Lara Pizzorno Shares Her Personal Story

Algaecal / Bone-Healthy Living / April 18, 2015

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.

In this 3 part video series, Lara reveals her personal story, what she learnt from being diagnosed (video 2) and her latest DEXA scan results (video 3) . Watch the video below (or read the transcript provided) and see you in the comments below.  🙂


Hello, my name is Lara Pizzorno. I’m the author of “Your Bones” and I am here to share information with you that I hope will help you to have healthier bones.

A number of people wrote in and asked about my personal story.

Why was I passionate about this?

Why did I write “Your Bones”?

In this series of videos, I am sharing with you my personal life experience and what got me interested into this.

I know the information I present in “Your Bones” and share with you here on AlgaeCal’s website can help you. Not only avoid osteoporosis, but reverse it and maintain a healthy, strong and erect skeleton.

I know this because for 30 years, I have read and continue to read everyday the breaking research in the peer-reviewed medical literature about the latest scientific discoveries on bone remodeling and bone health.

I also know it deep down at the most personal level. I know it because of what happened to all the generations of women in my family and to me personally.

Every woman I know about in my family from my great grandmother on down, developed osteoporosis and this disease took them from us much earlier than was necessary.

By the time I was in my early 40’s, well before menopause, I was increasingly osteopenic even though I had a very healthy diet and lifestyle. I was still unaware of some genetically inherited risks that were robbing me of my bones.

Now we can easily test for these and the best news of all, we can correct for them with simple inexpensive nutritional supplements and other natural therapies. I was very lucky. My husband, Dr. Joe Pizzorno, is the founding president of the world’s more highly respected and fully federally accredited university of natural medicine. It’s called Bastyr University and it’s in Seattle, Washington where we live. For more than 40 years, he has been a key leader in the development of science-based natural and integrative medicine worldwide.

So back almost 26 years ago now, we knew the physician researchers who were on the cutting edge of genetic testing development and we had access to these tests when they first became available.

We learned why I was losing bone and what to do.

To not only to make up for my primary genetic susceptibilities, which began to turn things around for me, but over the next 15 years,

we figured out how to supply my bones with everything that everyone’s bones, not just mine but everybody’s bones, need to rebuild and stay strong.

Today I have great bones and trust me, I am the poster child for osteoporosis. My genetics have given me so many things that increase my susceptibility to bones loss, it’s as if the universe set me up to figure it out or die and if I was able to beat osteoporosis, I promise that any one can.

Not only do I have most all of the common risk factors for osteoporosis,

  • I’m small,
  • I’m light weight,
  • I’m Caucasian,
  • I inherited a Vitamin D receptor that doesn’t work very well. So I have a very hard time absorbing vitamin D.
  • Plus I live in Seattle where the rain festival runs from October thru September
  • and my stomach used to be antsy.

We found out that I, like 50% of the people in the US or maybe even more, had an infection with Helicobacter Pylori. This is a widespread bacterium which, if the infection is bad enough, causes ulcers, but if it’s not as severe, it just causes frequent bloating, indigestion, and disrupts our ability to absorb nutrients such as calcium.

Plus I wasn’t consuming enough calcium or magnesium or boron or trace minerals or vitamin C and I could go on and on. Back then, we didn’t know enough about vitamin K2, which I certainly also was not getting. Plus later we found out that I don’t activate some of the B vitamins very well and it’s only in their active forms that the B vitamins do their work for us. Nor does my body do even a mediocre job of converting beta keratin into vitamin A. I could go on and on, trust me.

The point of sharing all of this with you is to encourage you. You will certainly have your own personal reasons why you have been losing too much bone or are at risk for bone loss. They will likely not be the same as mine. Your bones contain several hundred pages worth of reasons we can lose too much bone. You can determine what’s causing your bone loss and you can fix it. If I can beat this, so can you.

You too can have strong healthy bones for your entire life.

