Avandia and Actos Increase Fracture Risk
Friday, August 06, 2010
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
The often-prescribed diabetic medications Avandia and Actos have now been proven to cause an increase risk in fractures1 in postmenopausal women. In men if these drugs are combined with a potassium-robbing diuretic, then the fracture risk is also increased. The FDA is currently considering whether to remove Avandia from the market because it causes heart attacks. Actos is not as bad as Avandia on the heart attack issue. However, Actos is equally as bad as Avandia on the fracture issue. This is the third time these researchers have published conclusive data on this risk — the FDA twiddles its thumbs.
These drugs act on a gene system primarily in fat cells (PPAR). Manipulating any gene system can change numbers on paper. However, these gene systems are highly integrated with many other functions in the human body. Forcing genes to behave a certain way with drugs is a futile human experiment that is fraught with unexpected and undesirable outcomes. It would be just great for drugs if influencing a gene system corrected a problem — that is almost never the case . Genes have to function as part of a network and drugs force the genes not to participate in activities that are actually needed. The examples of Avandia causing heart attacks and Avandia and Actos causing fractures help to explain the great difficulty in this next generation of extremely expensive gene-controlling drugs that are actually quite frightening.
Most of the older drugs are simply poisons which cause some aspect of human function not work. This strategy is loaded with side effects and is akin to trying to shoot a fly with a shotgun. The next generation of drugs can go inside cells and make genes function in a certain way. The problem is that we don’t have any real idea about what most genes actually do. So when drugs target these genes they may or may not be able to produce a desired result — but the risk for side effects are staggering.
I have explained in a number of recent articles the importance of bones to fat metabolism and blood sugar regulation. When a diabetes drug is causing fractures it is lowering adiponectin by suppressing osteocalcin activity within bone. This means that these diabetes drugs are inadvertently making fundamental blood sugar metabolism worse. This is obvious from the existing science but no researchers have published any findings on this topic yet — It is only a matter of time. In the meantime any person taking these drugs — or most drugs for that matter — is little more than a human guinea pig.
The use of drugs for metabolism, whether for blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, or bones is a subject so seriously flawed and dangerous, that it is only allowed to take place because the majority of Americans don’t understand health well enough to comprehend what is actually being done to them. Why should anyone discuss risks and benefits with their doctor when their doctors don’t actually have a clue what the risks may be?
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