Save Our Bones Bulletin: Artificial Light And Bone Health, Majority Of Patients Refuse Osteoporosis Drugs, Merck’s Astonishing Legal Maneuver, And More! - Save Our Bones

Welcome to this month’s Save Our Bones Bulletin, where you’ll find fascinating new research on how artificial indoor lighting affects your bones, why more people than ever are refusing osteoporosis drugs, and Merck’s latest legal move regarding thousands of Fosamax-induced femoral fractures and the resulting lawsuits.

Let’s get started with the latest osteoporosis news!

1. Indoor Light Weakens Bones And Immune System

The vast majority of human history has taken place without electricity at all, much less artificial lighting. Based on recent studies and congruous research around the world, scientists believe that humans have a close connection with the light-and-dark cycle, and that exposure to light and dark has a profound effect on our bodies – including (and especially) our bones.

Relevant Excerpt:

“Artificial lighting could be making us frail, withering muscles and making bones more fragile, according to a new study. …

Researchers kept mice under a constant light for six months…When the mice were examined, they were found to be suffering from muscle loss and the early signs of osteoporosis, while their immune system appeared as if it was reacting to an infection. …

Professor Johanna Meijer, of Leiden University Medical Centre in The Netherlands, who led the research, said: ‘We used to think of light and darkness as harmless or neutral stimuli with respect to health. 

‘We now realize this is not the case based on accumulating studies from laboratories all over the world, all pointing in the same direction.

‘Our study … showed that the absence of environmental rhythms leads to severe disruption of a wide variety of health parameters.’

… the mice recovered after they were switched to natural light.

‘The good news is that we subsequently showed that these negative effects on health are reversible when the environmental light-dark cycle is restored,’ Professor Meijer said.”1

This study shows that there is just no substitute for regular exposure to nature and the natural cycles of daylight and darkness. Research shows us time and again that there are significant health benefits to getting outside into a natural setting. It helps you feel more energized, positive, and calm, relieving stress and reducing cortisol levels. All of those things are essential for bone health.

And of course, the more you’re outside, the less you’re exposed to artificial lighting, which in our modern day can extend well past the time when it’s dark outdoors. Even after we go to bed, many of us have electronic devices, clocks, and screens emitting light all night long.

This disruption in biological rhythm is in direct opposition to healthful sunshine exposure and the immune-building, bone-strengthening effects of Vitamin D, fresh air, and exercise. And if you can spend some time outdoors near a source of water, all the better! Water in motion actually releases negative ions that alkalize your body.

So go ahead and plan that hike today, and if you’re not able to get outside every day, try to make a point of doing so as often as possible.

2. Doctors To Be “More Aggressive” In Prescribing Osteoporosis Drugs

Much to the frustration of the Medical Establishment, more and more knowledgeable and informed “patients” are refusing to take osteoporosis drugs. And an increasing number of those who are taking the drugs want to stop. Not surprisingly, a call has gone out for doctors to take a more aggressive approach in getting osteoporosis patients to take the drugs.

Relevant Excerpt:

“Last month, three professional groups — the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the National Bone Health Alliance — put out an urgent call for doctors to be more aggressive in treating patients at high risk…

‘Ninety percent of patients, when you talk to them about starting one of these drugs, won’t go on,’ said Dr. Paul D. Miller, medical director of the Colorado Center for Bone Research, a medical practice in Lakewood, Colo. “Ninety percent who are on the drugs want to come off. The fear factor is huge.’ …

Doctors had hoped that a new class of medications might avoid the rare side effects, but their hopes were dashed when Amgen announced the same problems in a clinical trial of a drug called romosozumab: a sudden shattering of a thigh bone in one patient and an area of jawbone that inexplicably rotted in two.

‘This was the new miracle drug,’ Dr. Rosen said. ‘It means these effects might occur with any of the newer drugs for osteoporosis.’”2

Dr. Rosen couldn’t be more right – these side effects “might occur with any of the newer drugs.” There is simply no osteoporosis drug that’s 100% safe.

