'Vivian Answers Day' #4 - Save Our Bones

Question & Answer #1

What is the best calcium to take and amount for a person 5′ tall and weighs 108 pounds?


Dear Susan,

Calcium is required by volume and weight more than any other mineral in the body. As I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, 800 to 1200 mg a day can meet the requirements of an adult person.

The best calcium is from organic sources, in other words from foods. That is why the Osteoporosis Reversal Program has a list of Foundation Foods that contain high levels of bone-healthy nutrients. Broccoli, cabbage, and sesame seeds (to name a few) can boost your calcium intake.

But it is quite difficult to get enough calcium from what we eat, especially since the earth is depleted from valuable minerals. There is no doubt that the body processes best that which naturally occurs in food, so this makes a lot of sense. So in supplemental form, the most usable calcium is derived from plants, such as algae.

Several well-known supplement brands are currently available (both online and in retail stores) with formulas that contain calcium and other valuable trace minerals that are naturally occurring in algae.

The second best choice is amino-acid chelated calcium. What this means is that the calcium molecule is bound to an amino acid, so the digestive system recognizes it as a ‘food'.

In good health,

Question & Answer #2

My doctor recently told me that my Creatine Kinase has been elevated, and that there is muscle damage. I have been taking several vitamins including D3, calcium aspartate. He wants me to do a blood work and return to him early September. Would you know what caused this damage?

-Cherry W.

Dear Cherry,

Creatine Kinase (CK) is an important enzyme found mainly in skeletal muscle. That is why elevated levels of CK are typically an indication of muscle damage. CK levels are most often tested as a marker for heart attacks, rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle breakdown that can also be caused by cholesterol-lowering statin drugs), muscular dystrophy or in acute renal failure. Please note that this is not a complete list of ailments.

Unfortunately, I can't answer your specific question because you did not explain what prompted your doctor to request your CK levels test (or perhaps he didn't tell you either, in which case you should ask him).

Be well,

Question & Answer #3

Once you change your diet how long will it take to rebuild the bones so you're no longer at risk?

-Roth K.

Dear Roth,

Your question is excellent… but not as simple as it sounds. First, I'd like to let you know that some in our community have increased their bone density to non-osteoporotic levels by following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program in as little as six months. (You can check out a blog post titled “An Inspirational Audio Interview).

The reason why the time to restore desirable bone density varies is because there are so many biological differences in each person. These differences could be whether the person took osteoporosis drugs, for how long, or other drugs that may impair mineral absorption, etc.

And about no longer being at risk, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program aims to restore normal bone metabolism. In essence, bones that renew themselves are less prone to fracture than old and brittle bone.

In good health,

Question & Answer #4

I have 5 kidney stones which have never posed a pain or a problem, and have been diagnosed with 42% bone loss in my spine. I have recently been told by my urologist to take a calcium supplement that was especially formulated for people with bone loss and kidney stones. It contains Calcium citrate, magnesium stearate, D3, K1, stontium and boron.

He also advised me to eat a calcium rich diet but to eat things like spinach, chard and okra in moderation. He also advised me to drink at least 2 litres of filtered water with lemon each day. What are your thoughts?

-Krista S.

Dear Krista,

I hope you are feeling well. Your doctor is giving you pretty good advice. He is trying to balance getting enough minerals without aggravating the problem. You might want to consult with him about taking organic calcium instead of calcium citrate, and also you might want to check out the strontium dose in the supplement he recommended to you.

Take care,

Question & Answer #5

I have been prescribed Adcal D3 (equivalent to 600mg calcium and 400iu vit D3) x twice daily and due to the latest scare re the increased incidence of heart/stroke problems in relation to calcium intake, I have decided to stop taking them forthwith.

I have a varied fresh diet and walk/exercise frequently.

My question:

Would substituting calcium tablets with a good teaspoonful of Tahini night and morning offer sufficient calcium in natural form along with plenty of fresh fruit/veg and soya milk.

-Irene W.

Dear Irene,

You are on the right track! Because calcium is crucial to bone health (but not the answer to osteoporosis) you might want to take an organic calcium supplement along with the foods you mention.

All the best,

Question & Answer #6

How long on your program diet will it take to get back to an acceptable level? I am currently -3.7 & have followed your program strictly since buying your book 18 months ago.

-Ken N.

Dear Ken,

I hope you are doing well and feeling great on the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. Please check out my answer #3 to Roth.

Be well,

Question & Answer #7

Although I know how very important managing our diet is to bone health, I wondered if you are aware of any organic supplement to balance pH on those days (or sometimes weeks) where watching our diet is overwhelming?

-Diane B.

Dear Diane,

Hippocrates said “Let food be your medicine”, and for a good reason. While certain supplements such as greens or digestive aids can help boost the pH balance, unless you have access to the perfect formula, you are better off supplementing with foods that are highly alkaline. Celery, watermelon, avocado and almonds are a good example. Or you can make fresh juices mixing your favorite alkalizing veggies and/or fruits.

