Mar 18

Osteoporosis drugs have been over-criticized. After market research shows a different outcome, than the one initially projected.

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2 Responses to “Osteoporosis Drugs Safer Than Initially Believed”

  1. 1. enliteneer Says:

    A year ago or so, I recall reading about a new drug that that supposedly works using a different mechanism than Fo$amax. Instead of inhibiting the bone deconstructing cells (osteoclasts), it worked with the body’s bone-building cells instead ( osteoblasts ). So I’m curious what drug/class these new studies refer to?

    (I assume all bone break down / rebuilding takes place at the outer compact cortical level, as well as the inner trabecular spongy level as well).

    I’m always interested in prevention of disease, and it’s long been understood that you can prevent osteoporosis with adequate intake of calcium/magnesium/vitamin-d,vitamin-k2, most notably during the teen years of life. However, lately I’ve been seeing more skepticism on this adage.

    For example, milk/calcium may lead to denser bones, but this does not make them stronger or more flexible, both of which would help during trauma. This post cites two interesting studies that are quite counterintuitive to say the least!

  2. 2. Dr Jim Says:

    Calcium does very little to reverse or slow the progression of osteoporosis in adulthood. By then, it is too late. I am not aware of specific studies that have followed adolescents to their later years to determine with absolute certainty that calcium intake during adolescence does or does not help. There is a Chinese study in the British Journal of Nutrition, Du et al. (2004) showing that supplementation of 757 Chinese girls aged 10 years, with Ca-fortified milk with or without vitamin D, over a 24-month period resulted in significant increases in the percentage changes in height, sitting height, body weight, and size-adjusted whole-body bone mineral content and bone mineral density, compared with un-supplemented controls. How that translates to Westerners or to lifelong risk for osteoporosis is uncertain.

    We do know documented trends. Peak bone mass is reached in late adolescence or early adulthood. After that, it is a downward decline. Our strategies to reduce osteoporosis address both aspects. The goal is to reach peak bone mass with as much calcium deposited in the “bank” as possible. Then, reduce the “rate of withdrawal” if possible. Only recently have drugs been developed that claim to reverse the trend of mineral loss.

    When know that certain disease states or drugs used in childhood reduce bone mineralization with calcium and those kids go on the have a higher rate of osteoporosis. People with an adequate intake of calcium in their diet will likely not benefit from additional supplementation. So the question remains, have you looked at your calcium intake? Is it enough? Prevention starts here.

    Other preventative steps include: weight bearing exercise, avoiding tobacco or excess alcohol, adequate vitamin-D intake.

    Osteoporosis is not on the health radar for most people until older years. At that stage, like retirement, the days of deposits are over. Now all you can do is slow the withdrawal rate or use medications to add calcium to the depleted bone.

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