What Do Five Monkeys And One Banana Have To Do With Your Bones? - Save Our Bones

Have you ever wondered what makes people do what they do? Are you amazed, as I am, at why the majority of people unthinkingly conform to conventional behavior patterns that when analyzed seem completely nonsensical?

Today I’ll share with you a fascinating study that illuminates some startling insights into human behavior. What’s more, they can also be applied to bone health.

And once you read this you’ll understand that “conventional wisdom” isn’t always based on wisdom at all…

Five Monkeys, One Banana, and Some Ice Water

This study1 is really intriguing. For one thing, despite citations, some people claim the study never even happened. Perhaps the insights it provided are just a little too close for comfort…

Here’s how the researchers conducted the study (and please understand that I don't condone animal research). They placed five monkeys in a cage and hung a banana from the ceiling. They also placed a step-ladder under the banana, and when a monkey would race for the banana and grab it, that monkey and the other four were sprayed with ice-cold water. Eventually the message got conveyed: “No one should go for the banana, because we’ll all get sprayed.”

To make sure no monkey went for the banana (which they had learned would result in a spray of cold water), the monkeys would attack and beat up any monkey that tried to get it.

After a while, the scientists removed one of the monkeys and replaced it with one that had never been hit with cold water. Like clockwork, when the new monkey went for the banana the other monkeys attacked it and prevented it from getting to the banana.

One by one, all the monkeys that had experienced the spraying were replaced with new monkeys that had never been sprayed with cold water. Nonetheless, the learned behavior continued – the monkeys wouldn’t allow anyone to get the banana!

Sounds familiar? If it does, it’s because…

Humans Behave in Much the Same Way

Amazingly, humans tend to behave like the monkeys in the study. And that applies to health as well. But thankfully, this does not apply to the Save Our Bones community.

Here are five interesting examples:

1. Accepting Doctor's Advice Without Asking Questions

How many people truly question what their doctor tells them? The majority of patients take what their doctor says at face value, assuming that the doctor is somehow “above” the patient. (Just as an aside, isn’t it interesting that the word “patient” ever became a noun to refer to people who are under the care of a doctor?)

Doctors are seen as infallible for reasons that really can’t be pinpointed. Like the monkeys who jumped the newbie going for the banana, most people simply don’t know why they don’t question doctors; they just don’t.

2. Trusting the FDA and its Drug “Approvals”

Despite numerous scandals linked to the FDA, people still continue to believe that FDA approval is the equivalent of a “safety seal.” There are just too many examples of the FDA getting caught with its corporate pants down to cite them all here; but let’s look at a few highlights.

  • A Trio of Trouble – In 2010, the FDA neglected to ban three extremely harmful drugs: pain killer propoxyphene (used in Darvocet), diet drug sibutramine (Meridia), and diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia), thus recklessly endangering the health and lives of thousands.
  • Speaking of Avandia… this diabetes drug has been the center of a major controversy. The latest wave in the Avandia flood came when two members of the US Senate sent a letter to the FDA alleging that the FDA swept dangerous side effects “under the rug” in order to garner approval from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK – Avandia’s manufacturer). Even though a panel member warned that the risk of congestive heart failure was strong enough for a black box warning, conveniently (for GSK), the FDA had that person “removed.”
  • Again with Avandia… the FDA halted a randomized, double-blind study on the drug, claiming it was unfair because the study compared Avandia with a safer alternative. But the FDA is supposed to have our safety and best interest at heart, right?
  • Yaz, or Yasmin, is a birth control pill containing drospirenone, which the FDA unreservedly endorsed in December 2012. But women who take drospirenone, when compared to women who do not take contraceptive pills at all, are almost 7 times as likely to develop thromboembolism, a blood clot that can (and has been) deadly. Women taking Yaz are also twice as likely to develop thromboembolism as women taking another kind of birth control pill. The FDA allowed its members with a financial interest in the drug to vote on the endorsement of Yaz; but the FDA barred one of its researchers from voting. Why? Because that researcher had found drospirenone to be dangerous.
  • Vioxx, Merck’s arthritis drug, has been linked to more than 27,000 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths from 1999 to 2003. Merck suddenly yanked Vioxx off the market after an “internal study” by the FDA showed that Vioxx increased the risk for cardiac incidents. The study was not released, and the FDA refused to comment.

