This month we’ll look at three different causes of increased fracture risk, based on recently published studies. Each one contains actionable information that you can use to maintain bone quality and avoid fractures.
The studies in today’s Bulletin uncover the bone health implications of taking bisphosphonates over time, consuming soft drinks, and experiencing social stress.
Fracture Risk Rises With Length Of Bisphosphonate Use
A recently published study followed 94,542 women aged 45 to 89 years who began taking oral bisphosphonates (BP) during 2002-2014. The researchers considered the participants in groups delineated by how long they took bisphosphonates, then compared the groups’ rates of atypical femoral fracture (AFF).
Savers won’t be surprised to learn that the longer study participants took bisphosphonates, the greater their risk was of atypical fracture.1
“A total of 107 encountered an AFF during or < 1 year following BP cessation. A strong correlation between AFF incidence and rising BP exposure was observed, more than doubling for each 2-year category until 8–10 years. In women with 2- to < 4-year BP, the crude and age-adjusted incidence was 18 and 9 per 100,000 person-years however for women with 4- to < 6- and 6- to < 8-year BP, it progressed over 2- and 5-fold, respectively. For those getting ≥ 8-year BP, the crude and age-adjusted incidence plateaued at 196 and 112 per 100,000 person-years exposure. Hence, following 4–6 years of BP, the incidence of AFF rises considerably. Moreover, these trends adjust with southern California and authenticate a robust BP duration-related risk of this rare although severe event."1
The rate of atypical fracture more than doubled every two years that the participants were taking bisphosphonates. That’s a staggering increase in risk for a severe result– a fractured femur.
Instead of taking a drug that may cause the exact outcome it aims to prevent, you could make a series of changes to your dietary, exercise, and lifestyle habits that have been proven effective without any negative side effects.2
A new study found that for every two years that participants took bisphosphonates, their risk of an atypical femur fracture more than doubled. Instead of running this ever-increasing risk, choose a natural path to improving your bone health and preventing fracture.
Soft Drinks Linked To Fractures
A can of cola contains the equivalent of about nine and a half sugar cubes. It’s no wonder that soda has been shown to cause weight gain, and prevent weight loss.3
Along with those effects come many other health risks. Frequent soda consumption can cause heart attack, gout, and diabetes.4,5,6 In one study, participants in the group that consumed sugar-sweetened beverages most frequently were 20% more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who drank them the least often.4
Unsurprisingly, soft drinks damage your bones.
“Researchers examined data on soda consumption, bone health and fractures for more than 70,000 women who were 69 years old on average. Multiple linear regression models were used to examine the cross-sectional associations between soft drink consumption and hip and lumbar spine bone mineral density. Half the women were tracked for at least 12 years. Overall, 2,578 hip fractures occurred during follow-up. The researchers found that women who drank an average of more than 14 12-ounce servings of sodas a week were 26% more likely to experience a hip fracture during the study period than women who never had soda. And women who had more than 14 servings a week of caffeine-free soda were 32% more likely to experience hip fractures.”7
A change as simple as switching from soda to a bone healthy beverage, such as pure water, can erase the increased risk of hip fracture (and the increased risks of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions linked to soft drinks.)
The Save Institute recommends distilled water (or reverse osmosis water as a second choice) with a few drops of lemon juice to help keep your body hydrated, pH-balanced, and supplied with Vitamin C for the production of collagen and the reduction of oxidative damage.
A new study found that older women who drank two soft drinks a day were 25% more likely to experience a hip fracture than women who never drank soda. Drinking more than that made participants 32% more likely to fracture their hip.
Low Bone Density Associated With Social Stress
A study from researchers at the University Of Arizona in Tuscon published in September of 2019 has drawn a direct connection between social behavior and bone loss. They looked at the self-reported psychosocial stress of 11,020 postmenopausal women in relation to changes in bone mineral density (BMD) measured at the femoral neck, lumbar spine, and total hip.
The psychosocial stress they considered was divided into social strain, social support, and social functioning. The women in the study ranked the amount of strain they experienced in their social relationships on a scale from 0-20.
“High social stress was associated with decreased BMD over 6 years. After adjustment for confounders, each point higher in social strain was associated with 0.082% greater loss of femoral neck BMD, 0.108% greater loss of total hip BMD and 0.069% greater loss of lumbar spine BMD. Low social functioning and low social support were associated with greater decreases in femoral neck BMD, and low social functioning was associated with greater decreases in total hip BMD.
The findings provide evidence for an association between high social stress and greater bone loss over 6 years of follow-up. In agreement with the prior literature, the findings for social strain and social functioning suggest that poor quality of social relationships may be associated with bone loss in postmenopausal women.”8
Across the more than eleven thousand women in this study, negative relationships and stressful social interactions correlated with bone loss. The observational study wasn’t equipped to determine whether the social stress directly caused the bone loss, or whether it encouraged unhealthy behaviors that harmed their participants bones.
Either way, it’s easy to understand why a lack of social support could make it difficult to stick to your health goals and make positive choices. A supportive group of friends makes everything more enjoyable — whether you’re having a healthy lunch or going to a yoga class together.
Studies have even found that women with large and active social networks have reduced risk of dementia.9
A recent study found a correlation between self-reported social strain and bone loss. Postmenopausal women who reported that their social interactions and relationships were stressful and unsupportive had lower bone mineral density than women who reported more positive social lives and social support.
What This Means To You
The lessons of the studies above are simple: don’t take osteoporosis drugs, avoid soft drinks, and develop positive social relationships. Changes like these can make an enormous difference in the fight for healthier bones and fracture prevention.
If you’re seeking a positive and supportive community to help you stick with your bone-building resolutions– try the Save Institute’s online support group, accessible as part of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. It’s an excellent way to encourage others, and receive encouragement and tips to help you build stronger bones and live a healthier life.
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.