'Vivian Answers Day' #3 - Save Our Bones

Question & Answer #1

I am a 77 year old female. Have been on Fosamax for 5+ years and have shown no improvement in bone density (I’m now at -3.5).

Doctor has recommended Reclast but I’m reluctant to substitute one drug for another.

Saw your Osteoporosis Reversal Program and am interested in starting it. Are there cases in which even that won’t work? Still want to try it.

-Joan K.

Dear Joan,

Before I dive into your specific question, consider a very important “detail” your doctor has failed to mention: like Fosamax,(which you've already taken without any positive results), Reclast is a bisphosphonate drug, except that it is given intravenously. So why would Reclast help you?

Now back to your question. There could be cases when the program may not help increase bone density. That's because there's a lot involved in each individual metabolic bone process, such as if someone has taken osteoporosis drugs in the past, digestive issues, drugs that cause accelerated bone loss, etc.

Let's not forget that bisphosphonates interfere with normal bone metabolism, and that there's a lot more to bone health than just density.

However, the bigger question is if you are letting your bones recover. And the answer is that when you follow the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you are. That's because I designed it to work WITH your body to allow your bones to regain their natural tensile strength.

Be ‘natural' and happy!

Question & Answer #2

I am 53 and was diagnosed with osteoporosis 14 years ago. Two years ago it was completely reversed, I was taking Actonel and took myself off after seeing your website.I have just had a bone scan and my hip has improved but my spine has gone considerably down, but not as low as in 2005. My doctor blames this on low Vitamin D as my reading was 37L and normal range is between 75-300. She has put me on 10 drops a day Vit D. This really suprises me as i live in sunny Australia and get lots of natural sun. What is your thought on this. Thank You.


Dear Caron,

Vitamin D can certainly play an important role, but most likely is not the only answer. I am always amazed at how mainstream medicine has a tendency to isolate body processes both to claim an improvement (as in the case of synthetic drugs that ‘cure' ailments) or to blame for the worsening of a condition.

For example, it is possible that the Actonel you took is affecting the bone remodeling in your spine, thus slowing down your normal remodeling process. As you know, bisphosphonate drugs attach themselves to bone and are slow-released for quite some time. But don't expect your doctor to tell you this.

The good news is that at one point (as it seems to have already happened in your hip bones), new bone will cover up the old bone with the drug attached to it, and the drug will be then rendered inactive, thus allowing for normal remodeling to take place.

Now back to the Save Our Bones Foundation Supplement vitamin D and sunny Australia. Perhaps your levels of Vitamin D are lower than expected because you only expose your face and arms to the sun. If that's the case, try sunbathing the abdomen and legs as well for approximately 20 minutes without any sunscreen on.

And there should be no harm in taking the Vitamin D3 drops as your doctor suggested, but since you did not give me the dosage contained in 10 drops, I can't give you my opinion on her recommendation.

From sunny Florida,

Question & Answer #3

Why don’t health care providers recommend strontium? My physician keeps saying I should take more calcium.


Dear Jane,

It could be because in the USA it is not an approved drug, as is the case in Europe with Protelos (strontium ranelate).

Strontium is a trace element very similar to calcium. In fact, it is so similar, that it competes with calcium protein carrier in the blood. The human skeleton is mostly made of calcium, which constitutes 1.5 to 2 percent of the body weight of an adult. On the other hand our bodies only contain 320 to 400 mg of strontium.

Strontium acts as a bone thickener. In the Osteoporosis Reversal Program I mention a study suggesting that it does not affect the quality of the bone mineral, but rather the quantity. In other words, the outer cortical bone becomes thicker. And what can happen to thick bones? You guessed it! They tend to fracture more easily than thinner bones with greater tensile strength.

And last but not least, strontium is denser than calcium, thus altering the DXA scan results.

In good health,

Question & Answer #4

After 15 years starting with Miacalcin and on to Fosamax, Forteo shots, Boniva, Actonel, Evista, Boniva infusions, and two Reclast infusions (with HORRID SIDE AFFECTS that took most of the year to clear), I now have an abscessed tooth that needs to come out. Lab test indicates 140 when 150 is needed for removal with less chance of osteonecrosis. Have followed this DEAD JAW info for several years. NOW, what do I do??? What are the stats? What is the best source to search?


Dear Karis,

I am so sorry that you are having this undeserved problem! My recommendation to you is to find a competent dentist in your area. Chances are you've already consulted with a good dentist, and that is the right thing to do in my opinion.

Wishing you all the best,

Question & Answer #5

My Internist, my GYN, and a PA have all recommended Reclast for me. I am confused with the “information” on this drug. It seems you either love it or hate it!! I am 61 and have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. I have another DEXA-scan scheduled in 2 wks to see what the difference is after stopping Fosamax over a year ago. I appreciate any and all information on Reclast as I will be asked for a decision in a couple of weeks and for insurance purposes need to decided before the end of the year if this drug is a viable option for me.

-Betsy R.