3. Drinking Fluoridated Water

Drinking fluoridated water has been proven unsafe time and again. Regular readers will know that fluoride in drinking water harms your bones (as I said above, these examples of health “mob mentality” do not apply to community members!). Numerous studies have shown the negative impact that fluoride has on the body, from thyroid dysfunction to brittle bones. It actually affects your body on a cellular level, changing the permeability of the cell membrane – any cell membrane. Your whole body is therefore at risk for damage by fluoride, including your bones.

Yet municipalities continue to add this costly toxin to the public water supply and the majority continues to drink it.

4. Ignoring Dangerous and Sometimes Lethal Side Effects of Drugs

The belief that drugs are the only way to cure a disease or manage a chronic condition is so deeply ingrained in most people, that they’re able disregard their side effects. Even when side effects are advertised on television, and even when they are drastic (such as death) or horrible (such as cancer), the mob mentality trumps caution and they take the prescription drugs anyway.

Amgen’s injectable arthritis drug Enbrel, widely advertised on many popular television channels, is a good example. Side effects and warnings range from serious infections to cancer. Here are some from the Enbrel2 website itself:

  • Infections requiring hospitalization
  • Invasive fungal infections
  • Potentially fatal lymphoma and other malignancies, especially in children and teenagers
  • Skin cancer
  • New onset or exacerbation of existing “central nervous system demyelinating disorders,” including transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndromes, and seizure disorders.
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Potentially fatal aplastic anemia
  • Hepatitis B reactivation in those carrying the virus
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Adverse reactions to the shot such as headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, and nausea

After reading a list like this, you’d think that nobody in their right mind would ever consider Enbrel, especially for a non-life-threatening condition!

5. Thinking that the next Osteoporosis Drug will be Safe and Effective

Followers of conventional wisdom actually hope and believe that the next osteoporosis drug will work without bad side effects. They’re somehow convinced that pharmaceutical companies will miraculously change their “modus operandi.”

But here’s a question everyone should ask themselves: if these drugs work, why are there so many of them? Aren’t they all supposed to do the same thing? If these drugs worked, then there would only need to be one of them. But they don’t work, and there never will be a synthetic osteoporosis drug that works without causing collateral damage.

In fact…

Osteoporosis Drugs Are Not Necessary at All

Any supposed need for osteoporosis drugs has been eliminated with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. Its scientific basis is thorough and sound, so there’s no need to wait for the next “approved” medication from the FDA.

Till next time,


1 Stephenson, G. R. (1967). Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys. In: Starek, D., Schneider, R., and Kuhn, H. J. (eds.), Progress in Primatology, Stuttgart: Fischer, pp. 279-288.
2 https://www.enbrel.com/index.jspx

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Anderson Inestroza

    escorte timisoara


  2. M.L. Kosicki

    My endocrynologist wants me to take the PROLIA injection because
    I level has dropped from osteopenia into osteoporosis. I am short of 90 yrs old by 4 months. I “googled” Prolia and the possible side effects sound horrible. What is your opinion?

  3. Kathleen Wendling

    Can you tell me what is known about Evista. ? I was told that it replaced Fosamax and also was treatment for cancer. Would you advise me to forget Evista as a bone builder (saver)?

    Also what should I look for in Calcium pills? Many kinds to choose from. Are they good for the human system?

  4. Maria J.Mckenney

    Thanks Vivian , in English I don,t understand to mucho Gracias..m.J.M.

