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Building Stronger Bones

Medications for Bone Loss

If you have suffered bone loss, a number of medications exist to slow the resorption cycle so more bone remains. A medication called Forteo is the first to build bone. "It's very potent," says Cosman, "and is only for those diagnosed with osteoporosis, not for prevention." For one thing, Forteo is given by a daily injection.

A more commonly prescribed class of medications for bone loss are bisphosphonates. They have been shown to reduce the risk of fractures but are a little tricky to take orally (you have to sit up afterward to prevent burning of the esophagus).

What about good old hormone replacement? Hormone replacement therapy is approved for prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, but a much publicized study was stopped because it increased the risk of breast cancer, serious blood clots, and other maladies. Cosman recommends against taking estrogen just for bone health.

Instead of a shelf full of pills, most people only need a well-stocked refrigerator. The process of bone remodeling is complicated but is hooked into the nutrients available to maintain your bones.

"You can't put every little molecule in cauliflower into a pill," Cosman says. "It's simpler to eat the cauliflower." Words to live by.

 

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Reviewed on January 04, 2011

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