Dear Subscribers,

I have been travelling the U.S. and Canada since January of this year educating people on two topics: inflammatory diseases and women's health. This past week I was on the East Coast of Canada. It always intrigues me how certain areas of North America have clusters of health conditions unique to that area; or how the doctors in that region treat their patients differently from another area. The types of prescription drugs and the number of prescriptions being taken together is scary considering the lack of research about combining drugs. I feel strongly we should be using natural remedies, diet and lifestyle as the first line of defence against disease and only reach for prescription medications as a last resort. If you have an infection and need an antibiotic that is appropriate but many people are taking harmful medications with some serious side effects and may not even realize it. Once you start combining multiple drugs together you enter a poorly researched zone of drug interactions. This newsletter offers information on osteoporosis and the current drug warnings.

P.S. Last e-letter I had an overwhelming response and I am still working my way through your questions. At one point hundreds of emails were coming in per hour. Please be patient I will answer each email and then we will post the most common questions on the website. Thank you for your patience.

Osteoporosis—Killer Disease Affecting Men and Women

A couple of weeks ago I visited a friend who is in her 80s. She has had several osteoporosis fractures over the years. Recently she a vertebrae fracture in her back just standing in her kitchen. She used to be 5'7" and now stands 5'1". Osteoporosis is a painful, debilitating condition that is 100 percent preventable.

Osteoporosis affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men. Few of us think osteoporosis is a disease that can kill us but of those that have hip fractures up to 20 percent will die as a direct result of their hip fracture and another 20 percent will not get out of long term care facilities. Seventy-five percent of teenagers are not getting adequate bone-building nutrients in their diet. Yet the dosage of bone-building nutrients is the same for teenagers as it is for those over the age of 50. Most of us do not start taking bone-building nutrients until we have started to lose bone.

Drugs for Osteoporosis

Recent news reports have finally revealed that calcium alone will not stop osteoporosis. In the natural medical world we have known this for two decades. Calcium became the Gold Standard even though research studies clearly showed calcium alone did not improve bone strength. So it is little wonder that women are turning to drugs like Fosamax and hormones to try and maintain bone strength. These drugs have serious side effects.

I have also been amazed over the last 5 months how many women, who have not gone through menopause, or who have never had a fracture nor a DEXA scan (a bone scan that shows bone loss), nor a bone mineral density test, are taking Fosamax. Fosamax has some serious side effects—one that can not be fixed. The drug now carries a warning but we have all become so complacent about reading warnings on labels that most people are not aware of one of the new side effects. Osteocronosis, the break down of the jaw bones, a side effect from taking Fosamax is being downplayed by doctors and the media. News reports and doctors are quoted saying that it rarely happens in those taking oral Fosamax or other bisphophonates only intravenous delivery; that it most often happens in those with cancer; that it mainly occurs after tooth extraction or dental work—but there are reports of spontaneous jaw breakdown in people taking the drug who have not had dental work nor cancer and who are taking oral bisphophonates like Fosamax.

Before taking Fosamax you should know:
  • That it should not be prescribed with estrogen replacement therapy (Premarin). Studies using the two together have shown increased bone turnover and long term studies have not been performed to show what effect this may have.
  • Never take Fosamax with glucocorticoids like Prednisone as the safety of this has not been established
  • You should have a bone mineral density measurement at the initiation of Fosamax or other bisphosphonates and it should be repeated after 6 to 12 months.
  • Ensure you can sit up and follow directions for taking Fosamax as it can cause ulceration of the esophagus if you do not stay upright after taking the drug.
  • Fosamax should not be prescribed to those upper GI tract problems due to the potential for worsening of the underlying disease including dysphagia, esophageal diseases, gastritis, duodenitis, or ulcers.
  • Make sure you do not have low calcium or vitamin D. Hypocalcemia (low calcium levels) must be corrected before initiating therapy with Fosamax. Other disturbances of mineral metabolism (such as vitamin D deficiency) should also be effectively treated before taking the drug. Presumably due to the effects of Fosamax on increasing bone mineral, small asymptomatic decreases in serum calcium and phosphate may occur. Meaning the drug can disrupt your calcium/ phosphate/vitamin D metabolism.
  • Taking aspirin with Fosamax increases upper gastrointestinal adverse events (meaning bleeds and ulcers).
Read about:
Bisphosphonates Actonel, Fosamax, Didrocal and Jaw Breakdown.

What Dentists are saying Click Here

Fosamax Side Effects: Click Here

Lorna's Bone Building Program

  • Take 6 drops of Collagen Plus per day it has been shown to increase bone density by 2% in one year based on DEXA scan results of a double-blind study
  • Take 600mg of Ipriflavone daily as it has been shown to improve bone strength by 2% per year based on double-blind studies
  • Follow the guidelines under Osteoporosis in my Woman's Guide to Vibrant Health click here

Health Canada Warning:
Another Drug Used For Osteoporosis Drug Has Problems

June 1, 2006

Raloxifene users may be at increased risk of fatal stroke

Health Canada has issued a warning that post-menopausal women taking the osteoporosis drug raloxifene, (Evista®), who also have heart disease or are at high risk of a heart attack, are also at increased risk for a fatal stroke.

A clinical trial - the RUTH (Raloxifene Use for The Heart) trial - involving more than 10,000 women (with an average age of 67) with heart disease or at high risk for coronary events found an increase in death due to stroke for raloxifene users compared to placebo (no drug). The incidence of stroke deaths was 1.5 women per 1,000 women per year for those taking a placebo versus 2.2 per 1,000 women per year for those taking raloxifene.

The same study has found that the risk of actually having a stroke or heart attack was low and was the same for those using raloxifene compared to those not taking the drug.

"If you are at increased risk of stroke and you are taking raloxifene, you should discuss this slight increase in the risk of fatal stroke with your doctor," says Dr. Aliya Khan of Osteoporosis Canada's Scientific Advisory Council.

Next e-letter: Drugs that Increase Cancer Risk.

  • Blood pressure drugs and some beta blockers. Risks for women double if taken for 5 years.
  • Antibiotics have proven links to breast cancer.
  • Tranquilizers and antidepressants have been linked to breast cancer, particularly in premenopausal women. Twenty years ago, The New Scientist warned: "If the connection is confirmed, then the implications are horrendous. A treatment almost universally offered to cancer patients actually accelerates the disease in the people it was meant to help."
  • Cholesterol drugs. Women taking statins have breast cancer rates 12 times higher than other women.
  • Antacids. Many of these appear to decrease our levels of "good" estrogen and increase the bad-which may add to your breast cancer risks considerably.

To read past issues visit