There are many easy and deliciously bone-smart ways to stay alkaline and increase your bone density.

Stay healthy,

Question & Answer #8

I am urged to include Vitamin K in my diet to help strengthen bones. Yet because I take blood thinners Vitamin K is not recommended. What am I to do? Thanks for all the good you do for us.

-Ellen V.N.

Dear Ellen,

This is a question you need to discuss with the doctor that oversees your regular blood coagulation time test results . That's because he or she will need to adjust the blood thinner dose to the vitamin K.

As I write in the blog post titled “Vitamin K: Your Osteoporosis Knight in Shining Armor”:

“If you are taking anticoagulant drugs, your doctor will most probably let you know that vitamin K counteracts the intended effects of your prescription and that you need to discuss with him or her your vitamin K intake.”

So don't forget to ask your doctor next time.

All the best,

Question & Answer # 9

I declined the invasive treatment for osteoporosis and went instead for ‘ADCAL’ – 1 large round tablet morning and evening. I have been taking these for probably a couple of years now. I’m suddenly worried that the calcium in the tablet is the sort derived from washing powder. Can you let me know if I’m doing the right thing by taking these. I do have a good diet – don’t eat meat but do eat plenty of veg, nuts, oats etc. I live in the UK so maybe you haven’t heard of ADCAL???? Incidentally, thinking back, I have had tummy problems for a couple of years, including bouts of diarohhea (however you spell it!). Would love to hear your take on these tablets.

-Angela N.

Dear Angela,

Adcal is a combination of high dosage calcium carbonate with vitamin D3 (colecalciferol). If you are taking the chewable tablets, each one has 1,500 mg, which means you are taking 3,000 mg of calcium a day. No wonder you have tummy problems!

As I mention in answer #1 to Susan, the recommended dosage for an adult is between 800 to 1,200 mg/day, so you are taking an excessive dose. Also, try organic plant-based calcium instead, such as calcium derived from algae.

And no less important is the link between inorganic calcium and heart attacks. You might have missed my blog post about this important topic (Calcium and Heart Attack Alert: My Take). I strongly recommend you read it and switch your calcium supplement as soon as you can.

Best regards,

Question & Answer #10

I have recently ordered my package and anxiously waiting for my book to arrive so I can start this program.

After seeing the specialist a few weeks ago, I googled a bit of my own research when I came across your program. My specialist wants to follow up with me in a couple months a few weeks after I have blood test and another x-ray done so she can see if my prescribed daily increase of Vit D and calcium has made a difference yet!?

If not, she would like to start me on MEDS which I don’t want to do (and I won’t if I can help it).

I lost an inch in 10 years – I am now only 52.

My question is:

With a daily increase of Vitamin D and Calcium, is 2 months enough time to actually make that much of a difference be apparent?

One way or another, I do plan on postponing this follow up appointment so when I do go for my tests, I will be absolutely sure I show a positive results. I can’t wait to see the look on specialist’s face because she sounded pretty convinced that going on medication is my last and only option. I overheard her say she doesn’t have time to see a patient 10 times so her decisions would be hard-pressed.

Here’s another quick question…

Do you know if having too many x-rays are bad for your bones?

Looking forward to your comments and my package.


Dear Linda,

By now you have certainly read the Osteoporosis Reversal Program and got started on it right away. To answer your question, it is plausible that a Vitamin D increase would be reflected in a blood test. But to presume that changes would actually show up on an X-ray sounds unrealistic (but at the same time, you did not give me any details about the reason for the X-ray). If you suffered a fracture, for example, then two months can make a big difference.

X-rays are bad for your overall health because they give out radiation. Even though the amount of radiation is small compared to other imaging tests such as CT scans, the effect is cumulative (did you notice how X-ray technicians wear protective shields and sometimes even leave the room while taking X-rays?).

The late Dr. John W. Gofman, Professor Emeritus of molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley and an expert at nuclear physics, conducted a large study on this topic. He concluded (and published a 700 page study) that over 50 percent of the death rate from cancer and over 60 percent of the death rate from ischemic heart disease are induced by X-rays in combination with other factors.

In an interview conducted at Berkeley on November 16th, 1999, Dr. Gofman said that:

“There is the assumption that, at these (low) doses, radiation doesn't make a significant contribution, but X-rays are very potent mutagens, even at low doses. It's a disaster that people still believe the ‘safe dose myth,' that low doses are harmless.”

