Save Our Bones Bulletin: Trial Against Merck Back On, Vitamin D Linked To Muscle Bulk, New Study: Exercise Greatly Benefits Postmenopausal Women, And More! - Save Our Bones

In this month’s bulletin, we bring you the latest news on the legal battles between Merck and the unsuspecting victims who took the osteoporosis drug Fosamax.

Then we’ll have a look at two just-published studies. One uses a pioneering approach to measure the active and inactive forms of vitamin D in the bloodstream to unveil information about the micronutrient’s relationship to muscle mass.

The second study examines the benefits of exercise for pre and post-menopausal women. Spoiler alert: it’s never too late to start reaping the life-changing benefits of exercise.

1. Lawsuit Against Merck Revived

If you’ve been following along with the legal battles to hold pharmaceutical giant Merck accountable for the damage caused by its drug Fosamax, you’ll be glad to hear another chance for justice has emerged.

Merck was facing around 3,300 lawsuits filed by consumers who took Fosamax and suffered serious side-effects. The plaintiffs argued that the company did not provide sufficient warnings that Fosamax can cause atypical, spontaneous fractures.

Some of the cases got heard, but then in March 2014, a District Judge annulled all claims by plaintiffs who were injured prior to September 14th, 2010 saying the “claims were preempted.” This only left about 20 active cases. Fortunately, the fight to make Merck responsible for some of the harm they’ve done didn’t stop there.

Relevant Excerpt:

“In the most recent order, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia found that the lower court judge made a mistake in concluding their state law claims were pre-empted by federal law, based on actions of the FDA. The appeals court found that the plaintiffs have offered sufficient proof for a jury to conclude that the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) would have approved “a properly worded warning about the risk of thigh fractures – or at the very least, to conclude that the odds of FDA rejection were less than highly probable,” reports Reuters.

The appeals court judge has now allowed the plaintiffs to go ahead with the trial.”1

Fosamax was actually the first bisphosphonate on the market, available by prescription only since 1995. Over the next 13 years, the drug raked in more than three billions dollars. In 2008 the patent expired, and it is now also also prescribed in its generic form: alendronate sodium.

No matter the name or variety, bisphosphonates have been shown several times over to be ineffective at preventing fractures and to cause side effects than can severely reduce your quality of life and your health.

Many experience negative side-effects almost immediately, but seemingly the longer you take the drug, the more likely you are to suffer severe side effects, such as an atypical fracture. This is a fact the Save Institute has been citing for years. These drugs make your bones stiffer and bulkier, but not actually stronger, robbing them of the flexibility necessary to prevent fractures.

As old bone is retained for the mere sake of showing increased density, bones get in fact weaker and have microcracks that have been associated with fractures. Unfortunately, too many doctors prescribe these drugs, and they don’t educate their patients about the risks.

Now that this ruling has taken effect, let’s hope that those who suffered from the terrible effects of this drug will get their day in court, and a good outcome.

2. Vitamin D Increases Muscle Strength

It’s amazing how many different functions a single vitamin can perform in the body. It’s one of the reasons why looking at whole health is so important, because every little piece of the puzzle impacts every other piece in multiple, often surprising ways.

Vitamin D is no exception. In fact, it is something of a poster child for the complex multiple uses some natural compounds have. It’s both a vitamin and a hormone, and can be consumed in foods and supplements, in addition to being created in the skin through sun exposure.

Vitamin D’s important functions include the facilitation of calcium absorption in the gut, the maintenance of blood calcium levels, improving vision, managing cholesterol, and many other functions that I have written about here.

With the publication of a new study, we can now add to the list the optimization of muscle strength.

Relevant Excerpt:

“116 healthy volunteers, aged between 20-74, were recruited to the trial. Participants had both active and inactive levels of vitamin D measured alongside physical characteristics including body fat and ‘lean mass', a measure of muscle bulk.
Women with a healthy body composition, and lower body fat, were less likely to have high levels of inactive vitamin D, a marker of vitamin D deficiency. This was echoed by the finding that levels of inactive vitamin D were higher in women with increased body fat. This would suggest a relationship between vitamin D and body composition.

However, the active form of vitamin D was not associated with body fat, but was associated with lean mass.

Individuals with an increased lean mass, and muscle bulk, had a higher level of active vitamin D in the bloodstream.”2

The relationship observed between each participant's active and inactive vitamin D in relation to body fat and lean mass have not previously been possible. The scientists who conducted this study did so with cutting edge techniques that allowed them to assess both forms of the vitamin in the bloodstream.