Frankly, it’s mind-boggling that doctors continue to prescribe these drugs, and even pressure their patients to take them, when debilitating side effects are such an eminent possibility. Even when one of their patients experiences atypical femoral fractures as a direct result of the osteoporosis drug(s), doctors, including Dr. Calrson quoted in the above article, continue to prescribe.

Dr. Carlson said she is hesitant to prescribe the drugs, but is doing so anyway, even after she watched one of her patients experience an atypical femoral fracture that forever destroyed the patient’s life.

Quoting from the above article:

“Having that happen to her patient was ‘very tough, very tough,’ Dr. Carlson said. And when the next osteoporosis patient came to her office? ‘Yeah, you do hesitate,’ she said. ‘Your job is “do no harm.” ’”2

Unfortunately, when it comes to osteoporosis drugs, there is more than one way to “do harm.” The article refers several times to “rare” side effects, but they make no mention of the more common but also debilitating side effects, such as acid reflux, bone and joint pain, constipation, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and kidney damage. And that’s just for bisphosphonates!

The bisphosphonate “alternative,” Prolia (Denosumab), has an equally unpleasant side effects list, including anemia, back pain, muscle pain, eczema, diarrhea, low blood calcium, and pain in the arms and legs. It’s no wonder that osteoporosis patients are hesitant to take these drugs!

Yet doctors are supposed to be “more aggressive” in getting them to take the drugs. So be aware of ramped-up scare tactics from your doctor if you refuse to take the drugs, and don’t be afraid to be firm and confident in your decision.

And as the number of patients suffering from awful side effects continues to climb, drug manufacturers are putting up a significant fight to shut down those who have sued for damages, which bring us to our next news.

3. Merck Seeks To Dismiss Thousands Of “Fosamax Femur” Lawsuits

If you’ve been following the Fosamax lawsuits, then you’re probably aware that the next step is for the cases to go to trial before a jury. Merck’s attorney is fighting hard to keep that from happening, arguing that the FDA prohibited Merck from warning consumers.

Relevant Excerpt:

“Remaining class-action lawsuits claiming [Fosamax] caused weakened bones and eventual femur fractures should not go to a jury trial, the pharmaceutical company’s attorney argued Thursday before the Third Circuit.

A federal judge in 2014 dismissed more than 1,000 so-called Fosamax Femur cases, tossing the allegations that Merck had failed to adequately warn consumers about osteoporosis drug Fosamax’s risks because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had not officially approved or rejected the label’s language.

In arguments today before the Third Circuit, Skadden Arps attorney John Beisner said the massive class-action lawsuit should be dismissed because Merck is protected by the ‘impossibility preemption’ doctrine, which in this case means that Merck should not be liable because the FDA had not determined whether its label language was acceptable.”3

When I read this article, I had to stop for a moment in incredulity. Somehow Merck is not responsible for not warning consumers because of regulatory details? If so, then the FDA should be sued for not “approving” the label language fast enough! The fact that consumers were not adequately warned does not change, regardless of the reason why. And the fact that thousands of people have had their lives forever altered by atypical femoral fractures and other side effects also does not change.

It’s ridiculous that regulatory squabbles are detracting from the real issue, which is that people ended up injured by a drug they were told would actually help them.

This is simply one more example of Big Pharma putting its own financial interests over the health and well-being of consumers. In view of its awful side effects, Fosamax should have never been “approved”, and in light of clear research showing how Fosamax causes atypical fractures on a molecular level, sales of the drug should have been stopped years ago.

But that’s not how things work in the pharmaceutical world. Merck knows that a jury trial would add a personal, “human” element to the proceedings, so they are attempting to steer the legal procedure round to an objective topic about whether the language in the warning was preemptive or not.

Thankfully, there is a better way that puts a human face on osteoporosis: yours!

The Osteoporosis Reversal Program Puts You, Not Drug Companies, In Control

The Osteoporosis Reversal Program is not about following “doctor’s orders,” or any orders. Rather, it’s about asking the right questions and learning for yourself how you’d like to manage your bone health.

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.

