"Jawbone death" is associated with the use of a bisphosphonate class of drugs (to which Fosamax belongs). Also known as Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BRONJ), is a serious side effect that destroys the bone in the jaw, and is difficult to treat.
BRONJ was reported by oral surgeons, who noticed the condition among patients treated with intravenous forms of bisphosphonates in 2003. A broader warning of BRONJ was issued for the entire class of drugs in 2005.
Fosamax is prescribed to about 10 million men and women -- mostly postmenopausal women -- each year to help increase bone density, with annual sales of $3 billion. Over 190 million prescriptions for oral bisphosphonate drugs have been dispensed worldwide.
Bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax and Boniva, are problematic because they stay in the bone indefinitely and may upset the cell balance, disrupting the process by which jaws regenerate and remove unhealthy bone.
It’s not surprising that Merck may have known about the risks of Fosamax and intentionally tried to keep them under wraps; they did the same thing with their tragically dangerous painkiller Vioxx.
I warned about the dangers of Fosamax nearly a decade ago, and it still makes no sense to take an osteoporosis drug that can literally kill your jawbone.
What can you do to strengthen your bones safely and naturally?
- Maintain a healthy balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fats in your diet
- Eat according to your nutritional type. This will ensure that you’re getting enough nutrients for your bones, and will correct your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
- Consider supplementing with vitamin K, if you are not getting enough from food alone. Vitamin K serves as the biological "glue" that helps plug the calcium into the bone matrix.
- Get enough vitamin D, ideally from proper amounts of sun exposure. Vitamin D builds your bone density by helping your body absorb calcium.
- Exercise. Studies show that exercise is just as important to your bone health as eating a calcium-rich diet.