It still makes me very sad to know that if I only had the knowledge that I have now when my grandmother, mother, and my very dear Aunt Gert, were still alive, I could have helped them. I could have helped them prevent the hip fractures which greatly hastened their deaths, but now I will be the first woman in my family in all the generations I know about not to die an osteoporosis related death. Loss of my grandmother, aunt, mother to osteoporosis, all of those were needless misery and we don’t have to accept this.

“Your Bones” and the information that AlgaeCal makes it possible for me to share with you now, is what I so wish I could have given to my loved ones. It’s too late for me to help them, but I can help you or your mother or your grandmother or your husband or your father.

In our next video (video 2), I’ll share with you what I personally had to learn to beat osteoporosis.

Thanks for tuning in.

To go ahead and watch video 3, you can do so here:

Video 3: Lara Reveals Her Latest DEXA Results (& They’re Pretty Amazing!)

Author: Lara Pizzorno, MDIV, MA, LMT

Jane C. Lane
Jane C. Lane

Dear Lara. I need Help. Now 80 years. Thirty months ago, hurrying down my split entry carpeted stairs I slid.Left leg hit the wall. Broke, shattered the femur. large steel plate with 12 screws after surgery.7 days hospital, 73 Rehab, Therapy. 9/12/2018 Bone mineral density of the 33% right radius T-Score of -5.1. I can’t have the plate removed. Risk of re fracturing.Now talking at least 5,000 steps a day. Wearing a woman’s weight vest part of the day. DVD Mobility and Bone Strengthening for Beginners. I just bought “Your Bones” would takja AlgaeCal. Mother died of a stroke. Thought calcium other than by food could calcify the arteries. Not sure about Strontium because of the metal. Please help. I don’t take medicine. Follow your nutrition plan. Take 5,000 Vit D3. 5mg K2 4. Magnesium. Extremely healthy shakes, sesame, chia, millet, Maca, Cache Milk etc. I want to strengthen my bones. Willing to pay the price. Thank you for all your help. Jane

Jenna AlgaeCal
Jenna AlgaeCal

Hi Jane,

We’re so glad you’ve found AlgaeCal and are choosing the natural approach to stronger bones. Here are some articles I think will be helpful for you:
Why You Need Plant-Based Calcium (& How To Get It)
Strontium Side Effects are Overblown – Get the Facts by Lara Pizzorno
Pilates for Osteoporosis with Lara Pizzorno

If you have any questions our Bone Health Consultants are always here to help — you can call 1-800-820-0184 or email [email protected]. ❤️

– Jenna @ AlgaeCal

Lara Pizzorno
Lara Pizzorno

Hi Jane, SO glad you found AlgaeCal! The reason that calcium taken by itself or just with vitamin D can increase risk of vascular calcification is that vitamin K2 must also be provided. Vitamin D is required for our active absorption of calcium; it does nothing to regulate where that calcium goes in the body! That is the job of K2, which activates the proteins — osteocalcin, which delivers calcium to our bones, and matrix Gla protein, which prevents calcium from depositing in our blood vessels –and other soft tissues, like our kidneys, breasts and brain. The form of K2 you mention above (MK-4) is far less effective than the form of K2 in AlgaeCal Plus (MK-7). In the research conducted using MK-4, doses of 15 milligrams taken every 6-8 hours were required for benefit. This is because of how our bodies handle MK-4 — it gets put into triglycerides and cleared from the body within 6-8 hours. In contrast, the dose required for MK-7 is just 100 – 360 micrograms daily. 100 mcg is sufficient for most people, but in the research on individuals with cardiovascular and kidney disease, and postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, 360 mcg was used — with NO problems because K2 is so safe that no upper limit has even been set for it. MK-7 is put into cholesterol, so it remains in the body for about a week. When you are taking it every day, you build up a reserve of K2 that is always available for you. Please stop taking MK-4 and switch to MK-7. AlgaeCal Plus contains ~100 mcg of MK-7 for these reasons. It also provides you with sufficient magnesium (360 mg) to properly balance the amount of calcium (720 mg) it contains. Optimal balance between calcium and magnesium is 2:1. You need at least 1,200 mg of calcium daily, so from your diet, you want to be getting an additional 480 mg of calcium and 240 mg of magnesium. In addition, current recommendations for us older folks are 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Make sure you’re getting enough protein! If you have not had your blood levels of vitamin D checked (a blood test that checks for 25(OH)D levels), please do so! Optimal level is between 50-80 ng/mL. And if you have not already joined the AlgaeCal Community on Facebook, please do so. Much information and support is available for you there — and you can contact me there as well. Keep me posted on how you are doing!

Lara Pizzorno
Lara Pizzorno

Forgot to say that strontium will not affect your metal bone implant — no worries!


Dear Lara,
I currently am taking all of the right nutrients for bones plus strontium and am considering the Algae Cal products. Can you tell me your opinion on enjoying 2 glasses of wine with dinner. I have osteoporosis recent dexa of -2.7 lumbar spine. It has not gotten a lot worse but I sure would like for improvements. It was worse other years so slight improvement.

Jenna AlgaeCal
Jenna AlgaeCal

Hi Diane,

Good to hear you’re on track with getting the right nutrition for your bones! Research shows that alcohol is actually good for bone health… In moderation of course! Red wine, in particular, has been identified to be beneficial to bone health in women. You can learn more on our diet and nutrition page for osteoporosis here.

And if you’re interested in learning how AlgaeCal can help you reclaim your bone health please feel free to call our Bone Health Consultants at 1-800-820-0184 ❤️

– Jenna @ AlgaeCal

Wendy Fielding
Wendy Fielding

Hi Lara, I wrote to you some years ago and since then have been taking the Strontium/Calcium combo.
I wrote re hot flushes which I had for 10 years half hourly until I was a wreck. I tried every natural alternative there is and also looked at BHRT. In the end I had to succumb to HRT patches, the only thing that stopped them. Tho not happy using this. I now have to take Primolut Nor and than utrogestane due to thickening of the uterus lining, My Gynaecologist has suggested Duaviv as a better alternative and I wanted to check this out with you as you gave me such good advice before, many thanks [so wish I could come off all these drugs]

Lara Pizzorno
Lara Pizzorno

Hi Wendy,

Did you work with a physician trained in the use of BHRT? If not, or even if you did back then, the doctor you used may not have been sufficiently competent. My best suggestion to you is to locate someone in your area who has been trained by Dr. Jonathan Wright, MD and get help switching to BHRT (you may be able to get a referral from Meridian Valley Labs to such a doctor as MVL uses the 24 Hour Urine Comprehensive Hormone labs that Dr. Wright recommends both to initially prescribe and then to monitor BHRT).

Your outcome here is sadly all too typical. You were prescribed HRT rather than BHRT and now are being prescribed more drugs (which have more serious adverse effects [ADRs]) to try to manage the ADRs of the HRT.

Duavee (bazedoxifene) is an estrogen agonist/antagonist that is prescribed to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia (uterine thickening), which increases risk of uterine cancer, and in your case was caused by the HRT patches. So, now your doctor is telling you to take another drug to deal with the ADRs caused by the HRT.

Primolut Nor (Norethisterone) is a progestin (a synthetic progestogen, created to produce some actions similar to progesterone, including binding to the progesterone receptor) – but it is NOT progesterone and has many ADRs including headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, mood changes, acne and more.

Duavee is not a terrific alternative! It increases your risk of stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and gallbladder disease, and may increase risk of dementia and breast cancer. Commonly seen ADRs in the women using this drug in studies were muscle spasms, nausea, diarrhea, dyspepsia, abdominal pain upper, oropharyngeal pain, dizziness, and neck pain. These are unpleasant enough, but because of its potential really serious ADRs, physicians are cautioned to prescribe Duavee for the shortest possible time.