It’s worth noting here that the metabolically active form of vitamin D is 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, also known as calcidiol or calcifediol. Cholecalciferol (D3) is converted in the liver and kidneys into the biologically active form. On the other hand, Vitamin D2 , also known as ergocalciferol, is the form of vitamin D synthesized by plants and yeasts, often prescribed in huge doses by doctors and used in food fortification, in spite of published data showing that “ergocalciferol should not be regarded as a nutrient suitable for supplementation or fortification.”3

Muscle strength is crucial to bone formation, as per Wolff’s Law, and this is why exercise is such an important component of bone health. But just like with any growth process, you need to provide the building blocks.

The study shows that vitamin D, and specifically its active form, is a significant building block for the formation of muscle strength, and consequently, stronger bones.

At the Save Institute we recommend taking 2000 IU daily of oral vitamin D3, especially during the winter months when you’re not able to produce as much naturally by exposure to sunlight.

3. Confirmed By Science: It’s Never Too Late To Get Benefits From Exercise

It can be hard to change your habits. For many, incorporating exercise into their lifestyle is a big hurdle, and when something seems difficult, it can be tempting to rely on any available excuse to avoid it. If you’re under the impression that because of your age, starting an exercise regimen won’t be effective, then I’m happy to report that it’s not so.

A new study conducted by scientists in Copenhagen shows that women who are recently postmenopausal experience equal or greater benefits from exercise as premenopausal women.

Relevant Excerpt:

“The participants were 36 middle-aged pre and postmenopausal women only a few years apart in age. After a 12-week training regimen of high intensity cycling, Professor Hellsten and her colleagues determined the effect of training on the women's muscles and blood vessels using a series of physiological tests. To look at molecular changes, they took tissue samples from thigh muscles.

Less invasive tests in larger and more diverse populations will be important in order to confirm these findings.
Elaborating on the findings, first author Michael Nyberg said,

‘The present study pinpoints a possible signaling pathway at the cellular level that may underlie the higher sensitivity to physical activity in recent postmenopausal women.”4

This study confirms that exercise fuels the regenerative biological processes to keep you strong and young. And this holds also true for bone health, and perhaps even more so, because exercise is so important for the formation of new bone.

The women in the study above underwent 12 weeks of intensive cycling, and that is certainly excellent for cardiovascular health and much more. It’s also important to practice targeted exercises to build bone and strengthen muscles.

The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System has been specifically developed by the Save Institute to build your bones in the most efficient way possible, with only three, 15 minute sessions a week.

The change that exercise can make in your life is backed by extensive research and studies like the one described above. Find out of how easy and sustainable Densercise™ is, and start building stronger, younger bones.

Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!

Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.

Learn More Now →


1 Shobhit Seth. “Court Revives Claims Against Merck Osteoporosis Drug (MRK.)”
Investopedia. March 22, 2017. Web:

2 University of Birmingham. “Increased levels of active vitamin D can help to optimize muscle strength.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2017. Web:

3 Houghton, Lisa A. and Vieth, Reinhold. “The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. October 2006. Vol. 84 no. 4. 694-697. Web.

4 The Physiological Society. “Never too late: Reaping the benefits of exercise in early postmenopause.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2017. Web:

The Top 14 Things You’re Doing That Are Damaging Your Bones... And More!

  • Stop The Bone Thieves! report
  • Email course on how to prevent and reverse bone loss
  • Free vital osteoporosis news and updates.
Get It Free Now

Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Pat

    In addition to a diagnosis of osteoporosis, I recently underwent aortic valve replacement because my bicuspid a.valve (a birth defect) was found to be stenotic and severely calcified. My surgeon advised me never to take any more calcium supplements–I must get all my calcium from food, lest the new valve also become calcified. I can’t seem to come up with enough calcium through diet yet am scared to take any more calcium supplements which my bones need. Question: If I consume “calcium fortified” foods such as almond milk, orange juice, etc. is that the same as taking calcium supplements which might damage my new a.valve? Help….anyone!! Pat (age 78)

  2. Dorrie Stallings

    I was told that cycling was not weight bearing so it would not be a good exercise for building bones. I would love more information about this.

  3. Sharon Vander Zyl

    I have been taking Garden of Life Bone Grow system. It includes taking 3 Strontium on an empty stomach each day. I have been doing this for about a year. After reading your article on Strontium I am thinking I should go off it but I’m unsure if I should go cold turkey or gradually. Can you direct me to a resource to help?

  4. Patricia

    Some time ago you recommended taking a plant based calcium, TrueOsteo, which I’ve been taking faithfully for almost a year. Have you heard from others who have had good results taking this product? I opted to take the “organic” calcium (as my doc called it) instead of having the twice a year shot. Thank you so much for your tireless work keeping us informed.