Stay strong and healthy,

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Carolann

    I had my thyroid gland completely removed 12 years ago and have been taking thryroxine since. I have had dramatic bone loss in one of my hips and had to have a hip replacement – the other hip is uncomfortable and my doctor prescribed Adcal 3 which I have not taken because of the scare. I want to take a supplement to help my bones but can’t afford to buy the one you recommend due to import taxes etc. so need to find something similar I can buy in UK… not sure if you can advise there. I have ordered your Save our Bones programme as I need to protect my bones for the future.It is so interesting what you say about stress and bone loss as I am a terrible worrier when it comes to my children and so have been worrying for 29 years!!! Need to chill! I understand taking thyroxine does not help bones either – but I have no choice about that one.I look forward to receiving the programme but any advice on a natural calcium supplement I can find here in UK would be wonderful. Thank you.

  2. Joyce

    I take the Algae Cal supplement daily along with eating kale each day and spinach. I also drink green smoothies on other days as well. I am just concerned that I might be getting to much vitamin k in my diet. This comes to about 2 cups of dark greens daily with the supplement and even a little more greens at dinner. Is this to much? The supplement also has vitamin k in it.
    I also am concerned about elevated calcium levels from the combination above that it might create kidney stones. I do supplement the Algae Cal supplement with 400 extra units of vitamin D. I do eat a lot of fish and calcium in other foods.

  3. Bonnie

    I recently switched to Garden of Life Raw Calcium with AlgaeCal. Previously, I was taking Ezorb and oh my gosh found that it was relieving my arthritis pain and I also was sleeping so much better having taken it. I felt an incredible difference within the first couple weeks taking it! However, I switched as you had said you liked AlgaeCal. What’s your thoughts on Ezorb (calcium aspartate anhydrous)verses the AlgaeCal? It says the Ezorb is made out of organic plants, so it must be organic not inorganic. It has a 92% absorption rate and therefore not deposit into the arteries, etc. I really prefer the Ezorb but want to do the best thing for my body! Thanks so much!

  4. TIna

    Your program for Strong Bones has made me feel like I have some control over the aging process.

    However, having kept a balanced alkilin/acid diet over the last two years and taking a specific formula each day for osteoporosis,that has 1,000 IU of D as well as K etc., and eating your recommended diet; my recent physcial blood test revealed that my D level was 25. However, it was noted that the D tested was MOno Hydroi only found in food. When the test was taken two years ago, my blood was tested for the type of D we get from the sun and that level was 40. I am very confused and not sure which one is valid. In any case, my LDL level was 158 for Cholestoral too. I was surprised since I do not eat any white breads, eggs, milk, or cheese. My main stay is fish and plenty of greens each day. I am going to be 59 soon. I have to admit I am a bit disappointed, as I really thought I have been on the right track. Please let me know your thoughts.

  5. Carol Brausen Engels

    I tried ordering your program today, but the site wouldn’t allow me to do that. I will try
    again tomorrow, but in the meantime, does bone loss and periodontal problems have anything to do with this? I haven’t lost height and don’t think that I have osteoporosism, but have had dental problems. Thanks for any info.

  6. Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

    Hi Naveed,

    I’m not sure which supplement you’re referring to. If it’s organic calcium, I like algae-derived products like AlgaeCal (http://www.algaecal.com), New Chapter’s Bone Grow (http://www.newchapter.com), and Vitamin Code’s Raw Calcium. The Vitamin Code product, as well as most of the others are available are available from various online sources like Vitacost (which has great discounts on most supplements), or you could ask at a local vitamin shop or health food store.

  7. Jim Freeman

    You are providing excellent advice and encouragement to those who need as much information as we can get and the knowledge that we can help ourselves through diet and nutritional supplements. I am a big advocate of the Algaecal calcium and mineral tablets too and was very disappointed when New Chapter substituted a cheaper less effective ingredient. Garden of Life has the real Algaecal and my wife and I have seen the improvement in our bone scans! Thanks for your great support to all of us who have osteopenia!

  8. Carla Wenzel

    Two years ago, my bone density test showed a -3.7 and I tried oral and nasal calcium medications which I couldn’t tolerate. My doctor said I should take the yearly intervenous medication or I will be in a wheel chair when I’m 70. I will be 63 tomorrow. Two years ago I found your website, bought your booklet, copied it and gave it to my doctor. I refused to take the drug. It’s always in the back of my mind that I will in a wheel chair in seven years. What is your opinon of a doctor that would tell someone that?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Carla,

      Just keep learning and following your own bone health philosophy, and prove that doctor wrong!!

  9. andy mc intosh

    Question, is fluoride concentration increased or decreased when filtered with charcoal?


    Someone has written a few months ago about Truvia online brand that produces the natural sweetener stevia saying that chemicals added to the sweetener if anyone can confirm that this is so. This is what he said:

    Sunday, February 08, 2009

    Originally uploaded by dzine
    Well, if here I have some good news and bad.

    As we all know Stevia has struggled throughout the last decades, being supported in the U.S. for being a sweetener, and not just a complement, the battle is lost and who fights against giants such as NutraSweet, Splenda, Canderel and other edulcorantres artificial, because we have something good here.

