Osteoporosis and Bisphosphonates - Summary

Bisphosphonates are widely advertised and used to prevent fractures in women with osteoporosis. They strengthen the bones, but don't add to their density. Studies clearly show that these medications, taken for a few years, significantly reduce the risk of fractures. However, it is questionable whether they should be taken for more that 5 years. It seems that after that duration, there may no longer be a benefit. In addition, patients should be aware of the dangers of osteonecrosis.

There are other medications that can be used to treat osteoporosis, that are listed by Dr. Ott. You should consider these other medications based on the recommendations of Dr. Ott and consult with your physician. This site has not looked into them, and is not aware whether they have significant adverse reactions or not.

Another approach to osteoporosis that might be viable is a natural one. An article published in Japanese (Clin Calcium 2008 Nov; 18(11):1594-9), that we can read as an English abstract (Pub Med ID 18974448) claims that regularly standing on one leg ("Dynamic Flamingo Therapy") improved bone mass density in 30-50% of the patients, depending on the duration they persist with this exercise. Possibly, other exercises also have a siginificant impact. Even if all the exercise does is improve one's balance, that still makes it worth while - good balance will prevent falls!

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Last Modification - March 13, 2009