Revealed: How Big Pharma Skewed Bone Health Studies - Save Our Bones

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who discovered Vitamin C, once said that “research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”

I agree with Szent-Gyorgyi. On a fundamental level, the purpose of research is to view data in a new light. The process is progressive, as study builds upon study and “what everybody else has seen” becomes building blocks for new discoveries.

This is the approach I took when I created the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. Because the Program is a 100% natural approach to treating osteoporosis, it challenges the Medical Establishment’s drug-based protocol. In my research, I analyzed countless mainstream studies published in respected medical journals; but to discover the truth and create an effective, nutrition-based program for treating osteoporosis, I needed to “think what nobody else has thought.”

In other words, while researching for the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, it was essential for me to view the data clearly and not be blinded by the Medical Establishment’s agenda.

The Medical Establishment Has an Agenda?

Yes. Not only does it have an agenda, but the Medical Establishment effectively holds scientists hostage to its interests. With few exceptions, scientists are fearful of presenting research results that undercut Big Pharma’s profits. I’ll explain.

Protein Intake and Your Bones: An Inconclusive Conclusion

The Osteoporosis Reversal Program emphasizes pH-balanced nutrition for optimal bone health. Many studies ostensibly agree with this, but they “hide” behind tenuous language in their conclusions. For example, in a 2009 study,1 scientists clearly showed that reduced protein intake decreases acid and calcium levels in the urine. Notably, researchers also discovered that lower protein levels resulted in decreased estimates of bone resorption.

“In this two week study, decreasing dietary protein from ad libitum to RDA levels decreased NRAE, calciuria and estimates of bone resorption, suggesting that decreased U.S. protein consumption might reduce bone loss.”1

Simply put, less protein consumption led to decreased bone loss.

Yet the study concludes with the following caveat:

“Inasmuch as other dietary modifications, such as increasing vegetable and fruit intake, can result in sustained reductions in NRAE without reducing protein intake, the advisability of reducing protein intake for skeletal protection from acid attack requires further investigation.”1 (emphasis mine)

Why does Avery B. Ince, the head of the research team and lead author of the study, wish to hide behind this caveat? After all, Dr. Ince is an M.D. and PhD; his study was published in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism; and his affiliates include the Endocrine Division (B.A.I., R.M.N.) and Mallinckrodt General Clinical Research Center (E.J.A.) at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Shouldn’t he be confident in his data?

The reason Dr. Ince used such evasive language is simple: the true results show that a pH-balanced diet can protect against bone loss. That would mean admitting that drugs aren’t necessary, which would jeopardize Big Pharma’s profits and Dr. Ince’s reputation.

The Truth is Often Inconvenient…

…for the Medical Establishment, that is. More research, this time from the highly respectable Oslo Health Study and published in the prestigious Journal of Osteoporosis, also produced “inconvenient” results.

Researchers studied the effects of high soft drink consumption and low fruit and vegetable intake on bone mineral density (BMD). At first, their conclusions echo the Osteoporosis Reversal Program’s nutritional approach: “An index reflecting frequent intake of soft drinks and rare intake of fruit and vegetables was inversely related to distal forearm bone mineral density.”2

But they didn’t leave it at that:

“The present results on distal forearm BMD could be in favour of the view that frequent use of soft drinks and rare intake of fruits and vegetables might have a negative influence on the skeleton, but the mechanisms involved are not clarified.”2 (emphasis mine)

The lead scientists in the study, Arne Torbjørn Høstmark, Anne Johanne Søgaard, Kari Alvær, and Haakon E. Meyer share an impressive list of affiliates: the University of Oslo Section of Preventative Medicine and Epidemiology, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Division of Epidemiology. Yet they still felt the need for a caveat when publishing their research, because it pointed to a drug-free means of correcting low bone density.

Like Dr. Ince, the Oslo scientists feared the wrath of the Medical Establishment. After all, their careers and reputations were at stake.

What they don’t seem to realize is that your bone health – indeed, the bone health of millions of people – is at stake as well.

When I developed the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, I was not trying to appease the Establishment. Your overall health and the integrity of your bones were and are my primary concerns. When viewed in that light, the sources and studies I analyzed showed a clear nutrition-based path to bone health.

Same Sources, Different Conclusions

It’s interesting to note that the Oslo researchers used some of the same sources as I did when I wrote the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. As I noted earlier, studies build on each other and form the basis for rational, scientific conclusions. The work of researchers such as D.A. Bushinsky and K.L. Tucker are referred to both in the Oslo study and in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.