    The good news is that it went on sale Truvia, a sweetener based on Stevia, bad news is that it is an artificial component originally based on chemically altered STEVIA but nothing less and nothing else ……… …………….. Coca Cola Company, this is my dear sucarines, Coca Cola joins Cargill to develop this product that I predict will be a Hit and using a slogan like Splenda “Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar”
    Anyway here I leave the information.


  11. Mary Troutman

    Where can I get Calcium derived from algea?

  12. Mary

    Just ordered your book–it sounds like the most sensible program going. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and took Fosamax for 2 weeks. I quit because I felt so uncomfortable taking it. I listened to my inner voice instead of my doctor. Thanks so much for helping thousands of women get off the drugs.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It’s good to listen to your “inner voice”! When I was prescribed Fosamax I did too… and here we are today 🙂


    Hi Vivian, I’m enjoying reading your emails, and I’m so glad someone is blowing this nonsense about ‘the drug business’ out of the water! Please keep up the good work (and I work in a busy pharmacy!oops don’t tell anyone!)
    Do you have to take a calcium supplement for good bone health?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Here’s the conundrum with calcium supplements: you could get enough from foods, but how much broccoli, cabbage, yogurt, and sesame can you eat each day? Seriously now, let’s remember that nowadays the earth is depleted of valuable nutrients, so yes, we do need calcium… and other vitamins and minerals.

    • Mary

      I was on the Fosamax for 8+ years. Having digestive problems, my primary took me off for a 2 months but my hematologiest said to get back on it because I improved from osteoporosis to osteopinia. Then when I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy which showed ulcers and reflux from taking Fosamax. I refuse to take any other drugs, including IV so I am strickly on 1200mg calcium and 1000 D3 each day. Is this a reliable way to save my bones?

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Mary, if calcium and vitamin D would be the answer to osteoporosis, then we wouldn’t be hearing of an osteoporosis epidemic. Your bones need more than just those two supplements… and proper nutrition and exercise.

  14. ally

    Hi all, I just wanted to say that I am a firm believer that the best type of calcium to take is the AlgaeCal because it’s the only organic plant calcium that I know of and the only one that’s never given me any constipation problems.

    HOWEVER, I have to say that I used to take New Chapter’s Bone Strength Take Care product because they used AlgaeCal as their calcium ingredient. But I recently heard that New Chapter actually stopped using AlgaeCal and went for a cheaper calcium that’s not even certified organic. New Chapter did not do anything to notify consumers like me about that change, which I consider a BAIT AND SWITCH. Has anyone else heard about this? The clerk at my health food store did not know until we looked closely at the New Chapter ingredients and saw that they had dropped AlgaeCal. I think it’s an awful thing to do to women like me who are just trying to take the right supplements for our bones!

  15. K. Roth

    You mention in your book the amounts that should be taken of vitamins/minerals for strong bones. What are the recommendations for 60+ women for good over all health up and beyond the bone recommendations? When you go looking for a multi-vitamin what should be what?

  16. jesi

    Saw this on www,factsmart.org/osteo/osteo.htm
    Professor Susan Ott, MD university of Washington

    Osteoporosis and Bisphosphonates – Summary (3rd paragrah)

    Bisphosphonates are widely advertised and used to prevent fractures in women with osteoporosis. They strengthen the bones, but don’t add to their density. Studies clearly show that these medications, taken for a few years, significantly reduce the risk of fractures. However, it is questionable whether they should be taken for more that 5 years. It seems that after that duration, there may no longer be a benefit. In addition, patients should be aware of the dangers of osteonecrosis.

    There are other medications that can be used to treat osteoporosis, that are listed by Dr. Ott. You should consider these other medications based on the recommendations of Dr. Ott and consult with your physician. This site has not looked into them, and is not aware whether they have significant adverse reactions or not.

    Another approach to osteoporosis that might be viable is a natural one. An article published in Japanese (Clin Calcium 2008 Nov; 18(11):1594-9), that we can read as an English abstract (Pub Med ID 18974448) claims that regularly standing on one leg (“Dynamic Flamingo Therapy”) improved bone mass density in 30-50% of the patients, depending on the duration they persist with this exercise. Possibly, other exercises also have a siginificant impact. Even if all the exercise does is improve one’s balance, that still makes it worth while – good balance will prevent falls!

    Last Modification – March 13, 2009

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Interesting, Jesi! Well, at least she’s acknowledging SOME of the problems with bisphosphonates. And yes, balance exercises are an important component of bone health.

