By Evelyn PringleOnline Journal Contributing WriterApr 18, 2006, 00:50
"The osteoporosis drug Fosamax has been on the market for a little over 10 years now. Drug maker Merck promoted it heavily by selling women the fear of a disabling hip fracture and the necessity of regular bone-density tests. Merck's initial TV advertising campaign featured a slim woman in her mid-40s, conveying the notion that testing was appropriate for women in this age group.....
However, although Fosamax may improve bone density, experts say when it comes to fracture prevention, its benefit is modest at best. In fact, some researchers say that when taken for more than 10 years, Fosamax will actually make bones more brittle and thus, more susceptible to fracture. And even if patients stop taking the drug, doctors say it can stay in the body for up to 10 years. "
Gary Moller Comments:
There has been considerable media debate recently about the class of drugs called "bisphosphonates". It is really frustrating to listen to various experts on the subject downplaying the seriousness of these drugs. What is even more frustrating is the almost total absence of reference to the very effective and safe alternatives.
While there may be a case for prescribing these powerful and potentially dangerous drugs in cases of bone cancer, there are much better treatment alternatives for osteoporosis which I will describe later on.
First, a brief overview of what these biphosphonates are and how they work..
These anti osteoporosis drugs are based on the same active ingredients of common phosphate-based laundry detergent and this fact alone puts me off!
Bone, even in old people, is living tissue that is constantly being replaced with new, healthy tissue. As we get older, we tend to lose bone strength to the extent it becomes a health problem (osteoporosis). It was discovered by accident that these laundry products inhibit the bone cells that carry out this process of renewal and, where bone loss was happening, it would slow or stop the loss. So, that's good isn't it, because bone loss slows or is halted altogether, thus preventing osteoporosis? The answer is "NO!" Because bone that is not renewed becomes old and brittle and, if it is damaged, such as during a dental procedure, the old bone is unable to heal. The resulting disease condition is progressive bone death ("osteonecrosis"). This condition is a terrible thing that is almost impossible to cure.
So what are the alternatives?
Exercise , vitamin D and a nutritious diet enhance this process of renewal - and strengthening. Lack of exercise, sunlight and a poor diet will, on the other hand, accelerate bone loss.
The alternative therapy is :
- Daily sunlight for vitamin D, plus food sources of this essential vitamin
- A daily vitamin and mineral supplement
- Extra protein such as a whey supplement
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Daily exercise
This therapy is highly effective.
Why aren't these therapies prescribed with the same enthusiasm as those terrible phosphate drugs?
Is it because exercise and sunlight are free and mineral supplements and good food are not prescription drugs?