The Save Our Bones Bulletin: Joan Rivers A Victim Of Osteoporosis Scare Tactics, Pocket-Sized Bone Scanner, New Osteoporosis Drug ‘Inspired’ By Hibernating Bears, And More! - Save Our Bones

In today’s Save Our Bones Bulletin I share with you an interesting insight about osteoporosis scare tactics used on the late Joan Rivers.

You’ll also discover yet another osteoporosis diagnostic tool that will result in even more reported cases of osteoporosis and osteopenia.

And I saved the best for last – you’ll learn what a hibernating bear and your bones have in common (really!).

So let’s get started with the Bulletin.

1. Doctors Used Scare Tactics On Joan Rivers

First of all, I want to express my condolences to Joan Rivers’ family and friends, and how sad I am about her death that was likely due to a medical error. We all mourn her passing and keep her family in our thoughts and prayers.

Joan Rivers was a famous comic who made millions of people laugh at her wisecracks and jokes. But that did not spare her from becoming a victim of her doctor’s scare tactics to convince her to take osteoporosis drugs.

Relevant Segment:

“According to Guide2BoneHealth, it wasn’t until she had a complete workup, at the age of 68, that she had her first bone mineral density (BMD) test, a diagnostic tool that measures bone strength and the risk for osteoporosis. 

‘The doctor called me and said I had osteoporosis, and that I was going to end up breaking bones—most likely a hip—and be crippled,’ she says, recalling the results of that BMD test. ‘I got very upset. I thought my life was going to be over in five years, so I should pack it all in and bubble-wrap myself.’”1

I know many of you have heard something similar from your doctor. Unfortunately, It’s a common approach that physicians take, but falling for their fear-mongering and taking osteoporosis drugs is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

It begins with the density test, which Joan Rivers received for the first time when she was 68 years old. Most people erroneously believe that the BMD test measures “bone strength and the risk for osteoporosis,” as described in the relevant segment above. But such tests have no way of determining how strong your bones are. I’ll explain.

DXA (previously DEXA) scans only measure quantity, not quality of bone. And when it comes to resisting fractures (which osteoporosis management is all about), it’s quality – specifically flexibility or tensile strength – that determines whether a bone snaps or not. And a denser but brittle bone is more fracture-prone than a less dense one that can bend and resist breakage.

But the Medical Establishment takes the BMD results and uses them to convince those with an osteoporosis or osteopenia diagnosis that their bones are fragile, so they can move on to the next step: prescribing drugs (that cause brittle bones!). Because the “patient” believes his or her bones are “old” and about to break any minute, most people will readily accept the drug the doctor prescribes.

I’m glad that Savers are aware of this tactic, and that they know better than to fall for it. You also know an alternative: the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, which builds and nourishes your bones naturally to offset the effects of age. Personally, I’d much rather stick to an enjoyable, natural yet scientifically-backed approach than take a dangerous drug with damaging side effects!

2. Osteoporosis Diagnosis Now Comes In A Tiny, Portable Package

Amazingly, ultrasonic technology has gotten so small it can fit in a pocket. The new Bindex instrument is the first diagnostic tool of its kind. It consists of two pieces that fit in the palm of your hand, and it plugs into any laptop’s USB port to get quick bone scan readings.

Relevant Segment:

“‘The revolutionary Bindex technology is new and unique in the whole world. The instrument is light in weight, easily portable and has been proven to open up new and cost-efficient approaches for the diagnosis and screening of osteoporosis. The examination can even be carried out by a nurse at the patient’s home,’ says Ossi Riekkinen, CEO.”2

The manufacturer of this device certainly means well, but there’s no doubt that such technology will make diagnosis of osteoporosis and osteopenia faster and easier. And that’s just the problem.

Because Bindex makes bone density scans so quick and easy, it will lead to more diagnoses of osteoporosis and its alleged precursor, osteopenia. This in turn will allow doctors to prescribe even more drugs in the name of “curing” or “preventing” osteoporosis.

Here’s the kicker: osteoporosis drugs do neither of these things. Even if a scan shows greater bone density after a course of osteoporosis drugs, the bone integrity has been damaged by the drugs and the bone is actually less healthy and more likely to fracture.