  17. Sylvia

    Your statement in Q&A#10 (fourth installment) “X-rays are bad for your overall health because they give out radiation. Even though the amount of radiation is small compared to other imaging tests such as CT scans… ” radiation in a CT scan is MUCH higher than any other x-ray. You may have been thinking of MRI which uses a powerful magnet to obtain images.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I think we’re saying the same thing, Sylvia. 🙂 Notice I said, “the amount of radiation is small compared to other imaging tests such as CT scans,” so I was saying that the radiation level from CT scans is, as you say, much higher.

  18. Nancy

    Dear Vivian,
    I wrote you once before quite awhile ago. I am 63 years old and have been on Fosamax and it’s generic equivalent for over 10 years. I am very concerned overall and anxious about the current expose of femur fractures and am well aware of the other side effects of bisphosphonates. I received your Bone Health Revolution. I brought my issues, and your book, to my PC two years ago as you suggested. She barely thumbed through the book and her response was that I would be on Fosamx for the rest of my life. I think it’s time for a new PC.
    My questions:
    What are my alternatives? (I gather there is not much info for my long term case)
    Someone suggested I see an endocrinologist?
    What might my results be on your program given my age, and would the average 20% gain be enough to keep me out of a wheelchair?
    I have your Bone Health Revoulution.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Nancy, while it’s impossible to tell you what your exact results will be (there are just too many individual variables), following a program like Save Our Bones can only improve your bone health.

  19. Atira

    What do you know about Green Calcium (Vibrant Health)product made from hydrilla verticillata? It claims 624 mg calcium and 475 mcg B12 in 4 tablets. Third party vendor claimed since the calcium is more available to the body, the 624 mg Calcium is sufficient. I am female,67, -2.1 osteopenia.


  20. Agnes

    I have your book, please clarify: Alfalfa is showing as Alkalizing veg, pg 101, then under highest food sources of silicon, pg 131,it says it is an Acidifying food. Please advise which is it?
    I am a vegetarian and there is none for highest food sources for CoQ10?
    By the way, like the exercise you have here to strengthen the hips. Thank you.

  21. Alice G.

    I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis of the hips along with bursitis. My doctor stated that I have bone-on-bone and need a hip replacement. Can this be reversed? I do take medication for the bursitis, but it comes back after a few days. I have trouble walking because of the osteoporosis. Is there anything that I can do to avoid surgery?

  22. janet Stevenson

    Hi Vivian,
    I am anxiously awating your book. I have been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables and that is not a problem. But I have been reading about the time of digestion for proteins (3hrs) and not combining them with fruits.
    1.Is it true that fruits must be eaten alone, or are not digested properly when eaten with proteins? That they ferment in our intestines?
    2.Also, I understand that mercury is still being added to flu shots -even for our children.
    Should we stay away from them because of metal toxidity in our bodies.
    I plan to switch my Calcium supplement asap.
    Thanks for your help

  23. Judy

    I have recently ordered your Osteoporosis Reversal Program and really looking forward to it. In your question day #4, the last one mentions the neagivity on your bones when you get x-rays. I am in the high risk group for breast cancer so I am to get a mammogram every year. Is that something I should be concerned about?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      When it comes to your health, it makes sense to have common-sense priorities. While radiation is never good, I recommend you follow your doctor’s recommendations.

  24. Freddie

    Do you recommend a particular brand or source for organic calcium?

    • Anne Kerr

      I would love to receive a great recommendation for organic calcium.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Check out products with Algaecal, a patented plant-based calcium.

  25. Kathy Martin

    I’d been taking Fosamx for the last several years at the recommendation of my doctor. However, since discovering your website, I wanted to find a more natural alternative to Fosamax so I went to my local health food store where I was told to purchase strontium tablets and Now Bone Strength capsules which contained calcium derived from MCHA. I quit taking Fosamax and started taking the strontium and bone strength capsules several monts ago. I also ordered your program which should be arriving any day now. I just read your comments to other subscribers where you said only organic calcium and no strontium tablets should be taken. I have no idea what calcium derived from MCHA means. Does that mean it is organic? If not, where can I purchase organic calcium? And should I stop taking the stontium tablets completely? If so, why? Thanks for any information you can give me.

    • mary jean waters

      xrays are bad for me. Are mamagramms in this same category and bad for me?

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Mary Jean,

        Please see my answer to Judy 🙂

  26. ramona pino

    my doctor told me that i have osteopenia he want to put me in boniva injections. i star reading the saveourbones program i start alredy with the healty diet i told him that i going to wait a year to see if i get good resuts from the diet he is not to happy about my decision but i am going to try i don’t want to put the boniva injection in my body iam terrafie i hope i make a good desicion

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Boniva injections for osteopenia? Your doctor is trying to kill an ant with an elephant (which by the way, is one of the subtitles in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program chapter on osteoporosis drugs).

