4:42 pm

          Can’t help but restate the need here not to fret too much about the weight thing. It is individual of course, but for myself i feel healthier than ever and it came when i stopped worrying about being thin. My doctor used the word “anorexia” to me but i have never not eaten or starved myself. I tried really hard to gain weight and get my periods back and it didn’t work and i was miserable. When i stopped fretting about it all and was brave enough to follow my gut instinct to cut out gluten completely in my case i felt MUCH better. I can run now whereas before i used to puff up hills and feel weak. I am still at the low weight where the doc called me anorexic. But i have some periods now and am happy. So this is why i am so pleased to read here that levels of thinness aren’t a determining factor for osteoporosis. We are all individuals and there are a lot of blanket terms and theories banded about. I have my experience. And i have gut instinct. Like i never chose to wear high heels and really glad for that! Who needs the stress?!

      • Alex June 17, 2010, 7:59 am

        I am also of this weight and height. I used to fret and fret about it so much. And i’ve experienced not menstruating too. It’s not so great if you are still losing weight. I’ve stayed this weight for the past 3 years and my periods came back with going gluten free. I reckon the gluten was preventing me absorbing nutrients. I can eat pretty much anything else, but focus on freshly prepared foods – fish, rice, pressure cooked bean stews, avocados and nuts and healthy fats galore. And i have a juicer which is amazing! – if i feel stressed, a veg juice helps flush all the crap out of my bloodstream.

        I’ve been a year gluten free and the periods are still not fully here but i’m getting there. I have a really really regular cycle bang on the full moon – last one was a full week of healthy bleeding. Some months i miss, but i have a cycle which is brilliant!
        Weight gain has not occurred (yet) perhaps. But you mustn’t fret too much. As Anna mentioned, stress and raised cortisol levels are not helpful. Find all the ways you can to reduce those. Be kind to yourself!

        Let’s be kind to ourselves. xx

  53. marcia Barth June 17, 2010, 7:13 am

    Does your progam fit into a vegetarian lifestyle?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 26, 2010, 9:45 pm

      Marcia,

      Yes, and very well! Of course, there are no “off limits” food when you follow the program.

  54. Gloria June 17, 2010, 6:44 am

    I enjoy reading your comments. They are so interesting and informative. I hope lots of people are helped to better health because of all your efforts. You must have worked tirelessly to find the truth to be able to prove that the medical profession aren’t always right. Keep up the good work.

    I ordered a copy of your book on the 17th May 2010 and have still not received it. I hope it comes soon.

  55. Patricia Knight June 17, 2010, 6:43 am

    Dear Vivian,

    Thank you for all your wonderful information. I thought you might be interested to hear about a neighbour of mine. She has fallen down the bottom two steps, not a very serious fall, but she has broken a bone in her foot and the bone down the side of her leg. She has been on Fosomax for the last six years. She is definitely overweight.

    Best wishes to you,
    Patricia

  56. Marysia Dunlop June 17, 2010, 6:30 am

    Hello Vivian

    Since finding out that I have a whole host of health issues I changed my diet, not only once but many times over the years, each time I want to educate myself to better eating habits, and exercise.

    I cut out all the “meds” that I felt were not needed, especially when I heard that they were the cause of one of my kidneys failing to do the job they were meant to do. I also stopped the Bonviva after reading what it could do to bones…. I needed a lot of dental work done and being on Bonviva almost ruined my chances of having this treatment done. It actually deadens the bones.

    As for putting on weight to help with the increase of bone density, I am beginning to think those guys who come up with these ideas, need to see a shrink. They must be short of a few brain cells.

    Marysia

  57. Lynn Birkbeck June 17, 2010, 6:28 am

    Hi Vivian,
    Thank you for all your information, its fantastic! I was diagnosed with severe Osteo peenia August 2009 and was told I had to take tablets for life. At that time I had a burglary and house fire and looking after my bones was the last thing I was able to do. So I did not take the medication and now have no intention. I have been following your programme and am feeling much better now. It has however taken some time to get into it because of my circumstances….13 months on and I am still not in my home due to many problems with the builders not completing the work. I tell you this because if not for the b/fire I would have taken the medication and looked on the internet and found you! As a Holistic Massage Practitioner I am usually good at looking after myself but when life throws difficult situations at you its tough to do so.
    I am now able to look after myself and have long walks eat well, meditate, and practice a good lifestyle. Many many thanks for helping me. Best Wishes Lynn

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