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Are bone-strengthening drugs good for the heart?

Almost all treatments for osteoporosis help to prevent arteriosclerosis also. A study in QJM helps to explain why. Statins such as Pravachol, Zocor and Lipitor, used to lower cholesterol, strengthen bones. Bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax and Actinal, used to treat weak bones, also help to lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks. Drugs such as Actos and Avandia, used to treat diabetes and lower triglycerides, also help to strengthen bones.

Osteoporosis occurs when fat cells replace bone cells in bones. Stem cells in bone marrow can form either bone or fat cells. We do not know the signal that encourages bone marrow stem cells to form fat instead of bone, but this recent data show that factors that help to prevent arteriosclerosis may also help to prevent osteoporosis. This is one more reason to eat a diet rich in plants, exercise regularly, and treat osteoporosis and high cholesterol vigorously.

QJM, Volume 98, 2005


May 29th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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