Reading up on the latest osteoporosis news last week, I found some fascinating information that I’m really happy to share with you today.
Merck, the pharmaceutical company that makes Fosamax, is facing some challenging legal developments. The number of lawsuits involving Fosamax is snowballing, requiring a judge’s intervention.
Once again, well-known mainstream doctors are openly questioning milk’s reputation as a healthy beverage, and scientists have found a new way to administer osteoporosis drugs directly to fractured bones.
And of course, I always like to end the news with something upbeat and positive, so make sure you check out the amazing video at the end.
Judge Issues Unusual Fosamax Lawsuit Order Much to Merck's Detriment
If you’ve been keeping track of Merck’s Fosamax lawsuits, then you are aware of the pharmaceutical giant’s tendency to evade justice. But it looks like the tables are turning.
Having heard the initial bellwether trials, U.S. District Judge John Keenan has ordered hundreds of cases against Merck dispersed to their states of origin. The usual practice is to consolidate mass tort cases, which makes it easier on the defendant (in this case, Merck) to reach settlements. But if each case is heard in its state of origin, it has the potential to be much more costly for Merck.
“The decision by U.S. District Judge John Keenan in Manhattan marks an unusual and potentially costly development for Merck.
Companies often find it easier to reach settlements in mass tort cases that are consolidated before one judge.
‘It's a big deal as it changes the cost paradigm for Merck exponentially,’ said Timothy O'Brien, a partner at Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor and lawyer representing Fosamax plaintiffs.
The judge's order Thursday requires that 200 cases per month be sent to back to courts where they were initially filed, beginning with the oldest ones.”1
Judge Keenan’s order affects only the hundreds of cases before him, which represent a fraction of the 5,075 total pending lawsuits regarding the dangerous side effects of Fosamax.
It’s shameful that people’s health and wellbeing have to be sacrificed before companies like Merck are held accountable for the harmful effects of osteoporosis drugs. But hopefully the publicity of these cases will give doctors and osteoporosis “patients” pause before taking these drugs.
Incredible! Dr. Oz Openly Rethinks the Benefits of Drinking Milk
It’s one thing when an “alternative” medical professional questions the health properties of milk; but it’s quite another when a mainstream physician and TV personality like Dr. Oz takes issue with it. No less shocking is that he was joined by Dr. Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic.
Taking note of the various studies that call milk’s nutritional benefits into question, both doctors amazingly agreed that they just couldn’t ignore the evidence against consuming milk.
“As more scientific studies question cow milk’s long-famous benefits and expose potential problems that eating dairy products may trigger, we want to tell you what we think about the new findings: We believe the evidence is troubling, but not conclusive…
…Essential for strong bones? Maybe not. You do need calcium, along with magnesium, potassium and vitamins D and K, to build and maintain strong bones and protect yourself from late-life fractures that lower quality of life and lead to premature death. Milk’s got all three minerals plus D, but it’s not the only source. And while there’s evidence that it can bolster bone density, there’s also some research that indicates milk might not protect against fractures. That could knock out one big reason you drink milk.”2
I wonder if Drs. Oz and Roizen will experience any backlash from their colleagues and audience, because when it comes to milk, things can get pretty controversial. This is understandable – decades of advertising by the dairy industry have convinced the public at large that “milk does a body good.” We’ve all been fed a steady diet of positive messages about milk, even though some of the “evidence” of milk’s health-boosting properties is pretty dubious…even ridiculous.
Take, for example, an article from early this year that exposes the inane connection between drinking milk and intelligence. “Countries whose people drink more milk win more Nobel prizes, according to research published Tuesday in Practical Neurology, a serious British journal,”3 says the article.
But the search for “ ‘some kind of cause and effect relationship… in the case I described here, none of it is convincing, none whatsoever,’”3 says researcher Dr. Franz Messerli.
In other words, just because the inhabitants of a country drink more milk and also happen to win more Nobel prizes doesn’t mean that milk boosted the inhabitants’ intelligence. But because we’ve been led to believe that milk is such a “health food”, such unsound information is readily accepted.
It’s interesting that such ridiculous studies about milk’s so-called benefits get published in a prominent medical journal, while mounting evidence pointing out the unhealthy aspects of drinking milk gets ignored or ridiculed. Luckily, the truth is slowly but surely coming to light.
Nanoparticles Deliver Osteoporosis Drugs to Bone Microfracture Sites
When you give the body what it needs, it is capable of healing itself. But when mainstream medicine sees something that needs to be healed, such as a fracture, they turn to drugs. And the faster they can get those drugs into your body, the better. Now scientists are exploring the use of “nanotrucks,” microscopic particles of polylactic-co-glycolic acid which carry and deliver osteoporosis drugs – in this case, sodium alendronate (Fosamax) – directly to the site of microscopic fractures.
“The goal of this set of experiments was to make a self-powered nanotruck that could carry the osteoporosis drug (sodium alendronate) and would have a good chance of being safe for use inside the human body.
Like the nanoparticles in the previous tests, the FDA-approved nanotruck material had a little fluorescent molecule attached to it so its movements could be seen under a microscope. ‘Our experiments show that this bio-safe nanomotor can, in fact, successfully carry the osteoporosis drug to a fresh crack in a human bone,’ Sen said. He explained that, even when these nanomotors were loaded with millions of molecules of their bone-healing cargo, each one still was 30 to 40 times smaller than a red blood cell.
In a final set of experiments, done in the Grinstaff lab at Boston University, graduate student Jonathan Freedman tested the same osteoporosis drug on live human bone ells. ‘The treated bone cells increased in number as compared with those that were not treated with the osteoporosis drug, which confirms other studies that have shown that this drug is effective in repairing human bones,’ Grinstaff said.”4
The irony here is that the researchers are hoping this technique will prevent microfractures from becoming full-blown fractures. But sodium alendronate, like all bisphosphonates, increases fracture risk, and particularly microfracture risk.
Another concern here is the polylactic-co-glycolic acid used in the administration of the drug. This substance is a polymer, and one can only guess what damage microscopic particles of this substance could do to human bone tissue.
The Key is to Avoid Fractures in the First Place…
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Here’s an Idea: Why Not Densercise™ with Your Pet?
If you share your home with a pet, why not include him or her while you Densercise™? Well, I’m really joking, but when you’ll watch the amazing video of a man practicing yoga with his Chihuahua, you’ll know why I wrote this. The video is in Italian, but words are not necessary to appreciate the cuteness!
Watch this funny and adorable video:
Till next time,
1 Reuters, Nate Raymond. “Hundreds of Fosamax lawsuits versus Merck ordered readied for trial.” Chicago Tribune. August 30, 2013. Web. http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-merck-fosamax-20130830,0,1627005.story
2 “Drs. Oz and Roizen: Milk news that’ll shake you up.” The Windsor Star. August 28, 2013. Web. http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/08/28/drs-oz-and-roizen-milk-news-thatll-shake-you-up/
3 Brean, Joseph. “Correlation and causation: The good statistical lesson behind study associating drinking milk and Nobel prizes.” National Post. January 14, 2013. Web. http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/01/14/correlation-and-causation-the-good-statistical-lesson-behind-study-associating-drinking-milk-and-nobel-prizes/
4 Kennedy, Barbara K. “Novel self-powered nanoparticles developed to deliver healing drugs directly to bone cracks.” Phys.org. August 29, 2013. Web. http://phys.org/news/2013-08-self-powered-nanoparticles-drugs-bone.html