Bisphosphonates: image via healthspablog.org Some rather surprising results from a longitudinal study of older persons taking bisphosphonates for osteoporosis revealed that they are outliving those who are not on the drugs... by five years! That's not all....
The men and women in this study who were taking bisphosphonates, like Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, etc., lived five years longer than those who did not have osteoporosis!
Professor John Eisman and Associate Professor Jacqueline Center of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia, collected their data from a longitudinal study that began in 1989 - the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study. Of 2000 elderly people, 121 were treated with bisphosphonates for an average of 3 years.
The researchers compared the life span of this group to those taking other forms of treatment, like Vitamin D, hormone, therapy, and those who were not receiving therapy at all. At first, they thought that the data might have been skewed by those not receiving any therapy, but when that group was removed as a sub-group, they found that the data showed the same results.
Consequently, the conclusion was that bisphosphonates can help even those older persons who are not clinically diagnosed with osteoporosis - men and women.
Professor Eisman speculated about why those on bisphosphonates have this 5-year advantage:
that it may have something to do with the fact that bone acts as a repository
for toxic heavy metals such as lead and cadmium,” said Professor Eisman. “So when people get older, they lose bone. When this happens, these toxic
materials are released back into the body and may adversely affect health.”
“By preventing bone loss, bisphosphonates prevent some of this toxic metal
release. While we know that this is the case, we don’t yet have evidence that
this produces the survival benefit.”
No doubt, more studies are coming.
Source: Breakthrough Digest, study published in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism