It’s no secret to Savers that bisphosphonates damage bone and ironically, cause painful and life-changing atypical fractures. But just how far the damage goes has been recently elucidated, with research showing that bisphosphonates deteriorate bone integrity on multiple levels.
Today, I bring you two recent studies that reveal the disturbing truth about this popular class of osteoporosis drugs. We’re going to delve into exactly what these studies reveal about bisphosphonate drug therapy for osteoporosis, and the newly discovered mechanism that explains how they actually damage bone integrity.
Bipshosphonates Actually Damage Bone Quality
DXA scans only measure bone quantity. More bone indicates increased density, which the Medical Establishment interprets as greater bone strength.The problem with this approach, of course, is that there is a great deal more to bone health and strength than simply how much bone is present.
Healthful bone density increase should be accompanied by a corresponding increase in bone quality, tensile strength, and improved bone turnover in all layers and aspects of bone. Otherwise, it’s simply a measure of bone quantity, nothing more. And quantity does not indicate quality.
Bisphosphonates are designed to cease the healthy bone remodeling that promotes quality, which is indicated by bone flexibility and tensile strength. The following studies dissect how this eventually causes bone to become brittle and more prone to fracture.
The First Study: Apparent Structural “Gains” From Bisphosphonates Quickly Diminish
One hundred and eleven post-menopausal women with osteoporosis had their bone structure evaluated. Sixty-one of the women had taken bisphosphonates for at least four years, and their bone structure was measured against a control group of 50 women who had taken calcium and Vitamin D for the same time period.
Early on in the study, those who took bisphosphonates exhibited an apparent improvement in their bones’ structural integrity. But the improvement trend completely reversed after several years on the drug, with bone structural integrity deteriorating markedly.
The reason for this deterioration is the suppression of normal bone remodeling, which, as team representative Brian Gladnick comments:
“…might result in brittle bone that is prone to atypical fractures.”1
The Second Study: Atypical Femoral Fractures
The second study involved 21 post-menopausal women who had suffered atypical femoral fractures. A note on these types of fractures: they occur gradually, starting with a thin “crack” that looks like a stress fracture. Untreated, this crack can progress into a complete fracture.
Twelve of the women had taken bisphosphonates for an average of 8.5 years, and the other nine had never taken bisphosphonates. Scientists evaluated bone samples from the participants’ femurs during surgical placement of a femoral “nail” into the bone to repair the fracture. The samples included both microarchitecture and material properties of the bone (more on this later).
The material properties of the bisphosphonate-users’ bone showed significantly reduced heterogeneity in the bone tissue itself,2 which points directly to a reduction in bone integrity and tensile strength. I’ll explain.
Bone Heterogeneity And Why It Matters
Broadly speaking, the term “heterogeneity” refers to diversity. In specific reference to bone, heterogeneity describes the diverse makeup of bone tissue itself, which includes both soft, flexible collagen and hard, stiff mineral particles.
These two basic types of materials are continually in flux, as healthful remodeling tears down and renews bone matrix mineralization and the collagen “scaffold.” Bone is remarkable in that it provides maximum strength in combination with minimal mass.
This heterogeneous quality that combines flexibility, strength, and lightweight structure is directly responsible for bone’s fracture resistance. It is also a key aspect of fracture healing.
In contrast, bone density, which is measured by the popular DXA scan, is just one aspect of a very complex and fascinating process. To get a true picture of bone integrity, more precise, high-definition imaging is necessary.
Imaging techniques such as infrared and microspectroscopy allow the microscopic, cellular, and molecular aspects of bone integrity and remodeling to be viewed in remarkable detail. And those imaging techniques have revealed the crucial link between the ratio of collagen matrix and crystallized minerals3, and have also elucidated the role of increased AGEs, or Advanced Glycation End Products, in bone deterioration.4
AGEs are proteins that have bonded molecularly with sugar, so the higher your sugar consumption (and blood sugar), the greater potential there is for AGEs to form and wreak havoc.
