The silent war against osteoporosis drugs.

Oral bisphosphonate osteoporosis drugs such as Actonel, Boniva, and Fosamax, are associated with a two-fold increased risk of esophageal cancer. Research also shows that, over time, these kinds of drugs will actually worsen your condition, because all you’re doing is fooling your body into producing denser but weaker, more brittle bone.

This may sound like an oxymoron, but here’s how it works: Healthy bones maintain strength from a continual process of bone breakdown and bone rebuilding. Osteoclasts are cells that break down bone; osteoblasts are the cells that rebuild it. Healthy bone undergoes a dynamic process of cyclical removal of unhealthy bone and replacement with new bone. This is how they remain strong.

In osteoporosis, the net rate of bone resorption (breakdown) exceeds the rate of bone formation, which results in a decrease in bone mass. Bisphosphonates and similar drugs do not actually help your body build new bone. These drugs work by killing off your osteoclasts, which halts the normal bone repair process since you now lack the cells that break bone down.

The end result is increased bone density, but denser bone is not stronger! Eventually, your bones become weaker and more prone to fracture. In women who have been taking a bisphosphonate-type drug for five or more years, their bones have literally lost the ability to regenerate and this is why many are still faced with more brittle bones and fractures.

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