In addition, the Oslo scientists and I looked at some of the same data, such as U.S. Barzel’s studies, “The skeleton as an ion exchange system: implications for the role of acid-base imbalance in the genesis of osteoporosis” published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and “The effects of chronic acid and alkali administration on bone turnover in adult rats” published in Clinical Science. I reviewed the same resources as Høstmark and his colleagues, yet…

My Conclusions in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program are Entirely Different

That’s because I had and still have the courage to stand up to the Medical Establishment and bring you the truth. The data shows a definitive conclusion that nutrition has an effect on bone health, and that means YOU can have an effect on your bone health!

This is the last thing the Medical Establishment wants you to know. You see, Big Pharma and Mainstream Medicine are linked together in a money-motivated labyrinth that stifles real research and twists the truth in order to market and sell more drugs. They don’t want you to know that you can take control of your health and bone density without these dangerous medications.

The truth is, easy dietary and lifestyle changes will enable you to restore your bones, as many in our community have already done. It’s only a matter of time before the Medical Establishment “catches up” to the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. Because, as history has shown, it’s hard to suppress the truth for very long.

Aren’t you glad you’ve already found the truth about osteoporosis?

Till next time,


1 Ince, Avery B., et al. “Lowering Dietary Protein to U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance Levels Reduces Urinary Calcium Excretion and Bone Resorption in Young Women.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. August 1, 2004. vol. 89 no. 8. 3801-3807. Web.

2 Hostmark, Arne Torbjorn, et al. “The Oslo Health Study: A Dietary Index Estimating Frequent Intake of Soft Drinks and Rare Intake of Fruit and Vegetables Is Negatively Associated with Bone Mineral Density.” Journal of Osteoporosis. July 2, 2011. doi: 10.4061/2011/102686. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Zbigniew Becker

    Dear Vivian,
    I never stop being amazed by your quest for a healthier and more sane way of living, exposing the forces that are working hard to debilitate us. In the end of the day, it is our own responsbility; it’s about re-claiming our own well-being and bliss, which we all too hastily gave away, fooled by the promises of easy fixes. The change must be much more fundamental and profound, but keeping in mind the most obvious abuses of the Big Pharma is at the present a very good strategy. Keep up!
    With love and admiration

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Amen, and thanks for your kind words, Zbigniew!

  2. Leona

    Dear Vivian, I try to follow your book and advices. Recently I bought Algae
    named “Targetcal”. One of the ingredients is strontium 5 mg, which comes from
    Algae plant. Strontium is radioactive element. It is said strontium is the
    boost for bones. As many supplements, this one is not FDA approved. What is your opinion on this matter?
    With big respect to you

    Please, reply.

    • Chuck S

      I think naturally occurring strontium is not radioactive. Nuclear bombs produce radioactive strontium-90.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hello Leona,

      I have written quite a bit on strontium! You can read about it in this post:

      That should help answer your questions!

  3. MJ

    How do you test for acid-alkaline status?

  4. Liz

    I can’t tell you how happy I am with your program! All I can say about big pharma is that they are too big for their britches and it is all about the MONEY!!! They don’t care about people or what their drugs do to them. I will take something natural before I will take a drug and learn what it will do to my body. Just like big pharma the FDA is the same plus the oil companies, government and wall street. They only think about themselves and money. When are people going to open their eyes and do something. We know that we can count on you for informative advise that you back up with research. Thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Be happy, stay healthy 🙂

  5. irene

    Hi Vivian, I seem to have an elevate PTH, normal-low calcium, and D seems
    to be normal. When I went off Fosamax for a year my dexa scan was worse. I am still in the osteopenia category but there was progression of the disease. The endocrinologist I saw had my forearm tested and it was
    osteoporotic. This seem to confirm my concern that my parathyroid glands
    were the culprit. I went to see a Dr. Politz from the Norman Parathyroid
    Center and asked me to try to get my calcium up. Did not work it remained the same. I have never heard the word debulking but that is what they do
    with people like me. We are waiting till we do 2 more rounds of bloodwork and another DEXa scan. The endocrinologist in my hometown wants me to consider Prolia . I cannot agree because there does not seem to be positive data regarding PRolia and PTH. I do not like being a guinea pig. During the time all this was going on, I was using the info in your book and I still had bone loss. IRene
    Sorry but I did. I am on Actonel now and only 2,000I.U.’s of D3.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thank you for your honesty, Irene. Please don’t think that following the Program was for naught! Bone density is just one aspect of bone health, as I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. Mainstream medicine focuses so much on density because it needs numbers (i.e. fixed parameters) to prescribe drugs, so most doctors follow the same protocol. While density is an indicator of bone metabolism, the main focus of bone health is simply to prevent fractures, and as Vivian explains in the Program, less dense but healthy and renewed bones have better tensile strength than thicker, denser, older bones.