You see, osteoporosis drugs stop normal, healthy bone turnover – that is, the rate at which old bone is shed and replaced with new bone. The Medical Establishment has incorrectly focused on the body’s natural process of removing old bone as the “culprit” behind low bone density, and thus they have worked with Big Pharma to develop drugs that will stop this process.

But the fact is, your body must remove old bone cells to build newer, younger bone. If one aspect of this process is artificially halted through drugs, your bones retain the old, worn-out bone cells. Thus, osteoporosis drugs age your bones in a very direct way, no matter what the scans show.

In contrast, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program supports your body in this natural process of bone turnover, boosting your body’s innate ability to renew youthful bone integrity.

3. For The Medical Establishment, Treating Osteoporosis Is A “Bear” – Literally

The fact that bears hibernate for six months of the year yet do not lose bone density has intrigued researchers at Michigan Tech University. If humans took to their beds for the winter, refraining from food, sunlight, and exercise, our bones would deteriorate. Yet bears’ bones actually get stronger during hibernation.

Relevant Segment:

“Bears don’t get osteoporosis, even though they hibernate for more than half the year in Alaska. What might we learn from this?

Seth Donahue of Michigan Tech University is trying to find out. He once gave a seminar sponsored by UAF’s Institute of Arctic Biology on using bears as a model for preventing osteoporosis.

He started off by showed an x-ray of a female tennis player’s forearms. The bones within her right forearm were larger than those in her left.

‘If you overload bone, you have bone gain,’ he said. ‘There’s more bone formation in the racquet arm of a tennis player.’

That’s why hibernating black and grizzly bears perform what seems like a miracle. They don’t lose bone mass during a half-year of inactivity, despite not eating, not moving much, not urinating or defecating, and, for mother bears, giving birth and nursing cubs.

Donahue and his colleagues have studied hibernating bears and have found that bears don’t lose bone mass during hibernation. They somehow even seem to build stronger bones.”3

The example of the tennis player’s arm bones comes as no surprise to Savers, who know that the action of gravity and muscle on bone increases bone strength, density, and fracture resistance. But during hibernation, bears maintain – even enhance – their bone mineral density. Yet they are not even moving.

The secret may lie in the bear’s parathyroid gland. When the same team of researchers gave rats with low bone mineral density synthetic bear parathyroid hormone, the rats’ bone loss reversed. However, giving the rats human parathyroid hormone had the same effect, leading to inconclusive results about the role of parathyroid hormone in bears’ ability to maintain high BMD.

Not surprisingly, Donahue and his team have already partnered with a drug company to market the synthetic hormone as an osteoporosis drug.

We’ve learned from synthetic calcitonin salmon what I’ve been saying all along about the dangers of playing with hormones: it carries inherent risks and side effects, including cancer.

And the Medical Establishment knows about the benefits of exercise to improve bone quality and quantity, yet they’re still searching for the “magic pill”.

Why take the risk when there is an alternative that’s 100% safe and effective? A pH-balanced diet including bone-healthy Foundation Foods, Foundation Supplements, and targeted exercises to build muscle and bone are crucial to youthful bone integrity, not artificial hormones.

The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System is the perfect companion to the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, because with Densercise, you’ll engage in a variety of exercises that build your bones and reverse the effects of aging.

Plus the Osteoporosis Reversal Program and Densercise™ show you step-by-step how to incorporate these healthful habits into your everyday life, so you can reverse bone loss and regain your youthful vigor and energy.

Feel free to check out Densercise™ by clicking here, if you haven’t yet. Then you too can enjoy fun exercises that build younger bones without drugs!

Till next time,


1 Houser, Nancy. “Update: Joan Rivers in serious condition, placed in induced coma.” Digital Journal. August 30, 2014. Web.

2 Bone Index.

3 Rozell, Ned. “Why don’t hibernating bears get osteoporosis?” KTOO. August 23, 2014. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. yasin

    Dear viv
    thank you for all scientific and food advices on osteoprosses
    i have wrote to Bindex company they did not help me where to buy the hand size pieces of the latest bone scan reading which is to be plucked to the laptop USB as per your article(joan Rivers A victim of osteoprosses)
    looking forward for your reply
    best regards and respects