  5. LynnCS

    Vivian. Thanks for all this info. I took Vioxx and actonel for years along with Omeprazole, Vesicare, and a number of different antidepressants ending with a couple years of Cymbalta. I had most of the side effects,but think I may have escaped the final blow. I am off all but a single dose of Armour Thyroid. 2 years after starting to wean myself off them, with a doctors care, I am afraid every time I get palpitations or have a skin breakout. My jaws joints are in bad shape and it’s hard to open my mouth fully or chew anything like raw vegies, which I like a lot. If we only could believe that our diets and lifestyles can keep us healthy. If only we weren’t so susceptible to the ads and big talk by the big medical industry Corps and big Pharma. You are a gem to bring this info to us. I am 100% committed to a healthy diet and am learning more every day.

    The side effects of these drugs go way beyond even what they tell the public. They are deadly and the Pharm co’s only tell you a little and make so much money on our needs that they don’t mind paying off a law suit or two when someone suffers or dies. It’s criminal, but will only change when we…all..get educated enough and really believe that we can do better with lifestyle changes. OMG, what we do to each other. We have to hold them accountable and even better, become the 100th monkey! Be one who changes and who in turn changes the world.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA


  6. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel)

    Hi! Vivian,

    I Don’t Fully Trust Any Doctor Or Dentist. I Tell Them That I’m Trying To Get Away From All Prescriptions Medication, And Just Try To Eat Healthy, And Take Herbs Or Holistic Medication.

    And I Still Didn’t Get An Answer About Me Being Highly Allergic To Some Of The Ingredients That Are In TrueOsteo,Like Cilantro. Do They Make It Without Cilantro? I’m Also Allergic To Coriander, Terragon, Ginger, And Curry! I Need To Take Calcium With Magnesium. I Just Need To Know Which Kind To Take!

    Thank You VERY MUCH, For All You Do.


    • Customer Support

      Dear Leslie,

      Please send us an email with your question. All you have to do is click on the smiley face at the top right of this page.”Talk” to you soon! 🙂

  7. Nu Ly

    I think doctors are well educated, so I listened to them. But after 4 years of Fosomax, I still couldn’t get rid of the osteoporosis, so I stop
    One day, I attended a big party to do some activities, exercise, speech
    and eat ect… one health staff speeched out and advised the public to
    get more sun in order to get more vitamine D, to take more water, to
    protect your teeth, because the water with the fluoride. At that time, I
    was very surprised, but no body pointed her out the mistake news. At last,
    thank you so much for all your help

  8. Margaret Barnett

    I’m interested in the Slimtevia you recommended. I couldn’t open the link and you didn’t give a web site. My server wouldn’t let me open it. I’d appreciate any help.

  9. rosa

    yes Mrs Vivian do you know of a natural medicine that helps with ADHD is for my 17year old son. he was diagnosed with ADHD and medicine does not do well for him. can you please help. thanks

  10. Nicky Freeman

    Hi Vivian,
    Have you come across ‘Boneblast plant calcium supplements’ I would love to know what you think of them and would you reccommend them?
    Many thanks,

  11. Star571@hotmail.com

    Please e-mail me back with your answer at star571@hotmail.com
    Natural Deodorant- No matter which deodorant home made ones or from a Good Earth store they never work.
    I take World Organic Mega Chlorohyll 100mg. twice a day.
    RAW Probiotics-Women 50 & over Garden of Life Raw whole foods dietary supplement and other vit.
    What is it on my right side of arm pit I always have body order?
    Please reply back?

  12. Freddie

    I have been diagnosed with GERD and prescribed 40 mg of Omeprazole daily. I am against taking this medication but was told not taking it could lead to esophageal cancer. I wake up with a sore throat and laryngitis daily. Do you have an solutions for me so I won’t have to take this medication. Thanks, Vivian.

    • Rosemary

      I went to look for the holistic advice and couldn’t find it again. I can only tell you what I did. First thing in the morning on an empty stomach ( I did take some sips of water first) I took a tsp of ginger juice. It’s found at Whole Foods. Try to wait it out a little bit before taking more water. I did this for 5 days. Gerd gone, heartburn gone and stomach was back to normal.

      For maintenance, I would drink some fresh cut up ginger in my tea which is delicious. Easy way to peel fresh ginger: use an edge of a spoon to scrape the peel off. No sugar or milk in the hot tea, just some small cut up pieces of ginger. If you must have tea sweet, a little honey in it soothes the throat.

    • Rosemary

      I read up about gerd and the purple pill that’s suppose to fix it (with its side effects attached) and I also found advice from a holistic Dr. who said it’s fixable by taking a teaspoon of ginger juice each morning. I think you can find him by googling gerd and ginger juice.

      I tried the juice and it put my stomach right. It is not for the faint of heart. Ginger juice burns all the way down. So read up on it first. Eating fresh ginger keeps the stomach right and the pylori bug away.

  13. Thomas Mueller

    To Lois H. in Canada regarding Slimtevia:

    I don’t know about Slimtevia, but I think the active part is stevia.

    You can get stevia leaf cut/sifted or powder from Mountain Rose Herbs in Eugene, OR, USA, website https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/

    Is there any law in Canada prohibiting you from getting stevia this way?

  14. Raul A Miller

    Your advice is welcomed & followed (most of the time). I’ll be 90 very soon — thanks to good genes, the Lord’s protection, and friends (like you) who “show me the way”.

  15. Harold Mattner

    Thank you heaps Vivian for so selflessly ( and courageously ) sharing your brilliant mind with us. Harold M,sen.

  16. carolb

    At my last dental appointment I was told to have a topical flouride treatment on my teeth because I drink well water. Will this help or harm my bones and or teeth?

    Thanks for all the good education.

  17. Lois H

    I would like to try Slimtevia but since I live in Canada it is not available.Do you know if it will become available for international sale?

  18. Sarah Henderson

    after umteen years on bisphosphonates I was put on injections of Forteo. REally bad reaction after two months. Now into 4th yr of nothing but vitamins and S.O.Bones. Keeping my fingers crossed, but so far so good.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Good work, Sarah. Isn’t it great to know you’re doing the best thing for your bones? 🙂

  19. John and Dawn Balog

    We ordered your TrueOsteo supplement and it appears to be helpful. We are told that Strontium is also needed. TrueOsteo dozen’t contain it. We also found that if there is only about 5 mom that is not enough. Strontium is sold in 680 tablets which must be given on an empty stomach and not at the same time we take calcium. Your comments please. Mahalo.

    • Linda

      Strotium supplements from Vitamin Research Products contains 340 mg, so they say to take 2 or 3. I only take 1 when I wake up during the night. Same mg for Life Extension Strontium. Both these are available from Life Extension Foundation by mail — http://www.lef.org. Questions — info@lifeextension.com. They have an 800 number and only charge $5 for an order of 1 product or lots of products. A great organization with lots of research on health; started by physicians.

  20. r "mickey" gutierrez

    Dear Vivian,

    Beautiful, informative e-mail!! Doesn’t say much for Dr.s or the FDA, does it? I’ve have been prescribed a very expensive medication (Sytiga) recently for recurring prostrate cancer by my oncologist but as as result of this e-male, I will not be a monkey. I will be asking a lot of questions before I go on it!!!

    Thank you for all the good work you do for the health community!!!

    “Mickey” 🙂

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Mickey, you are so welcome, and I commend you for getting informed and not being afraid to make your own health decisions!

  21. Donna Lombardi

    about 7 yrs. ago I realized I had enough of what some Drs’s were telling me. one in particular decided to drop me as a “patient” and sent a certified letter telling me so.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hm…maybe that’s a “firing” you can be proud of!

  22. Crete sham

    Dear Vivian, I have suffered , and am suffering with many serious ailments for most of my adult life, so of course I was blindly accepting whatever was prescribed as I didn’t know better, and Doctors were ‘infallible’. when I eventually realized that I was suffering with side effects, it was too late – one thing was leading to another! But there was no Internet at that time, so I had no way of knowing , and when there were inserts in the packets stating the possible side effects, I was regarded as a hypochondriac and was ridiculed (even now!) so I am so happy to have “found” you. I am eternally grateful and really look forward to your emails.I hope to find solutions one if these days. (I have already stopped that awful Fosamax( as I told you) Thanks for your sincere generosity
    Kind regards, Crete Sham (South Africa)

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Dear Crete,
      I’m so glad you’ve found the Save Our Bones community, and that you are participating! You’ve come to the right place. Our bodies were designed for health and wellness, and I can’t wait to hear about your journey away from drugs and side-effects and toward optimal health! 🙂

      • Romy

        I like your illustration of 5 monkeys and a banana, great!