Dear Betsy,

As I answered Mabel on Vivian Answers Day #1:

“Reclast (zoldedronic acid), also known as Aclasta outside of the US, is an intravenous bisphosphonate. So the same applies to Reclast (including their nasty side effects) as to any other bisphosphonate drug, except that the IV provides a 6 month dose. In fact, the large IV dose can cause severe flu-like symptoms right after it’s administered, including aches and pains. So if you don’t react well to the drug, you are basically stuck with it.”

In the Osteoporosis Reversal Program there's a lot more detailed information on Reclast and other osteoporosis drugs.

Stay healthy!

Question & Answer #6

Hi Vivian, I have rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. 2 days ago I was diagnosed with arrythmia (a very high heartbeat 210 instead of 60. Do you know if arrhythmia has any effect on these arthritis’s or even the reverse. I’ve read your book and am eating more healthy. I also have access to Better Balance website. I’m still on arava and methotextrate but 3 months ago all the rheumatoid factors were down to normal. I’m taking Natural Joint and Ultimate Bone Support. I’m also going to get another bone density scan in a couple of months. Is there anything else I should be doing. I’ve lent your book to someone so I can’t refer to it any more. Thanks!

-Kay M.

Dear Kay,

It's great news that you are following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, so you can manage your bone health naturally. Let's not forget that bisphosphonate drugs have been linked to an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, which is a form of arrhythmia.

Arrhythmia basically denotes altered electrical activity in the heart. It can be caused by variety of factors ranging from hormonal imbalances (thyroid hormone abnormalities, excessive stress), high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and others. RA has not been found to have an effect on this, however.

As in the case of bisphosphonates, over-the-counter and prescription drugs can trigger arrhythmia, so my advice to you is to carefully review the drugs you are currently taking to make sure that they are not the culprit. For example Arava (Leflunomide) can trigger a fast or pounding heartbeat.

Take care,

Question & Answer #7

I’ve recently read that taking Prilosec for acid reflux increases your loss of bone density. What’s one to do if they suffer from acid reflux?

-Ruth F.

Prilosec is a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI), which reduces the amount of hydrochloric acid (HCl) produced in the stomach. HCl is necessary for digestion and to absorb many important nutrients, including calcium, so having less acid in the stomach can cause problems (and not only with bone health!).

Many in the Save Our Bones community have sent me emails celebrating that by following the program they have gotten rid of acid reflux. I used to also suffer from it, but since I've been on the program, acid reflux is a thing of the past for me. I hope it will be for you too, Ruth!

With my best (alkalizing) wishes,

Question & Answer #8

Vivian – my doctors are pushing Prolia! Am 72; 5’5″;weigh 105; blood pressure 120/75; don’t exercise much but am trying your regime; have been on Fosomax 2-1/2 years; reclast last year; and am being pressured by everyone to follow my Doctors advice. Broke both wrists; pins in rt hip; and recently a bone in my back from stretching. Obvious the biophosonates don’t work! (Was told took them too late in life). What about strontium renelate? Is Prolia another name for Alendronate? Am always “stiff”, hve balance issues – am taking 2000 VitD + 1000 Calcium + numerous vitamins per your suggestions. Have read a lot about Prolia including the successful results for fractures. The other effects are troubling – jaw, immune system degradation;loss of calcium; dizziness, etc. I need your help?

-Barbara W.

Dear Barbara,

You might have missed my blog post about Prolia (densumab), where I expose this new osteoporosis drug in detail. Prolia basically achieves the same result as bisphosphonates, but through a different (and potentially more dangerous) biochemical pathwyay. In a nutshell, Prolia is a twice-yearly injection that can have a negative effect on the immune system and many other undesirable side effects and long-term consequences

These are the main side effects listed by Amgen, Prolia's maker:

* Low calcium levels
* Serious skin, lower abdomen, bladder, or ear infections
* Dermatitis, rash, or eczema
* Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis) caused by an infection
* Severe jaw bone problems such as osteonecrosis of the jaw.

My advice to you is that before you make a decision (and please, don't fall prey to ‘pressure', as you write!), you must formulate your own “bone health philosophy”. In other words, now is the time where you have to decide which road to take for your bone health: the road of prescription drugs (that as you write, has not worked) or a drug-free path.

The Osteoporosis Reversal Program holds you by the hand each step of the way, should you decide to take the natural path. And remember, at the end of the day, you have the freedom to make a choice, YOUR choice. Indeed, the decision is 100% up to you!

Best wishes,

Question & Answer #9

I have M.S. and one of the therapies that helps me stay upright is an iv of 1gm of SOLUMEDROL every 28 days. This has caused my bones to start to deteriorate. Is there any thing over and above your recommendations that I should consider? Thanks.

-Wayne M.

Dear Wayne,

As you surely know, Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone) is a steroid. Unfortunately, steroids can impact bone health because they reduce calcium absorption, increase calcium excretion, and may suppress osteoblastic activity (osteoblasts are bone-building cells).

There are two types of bone tissue: cortical and trabecular. Cortical bone forms the outer shell of bone while trabecular bone refers to the inside of the bone. Steroids cause bone loss primarily in areas rich in trabecular bones, such as the spine.

