Osteoporosis Therapies – ActiveBeat


Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is essential for strong bones and teeth and helps the body use calcium from the diet. The body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the sun; this is why it is often called the “sunshine vitamin”. Most researchers agree that 20 to 25 minutes of sunlight per day is helpful. Other sources of vitamin D include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, and eel), egg yolks, beef liver, fish liver oils (cod), and fortified dairy and grain products.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily for people age 50 and older. Supplements play an important role, as it is difficult to get this amount of vitamin D through the diet. A study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found that a daily intake of at least 700-800 IU of vitamin D prevented hip fractures in older people.


Alendronate (Fosamax) belongs to the group of medications called bisphosphonates. It inhibits the breakdown of bone by cells called osteoclasts. If these cells are overactive, it leads to a reduction in bone mass associated with osteoporosis. As a result, alendronate slows bone loss and increases bone mass, which may prevent bone fractures.

Alendronate was the first oral medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the non-hormonal treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. It is also used in the treatment of men with osteoporosis and people with Paget’s disease of bone. In a Canadian study, alendronate was shown to increase bone mineral density in the hip and spine. Weekly dosing options exist for alendronate. The medicine should be taken with a full glass of water followed by waiting 30-60 minutes before lying down or consuming other medicines, drinks or food. The recommendation decreases the risk of upper gastrointestinal adverse effects and aids in absorption.

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