Learn More Now →

The Program is a comprehensive step-by-step guide if you want to take steps to reverse bone loss without drugs. It empowers you with scientific evidence and solid research so you can develop your own bone health philosophy and move forward with it in confidence.

Stay informed!


1 Johnston, Ian. “Artificial light could be making us prematurely frail.” Independent. July 14, 2016. Web.
2 Kolata, Gina. “Fearing Drugs’ Rare Side Effects, Millions Take Their Chances With Osteoporosis.” The New York Times. June 1, 2016. Web.
3 Rummell, Nick. “Merck Fights Broken-Leg Claims in 3rd Circuit.” Courthouse News Service. June 30, 2016. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Julie

    I have taken prolia for six months, but have not been tested to find out the results. I will keep you posted.

  2. Rolando Lachat

    I’m a country cook who loves to experiment in the kitchen. I excel at English, and enjoy sewing, crafting, cross-stitching and crocheting.

  3. Linda

    Have had multiple fractures and have refused any of the drugs so far. They are now recommending kyoplasty so was wondering if you have any thoughts (positive or negative) regarding this procedure.

    • Sheila Ferdinando

      I was prescribed actonal after bone thinning was caused by hormone therapy after a small5mm lump was found .I feel as if I have been run over by a truck ! My doctor wants me to have six monthly injections. please give me some information ?

  4. Susan

    What is your opinion on weighted vests and shorts? I am planning on purchasing to utilize on my walks and workouts. I’ve read good reviews .
    Thank you
    Sue R

  5. Kathi Mitchell

    So grateful for your research! It makes me feel more informed to make better decisions for myself. Recently had 3 compression fractures of L1, L3, & L4 vertebrae with kyphoplasty on 6 Jun 16. Starting Physical Therapy today. Refusing to take Forteo because it “rarely causes osteosarcoma in humans” but did in lab rats!! I’m 61 and an otherwise healthy adult. Trying my hardest to eat well and take True Osteo for my calcium plus other essential minerals and vitamins you suggested. Any insights on Forteo other than what they tell us?

  6. Linda Clinch

    I’m 57 yrs old and about 6 months in on Save Our Bones having taken fright when offered Alendronic Acid. I’m so glad I found you. My T score is 2.5. My whole life seems to be lifted with a more positive attitude and my Doctor, although she noted on my file that I had refused the medication, was also impressed and felt this was right for me at the moment. She offered me another scan in five years and I’m hoping that I can turn this thing around. Feeling so healthy on the alkalising diet and lost 14 lbs.(bonus!) The exercises you set are great, I love the upper body ones as I’m determined to stand tall. Thank You Vivian

  7. Madeleine

    Vivian, what can you say about the missing vitamin K2 in our food?
    because of the lack of grass fed animals and poultry.

    • Therese

      My doctor prescribed Evista today for my just identified osteoporosis. I am 55 and have a T score in the -3’s. Can you share any info on this drug. I want to try your program, but am worried about the severity of my osteoporosis already.

  8. jo

    My naturopathic doc recommended Thorne Research brand calcium magnesium citrate with vitamin c. Have been taking for 6 months now. So far so good. Is this okay to take? Regular Medical doc instructed me to take1200 mg calcium daily, when I did only calcium, ganglion cyst on my wrist became larger. So I stopped and went to naturopath. Appreciate all support and wisdom, JO

  9. Velma Lagerstrom

    I would like more current definitive information regarding PROLIA DENOSUMAB and/or ROMOSOZUMAB.
    Through the years I have valued the learning and support I have had from your research and printed information.

  10. Sally Bennett

    Is taking strontium better than taking calcium for the bones? The formula I take also has Vitamin D3, K2, and other minerals in it.

  11. Evelyn Oden

    Hi Vivian, I am having surgery on August 12th, and I have to stop all of my exercises for six weeks, can I still drink the solgar whey protein, even though i’m loosing muscle mass.

