This week Tara Parker Pope wrote an article in The New York TImes that I found very disturbing. The big question now appears to be – are the osteoporosis drugs actually weakening our bones instead of strengthening them? Her article based on a series of case reports, did say that that the weakening occurs in only a small number of people taking the drugs … but you know once the horse is out of the barn, everybody starts to panic. There may be 92 good reasons to take this medication, but now we’ll focus only on why they may do more harm than good.
Here’s a small piece of Pope’s article. Bones are in a constant state of remodeling — dissolving microscopic bits of old bone, a process called resorption, and rebuilding new bone. After age 30 or so, a woman’s bones start to dissolve faster than they can be rebuilt, and after menopause she may develop thin, brittle bones that are easily broken. Bisphosphonates, including Fosamax, Procter & Gamble’s Actonel and GlaxoSmithKline’s Boniva, slow this process. To read more click here.
There’s no question that all of us need to be informed consumers, especially when it comes to our health. But, I urge you not to accept everything you read as gospel. Do your research, then have your questions answered by a doctor you trust. Each of us has a body that is unique. That’s why you can’t rely on the one-size-fits-all data coming out of these case reports.
In my opinion, there is no reason to panic if you are taking an osteoporosis drug. You can be sure there will be many more studies coming out with very different conclusions.