The Best Treatments for Osteoporosis

Why Bone Health Takes a Back Seat to Pharmaceutical Drugs

If the best treatments for osteoporosis are what you're looking for, this article will give you some documented reasons why conventional treatments for osteopenia and osteoporosis are tackling the problem of bone density in the wrong way. Drugs in the bisphosphonate family, including Fosamax, Boniva, Reclast, and Actonel may improve bone density, but they do it by interfering in the natural process of removing old, brittle bone so that new, flexible bone can replace it.

Indeed, the best treatments for osteoporosis are essentially free, but you are unlikely to hear much about them from your doctor.

Vitamin D from daily sun exposure or fish oil supplements, calcium from vegetable sources (not milk products), regular weight-bearing exercise, and access to trace minerals in bio-available form are the real keys to building and maintaining healthy bones, but few doctors are trained in human nutrition. They are trained to use pharmaceutical drugs to treat various conditions.

So why is you doctor most likely prescribing Fosamax or Boniva?

To get the answer to this question, which is the key to getting the best treatments for osteoporosis, you must "Follow the money trail".

To do this, you must understand a little about how the doctor, if he or she is an MD, is trained and compensated. The pharmaceutical industry -- which has a strong financial interest in funding medical schools and influencing their curriculum -- is not interested in natural cures for anything because they cannot be patented and thus, controlled for making long-term profits.

(Besides, it is far more profitable to manage a disease, rather than provide a cure -- if one was even available. The Big pharmaceutical companies are not humanitarian organizations. They are businesses that are solely motivated by profit. They are not sworn to the Hippocratic Oath, as MDs are.)

Natural substances, such as nutrients, hormones, and herbs cannot be patented, so the pharmaceutical industry has no interest in them. There is not enough profit potential to risk the huge investment in testing and getting a product approved by the FDA for that purpose.

The pharmaceutical companies therefore, must always create a synthetic chemical that does something that sounds like it would help the patient. Whether it actually does help them -- or it harms them -- are matters for the attorneys and public relations experts to handle.

When testing the newly created substance for safety and effectiveness, who do you think pays for and often even conducts all the testing? Hint: It's not the FDA!

If you guessed that it is the drug companies themselves and/or their hired third-party laboratories, you are correct! This opens up many avenues for fraud, which can be perpetrated by throwing out testing that doesn't bring back favorable results (Seriously, this is done!) or by adjusting the test procedure to cause a favorable outcome for the product being tested.

This happens more often than we would like to believe it does. When it takes 60,000 deaths due to the once-popular arthritis medicine Vioxx, before the drug is recalled -- even though the dangers were known in advance -- this should give the public an indication of where the pharmaceutical industry's heart is located.

So, if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, and you are looking for the best treatments, you may want to look further than the bisphosphonate drugs your doctor is recommending. Doctors, unless they are naturopaths, chiropractors, or sometimes osteopaths, tend to sell products made by the pharmaceutical industry. They make no money, nor do they get free trips to Hawaii, when they suggest natural solutions for thinning bones, although these are the best treatments for osteoporosis.

If you are one of the rare people who want to do their own research to find out what scientists who have no financial interest in their research have to say about the best treatments for osteoporosis, take a look at this short article with scientific studies referenced below.

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teresapelka profile image

teresapelka 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

I don't know what should be wrong with cows' milk. How do you tell the calcium in the bone to have come from milk from other sources? (I'll have to research on the research)

I have about two pints of milk a day, the lactose also keeps on working - a mammal, I am.

So far - 'knock wood' - nothing broken. :)

teresapelka profile image

teresapelka 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Just joking, as for language, you go find your cow and mind your cow if it's cow's milk to be good to you. 'Cow milk' or 'cows' milk' would be a bit less hassle... ;)

Paul Kemp profile image

Paul Kemp 4 years ago Author

The problem with animal foods of any kind is that they acidify the blood, which in turn draws calcium out of the bones to bring the blood pH back to normal. Read the link which explains and documents the science behind this.

I liked milk, too, but gave it up when I learned this. I am better off for it.

Thanks for commenting, though, Teresa.

teresapelka profile image

teresapelka 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

The link you provide disregards digestion.

If I drink milk, my body doesn't need to take calcium from my bones - it has calcium in the digestive tract.

The research you're quoting would refer to some much impossible digestive disorder for a mammal: inability to absorb calcium from the digestive tract.