    • Michelle Langham

      I tried taking Fosomax @7 yrs ago. I’m glad I listened to my body as I hurt all over. I discontinued and the pain went away. I found Save our Bones and glad I did! Since then I heard an Oral Surgeon comment about individual who had taken these drugs and now having problem getting surgery due to the jaw issues. It’s always good to research medications and listen to your body! I also found a doctor who does not believe in those medications.

  12. Jean Smith

    I have osteoporosis. Suffered a compression fracture March 2015. Docs talked me into getting kyphoplasty for this fracture. ( cemented the broken area). They claimed it would possibly take care of the pain it didnt. Then said shotshe around that area would help with the pain Tried that while in the Cat Scan machine and while there T12 and L9 broke too. The original break was T11. Sent me to E ndocrimology who Friday to get

  13. Jean Smith

    I ha

  14. Margaret Lomas

    I have been following your program for well over a year after having been diagnosed with osteoporosis 20 years ago, at age 36. I had suffered three vertebrae fractures and always refused the drugs even before their drawbacks had become known.

    The trouble is 3 months ago I suffered a fourth vertebrae fracture and last week developed a spontaneous surgical femur stress fracture! I am going downhill fast and I am only 55. I am now stuck between a rock and a hard place – take drugs (which are being pushed on me) or follow this program which seems to be having no effect :(. Please help

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Margaret,

      I am sorry to hear about your fractures, and I wish you a speedy recovery! As far as whether or not to take osteoporosis drugs, the choice is, as always, yours. Research, learn, and then decide; no one can make the decision for you, because it’s your health and your body. I wish you the best whatever choice you make!

  15. Consolacion

    Hi Vivian,just wondering if the stiffness of fingers and sometimes swollen was also the effect from the osteoporosis drugs?

  16. Rosemary Ferrigno

    I was taking Fosamax for ten years when it first came on the market and have been off it for well over ten years as per the info I received from Save our bones. I am now suffering from RA, Osteo and a connective tissue disease. My rheumatologist keeps asking when will I consider taking metatrexlate, Enbrel, prolia or other ra drugs because I have been in so much pain. After reading the side effects of all these drugs, I cannot even consider it. Are any of taken these drugs?

  17. Cindy Womack

    Vivian, would like to know if you know anything about the HyperVibe machine? I’ve heard it’s a good way to help build bone mass when you have osteoporosis. Of course I know this alone is not the answer but would appreciate your thoughts.

    • Carole

      I would also like to know about the effectiveness of a Power Plate to increase bone density.

  18. Darlene

    I am so happy I refused to take any more Fosamax after being on it for about seven
    years. Thank you so much for all the good dietary info and medical information re: bad drugs we receive in your column!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are very welcome, Darlene!

  19. Norma

    thank you for all the information on bone health, but what are the numbers we should strive for on the density test….

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Norma,

      Here are the diagnosis parameters established by the World Health Organization’s (WHO):

      A T-score between +1 and -1 is normal bone density. Examples are 0.8, 0.2 and -0.5.

      A T-score between -1 and -2.5 indicates low bone density or osteopenia. Examples are T-scores of -1.2, -1.6 and -2.1.

      A T-score of -2.5 or lower is a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Examples are T-scores of -2.8, -3.3 and -3.9.

      But please bear in mind that there is much more to bone health than just density scores! The scans cannot measure fracture resistance in the form of tensile strength, which is what improving your bone health is all about. The numbers say nothing about the quality of bone. They only address quantity.

  20. Rose Arena

    I was on Boniva for 5 years, after a few dexa scans, I never went past the number from not taking Boniva, so stopped taking and turned to save our bones. I still have the same number, but I feel OK

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I’m glad you feel healthy, Rose, and welcome to a drug-free approach to your bone health!

  21. Marty

    As much as I find your news emails interesting, this last one hurts your credibility. the information in the link you sent says nothing at all about harm due to exposure to indoor lighting. What it does say is that living and sleeping under bright lights 24 hours a day is harmful. These are not the same things at all. The article refers to a natural cycle of night and day. It says nothing at all about indoor lighting versus sunlight. False assumptions and incorrect inferences are not helpful and only make your more intelligent readers mistrust what you write. This is not the first nor only time I have noticed this. Please be careful what you assume or infer from scientific research. You do your readers no favors by emphasizing false assumptions and incorrect inferences.