  2. Elma

    Dear Vivian, I am in a worrying situation. A few years ago I fractured my left upper arm. shortly afterwards my left ancle. Both healed well but I had a bone test and was diagnosed with osteoponea. I WASDESCRIBED THE USUAL MEDCATION which I did not take. Two years ago I fractured the neck of my left femur. Apparently it has healed well but I am still in a lot of pain. I am having a DXA test shortly and expect to be put under great pressure to take one of the drugs that are supposed to strengthen my bones. I have also seen Xrays of my hip bones that show a lack of calcium, although my blood calcium level is normal. I also know that the cartilage in my hip joints are worn. I am eating a very healthy diet, following your recipes in your book and also doing regular excercises. What else should I do? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. BY the way I am 78 years old and consider myself to be very active in sorts of ways. Please help, Elma

  3. kukla

    Miracle or science??? After trying the SOB program for over a year my latest density test again showed a steady decline. (I tried Fosamax and Boniva for 7+ plus years with no improvement and stopped them a couple years ago.) Nightly, for years, I’ve suffered extreme, unrelenting, randomized leg muscle or nerve cramping that do not release quickly by simply standing… taking many minutes before I can even walk a few steps. Twenty minutes or more later I would lie back down only to repeat the same scenario several more times throughout the night. The pain is intense. (I attributed post polio and scoliosis as possible contributors.)

    Two weeks ago, receiving my density results, my physician persuaded me to have a Prolia injection. (I rejected her attempts in the past, mostly for fear of increasing my leg problems) To my astonishment, and delight, I’ve not had a leg cramp since then!!! She never indicated this could happen! I wonder what is going on??? Vivian? Anybody?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I am very glad to hear that you are free of leg pain, Kukla! And please don’t think that following the Program was to no avail. Remember, tensile strength is what counts when it comes to fracture prevention, not density (this is why drugs that artificially increase density actually make the bone harder and more fracture-prone). Remember, the main goal of rejuvenating bone through the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is to prevent fractures, and you have certainly succeeded with flying colors! 🙂

      • Kukla

        Vivian, thank you for responding to my inquiry regarding leg cramps and Prolia. Now 2 weeks and 2 days after the injection I am beginning to have little leg cramps return during the night. I hope they do not escalate to their previous intensity. I don’t know how long I could endure that. Is there an ingredient in Prolia that would diminish leg cramping, even short term? If that is the case, would that possibly indicate that I may be deficient in that particular substance? Taking chelated magnesium, per reading your articles, has helped some. Thank you in advance for your insight.

  4. jaylene

    In 2002, at age 69, Joan Rivers was told she had osteoporosis. IT HAS BEEN PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE FOR AT LEAST THE PAST 8 YEARS.

    The fact you have chosen to mention it only now – just weeks after her death – gives the impression you are using Joan’s demise, celebrity, and her TWELVE YEAR OLD DIAGNOSIS, to sell your books/program. It is in very poor taste.

    • June Bennett

      Jaylene – why would Virginia speak of Joan River’s osteoporosis problem when she was alive unless Joan Rivers wanted her to? That would have been in the poorest of taste. Virginia is simply able (and very aptly also) to emphasize how the medical/pharmaceutical establishments are pushing these bad meds on the unsuspecting public, although in this day and age, how are people still “unsuspecting”? You have to be either stupid – or stupid – to not know what is happening. Sorry, but I just have to disagree with your comment.

      • jaylene

        June – Over the past 8 years, if Vivian had informed SOB followers of factual information related to Joan’s osteoporosis (that had already been stated publically by the comedienne herself), it would have been a non-issue. There is a sensationalizing aspect to linking a celebrity name to one’s own agenda, especially so soon after a celebrity’s demise. You don’t seem to get it, so enough said.

      • June

        Sorry Vivian – I called you Virginia. Does that nullify my comment? I hope not.

  5. Jan

    What exactly do you suggest if not PROLIA?

  6. virginia nichols


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are most welcome, Virginia!

  7. Evelyn Waugh

    There is no such disease as “osteopenia”. It is a term fabricated by the pharma folks
    to frighten us into taking drugs they prescribe for healthy bones. //////We have to do
    our homework to avoid being bamboozled into more drugs. (follow
    the proper protocol as provided by Save Our Bones program)

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Exactly, Evelyn – and in fact, osteoporosis is not a disease, either!

