Fracture Risk, Bone Cells and Bone Health – Two Different Approaches

Fracture risk motivates people to seek strong bones. Looking for better bone health options turns up the standard medical approach- prescription drugs that affect bone cells directly. Here is another approach – one free of toxic chemical substances. Actually, if your bone mineral density test score is low, the standard of practice requires licensed health professionals with 'prescriptive powers' (those whose licenses give them the legal right to write prescriptions) to order certain drugs.

The standard of practice formula works like this: 'If A exists, then B is required. "In other words, if

(A): bone mineral density tests are below minus 2.0 … then
(B): prescribing a particular drug is required.

If they fail to do so, the legal enforcement mechanisms of the standard put them under threat of losing their license to practice, as well as facing that of being successfully sued because they failed to adhere to the 'standard of practice.'

That means, in the case of bones, since the standard is a bisphosphonate prescription, patients who have a bone mineral density test result at minus 2.0 or greater, will be given a bisphosphonate such as Fosamex or one of the newer generation from the same chemical class such as Alendronate, Aclasta, Actonel, Aredia, Bondronat, Boniva, Didronel, Fosavance, Reclast, Skelid, and Zometa.

Bisphonsphonates are the class of chemical used in scouring powder to clean the skin cell scum off the bathtub ring. They have long been used in various industries – among them the fertilizer, textile and oil industries since the 19th century to prevent corrosion. The fact that they dissolve human skin cells is why the pill when taken orally can burn a hole in the esophagus or stomach.

Governmental approval for bisphosphonates was based on studies that demonstrated 'decreased spinal fractures'. The fractures that the studies investigated to make this case were the tiny, hairline micro fractures of spinal bones that are normal in everyone and do not cause problems. They did not investigate the fractures of the thigh bone (head of the femur) that are so debilitating.

This class of drugs is said to be effective because of better bone density score test results. While it is true that bone density test results generally improve for those taking these drugs, the bones also become softer rather than stronger – something that bone mineral density tests do not measure. Some practitioners question the accuracy of using these higher scores to prove better bone health because the same result could be obtained by consuming anything that makes bones show up as more dense – say, by swallowing lead (not recommended!)

Bisphosphonates have a half life of 15 years, meaning it takes the body 15 years to eliminate half of them. Now that people have ingested them for a number of years, their side effects are becoming more well known. Among these are:

  • necrosis of the jaw bone (jaw bone death),
  • bone fractures and
  • increased incidence of atrial fibrillation in women (which can lead to strokes.)

Nonetheless, this class of drugs is expected to remain the leading drug class, the only expected changes as of this writing are a move to weekly oral dosing and / or quarterly or yearly intravenous dosing.

Such approaches fail to take in to account that bones are in bodies, and that the state of affairs in the body in which the bones reside has everything to do with what's going on with the bones themselves.

A different approach to improving bone health involves addressing bone nutrition and the nutritional and movement needs of the entire body in which the bones are residing. For example, since bones can release their mineral treasures in less than a nanosecond in order to re-balance blood pH, a primary method for protecting bones involves pH re-balancing using either dietary changes or supplements or both.

Although there are no specific, large scale scientific studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of an approach that provides bone nutrition, nonetheless it is one that's being embraced more and more. Both practitioners and their patients are increasingly concerned about bone health, the negative consequences of synthetic, chemical drugs in general, and bisphosphonates in particular.

Happily, it is also an approach being demonstrated, a person at a time, to be effective, not only for better bone health, but also one that provides increased vitality and greater well-being at the same time.