In light of this concept of heterogeneity, Gladnick’s conclusion regarding both studies clearly show the extent of damage caused by bisphosphonate therapy:
“Patients who had been treated with bisphosphonates showed a reduction in tissue heterogeneity, specifically with mineral content and crystal size compared with the control group.”1
It’s Undeniable: Bisphosphonates Tamper With The Very Essence Of Bone Integrity
Because these drugs have been revealed to damage bone heterogeneity, they can be held responsible for extensive, fundamental harm to bone.
And yet, doctors continue to prescribe bisphosphonates, often for long-term therapy. Even if bisphosphonates are stopped after only a couple of years, the fact remains that they disturb the healthy bone remodeling process on a comprehensive level. The sad part is that these drugs have been designed to do exactly that.
While these studies are new and revelatory, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program has recommended from the get-go a natural drug-free protocol to reverse osteoporosis.
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.
In sharp contrast to osteoporosis drugs, the Program gives you an easy-to-follow step-by-step natural protocol to improve bone quality, strengthen bone, and prevent fractures.
Till next time,
1 Gladnick, Brian, et al. “Quantity vs. Quality: Long-Term Use of Bone-Building Osteoporosis.” 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Columbia University Medical Center. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310083439.htm
2 Donnelly, Eve, PhD, et al. “Reduced Cortical Bone Compositional Heterogeneity with Bisphosphonate Treatment in Postmenopausal Women with Intertrochanteric and Subtrochanteric Fractures.” J Bone Miner Res. 27. 3. (2012): 672-678. Web. June 12, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4404705/
3 Paschalis, E.P., Mendelsohn, R., and Boskey, A.L. “Infrared assessment of bone quality: a review.” Clin Orthop Relat Res. 469. 8. (2011): 2170-8. Web. June 12, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21210314
Saito M, Marumo K. Collagen cross-links as a determinant of bone quality: a possible explanation for bone fragility in aging, osteoporosis, and diabetes mellitus. Osteoporos Int. 2010;21(2):195-214.
Comments on this article are closed.
I took Fosomax for 7 years as a “preventative” as I had osteopenia. When will it be completely out of my system? I took myself off of it 6 years ago against dr’s advice. Will I always have to worry about Atypical fractures? I regret having taken it for so long but what is done is done and thanks to you I have been doing everything I can to keep my bones strong.
Sue, you could research Bentonite Clay. You may find it can safely and easily remove any harmful thing from the body – including toxins.
A year ago my doctor my doctor wanted me to take Prolia. I’m 63 in good health and didn’t want to start taking drugs for bone loss. I’m just under 5 feet, 100 lbs and have always felt my bone structure could be different than taller people. I’m very active and have never broken a bone. I found your program and began following most of it. Met with a holistic nutritionist and began taking a lot of vitamins, mostly what you suggest and gave up red wine during the week. Recently I had a bone density scan and readings improved. I no longer have osteoporosis in my hip, lower back is almost in the normal range and upper back is normal. It didn’t change much but got me out of the osteoporosis reading. I was happy with the results and continue to do what I’ve been doing and more.
Thanks to the program and weekly info!
thank you ,Ita.
Thank you very much Vivian for sharing this excellent article. Have a wonderful day. Marlene
Last paragraph of the article:
“Currently bisphosphonates remain safe and effective for a wide range of patients, but the effects of their prolonged use on bone quality require further study. Characterization of the relationships among bone turnover, material properties, and structural properties will help to optimize pharmaceutical treatment type, timing, and duration to normalize bone turnover and minimize fracture risk.”
I wouldn’t take that stuff if you paid me. They just don’t know enough about the bisphosphonates. The aim of medicine is to do no harm. I was counseled to take Fosamax when I was 30. If I had, I’d be 15 years down the road on a drug that was only tested for 3. And only tested in post-menopausal women.