  23. Estelle

    I have been using stevia that I buy in the health food store to sweeten my coffee. Is that 100% safe to use?

  24. joanne

    What is your opinion of the “FRAX” assessment?

  25. Jocelyne

    What a good article and what a great illustration. In the course of centuries people never questioned their religion and were abused. This century’s ‘new religion’ has a completely different credo, rules through big pharma and abuses the ‘blind’ who do not question nor research for themselves. Victims fall by thousands. We need to educate ourselves. That is the difference between monkeys and humans, we can analyse and think… or can we?
    Thank you!

  26. mary

    Re: Vivian’s example — Fluoridation of municipal water

    A few years ago, fluoridation of water became a political issue in Pinellas County, Florida. The person who had advocated for this change, and had succeeded in convincing the government to stop fluoridation, when running for office in the recent election, lost out to one who campaigned in favor of re-introducing fluoridation.

    In view of Vivian’s discussion of the above study, I am wondering, “In Pinellas County, “Who will be the next monkey”, or “Will there be a ‘next monkey'”?

  27. Marjorie Mangrum

    I became a Fossomax victim in March 2011, when my right femur broke as I walked on a level floor in my home. I lay on the floor for over six hours waiting for someone to come. I was told by the Surgeon it was definitely a stress fracture caused by some medication. Naturally I did not ever take Fossomax again, and finally was led to the “Save Our Bones” program. I have just had a Dexa Scan after one year on the program and I was classified as a marked improvement….some areas as much as 67%. I was so pleased I just felt I should share the good news.

    • Sue

      Marjorie, I’m curious to know how many years you took Fosomax. I was on it for 7 years before taking myself off and starting the program. I hope I will never be the victim of a broken femur! Glad to hear your scans show “marked improvement”.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Marjorie, thank you for taking the time to share that! What wonderful news. I am so sorry for your fracture but very excited for your happy ending! 🙂

  28. Embiale

    Thank you for you interesting email. I read most of your comments, even though I am not victim of osteoporosis. you are 100% perfect and I agree with you.most of the doctors prescribe a medicine and they don’t give its side effect. Let me tell you my recent experience. I was having cough due common cold allergic, one doctor give me an antibiotic and it has affected my gastritis. However, I didn’t take it, however I m relived from it by taking natural anti bio-tics. this is one real example for your articles. Please, Dcs be transparent.

  29. Sharon Fritchie

    Vivian, Your #1 example of what people take for granted is so true. I am very skeptical of doctors. I was diagnos-ed with Macula Degeneration a year ago at my annual exam. This year, the doctor recommended I take mega doses of vitamins and minerals (that they sell at the eye clinic), which would cost $500 a year. I decided to get a second opinion, from the #1 eye clinic in the U.S., which is just a 100 miles from my home, here in Florida. There I was told I don’t have Macula Degeneration, that I have one small “drusen” under my right eye, which is progression from age (I’m 73). I showed them the list of the vitamins & minerals my local doctor recommended, the he told me not to take them, as they don’t know the long term effects of these mega doses. He told me to buy a good multi vitamin instead. My distant vision is better than 20/20 and I just use 250 power reading glasses. I am blessed!

  30. semiyu olagolden

    Dear Vivian, I ordered for your items advertised with densercise on the 6th december 2012. Till date I got only the video, the other printed materials have not been delivered till date. I wrote a reminder to you in January 2013,no reply till date Kindly check and reply to me personally to assure me that you get my message. Thanking you for all the beautiful work you are doing. Dr. Semiyu Olagolden, Abuja Niger

    • Customer Support

      Hi Semiyu,
      Please click on the customer support icon at the top of the page (the smiley face), and we will be glad to assist you!

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