Building Strong Bones Through Nutrition

Welcome to Osteo Naturals. We invite you to shop our online store for quality nutritional supplements that promote skeletal health. In addition, our site is full of useful information about osteoporosis and insights about how it can be managed naturally.

Individuals who intend to stay active into retirement will need strong, healthy bones, and a strategy for maintaining muscle strength and coordination. Whatever your age or current condition, it is never too early or too late to make a positive difference. The "Osteo Naturals difference" = natural ingredients chosen for quality, safety, purity and potency.


A Message From the Founder

“It is my hope that we can be of great service to you. Our products are the result of over 10 years of research into the biology of bone, the causes of bone loss, and what it takes for the body to re-capture and maintain bone strength. This journey started after my own diagnosis of severe osteoporosis (T score of -4.3) and multiple fragility fractures that I sustained over a 5-year period. Because of my own challenges in improving bone mineral density, I know how difficult it can be to find the right supplements.

At Osteo Naturals we hope to make it easier for you to achieve a healthy outcome with natural products. With a market flooded with hundreds of calcium and bone health supplements, it can be difficult to decide on which product will best suit your needs. In short, we offer products you can trust: with no “window dressing” ingredients, no cheap or substandard ingredients, and no “hype.” Osteo Naturals is Where Bone Strength Begins. Thank you for visiting us.”

R. Keith McCormick, DC, CCSP

Monday, September 15, 2014

Soda Intake Increases Risk of Hip Fractures

A recent analysis published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found an association of soda intake with an increased risk of hip fractures in postmenopausal women. Using the Nurses' Health Study cohort, this questionnaire-based analysis found that for every additional soda there was a 14% increase in risk of hip fracture. This higher risk was for all types of sodas not just colas as indicated by prior studies.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

70.3 Ironman Triathlon World Championships

This weekend I competed in the 70.3 Ironman TriathlonWorld Championships in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. Mont Tremblant was a fantastic venue to hold this event and the Canadians were incredible hosts. While driving to Canada from Massachusetts we passed through Montreal which was a real treat for me. I hadn't visited this city since 1976 when I participated in the Olympic Games.

The beautiful hamlet of Mont Tremblant is almost magical. No cars are allowed in the cozy pedestrian village itself and getting around is fun and easy via its cobble-stoned walkways and "over-the-village" ski-lift. The people of Mont Tremblant are extremely welcoming and there were lots of fun activities to do such as swimming, bungee jumping, miniature golf, and luge to keep my mind off the upcoming race.

Race day came and the weather was perfect. I started off with a good 1.2 mile swim being 4th out of the water in my age group. The 56 mile bike was challenging with some headwinds and lots of hills but I felt good up to around 40 miles...then I started to fall apart. The weeks leading up to the race hadn't been the best for training. I'd been pretty sick 4 weeks before the race and am still plagued by a nasty lingering cough. Then the day before the race (possibly from eating some smoked salmon) I developed plumbing issues that may have dehydrated me a bit. I'm not trying to make excuses (oh yes, and don't forget the mild concussion and pulmonary contusion from my bike crash 3 weeks ago...) but the bottom line is that when I got off the bike and headed out for the final 13.1 mile run portion of the race...I was toast. I had nothing left in the tank. End result...I finished 12th in my age group. Oh well...there is always next year...right? I am just grateful to be able to compete at this level. It was lots of fun but there is also lots of room for improvement.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tennis: A Great Exercise for Warding Off Osteoporosis: Report from the U.S. Tennis Open 2014

The nice thing about tennis is that you can do it year round (indoor and ourdoor tennis courts abound), you can play competitively or non-competitively as you like, and as long as you can stand up without falling over you can play well into your 70's, 80's, or even 90's. Now THAT is a GREAT sport!

It is always an honor to watch elite athletes in action no matter what sport. So when I got the opportunity to attend a match at the US Tennis Open in New York I was extremely excited even though I don't play tennis and barely know how to keep score. Today was the quarterfinals match between Victoria Azarenka and Ekaterina Makarova and I was totally in awe as that ball blasted back and forth at speeds exceeding 100 m.p.h.! Such amazing athletes...so powerful, so agile, and extremely competitive. Makarova from Russia won 4-6, 2-6 and will take on Serena Williams in the semi-finals in two days.

So if you are looking for a new challenge and you want to get some exercise to help build up your muscles and bones...you might want to check out tennis. You don't have to be US Open material...you just have to hold a racket and get yourself out onto a court. Looked like a lot of fun to me!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Face-Plant at Twenty-Five M.P.H.


Last weekend while competing in a triathlon (swim, bike, run), I experienced an unscheduled strength test of my skeleton that was somewhat unorthodox…I crashed. And just to make sure that you all understand…having a bone mineral density examination is certainly a MUCH safer way to determine fracture risk…but then again, I’m not one to always follow the rules.

