It’s time once again for the Save Our Bones Bulletin, a monthly post that keeps you up to date on the very latest osteoporosis news.
September has seen some fascinating developments in several key areas relevant to osteoporosis: according to a brand-new study, the use of bone-damaging antidepressant drugs is on the rise (you’ll be shocked to learn why this is happening).
Equally shocking is the latest news about the popular bisphosphonate Alendronate (Fosamax) and its role in the increasing numbers of Clostridium difficile infections.
And last but not least, a major study on the cardiovascular benefits of an increasingly popular low-dairy diet, which is highly compatible with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, seems to be convincing some doctors that nutrition can be more powerful than prescription drugs.
So let’s get started!
Shocking Study Shows Doctors Over-Prescribe Antidepressants
Sadly, the last 20 years have seen a steady increase in the use of prescription antidepressants in North America alone. A recent Canadian study reveals the reason, and it’s not simply because more people are depressed.
“Doctors prescribe antidepressants for a wide range of medical problems other than depression, apparently fueling the boom in sales of these medications, researchers report.
Depression accounts for only a little more than half the antidepressant prescriptions issued by Quebec physicians during the past decade, the Canadian study found.
Doctors also issued antidepressants to treat anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, panic disorders, fibromyalgia, migraine, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and a host of other ‘off-label’ conditions for which the drugs are not approved, according to the report.
Two out of every three non-depression prescriptions for antidepressants were handed out under an off-label purpose, the findings showed.”1
Researchers analyzed the data collected between January 2006 and September 2015. During that time period, participating physicians reported at least one treatment indication for every prescription they wrote. Out of 101,759 antidepressant prescriptions, only a little more than half were written for actual depression. The others were prescribed for the various conditions noted above.
This is a very revealing slice of the Medical Establishment pie. It shows the methodology employed by most mainstream doctors, which is to prescribe a drug as a first response. In fact, the approach in over-prescribing antidepressants is not unlike the way doctors over-prescribe osteoporosis drugs: they prescribe these drugs when scan results indicate osteopenia. Despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to indicate that osteoporosis necessarily follows osteopenia, with few exceptions, the same drugs are readily prescribed for both conditions.
Savers most likely know that antidepressants actually double the risk of fracture, so the more widespread their use, the greater the risk of fracture in the overall population.
The good news is that you can beat depression and actually build bone at the same time. From eating specific foods to getting regular exercise, there are plenty of ways to overcome depression naturally, without dangerous, bone-damaging drugs.
2. Alendronate (Fosamax) Increases Risk Of Dangerous Intestinal Infection (Clostridium difficile)
Infections by the bacterium C. difficile are not only uncomfortable and unpleasant; they are dangerous. Typically such infections arise from antibiotic use, since these drugs upset the intestinal flora to such a degree that C. difficile gets the upper hand. But antibiotics are not the only drug that raises the risk of contracting this debilitating infection.
According to a just-published quantitative analysis, the popular bisphosphonate Alendronate (Fosamax) is associated with higher rates of C. difficile infection, particularly in women over the age of forty.
“Studies have shown associations between Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and non-antimicrobial medications including proton pump inhibitors, osteoporosis medications, and antidepressants. … We performed a disproportionality analysis evaluating the proportion of reports with bisphosphonates and CDI compared with other adverse drug reactions in the database. …Alendronate (Fosamax) was the only drug with a significant signal using all four calculation methods.”2
The scientists found this information so compelling that they concluded their study with a call for further research. They know they are onto something. After all, this is not the first time that Fosamax has been associated with tenacious, difficult-to-eradicate infections.
As explained in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, this popular bisphosphonate is also implicated in osteonecrosis of the jaw, which involves the actual death of bone and soft tissue in the jaw. The connection between Alendronate and infection is so unmistakable that dentists deny dental work on patients who are taking bisphosphonates.
3. Bone-Smart Mediterranean Diet Beats Statins And Reduces Hip Fracture Risk
Despite Big Pharma’s never-ending barrage of the “latest, greatest” drugs, slowly but surely, healthcare professionals and scientists recognize the importance of nutrition in maintaining and improving health. The Mediterranean diet, which shares many similarities with the Save Our Bones nutritional plan, shines forth as extremely healthful for all body systems.
“A Mediterranean diet could be better than statins at reducing the risk of an early death for millions of Britons, research suggests.
Leading heart experts said patients should be prescribed the diet – rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains and olive oil – before being put on drugs.
In the first major study to look at the impact of the Med diet on survival of heart patients, experts found it cut the chances of early death by 37 per cent. …
Experts hailed the new findings, presented at the world's biggest heart conference in Rome, Italy, as ‘extraordinary’, showing that the diet was ‘more powerful than any drug’. …
Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a London cardiologist, said: ‘The results of this robust observational study are quite extraordinary.
‘The Mediterranean diet is more powerful than any drug at reducing death rates in patients with cardiovascular disease.’”3
For doctors to admit freely that nutrition is superior to drugs is nothing short of remarkable, and I hope it is a trend that spreads throughout the world! After all, statins are very commonly prescribed (once again, when blood work results show high cholesterol, doctors immediately reach for the prescription pad). Wouldn’t it be wonderful if doctors “prescribed” a healthful diet first? This would be so much better for bone health and overall health, especially considering the bone-damaging effects of statins.
Mediterranean Diet Reduces Hip Fractures And Bone Loss
Recent research has revealed that a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of hip fracture in women, who began the 16-year study between the ages of 50 and 79. The study concludes that:
“Higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk for hip fractures. These results support that a healthy dietary pattern may play a role in maintaining bone health in postmenopausal women.”4
It is relevant to note here that the Mediterranean diet promotes mostly alkalizing fermented dairy products rather than milk.
Another study shows the age-defying effects of a Mediterranean diet, along with a reduced rate of bone loss among participants with osteoporosis:
“Mediterranean style diet, tested in the project, significantly decreased the levels of the protein known as C-reactive protein, one of the main inflammatory marker linked with the ageing process. Another positive effect of this diet was that the rate of bone loss in people with osteoporosis was reduced.”5
Of course, this is not a new concept to Savers. From the get-go, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program has advocated a nutritional approach to managing and reversing bone loss. And the benefits of the Program’s pH-balanced diet extend to all areas of health, just like the Mediterranean diet.
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.
Isn’t it reassuring to know that you’re doing the very best for your bones and whole body when you follow the Osteoporosis Reversal Program?
Till next time,
1 Thompson, Dennis. “Antidepressants Not Just for Depression Any More.” Philly.com. May 24, 2016. Web. September 27, 2016. https://www.philly.com/philly/health/topics/HealthDay711263_20160524_Antidepressants_Not_Just_for_Depression_Any_More.html
2 McConeghy, Kevin W., Soriano, Melinda M., and Danziger, Larry H. “A Quantitative Analysis of FDA Adverse Event Reports with Oral Bisphosphonates and Clostridium difficile.” Pharmacotherapy. April 2016. Web. September 27, 2016. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/phar.1832/abstract
3 Donnelly, Laura. “Mediterranean diet better for the heart than taking statins, major study suggests.” The Telegraph. August 28, 2016. Web. September 27, 2016. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/28/eating-a-mediterranean-diet-is-better-for-the-heart-than-taking/
4 Haring, Bernhard, MD, MPH, et al. “Dietary Patterns and Fractures in Postmenopausal Women: Results From the Women’s Health Initiative.” JAMA Intern Med.176. 5. (2016): 645-652. Web. September 27, 2016. https://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2504188
5 European Food Information Council. “Mediterranean style diet might slow down aging, reduce bone loss.” Science Daily. May 3, 2016. Web. September 27, 2016. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160503072603.htm
Comments on this article are closed.
I have osteoporosis and have already had a fracture. My doctor has said after a 2nd x-ray that my spine had got worsed. His only offer of help was Infusions of Fosamax. One a year for five years. After much research, that will not be an option for me. My diet is changing already. No dairy, meat, and wheat. Lot’s of fruit and vegetables. Will be adding vitamin D and K. Do you have any other suggestions that may help. I do a great deal of walking . Are they any other exercises I could do to strengthen my back. I’m a very active 72years old living in New Zealand.
Last year my bone diagnosis went from osteopenia to osteoporosis. I asked my arthritis doctor if I should do anything. She prescribed “Prolia” shots. I had 2 of the, 6 months apart. Shortly afterwards I developed a femur fracture. Then that vanished in 3 months and I got in its place “AVN — Arterio vascrular necrosis (fone necrosis of the femur”). It ended with a femur collape and an emergency hip replacement. I later learned that if one has taken any kind of bisphosphonates in the past and stopped, it lingers in your bones for several decades and if you start a biphohosphonate (like Prolia) again, it can lead to femur fracture and necrosis. I wish I knew this before my Prolia injections and I’m writing this to warm others of this problem. However, I wonder why doctors don’t know this to inform patients and why a company like the one that makes Prolia doesn’t warn people in big letter statements. Thank you.
I have osteoporosis, I started taking the supplement Osteo Vegan and Osteo V SC about a year or more ago. My pharmacist recommended it. I can only have a bone density test every 2 years so I am anxiously awaiting what my bone density test says. Two years ago my T12 collapsed in my back and they filled it in. I was supposed to have surgery on my L4, L5 and S1 but my bones were too bad to do the surgery. I have taken gabapentin for a long time and I didn’t know that it was so bad for my bones. My husband and I go to boxing classes 3 times a week for his Parkinson’s, so I am hoping it will help our bones too. Wishing everyone good luck
I am nearing the end of my radiation treatments for breast cancer and need to start on an hormone blocker soon in an attempt to keep the cancer from returning. I also have osteoporosis (2.5 in spine and 2.0 to 2.4 in two other tested areas). My medical oncologist says it is my choice which drug to take, Tamoxifen or Arimidex. The Arimidex is slightly better for prevention of cancer recurrence but it is awful for bones so it has to be combined with Prolia (Doctor recommendation). Tamoxifen is more protective of bones. I had been on Fosomax some years ago and don’t really want those drugs again. What is your thought about this situation? Thanks!
I am sure many medications can affect bone health. I just want to comment that many of us require medication, and some of us may also require antidepressants. Please don’t trivialize depression, or any other form of mental illness. Mental illnesses are medical illnesses (one of which is Major Depressive Disorder), requiring treatment, most times including medication. It is common to use psychiatric and some other medications interchangeably, as it has been found that they are effective for a number of diagnoses. Some anticonvulsants are used as mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder, for example. Of course there is such a thing as situational depression, such as when a person is grieving an important loss, but the impact of depression and other illnesses, and those who require medication should not be trivialized. It is possible that antidepressants are over prescribed, however it is a reality that some individuals require this medication. We are all doing the best we can.
Some times doctors give Prescriptions that have very bad side effects. A Dr. gave me Primidone .I took it at the prescribed amount —1/2 a pill every night .after 4 nights I woke up Sunday Morning & fell all The Dr. did not tell me that this was one of the side effects over .I could not even walk down the hall in my home. I called the Dr. first thing Monday morning & the receptionist would not let me talk to the Dr. . told me the Dr. would call me back. Later in the afternoon I called the Dr. again because she did not call back. The receptionist still would not let me talk to the Dr. She told me the Dr. said —” Don”t ever take it again”. The Dr. did not tell me that this was one of the side effects of the meds when giving me the Prescription. I trusted that Dr. My primary Care Dr. sent me to a Hearing & Balance specialist who did extensive tests with very up to date equipment & he determined that it was the medicine that caused the falling. .He called the Dr. that gave it to me 3 times & she would not call him back or talk to him.Needless to say I never went back to that DR. I am telling you this as an example of meds that harm instead of help.Always try the natural things first.
Vivian, please look into the long term effect of taking Felix (Saffron plant) for depression. I have reduced my SSRI from 60mg, to 30mg & take it now 4 x week, & the other 3 days I take Felix
Thanks so much,
Thanks for the continuous information.
Hi, like Lavone I also take Gebapentin can you pls send me an email too,
September 29, 2016, 10:02 am
I take gabapentin/neurontin for nerve pain. Terrible for bones I know. Is there anything I can do to counteract the effects? Thanks
September 29, 2016, 10:14 am
Please check your inbox for the answer within the next 48 hours.
Hi Vivian nothing to do with email just to say I made your breakfast bread really lovely. I was wondering can it be frozen also your carrot craze muffins gorgeous.Cant get vegetarian butter here can you give me another alternative for it thanks.
