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For stronger bones, calcium and vitamin D are enough; other popular drugs largely ineffective, researchers say
For years, doctors have told patients who need to build stronger bones to simply add calcium and vitamin D to their diets, and lately they''ve been advising patients to add a few new drugs to the mix. But a new report American Gastroenterological Association says the calcium and vitamin D are enough. The new drugs appeared to be mostly ineffective in several clinical tests, the report says. Related articles on this topic are also available on the NewsTarget Network, including: Every person needs sunlight exposure to create vitamin D, obesity impairs vitamin D absorption.- Staff writersNews summary:
According to a study published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the addition of popular bone building drugs to calcium and vitamin D therapy to treat bone loss associated with Crohn''s disease is not beneficial.Moreover, the study shows that calcium and vitamin D treatment alone can improve bone mineral density (BMD) in Crohn''s patients by 3 to 4 percent per year."Patients with Crohn''s often suffer loss of bone mass and an increased number of bone fractures due to treatment with corticosteroids, poor nutrition, active inflammation and calcium and vitamin D deficiencies," said Charles Bernstein, MD, author of an editorial appearing in this month''s journal.According to results of the study from researchers at the University of Alberta, adding the bone-building drug etidronate (Ditronel) to calcium and vitamin D therapy to treat bone loss in people with Crohn''s disease adds no additional benefit."Calcium and vitamin D therapy alone provide benefit to Crohn''s patients who suffer from osteoporosis and osteopenia," said Richard Fedorak, MD, study author.Prevention and treatment of low BMD associated with Crohn''s disease includes vitamin D and calcium supplementation, education and lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and smoking cessation.Further randomized clinical trials are underway to determine if newer bone-building drugs will have additional beneficial effects on building bone mass in Crohn''s patients."These results imply that physicians should only consider BMD testing and drug therapy for patients who are at higher risk for osteoporosis and fractures, not those who merely have Crohn''s disease as a diagnosis," said Bernstein.On a monthly basis, the AGA publishes two highly respected journals, Gastroenterology and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
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