Pharmaceuticals versus nutraceuticals in the treatment of osteoporosis

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There is an advertisement from Amgen that discusses a pharmaceutical drug to treat osteoporosis, which is a disease that leads to decreased bone density and bone strength.  Osteoporosis often leads to an increased risk of bone fractures.  This article will discuss the health effects and efficacy of Prolia® versus the combination of vitamin K2, vitamin D3, adsorbable magnesium and food-sourced potassium on the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

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Osteoporosis Information
Treatment Is Available To Help Manage Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

The ad is for a product called Prolia®, which is administered by an injection every six months.  The manufacturer provides a link to discuss the benefits of Prolia.  The results are favorable and the study that backs it up was done over a period of three years.  It was a placebo-based study with 7,393 patients.  It looked at spine fractures, and Prolia reduced spine fractures in post-menopausal women by 68% compared to those that received the placebo.  The actual rates of new spine fractures were 7.2% for those taking the placebo and 2.3% for Prolia.

“Prolia® (denosumab) has been approved since 2010 and is proven to help increase bone density and protect bones from fracture.  Prolia® helps strengthen bones by stopping cells that damage them.”

The manufacturer of Prolia® provides a video to describe how the drug works.  In the video, a statement is made that Prolia® is the only drug that can treat this type of bone fracture, but the video then warns you should not take another drug, XGEVA® because Prolia contains the same medicine as XGEVA.  The video is 8:03 minutes long, with about ½ of the video warning of the side effects of taking Prolia®.  This is a link to the Medication Guide provided by the manufacturer.

There is an alternative treatment for post-menopausal osteoporosis that involves taking a vitamin and two supplements on a daily basis.  The alternative is to take vitamin K2 with magnesium and potassium.  Vitamin K2 is naturally derived from fermented soybeans, which is called natto and originally came from Japan.  Magnesium is available in several forms, including magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, and magnesium tartrate.  Magnesium is also available from foods that often also contain potassium.  The safest way to obtain potassium is from foods, which include milk, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, and legumes.

Vitamin K2 has an interesting mechanism for curing osteoporosis.  Vitamin K2 removes calcium from the arteries, which helps cure a condition known as arteriosclerosis.  The calcium taken from the arteries is deposited in the bones if vitamin K2 is taken along with potassium and magnesium.  Adding vitamin D3 also helps the calcium be assimilated into your bones.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) published an article Nutritional Strategies for Skeletal and Cardiovascular Health; hard bones, soft arteries, rather than vice versa.  This is a quote from the article that is copied below.

“Several large observational studies appear to support the benefits of Vit K on bone health.38 A meta-analysis concluded that while supplementation with phytonadione (Vit K1) improved bone health, Vit K2 was even more effective in this regard.40 This large and statistically rigorous meta-analysis concluded that high Vit K2 levels were associated with reduced vertebral fractures by approximately 60% (95% CI 0.25% to 0.65%), hip fractures by 77% (95% CI 0.12% to 0.47%), and all non-vertebral fractures by approximately 81% (95% CI 0.11% to 0.35%). Moreover, the benefit of Vit K on bone may not be due to its ability to increase BMD, but rather to its effects at increasing bone strength.41” 

The link to Prolia® defines the potential side effects of the drug as part of a TV advertisement.  The side effects are extensive, which makes Prolia a calculated risk for the patient.  Vitamin K2 does not have any known side effects other than a depletion of magnesium that can cause leg cramps.  This side effect is not noted in any of the studies but has been shown through personal experience to be a factor.  Eating the other half of a banana solved the problem when it occurred.

Women that are post-menopausal should consider taking vitamin K2.  If you wish to discuss this with your primary care physician, it is suggested that you print this article to be used in your discussion.  Many medical practitioners immediately think that vitamin K is a single substance without recognizing that vitamin K1 is a blood thickener, and vitamin K2 does not change blood viscosity or coagulation.  Vitamin K2 helps build strong bones.  While osteoporosis is more prevalent in women, it is also a disease that affects men.  Vitamin K2 is inexpensive and available without a prescription.

A future article will discuss the impact of the aforementioned result of vitamin K2 in reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and deaths due to heart disease.  The decalcification of arteries using vitamin K2 showed a reduction in CVD and heart-related deaths by over 50% for post-menopausal women in the Rotterdam study.

Update April 20, 2019

Endocrinology Advisor released an article that was published on March 21, 2019 that provided a research study that shows that discontinuation of treatments using Prolia® has major increases in bone fractures.  Many pharmaceutical drugs have major adverse reactions that can be life-threatening.  Some of the solutions to treating common health issues have existed for 3,000 (Oriental Medicine) to 5,000 (Ayurvedic Medicine) years.

Other significant results have been achieved using combinations of vitamins and commonly available substances that have much greater success than pharmaceutical drugs.  One example is the treatment of sepsis by intravenous high dosage vitamin C, vitamin B1, and steroids that had much better results than antibiotics for patients in an ICU for septic shock.  The protocol for this treatment by Paul Marik, MD has been published and is gradually being supported as a possible treatment for sepsis.

 

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