So to answer your question (finally!), since you are already following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, I recommend you consult with a physical therapist about exercises you could safely do to strengthen the spine.

All the best,

Question & Answer #10

Hi. I am very confused now. Should I take calcium or not?


Dear Svetlana,

Calcium is an important mineral to support bone health and hundreds of other biological processes in the body. For that reason it is listed as a Foundation Supplement in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. The best is to eat calcium-rich foods, such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and sesame seeds, to name a few. And I recommend you take organic calcium supplements as well.

You can read about calcium in great detail in my blog post titled Calcium and Heart Attack Alert.

To your health!

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. Barbara

    My mother is going to be 97 with osteo. The nursing home put her on Prolia without my knowing. (No signatures). 2 shots and then she fractured and shattered the bone on her hip. She had a number of side effects..I couldn’t figure out what was happening to her and then I found out after she broke her hip, she had been given Prolia. They are sending me to a specialist this week to argue she should be on it. She doesn’t eat enough to get on your program. I have read and read everthing available. They put her on a protein drink meanwhile.
    What the heck do I do?

  2. Joann Hasbrouck

    I have read that microcrystalline hydroxyapatite helps the body absorb calcium supplements more efficiently. However, I did not read that anywhere in the save our bones manual. Can you explain if this is in fact true?

  3. Joann Hasbrouck

    I have just read the save our bones program and am trying to eat the 80/20 ratio. My bone density has declined significantly in the last 18 months so I am in panic mode. Is there anyway of knowing I am eating the correct ratio before the year is up and I am ready to schedule my next bone density? It is quite scary to be trying something and have no evidence to confirm to myself I am doing this correctly.

  4. Brigitte Dunker

    Dr Goldschmidt

    I live in the Chrystal River, Florida location, up north. If, seeing, I receive more than 15 minutes per day of sunshine just by stepping outside onto my lenai or pulling weeds in my landscaping, is it really necessary to take a D3 vitamin supplement as well?

  5. Mary Fisher

    I’ve enjoyed reading your 10 questions and answers very very informative. I misplaced your web address for the osteoporosis exercises would it be possible for you to e-mail them to me. I’ve asked before but have not received them. Thank you for all your help/Mary

  6. Helen S.

    Four years ago I had a lumpectomy on my right breast due to a small cancer. This was followed by 21 radiation treatments. I now have painful arthritis going up the right side of my cervical spine, across my right shoulder and down my right arm. MRI’s and a CT scan showed osteophytes only on the right side of my spine, and the doctor was amazed that they were only on one side. Could the radiation treatments on the right have caused this?

  7. dolores

    I am intrested to hear what other people suggestfor osteoporisis

  8. s.e.henry-lauer

    Are you suggesting we should NOT take strontium?

    Question & Answer #3
    Why don’t health care providers recommend strontium? My physician keeps saying I should take more calcium.


    Dear Jane,

    It could be because in the USA it is not an approved drug, as is the case in Europe with Protelos (strontium ranelate).

    Strontium is a trace element very similar to calcium. In fact, it is so similar, that it competes with calcium protein carrier in the blood. The human skeleton is mostly made of calcium, which constitutes 1.5 to 2 percent of the body weight of an adult. On the other hand our bodies only contain 320 to 400 mg of strontium.

    Strontium acts as a bone thickener. In the Osteoporosis Reversal Program I mention a study suggesting that it does not affect the quality of the bone mineral, but rather the quantity. In other words, the outer cortical bone becomes thicker. And what can happen to thick bones? You guessed it! They tend to fracture more easily than thinner bones with greater tensile strength.

    And last but not least, strontium is denser than calcium, thus altering the DEXA scan results.

    In good health,


  9. Sue Ellen

    What does Evista do? Is it okay to take this? Thanks!

    • Louise

      I have also been prescribed Evista but refuse to take it. Too many side effects for me.

  10. LISE


  11. June

    I have Gerd and have been on Nexium for several years. I quit taking it for about three weeks and could not sleep for two nights because of ther acid in my throat, so I went back to Nexium. Is Nexium harming my bones? I ordered your program. but haven’t received it yet. I have been taking Ultimate Bone Support with 500mg. of stronium for nearly two years. I will have another bone scan in April. Thanks!

  12. marsha wilchfort

    i have been using actonel for the past 7years 2 years of fosamax i stopped all of those meds 1 year ago. i need to see a periodontist i have gum disease will actonel be an influence and still im my body if i need periodontal surgery or is the risk of necrosois only with a tooth extraction? thank you marsha

  13. Janet McGee

    Am truly enjoying reading the Q and A. Does anyone know how effective it is by doing the exercises in a warm water pool? I have spinal stenosis, scolosis, and spondylothesis and have been told not to do exercises on pavement. Jan

    • Vicki

      Yes, it can be extremely effective to do excercises in a warm pool. A qualified professional should be able to recommend weight bearing excercises to rebuild bones. I found it very helpful. Unfortuntely I now have a skin rash which stops me for using the pool. Shame…………

  14. Shirley Peterson

    On Mon the 11th you had a video showing exercises for osteoporosis. But now I can’t find it. Will you send me the web address again.