I won a vibration machine and was wondering if this machine could help my osteoporosis? I was also wondering if you know what not to do on this machine. I have heard good reviews but there are always bad ones also.
I would also like to know about the vibration machine and benefits or dangers. Thanks.
Will you tell me if Nafazodone isan anti-depressive medicine? It was in 2003 that it was substituted for a Serotonin reuptake inhibitor medicine. I was taking the medicine for sleep. I am not with that Dr anymore and I don’t remember the story about the change. But my new Dr was thinking I was depressed because I was taking the medicine…
Anti-depressants may be used to help individuals for a variety of problems. This may not mean the drug is over prescribed, but versatile. I know people who combine many methods to try to reduce their profound anxiety (exercise, diet, meditation, counselling), but it was with the added use of an anti-depressant that they felt “healthy”. Just because these people were not diagnosed as depressed, does not mean the anti-depressant that helped them was “overprescribed” by a doctor. We need to be careful not to perpetuate the belief that it is somehow a negative thing to seek support, sometimes, yes, with a medication, for mental health. Knowing the side effects of these meds, as with any med, is important. But taking a medication for mental health reasons should be as accepted as one taken for thyroid imbalance, or cardiac health. It is wonderful to have this forum where accurate information is freely shared. Thank you for your ongoing work!
Thank you. Well said
So I’d be interested to see the link to the specific study you reference, linking Fosamax to increased C. diff infections. The article doesn’t mention who did the study, when, how many patients were examined, etc.
I took sodium alendronate (Fosimax) for 5 years, the maximum recommended. I’m amazed I have any bones left! After 2 years I had a bone density scan that showed a slight gain. The osteopenia had reduced. My thighs were always weak, in spite of exercise and good diet. Then I discovered “Save Our Bones” and was ready to weep. Now I have redoubled my bone density exercises and cut way down some favorite treats: chips, some cheeses, most dairy, and am following Vivian’s program with good results. I’m stronger, have more energy, and feel better.
I took Boniva in 2010 and had stress fractures in both legs. .I had a broken right femur in 2013 and now I have a stress fracture in the left femur and scheduled for surgery October 7,2016. Doctors are recommending Forteo. They say it builds bones. Any truth to that?
I’ve had c-difficile and you don’t want it!!!! After taking antibiotic for sinus infection. You have to take a different antibiotic for 10 days. Five days later I had it again. This time 14 days of antibiotic. I was taking probiotics too. The one that stopped the cycle was from Prescript Assist …..found on line and a few natural stores.
I take gabapentin/neurontin for nerve pain. Terrible for bones I know. Is there anything I can do to counteract the effects? Thanks
Vivian, does other injectable drug for osteo. also cause the C bacteria build up that you mentioned in your recent report, or just Fosamax?
Thanks for all your information, I pass it on to my friends.
How true this is when I was diagnosed with ostiopenia my doctor right away prescribed drugs than I went on a search and found SaveOur ones. I have changed my diet not 100% but I go to the gym every day and my condition has not worsened.
. Despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to indicate that osteoporosis necessarily follows osteopenia, with few exceptions, the same drugs are readily prescribed for both condition
I have taken Calcium Citrate Magnesium with Vit D3 & Vit D3 2000 out, Fosamax, Alendroate, for over 5 years 3 times a day for the vitamins except Vit D 3 2000 1 a day, & the RX’s every Sat. I had osteopenia & was in disbelief when I found out I had osteoporosis! I drink a lot of milk 1% & was told I just didn’t absorb the Vit in the milk. I was just diagnosed with hypothyroid & hashimotos it took 18 months to find a dr. who prescribed Nature-thyroid. No one answers me as to when I ask why am I not absorbing the calcium… Can you? I did take Neurontoin for a long time & never knew this could cause harm until I just found your site. The other part is people keep saying I can get kidney stones from calcium? My urologist said this is simply not true. I read it could be My parathyroid glands briefly but realized I didn’t seem to fit in that category. I can’t recall why? Please help! I do have very high candida that was found when a dr drew my blood. I had taken long term antibiotics due to 3 bouts of Lyme disease and chronic sinus infections. Any help would be greatly appreciated.