Osteoporosis: NAC and boron for calcium absorption

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mbofov, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Two of my sisters are on osteoporosis meds: fosamax and actonel. These have been very scary to me for a long time because of the possibility of necrosis of the jaw (jaw bone death), which I have told my sisters about, but they have just been doing what their doctors said, although now they are beginning to have second thoughts.

    Now heart problems are showing up in the literature with these drugs. And to put the icing on the cake, I’ve been reading that fosamax works by preventing resorption (loss of bone). However, bone loss is necessary for the formation of new bone. So fosamax actually inhibits formation of new bone. New bone is stronger than old bone. So people on fosamax may have denser bone, but in the long run it will be weaker and more prone to fracture because it’s more brittle.

    So anyways, these meds have scared me for my sisters’ sake. I talked to my doctor about it this week (the one who is extremely knowledgable about nutrition etc.) and he said they should be taking n-actetyl-cysteine, which helps process calcium into a form which can be used by the body, as well as boron, which when taken in the proper dose, can prevent 50% of calcium loss from the bones (!)

    The recommended doses are three 600 mg. n-acetyl-cysteine capsules a day, in divided doses, and 3 mg. of boron a day.

    Here’s a very interesting and informative article about bone health and bone scans and osteoporosis and osteopenia:


    It kind of turns the conventional wisdom about bone scans and osteoporosis on its head.

  2. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Actually, I started out by asking my doctor about strontium which I'd read about awhile ago, and he said that first one should take the NAC and boron, to make sure the calcium is in a usable form and being absorbed, and maybe down the road try strontium. But his opinion seemed to be that if the calcium wasn't in a usable form and being absorbed properly, then the strontium wouldn't help.

    Very interesting that you are taking the strontium. Did your doctor recommend it or did you do it on your own?

    A few months ago I started taking liquid calcium citrate that has vitamin D and boron and magnesium citrate all in one, and I noticed my nails are getting stronger. But I slacked off on the NAC quite awhile ago (I take so much stuff!) but will now restart it. And the info about boron was all new to me - very interesting.

  3. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I see Phillip Taylor in Thousand Oaks. He's got to be in his mid-70's (or maybe older?). He's the one who qualified me for SSDI.

    He's an M.D. but he knows more about nutrition and health at the cellular level than anyone I've ever met. He's extremely well-read. He uses hair analysis as a starting point, and prefers to treat using supplements etc. before trying drugs.

    I only see him twice a year. His office is only open 3 days week.

    So you don't go see him for a sore throat or something like that. Appointments are made months in advance. And he's kept his fees reasonable. He bills Medicare but no insurance.

    Actually, my mom told me many years ago that he used to work as a psychiatrist, but he discovered that many or most of his patients had nutritional/diet deficiencies or problems, and switched his practice to working as an M.D. with a nutritional basis.

    I've gotten most of my help from him and from chiropractic muscle testing (as well as my own reading and this board).

  4. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I live in Lancaster now (I've moved several times since divorce break-up five years ago). I used to live in Oak View (near Ventura), then Santa Maria, then Yucca Valley and now Lancaster. I think I've landed for awhile.

    But I would always make the drive to see Dr. Taylor. As I said, I only see him twice a year. In between appointments, though, he will make phone appointments in the evening if you have to talk to him, and also if I have a question, I'll send a brief letter and he generally responds pretty quickly. I do pay cash for the appointments, and then he bills Medicare, but he does not bill any other insurance.

    He is a very good doctor. He does have some limits - e.g., I learned of my adrenal weakness from my chiro, not Taylor. But Taylor is the one who had me do the impedance cardiography and has me taking supplements for my heart. He has me doing B12 shots and Armour thyroid as well, and now iodine, in addition to other vitamins and minerals.

    His office is open Tues, Weds and Thurs if your friend wants to see him. I think generally there's a 2-4 month wait for an appointment, and his phone is (805) 497-3839.

    You're in the Santa Monica area, right? I don't think that's too far from Thousand Oaks, but you're right, gas prices are through the roof.