  15. eileen wrede

    I was given a shot in my hip for pain at a spine institute which contained lidocaine and a steroid. Now they want to do it again. Will the steroid cause my bones to weaken so my osteoporosis will get worse? I was on fosamax forabout 5 years but stopped taking it a year ago. I am 82yrs. old and am taking algacal and strontium now. I have lost about 4 inches in height and I don’t want my spine to be weakened by steroids,etc. Please send an answer. Thank you.

  16. Shelley

    I am really appreciating the answers you are offering us. I am following the program: more alkaline, as much organic as possible, washing fruits and veggies in reverse osmosis water, etc.

    Really wanting to go for it and I thought this forum could help in two other ways:
    1- since we all want to maintain our bone health naturally, are probably somewhat in the same age range, etc. It would really help if we could share good products we’ve found, in different areas of the US that help with laundry and household cleaning products. natural but, get the job dome well!

    2- Again, we probably share skincare and cosmetic concerns. I’ve checked the Environmental Work Group(www.ewe.org)a terrific consumer site but, not very conclusive on skincare and cosmetics…most brands have a great number of toxins.and chemicals that we don’t want entering our system through the largest organ of the body-our skin!

    Not botanicals, but true organic products are what we need to support our bone health as well.

    The products available are overwhelming and in no way regulated So if we could share our favorites-skin care, body cream, and cosmetics…why the product was chosen, ingredients, and skin type we could really help each other out…especially since many of us live in varied climates or work in stressful, skin-toxic environments.

    to start us off: I live near Samta Monica beach in LA, so the air is wonderful. for the purpose of reaching out I will admit to having been born in the 50’s. I take supplements (fabulous, brilliant nutritionist who LOVES. Your program for me, Vivian-as does my primary physician.

    My skin is very sensitive and greatly in need of hydration. Can we organize a way to help each other with positive, organic products we’ve found, websites to find them, and what skin types they are best for?

    additionally, I’d support cleaning and laundry produce suggestions-all my whites are yellow or gray with whatever products we have found locally
    to save our bones clean air,as much locally grown organic foods, good water filtration, as well as skin care, cosmetics, and household shared by this fan club could lead to even better health and more very useful info on this terrific site.

    with thanks to all for all you do,
    Shelley Stravitz, MS Ed.
    (working toward that doctoral walk!)

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Of course I support using only natural skin care products. The skin is like a giant sponge, so chemicals are absorbed through the skin.

  17. gloria

    Hi Vivian,
    I believe the Save Our Bones program is excellant! I ordered it about two weeks ago and
    haven’t received it yet. Hope it comes soon.
    I too, was on Actonel, Foxamax and Boniva. I had excrutiating pain for months in every joint of my body. It also caused stomach problems.My Doctor sent me to a Specialist who
    also diagnosed me as having Rheumatoid Arthritis because my fingers started taking on a form of bending over.I’m also a believer in God’s healing so I didn’t receive that report! He ordered exrays but they came back negative.
    He then prescribed Calcitonin Salmon, a nasal spray for my Osteoporosis which hasn’t caused any side effects. According to my last Dexa Scan, my T-Score has improved. I really don’t want to take drugs and have decided to stop. I believe your book will be very helpful.
    Thanking you in advance,
    Gloria M.

  18. Elaine Schaeffer

    all good and interesting information.ty

  19. Trudy Bolejack

    I don’t see leg aches much in your questions and answers. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2/09. I took one Actonel and it took 6 weeks to get it out of my system after experiencing horrible leg aches. Then they put me on Evista. 15 months later, and legs aches so bad I could hardly walk at times, we decided for me to stop taking the Evista. That was July of 2010. It is 3 months later and I am still having bad leg aches. I read your book and made the life style changes necessary and am really hoping for good results in February of 2011 with my next bone scan. But how much longer do I need to cope with these leg aches? Will they ever be gone?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I wish I knew, Trudy! Hang in there… and keep up with the Program 🙂

  20. Ida

    Hello Vivian,

    I appreciate the Q&A sessons, the answers are are very helpful. I have been diagnosed with osteoporis a few years ago, I have been encouraged to try boniva. I have chosen not to try any of the various drugs offered. So far I have no real pain because of the bone loss. This is my question however, as a result of a thyroid nodule (cancer)half of thyroid removed, I am on a thyroid med.levothyroxin 88mcg, could this med cause further bone loss, if so, what can I do to counteract that? i also take hydrochlorot 12.5mg

    Thank you,

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Levothyroxin does not cause bone loss.

  21. Janice Rosenfeld

    Has anyone had the recalst infusion? I would love to hear the results. Thank you

    • Rita Potts

      I cringe every time I read someone is going to have reclast. Ater taking Fosamax for five years, Forteo,and the one that was a nose mist(don’t recall name), and breaking three bones from falling no improvement in bone denisity I had reclast. I felt nauseous all the time for nine months, lost weight and cannot regain, I am taking no more of those “miracle” drugs. I feel much better. Just watch my step more and sticking to my healthy diet.