  5. shulamit sendowski

    Thank you for the additional news about Vit. D

  6. Farooq Ali

    The problem with Vitamin D3 supplements is that they are always made from fish or krill oil, and contain undetermined amounts of Vitamin A. I have seen symptoms of Vitamin A toxicity (headaches, periosteal tenderness) in persons taking D3 supplements. Also vitamin A acts as a growth factor for epithelial cells, including neoplastic cells such as NSCLC. Sun exposure appears to be the safest for supplementation, unless manufacturers decide to make D3 supplements without Vitamin A, or if this is not possible, be required to state the amount of Vitamin A in the D3 supplements. If anyone has information if certified Vitamin A free D3 supplements are available, please let us know.

  7. Joy. Tg

    I am also interested in whether the whole body vibrator is good and helpful or not.

  8. Maureen

    I noticed you did an article on Rebounding and its effect on our bones. Do you know if any studies have been done on Whole Body Vibration machines? Thanks for all you do for us. I have learned so much and continue to learn. I’m 82 and have broken both hips and a shoulder so I am always interested in anything that has to do with bones.

  9. Allison

    Vera’s comment doesn’t state whether or not she had been taking a bisphosphonate prior to being told her jaw was losing bone mass. Vera: If in fact you’re having this major adverse side effect as a result of taking one of these drugs, you should (1) disabuse yourself of the idea that any “easy diet improvements” are going to reverse the damage, (2) find another dentist who will discuss this issue with you in more than a 20-second “oh-by-the-way” conversation,, and, above all, (3) stop taking the drug immediately.

  10. Vera

    Hi Vivian, thanks for your valuable information! My dentist recently informed me I’m losing bone in my jaw. It was a 20-second conversation that ended with his concern for me losing my teeth. Huh?

    Needless to say I went online to see if I could stop this scourge, and if it was possible for me to restore the lost bone? Certainly if my jaw was dropping bone mass, what about the rest of my frame?

    Your “Save Our Bones” program answered my questions and showed me how I can personally take control of my bone health. The litmus paper I bought from a nutritional supplements store shows I’ve quickly neutralized my body pH–with a couple of easy diet improvements (who knew lemon juice turns alkaline when it’s metabolized?) I found an organic (not-from-limestone) calcium / bone support supplement to start the process, and am on the journey to better health.

    Thank you for demystifying the the causes and corrections for bone loss, and making this valuable content available : )

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Vera,

      The mouth is its own ‘ecosystem’ with bacteria, saliva, etc., and bone loss in teeth is independent from bone loss elsewhere in the body. But the jaw is susceptible to damage from bisphosphonates, as Allison’s comment addresses. I do hope you are able to find a dentist who will take the time to discuss this in depth and help you find a solution in keeping with your bone health philosophy.

  11. Star

    I am not sure I understand this statement : Women with a healthy body composition, and lower body fat, were less likely to have high levels of inactive vitamin D, a marker of vitamin D deficiency. This was echoed by the finding that levels of inactive vitamin D were lower in women with increased body fat. This would suggest a relationship between vitamin D and body composition.

    The study this information came from reported: Active serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α,25(OH)2D3), but not inactive 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD3), correlated positively with measures of lower limb strength including power (rho = 0.42, p = 0.02), velocity (Vmax, rho = 0.40, p = 0.02) and jump height (rho = 0.36, p = 0.04). Lean mass correlated positively with 1α,25(OH)2D3 (rho = 0.47, p = 0.02), in women. Serum 25OHD3 and inactive 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (24,25(OH)2D3) had an inverse relationship with body fat (rho = -0.30, p = 0.02 and rho = -0.33, p = 0.01, respectively).

    There is evidence of an inverse relationship between serum 25OHD3 and fat mass, such that weight loss in obesity is associated with increasing levels of 25OHD3.

  12. chava bruck-fisher

    Am very pleased to receive all the important information you are sending out, Bless you.
    How would one dissolve excess bone growing on insides of knees and on joints of fingers ?
    Thank you, Chava, Jerusalem, Israel

    • Judy Barit

      Please tell me any law firms in USA who are filing cases against Merck for damages regarding Fosamax. I now have 5 compressed vertebrae in my back and live on oxycontin. I took the drug for 8 years.

    • Save Institute Customer Support

      Hi Chava,

      Please check your inbox for a message from Customer Support. 🙂

Get Started With Your FREE
Natural Bone Building Kit.

Get a free copy of our ‘Stop The Bone Thieves’ eBook, exclusive content that you can’t find anywhere else, plus vital osteoporosis news and updates.

Get It Free

Get Your Free Bone-Building Kit


‘Stop The Bone Thieves’ guide, exclusive info, plus vital osteoporosis news and updates.