Never forget that the human body is of such incredible design that we could never even begin to understand the depth of relationships within it.  Every cell, every tissue, every organ communicates with one another in a harmony of such incredible proportions as to exceed true comprehension.  This is exactly why interfering with normal physiology with medications is a very, very bad idea in almost all cases.

In this particular case, our understanding of just how integral bone is to maintenance of body composition and diabetes has come to light in the past few years.  Healthy bone contains active cells called osteoblasts that build bone.  These cells also produce a hormone called osteocalcin.  Osteocalcin can be considered an anti-diabetic hormone, helping us to maintain an ideal body weight and keeping visceral fat under control.  So basically, healthy bones = healthy body composition.  The reverse is also true.

So that should mean that drugs like Fosomax, Boniva, Actonel or Reclast, that are good for our bones, should help with body composition, right? 

Pump the brakes, bro…

Many make an incorrect assumption in noting that these drugs are actually good for the bones.  They are not.  They kill off the cells that breakdown bone and destroy healthy bone turnover.  While this may add bone density in the short term (2-5 years), overall they worsen bone quality.  In case this seems hard to believe based on all those wonderful ads we see in magazines and on television, consider this particular article.

Researchers looked at a compound called undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC), which is the form of osteocalcin that helps to maintain an ideal body composition.  Higher is better.  However, the use of alendronate (Fosomax) actually lowered ucOC levels.  Not a good thing and indicates that bone health is in no way improved with this class of drugs.  Rather, our bones become sicker under the influence of this class of drugs and may begin to have long term consequences on our risk for many other chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes.

So, rather than opt for the sickening of your bones, consider lifestyle changes well known to improve bone health.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.