    • mel clancy

      Had reclast in 5/08 and still having bad effects. The 1st l l/2 yrs was a nightmare. I became an invalid with my husband having to dress me and feed me. My joints were in terrible pain and my hands developed such an ache (like pressure cutting off the circulation to my hands); and changed the whole appearance. they became much thinner and gnarled. I lost a lot of hair. Am still having hives and skin lesions that itch. Those pimples are staying. I could go on – stay away from reclast!

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Thanks for sharing your dreadful experiences with us. I really hope you are feeling better now.

  22. Margaret Dunmore

    Dear Vivian,
    I am a 70 yr old who is following your programme and live in the UK and so sunshine is at a premium.

    A few months ago I read and article about the reasons we are not getting the benfits of sunshine.

    Excessive use of sunscreen (especially children) was one but the more interesting one was use of sunglasses and also normal glasses.

    Having had a basal cell carsonoma on an eye lid which was spotted early I have been wearind 100% uva and uvb prtection glasses which have no anti glare but are colourless.

    Since then I have not used sunscreen and taken my glasses off whenever possible.

    My daughter has said for a long time look at the sun whenever you can as its’ properties are large.

    This I have done for months and my pain levels have decreased. (I have nerve damage in my neck as I have had discs removed resulting in chronic pain. It was pre MR scan time.)

    I read about a gentleman gardener who broke his glasses and was withoout them for a week after which his pain was reduced.

    Incidently friends seem to be more interested in this than your progrmme as they prefere to believe the doctors. So sad.

    Regards Margaret

    PS Perhaps the lady from Australia may be interested. as they are reported to be very skin cancer aware over there.

  23. Christine

    I was ready to take anything that may prevent my bones becoming weaker. But after doing some research and finding your book and ordering it I am so glad I said no to the drugs. Fasinating reading – thankyou
    I am looking forward to seeing what my next bone density test will reveal after looking after my own health. I am only 51 and just going through menopause.

  24. Linda

    Regarding your answer to question 10: Where do we find your blog post?
    I am also confused about whether or not to take a calcium supplement.
    For a long time I was taking an organically sourced calcium I bought from a Florida company (I think it was called Osteo Organical ) but my bone density worsened. I then switched to Citrical + D recommended by my doctor, but now I have discontinued that as well because I fear other health repercussions and question whether supplements do more harm than good.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Here’s a link to the blog post, Linda: https://saveourbones.com/calcium-heart-attack/

      And you’ll see that organic calcium is just fine!

      • Babs

        I can not find plant derived, organic calcium all by itself. They all have strontium etc in them. Can you suggest a brand or at least where I can find this? Thank you,

    • Jo Bolt

      Click on the word “Nutrition” on the horizontal brown strip at the top of this page.


  25. Elaine

    If strontium is a bone thickener only, and does not add to the bone density, what can be taken to increase bone density with osteopina.
    I take calcium, magnesium,potassium,K2,eat veggies and fruits and lift weights.
    Also take a multi vitamin.

  26. catherine smith

    Thanks so much for all the helpful comments.There is something for all of us.I appreciate them, so much.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      And you’re very welcome, Catherine.

  27. Anne Young

    Keep the information flowing.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You bet!

    • Stella Wollin

      Dear Vivian

      I just read a question from a 72 year old woman with a T Score of -3.5 which has me stunned. I am a 56 year old, 5′ 7″ tall, 135 lbs, flexible and fit, with perfect blood pressure and low cholesterol – and no grey hair! Since learning from my latest DEXA test that I too have a T score of -3.5 which puts me in the high risk category, I have dramatically changed my diet. Given my T-score, even with your program, what is the likehood of reversing, if not maintaining my current bone levels so that they don’t deteriorate further. I also have an under active thyroid (discovered approx 3 years ago via a blood test, although asymptomatic) which might be contributing to my problem. All my life I have eaten generous portions of full fat dairy milk products, full cream everything and full fat yoghurt, calcium rich foods as well as sugar rich desserts and sweets, in addition to an otherwise reasonably well balanced fruit and vegetable diet. I rarely eat rubbish. Devastated at receiving such terrible results, I have changed to a 20% protein/80% fruit and vegetable diet to help my calcium absorbtion. My regular exercise is 15 minutes fast walking every day and I never take escalators or lifts, always the stairs, taking two steps at a time to help with my bone density. I have been doing core exercises for a back problem, religiously, for the last year and somehow I thought that would help my bone density by stimulating the ligaments and muscles. I also do a few sun salutations every day. I have ordered a rebounder, which I plan to start using shortly with some hand held weights. I baulk at the idea of going to the gym but ….

      I suppose my question how bad is -3.5 at age 56?


      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Here’s what’s important to remember: bone density is only one bone health parameter.

  28. Franki Andrew

    Hi Vivian

    I have embarked on your Osteoporosis Reversal Program along with natural progesterone. I am very interested to see how I fare in a couple of months with my BMD! As long as it is not getting worse I am happy.