  22. Rose

    Took Fosamax for 5 years ended up with kidney and bladder cancer. Wonder if both are a result of Fosamax?

  23. Shari

    Took fossamax for 12 years ,so upset that I listened to endocrinologist !! I stopped taking fossamax three years ago.
    Fell by missing uneven unlit step in Feb 2016 ,fractured humerus, still not healing . Surgeon wanted to avoid surgery and ordered a low dose bone healing daily ultrasound treatment at home. I am also taking vitamins and trying to eat alkalizing foods.Now slight improvement but he could not understand why my bone wasn’t healing , said I was young and healthy as I do not take any other meds. When we discussed taking fossamax and that the biphosphnates maybe hindering bone growth, he agreed . It has been so debilitating , my husband has been an amazing caregiver. I need help dressing and bathing. I was very healthy, active ; walking daily , and attended an exercise class.I have had two plaster casts and now a fibreglass brace. I can not extend my arm . The physiotherapist , who is wonderful, said it will take up to a year to regain range of motion once. my bone heals. I also had pain in the femur area but luckily no fractures. I certainly tell women not to take fossamax.
    I am DES exposed. My mother took Diethylstilbesterol to prevent miscarriage,another big pharma story between the 1940’s-1970’s. it was banned around 1974. I am so upset that that I took fossamax . I , like my mother before listened to the Dr’s and didn’t take the side effects seriously since the dr said he would order it for his own wife!! This drug should be banned!! I now live in Canada where there is also a class action suit in progress but I don’t qualify. I send women your information to educate them .

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thank you for spreading the word, Shari, and for sharing your story and experience with Fosamax. There is good news – three years is not very long in terms of your body getting rid of the Fosamax. The half-life of bisphosphonates is approximately 10 years, meaning that it takes 10 years for the body to get rid of half of the drug that attached itself to bone. As you know, these drugs stop normal bone metabolism, namely bone remodeling, but as it gets released and less is attached to bone, normal bone remodeling resumes at one point.

      The question, of course, is when will this happen. As with everything else in the human body, this varies with each individual. According to a Harvard Medical School study, pre-drug bone metabolism is restored to “normal” levels in an average of five (5) years.

      So take heart! You are on the right track, your bones and body were made for health, not disease, and you’re giving your bones a drug-free environment and excellent nutrition.

  24. Carol

    I hear that taking calcium could do more harm then good. At present I take a liquid plant based calcium with magnesium, potassium, boron, vit K & D from a health store. Should I continue to take it?

    • Sally

      Where or which company did yoiu find the plant based calcium?
      And were all minerals in one dose or did you buy separate?
      It does sound like the minerals that all articles tell you to take.
      Thank you for any reply.

      • Rosemary Wrzos

        Vivian, my doctor told me to stop taking calcium as it collects in the arteries. I take TrueOsteo, a plant based calcium, as you have advised. Is it ok to continue with that? Thank you for all you do, Rosemary

        • Jean

          Take vitamin K2 and magnesium to help calcium go into the bones and not get deposited on blood vessel walls or in organs.

          • Rosemary Wrzos

            Thanks… I do use both of those.

  25. Lillian

    My doctor wants me to start prolia due to a bad osteoporosis test. When I read the side affects I decided not to get the shot. I have most of the side affects already and the last thing I want is more pain. Don’t know what to do now.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Lillian,

      I suggest you keep doing what you’re doing – learning! It’s so important to do your research before taking any drug, and since you’re on this site, it’s clear that you’re already on the right track. To learn more about Prolia, you can click on the link above in the post, or on the link below.

  26. Cohen yvonne

    The doctor susgest to start Prolia I have not stated with this drug I’m trying weight bearing excercises and foods not sure what the best foods but will have a dexa test again I’m waiting another 12mths to see difference first hoping natural is besr

  27. Shana

    Just want to check what is everyone comments

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