  8. Shirley Carini

    This comment is to share what happened about 5 years ago. I took Evista for about 1 year., Then had another DEXA scan. You can guess what came next. Evista wasn’t doing ennooufgh for me. Fortunately, I learned about Vivian’s work ( Thanks Vivian) so I knew what to tell the doctor. She wasn’t too happy but didn’t push too hard. Did I ever fall? Yes several times. Did I break any bones?
    I do want to comment on Sherrie’s answer to her doctor. That was a brilliant answer. I’m going to copy it to help me remember it.

  9. Jan Diamond

    I have been without any medications for two years. I have recently visited my Doctor since my last Dexa Scan two years ago. She states I have now moved to Osteoporosis from Osteopenia and have a greater rate to break a hip and my spine due to recent test analysis. I have been med free for two years but have been on Forteo, Fosomax, in the past…..I am 73 years old, 115 lbs., work out four days a week, walk, weight bearing exercises and eat all the right stuff and take the necessary vitamins. My Doctor want to put me on another drug………Need some advise…
    Jan Diamond

    • Jan Diamond

      I have not received your reply since Sept. 23?
      Jan Diamond

  10. Marlene Villar

    Good evening Vivian,
    Thank you so much for this article.
    I”m learning a lot through your e-mails and also from your
    book as well as from others.
    Have a wonderful evening. Marlene

  11. Dr Yogender Sharma

    Thanks Vivan, I must say that Yours have been the most practical articles and exercise programs that I have ever read on Osteoporosis.
    Could you please elaborate on the exact test which can help in detection of osteoporosis. By the way I am a Medical Doctor and a Radiologist. Serum calcium assessment is what I believe the best test according to me.
    Any further suggestions?

  12. Shahnaz

    So, what is the conclusion of the bear story? I think we need to have our parathyroid glands in good working condition to be able to build our bones. But I still need to know more, please Vivian, if u can write some more details on this. We all would appreciate it very much.


    vivian, but you didn’t tell us HOW we can use these facts about the bears to help our own bones. If you believe that the parathyroid hormone is too risky to be used safely, then the bears experience is t no avail.

    [ and when do you comment on our emails? I’ve posted a few but never see an answer.]

  14. Terry

    What can anyone tell be about cissus quadrangularis? It is an Ayurvedic remedy that supposedly doubles your production of bone-building osteoblasts. It is also recommended to help heal broken bones faster. Is it safe to take? Does it really do what they say?

  15. Ayleen

    Do you recommend that we say no to having a bone mineral density test done? Is there any test that measures the strength of our bones?
    Thank you for all your research and for helping us to stay informed.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hello Ayleen,
      It’s not a bad idea to do a bone mineral density test…as long as you understand the results and variations involved (as explained in detail in Chapter 2 of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program). 🙂 That way, you have a baseline from which you can determine any future increase. 🙂

  16. Betty Ferguson

    any suggestions for re-building bones under gums? My dentist & periodontist say I have significant bone lose under my 2 front teeth (bottom) & will need to have them pulled & a ceramic bridge put in their place. I’m 60 yr female in good health…on NO meds… 5′ 4.5″ 150#s
    Blessings & Thank You

  17. Edna

    I am also interested in knowing the name of the supplement the Elizabeth mentions above. Please give us the name of the supplement that you recommend.

    Thank you for your interest in our health. I do wish that you are doing well.

  18. Sherrine

    After takine Evista for four years with no bone gain, I was given a brochure about Prolia. OMG! I can’t believe they are giving this to people. I told my doctor I was not going to take anything but try to keep my body in pH balance. (I had become a recent member of Save Our Bones.)

    My doctor leaned forward and looked me straight in the eyes and said that if I didn’t take medication that I had a 10% chance of breaking my hip and a 15% chance of breaking vertabrae in the next 5 years! Gulp! Heheheh I looked at HIM and said, “You mean I have a 90% chance of NOT breaking my hip and a 85% chance of NOT breaking vertabrae?” He paused and said, “Well, yes.” I told him I thought those were great odds. End of discusion. LOL


    • June

      I love your answer back to the doctor – 85% and 90% of NOT breaking a bone!! I now know what I will say when Dr. H tells me I absolutely must take Forteo. I know it is a different med than Fosamax and Boniva, etc., but it still didn’t sound like something I would want to ingest – or in this case, inject, after researching. Thanks.

