Ask Larry:

Your Question: I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. I have no thyroid & I take levothyroxine. I really do not want to take any drug that falls into the category of bisphosphonates (Boniva, Evista, Forteo, etc.).
What do you recommend? Today I ordered some Vitamin D, the Florajen3 probiotic, and the reacted calcium. Is there anything I should add or delete?

Larry’s Response: I strongly resist any of the drugs you mentioned – and others like them specified to “treat” osteoporosis.

Those drug therapies are marketed to doctors and their patients as a means to reduce the risks of fractures. The materials suggest dramatic decreases in risk. However, the risk of serious fractures are actually low to begin with and they use numbers and statistics to trap people into using drugs with fear and number manipulations. For example, reducing fractures from 2% to 1% can be reported as a 50% reduction in risk – which seems significant. Wow, a 50% reduction!. In the real world, the actual incidence of fracture dropped a mere 1%.

Additionally, most reported findings about risk suggest reductions in serious fractures, such as hips. In reality, the studies have not been done on hip fractures, but on breaks in smaller bones. The improvements in risk for small bones is extrapolated to larger bones – again with more math manipulation.

You seem to already understand that good health is not directly associated with drugs – especially ones that alter your own response to naturally occurring hormones (the bisphosphonates block the activity of estrogen). Vitamin D (D3) is vital. The common doses are under 1,000 IU per day, but I usually suggest amounts five to ten times higher.

Florajen – and all probiotics – help the gut. A healthy gut is the basic reason for a strong immune system. Strong immune systems mean we handle inflammation properly. Inflammation causes symptoms. Yes, good probiotics improve and prevent many serious problems. Florajen is one of the best brands, and we have stocked it for over a decade.

Calcium supplements are good. The best forms of all minerals are those provided as complexes or salts. The word “reacted” identifies the products we consider to be the best. Whenever I can I warn people against simple carbonates and oxides.

You’re making wise choices about being healthy. Avoid drugs when you can. I’d only add one other thing to the above and that’s mild to medium weight-bearing exercise; lifting light weights, squats, walking, etc. (weights can be as simple as a can of beans). These simple activities keep living bone alive and strong.

Strong, living bone is very difficult to break.