My best advice to you is to NOT continue down this pathway to more ADRs for which you will be prescribed more drugs that then cause more ADRs!

PLEASE look into BHRT. Find someone who can help you make the transition and clean up the HRT mess. Don’t add to it!

To get a deeper understanding of what’s going on with you and what you need to do to restore your healthful function and protect yourself, I urge you to read Dr. Wright’s recent book (which was given a dreadful title but is an excellent resource) Here’s a link:

Personally, I have been on BHRT for almost 20 years now. NO ADRs (just lots of very beneficial effects on my bones, skin quality, brain, cardiovascular system, energy level and sex life). Unlike HRT and the drugs they now want you to add to deal with its ADRs, BHRT is safe and effective.

I so hope this helps you and that you will keep me posted. If I can be of further assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch.



I am a bit confused on the Vitamin K-2 to Vitamin D3 ratio. I take Algaecal Plus so I get 1600 iu’s of D3 and I supplement with 3,000 iu’s for a total of 4600 per day. I get 100 mcg of K-2 from the Algaecal Plus. Do I take additional 400-500 K-2 daily? That seems to be the advice from my research but I am a bit leery. Please help! Thank you.

Jenna AlgaeCal
Jenna AlgaeCal

Hi Ann,

We’re glad you reached out! For an additional 3000 IU of vitamin D3 we would recommend an additional 120 mcg of vitamin K2. This is enough to transport the calcium where it needs to go… Directly into your bones 🙂 To make things easier, some of our customers prefer to purchase vitamin D3 & K2 combination supplements which you should be able to find at your local health food store or online.

If you have any other questions feel free to email [email protected] or call our Bone Health Consultants at 1-800-820-0184!

– Jenna @ AlgaeCal

Patricia C Harrison
Patricia C Harrison

Hi, Lara–

I’m new at using computer and tried to post a couple of things that evidently did not possibly get through to you. I have had some questions about why my bone density has gone down “spuriously” as noted by Dr. Nelson Watts (who has read my DEXA SCANS all along since 2002). I was a breast cancer patient who received a modified right mastectomy on 3-28-01, with subsequent chemotherapy (four rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxan every three weeks plus four rounds of Taxol every three weeks after my surgery). When I finished chemo, I was not a candidate for Tamoxifen (was told it would not help me with my profile of ER/PR being negative and HER-2 NEU being positive). I had no radiation. I’ve had chronic pain since 2001 on the right chest following the mastectomy.

