Bone mineral density is not the only or best measurement of the health and strength of bones. The Save Institute has shared this fact for over a decade and used the science behind it to develop a holistic approach to improving bone health and wellness.
At long last, major funding is going toward developing new means of assessing bone quality that acknowledge just how ineffective and flawed bone mineral density measurements are.
Today we'll look at a report on new research on proteoglycans, what they are, and why they might fundamentally change the Medical Establishment's outdated approach to fracture prevention.
A New Course Of Research
Researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) are aware that the current systems for assessing bone health don't work. In their press release, they note that “BMD captures only 50% to 60% of actual bone fragility fractures.”1 That means that even though bone mineral density is one factor of bone health, it isn't the factor that best indicates whether or not a fall will result in a fracture.
The Medical Establishment's outsized interest on BMD is the result of lobbying and pressure from pharmaceutical companies so that they could create and develop a market for drugs that focus exclusively on bone mineral density. Their efforts bore fruit, even though their drugs have repeatedly been shown to be dangerous and ineffective.
Fortunately, scientists are now going back to the drawing board. The National Institutes of Health have granted $2.3 million to the UTSA lab run by researchers Xiadu Wang and Jean Jiang, who are researching a protein that may provide life-changing insights about what makes bones brittle.1
A better understanding of the qualities that are shared by bones that fracture during a fall, versus bones that don't, will help us learn how to build bones that are more resistant to breaking.
Bone mineral density measurements don't accurately or consistently predict the likelihood of a fracture. The focus on BMD as a measurement of fracture risk is the result of Big Pharma lobbying, not thorough scientific research, as the Save Institute has long held. New research is currently funded to discover what makes bones less likely to break.
Proteoglycans – The Ductility Protein
The focus of the UTSA researchers are compounds called proteoglycans. Proteoglycans are core proteins that have one or more secondary protein chains attached to them. The attached chains are called glycosaminoglycan chains, or GAGs.
These proteins exist in the extracellular bone matrix, along with other non-cellular compounds that support surrounding cells, such as collagen and enzymes.
Proteoglycans occur naturally in the extracellular matrix of bone tissue in very small amounts, comprising less than one percent of the volume of the matrix. These compounds interact with water to sustain bones' ductility.1
Ductility is a measure of how much a material can bend, stretch, or deform before breaking. In bones, it specifically measures how much force a bone can take before it breaks. In the event of a fall or other physically traumatic event, the ductility of bone is what determines whether or not someone will suffer a fracture.
Previous research has revealed that there is a correlation between the deterioration of bone toughness and a diminishing amount of proteoglycans.2 The researchers attribute this to the proteins' ability to absorb and hold water. As proteoglycans levels decline, bones become dryer. Their new research will explore how water loss and proteoglycan deficiency reduces bone ductility.
They will conduct this research by injecting the proteins into animal models and testing strategies for maintaining the proteins in the bone matrix.1 Their results could add a new dimension to our understanding of what makes bones durable, and explain why bone mineral density is insufficient for predicting fracture risk.
The researchers are investigating the action of proteoglycans– proteins in bone's extracellular matrix that absorb and hold water. Previous research has associated proteoglycans with bone ductility, which describes how much force a bone can absorb before it breaks. They hope to discover what causes the loss of proteoglycans, and how we can better maintain them.
What This Means To You
Savers won't be surprised to hear that there's a lot more to bone health and fracture prevention than just bone mineral density. The Save Institute has been refuting that misguided view and providing holistic alternatives from the very beginning, in spite of the Medical Establishment's insistence that Big Pharma knows best.
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.
Unfortunately, this new research will undoubtedly be hijacked by pharmaceutical companies to develop chemical-laden drugs that they can patent and sell. But hopefully, the discoveries on the horizon will first provide us with strategies for naturally maintaining our proteoglycans to support bone health and prevent fracture safely and effectively.
Comments on this article are closed.
I was so happy to see your article on bone mineral density not being the best measurement of the health and strength of bones. I went from osteopenia to osteoporosis. I stopped Fosamax and Prolia because of the horrible side effects. However, I was not concerned when I was told I had osteoporosis. I eat healthy, get a lot of calcium in my diet, and do water aerobics 3 x weekly. I don’t feel my bones are compromised. Thanks for the article, Vivian.
This is off topic, but I just read about using egg shells to obtain calcium in one’s diet. Could you speak about that? I saw that somebody asked the question in the comments about an article about eggs from a few years ago, but there was no response and I’d love to know your thoughts on this.
Thanks so much!
I have to take Anastrozole for 7 years after breast cancer. I’ve taken it for 3 years now and it apparently sent me “over the edge” from osteopenia to osteoporosis. My oncologist has insisted I have Prolia injections twice a year, which I’ve done for about 2 years now. I’m really so scared about the Prolia. What are your thoughts?
I have a question on cultured cottage cheese such as Good Culture. Is this a good form of dairy same as yogurt?
Thank you, Julie Kim.
I’ve been a member of Save Our Bones for years but unfortunately with an extremely stressful life Particularly around my Menopause years, I have not followed the program as I should. July 2017 I was finally convinced by doctors to go onto Prolia. I had my last injection 13 months ago,( 2 years on this drug), however I do have vertebral fractures. My question is can I now stay off this drug (which I’m so scared of) and will my bones still repair and heal given the osteoclastic effects of Prolia. I now have the time and a far less stressful life and can put a full-time effort into saving my bones. Any advice appreciated.
Since subscribing to Save Our Bones from 2015 my Osteoporosis in my hip reversed to Osteopenia however I now have Polymalgia Rheumatica (massive stiffness) through my body and been prescribed Prednisilone which I have taken for the last 3 days and has helped greatly and I can now exercise reasonably comfortable. HOWEVER I read it is bad news for Osteoporosis and I’m very worried as to what to do.
Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
This really gives me hope! I was diagnosed with osteoporosis 4 years-ago and my pcp prescribed Fosamax. I got so sick from it that had to stop taking it. Had terrible heartburn, nausea and pain all over my body. I will never take those drugs again. Thank you Vivian.
I am 85 years old and very active. I had a bone scan in 2004 which told me I was osteoporotic. After discovering your website, I refused the drugs and went with your advice and lots of weight bearing exercise. I had another scan this year and t score was -2.5. I have fallen many times doing x -c skiing, climbing, etc. and never broken anything. I do a lot of yoga, and am in general good health, but have recently developed an autoimmune disease which is asymptomatic. How do I know the condition of my bones other than the scan so I can speak intelligently to my doctors who want me to go back on drugs?