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To Vitamin E Or Not To Vitamin E?

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Two years ago this week, Dr Kenneth Egol, an orthopedic surgeon at NYC reported on ABC news that during the previous 18 months, they were seeing more unusual bone fractures in patients taking the Merck drug Fosamax. To make matters worse, the drug seems to cause these fractures, and apparently bone fractures occurred while walking and not upon strenuous exercise.

As the good doctor pointed out, this is quite unusual as “the femur is one of the strongest bones in the body!” Ironically, as readers know, Fosa means “bone” and max means “maximum”. Fosamax is supposed to strengthen bones – not weaken them. I suspect Fosamax is flying off the pharmacy shelves without a care in the world about it weakening bones… in the interest of corporate profits, of course! This week the University of Tokyo reported that one of our favorite supplements, Vitamin E, may actually weaken the bones of mice! Their study is predicated on the loss of a type of bone eroding cell in the presence of a high Vitamin E diet. I believe the jury is still out on whether or not Vitamin E weakens bones; it never has, to the best of my knowledge. If I were Merck Pharmaceuticals, I’d push the Japanese researchers to conclude that a safe nutrient is actually responsible for all of these broken bones and not this darling of Wall Street that investors call Fosamax!


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