  27. Ruth Shimamoto

    I am very interested to learn of the the actual “dexa numbers” of the so called “osteoporosis patients”. Here is my take on this. I am in the “Bone Builders” group. A scientific exercise program developed by the Tufts University. It states that within 6 months of doing the one hour program twice a week and proper food intake bone desity will improve. But to my surprise most of my participating members do not know their numbers nor do the people writing to you, Vivian, state their numbers. What gauge to we use in order to determine if we get any benefits from the exercise/nutritional program. Based on experience I have long given up on the advise of a single medical professional.So far I only found doctors who refer me to Fosomax, Actonel etc. medication to improve my bone density. Obviously my bone density is above the number established by the World Health Organisation and therefore I have Osteoporosis. Anybody out there who would like to comment.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      A DEXA scan with a number greater than -2.5 is considered as osteoporosis (per the WHO’s decision, pretty much).

      Here’s my take on the arbitrary osteoporosis diagnostic guidelines.

      Compare the bone density of a:

      Random group of women aged between 20 and 30 x All women over the age of 45 = INSTANT osteoporosis “epidemic”!

    • Nana

      What is the Bone Builders exercise program from Tufts?. How can one purchase it?

  28. Gerda George

    Hi Vivien,
    Your recommendations with regards to bone health have been invaluable to me at the age of 80. Since English is my second language, i am not an avid reader in that language — i have not ordered your book but thoroughly enjoy the advice[even in shortform] i receive from you online and have benefitted from all. For my physician suggested all those biophosphatkillers you warned us about to me after a bonedensity test last year.Your articles online saved me from making a terrible mistake and—- you guessed it, i am following your suggested natural approach.I have fallen twice since– but did not break any bones — .
    You should be given the NOBELLPRICE for your work!!
    Gratefully yours,
    Gerda George.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It’s wonderful that you did not break any bones! And talking about the Nobel price, here’s one of my favorite quotes from Nobel price winning biochemist Albert Szent Gyorgyi:

      “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought”.

  29. Char


    I found your website (Save Our Bones) on the internet several months ago because I couldn’t qualify for a Patient Assistance program to obtain Fosamax. I have taken Fosamax over the years, but it has been about 10 years since I have taken it regularly. I recently had a bone scan and was surprised to see that despite not taking it, my bone loss has been minimal; I look forward to receiving your program and beginning to really improve (and hopefully reverse my bone loss)

  30. Eva Nadela

    I bought your saveourbones program a few months ago. I am 68 yrs old and was taking Miacalcin and Fosamax for almost 10 yrs, but I stopped the Fosamax when I had to have dental implants in 2007 and was taking Miacalcin until I got your book.
    I always had a very regular digestive system, until I switched to New Chapter Algaecal and Almond milk, now I am severely constipated. I have now switched to the amino acid chelate,Enerex, but the condition still persists. What do you suggest?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Eva, it is unlikely that plant-derived calcium would cause constipation. I suggest you try to figure out what else could do this or consult with your doctor.

  31. rosa aranda

    I’m thank you very much for you information you are helping so many people with this problems ,i’m stop taking fosomax for the last 4 weeks and already feel much better ,my style of live continue shange for good .

    Thank you very much.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Way to go, Rosa!

  32. jo

    I saw that cranberries are on the acidic list. Because of frequent urinary tract infections, should I stop taking cranberry pill extracts? Are they acidic as the actual fruit?
    Thank you-

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      If the supplement you are taking is made of the fruit, then it is acidifying. However, there’s no reason to stop taking it (if it helps your problem). Just make sure you have enough alkalizing foods.

  33. Lora

    Hi Vivian,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful program. I have well water that is very acidic and I wondered if this may have caused some of my bone loss. I wonder what are your thoughts are on the Alkaline Water Systems that are available today, would they help bone growth?
    Thank you, Lora

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Foods have an alkaline or acidic ash after they are digested. Water is not digested. So regardless of the pH of water, it will mix with the very acidic stomach contents. The pH of the ingested water then will dramatically decrease (increase in acidity). You might want to get a home reverse osmosis system or distiller. Then add a few drops of lemon juice.

  34. Pat D

    Vivian, I appreciate your information very much.
    And, I read all of the comments from other particapants.
    I have been taking Arimidex for one year. Since it blocks
    estrogen, I anticipate that it will be detrimental to my bones.
    I have been diagnosed with Osteopenia already. Arimidex was prescirbed
    as a follow-up (5 yr. treatment) for breast cancer. What do you think of this?
    I look forward to your comments. (Never saw this topic covered) Patt

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Pat, Arimidex seems to be detrimental for bones, but you should consult with your oncologist about other options. One option I’d recommend to you is the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, since it doesn’t involve any toxic drugs.

  35. Sylvia

    As a recently retired x-ray technologist, I want to point out that your statement in Q&A#10, “Even though the amount of radiation is small compared to other imaging tests such as CT scans,… ” that radiation in a CT scan is MUCH higher than any other x-ray. You may have been thinking of MRI which uses a powerful magnet to obtain images.

