Vivian Answers Day #14: pH Test Strips, Alkaline Water, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Protelos, Chlorine, Vitamins, Half-Life Of Drugs, And More! - Save Our Bones

Question & Answer #1

I would be interested in your thoughts on the use of “green” powders containing chlorophyll to improve pH balance.

Thank you!


Dear Maria,

First I'd like to point out that the most effective way to maintain the desirable alkaline pH in the body is to eat pH balanced meals per the Osteoporosis Reversal Program's easy-to-follow guidelines.

You may know that chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color. And here's a bit of chlorophyll trivia for you: its chemical formula is identical to human blood hemoglobin except that in plants, the central iron atom present in humans is replaced by magnesium. Heating vegetables, especially overcooking them, causes hydrogen to replace the magnesium. You can visually see the color change of cooked veggies. As I write in the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse, the 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator, raw vegetables are the healthiest choice… and chlorophyll is one of the reasons. You can also steam vegetables if you prefer.

When you follow the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you are already eating chlorophyll-rich foods… all those wonderfully alkalizing greens such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, celery, lettuce, and more.

For example, Wheatgrass juice is very high in chlorophyll.

To your healthy nutrition!

Question & Answer #2

I have your book and started on your program since June 2010. Previously, unfortunately, I trusted the doctors and took Alendronic Acid for over 4 years. These are my questions:

1) You say page 50 the terminal half-life of alendronate is approx. 10 years and the drug is buried in bone and becomes inactive. Am I to understand that for the next 10 years (more perhaps) I could have osteonecrosis of the jaw because the drug could become active again if I was to need dental surgery or extraction of a tooth?

2) If I continue to follow your program, will my bones continue to improve each year? Could osteoporosis possibly be beaten?

Thank you very much again.


Dear Fortune,

You'll probably be surprised to discover that your first question has to do with an area that has been scantily researched. In fact, most of the information we have today about the residual effects of bisphosphonates such as alendronic acid (the generic formula of Fosamax, which has lost its patent recently) is thanks to studies by oral surgeons. Because it is obvious that their profession is most affected by the potentially disfiguring negative effects of these drugs often following oral treatments, and especially dental extractions. Oral surgeons also treat the dreaded Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ), for which there is no known cure.

Now to answer your question, the half-life of a drug represents the amount of time for drug levels in the body to fall to half of its original value. Bisphosphonates attach themselves to bone, and the levels released into the bloodstream are rather low. Otherwise, it wouldn't be necessary to prescribe the drug on an ongoing basis.

The good news for you and for all those who have stopped the bisphosphonates are two-fold. First, as you quote from the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, once normal bone remodeling resumes and new bone gets created, the old bone is covered by the new bone. And guess what: the drug that attached itself to the old bone gets covered by the new bone. Thankfully, this inactivates the drug so that it no longer poses the risk to get the awful osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). And bear in mind that most severe cases of ONJ have been reported with high doses of the intravenous bisphosphonate zoledronic acid.

And to answer your second question, here's a quote from renowned Dr. Karl Insogna, Director of the Bone Center at Yale School of Medicine:

“We tend to think of the skeleton as at inert erector set that holds us up and doesn't do much else. That's not true. Every bit as dynamic as other tissues, bone responds to the pull of muscles and gravity, repairs itself, and constantly renews itself.”

Of course you can restore your bone health by following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program!

So believe in your bones and – most importantly – believe in yourself.

Question & Answer #3

My 65-yr. old husband was diagnosed with osteopenia. He checks his AM urine & saliva PH using hydrolized test strips. Consistently his urine is 8.0 and saliva is 6.2. Can anything be concluded from this wide discrepancy?

Thank you.


Dear Margo,

Even though your husband's saliva pH is within desirable levels, his urine checks out too alkaline. Ideally, the urine pH should be more acidic than the saliva pH. That's because acids are excreted via the urine, detoxifying the body.

An excessively alkaline urine pH may indicate low alkaline reserves, as the kidneys need to generate greater quantities of ammonia to handle the excess acid. Ammonia has a pH of approximately 9.5, making it very alkaline.

So it's a great idea for your husband to continue with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program to replenish his alkaline reserves and reverse Osteopenia.

In good health,

Question & Answer #4

1. Are your recommendations equally valid for men?

2.Is Protelos as different from the other bone building products as they say?

3. Does Glucosamine help or is still unproven?


Dear Richard,

The Osteoporosis Reversal Program is designed to nourish bones and increase their density both for men and women. However, due to variations in the factors that cause osteoporosis in men, I have dedicated a section in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program specifically for men. But the recommendations are equally applicable to both.