Calcium generally lowers acidity, this is its chemical property, much regardless of source - as for another claim in your quoted link.

Arguments about rural China, where you spend most of your day cultivating veg, do not appeal to me on broken bone statistics. The statistics does not actually allow to state that Chinese bones are stronger.

When will the humanity stop torturing them kids with milk... ;)

mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

Good article, and I agree completely that Fosimax and other pharma solutions are not the way to go. I had a bad reaction to Fosimax, and have taken the route that you suggest. So far, I have slight bone thinning, but it hasn't gotten worse in 10 years. Good hub, voted up and sharing.

Paul Kemp profile image

Paul Kemp 4 years ago Author

@Teresapelka: I am going to continue to side with a PhD scientist with about 45 years at the highest levels of cancer research and many peer-reviewed, published papers. I trust that he has considered all the variables on this issue of cow's milk as a food for mature humans.

Regarding "some much impossible digestive disorder for a mammal: inability to absorb calcium from the digestive tract": Cow's milk is much richer than human milk. It will grow a young heifer to 300 pounds in 18 months. We human mammals don't need, nor are we set up to tolerate that much protein from the milk of another species. We stop drinking mother's milk when it dries up -- and that seems a good time to stop.

It is true that Western countries in particular have a long tradition of drinking milk, but we also have many diseases that have been associated with the consumption of cow's milk. Juvenile or Type 1 Diabetes is one; there is strong evidence that milk products make prostate cancer worse. And then, too, there is the occurrence of more heart disease and many cancers in those who eat the animal-protein based diet of the Western nations.

If you want to drink milk, it is your right. I am only trying to point out a point of view (Dr. T.Colin Campbell's) that I (and former U.S. President Bill Clinton) find very compelling.

Thanks for your stimulating comment!

Paul Kemp profile image

Paul Kemp 4 years ago Author

Thanks, mperrottet, for adding your personal experience. I congratulate you for thinking this issue out for yourself, rather than getting on Fosamax or some other bisphosphonate drug. They don't really solve the problem, which is the need for healthy bones, not concrete-hard bones that are essentially dead. It is odd that so many Americans want to take a pill, when the science tells us we can get better results with a healthy diet, Vitamin D, and regular weight-bearing exercise.

This propaganda campaign by the US Department of Agriculture and the Milk Industry that endlessly tells us to drink milk to prevent bone loss actually makes the problem worse, according to researcher T.Colin Campbell, PhD and many others.

teresapelka profile image

teresapelka 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland


Obviously, authority can always be blamed; especially if one would be looking for a rebel image, but milk is not a good idea.

The link you provide blames milk for acidifying blood. With stomach acidity problems you take milk (you may throw magnesium on top of the bargain with your metabolism) or you have ulcers.

Calcium is a mineral, not protein - I believe you know.

Lactose does not belong with polysaccharides, although a disaccharide as a compound.

As for 45 years of expertise, there were about a few hundreds of years specializing in the true nature of the Earth's flat shape.

They only could not tell that day is night. :)

You obviously have the right to stay by your opinion.

teresapelka profile image

teresapelka 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Just to finish explaining my reservations on your links: the milk calcium is the factor IV calcium

Kidney stones come most likely from tap water drunk without boiling or filtering. The pipes have this nasty sediment and mammals absorb from digestive tracts.

I've always liked milk; I hated it the way it was in the kindergarten - overboiled, almost burned. This never deterred me from milk, however.

I would have killed to have yoghurt. Depriving humans of milk could be a crime. ;)

Paul Kemp profile image

Paul Kemp 4 years ago Author

Teresa: If you like drinking milk and you believe it is healthy for you, go right ahead. My reading of the evidence leads me to believe otherwise. Actually, my personal experience confirms this.

As I told an African-American friend of mine years ago when he told me of his difficulty digesting milk (lactose intolerance is more common among blacks and many Orientals), "Cows' milk is for cows' babies." I still believe that -- not as a matter of faith, but based on how my body reacts to it, common sense, reading open-minded scientists and doctors, and the good results people get when, for instance, they take their children off milk and their recurrent ear infections end.

Calcium is plentiful and better absorbed in green leafy vegetables and legumes. I get plenty of calcium and I have never broken a bone.

I will follow what my intuition and reading on the subject convinces me is true. You can be part of the "control group" in this experiment.

As they say at games of chance, "Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances." Let us know how it works out for you after 20 years or so.

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