  19. Quebec City

    For the drugs my aunt took them following an advice from a doctor, my sister did not follow the same advice, yet on her last scan, my aunt found her BMD much lowered whereas my sister who did not take the medication has still strong bones despite osteopeania. She fell in the bath tub resulting in bruises but no bones were damaged.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Interesting! I am glad your sister did not sustain any fractures from her fall. 🙂

  20. connie

    Vivian, After taking a year or so of the drugs, how long — if ever — does it take for the natural bone making process to recover?

    So thankful for your info packed newsletters.

  21. Elizabeth Maroney

    Please post the information on the supplement you recommended a few months ago. As I recall it was an all in one supplement rather than taking separate vitamins and minerals.
    Also-please address silica and gelatin/collagen supplementation.

    • sheila

      Yes please
      . I too would appreciate hearing your answer. Just resting up with a crushedvertebrae after cutting and pruning trees at 79y.o. when will I learn?
      Thanks for the valuable information Vivienne.

  22. Pearl

    Thankyou Vivian, I shudder at them finding an easier way to diagnose, I can see so many being put on to drugs earlier & earlier
    Big pharma will be rubbing their hands in glee.
    Thankyou for keeping me informed.

    • Ralph Santarsiero

      I do not believe than Vivian was attacking the doctors. I do believe that many doctors “push pills” more than they should. As a fitness specialist & personal trainer, I know for a fact that doctors do not “push exercise” any where as often as they should for their patients. ACSM coned the phrase,”Exercise is Medicine.”

    • Jan Cohen

      Hi Vivian,

      While I’m really enjoying using your program, and hopefully will see results, I think that you’ve gone way too far in general in casting aspersions on doctors, and certainly vis-a-vis Joan River’s death, in laying guilt on the doctors involved in her case. Forgive me if I’m misinterpreting your article here or elsewhere. However, there is much still to be known as to the cause of her death, and unfortunately, there are many people who go into surgery for a simple procedure, and who never come out. I’m sure you can name a few yourself. People react differently to all types of anesthesia and other medications– what will be perfectly fine for one individual may prove fatal to another. We all know about food allergies such as peanut, sesame, etc., all of which can be deadly in sensitive individuals and yet, most of us enjoy them without ever experiencing any adverse effects whatsoever. I think that it’s extremely important not to jump to conclusions in this case– world class specialists’ reputations, careers, and everything they’ve ever done professionally are on the line. Not that the case shouldn’t be investigated, but it seems to me that these individuals have already been tried and proven guilty by a sensationalist media. We need to be careful with assigning a possible indictment.

      And one more thing. In general, you come down very strongly against doctors, as if they’re all in a conspiracy with the drug companies, and are all against providing the public with the best health options available. Doctors treat and prescribe according to the scientific evidence with which they’re presented after many trials, tests, etc. (it takes YEARS to get a drug approved through the FDA) and generally, not from anecdotal evidence (such as, “wow! I went off the nightshade vegetables, and it helped my arthritis!”) In spite of flaws in this system, and there are many, I think that you can’t deny that doctors save lives everyday and that research and modern medicine is the reason why people aren’t dying from terrible epidemics as they used to. Both our quality of life and longevity is far greater than was possible in previous generations.

      I hope that you will take this as constructive criticism of a small part of your overall excellent program, one that I’m very happy I discovered, and that in the future, you will recognize that most doctors (there are certainly some who shouldn’t be practicing medicine) are really doing their level best, according to their knowledge, training, and skill, and that there is no medical conspiracy against the public they treat. Perhaps with more research, many new non-invasive and non-medicinal treatments will be found in all areas of medicine.

      Jan Cohen

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        I understand, Jan, and I welcome your feedback. 🙂 When I mention “doctors,” I am not referring to any particular individual. Rather, I am making reference to the Medical Establishment as a whole, and the protocol under which it operates. 🙂 For more reading on this topic, you might like to check out this post:

        Keep up the critical thinking!

        • Betty

          Thanks for this interesting and stimulating forum and Jan for your well written concern about Joan Rivers cause of death.
          I was intrigued about the potential research findings about bear bones and will be interested in hearing from Vivian when more information is released on this. I appreciate the opportunity to hear and some times respond to the views of so many of the program members and applaud Vivian for her respectful attitude to those who from time to time may offer another opinion on these articles.

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