Osteoporosis & Osteomyelitis Research

An interesting article regarding research into using a nanomaterial to reverse the bone damage caused by osteoporosis and osteomyelitis.

There will be a lot of happy people if it comes to fruition.


An article regarding weightlifting helping combat osteoporosis.

My wife was recently advised to do some weightlifting, which she has commenced doing, so as to help with her osteoporosis.


An article regarding research into producing cartilage to treat osteoarthritis.

An article regarding an US study into the reduction of hip fractures in elderly persons.


And the item on the Journal’s website.

An article regarding treating osteoporosis.

A couple of articles regarding treating osteoarthritis.

Researchers find that consuming too much coffee may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Note that the trial is only assessing calcium loss in urine, and has not been correlated directly with developing osteoporosis. It may or may not be relevant to general health. It may be relevant on an individual basis, whether genetic, dietary or other factors apply.

The next question is how much caffeine was required to produce an increase in calcium in urine?

The trial results are based on a daily consumption of 800mg of caffeine a day. With a typical single shot of Espresso around 60mg that’s an expensive coffee habit. The possible effects if any of more modest consumption is not considered.

It’s not really about coffee, but caffeine!

While tea drinkers were not mentioned, a well brewed cup of black tea can also contain high levels of caffeine. 40mg or more per cup. More if brewed for longer, and more if like me, you like a large mug rather than more petite fine bone China.


And Food Standards Australia has a simple chart which compares commonly consumed product caffine levels (note: standard serving size vary)…

Australian expressos FSA have data on must be stronger at around 145mg per 50mL serve.

A double shot perhaps?
A single is 25-30 ml.

The key point I hoped to make was that the study does not demonstrate a link between coffee (caffeine) consumption and osteoporosis.

A second observation is that most of us consume caffeine from more sources than just coffee. The study does not answer the question as to at what level caffeine consumption becomes a risk in respect of developing osteoporosis. Noted FSA have advised a recommended maximum level of consumption. It’s half the level used in the referenced trial. Perhaps the trial should have dosed at 400mg of caffeine daily instead of 800mg?

On caffeine in coffee:
A suspicion is that we will find numerous variations on what a typical espresso is,

The amount of caffeine extracted depends a little on the beans and grind, and more so on the water temperature and time taken to complete extraction. Any one with a Nespresso pod machine will attest a single shot is delivered in a very short bust compared with a steady slow 30 second pump operated by a pro.

Perhaps for FSA only the best will do? Not all baristas are created equal. The tradies in the street need to suffer the quick grab and go from the local servo or 7-Eleven. Should individual coffees come with a caffeine score similar to the kJoules on the fast food menu?

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Have seen the TV adverts with Ita Buttrose as National Ambassador for “The Big O” encouraging people to have a bone scan for Osteoporosis.

In the mail yesterday we got two letters, neither family member had lived at this address, one had died 15 years ago and the other was in his 40’s (despite the letter saying “Because you’re over 70…”) The letter and pamphlet was from The Big O, provided by Amgen.com.au which is a manufacturer of bone medication (among other things). It was encouraging people to get a referral for a Dexa scan from their GP. www.thebigo.com.au

I tried to find a Contact Us to let them know their database was letting them down and wasting their money. Zilch. The actual residents of this address are prime targets for this information, yet we haven’t got anything. I have no objection to encouraging people to get checked, but this sounds a bit commercial, albeit misdirected.


Or political advertising, especially if it mentions tha Australian Government at the end.

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Commonwealth health advice on bone density scans and Medicare coverage. Bone density scans are covered.

Department of Health | Bone Densitometry

The glass is half full might be those of us who are health aware will be seeing a GP on a regular basis and appropriate health advice will be provided.

For those of us who are aged and disinclined or find access to regular health checkups, increasing awareness of the risks, and options will help some.

Amgen who are the only business which appears in the Big-O campaign is an American pharmaceutical company. The campaign is a product the Works Agency. Is this just another advert in a clever disguise?

Worth another look with the prospect is it just another form of advertorial, that is cleverly conceived?
Balance optional. @BrendanMays


So it appears that the whole campaign is for them to get their drugs prescribed and is a workaround of the ban by the TGA on pharmacetucial companies advertising their drugs.

Just another in a long line of similar campaigns.

“If you suffer from XYZ, it can be treated. Consult your GP to get a miracle cure”.


Here’s the letter to the deceased. The back is blank. The slip with it repeats the Big O information with a checklist “If you tick any of these boxes … book a bone density referral today”
As for how they got the two names - both are/were insulin dependant T2 diabetics - so maybe through Diabetes Assoc? How they linked them to our address is a bit perplexing.


It might have been more appropriate to suggest any one who has a concern might like to discuss the risks and options with their GP.

The language used in the letter is directing to ‘ask your GP for a referral’. It’s not presented as optional. Given it’s a free procedure (conditionally) would one expect them to advise otherwise?

It’s worth considering we all have different risk profiles. DXA or DEXA involves Radiology (X-Ray scanning). That may or may not present a problem for some. My lifetime exposure to X-Ray based scanning technology is already much greater than I’d prefer.

Increasing awareness vs drumming up business. Hopefully GP’s will be able to offer the most suitable advice, on when and if one needs the additional steps of being lit up by the Radiologist.


At 70 my GP sent me a notice I was eligible for an Osteo scan under Medicare and a BoneBus mobile would be nearby on certain days and I could make a booking after getting a referral.

The BoneBus partners with Healthy Bones Australia and organises services with GP clinics. My one time experience had them booked out very quickly.

I would recommend anyone eligible for a free scan or worried enough to pay (cost is $90 / $50 for pension cardholders) should follow up. Depending on bone health, eligibility for another free scan is at 2 or 5 year intervals. Lots of good info on the BoneBus website.

No idea how AMGEN operates in comparison.


Yesterday I got the AMGEN letters (for 2 other people), and today I got a letter for Mr Z from his GP saying he is eligible for a free Bone Bus scan once he has a referral. Given that 2 months ago he was told he didn’t need one for another 2 years, I think this might be a new Govt funding push? The AMGEN letter was “Approved October 2021”. He’s not interested, as his last one showed very strong healthy bones. I’ve not long had one.


Surely not the same Government that has been trying to cut back on Medicare costs by changing the rules for scans and everything else?


Bone density scans have been Medicare items for some time. Nothing new to see here other than a reminder sponsored by a pharmaceutical older Aussies and some others can get a scan, and feel good it’s free?

The glass is half full. Perhaps it’s over flowing ….

And for other groups of Aussies.


It’s reassuring that the Govt values Medicare so highly.
The Big-O Campaign and funding of delivery are independent of these other feel good announcements. All are timely reminders for the many of us who have neglected regular health check ups during Covid, to get our there and catch up.

Amgen’s timing is just a coincident, and good health advice. :wink: