This month you will find three (3) short items. I believe that each is important - although all of them may not apply to every reader.

First is new study about hip dexa scans in women; Second is new study of Osteonecrosis and bisphosphonates and Third, a New Osteopenia Treatment, Fosteum - a prescription food!

1.Hip Dexa scans in women. Frequently dexa scans are done of only one hip. A study published in 2006, showed that there is are Significant differences in bone density when both hips are scanned. This study was published in December 2006 issue of Osteoporosis International.

It showed significant difference in the left and right hips - especially when spinal bone density is normal. The authors concluded " From a public health perspective, the practice of scanning both hips could potentially identify more women with osteoporosis and may help prevent future hip fractures."

Women might want to ask their health care providers about this when getting a prescription for their next dexa scan. Note: Men were not included in the study so I have no data for them.

2. Osteonecrosis and bishphosphonate therapy. I often receive queries from readers about Osteonecrosis of the jaw as a result of using bisphosphonates to treat bone loss. Although there is documentation of its occurrence in a small number of cases, there has been little published about who might be at most risk.

Here is recent study (published in Pharmcotherapy May 2008) that reviewed published papers about this condition.

Summary of their findings: (NOTE: ONJ stands of Osteonecrosis of the jaw.)

"Our review . . .indicated that ONJ occurs more frequently in patients receiving intravenous bisphosphonates (453 patients [94.2%]) than in patients receiving oral bisphosphonates (28 patients [5.8%]).

Most patients who developed ONJ had cancer (451 patients [93.8%]), with multiple myeloma being the most common diagnosis, followed by breast, prostate, and lung cancers. Nearly one third of patients had a history of glucocorticoid use. The inciting event (reported in 449 patients) preceding the diagnosis of ONJ was a tooth extraction or other surgical or invasive dental procedure in 309 patients (68.8%), whereas 93 patients (20.7%) developed ONJ spontaneously.

Guidelines for the prevention and treatment of bisphosphonate-associated ONJ have been developed but are largely based on anecdotal evidence. Patients receiving bisphosphonates must be counseled on the risks and benefits of therapy. Further studies will help to elucidate the pathophysiology, frequency, and risk factors for development of bisphosphonate-associated ONJ."

My comment: I repeat the suggestion given in an earlier newsletters. If you are taking any bisphosphonate, either orally or once a year intravenous infusion, do discuss this with your dentist before you have ANY procedure. It is better to be safe than sorry. Your dentist needs to know of any bisphosphoante use so that he or she can consider the best course of action in your case.

3. Breaking news. There is a New Osteopenia Treatment available: Fosteum by Primus Pharmeceuticals. It is not a drug. It is a prescription food! And readers of this newsletter may be among the first to hear about it!

There is a page all about Fosteum on the web site. Readers of the newsletter in .txt format can copy this link and put it in their browser:

Readers of the html version can click on:

That is it for this month. Be well. Be sure to keep exercising.


P.S. Thanks to all who sent messages of support about my lyme. I am doing MUCH better.