I have been on Neurontin and/or Gabapentin
since October 2001. I read all the medications you listed that caused problems with bone loss but could not find out whether Neurontin and Gabapentin are on the list of offenders for either milder or heavier bone loss. Can you tell what the lastest finding is on those two? Do you think that being on these two anti-convulsant medications for the neuropathic pain could cause my bone density to go down spuriously? My PCP added Pamelor or Nortriptyline 25 mg. nightly and I’ve been on it since late 2001 as well. To what degree do you think that could contribute to my bone loss? I also had been prescribed Valium/Diazepam. one tablet at night time since 2011 for severe tinnitus I have. My dosage of Gabapentin currently is 3,200 mg, daily taken four times per day – 800 mg. each time I take it. Nortriptyline is 25 mg. – one capsule nightly. I also am on Lipitor/
Atorvastatin 20 mg. tablet in the evening.
Especially of concern to me is the Butrans/Buprenorphine 15 mcg/hr Transdermal Pain Patch which I’ve been on since 2012. Does that contribute to bone loss too? I saw an inference somewhere in literature I was reading that it might deplete estrogen (though I’m 72 and post-menopausal). I keep a burning on the chest wall where the mastectomy was done by an expert breast cancer surgeon and there’s a tightness there as well. If I could find some answers for better substitutes, I certainly would like to know what they could be. I’m trying to sort through my issues by reading a lot lately (your blog and book I’ve read to date). If you can give me any feedback that you think might help me, I’d really appreciate it. I intend to talk with my PCP about taking AlgaeCal and Strontium Boost. Is the creatinine the only concern he must monitor for me while taking the Strontium? I have a yearly DEXA SCAN April 3, 2018 and would like to start the AlgaeCal shortly after I get my results again. My last calcium level was 10.4 but my PCP did not seem concerned about it at this stage. Is there ever a concern over a climbing calcium level, or could I still take AlgaeCal anyway? I thought one should not take a calcium supplement if there could be a developing hyperparathyroidism issue, but so far the doctor has not told me I fall into that category, although I know it can sometimes be hard to diagnose from reading some. I found out last year I have 6 thyroid nodules, the largest being 1.4 cm. for which they did a fine needle aspiration and it came out benign and my diagnose is a non-toxic goiter now. It seemed stable as of the last ultrasound done recently. Lastly, do you know if Lialda/Mesalamine – 1.2 gram tablets, taken three times per day for Ulcerative Colitis diagnosed in 2011 could be contributing to bone loss? I’m overwhelmed by everything. I’ve found for the most part that a lot of doctors are dismissive when you want to talk in detail about these kinds of issues. I was told when I asked a question while in with my husband and his new cardiologist that “you read too much.” He was diagnosed with a heart murmur recently and I was concerned if it would greatly affect his functionality.

With all the prescription medication I’m on, due you see any contraindications to me being on the Strontium?

The bone density doctor wanted me to start on a prescription bone medication last year, but my PCP wanted me to hold off to when Dr. Watts officially categorized me with osteoporosis. On the February 14, 2017 DEXA SCAN, the T-Scores were L1-L2 a -2.4 and the left femoral neck a -1.7. I walk for 40 minutes four times a week (1.5 miles x 4 or 6 miles weekly at our Recreation Center track). On the other three days, I try to lift some 3 pound weights religiously (40 times upward, 40 times to the side and 40 times to the front on those three days). Do you think that if I start and stay on the AlgaeCal that I can still make some headway in gaining back some density even while I am required to be on all the medications I mentioned above? Due to having an injury and fracture to my right foot in 2015, I have plantar fibromatosis and a lot of numbness and pain there now and have to soak my feet in Epsom salts in order to keep walking. Just this past month, my right knee has started making a “clicking” sound and I have an appointment to see a specialty doctor about that. I think it is wonderful you have regained your health and can do a lot of the exercises. However, I won’t be able to do much more than I’m doing now due to my limitations–especially not squats!

I did notice the prestigious research award given to AlgaeCal on the site and plan to take a printout of it when I see my PCP and possibly when I talk to Dr. Nelson Watts too. He’s not mentioned any options for me except starting the medication. I’m reluctant to start that with all my medications, the potential side effects etc. I also found out in 2011 when my ulcerative colitis was diagnosed that I have a hiatal hernia. I have severe peripheral neuropathy from Taxol chemotherapy in 2001 and my feet are in bad shape as a result with lingering pain. I rarely go out except for walking and/or doctor appointments and have no support except for my husband who has anxiety and a nervous disorder where he limits his driving because of it and due to my severe pain–I myself have not driven since 2001.

I noticed that you mentioned Lyrica does not cause bone loss. I tried that once before and it did not help me, but it has been so long ago that I do not remember what the exact dosage was. I’m wondering if you feel it might be worth a try again and this time bump the Lyrica upwards substantially?

I read that two other anti-epileptic drugs that are said not to promote bone loss are oxcarbazeine (Trade name = Trileptal) and lamotrigine (Lamictal) but I do not know if they are used for neuropathic pain like I have or not. Would either of those two be a better trade off side effect wise rather than the Gabapentin?