      Also, please don’t forget that machines are not accurate, which means that your DEXA may not reflect a good comparison. The bottom line is that you’re not taking toxic (and often dangerous) drugs, and that you’re allowing your bones to remodel as they should. Bone health is not a density “pageant”, it’s all about not breaking bones, and so far, you’ve succeeded with flying colors!

      So don’t give up on the Program, and don’t let the skewed mainstream thinking change your beliefs. 🙂

      • irene

        Vivian, I am still doing what is in the program because I do not know what is going to happen to me. Yes, I went back on the Actonel. I still on all the things in the book. If more endocrinologists tested PTH more people would have an idea if this was causing the problem. I have two more blood workups, Dexa Scan, and another forearm .
        The forearm is what was of concern. I still may go for the surgery but maybe I will be better informed.

        The endocrinologist wants me to be a part of the PRolia study for people with elevated PTH values. I think this is where
        we will part company. I do not want this
        because there is nothing to support this
        premise. At that point, I may contact the surgeon and reconsider surgery. Increasing my calcium intake for 3 months was a big mistake it changed nothing.
        Thank you , you are right I have not broken any bones. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

      • Janet UK

        I do love your Save Our Bones programm and have followed it for quite a while! Have had polymyalgia and oesteoporosis since 2007! Thanks to all your information about the Big pharma,I weanded myself off steroids a year ago after 5 years and bisphosphonates after 4 years! No one had said before that these things were dangerouse! Suddenly at the biggining of May this year, I just got up off the floor and my back and ribs had the most awful feeling! In the end, I saw an emergency GP as it was a Bank holiday! Saw another GP who was very good to me after I had a blood test and said my polymyalgia was high! So now I’m back on short term steroids amongst other protective things for my stamache! I would never ever take anything like Alendronic acid again as I fell it is maybe the cause of my decline!
        Thanks for your valuable information Vivian!

  6. Connie

    I tried to eat as much as vegetables and fruits. If I cannot get the frest ones, I buy the dried blueberries, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried figs, you name it. I mix them with my one minute oatmeal for breakfast with a little sprinkle of cinnamon and 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds. Then I tried to eat aa much of protein, not animal protein. I mixed 1 scoop of 100% whey protein in glass of Almond milk. Then, for my snack besides fruits, I buy the Lintel chips and the Pomegranade chips. No more potato chips and that kind. I don’t eat meat anymore because of my high cholesterol. I eliminated red meat, and sweets. so, no more donuts, cake, ice cream, brownies, no more of those. I get my sweet from my fresh and dried fruits. I only eat fish and chicken without skin. So not to get bored I buy the vegie meat and the imitation crabmeat. I also snack on nuts everyday. Now, I just found out that my uric acid in a little bit elevated. They said, because of hight protein diet. Is that true. Sometimes, I think, I really don’t know now what to eat. Now I am confused. Please help.


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Connie, your uric acid levels could be caused by any number of things. 🙂 It sounds like you have a very healthy diet!

  7. eric back

    My wife Rose has osteoporosis and was put on Fosomax in 2000 for 4 years,
    at that time they found out some of the side effects.She stopped the medication.During the last 3 years her bone density test has gone down,in march of 2013 she had her last bone density test and it went down cinsiderably compared from 1 year ago.We have seen specialists to find out what to do,one Dr. said the only answer to correct the problem is to go on a daily shot for 2 years,I checked the side effects and I said no way.
    I checked on some of the bone renewal pills and they have k2 in it,her Dr. said she can not take those because she is on coumadin,what do you suggest?

  8. Giovanna


    you are right about the stronghold from the medical establishment. More than that is the Big Pharma that subsidizes Med Schools and fellowships and trains M.D.s to see their views. It is not bad will from the MDs it is just bad training. I am a scientist and have a different education and struggle all the time combating these limited views…

    However, as a scientist I must add something: please do not be afraid about the wording of those papers. The authors may sound like retracting their conclusions, but they are not necessarily doing so: to make a strong statement about a biological process (and a medically relevant conclusion is about a biological process) one must have *proof*. It is not enough to have strong evidence. This is impossible to achieve in human studies and this is the reason why many of us work on model systems, so that we can get to a proof. These two investigation approaches (human/patient studies and model systems) are complementary and support one another.

