In our busy world, it’s always heartwarming when someone takes time out of their day to help you out. So when we asked Lara Pizzorno, natural bone health expert and wife of Dr Joseph Pizzorno, if she would have time to answer a few questions for us, we were absolutely thrilled when she immediately said yes. Author of Your Bones – How You Can Prevent Osteoporosis And Have Strong Bones For Life - Naturally and just about to finish her newest book, Lara will be joining Joe in London on Saturday 17th June where he will share his most current findings on detoxification and Lara will speak about some of the most up to date research on bone health, omega-3s and vitamin E as well as vital information on side effects of common prescription drugs. It’s a date you don’t want to miss!
Read on for our exclusive interview with the very inspiring and grounded Lara Pizzorno...
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us Lara. We’d like to start by asking if there is any new research that you are reviewing for your new book that you can share with us, to give us a brief insight of what’s to come?
Lots of new research—my next (still untitled) book on bone health, which I expect to finish writing by the end of July 2017, will be 800+ pages, 1,500-2,000 references, most of which were published in the peer-reviewed medical literature in the last 5 years.
Here are a few recent papers related to the 3 topics I will be discussing in June – omega-3s, vitamin E and commonly prescribed drugs that cause bone loss:
Statins interfere with the metabolism of omega-3s. EPA and DHA reduced the incidence of cardiovascular events by half --only when statins were not prescribed.
Roy J, Le Guennec JY. Cardioprotective effects of omega 3 fatty acids: origin of the variability. J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2016 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 27864649
Men do an especially poor job of converting ALA to EPA/DHA, producing far less than women. Women convert 21% of the ALA they consume into EPA, and 9% of that EPA is further converted to DHA. Men convert ~ 8% of the ALA they consume into EPA, and many men convert none --0% -- into DHA. This one’s not a recent study but an important – not well-known – fact.
Burdge G. Alpha-linolenic acid metabolism in men and women: nutritional and biological implications. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004 Mar;7(2):137-44. PMID: 15075703
α-tocopherol alone promotes bone loss
Ochi H, Takeda S. The Two Sides of Vitamin E Supplementation. Gerontology. 2015;61(4):319-26. doi: 10.1159/000366419. Epub 2014 Nov 22. PMID: 25428288
A review that included 51 studies showed low intake of vitamin E (mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols), was strongly associated with not just osteoporosis, but sarcopenia and cognitive decline.
Rondanelli M, Faliva MA, Peroni G, et al. Focus on Pivotal Role of Dietary Intake (Diet and Supplement) and Blood Levels of Tocopherols and Tocotrienols in Obtaining Successful Aging. Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Sep 25;16(10):23227-49. doi: 10.3390/ijms161023227. PMID: 26404241
For those 69 years or older, being prescribed 5 or more drugs during 1 year almost triples risk for hip fracture (RR 2.83 [1.65–4.84]. Anti-depressants double the risk of hip fracture in elders and quadruple risk in those with Alzheimer’s disease. Drugs used to treat Parkinson’s more than double risk for hip fracture (RR 2.32)
Torvinen-Kiiskinen S, Tolppanen AM, Koponen M, et al. Antidepressant use and risk of hip fractures among community-dwelling persons with and without Alzheimer's disease. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2017 Jan 5. doi: 10.1002/gps.4667. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28055139
Leavy B, Michaëlsson K, Åberg AC, et al. The Impact of Disease and Drugs on Hip Fracture Risk. Calcif Tissue Int. 2017 Jan;100(1):1-12. doi: 10.1007/s00223-016-0194-7. Epub 2016 Sep 26. PMID: 27671989
Consider switching from a vitamin K antagonist (warfarin) to one of the newer NOACs (New Oral Anticoagulants, e.g. rivaroxaban). Efficacy in prevention of stroke, afib is comparable, rate of major bleeding events is very low, and patient satisfaction is much better. In relation to bone and cardiovascular health, VKAs require avoidance of vitamin K2, and for this reason, are well known to promote osteoporosis and CAD. K2 can be taken with the NOACs.
Coleman CI, Haas S, Turpie AG, et al. Impact of Switching From a Vitamin K Antagonist to Rivaroxaban on Satisfaction With Anticoagulation Therapy: The XANTUS-ACTS Substudy. Clin Cardiol. 2016 Oct;39(10):565-569. doi: 10.1002/clc.22565. Epub 2016 Jun 30. PMID: 27362695
What daily dietary and lifestyle strategies do you always follow, even on the super busy days, to optimize your own bone health?
