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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

Are bone-building drugs safe and effective? (Updated 0421)

Hi Gary,

I recently had a bone density test, and I was in the middle of the osteopenia range. An infusion of bisphosphonate was recommended. Next week I have a medical appointment to discuss treatment, if any.

I’m interested in your opinion on this.

Then a week later she wrote:

I’ve just seen the doctor for a discussion on my recent Dexa scan. She emphasised the ‘high risk’ - 15% - of a serious fracture in the next 10 years and recommended the Aclasta transfusion, giving me info on the positives and negatives of the treatment. My BMI is 20.5 and I’m described as having a slight frame. I have never had a bone fracture and the highest risk area is my left wrist! There’s a 4% chance i might suffer a hip fracture. I prefer to see that as a 96% chance I won’t have one.

She asked me what I thought, and I said I didn’t want to proceed with her recommendations and she was perfectly happy with that, pleased I had come in for a discussion. She prescribed Vitamin D, 1 tablet monthly, and recommended a repeat scan in 2 years to see how my regime of WB and weights exercises and a sensible diet is working for me.

I felt she put more emphasis on the 15% risk factor, however she did acknowledge the 85% chance I won’t have a fracture, and, although there was subtle pressure to go along with her way of thinking, there was a total acceptance of and respect for mine.



First point: if a woman is over 50 and of a slight build, these scans seem to be more likely to declare a low bone mineral density (BMD).

Please get this book by Auckland-based women's health researcher, Gillian Sanson. Make it compulsory reading. Understand that bone scans can be terribly misleading and can end up terrorising women into taking potentially harmful and unnecessary medications:,in%20fact%20be%20life%2Dthreatening.

Here is her hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) (we got her permission to reproduce her correspondence and HTMA):

Low in nutritional elements, not just calcium
Low in nutritional elements, not just calcium

Bone comprises thousands of different substances, including many more minerals than just calcium, which is the main constituent of mature bone. When viewing her HTMA above, ideally, all the minerals listed are within the "Reference Range". It is immediately obvious most of her nutritional elements are low. Being so low, the questions to ask are:

  1. If she is to build strong bones, where are the materials for construction coming from?

  2. Is it possible to create minerals for bone-building, such as calcium, magnesium and manganese from nothing? (I know this is a silly question!)

  3. Will any kind of drug compensate for her obvious shortage of raw materials for building strong bones?

What she requires is a rich supply of the thousands of nutrients required for bone-building. This can only come via nutrient-dense food and supplementat