Fosamax is the most widely used drug treatment for the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. The FDA approved the first generic version (called alendronate) in February.
The drug was associated with an 86 percent higher risk of atrial fibrillation compared with never having used the drug. Atrial fibrillation can cause palpitations, fainting, fatigue, or congestive heart failure. They can also lead to embolic strokes.
Osteoporosis affects one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50, largely because many are clueless about what they can do to prevent this common problem.
All in all, it affects more than 25 million Americans. Additionally, close to 1.2 million bone fractures in the United States each year are related to osteoporosis.
Drugs like Fosamax, however, are not the solution.
What’s Wrong With Fosamax?
Fosamax is in the same chemical class (phosphonate) as the cleaners used to remove soap scum from your bath tub.
This is a metabolic poison that actually kills your osteoclasts. Osteoclasts are cells that break down your bone so your osteoblasts can rebuild them.
In normal healthy bone, this breakdown and rebuilding of bone are interconnected processes involved in the normal rejuvenation of bone. In osteoporosis, the net rate of bone resorption (breakdown) exceeds the rate of bone formation, which results in a decrease in bone mass.
It is quite clear that if you kill your osteoclasts your bone will get denser. However, what they don’t tell you is that eventually your bone actually becomes weaker even though it is denser.
Because bone is a dynamic structure that requires the removal of unhealthy bone and REPLACEMENT with new bone to stay strong. Fosamax does NOT build any new bone. It only kills the cells that break bone down, so your bone is not undergoing its natural regenerative process.
It’s tragic that drugs like Fosamax are allowed to continue being touted as the answer to osteoporosis, when it has so many detrimental side effects.
The fact that it can nearly double your risk of developing atrial fibrillation was, according to the researchers, a “completely unexpected and previously unrecognized adverse effect” of the drug. But many other adverse effects have already been discovered, including:
Gastric and esophageal inflammation
Hypocalcemia (calcium in your blood is too low)
Osteonecrosis (jaw bone death)
Serious eye inflammations and possible blindness
I warned about the dangers of Fosamax an entire decade ago, and it STILL makes no sense to take an osteoporosis drug that can literally rot out your jaw bone, give you ulcers, damage your liver, and cause heart failure or stroke. I’m sure Merck’s hope is that you WILL be blind enough not to see the folly.
How to Strengthen Your Bones Safely and Naturally
These simple guidelines can help you maintain, or increase your bone strength safely and naturally, without the use of drugs that might cause you even further harm:
- If you have low bone density, or worry it might become a problem in the future, increase your consumption of vegetables based on your body's unique nutritional type. If you find it difficult to eat the recommended amount of vegetables you need daily, you can also try vegetable juicing.
- 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 also help 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 your 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.
- Consider natural progesterone, which can increase your bone strength and density. It does this by serving as a growth promoter for the osteoblasts (the cells that build bone). However, please note that in general I am not a fan of progesterone creams for a variety of reasons. For more on progesterone, please review Complications Regarding Progesterone Cream.
- Avoid soda and sugar, which can increase bone damage by depleting your bones of calcium.