Save Our Bones Bulletin: ‘Real-Time’ Bone Health Test Could Soon Replace DXA Scans, Popular Candy Maker Will Ditch Synthetic Dyes, New Study Reveals Serum Bicarbonate Levels Affect Longevity, And More! - Save Our Bones

In this month’s Bulletin you’ll discover an intriguing method for measuring an individual’s rate of bone turnover as it happens, rather than measuring bone remodeling activity in the past, as with DXA scans.

And there’s encouraging news from Mars, Inc., one of the top food companies in the world. The popular candy maker is dropping all artificial colors from their “human food portfolio” over the next five years.

And last but not least, we take a look at a breakthrough just-published study on the effects of serum bicarbonate levels on bone health and longevity.

There’s a lot to cover this month, so let’s get right to it!

NASA Teams Up With Researchers To Develop Real-Time Bone Health Test

NASA astronauts along with Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic scientists have developed a quick bone health test that reveals the ‘real time’ state of bone remodeling.

Relevant Excerpt:

“A group of US geochemists, biologists and clinicians, from Arizona State University and the Mayo Clinic, worked with NASA to develop the new, rapid test of bone health. 

These methods, using mass spectrometry, can discern the relative ratios of the calcium isotopes 42Ca and 44Ca in bone. 

The researchers found that lighter calcium isotopes, such as 42Ca, are absorbed from the blood into the bone during bone formation. 

Conversely, these light isotopes tend to be released into the bloodstream when bones break down. By measuring the ratios of the two isotopes in blood or urine scientists can calculate the rate of change of bone mass. 

‘The big advantage of these measurements is that they show what is happening in the bone, whereas traditional bone health measurements, such as DXA scans, show what has happened,’ said lead researcher, Ariel Anbar from the Arizona State University.”1

While this technology could also be useful in predicting bone cancers before they take hold, the early detection philosophy can be detrimental when it comes to osteoporosis. I’ll explain.

When the diagnostic criteria for osteopenia – the so-called precursor to osteoporosis – first appeared in the early 1990s, it was immediately embraced by the medical community. According to the Medical Establishment, osteopenia was indicative of the potential for osteoporosis and the subsequent “need” for prescription drugs.

The drugs prescribed for osteopenia do not differ from those prescribed for osteoporosis, either in type or dosage. This means big bucks for Big Pharma, because taking drugs as a “preventative measure” greatly increases their demand.

Now you probably see where I am going with this. The bone health test developed by NASA shows remarkable ingenuity, but it will lead to even earlier diagnoses of osteoporosis – in fact, it may be used to “predict” the development of osteopenia!
Unfortunately, that’s seems to be the likely future use of this futuristic innovation.

Popular Candy Manufacturer To Remove All Artificial Dyes From Its Food Products

The brightly colored candies made by Mars, Inc., such as M&M’s, Twix, and Milky Way – to name a few – are symbolic of holidays, birthdays, and all manner of festivities. But over the decades, the public became aware of the artificial color content of these sweet treats, and demanded change. And they got it.

Relevant Excerpt:

“Mars, Inc. announced the corporation’s plans to completely remove synthetic food dye from its entire human food portfolio in what is being called one of the food industry’s boldest advancements for parents and children. The Center for Science in the Public Interest says Mars Inc.’s decision to remove all synthetic food dyes from all of its human food ‘should serve as a powerful incentive for the rest of the food industry to follow suit.’

‘We appreciate the fact that Mars listened to our concerns and to the concerns of its customers and that it is exercising this kind of responsible leadership,’ the Center stated in a press release.

‘There is simply too much evidence demonstrating that these artificial dyes trigger inattention, hyperactivity, and other behavioral reactions in children. The use of these neurotoxic chemicals to provide a purely cosmetic function in foods, particularly foods designed to appeal to children, must stop.’

‘It shows that when consumers make their voices heard, food companies will sometimes actually listen,’ the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s press release concluded.

Mars stated that because the products that will need to be switched from synthetic dyes to natural dyes include a wide range of foods including chocolates, gum, confections and beverages, the switch will ‘take place incrementally over the next five years.’”2

Interestingly, the article goes on to point out that for years, Mars has claimed that artificial colors do not pose any health or safety risk. In fact, the company still claims this; yet they see their role as consumer-pleasers as more important. This is an excellent example of consumer “dollar power.” Companies do far better if they manufacture a product that people demand (and will pay for) rather than insisting on their product’s safety “as is.”

The key is to be an informed consumer. As more and more people learn about food dyes and began to see connections between them and their (and their children’s) behavior, the pressure was on to create a product without these substances.

But without the right information, consumers would not have wielded this power. That’s why it pays to do your research and stay on top of the latest information. And since you’re reading this, it’s clear that you’re doing just that!