    Several people mention Protos. I was prescribed that at one stage of my osteoporotic life and took the free sample. It was very easy to take but I wondered why it was so sweet. So I wrote to the company who told me that they use Aspartame as the base because strontium is too bitter to take. I asked if they could put the drug into a glycerine capsule but was told ‘no’ and to direct any questions now to their website and not to contact them as they could not help me. So for people taking Protos they are enjoying a double whammy of serious side effects.
    Unfortunately I have changed my computers and so don’t have the emails that I received from manufacturers. However the brochure says that ‘Each sachet of PROTOS 2g contains 2g of strontium ranelate as the active ingredient . The inactive ingredients include aspartame (E951), maltodextrin, mannitol. Pretty ugly! Cheers Franki

  29. Paula Molinari

    Hi Vivian,
    I am 63 years old & have osteoporosis & have decided not to go on the drugs even though my gynecologists are upset about that. I do take synthroid. With my hx of breast cancer, I thought it best to keep drugs at a minimum. I do take the algae calcium as well as a good liquid multi, but would like to add alkalizing foods as ‘coconut oil’, do you have any thoughts on that?

  30. Elizabeth M. Wright

    Had cramps when drinking regular milk, am now on
    lactaid free milk and have no cramps.
    I also had acid reflects when eating, am now taking
    a teaspoon of vinegar with water and NOT drinking liquid after every bite I eat… Much improvement.
    I also have stopped talking when eating, it makes you take in air and fills your stomach with air, which is NOT good. Hope this helps you…
    This also eliminates taking medicine…
    Blessings… Elizabeth W.

  31. Brigitte Dunker

    I have been diagnosed with osteoporsis and choose not to take those drugs as recommended by my GYN. Have read your Osteoporosis Reversal Program and try to follow as best as possible.

    What is your opinion of a Inversion Table? I enjoy stretching my body to the fullest for no longer than 2-3 minutes per day.

  32. gwen skellern

    Have been taking Fosamax for approx 10 years, last year Eclasta infusion which was to last 12 months. (finish this week). Have broken many bones over the years, but none for 10 years except… crushed vertebrae (3 now). Last one from an Endoscopy procedure. After 2 months of some considerable pain, I now want to get stronger. What exercises can you suggest without putting my back at risk?

  33. Cindy

    So is strontium good to take for osteoporosis? I am confused by what some people are saying about it? Will it increase bone density? Thanks!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Cindy,

      I don’t recommend supplemental strontium, as I believe only minute amounts belong in our bodies. Please read Answer #3 in this article about how strontium can increase fracture risk and skew DEXA results.

    • marcella

      I’ve being taking strontium for more that a year, not every day but most
      but most of the days, always on empty stomac. My last bone density
      showed, after 2 years of the previous one,an increase on my hips
      bone density and no change on my spine. I also take over 1000
      miligrams of calcium a day. Last year my doctor didn’t know what
      I was talking about when I mentioned strontium,but this time he
      has a knowledge of the supplement. He suggested to continue with
      Good luck

    • Karen Keating

      I am now taking strontium because I do not want to take Fosomax or other like drugs-afraid not to be on anything. I think it must be a step up. It’s all so confusing

    • Elva Mitchell

      My daughter is taking strontium, even though she has your book and is following your advice.
      Can you tell me if she should be on strontium.

      Many thanks for your dedication to bone health.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Hi Elva,

        Please see my reply to Cindy.

  34. Debbie

    I desperately need help. Have a rare neurological disorder – Chiari malformation – and am very physically inactive at 55, and osteoporosis because of havinging to take anti-seizure meds for a brain tumor that no one will help me with. I feel so defeated already. Have already broken 3 ribs doing nothing. I need help.

    • Andrea Moore

      I notice that nobody is responding to your problems, so I will try and give you some hope. No matter your circumstances, please…immediately when you wake in the morning, try to list three things that are going right in your life or that you think are good things. Then smile and before you get out of bed, firmly decide on an activity that you will do that day that you truly enjoy…maybe you like to draw, or read a good book, or perhaps paint your nails, etc. Also, try to spend a little time each day exploring your medical options by phone or on the Internet. You just might find something, or someone, who can help you.
      Best wishes,

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Great advice to Debbie, Andrea! This goes to show how much we all care about each other in the Save Our Bones community 🙂

  35. Pamela Stubbs

    I have emailed Vivian to ask if being diagnlosed with the ‘gene’ of osteoporosis will the plan will work. My son was diagnosed with juvenile osteporosis when he was 14 years old and I was diagnosed when I was 40 (18 years ago). I took Fosamax for at least five years, took myself off it 16 months ago and bought your book, Save Our Bones, a few weeks ago. Having read it I am now following the plan, but am concerned that it won’t help me. I would really like an answer please.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Interesting (to say the least), because modern science has this to say about genes and osteoporosis:

      (I am quoting from an article published in Endocrine Reviews by M. Peacock. M.D. et al. in 2002)

      “Quantitative phenotypes in bone strength in the normal population do not conform to a monogenetic mode of inheritance… The genes underlying fragility fracture and those underlying osteoporosis will not necessarily be the same… There is evidence that there are several regions that harbor genes affecting both peak bone mass and femoral structure. As these studies expand and progress, they will confirm or refute the initial results… There are pitfalls in ranking candidate genes. First, ranking genes is based largely on current models of the pathophysiology of osteoporosis, which are incomplete. Second, rankings are based on knowledge of the function of the genes, which is also incomplete.”

