Save Our Bones Bulletin: Merck’s Odanacatib Affects Bone Cells In Atypical Ways, A Polyphenol Increases Bone Density, NASA Affirms The Program And Densercise, And More! - Save Our Bones

Yesterday, the 20th of October, was World Osteoporosis Day, established by the International Osteoporosis Foundation to raise awareness of this condition.

Personally, I’d rather raise awareness of Big Pharma’s shady tactics and give you safe, drug-free ways to reverse and prevent osteoporosis. That’s why I’m thrilled to share with you today’s Bulletin.

The Medical Establishment is (wrongly) thrilled about its latest discovery of Merck’s soon-to-be approved osteoporosis drug, odanacatib. It turns out that the drug tampers with vital bone cells in ways scientists never anticipated.

On a different note, once again Savers are ahead of the curve – new research has confirmed that resveratrol, a plant polyphenol, actually increases bone density.

Plus NASA is on board with the nutritional guidelines of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. And last but not least, more space-age research reaffirms the importance of weight-bearing exercise to increase bone density.

So let’s get started!

1. New Discovery: Odanacatib Study Reveals This Drug Tampers With Crucial Bone Cells (And The Medical Establishment Is Thrilled)

When researchers used mice to study Merck’s odanacatib, an experimental new osteoporosis drug,1 they found out something that surprised them. It turns out that osteoclast (bone-destroying cells) precursors called preosteoclasts secrete PDGF-BB, a substance that attracts more bone-building cells (osteoblasts) and specialized blood vessels necessary to form new bone.

Relevant Segment:

“‘Most osteoporosis drugs on the market slow down bone resorption but do nothing to encourage bone rebuilding,’ says Cao. Previous data, including that from early clinical trials in humans, indicated that the drug odanacatib decreases bone resorption by hobbling CTSK, one of the enzymes used to resorb bone. What came as a pleasant surprise was that the same drug also increased bone rebuilding, but the question was how it did so, Cao says.

To learn more, Cao and his team studied mice genetically engineered to have neither bone-dissolving osteoclasts nor their precursors, preosteoclasts. Though the inner bones of the mice were abnormal, as expected, the team also found that the outside layers of the bones were thin. Moreover, the specialized blood vessels needed to transport bone-building supplies were in scarce supply, suggesting overall that osteoclasts and their precursors regulate bone building and bone resorption.

According to Cao, in addition to slowing bone resorption by blocking CTSK, an osteoclast ‘weapon,’ the drug also appears to slow down the maturation of preosteoclasts, lengthening the amount of time they secrete PDGF-BB before becoming osteoclasts. With increased PDGF-BB, more specialized blood vessels are made and more bone-building cells arrive, restoring the balance between bone resorption and bone rebuilding.”2

On the surface, this could sound like a step in the right direction. But I predict that there will be awful side effects reported in the future in part caused by slower preosteoclast maturation. Time will tell, as odanacatib will most certainly get approved in the near future, in spite of its many (already known) undesirable side effects.

In fact, research chief Roger Perlmutter raised concerns about a higher incidence of stroke and atrial fibrillation among patients taking odanacatib. He also mentioned morphea (skin thickening and itching) in those taking the drug. And an even more notable danger of odanacatib is the increase in femur fracture Perlmutter observed in some study subjects.

If we’ve learned anything from the extensive research and scientific studies in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, it’s that tampering with the body’s natural bone remodeling process is not only ineffective, but it can also be disastrous. And there’s just no need to “go there” with so many natural, safe, and easy methods (as described in the Program) that can reverse bone loss and recover youthful bones.

2. Scientifically Proven: Powerful Polyphenol Increases Spinal Bone Density

Savers will not be surprised about this: while studying metabolic syndrome, Danish researchers discovered the bone-building effects of resveratrol, a polyphenol (plant chemical) found in grapes, some berries, and wine.

Relevant Segment:

“Resveratrol is one of a group of plant compounds known as polyphenols. In addition to red wine and grapes, resveratrol is found in nuts. The compound has anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to protect against bone loss in mice and rats.

‘Our study is the first to reveal resveratrol's potential as an anti-osteoporosis drug in humans,’ said one of the study's authors, Marie Juul Ørnstrup, MD, of Aarhus University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark. ‘Our findings suggest the compound stimulates bone-forming cells within the body.’

Men who took the higher dose of resveratrol had a 2.6 percent increase in lumbar spine volumetric bone mineral density compared to men who had taken the placebo. The high resveratrol group also had a 16 percent increase in levels of the bone formation marker bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP) compared to the control group.”3

I find it very revealing that one of the study’s authors referred to resveratrol as a potential “anti-osteoporosis drug.” Even when it’s a natural substance boosting bone density, the Medical Establishment refers to it as a drug!

Savers are well aware that resveratrol is good for bones – in fact, resveratrol even promotes good balance by preventing neural cell death.

