Bone-Healthy Living / Research / August 10, 2012

Is there really a connection? As the field of scientific research probes further into the workings of osteoporosis, there emerge more unthought-of factors that play a critical role in the development of the condition. Which chemicals automatically come to your mind when you think of bone conditions like osteopenia or osteoporosis? Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus would be the common guesses. It is unlikely you or anyone would have chanced a guess on serotonin, the well-known and often talked about brain chemical. And yet there seems to exist an almost direct role of this hormone in maintaining our bone health. What is serotonin? To those who are unaware of serotonin, here’s a quick look into what this chemical is and does: Essentially it is a protein hormone that is available chiefly in two places in our body – our…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Prevention / July 10, 2012

Fluoride is — everywhere. Fluorine is a common element in the earth’s crust, so fluorides are naturally present in the soil, rocks, and water all throughout the world. In addition, fluorides are used in many industrial processes, for example, coal burning, oil refining, steel production, brick-making, and the production of phosphate fertilizers (yet another reason to go organic!). Our main sources of exposure to fluoride, however, are diet (food and water) and fluoride-containing dental products (e.g., toothpaste). Fluoride is found in higher concentrations in soft, alkaline, and calcium-deficient waters, and since the fluoride compounds that occur naturally in drinking water are almost totally bioavailable (90%), they are virtually all absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.(1),(7) Although fluoridation of community drinking water to prevent dental caries has been hailed by some as one of the ten most important “public health achievements of…

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Algaecal / Bone-Healthy Living / Other / Video / June 21, 2012

Snap Exhibition The Snap Exhibition was selected by the city of Geneva in Swizterland to be exhibited open air by the lake on Quai Wilson. The project, developed by IOF photographer Gilberto Lontro, has been very well accepted around the world in a book form, traveling exhibition and online at www.iofsnap.org. Video Transcription Snap! is really exciting. It’s a venture of the IOF in collaboration with all our national societies to try and highlight the burden associated with spinal osteoporosis, which is one of the most devastating and important features of osteoporosis. What’s happened is that we’ve had the opportunity to contact patients, sometimes to enter into their lives and their homes, take photographs and try and illustrate in a visual way the burden of spinal osteoporosis. Spinal fracture is a really common fracture. It’s one of the common sites…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / June 21, 2012

In mid-May, the FDA finally took a position on the controversial bisphosphonates prescribed as treatment for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. (1) Of late the bisphosphonates class of drugs had been gathering an increasing amount of evidence of dire side effects in long term usage scenarios such as  inflammatory eye diseases, osteonecrosis of the jaw, unusual fractures, irregular heartbeats as well as a steeped risk of esophageal and colon cancer. However, bone specialists had brushed these claims as rare and the possibilities of such occurrences ranging from anything between 1 in 10, 000 to 1 in 100,000 (2). In a report issued by the FDA, the agency clearly stated that medical practitioners ought to practice caution in prescribing bisphosphonates class of drugs to women for the management of osteoporosis especially in the long run. It also stated that if the drug…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / June 21, 2012

Findings emerging from an international study have shown as many as 32 new genetic regions linked to bone conditions like osteoporosis and easy occurrence of fractures. It was observed in this study that any variation in these 32 regions makes a person either more susceptible to weakening bones and subsequent development of osteoporosis or shields them against such conditions. (1) The findings which were published in the online medical journal Nature Genetics clearly shows the way to the development of new osteoporosis drugs. According to Dr. John Ioannidis, chief of the Stanford Prevention Research Center and one of the study’s authors and the methodological leader of the consortium, “We’re learning that the genetic architecture of disease is very complex.” (2) The risk of fractures of the femur (thigh bone) as well as that of lower back was linked to 6 specific…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / May 30, 2012

Oral bisphosphonates have some more flak to fend off with findings of a new study coming in from Canada pointing that usage of the drug class puts the osteoporosis patients at an increased risk of developing serious inflammatory eye diseases that have the potential to cause serious vision impairment. (1) Oral bisphosphonates are commonly prescribed class of drugs by orthopaedists to post menopausal women as an osteoporosis treatment. Bisphosphonates work by binding to the bone calcium and inhibiting the production of osteoclasts or cells responsible for bone breakdown and resorption. They are also prescribed for other conditions such as Paget’s disease, multiple myeloma, bone metastasis as well as to those suffering from hypercalcemia (excessive calcium deposition in bones) etc. Some popular bisphosphonates brands are Fosomax, Boniva, Reclast, Actonel, Zometa, Didronel, Aclasta and Skelid. The findings of the current studies which…

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At the May 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Investigative-Dermatology, one of the presentations, entitled “Denosumab is associated with dermatologic toxicity in the FDA-Adverse Events Reporting System (AERS) database,” discussed reports of “cutaneous ([skin] adverse events” (CAE) reported to the FDA’s AERS, from June 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. Of the 33 reports of denosumab-associated CAE, 29 were women, ranging in age from 54 to 86 years, 21 of whom had been given Prolia®. These women experienced hair changes, stomatitis (inflammation of the mucous lining of any part of the mouth, e.g, cheeks, lips, tongue, gums), dry skin, and skin rash, which included exfoliative dermatitis (skin inflammation so severe the skin peels). “Serious CAE” requiring hospitalization occurred in 81.8% of these people; two women died. The comment made by the researchers, “Denosumab-associated dermatologic toxicity warrants further close monitoring.” Don’t let…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / May 8, 2012

Recent findings from study conducted by researchers at University of Alberta, Canada points that heart failure patients are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. In a study that observed 45, 500 adults over a period of ten years, it was found that heart failure is linked to thinning and weakening of the bones over a period of time and thus heart failure patients should be screened for osteoporosis at regular intervals. Of the population observed in the study, approximately 1,840 persons had recently had one episode of heart failure. The whole population studied were screened for bone mineral density, many of who were having the test done the first time in their lives. After a follow up of a decade, data showed that those with heart failure were associated with at least a 30% increased risk of developing major fractures…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / March 23, 2012

Biphosphonate class drug Boniva also sold worldwide under the brand names Bonviva and Bondronat is now available for sale in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration has approved it’s use – prescription by doctors and distribution in pharmacies for sale in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. (1) The primary chemical compound in Boniva is ibandronate sodium. The drug is not prescribed for men unless they are participating in clinical trials. The drug approved by FDA is the generic version of Boniva which are essentially tablets of ibandronate. This makes the drug more affordable through cheaper pricing. According to Keith Webber, Ph.D., deputy director of the Office of Pharmaceutical Science in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “Men as well as women are affected by osteoporosis, a disease that can be prevented and…

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Bone-Healthy Living / Research / March 23, 2012

While most of the focus on osteoporosis in terms of reported cases, diagnosis, treatment, research and cost burdens have been in the US and Europe, the latest audit report (October 2011) from International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) shows that Middle East and Africa regions are getting left behind in the global effort towards tackling osteoporosis. The data on the markers mentioned were collected from 17 countries of the region including Turkey. Analysis done for individual countries as well as for the regions showed alarming forecasts of fractures to be brought on by osteoporosis. The predictions show that as many as 25% of the region’s population over the age of 50 years will be diagnosed with osteoporosis by as soon as 2020. The percentage will be a staggering 40% for the same age group by 2050. (1) According to lead author of…

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