Low Bicarbonate Levels Associated With Mortality Risk In Older Adults, Study Says

A just-published study reveals a striking association between low blood serum levels of bicarbonate and the risk of early death. Bicarbonate is a strongly alkaline substance synthesized by various organs in the body to maintain the pH balance, and when researchers analyzed the health data of approximately 3,000 adults with a mean age of 76, they found higher mortality rates among those who had low bicarbonate in the blood. In fact, the low-bicarbonate individuals were 25% more likely to succumb to an early death than the more alkalized adults.3

Relevant Excerpt:

“Previous studies have found that low bicarbonate levels are associated with declining kidney function over time, even in people without kidney disease, and this increases the risk of death, including cardiovascular death, [study leader Kalani] Raphael told Live Science. Low bicarbonate levels are also associated with inflammation and a loss of bone mineral and muscle mass, ‘so these factors may play a role,’ Raphael said.

Dr. Michael Emmett, chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, who was not part of the study, added that kidney function declines naturally with age, making it harder for the body to excrete acid loads derived from the diet. Acid retention reduces bicarbonate levels, and even low to normal levels may contribute to a variety of age-related disorders, such as osteoporosis, reduced muscle mass and strength, and kidney stones, he said.

The findings, if confirmed in larger studies, may provide primary care doctors with a simple measurement to help identify patients who have an elevated risk of early death. However, the remedy to reduce this risk isn't yet clear.”4

On the contrary, the “remedy to reduce this risk” couldn’t be clearer!

You see, as the article notes, adequate bicarbonate levels not only prevent bone loss and inflammation, but also, the kidneys tend to become less efficient as we age, setting the stage for acid retention. That makes it all the more important for older adults to consume a more alkalizing diet as described in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. This ensures high bicarbonate levels, one of the many benefits of a pH-balanced diet, further confirming that…

The Osteoporosis Reversal Program Is About More Than Building Bones

In fact, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is a comprehensive nutritional, lifestyle, and exercise plan that increases bone density and improves overall health as well. The Program’s recommendations are the opposite of the pharmaceutical approach, which seeks to isolate one body system and influence it with drugs. Rather, the Program recognizes that each Saver is a whole person, with every body system playing a part in reversing and maintaining bone density.

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 →

And a pH-balanced diet supports every body system to do its job optimally. So when you follow the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you know you’re doing the very best for your bones and your whole body.

Till next time,


1 “NASA astronauts help develop osteoporosis and bone cancer test.” The Economic Times. August 18, 2015. Web.

2 Papple, Dawn. “Mars, Inc. Will Remove Synthetic Food Dyes From Its Entire Human Food Portfolio Due To Consumer Demand.” Inquisitr. February 8, 2016. Web.

3 Raphael, Kalani L., et al. “Bicarbonate Concentration, Acid-Base Status, and Mortality in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study.” Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. January 2016. DOI: 10.2215/cjn.06200615. Web.

4 Wanjek, Christopher. “Baking-soda ingredient may lower risk of premature death.” Fox News Health. January 21, 2016. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Judy sines

    Can u eat too much salmon and bluberries. I have blueberries most mornings with a small bowl of fruit and salmon about twice a week.

    • Nicurru

      If your head turns blue it might be a good idea to cut down.

  2. shula


  3. Jennifer

    I have been on your program for over a year. I am approaching my annual check-up and my practionet will want me to get a bone density test to see the results. Is there a test to show progress other than the dexa? How do I respond ? Even if there are no changes or progress I don’t want to take drugs for this. So is there any benefit to get the dexa ?

  4. Carolyn

    What is the best calcium to take and how much.

  5. Helen

    Many years ago, I read that bi-carb of soda could be used when cooking, to tenderize foods, particularly when boiling meat, but that foods cooked this way should not be given to children. I always thought that if it is not good for children, then it’s not good for adults either!

  6. Mcsulli

    I am following the Eat Fat Get Thin eating program put forth by Dr. Mark Hyman. It is a sort of Primal diet. Is that too acidic? I don’t eat a lot of meat but a small portion with lunch and dinner with lots of veggies, and a fruit and veg smoothie every morning with a scoop of whey protein and nuts.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Mcsulli,

      While Dr. Hyman’s diet emphasizes fats, it is rich in alkalizing, plant-based fats like avocados, coconut oil, and olive oil. His recommendations also include eggs, which are acidifying (but still bone-healthy), nuts, and seeds (there are both acidifying and alkalizing nuts and seeds). And what you’ve said in your comment sounds very healthful, and not “too acidic.” 🙂

  7. Dorothy Carr

    I am telling all doctors and practitioners I ret in my travels to to red the Save our Bones conversation.

    Some are alternative and some allopathic.
    so I get a mixed reply.
    I am surprised..but should not be.. that many of the GPS are looking it up and I meet some who have already heard of i and long before I did.
    It is very encouraging. dorothy

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That is encouraging, Dorothy! Thanks for posting.

