Posts By: Diane L. Schneider, MD

Your Question, Expert Answer on Vitamin D: What is Ergocalciferol?


Q. My husband found out his vitamin D level was 16. His doctor prescribed 50,000 of ergocalciferol. What is ergocalciferol? A. The only prescription vitamin D in the US is “ergocalciferol” at the dose of 50,000 IU (International Units). Ergocalciferol is vitamin D2, which comes from plant sources. It is made by ultraviolet irradiation of… Read more

How Much Calcium Do I Need?

Calcium has become a controversial topic. Do I need calcium or not? Do calcium supplements do more harm than good? Calcium is Essential Our bodies do not manufacture calcium, but calcium is essential for many functions. How Much Calcium is Recommended? In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released new calcium recommendations. Based on recent… Read more

Vitamin D Blood Levels and Kidney Stones


Vitamin D supplements continue to be a hot topic. The risk of kidney stones from taking vitamin D supplements is not completely clear. A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health found no risk of kidney stones with higher vitamin D blood levels. A higher risk of kidney stones was originally reported… Read more

Vitamin D Supplements and Bone: Another Analysis


Yet another meta-analysis on the topic of vitamin D supplements and bone was published online today in The Lancet (October 11, 2013). The focus of this meta-analysis by New Zealand Professor Ian Reid and colleagues was changes in bone mineral density with vitamin D supplementation. They identified all randomized, placebo-controlled studies that assessed the effects… Read more

Genes and Fracture Risk: A Step Closer to Personalized Medicine for Osteoporosis


An estimated 60 to 80% of bone density is inherited. Now with the ability of whole genome sequencing you would think it would be easy to identify genes for osteoporosis. Although osteoporosis and fracture risk are strongly genetic, they are very complex disorders. A large international collaboration of prominent research groups, the GEnetic Factors for… Read more

Vitamin D, Calcium, and Common Sense

Vitamin D and Calcium Supplements

Confused about calcium and vitamin D? Who isn’t? The recent media coverage on the topic of calcium and vitamin D has created a tremendous amount of confusion among not only you, but your health care providers, too. Unfortunately, this news coverage may be counterproductive to promoting adequate calcium and vitamin D intake for bone health.… Read more

Binosto – A New Formulation of Alendronate is Now Available

Binosto effervescent tablet from Effrx

Alendronate is the most common medicine prescribed for the treatment of osteoporosis in the United States. Alendronate is a generic medicine made by various manufacturers in a tablet form. Now alendronate is available in an effervescent tablet called Binosto. Think Alka-Seltzer. Drop Binosto in room temperature water, it fizzes up and is in solution ready to drink after a quick stir.

World Osteoporosis Day: Stop at One

2 Million 2 Many - Pile of casts

Half of people who break a hip have already had at least one broken bone. Less than 1 in 5 who break their hip are on treatment for osteoporosis. Approximately 80 percent of people treated in clinics or hospitals for a fracture are not subsequently screened for osteoporosis or for their risk of falls.