My previous gynecologist mentioned she’d heard Cymbalta is being used by some women for some kinds of pain but I notice the side effects can be jerking, dizziness, and tremors.

In Dr. Joe Pizzorno’s book: “The Toxin Solution”
does he give the drawbacks of various medications so that it would provide me with a lot of good information which might be helpful to me in my quest to find better solutions to my dilemma that is longstanding now since 2001.

Do you or Dr. Joe Pizzoro know of a good Functional Medicine Doctor in the Cincinnati, OH area with whom I could consult?

Thanks so much–Patti Harrison 3/16/2018

Jenna AlgaeCal
Jenna AlgaeCal

Hello Patti,

Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out & explain your situation! I have sent you a direct email with Lara’s response to your questions from [email protected]. Sometimes our emails are sorted into a junk or spam folder in error, so be sure to check these as well.

– Jenna @ AlgaeCal



Jenna AlgaeCal
Jenna AlgaeCal

Hi Donna,

We apologize if you have had some trouble reaching us! AlgaeCal is the only calcium supplement clinically proven to increase bone density & can absolutely help to turn around your bone health.

Donna, our Bone Health Consultants would be happy to answer any questions you have about your bone health and AlgaeCal! Please call our toll free number at 1-800-820-0184 or email [email protected]. Our operating hours are Mon-Fri 6:00am-4:00pm PST, Saturday 8:00am-4:00pm and Sun 8:00am-2:00pm PST.

We look forward to hearing from you!

– Jenna @ AlgaeCal

Patti Harrison
Patti Harrison

I purchased your book on bones and you made mention of an Osteo Mins product by Dr. Jonathan Wright. Are you aware that one reviewer on Amazon who lives in the state of California stated that there was a WARNING: “This product contains lead, a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.” She further stated that “This is something everyone should be aware of, not just the lucky residents of California. Why does amazon not post a similar warning?”

Lara Pizzorno
Lara Pizzorno

Hi Patti,

(1) I am contacting Dr. Wright on this

(2) OsteoMins product was mentioned [as one possible supplement among others] because Dr. Wright was my co-author on the first edition of Your Bones.

He was listed as co-author because he kindly linked me up with Praktikos (the publisher) and contributed two items to the book: the 2-page discussion of patent medicines, appears on pg. 12-13 in 2nd edition, and (2) the hormone tests that I discuss in the Labs appendix were developed by Dr. Wright and are, I believe, the most comprehensive, accurate and useful of all such testing available. Dr. Wright is one of the world’s pre-eminent physicians, certainly the leading authority on BHRT. While he did not make changes to my book, he did read through it all for me (a stellar peer-review!) and found no errors – very kind of him to take the time to do so!

(3) MANY natural products contain tiny amounts of lead! I’m not sure how much lead is present in OsteoMins – again, asking Jonathan (Dr. W) about this and will let you know what he says.

Lara Pizzorno
Lara Pizzorno

Hi Patti,

I reached out to Dr. Wright, here is his response:

“This is a California specific requirement due to a law regarding lead in supplements. The FDA has mandated safe limits for lead (lead is naturally-occurring and present in many supplements, especially those containing calcium and magnesium – though at very low levels).

While the FDA has established safe levels, the state of California has established a limit of 1/50 of the FDA levels which requires a warning to consumers (Proposition 65 – or Prop 65). Effectively like the Feds saying the safe speed limit on I-5 is 65 MPH, and California saying “we think that limit is 1.3 MPH”…

We were caught up in this a few years ago and ended up with a compromise to appease them. Instead of putting that warning on all bottles, we have a warning on our website and on invoices for California customers (only California) with the required warning.

You can be assured that ALL of our products are manufactured well within the FDA established limits.

Hope that helps.”

Patricia C Harrison
Patricia C Harrison

Thank you, Lara, for clarifying this for me.
You are so very thorough. I appreciate your time to reach out to Dr. Wright and getting this answer.

Patti Harrison

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