Shame on the pharmaceutical companies. Osteoporosis, if it comes to lead to death, will only do so very slowly in those of younger years; it’s not an acute disease like cancer. They should stop rushing drugs to market. If I had a nickel for every physician who suggested it, I’d not be rich, but I’d have a heavy pocket. Now, one and a half decades later, I’ve not only had no more fractures, but I have fallen on ice, on stairs, on concrete, slipped on marble… when they made me afraid to sneeze, practically.
Keep a good diet, work out, strength train, keep an eye on your balancing abilities and come with a very skeptical eye.
Thank you very much for creating awareness towards bad effects of bisphasphonates. I was diagnised with osteoporosis two years ago. My doctor prescribed me bisphasphonats. Fortunately i stumbled upon saveourbones. My son gifted me with the book. I have been following saveourbones progarmme for nearly two years. I am taking calcium and multivitamones daily. Doing lot of walking and lighter exercises. Does the the long term use of these vitamines have any side effects? Can i continue them.
R. Lalitha, I learned from David Dartez (in Texas) that minerals are arguably more critical than vitamins. Magnesium is one mineral. Calcium cannot do its job without sufficient magnesium. Mag regulates calcium, preventing calcification on eyes, organs and joints. Magnesium deficiency is significant in ‘developed’ nations. Fluoride can cancel its effect, and other factors can deplete the body’s reserve. The website of Dr Carolyn Dean MD ND explains all this too. And the website of Australian naturopath Walter Last explains why Boron is another mineral essential for bones and joints (I think he said deficiency of Boron is much higher than for magnesium; many nations have mineral depleted soils.) He explains a very easy and very affordable way to supplement Boron (which also removes accumulated Fluoride from joints and elsewhere.)
I am always appreciative of the research you share. It encourages me to realize that I always have a choice. Eating a good diet and exercising are harder than taking a pill. I am motivated by your contacts. Thank you.
It has been 6 years since I had an infusion of Reclast — the same year I discovered the Save Our Bones program! I never took it again. My condition continues to deteriorate, but I persevere. I fall off the wagon regularly, but now that I am retired, I want to try even harder to follow the program. Will the effects ever leave my system, or is the damage permanent?
Hi Vivian I just wanted to ask im 64 and have just been diagnosed with osteoporosis in the spine and apparently the readings are high everywhere from a dexa scan they looked into it all as Im a healthy and very active person with a good diet apart from fact never had much calcium in diet but calcium levels from blood tests ok they found out my bone turnover is high so the specialist said no matter what i do exercise take calcium etc it wont change anything for me so im asking is there any point in me trying your diet if that is the case apparently you cant change bone turnover I live in Australia do lots of exercise and have started a calcium supplement your help would be appreciated cos it might be hard to follow your diet from over here anyway Audrey
Hi Audrey, I think Homeopathy is always worth a try. Some medical doctors are also registered Homeopaths. You could start by viewing “Just One Drop” on Vimeo. (If you live in USA, there’s a wonderful statue in Washington that honours the German medical physician who developed Homeopathy.)
Also, a new product was launched by David Dartez last month, June. He is in Texas. From what I’ve read, it possibly surpasses every other natural supplement that we’ve seen up to now.
What about the drugs that are not in the bisphosphonate class, such as Prolia and Forteo…are they just as bad? Thanks.
I don’t drugs for my osteoporosis back, i just take the Garden of life Raw calcium which has D3 and strontium3.8 mg if I take 4 capsules , which alot of time I cannot tqake it due to my upset stomach, i am wondering is that enough? my DR.wants me to take shot of bonevia once a month.
ok I agree, I don´t want to take drugs, but what if, in spite all efforts, my osteoporosis results are getting worse? should I not worry?
I ordered a book fro m u on 5/25/2016 an have still not received it u took the 27.00 out of my acct. when will I receive book?