    Even the bone densitometry scans that determine your bone density use a small amount of radiation. The more body mass you have the higher the dose of radiation required to get diagnostic images.

    Thank you, Vivian, for all of your useful information!

  36. Jacqueline Ilardi

    I enjoy reading your answers to all the questions sent to you. I have learned quite a bit about bone health. Keep up the good work!

  37. Mary Morse

    I have just ordered my book and can’t wait til it arrives. Today the Q&A was just great they were what I have wondered about for years. I am 83 years old and guess it is to late to started on the program but certianly needed it years ago. Thanks for all the information!

  38. Joann Henderson

    My doctor recently told me to take calcitonin-salmon. He said my 2nd dexascan confirmed osteoporosis. The first one said a 25% chance of breaking a hip in the next ten years. (He didn’t say whether it was better or worse..I’m waiting for that information from him.) I’ve been taking vit. K and D and other mineral supplements to enhance absorption of calcium. I don’t take calcium. I eat a lot of cheese. I now belong to a gym and do walk other days. But I have hypothyroidism and have been taking hormones for that for about 15 years. I don’t want to take drugs. Is Calcitonin-salmon just another bad drug, or is it something I should consider?

    • Zoe Ann

      The tap water has Fluorine which messes up your Thyroid. But if you drink purified water,(Reverse Osmosis), you may be able to stop taking Thyroid medication.

  39. susan capin

    My questions concerning organic calcium have been answered. I have found that New Chapter seems to
    be the best product. I did visit the AlgaeCal site
    and it is recommended that a Strontium Boost is also good to take. I had purchased Dr.’s Best
    Strontium 340mg. per capsule. I hesitated taking
    it because I read your comment that strontium causes thickened bones which could fracture more
    easily. I am confused about what to do.
    Susan (I have the Osteoporosis Reversal Program and have read it)

  40. Madelyn Guthrie

    I am following the diet for building bones and
    hope my next check up will show that I am making progress.

  41. Ms. L.

    Hi! Vivian,
    I Hope When All My Debts Are Paid Off; I’ll Be Able To Afford Your WONDERFUL PROGRAM As Well. THANK YOU VERY MUCH AGAIN FOR ALL YOU DO.

    LOVE, MS. L.

  42. Yvonne White

    I have read that arugula has even more calcium than spinach. So now I buy mostly organic arugula as I love salads with just that and nuts and vegetables added. What are your thoughts? Thanks.


    • Linda

      I got tired of buying lettuces and having to throw them out because they went bad before I finished them. I bought organic arugula seeds from Home Depot. They are so easy to grow in a container in the sun. They sprouted right away and I now pick some off every time I want a salad or arugula for a sandwich. Plus, they taste absolutely great. I will never buy lettuce from a store again.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Salads are great! Remember to have a variety of veggies; the more variety in your meals, the more nutrients you’ll get 🙂

  43. T.Nachuk

    Hi Vivian-I do enjoy this question and answer segment.I am waiting for my book save our bones to be delivered..Thanks..T.N.

  44. Nancy

    What are Algacal Tablets? Someone here, said that you recommend them?
    I am still looking for your advice as far as purchasing some of the vitamins and minerals. I am having problems getting the right amount needed in the recommended doses your have in your book without buying tons of vitamins and minerals separately. Would appreciate your advice. Thanks

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Algaecal is a plant-based calcium used as an ingredient in several brand name bone health supplements (including their own brand, Algaecal). And I recommend you take the supplement list to your local health food store and consult with a knowledgeable person there.

  45. Marianne Barry

    Vivian, I have your book and read the e-mails faithfully. I am moving to a different state on Oct. 29th and am concerned about how to get back into the “loop” of receiving your e-mails. I will not know my new E-mail address until I get there and set up service. Advice?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Yep, let C.S. handle that for you. Once you have your new email address, send it in…

  46. Audrey

    Hi Vivian,
    I recently began using a small battery operated device to stimulate bone growth. I had 2 slight fractures in the pubic area 2 years ago that still cause some minor discomfort. Are you familiar with this device? It is a 20 min. a day treatment on each of the 2 areas.
    Thanks & Bless your work,

  47. Martha

    Dear Vivian,

    I notice you are recommending to switch to organic calcium. What is the difference from citracal? Many thanks… Martha

    • patrice

      would like to read the answer,with dosage.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Martha, Citracal is calcium citrate… inorganic…

  48. vickie styck

    I was wondering if anyone reading this has ever had dental implants. I recently had two and they both failed. I am scheduled to have it redone later in this year but I am worried that bone loss might be the culprit and that the redo won’t work either.
    Anyone have any thoughts on this.