      In plain English, there is no established inheritance pattern for osteoporosis and there are no specific genes linked to it. This makes perfect sense because osteoporosis is NOT a disease!

  36. Lyle Silversmith

    I learned about strontium from your article. I take strontium citrate several hours away from taking any calcium. I will reduce my strontium intake.

    Thank you for your learned and detailed information.

  37. Irma

    Thanks Vivian for all pieces of advice you give us; they are very usefull.
    I encourage people to always get a second opinion or search in the internet before taking any medicine or before you start to take a new product. Today I had a Doctor’s app.
    and he recomended to eat red meat. Since I stopped eating red meat my colestherol when back to normal; loose 5 pounds; I have more energy and I feeling great.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA


  38. Jane

    After taking Bonviva for 3 months will there be any side effects if I stop taking it

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Nope… You can go “cold turkey” on this, if you’d like.

  39. Linda Panza

    I was wondering if it would be possible for you to do a day’s menu. I guess I am kind of dense and have a hard time figuring out the 80/20 thing.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Check out the recipes in the back of the Manual, and combine them for your meals. That would pretty much give you a balanced pH menu.

    • Karen

      I too would appreciate some examples of the 80/20. I’m trying to lose weight, but have low thyroid, (auto ammunine deficiency) Osteopenia, and high blood pressure, so I’m dealing with lots of issues, and one offsets the other….some foods shouldn’t be eaten with the different issues…..any suggestions would be of help. Oh yes, osteoarthritis in knees which I’ve done the orthovisc injections and they helped. So some of the exercises for jumping etc are out for me.

  40. Lisa Davis

    I am confused by the response to the strontium question. I’m taking strontium in the morning and spreading out the calcium during the evening hours. Are you saying that strontium is a bad idea?

    Many thanks for clarifying this!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Lisa, please refer to my answers about strontium to Ellen and Diane.

  41. Heather

    How do I find your “blog” regarding calcium and heart attack alert? Is there a company that makes Organic Calcium (with Vit. D) in the UK would you know?

    • Terri Crooks

      It is possible to get Organic calcium with Vit D, Zinc and Magnesium in a liquid form, better absorption than in tablet form. It is also from a vegetarian sorce too.

  42. Frankie Evans

    I did the forteo injections for 2 years. Last yearI had to have surgery and was diagnosed as having a rare disease called Schlerosing Mesenteritis. That is hardening of the mesentery and was I had an obstruction that I coud not eat without throwing up and constant diahrraea. I will always believe this was caused by the forteo.

  43. nora Li ting chung

    Just recently diagnosed as having osteoporosis but have a “gut” feeling the drug route is not the one to follow. Trying to address your recommendations for dietary change but the big sticking point is TEA I normally drink 8 to 10 large cups per day with a little milk. It is my sanctury, and comfort in all the ups and down of life!! any suggestions?? nora.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Follow your instincts, Nora. And how about switching to delicious herbal teas? Now you can have your tea… and drink it!

  44. Karen Gerstman

    I started the Save Our Bones program since july of this year.I was onEvista for 2 yrs.,Actonel for 3yrs.,Alendronate till Sept. 10th of this year which was my last year. After reading your book I told my Doctor I was going off my perscription & are taking more calcium & vitamin D & following your program. She agreed to this & she wants me to have another BD. in two years to see where I’m at. I feel whats the hardest to accomplish is getting the right amt. of calcium. Now I’m taking a total of 1160 mgs of calcium & 1800 IUs of D. 1000mgs. of fish oil, 250mgs. of magnesium,50 mgs. of CoQ10 & 55 mgs.of vitamin C Hoping I’m on the right track.

    • Diane Fizzell

      Hello Vivian Thanks so much for the book you wrote and all the information you have provided for us! Where can I puchase Ezorb Calcium? Many thanks Diane

  45. Anne

    Have truly enjoyed ALL OF YOUR EMAILS. Very
    informative information.


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It’s my pleasure, Anne.

  46. Barbara Weber

    I have decided that I am not going to take prolia! Since I have been off of Reclast (2 months), I have no more popping of my bones. I still have stiffness (but had that before). My bones seem a little bit stronger. My husband and I are juicing almost once a day (mixture of celery, beet, carrots, parsley, broccoli). Eating a lot of walnuts. My husband is a big believer in bee polen. What do you think? He is stronger than a bull. He eats a bowl of fresh cut fruit daily (has done so for 50 years). Takes no drugs is 76 and has a blood pressure of 125/75 pretty consistently. We love your emails. God will bless you for your attentive steps to help others for I can tell you it was a miracle that my husband found you the day that I was supposed to get my first prolia shot. My daughter is hooked on pain killers which are literally destroying her health, life, and family.
    Love Barbara

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Knowledge is power!