The European drug Protelos, the most common brand name for Strontium Ranelate, is different from the other drugs in that it combines the mineral strontium with ranelic acid, a synthetic molecule. But studies have shown that strontium is a bone thickener, especially affecting the outer cortical layer, thus making bones more susceptible to break. I explain this drug in great detail in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. You can also read lots of good info on it in the free Natural Bone-Building Handbook. If you didn't get it yet, I strongly recommend you download it.

And to answer your last question, glucosamine is a monosaccharide or simple sugar that occurs naturally in the body and forms part of joint cartilage. Glucosamine supplements are typically used for arthritis.

Stay strong and inquisitive,

Question & Answer #5

I would like to know if swimming in a chlorinated pool has a leaching affect through the skin?


Dear Sharon-Lee,

This is an excellent question because municipal waters have loads of toxic chemicals added to it, and chlorine is one of them. Chlorine is a toxic gas and a strong respiratory irritant, plus studies have shown several other detrimental effects. Municipalities use it to disinfect water, lately mixed with ammonia, forming chloramines. Unfortunately, swimming pools have even more chlorine added.

Here's a quote from the Osteoporosis Hydration Protocol, which is part of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program:

When it comes to skin contact with chemicals, it is important to remember that your skin is like a giant sponge, so it actually absorbs potentially toxic chemicals, and some of them may even end up in your bloodstream. Tests have shown that when you take a ten minute shower you could be absorbing as much chlorine through your skin as if you drank 8 glasses of water, especially when the water is very hot, since hot water opens up the pores.

If you live near a beach, try swimming in the ocean whenever you can. But you don't need to give up swimming pools. Here's a trick to protect you: Mix about 8 ounces of olive oil with a few drops of your favorite essential oil and spray on about 15 minutes before swimming. The oil acts as a gentle barrier between your skin and the water and also protects your skin from the drying effects of chlorine.

Stay afloat and healthy!

Question & Answer #6

Can alcoholic beverages be consumed occasionally without having any major negative effect on new bone growth if one is following the eating guidelines of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program?


Dear Helen,

Yes, you can have your occasional drink… and your bone health! I really think that the huge flexibility of food choices offered by the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is what makes it so easy to follow and to stay on track with your bone health.

Just make sure that when you drink alcohol you also consume alkalizing snacks or a perfectly balanced meal followed by a 100% alkalizing snack. Celery, cucumbers, or green salad are great to quickly bring up your pH while you drink.

Enjoy life!

Question & Answer #7

Hi Vivian

I'e read your book, Save Our Bones, and found it easy to understand. But I also have been reading about ionized water also known as alkaline water which has been shown to make a big difference in one's health. What is your opinion on this aspect of our daily diet? After all, we drink water daily and use it for cooking every day. I feel that it can be very beneficial, do you? Or is it just a misleading marketing gimmick?


Dear Lily,

The pH of the water you drink doesn't matter. Unlike foods, water doesn't have an alkaline or acid ash residue. It simply mixes with the stomach contents and gets extremely acidified by the digestive acids present there. Then the digestive process continues and the water gets absorbed into the blood stream in the small intestines, where it gets alkalized by pancreatic enzymes and bile. So as I recommend in the Osteoporosis Hydration Protocol, stick to distilled water with a few drops of fresh lemon juice.

Stay hydrated and inquisitive,

Question & Answer #8

Do you think taking bone building vitamins will help strengthen my bones?


Dear Jana,

You're on the right track, because certain vitamins are necessary to have strong and healthy bones. That's why I've selected the ones that help you build your bones and listed them as Foundation Supplements. And to make it even easier, I've given you Foundation Foods that contain those vitamins. But vitamins are a small part of the whole picture. And that's where the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, unlike toxic drug therapies, shines a light: your bone health is dependent on more than just one thing!

Fortunately, taking small steps to improve your bone health is a lot easier than you might think. If you haven't yet, download the free Natural Bone-Building Handbook, where I list all the bone healthy nutrients to nourish your bones, including important minerals and antioxidants. Plus you'll get loads of information on the simple nutritional and lifestyle actions you can apply right away to reverse Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.

And if you want to bring your bone health to the next level and build your bones, I recommend you check out the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.

To your bone health!

Question & Answer #9

I was prescribed Methotrexate (current dosage 15mgs. per. week) 9 years ago, for treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I am interested in your thoughts (and those of your readers who may be/have previously been taking Methotrexate for RA) as to the likely success of my following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program for my Osteoporosis, whilst taking this medication. (I'e tried a few times over the years to function successfully without it; but unfortunately this has always resulted in a flare-up of RA.)


