In this medical video learn about a new drug takes treating osteoporosis one step further than traditional drugs.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Matthews: Carole Mason has always enjoyed her milk. Carole Mason: Milk is my favorite beverage. If I am anywhere, in a restaurant or whatever, I'll order milk. Jennifer Matthews: And her diet is high in calcium. Carole Mason: Yogurt, cheese vegetables. I've always eaten a lot of tuna, salmon. Jennifer Matthews: Calcium is especially important for Carole now. She has early stage osteoporosis. Around 10 million Americans have osteoporosis. Another 34 million are at increased risk. Dr. Diane Biskobing: There is a constant bone loss and bone formation and it's usually balanced. Somebody gets osteoporosis when the bone loss or bone resorption becomes excessive. Jennifer Matthews: Traditional osteoporosis medications stop bone breakdown. Now, researchers say they may have a better treatment. Dr. Diane Biskobing: This drug stimulates the cell that forms new bone. So it's actually causing these cells to lay down new bone. Jennifer Matthews: The drug is parathyroid hormone. Early studies show it increases bone density 10 to 14 percent. Without treatment, menopausal women can lose 2 percent of their bone density per year. Dr. Diane Biskobing: This would give us an option to use in people with very severe osteoporosis and a new option in people who've fractured despite being on the standard therapies. Jennifer Matthews: For women on the go, the treatment could offer help where a calcium-rich lifestyle has come up short. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.