Tequila Could Be the Basis for a New Osteoporosis Treatment
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick writing in MD reported in addition to being the most important ingredient in margaritas, substances derived from tequila can play an important role in health.
Not only did new research find that Agave tequilana (or tequila agave) may help maintain bone health, but it could also be the basis for a new osteoporosis treatment. Mercedes López, PhD, led the project at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) in Mexico.
Using animal models, the researchers induced osteoporosis in mice by removing their ovaries. The animals were then given agave fructans (polymers that store carbohydrates in some fruits and vegetables). After eight weeks, femur samples were collected in order to assess the absorption of minerals and osteocalcin (a protein that indicates new bone production).
“It was found that mice that consumed this fructans synthesized nearly 50% more of such protein, in addition that the diameter of their bones was higher compared with the subjects which were not supplied with derivatives of the agave,” López explained.
New osteoporosis drugs work well but may worsen rheumatoid arthritis…
Anti-sclerostin osteoporosis drugs worsen RA
Jeff Evans writing in Rheumatology news reported antisclerostin antibodies increase bone mineral density and have done well in clinical trials in osteoporosis. However, they may have the opposite effect in rheumatoid arthritis according to a German study. Researchers showed these drugs accelerate joint damage in mouse models of rheumatoid arthritis.
Comment: Often, new drugs aimed at helping one condition can worsen another.
U.S. Pays 10 Times More for Prescription Drugs than Other Countries
Reported in Rheum Now, prescription drugs may cost up to 10 times more in the United States than they do in other countries, according to a 2013 Comparative Price Report was released last month by the International Federation of Health Plans (IFHP). Results are based on surveys of the prices of prescription drugs from member plans.
The US has the highest drug prices and costs associated with medical care that bears no relation to health outcomes.
Comment: Drug costs are out of control. The U.S. is supporting the rest of the world. Between pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies, the average consumer is taking a beating.
Osteoporosis fractures and diabetes… what’s the connection? Next
Research Suggests TZDs And Sulfonylureas Both Increase Risk For Fractures Compared With Metformin.
Miriam writing in Medscape reported that research suggests that “the oral diabetes drug classes of thiazolidinediones (TZDs) and sulfonylureas both boost the risk for fractures compared with metformin.” This research “confirms previous findings of increased fracture risk with TZDs but is the first to compare multiple classes of glucose-lowering agents and the first to suggest a possible increased fracture risk for sulfonylureas, Sandhya Mehta, PhD…told the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 2014 Scientific Sessions.”
Comment: Makes you almost afraid to take any medicine, huh
What devastating problem can occur with osteoporosis treatment… coming up next…
Elderly Women Who Take Bisphosphonates Long-Term May Have Increased Risk Of Atypical Femur Shaft Fractures
Nicola Garrett writing in Rheumatology Update reported that research published in Osteoporosis International indicated that “elderly women who take bisphosphonates long-term have an increased risk of atypical femur shaft fractures…but the overall benefits of treatment still outweigh the risks.” Researchers “found that each additional year of bisphosphonate treatment showed a progressive increase in subtrochanteric/femoral shaft fractures.”
Comment: While this is not new news, it underscores the need to be vigilant and probably have patients go on a drug holiday- meaning taking a year off the medicine- if they have been on medication for more than 5-7 years or so.