  8. Trudy

    For some time I have been drinking a glass of lukewarm water with squeezed lemon juice (1/2 lemon) instead of orange juice every morning on an empty stomach. I hope this helps with keeping me alkaline, furthermore I try to consume as much alkaline food as possible.

  9. Joan

    I read an article on face book to day to mixed apple Cider vinegar with baking soda every morningto get a P H balance.would like a comment on this.

  10. Kelly Garwood

    Dear Vivian, I started playing my French-horn January 1st after taking a 2 1/2 year break. I play for 2 – 6 hrs. a day depending on how many rehearsals or practicing I must do. Has anyone done study’s on musicians with osteoporosis?

  11. Delores burki

    Hi Vivian , my dr has put me on every known medication for osteoporosis , they all gave me awful side affects . Now he’s angry with me because I told him NO more. He gives me my pain pills because of other conditions I have . Can he kick me to the door because of this?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Delores,

      It sounds like you might need to be the one to “kick” your doctor out the door. 😉 There is nothing wrong with looking for another doctor who is more supportive; and even if you don’t see someone else, no one can force you to take medications you don’t want to. It’s you, not your doctor, who suffered side effects from drugs. Stick with your beliefs!

  12. Connie

    A number of years ago, I used a lab that tested my urine for bone loss and the results were sent to my Dr.
    That company is no longer in existence but I found another company that does it. I have the kit now and I plan on sending in my urine next week. Here is the address if anyone is interested in this test.

    • Patricia Weber

      Does insurance cover this test? I’m going over to see more specifics about it and thanks for sharing the link!

      • Connie

        Under some conditions, medicare will pay. If not, the test will cost you around $98.00. You can also call them for more information. Their number is 800-522-4762. Your Dr. will have to order the kit for you.

  13. Joann Ginac

    I make my own bone broth, meat bone broth, chicken broth with natural free range grass-fed beef and chicken and drink a cup in the morning. Since meat is acidifying am I hurting my bones by drinking this? I also use this in a lot of my recipes.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Joann,

      Making your own bone broth is a healthful way to get some excellent nutrients. It is acidifying, but there are many nutritious foods that are acidifying, such as salmon and blueberries. So as long as the bone broth fits in to the 20% of acidifying foods and beverages in an average day, then you’re doing just fine!

  14. QuebecCity

    Interesting, I read an article about Calcium isotopes to measure bone health, one study is in the Journal of Nutrition 141:391-397, 2011.
    Another study using this method of using Calcium isotopes showed that it takes 7 days of inactivity for the bone to show increased resorption. The study also mentionned that the method is not simple to use for mass medicine because baseline ratio of isotopes are different for each individual. To use this test there is need to look at each different person’s score.

  15. Dorothy

    Mine is the same question as Gill’s. Will taking baking soda in water daily be helpful? I have a girlfriend who has been doing this for years. I would love to know if this has any health benefits and should be a routine practice or should be used only for relief?

    • VV

      From the article above: ” consuming too much baking soda can lead to health problems such as a perforated stomach, high blood pressure due to the sodium load, and possibly kidney stones from producing excess calcium in the urine, Emmett said. Instead, potassium bicarbonate might be a better alternative to baking soda, but it should be taken only under a doctor’s supervision, he said.

      “We don’t know for sure if raising low bicarbonate levels into the normal range with baking soda or taking baking soda if your bicarbonate levels are normal improves health,” Raphael said. “People with kidney, heart, lung and liver diseases, and women who are pregnant, should never self-medicate with bicarbonate or baking soda.”

  16. Gill

    Hi Vivian Thank you for your constant stream of information and weekend challenges ! After reading your article I wondered if taking bicarbonate of soda in water would help with the alkaline diet especially if you have had a day when it might have been more acidic than it should have been ?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Gill,

      While baking soda is an essential and powerful alkalizing element, I don’t advise using baking soda on its own. Baking soda alone will simply neutralize stomach acid and impair digestion. Plus you have to be very careful with the dosage due to its high sodium content. It’s far more effective, safe, and nutritious to help your body’s alkalizing process with foods. 🙂

    • VV

      From the article above: ” consuming too much baking soda can lead to health problems such as a perforated stomach, high blood pressure due to the sodium load, and possibly kidney stones from producing excess calcium in the urine, Emmett said. Instead, potassium bicarbonate might be a better alternative to baking soda, but it should be taken only under a doctor’s supervision, he said.

      “We don’t know for sure if raising low bicarbonate levels into the normal range with baking soda or taking baking soda if your bicarbonate levels are normal improves health,” Raphael said. “People with kidney, heart, lung and liver diseases, and women who are pregnant, should never self-medicate with bicarbonate or baking soda.”

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