When at home: I exercise for at least one hour every day. Only eat organically grown foods, and take my supplements (vitamins, minerals, EPA & DHA). When travelling, I take my supplements, do some Pilates mat work in the hotel room and eat real (not processed) foods (we try for organic but it’s not always available).
What are your thoughts on genetic testing for clients with a strong family history of osteoporosis?
Absolutely everyone, including newborns, should have their 23&me analysis run – and not just for bone health issues! The raw SNP data file that can be downloaded from 23&me can be analyzed by a number of new AI tools – including Joe’s Salugenecists, Inc., tool-- that provide highly practical information regarding the individual’s increased needs for certain nutrients and increased susceptibility to various toxins.
Personally, my discovery more than 15 years ago now that I had inherited a dysfunctional VDR was my first step back to healthy bones. A number of other SNPs also have significant impact on bone health.
If you could only choose one nutrient for bone health what would it be and why?
Sorry, can’t be done. No such thing as a magic bullet for healthy bones! Bone health is definitely a team effort. That being said, my top 7 “team players” are vitamin D3, K2, calcium, EPA & DHA, magnesium, boron and strontium (citrate, NOT ranelate). And I believe numerous other trace minerals play important roles as well; the loss of trace minerals in our foods, a result of conventional farming /agribusiness practices, is a contributing factor in the tsunami of osteoporosis and other chronic diseases we are currently experiencing.
Like a lot of aspects of health, many people only consider the health of their bones when there’s a problem. Do you have any thoughts on how we can help to encourage people to take action sooner to prevent bone problems before they happen?
The nutrients required for healthy bones are also essential for immune function, cardiovascular function (which is required for sexual function & that gets most men’s attention), and brain function. At least one of these is likely to be of interest to everyone of all ages.
Is there anywhere in the world that you have visited that influences the way you eat? Could you share with us a favorite recipe?
Yes, the Pacific Northwest, where Joe and I are very fortunate to live. Organically grown foods from local farms are readily available here, and we also have our own vegetable garden. We are very excited about more than tripling its size this spring. I’ve been an organic, whole foods cook my entire adult life. I enjoy cooking – real food is gorgeous and tastes wonderful – plus the beneficial impact of serving nutrient-dense, toxin-free food on our health makes it well worth the effort. I’m always creating new recipes. A number of them are now posted on-line at https://www.algaecal.com/expert-insights/category/nutrition/
Here are links to a few recent ones:
Re GF sourdough: it takes a bit of time to get your sourdough starter going, but then you have it for endless loaves of bread. I went through the hassle because I REALLY missed sourdough bread – and am very glad I did. This GF sourdough bread is consistently excellent, and Joe, whom I love, loves it. Plus, when our kitchen is filled with the smell of a freshly baked loaf of (healthy! GF) sourdough bread, life is enhanced.
The image on the back of your book shows you out in beautiful countryside on a Mother’s Day hike in Stehekin, Washington. What’s your favorite way to relax?
Exercise that lights up all my muscles and lets me know I am vibrantly alive! Right now, it’s barre classes. I also really enjoy Pilates (I’m a STOTT Pilates instructor, but have no time to teach now), and dancing and motorcycling with Joe. (He drives, I just hang on and enjoy the view.) Once a week, I try to make time to sit in the sauna for an hour with a bunch of medical journals and/or books and read up while sweating out toxins – the relaxing part of my Toxin Solution.
About Lara Pizzorno MDIV MA LMT:
Lara Pizzorno is the author of ‘Your Bones: How you can prevent osteoporosis and have strong bones for life – naturally’ and a member of the American Medical Writers Association with 29 years of experience specializing in bone health. Lara is the Editor of Longevity Medicine Review (www.lmreview.com) as well as a Senior Medical Editor for SaluGenecists Inc., and Integrative Medicine Advisors, LLC.
Lara was diagnosed with osteopenia in her very early 50s and today, over 15 years later, has strong healthy bones, despite being genetically at high risk for osteoporosis. She will be the first woman in her family, in all the generations she is aware of, to have strong healthy bones and credits this with having done everything she recommends in her book ‘Your Bones’.