  47. Ellen

    In Question 3 you answer “Strontium acts as a bone thickener. In the Osteoporosis Reversal Program I mention a study suggesting that it does not affect the quality of the bone mineral, but rather the quantity. In other words, the outer cortical bone becomes thicker. And what can happen to thick bones? You guessed it! They tend to fracture more easily than thinner bones with greater tensile strength”.

    Does that mean that Strontium which makes bone thicker, it than FRACTURES????

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Well, it doesn’t guarantee more fractures, but it makes sense that a thicker outer cortical layer can break more easily than a thinner more resilient one.

    • Diane

      I am 52 and barely 5′ 100 lbs. I exercise 5x a week and have osteopina in my hips and spine. I started your program but I was taking Strontium as part of my vitamin routine (Vitamincode)…should I stop right away? I thought it was a good alternative, now I’m really confused.


      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        No need to be confused, Diane. Here’s the scoop: calcium is what makes most of our skeleton. Approximately 1.5 to 2% of our body weight is from calcium. Strontium is present in a negligible amount. To give you an idea, we only have around 350 mg of strontium at any given time in our body.

  48. Alice G.

    I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and I have pain in my left hip. My doctor stated that I have bone on bone, bursitis and bursa and recommends a hip replacement. Is there anyway that this can be reversed without having surgery?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Bursitis is inflammation around the joint area. I recommend you get a second opinion before you get the hip replacement surgery.

  49. Mindi perkins

    I’m 58. Last August after a dexascan that showed I was “starting” into osteoporosis the gynocologist, prescription pad in hand, wanted to start me on fosomax or actonel. As I have had two small kidney stones after taking 1,000mg citrical plus another 600mg that was in my multivitiman my internist told me I was getting too much calcium when you included dairy. I told the gyno I would consider what I wanted to do. I started researching and decided no way was I taking fosomax or anything else! In my research I came across e zorb. I have been using that in powder form for a year now, and found a complete multi with only 50mg of calcium citrate. I really wish Vivian would address the E zorb as I can’t find anything else that sounds safe.

    • Shu

      There are so many calciums that it does become a difficult choice. I like the calciums put out by “Standard Process” as they are all food grade. I take no more than 500mg daily. I match that with magnesium 500mg or more (up to 1000mg) daily. Mg citrate is my choice. If that much mg causes loose stools, take a lessor amt of the citrate variety and add one or two of the other magnesiums. I also take strontium (no more than 500mg) daily to match the Ca supplement. As to Vit D, you should get tested to see what your level is, and you want to get to 55-65 on their scale. I take 5000 IU of D3 daily in the summer and 10,000 IUs daily in the winter, and I’m still not up to optimum #s on my test. Right now I’m using Metagenics D3. Standard Process must be purchased from a Naturapath or Chiropractor, not available in drugstores, and same goes for Metagenics. There is a lot of controversy around calcium supplementation. Find out what Dr.Nan Fuchs has to say about it. Unfortunately, no one person has all the answers, so we have to do our own research even when we are on a good program. I also never get flu shots. There does not seem to be anything in them that is good for my body, mercury? aluminum?
      I try different mineral formulas fairly often. I always try anything I advise before I tell anyone else about it. I think this “Save our Bones Program” has a lot going for it. I’m going to add it to my health arsenal.
      My background is 40yrs of independent nutritional studies including a 4 yr degree in Nutrition & Food Mgmt from OSU Corvallis OR, 1997.
      Best of luck to you on your on-going search for good health.

    • Hope

      I went off fosamax two years ago (after being on it 10 years) and started ezorb.
      My last deza showed spine numbers better and femor holding. I am 69 and do aerobics and weight lifting 3 days a week.

      • Osteopenia 1

        E-zorb worked great for me. After told I had osteopenia 4 years ago, I started E-zorb just the maintenance dose and after 2 years I tested normal on the bone density test. After 4 years,my numbers were exactly the same. There may be more than one good medicine out there for our bones.

  50. christine cooke

    I had a blood test and the doctor told me that I had elevated levels of calcium in my blood. I told him that I was taking calcium tablets and he told me that this was probably the reason. I did however read in a medical journal that taking calcium tablets may cause heart problems. Having so much calcium circulating in my bloodstream surely is not a good thing, and I do wonder if the calcium tablets are doing me any good. What are your thoughts?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It depends what type of calcium you are taking. As I explain in my blog post about calcium and heart attacks, the most absorbable form of calcium is derived from organic sources. You might want to check out the blog right here on this website. Read up 🙂

  51. marcia Barth

    Can your program be used by a vegetarian?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Most certainly, Marcia.

  52. Jenny

    I am taking “wholefood” calcium from calcified seaweed instead of Calcichew which was prescribed by my doctor for osteopenia but am confused as to how much to take. The recommendation on the bottle is 2 tablets yielding 400gm calcium daily. Is this enough? I also take magnesium and the other supplements recommended in the Save our Bones program.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Great choice of calcium! I think you can teach your doctor a thing or two (well… at least one). 400 mg could be enough if you make a conscious meal planning with Foundation Foods that contain calcium. Otherwise, you might want to up the dose a bit.

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.