Today I'll be interviewing my friend MaryAnn Armbruster, about her work on Fosteum® and her treatment with it for bone loss. MaryAnn will dispel some misconceptions about this treatment and explain how this medical food works. Welcome MaryAnn!
MaryAnn Armbruster's Bio:
MaryAnn Armbruster is a Clinical Chemist with more than 20 years in the in vitro diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries after leaving the clinical laboratory. She has a B.A. in Chemistry from Georgia College and obtained her Ph.D. from Purdue University. She worked for Sanofi Pasteur in the U.S. and in France, and for DPC, Iris Diagnostics and Primus Pharmaceuticals. She worked in Sales, International Product Management, Marketing, Market Development, Clinical Affairs, Technical/Clinical Writing and Customer Training. She is a Master Gardener and lives in Arizona with her husband and three dogs.
I understand that you're taking Fosteum for osteopenia; how long have you been on it and how are you doing? Have you seen an increase in bone mineral density?
Yes, I have been on Fosteum for 2 1/2 years. I am doing very well. My bone density increased significantly from my 2006 DXA to the 2008 DXA. My hip went from -0.9 to +0.5.
Fosteum is a medicinal food; could you explain what that means to our readers and how often you take it?
Medical food is a term coined by the FDA. It has a very specific definition and specific requirements to be included in the category. It is not a dietary supplement and it is not a drug. The capsule is taken twice a day. Since it can be taken with or without food it's pretty easy to take. I do mine with coffee in the morning and again sometime after dinner.
What are the ingredients in Fosteum, and how do they work?
The ingredients in Fosteum are genistein aglycone, citrated zinc bisglycinate and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Studies have shown that genistein improves bone density and that zinc makes the genistein work better. Vitamin D is well known to improve bone health, as well as being used in many other functions at the cellular level.
Can you just take zinc, vitamin D3 and soy instead of Fosteum?
Well, I guess you could try to come up with a similar combination from over the counter products (OTC), but first, let me say that there's no way I will take unfermented soy. The fermentation increases the concentration of the desirable isoflavones and reduces some of the undesirable ones. The zinc chosen for Fosteum has a better absorption profile than most other zinc compounds. I know that there is a OTC product that claims to have the same ingredients. I have a problem with that, and I won't even mention patent infringement. Fosteum is a medical food. One of the requirements of the classification is that the product be used to treat a recognized disease state and that it be given under supervision of a medical professional. Every Fosteum bottle comes with full Prescribing Information (PI). Included in the PI are such things as Contraindications, Drug Interactions, etc., all based on scientific studies. There are people who should not take Fosteum. The OTC product does not address any of these potential problems leaving the consumer unaware and vulnerable.