Dear Wendy,

I hope you are feeling well these days and that your RA is under control. Like many commonly used drugs such as aspirin, Methotrexate is a potent enzyme inhibitor. It has some significant potential side effects, but fortunately, none that could be related to your bone health.

Because Methotrexate is a synthetic chemical, you should tackle its acidifying effect on your pH. But here's the good news: you take the drug once a week, and its half-life spans between 3 to 10 hours after taking it. So assuming the worse case scenario of a 12 hours half-life , only 25 percent of the Methotrexate typically remains in your body after one day, 1/16 after two days, and less than one-half of 1% after four days.

So especially on the first few days after you take the drug, pay special attention to your pH balancing, try to snack on 100% alkalizing goodies, and reduce stress as much as possible.

Be strong and positive,

Question & Answer #10

Is jumping rope a good bone-building exercise? Thank you.


Dear Evelyn,

Jumping up and down sends a loud and clear message to your bones: “get strong… and fast!”. Believe it or not, the effect of jumping in place has been researched by Japanese scientists using laboratory mice. Published in the Osteoporosis International Journal, the study shows that having mice jump 40 times a week for 24 weeks significantly increased their bone density.

Besides this fantastic benefit, jumping is a great aerobic workout and it also helps improve balance and has an invigorating and rejuvenating effect. But it's a lot safer to forget the rope, and simply jump up and down in place. Without the rope, you greatly reduce the chances of injury. Also, proceed with caution, because this type of exercise can be rather harsh on fragile bones, especially if you had a fracture in the past.

Keep smiling,

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Tracey

    Dear Vivian,

    I would love to know if there has been any research done on olympic swimmers and the state of their bones, as they have spent numerous hours submerged in chlorinated pools, so surely their bones would have to be in a terrible state by the time they hit middle age?

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  3. Laura Thomson

    Hi Vivian,
    I purchased the Save Your Bones Program and am wondering about the amount of plain fat-free yogurt I can eat. In one place you say it is alkaline but later in the book yogurt was listed as acidic(not sweetened just plain yogurt). Please clarify this for me as I am eating a considerable amount of it.
    Thanks, Laura

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Unsweetened yogurt is neutral to alkalizing, Laura. Sweetened yogurt is acidifying.

  4. Lori

    In response to Evelyn and jumping rope: get yourself a good rebounder. They are wonderful, very low impact and are great for the lymphatic system! They work every cell in your body. Research them on the internet!

  5. Brigitte

    dear vivian,
    you recommend distilled water because it is alcaline. but there is an interesting discussion about plastic packaging which contaminate bottled drinking water with estrogenic chemicals. distilled water comes in plastic containers which are made of different plastic as the one used for drinking water. could you perhaps find out with experts if we should trust in plastic bottled distilled water? is there any other better way to drink alcaline water? and besides, we should also think of the environment and substitute these materials with more eco-friendly ones. Thank you Brigitte

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Brigitte, if you choose not to purchase bottled distilled water, you can buy a countertop distiller or a reverse osmosis filter. You should be able to find both by doing an online search; a distiller will generally be more inexpensive and use less water.

  6. Frannie Weber

    Can you tell me about pH strips? When is the best time to test my urine and what do I want the pH to be? What if the number is high (like in the question above–8.0)–what does that mean? I’m trying SOB program, not on meds, but really hope to understand the acid/alkaline diet.

  7. F. Brandwein

    Dear Vivian,
    Thank you for the link to Sherry’s publication on food combining. I suffered for months with loose stools. I had a test for Celiac disease, which was negative, then a flex-sig, which thankfully was negative for ulcerative colitis. Still, I suffered. I was given two courses of a strong antibiotic and that helped for a while, but the problems with digestion persisted. I am so grateful to you, for the link, and to Sherry for her comments because it worked. Overnight, I felt better and continue to enjoy proper digestion. I am eating much less than before, but am feeling much better and a bonus of weight loss, too. I dropped from 127 to 119 lbs. without trying…just combining what goes together! Thank you both so much. Keep on with your very good work.

  8. Shula

    Enjoy the new added information with each answer to each question.


  9. Bettie

    I know you say DO NOT take any prescription drugs. Which the only one I take is synthroid for hypothyrodism. My question is I have chronic low back pain. I do not take anything for it, but it is getting worse. Is there anything I can take that will help it? There must be an alternative to prescription drugs if you have chronic pain. I am doing the Save our Bones Program.

  10. Sabine

    Dear Vivian…Love reading your mails with all the wonderful infos you give….Have been traveling & trying to walk the line !!!! very difficult especially in Paris …but keeping in mind the 80/20 ratio it help a little…All the best to you & many thanks…Sabine H

  11. Rita Black UK

    Please Vivian do answer our questions re EZORB CALCIUM on your next Q. Day. My comment on May26th contains a major misprint viz:” inorganic” when I meant to write ORGANIC CALCIUM when referring to the Health Food shop.
    Please will someone tell us where, in the UK, EZORB CALCIUM can be bought.
    Answer’s day is always full of interesting comment and information.
    Rita Black

  12. Gerry

    Grains are acidic but do gluten free grains have the same acid content?

  13. Margaret Donoghoe

    Very excited that I will soon receive my “Save Our Bones” Book. I do have a question – I have come across a Calcium supplement called ‘Lifestream Natural Calcium’ derived from a calcified sea vegetable found on the Irish Coast. It can be taken in capsule or powder form and the information states that it is the only certified organic food complex available in Australia. As I don’t seem to be able to buy Algaecal here, I wondered if this supplement would be okay – also it is within my price range! Thank you so much for all the wonderful information. Margaret

    • Garland

      Hi Margaret
      I am in Australia too and use lifestream Natural calcium. Would also love to know the answer to your request. I also have burchased the Save our Bones Program. Here is hoping Viviene can answer our query. Good luck with your efforts.

    • Margaret Donoghoe

      Received my Save Our Bones which has so much valuable information – thank you! Would still like to know if you have any information about “Lifestream Natural Calcium”. I know you must be extremely busy and so many asking you questions.

      Many thanks once again.


  14. Nu Ly

    I am so happy to receive your email.

    I know I don’t drink distilled water,(it means
    pure water)Do I need to buy water filter? and
    what’s the brand? I am confused. Thank you.

  15. Mary Elmore

    Do I have to add a few drops of lemon juice to my distilled water!

    Thank you,


  16. Helen

    Thank you Vivean you help us so much, I am so pleased you realy care for us. There is much joy in helping others and when I see your information going evin to other countries it is overwhelming I say To God be the Glory And thank you for Vivean

  17. Angela Wynne-Robinson

    Hi – I was pleased to read in Vivian’s comments above, about olive oil put on your skin before swimming is beneficial. I had heard on TV from Louis Spence that Madonna sprays olive oil on her skin before showering and so I have been doing similar on daily basis,and my skin has become much softer and all dryness gone. Its much better than all the body lotions you can buy with chemicals in them.

    But you do have to take care not to make your shower base slippy – we don’t want to fall and risk our bones.

    Thanks for all the useful information Vivian –
    My popular ladies magazine ‘Prima’ dropped through my letter box this week and there is quite an article on Osteoporosis. However a lot of the advice appears to recommend Alendronate etc., which is a pity. There is some information on making the body alkaline though.

  18. Virgina

    Thank you for the information. I have read many nutrition books of the years. There is always more to learn. Virginia

  19. Georgia

    Can you please repeat why cow’s milk is not good for our bones, and your opinion on soymilk?

    • Helen

      I have found that I like coconut milk the best and I can get it wthout sugar. I know people like sweet stuff but I do not like sugary anything except ice cream and I love it. Sugar leaves an acidic tast in my mouth and it is yuky
      Every one to his own desire I know estrogen is in a lot of foods these days and to much of that hormone can be bad for the body so i stay clear of anything that contains it. I hear soy is good and I have heard otherwise. You are the captain you chose your food.

      • Seher

        I’ve always wtnead to read The Lovely Bones but I heard the first chapter performed so many times in forensics (speech and debate, not CSI) that it became too much and I never got around to it. I always thought it was well-written though and I’d still like to read it. Thanks for the review!

  20. Celestina Marie

    Thank you Vivian for the latest answers to the questions in the Osteoporosis community. Ever bit of information helps us all.
    Have a wonderful Memorial Weekend!
    Keep Smiling,
    Celestina Marie

  21. LESLIE

    Hi! Vivian,

    Thank You VERY MUCH, As Always For Helping Us Keep Our Bones In Good Health!

    LOVE, M. L.

  22. John Moore

    I’m having difficulty reading the small type of you emails. Would it be bractical to increse the size, to 14 point for example?

    Thank you for your consideration

    • Helen

      Try pressing on the ctrl butten to the left of your space bar and scrole your mouse wheel this should make the print larger or smaller, it dose workl on some documents but not all but you can try. I hope it works for you,

  23. Linley

    Hi Vivian…thank you for all this wonderful information. Question # 7 re water…when you suggest drinking distilled water, do you mean the same distilled water I put in my iron? Is this different to spring water from a bottle or water through a filtration system at home? It may be because I am from Australia…but I didn’t think you could drink distilled water.
    I will be interested in your response…Linley

  24. lois

    How about Vitamin K for the bones?

  25. Ava Kar

    I drink lots of coconut milk, almost no regular milk powdered mayb 2 or 3 cups a week of that. Coconut mlk goes into my coffee, on my cereal; some of it is lighter than other kinds, but I like then all. I wonder what you have to say about coconut milk – I realize that it is not the same as the transparent
    fluid that is in the coconut itself. Ava

  26. Rita Black UK

    Thank you Jean for that Question. I too am interested in Ezorb calcium answers. I do not know where to buy it in the UK and have been told by one health food shop that they were not allowed to sell inorganic Calcium supplements.
    Thank you VIvian for sharing with us your meticulous research.
    Rita Black

  27. Sue

    Is jumping on a mini-trampoline as good as jumping on hard ground to strenthen bones?

    • Jackie Waite

      I love my mini trampoline. Just go on the internet and see all the healthful things it does for you. I’ve read that it is also good for oteroposis.

  28. Marge

    Is seltzer water, (or carbonation) okay to drink?

    • vera

      just interested to read your reply to others. Thanks

  29. Robin

    Is drinking Almond milk ok for our bones being it has vitamin D and Calcium? I like to stay away from cows milk but was wondering about Almond milk.

    • Cindy

      Vivian talks about almond milk on Question Day 9, question No. 1. She does favor almond milk. I think Blue Diamond brand tastes better than Silk.

      • Sue

        I have given up cow’s milk and don’t miss it. I buy either Silk or Blue Diamond, depending on which is on sale. I only wish almond milk had protein!

  30. Jean

    Vivian, some of us are still waiting for an answer about Ezorb calcium supplements. I know the question has been asked before, but I don’t recall that it’s been answered. If there’s a reason you are not comfortable answering this question, just say, sorry I can’t answer that question, and THAT is an answer; just so we know you’re not ignoring the question. Thanks always for all your help.

    • Bettie

      I am also waiting on an anwer for the Ezorb supplements. I am taking them right now, but would like to know if they are good for you. I order mine online from the Ezorb company. I am almost out, but I can’t find the calcium w/algae at any of the health food stores in my area.

  31. Judy Lansing

    I am concerned about your recommendation to use distilled water because I was informed by a Doctor that its natural process is to leach essential minerals from your body in order to reinstate its natural balance.
    I was told that the best option is to use a water filter that removes chlorine and lead from municipally treated water but leaves everything else alone.
    Can you clarify?

  32. Helen

    Dear Vivian,
    Do you think taking half a teaspoon of sodium bicarb in a glass of water every 2 days to reduce acid in the digestive tract is a good idea.

    • Helen

      I think you need to eat raw foods and take some lemon sqweezed in your water befor meals get some natural enzymes in your stomach Your PH should be around 7 to high is to alckoline to low is acidic
      You need acid in your stomach to diget your food and the way I understand it the more soda you take the more acid your stomach makes. So be cautious the experts say PH should be 7 for a healthy body
      Check out enzymes and what they do for you
      You can get test strips for measuring PH at your drug store.. or on line.


      does soda work for acid reflux? I have balance disorder. i do not feel stable when walking. what will help. thanks.

  33. gerald potvin

    Mycomments are personal. I have recently been diagnosed as having a very enlarged prostate gland. This was not gradual. On the contrary it is a very sudden thing. For some time now, my urine has a very foul odour and very dark. I admit that I have not been drinking enough water. I also have a condition called orchitis affecting my scrotum. I have been a lifelong athlete, marathon runner and triathlete, less so in recent years, except for long distance cycling. Through this past winter I have been very inactive. Years ago, I was diagnosed as having osteopenia, but have done nothing about that condition. I am 79 years old still reasonably healthy overall. I have not read Save Your Bones yet, however I will. Can I still build bone is my question. Perhaps that is answered in the book. I would still appreciate hearing from you. Thank you. Gerry Potvin. Crystal Falls, ON.

    • Kay

      Bette Davis once said ” Old age is not for sissies.”
      So you can use the same discipline you used for all your past athletic endeavors. Come on! It doesn’t take that much effort. Get some distilled water, add a couple drops of lemon juice and drink till your urine runs clear!

    • Helen

      Check out enzymes and what they do for your body
      Enzymes are little workers that clean up the bad stuff in your body so you can funktion better
      Also eat raw foods espeshuly Pineapple and papya
      make a point to eat as much raw food as posible. I guss we ben cooking our food for so long we forgot the nutrition is better in raw foods you can still have meat eggs and fish Like Vivian says
      balance your diet. Try thos enzymes

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