    When writing a paper one must know if one found the strong evidence of a correlation (like in your two examples) or a proof (e.g. the exact biochemical description of all the steps from sipping the soft drink to the bone degeneration and from the first-time drinker to the habitual soft drink user). A two-weeks study will never give anything close to a proof standing scientific scrutiny, it takes much longer than that. However, such a short study can still highlight a correlation and indicate an avenue worth investigating further. The further work is what can really yield a bullet-proof solution, because it finds out what happens at the molecular level and then at the cellular and then to the organism level. To come to a full circle, this is the phase when the economic interests of Big Pharma have the strongest impact: they do not fund studies that potentially identify non-pharmacological avenues and in some cases have actively impeded them. This niche should be the domain of federal funding sources or private ones, whose interest should be more focused on the society and/or individual welfare. Unfortunately their focus is shifting away from basic science (the one that yields proofs) and towards applied research (the one that yields “solutions” or “drugs and as quickly as possible”). This wrongly labels the basic science as being slow (careful analyses take a lot of qualified work and therefore some time) and ultimately at least relegates important studies to the back burner or too often shuts down studies that could find proof of processes and….. may eventually highlight the limits of the current pharmacological approaches.

    Knowledge is feared by the establishment. As you well know and say yourself, the more one citizen knows the more one can make informed decisions. The side effect: knowledge allows recognition of when wrong and uninformed decisions are made.

    Scientists are subjected to the same gagging pressure that everybody else has. It will take some social and political action to re-evaluate knowledge and de-value money ventures to bring things back into a balance benefiting society and welfare rather than increasing the wealth of a selected group of people. And this starts from individual decisions and choices.

    In the meanwhile, if reading of a strong correlation with health issues inspires to make informed decisions and implement healthy(ier) lifestyle changes it is wonderful!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thank you for your feedback, Giovanna! It’s always good to hear other points of view, and I am so glad you’re part of this community. 🙂

    • Terry

      Awesome write up. I think I was already on this track but you have confirmed for me that we should be ready to pull back and take a second or even third look at results of test that have been funded by those with to much invested in those results. Thanks!!

  9. Cherie

    Thanks Vivian! I was diagnosed with osteopenia 2 years ago. The doctors scared me more than I would have ever thought possible, telling me that I had to take a presecription or I would surely wind up with a broken bone. I took Boniva for almost a year and was so sick I could not leave the house. The doctors immediate response was “oh, that would be the Boniva, we will switch you to Fosomax”. NOT A CHANCE I was taking another drug.I was fortunate to come accross you and your research.I have been following your diet and e-mails since then. I can feel the difference in my bones! I used to wake up with aches and pains in my shoulders, neck, and hips every morning; no way I could sit crossed legged anymore. I dreaded business trips, or even vacations as it meant that I would have to sleep in a bed with a mattress and wake up in pain (I sleep in a water bed). Two years later and I have not had an ache in my hips, neck, or shoulders no matter where I sleep for over 18 months! I can sit crossed legged and it is wonderful!I will let you know what my bone scan results look like next month.

  10. Terry

    Thank you for the update…I would imagine it gets extremely disappointing for you as it does me that they feel the need to “cover their backside” with any findings that go against the Big Pharma’s. Thank you so much for standing on the front line for all of us. I really don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for you. Actually, I guess I do. Getting sicker by the day taking those horrid drugs. Other good news. My high cholesterol went from 284 to 218 in 4 months. The doctor laughed when he said this diet change wouldn’t make a difference. Well, I guess I’m getting the last laugh!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I look forward to your next report! Take care my friend!!

  11. June H

    Dear Vivian,

    I was diagnosed with osteoporosis 2 year ago. I changed to a plant-based diet and refused the medication that my doctors told me I should take (Fosamax). My doctors were quite insistent and told me that the I was putting myself at risk of death as they quoted me a statistic that said that 25% of people that break a bone die within the following twelve months. I really had to stand my ground and “ask” them to allow me to have 2 years to try to turn my diagnosis around. I was re-tested a couple of months ago and I no longer have osteoporosis. I thank you for all the good work you are doing in this area.

    • Terry

      Congratulations June, I hope I’m in your shoes within a two year span also!! Great job!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      June, I am so proud of you for taking a stand for your health! Congratulations! But even better are the results of your “stand” – no more osteoporosis. Fabulous news! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

      • Catherine Boxall

        Yes well done June,I and my sister hope the same as Terry. Here in England we had a program on radio 4 about Diet, basically about 2 sisters who had cancer and took control, even though doctors were nagative about food having an effect, with some hard research they changed eating habits. The sister was telling us that this had happened some time ago and how much better they were. A lot of there info sounded familiar and was in line with what Vivian has said in her Save Our Bones program.

        TO VIVIAN hope you read this,- we (my sister who lives in France) read all emails and messages and we are so grateful for all your hard work. SO HERE IS AN ENORMAS BIG THANK YOU. many warm regards Cath

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