    It might be worth it for you just to see him one time. But you already do know so much about health and nutrition, I don't know how much else he could help you. But you never know --

  5. tansy

    tansy New Member

    but taking vit D, boron, magnesium and calcium worked well for me. I look forward to reading how you progess using these supps.

    A gyn said I could not have the usual NHS treatment due to the increased risk of a clotting event; I was refused oestrogen/HRT for the same reason.

    Thanks for the link.

    tc, Tansy
    [This Message was Edited on 06/15/2008]
  6. pris2000

    pris2000 New Member

    My bone density tests aren't great and my gyn has been trying to get me on one of the meds, too. I don't like how they work, either, not to mention that when I did cave in and try one briefly my mouth tasted metalic all of the time.

    My immunologist told me Boron was important. He has me on NAC for my immune system and I do feel a difference taking it now for a while. It's interesting to read about its connection with calcium absorption. Thanks!

  7. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    What problems did you have with NAC? I'm glad the calcium, magnesium etc. is working for you. You might look into strontium, which jaminhealth is taking. It looks very promising for bone health, if one needs the extra help.

    I haven't had trouble with my bone density (as of a test 3 years ago), but I will definitely start the NAC and boron anyways.

    If you read the article I put a link to, you'll see that there is some question about the bone density tests and diagnoses of osteopenia, etc., and how osteopenia wasn't even a diagnosis until not too long ago.

    Best wishes,

  8. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    You're welcome - I was so grateful to get this information from my doctor.

    Read about strontium - it may be something to add to your regimen. As I posted earlier, I did ask my doctor about strontium but he said to do the NAC and boron first.

    We all learn from this board--

  9. cookie1960

    cookie1960 New Member


    I'm only 48 but my rheumy did a bone density scan due to pain in the joints that didn't show up as RA in an MRI. (I have FM.) My scan was borderline - which is kinda' scary not even having turned 50 yet.

    I asked her about the osteo meds and she replied that she only prescribes them in very extreme cases and referred to them as very "aggressive" treatment for osteo due to the risk of other diseases/side effects.

    Her remedy was pretty simple. Daily calcium supplement with vitamin D to guarantee asborption. She also was pretty keen on weight bearing exercises - machines with the weights! I laughed as I've only just recently started any exercise program after 5 years. I'm swimming due to the low impact on muscles and joints. She advised me to work up to walking/biking/then weight bearing exercises.

    I thought worrying about the FM was bad enough. Hopefully I won't end up with osteoporosis/osteoarthritis.

  10. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Mary

    It made me very ill. Over 20 years ago I had my amalgams removed incorrectly and cysteine (along with methionine) was prescribed as part of my chelation programme. Those amino acids made me very unwell and so had to be stopped.

    It's only more recently through discussions brought about by Rich's research that I understood why.

    Atm I do not feel I need Strontium because the combo above worked well; no more bone pain etc. I have though read articles on Strontium and agree it looks good for bone health.

    My gyn expressed concerns following my bone scan results and other Sx which have now resolved without my having had to resort to prescription meds. Prior to taking vit D and boron did not benefit from Ca supps even those Rx by conventional doctors. I would love to know what that gyn thinks of this article: he was one of the good docs I saw, he took my ME seriously, and offered to help me in any way he could and at any time.

    I can weight bear now whereas when I saw him this was often not possible or could only be achieved for very brief periods ie a couple of seconds. I could barely sit either then; had to have total support and even then it was exhausting.

    It's when I look back to how things were just a few years ago that I realise how far I have come. It's helpful to remind myself of that especially when experiencing a major, but predictable, set back earlier this year.

    tc, Tansy

    ps one of the clues re the mercury toxicity from my amalgams was the demineralisation of my teeth. A few years after my amalgams were removed I stopped having my teeth break off and all the other dental problems that were associated with amalgams/mercury.[This Message was Edited on 06/15/2008]
  11. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    You sound like you have a good doctor. You might consider adding the NAC and boron to your regimen. I wish I could do weight-bearing exercises (or any exercises!) but due to CFIDS, have been unable to do any of that for many years.

    I used to love to go on very long walks - hope to be able to do it again someday.

  12. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Hi Tansy - thanks for the info. I had my amalgams removed about 10 years ago. I didn't notice any difference, bad or good, afterwards, although I'm sure long-term it was a good thing to do.

    It's interesting about the boron helping you. I knew nothing about the need for boron until last week, although I have been aware of the need for vitamin D for awhile.

    I am really glad you are making progress. And it is very hard after moving forward for awhile to have a setback - almost harder, than if one had just been feeling crappy with no let-up.

    Best wishes,


  13. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    demineralisation of teeth?

    Do you think this is amalgam-related or CFS-related?
  14. tansy

    tansy New Member

    as far as teeth breaking off and other marked dental problems. I've not needed new fillings (just replacements of old ones) or extractions since two years after my amalgams were removed.

    According to my dentist though my dental health (teeth and gums) have visably improved again recently. He's been my dentist since before my amalgams were removed. This dentist is very conservative and careful when treating patients with ME and CFS; he seems to understand these DDs better than most of our NHS doctors.

    Dentists can often judge general health through what they see in the mouth; he has commented on several occassions that that's why he knows we are genuinely ill.

    So I guess, in answer to your question both, but with regard to ME/CFS the positive changes oral health wise have been more recent.

    tc, Tansy
  15. ulala

    ulala New Member

    Have you considered C. pneumoniae? I've read that NAC does something to c. pneumonaie so the fact that you have problems taking NAC could have something to do with c. pneumonaie. Just a thought.

    Best wishes!
  16. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    Tansy, yr comment caught my attention because Rich had mentioned that there are studies showing low bone mineral density in both CFS & FM.

    I wondered if that problem extended to the teeth. I have noticed taht my own teeth seem to chip and break frequently.

    I'll ask him to post those studies. I could probably pull them off PubMed but I'm not overly familiar with that database.

  17. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Ulala

    Thanks for mentioning the CPn; it's one of the infections being found in these DDs and it can be treated.

    Hi Delia

    For decades it's been known that there are mutliple mineral and vit deficiencies in ME and CFS. Behan et al identified an ion channelopathy. So it's hardly surprising our our teeth and bones can become demineralised.

    The mercury also caused my teeth to become very lose too. With that, and so many of them breaking off, I kept my dentist busy. Thankfully he was not just suitably knowledgeable, ME and mercury wise, but professional and careful whenever treatment was required.

    tc, Tansy
    [This Message was Edited on 06/24/2008]
  18. tansy

    tansy New Member

    I'm taking the Sinatra/Myhill supps to support mitochondrial function and found this when doing additional research on carnitine.

    "Effects on bone mass

    In the course of human aging, carnitine concentration in cells diminishes affecting fatty acid metabolism in various tissues. Particularly adversely affected are bones which require continuous reconstructive and metabolic functions of osteoblasts for maintenance of bone mass.

    There is a close correlation between changes in plasma levels of osteocalcin and osteoblast activity and a reduction in osteocalcin plasma levels is an indicator of reduced osteoblast activity, which appears to underlie osteoporosis in elderly subjects and in postmenopausal women.

    Administration of a carnitine mixture or propionyl-L-carnitine is capable of increasing serum osteocalcin concentrations of animals thus treated, whereas serum osteocalcin levels tend to decrease with age in control animals."

    Source: Wikipedia
  19. lea

    lea Member

    Calcitonin for osteoporosis or osteopenia?
    If so , what has been your experience?
  20. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Thanks for the info re carnitine. I've been taking that for several years. Initially it gave me a very good boost in energy (6 years ago) for about 10 days and then wore off. I've taken it on and off ever since, more on than off. My doc wants me taking it now for my heart. I'm taking the Myhill supplements too.

    Anyways, it's nice to hear that it's protecting my bones as well.


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