This month, we bring you three recent studies, all about healthcare choices that are (or may soon be) available.
First, you'll hear about the latest attempt to create a new osteoporosis drug. This one claims to resemble previous drugs with one exception.
We also reveal the results of a major meta-analysis on how a well-known vitamin could be used to treat depression.
Finally, there's groundbreaking news out of Sweden, where a group of scientists has developed a new implant that can cure certain cases of blindness.
New Osteoporosis Drug
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are attempting to develop a drug that has the same effect as current osteoporosis drugs– such as Forteo (teriparatide) or Tymlos (abaloparatide) — but can be taken orally.
The drug inhibits enzymes involved in bone remodeling regulated by the parathyroid, intending to stimulate bone formation. Currently, the only osteoporosis drugs on the market that use this mechanism are injectable.
“In mice, oral treatment once a day for three weeks increased blood levels of calcium and vitamin D and also boosted bone formation and bone mass without evidence of short-term toxicity.
“Based on these findings, we propose that small molecules like SK-124 might represent ‘next generation’ oral bone-building therapies for osteoporosis,” says [senior author Marc Wein, MD]. “We are currently collaborating with a pharmaceutical company—Radius Health, Inc.—to further optimize and develop this compound into a treatment for patients.”1
Sadly, this is another example of scientists collaborating with Big Pharma to produce profitable new drugs.
If this oral osteoporosis treatment functions the same as injectable drugs, then it will have the same serious problems as injectable drugs. And we can also expect new side effects resulting from a different method of delivery.
The problem with osteoporosis drugs is not that they are injected as opposed to taken orally. The problem is that they build new bone mass unnaturally, ineffectively, unsustainably, and at the risk of terrible side effects. Those failings and risks are unnecessary because changes to diet, exercise, and lifestyle can strengthen bones and reduce the risk of both falls and fractures.
Researchers are pursuing a new osteoporosis drug that would work the same way as existing drugs such as Forteo or Tymlos, but to be taken orally instead of injected. This new drug will be just as ineffective and carry just as many side effect risks as previous drugs.
Vitamin D Can Treat Depression
Finnish researchers have published a major meta-analysis of 41 studies on the association between taking Vitamin D supplements and depression. Their meta-analysis considered only randomized placebo-controlled trials conducted with a variety of different populations.
They found that participants who took a Vitamin D supplement were less likely to experience depressive symptoms than participants who took a placebo. By looking at a range of high-quality studies, this report bolsters confidence that Vitamin D does have a positive impact on mood, and can play a role in treating the symptoms of depression.
“The studies involved patients dealing with depression, people from the general population, and those with various physical conditions.
Results from the meta-analysis reveal that vitamin D supplementation is more effective than taking a placebo for lowering depressive symptoms.”2
The mood-boosting benefit of Vitamin D is one of the many ways it supports bone health. The stress hormone cortisol impedes the development of new bone, and stress and anxiety often attend depression.
A meta-analysis of 41 randomized placebo-controlled trials found that study participants who took a Vitamin D supplement were less likely to experience depressive symptoms than participants who took a placebo. This benefit for mental and emotional health also relieves bone-damaging stress.
New Implant Restores Vision
In a groundbreaking study, Swedish scientists announced that they have developed a cornea replacement implant that can restore sight to people with damaged or deteriorating corneas.
After extensive testing on pigs, the researchers conducted the first human trial. The study included 20 participants, of whom 14 were blind, and 6 were partially sighted. All of the participants had keratoconus, a condition in which the cornea thins, reducing sight often to the point of blindness.
Currently, the only treatment for keratoconus is a human cornea transplant, but there aren't enough donors to keep up with demand and the procedure is expensive and invasive. This new implant offers a more affordable, less invasive, and possibly more effective alternative.
“The main purpose of the study was to work out whether the implant was safe to use. The team notes the effectiveness of the transplant was stunning. To make it, the team used collagen molecules coming from pig skin that were highly purified and produced under strict conditions for human use. The pig skin is not the same as the kind the meat industry uses, making it easy to access and economically advantageous.
When researchers constructed the implant, they stabilized the loose collagen molecules to make a robust and transparent material that could withstand handling and implantation in the eye. A larger clinical trial must take place before scientists can declare it to be safe and effective enough to roll out in hospitals.”3
This breakthrough procedure could improve the quality of life for thousands of people by restoring sight and helping avoid falls and fractures.
Swedish scientists have developed a corneal implant made using collagen cells from the skin of pigs that can restore vision in people with keratoconus, a condition of corneal thinning. The new procedure is less costly and invasive than a human corneal transplant. Restoration of sight reduces the risk of falls and fractures.
What This Means To You
Big Pharma is still attempting to bend the work of scientific research for its own benefit. However, new studies continue to show that there are non-pharmaceutical means of ensuring our health– such as vitamin supplementation and innovative procedures.
To learn more about the history of Big Pharma's bad-faith efforts, and the many better alternatives available, check out the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. It's a comprehensive look at bone health and a drug-free, side-effect-free protocol to build stronger, healthier bones.
By staying up to date on the most important new studies related to bone health you're able to make the best possible choices for your future.