    • Louise Fardais

      I had 2 mini dental implants done in 2005 in Omaha Nebraska and have never had a problem. My bone loss has stablelized but perhaps you have more bone loss in that area since you had them implanted. Good luck with the new ones

    • Patricia Morine

      I just talked to a fellow who creates the teeth for the implants and he said the number one reason dental implants fail is from smoking. Smoking damages the mico vascular network getting the blood and nutrients to the gums.

    • Lois George

      I have five implants in my lower jaw. I have what is called a fixed detachable mounted on these five implants. Many of my friends have the implants and are able to remove their plate. Only a dentist can remove mine. I have had to have two implants removed because they “failed. The first one was infected from the very beginning. The second one lasted eight years before it had to be replaced. The dentists said they had never had one to fail after such a long period.They had no explanation. My jaw bones were good.

      My husband has seven implants on top. For some of them he had to have what they call a “sinus lift.” because there was not enough bone. The sinus lift consists of adding pulverized bone where it is needed. This is a very common problem. He has never had any problems with any of his implants.
      I wish you luck.

    • mary godfroy

      I’m only 57 and lost all my teeth a couple of years ago so had to have implants fitted. It is really scarry. They managed to put 4 in my top jaw but because of huge bone loss in the bottom they could only manage two there but thankfully they have worked ok. Make sure you eat good food and do everything you can to build your bones whilst the work is being done. Good luck

  49. Marie Foley

    You mentioned that the ability to inctrease your bone density after switching to your programme is affected by whether you took osteoporosis drugs. I have taken Fosomax, Evista and Actonel for the past 10-15 years and am now on Forteo after breaking my hip last September (2009) . Am I past the point of reversal. My doctor told me that I had to take Forteo because that would ensure that I would not break anymore bones. I am 67 years old.

    • marie barnett.

      I was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis in 2002,I have taken Fosamax,Actonel which accentuated IBS,I was then put on a 18 month programme of daily injections of Forsteo which made me so ill with fevers,pains in head and sent my blood pressure sky high,I discontinued them after one month.Two yrs ago I decided to carry on with my life without medication and I do feel good,apart from aches & pains I think I am lucky after all at nearly 78 yrs of age one cannot expect miracles!I have a good social life,do all my own household chores,plus gardening which I love.My diet is fairly normal but sensible.Over he past few years I have taken Vivian’s advice and find it invaluable

    • Suzanne

      I have also take fosamax for 10 years and want to know what effect this will have on me rebuilding my bones. I have osteopenia.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        It’s NEVER too late to rebuild bones naturally! Check out my blog post titled “Stop Taking Osteoporosis Drugs? It’s Never Too Late” to get more details on this very important yet neglected topic 🙂

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Maria, so you’ve taken Fosamax, Evista and Actonel, yet you still fractured a hip. And now your doctor recommends Forteo to “ensure” you won’t break more bones… Something’s not right with this picture… and my heart aches for you! You should seriously consider getting off the drug treadmill… and trying a natural way to strengthen your bones.

  50. Sherrill Fields

    I bought your book a year ago and have been trying to follow the akaline diet ever since. I also switched to organic/plant based calcium.
    Recently my GYN recommended (based on my dexa scans taken 9-09 and again 4-10 and showing I have osteopenia) I take FOSTEUM. Fosteum contains genistein aglycone, zinc, dicalcium malate,magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and magnesium oxide.

    I have never had cancer and I am not taking any sort of HRT.

    Can you please tell me your opinion of Fosteum and whether you recommend taking it. thanks so much

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Sherrill,

      I don’t recommend Fosteum, due to the fact that one of its main ingredients is soy-derived genistein, which is a phytoestrogen.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I recommend you stay away from any supplement that could alter your hormonal balance.

  51. Lulu

    Dear Vivian,
    I am planning to get some of the Algacal tablets after your recommendation however I notice they have 1600iu Vit D in them and I also take a multi- vitamin tablet with 400iu Vit D in it. IS this too much vit D as I live in the Middle East and also get plenty of sunlight. I realise that Vit D is fat soluble therefore does not get excreted like other vitamins if you exceed the dose and it says on the bottle that 400iu is 100% of the recommended daily allowance. I also take COenzyme Q and omega 3 fish oil tablets as well. I would be grateful for any advice.

    • naveed

      dear vivan i am searching for the algacal multivitamin suppliment and unable to find it can you let me know from where to find it

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA


      You can take less than the recommended dose of the Algaecal supplement; even half. Then make sure to supplement your daily meals with calcium-rich foods. You have the list in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, under Foundation Foods.

  52. Katherine Kubik

    How do I check my urine Ph; is ther something I can purchase at drugstore/

    • Patricia Morine

      I just got a great pocket size pH meter for $35. It measures you saliva or urine to .02 accuracy. Hanna Instruments. You can buy it online. Make sure you get the calibrating solutions which are inexpensive.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Katherine, you can get pH strips at the pharmacy, or you can order them online.

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