Resveratrol Is Best Absorbed From Foods…

… So let’s take a look at some of the top foods of this plant chemical:

  • Blueberries* are acidifying, but like all healthful acidifying foods, they have a place in the Save Our Bones 80/20 diet. Their resveratrol content is one of the reasons. Blueberries also contain bone-rejuvenating Vitamin C, which doubles as an antioxidant, as well as Foundation Supplements manganese and Vitamin K.
  • Red Grapes* are, of course, the alkalizing fruit from which resveratrol-rich red wine is made. The highest concentrations of this polyphenol are found in the grapes’ skin, along with other Foundation Supplements like vitamins C and K, and minerals manganese and potassium.
  • Dark Chocolate* has made an appearance in several places on the Save Our Bones blog lately! Like blueberries, chocolate is acidifying, so of course moderation is important. Copper and manganese are also found in this delicious food, in addition to resveratrol.
  • Peanut Butter* is another acidifying food with resveratrol, and it also contains niacin (Vitamin B3) and manganese. Try peanut butter, celery, and sliced grapes for a pH-balanced, resveratrol-rich snack.

*Foundation Food

3. NASA Advocates The Save Our Bones Approach To Bone Loss

It’s long been known that time spent in low gravity (microgravity) causes astronauts to lose bone density. In order to combat this effect of microgravity, NASA has implemented a program that sounds remarkably like the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.

Relevant Segment:

“The goal of Pro-K is to develop a way to optimize nutrition by examining how diet impacts bones. Specifically, researchers are looking at how a decreased ratio of animal protein to potassium that an astronaut consumes may mitigate bone breakdown.”4

This sounds a lot like maintaining a balanced pH through diet to me, which is precisely what the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is designed to do.

And here’s more about NASA’s program that involves exercising for bone health:

“The crew needed resistance-based exercise that provided enough ‘weight’ to productively stress bones and muscles. Enter the Advanced Resistance Exercise Device (ARED), which launched in 2008. The addition of ARED helped researchers prove that the right kind of exercise, combined with nutrition, could maintain bone mineral density.

‘What was shown,’ said Smith in his publication, ‘is that crew members who had access to the ARED returned from flight with no loss of body mass, an increased percentage of lean mass, a decreased percentage of fat mass, and maintenance of bone mineral density in most regions and in whole body scans.’”4

It really sounds as though NASA’s astronauts are actually implementing the Osteoporosis Reversal Program and the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System to maintain their bone mineral density.

You can, too – the process works even better with gravity!

As studies on osteoporosis move into the future, Save Our Bones will remain relevant and practicable. Because it is based on changeless, holistic realities about your bones and your body, the Program has and will stand the test of time.

Till next time,


1 Hui Xie, et al. “PDGF-BB secreted by preosteoclasts induces angiogenesis during coupling with osteogenesis.” Nature Medicine. 5 October 2014. Doi:10.1038/nm.3668. Web.
2 “‘Unsung’ Cells Double the Benefits of a New Osteoporosis Drug.” Johns Hopkins Medicine. 6 October 2014. Web.
3 “Resveratrol boosts spinal bone density in men with metabolic syndrome.” Science Daily. October 16, 2014. Web.
4 Nimon, Jessica. “Microgravity Bone Research A Half Century Later.” Space Coast October 10, 2014. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Noreen Vezina

    /thanks Vivian for all your info. What do you have to say about biosil, recommended by health Canada for bones, hair and nails.
    Thanks Noreen

  2. yasin

    Dear viv,

    I’m still wating your reply regarding what came in your article of ( Joan Rivers ) indicates new machine pocket size to diagnose oesteoprosses.
    where could I obtain one ?? I’ve written to Bendix company they said it’s not in use now…
    please advise
    this is my second time I write to you
    Best Regards & Respects

  3. Nora

    Hi Vivian, I have been following your “Save our Bones Program for a while, thank you for all your advises regarding our diet and exercises. One thing I would like to clarify, in your book page 108 under Alkalizing Dairy it shows Sour Cream, and I really love sour cream, but I found in another two websites that sour cream is classified as “very, very acidifying dairy” would you please comment on this. Also, forgive my ignorance but you mention “SAVERS” and “CAO” and I’m lost, I don’t know the meaning of those two, probably I missed the info on previous e-mails. Thank you very much, appreciate all your efforts. Nora E.

  4. Marlene Villar

    Dear Vivian,
    I’m very grateful for receiving e-mails from you on
    different topics to keep me informed and continue
    learning such as: exercises, nutrition, and etc.
    Thank you very much. Take care always. Marlene

  5. Carol Lumsden

    Hi Vivian, I am a 62 year old woman. About 6 years ago I was diagnosed with osteopenia. Then 2 years later I was told that it had become osteoporosis. I have a mother who is 85 and has severe osteoporosis. My doctor really pushed me to take fosomax. II told him that I was very concerned about taking this or any drug because of possible side effects…he told me that none of the patients he had prescribed it for had experienced problems. I finally agreed to take it, filled the prescription, went home but could not bring myself to take the drug. I went online to research fosomax and discovered that it and all the other bisphosphonates are horrible. I continued to research about osteoporosis and came across the Save our Bones website. I ordered your book and have been following the program ever since. I have not had another bone density test since 4 years ago. I just did not want to be hassled..they really gave me a hard time the first time. I knew that even if it was worse, I would not take the drugs but would continue what I was doing. Well, I finally went for a bone density test a little over a month ago. I never heard back from the doctor about the results. I finally contacted them and inquired about the results. The nurse practitioner said that the doctor had written on my file that there was “low risk of fracture and patient should continue taking vitamin D and calcium”. They did not even mention osteoporosis! She further said that if there had been any concerns that they would have called to have me come in to speak with me. Needless to say, I am over the moon about this! Thank you for helping me to save my bones.
    I find it sad that this would not make the doctor curious to ask me how I did it. I was taking vitamin d and calcium before. Oh well! I am very thrilled that I know the truth. I just had to let you know.Thank you again Vivian.
    Sincerely, Carol from Canada

