This month I have been researching bone health topics raised by some subscribers to this newsletter. As a result, you iwll find information about Osteomalcia and Bio-identical hormones on the site. More topics to follow....

SPECIAL NOTE: If you have read the page about bio-idenitical hormones, you might want to return and scroll down to the end. I just added some new material and a link to the site of the physician who has been a leader in advocating their use.

FINDING STUFF on Osteopenia3 web site. Again, I encourage you to use the SEARCH page if you are looking for a topic. The Index page is woefully out of date. Also the SEARCH page often returns topics from these newsletter so you do not have to reread every issue.

FOR THIS MONTH. I want go back to discussing Strontium. The following information is NOT on the web site yet.

STRONTIUM, BONE DENSITY AND BONE STRENGTH. First a word about bisphosphonates. There have been news stories [and published research] about 'spontaneous fractures' in persons taking certain bisphonates for 4 or more years.

As noted in an earlier newsletter a recent study showed that although these drugs reduce fracture risk after a year, with long term usage, they show have no advantage since fracture rates begin to rise.

Some hypothesize that this happens because bisphosphonates (and there are a number of drugs and infusions that belong to this class of drugs) slow the removal of old bone. If the reason our bodies remove old bone IS because it is 'not up to par', is weaker etc. then keeping this 'less than the best bone' in place affects the overall strength of the bone.

These drugs can give us DENSER bones (more bone is there) and a dexa scan will show that increase in density. But because an increasing amount of this dense bone is bone the body would normally remove because it is 'below par', our denser bones are made of of material that is less STRONG. Despite my dexa showing greater density, I may at some point be at risk of fractures once again since I have dense bones but not strong bones. (I hope that makes sense.)

The effect of strontium is different. It does not change the rate of removal of old bone. Instead because Strontium is a denser element, denser bone is laid down during the remodeling process. There is no question of 'poor quality bone' being retained.

BUT one of the difficulties with Strontium is how it affects our dexa scans. Because strontium is denser than calcium, its use affects dexa scan images. And although there is a formula that radiologist can use to account for strontium, it appears (from reader comments) that few seem to be use it. (always tell the technician giving a dexa scan that you use Strontium - and find out if the radiologist will calculate that into your results.)

More than one reader has told me s/he decided not to use natural strontium because they felt they could not be certain about their test results.

I hope this newsletter can be of use. I recently read that one should allow 10% for strontium's greater density.

So, for example, if your 2007 score was -2.0 and your 2009 dexa scan score is +1.0 this is a shows an increase of +3. But if 10% of that reading is due to the greater density of Strontium, then you can calculate your real increase is 2.7...not 3.0.

Hmmm. I hope my math is correct there. I send this information today because a number of people have been asking. Also, I have received some notes from people who have said, well if I have to subtract 10% from my dexa results, it is just not worth using Strontium. And they said that even though their results showed a substantial increase on bone density.

Whether you do or do not take natural Strontium is your decision. I just want to be sure that you have 'all the facts' and how it affects future dexa scans is one that you may want/need.

Well, that is it for this month. IBMS (International bone MIneral Society) is meeting again this Spring. When I reviewed the agenda, I did not see much that address our issues. The biochemical studies that dominate the agenda may lead to some new treatments in the future but for now I think we have the main ideas from Western medicine on the site already.

I am investigating a few things from Ayurveda medicine (India) but I need to be sure I understand before posting things on the site. I am also updating and revising many pages on the site. Like Topsy Osteopenia3 'just growed' and there are pages that need to be linked to other pages AND new studies should be listed.

Finally, a SPECIAL THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE. I know that despite my using spell check and revising this newsletter and web site pages, that typos creep in. Every so often someone writes to tell me to be more 'professional' and I think, Well I am professional. I offer careful research and give all sides AND . . .

Osteoporosis and Osteopenia have become big subjects on the web. There are several Membership sites on the topic. I know that if I charged even $10 a year for membership access to this site, I would have more money than I ever need...since about 50,000 people read the site each month. (I could hire proof readers, editors etc. and still have money to spare.) But I believe the web should be free. And I want to share what I have learned - I consider it part of my scholarly vocation.

I DO pick up some affiliate income when you order your supplements etc. from the web site and I get a few cents when people click on an ad. But this can not finance any sort of staff. So I really want to thank those of you who accept the imperfections when reading the information.

Be well. Have a GREAT MONTH.