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It’s so inspiring to hear stories like yours, Carol! You listened to your gut and researched Fosamax before taking it, and then you sought natural solutions that gave you the results you were looking for! It just doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂

  6. Customer Support

    Just a friendly reminder to those who have questions on topics other than those covered in the blog post – feel free to use our handy and effective Search feature to find Vivian’s articles on a given topic. Simply type in your subject of interest – for example, “yogurt” or “calcium” – and you’ll immediately see a list of all the posts Vivian has written on that topic. 🙂

  7. LynnCS

    I have hoped to get your comment about my doctor’s desire for me to use Forteo. I’ve read your concern over the black box warning about bone cancer and he says that it was on the ends of the mice’s bones that continue to grow fast. He says that ours are different and do not grow the same way. He is a McDougaller, and says he understands your approach. He mentioned that you believe in the alkaline diet (balanced) and exercise. Not sure that was so accurate, but he said he would read be willing to read your book. I guess I have to give one to him. I work out at the gym 3 times a week and do what I can in between. I’ve had a number of serious breaks, and my dexa shows osteoporosis. I have to do what it takes.

    He has me pre approved with my medicare insurance and is ready to go to give me the Forteo. I need some help! Thanks, Lynn

  8. Junnie

    Thanks for your articles with such vital information. I do feel the exercises have helped me.
    Thanks again.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s great to hear, Junnie! Keep up the good work. 🙂

  9. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel)

    Good Evening Vivian And Commenters,

    This Was A Wonderful And Informative Article, And The Comments Were Very Helpful!
    Thank You All Very Much.

    Until Next Time – Take Good Care Of Yourselves, And Stay Well.


  10. Cathy

    Hi Vivian, If I have to take enbrel or remicade for my anklosing spondylitis, will I still be able to build my bones by getting and following your book with taking these drugs? Cathy

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Cathy,
      Actually, the fact that you take medication is all the more reason to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle! Medications are all acidifying, so you could “tip” the 80/20 balance to be more alkalizing. 🙂

  11. shula

    Many Thanks for the information

  12. Mel

    Hello Vivian, I am trying really hard to work with the save our bones I am 68 this year have lots of pains in my knee had arthroscopic surgery two months ago still in pain now the doctor wants to do Hyaluronate shots on my mean, what I want to know is there any side effects and do they work. Mel

  13. Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

    We can hope, Ron! 🙂

  14. Cecile Fonacier

    I want to know as much as possible. I was in a car accident in march and broke a leg now have titanium and my neck. It fused thank goodness but do have pain occasionally. Glad my neck brace is off. Plan to join the gym asap. I stopped my fosomax too and would like to know what i should take. Will take a bone density asap too. Thank you for the information and i hope to see more news that hopefully builds bone.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I am glad you came through the car accident without any serious injuries, Cecile! And I love your attitude – you want to know as much as possible, which is where personal empowerment starts. 🙂 You said you stopped Fosamax, which is one of the best things you can do for your bone health. You don’t have to find a drug to take instead; as you continue asking questions and learning, you’ll discover that your body and bones are capable of healing and renewing themselves given the right nutrition and exercise!

  15. clare

    Good news and not so good back has improved in bone density over the past two years with regular weights exercises, walking, lunges, and improved diet and osteo true but my hip density has got worse..not sure the reason for that..i guess i need to do some targeted exercises for the hip? wondering what might help working on moving from osteoporosis to osteopina..and better if i far my height has not changed and working hard to do as much as i can to save my bones. any comments welcome

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Clare, first of all, that’s excellent news about your spine! As far as your pelvic bone density goes, choosing more targeted exercises is an excellent idea. Also, if you haven’t already, check out the free information on this site by using the Search feature. I have written quite a bit about exercises and nutrients that specifically target hips. 🙂

  16. Pearl

    Thankyou Vivian, I love getting the warnings about any new drugs the Doctor might try to push on me, it’s good to be one jump ahead.
    I love the bit on NASA research, I can’t eat fruit, but I am eating nuts on a regular basis & peanut butter, I am feeling fantastic on this diet, with the exercise.
    I guess the drug companies would refer to it as a drug because they would not use a natural ingredient, they will make some toxic chemical mix to resemble it.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re right, Pearl – natural substances can’t be patented, so drug companies have to mix them with something synthetic, or make a synthetic version to get the substance patented and on the market!

  17. margie

    have you heard of Foreteco? I saw an article about it several weeks ago. What exactly is it and what does it do? I was not sure, even after reading the article.

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