As many of you know, the reason I became so interested in osteoporosis was because I myself was diagnosed with this disease 15 years ago. A T-score of -4.3 plus 12 fragility fractures were the impetus for my delving so head long into the study of osteoporosis. My goals were to uncover the cause of my extreme bone fragility and then to find ways to make those bones stronger and healthier. Taking this then one step further by helping others deal with an osteoporosis diagnosis was just the right thing to do. *

I have been an athlete my whole life and I’ve tried to never let osteoporosis impede my activity level, even back in the days when I was frequently breaking bones. (Maybe that’s a clue into why I broke so many bones...hmmm….) I’m now 60 years old and because I continue to race in triathlons I realize the danger quotient is escalating. Traveling at high speeds on my bike, up to 50+ mph down hills, has the potential to cause considerable damage to the skeleton should I crash. I don’t know if any of you have ever raced bicycles but sometimes there can be some unforeseen entanglements with other riders especially when the aggressive factor of racing is high. Such was the case in this race.

The first part of the race, the swim, went well even though my 4% body fat lost the battle against the 60-degree water. Even with my wet suit I was a bit chilly. I exited the water in first place and clipped into my bike for the second leg of the race. I hadn’t gone but two or so miles when it started to rain lightly. I sensed the road getting slick but pushed on at top speed hitting about 40 mph on a moderate downhill. I had driven the course the day before and knew there was a turn after going through a narrow, one-lane, tunnel-like under-pass at about mile 6…but I hadn’t really paid enough attention to the acute sharpness of the turn. As I was coming out of the tunnel I could see just how sharp the turn was and tried desperately to slow down. As I applied my brakes the rear wheel immediately began to fishtail. (I felt like Joseba Beloki in the 2003 Tour de France as I struggled to stay in control.) Four times in quick succession I applied my rear brake and 4 times I fishtailed. Only through sheer luck was I able to keep the bike up-right but, still going 20+ mph, I careened down off the road and into a gravel driveway. Finally I skidded to a stop 30 feet off the road. (Whew…that was close!) I quickly pushed my bike back up the hill, jumped on my bike and started to crank hard, anxious to gain back lost time. The rain continued and the road was becoming slicker, more dangerous.

On the second lap I made it through the tunnel safely but this time, on a straight stretch of road, things got really
squirrely. As I fast approached two slower athletes that I was about to lap, one of them pulled out to the left to pass. I swerved hard to avoid hitting him, crossed the centerline and hit a really bad patch of pot-holed road. At 25 mph I totally lost control and flew off the side of the road. My bike flipped flinging me headlong and performing a perfect face-plant into the road-side vegetation. I hit hard on my forehead and the right side of my chest. The helmet (see photo) saved me I’m sure. I wasn’t knocked out but certainly dazed and lay there for x amount of time. Another competitor stopped to ask if he should call for an ambulance but I said no and got up slowly…looked for my bike (which I couldn’t find at first because it was 10 feet away and under a lot of vegetation)…thanked the blurred racer (I can only barely remember that “being” standing there)…and hopped on my bike. (For any of you bikers out there reading this and worrying more about my bike than you are about me….No, my bike was not damaged…thank goodness!!!)

On the third and final lap with my head and chest a bit sore (but my vision improved) I thought I better slow down and not push my luck. I had already lost at least 3 minutes and I knew that there had to have been a few other competitors that had passed me while I was lounging around on the side of the road in the underbrush. So with first place surely gone…and probably a top five finish for that matter…I just started to relax and enjoy the rest of the race.

As I approached T2 (the transition between the bike and the run) the rain stopped and the sun came out just in time to warm up the run course. I racked my bike, threw on my running shoes and headed out for the final leg of the race, a 6.5 mile run. Since I had backed off on the final lap of the bike portion of the race I felt pretty good heading out on the run. Other than some back spasms as a result of the crash, I was able to keep a steady pace all the way into the finish line.

The whole reason for this long drawn out story is to say that I didn’t break any bones. Walking around after the race, feeling a bit sore in my back, a little confused from the concussion, spitting some blood from a laceration on my tongue, and coughing up some blood that was later diagnosed as a pulmonary contusion (bruised lungs) (a chest x-ray was negative for any real damage)…I was pretty darn happy that I didn’t break anything. I think that’s what makes a person with osteoporosis the happiest….not fracturing when they fall! Sounds a bit strange I know but every time I take a fall and don’t break…I just smile.

Oh…the final pièce de rèsistance after all this? I finished 2nd overall and 1st in my age group. A good day at the races for sure.


* If you would like to learn more about the comprehensive nutritional approach that changed my life, visit www.osteonaturals.com.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Second Chances...Yes, it is Possible for Bone Health

2014 Northeast Champ: Olympic Distance Triathlon
Second chances in life don't just happen...you have to make them happen. When it comes to second chances in health, this can become a little more unpredictable but we still need to "make it happen." When I was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis 15 years ago I not only knew very little about the disease but I was also totally floored because I THOUGHT I was already doing pretty much everything right as far as eating and life style choices were concerned. So WHY would I have poor bone health?

After immersing myself in the study of osteoporosis I quickly realized that there was A LOT I could do to help myself. Now, 15 years later and 60 years old, I feel so much stronger, so much healthier. I'm thankful to have made that second chance happen. Winning the Northeast Championships in triathlon this weekend makes me thank my lucky stars that second chances are possible...but they don't come without work.

You can make it happen too! It is NOT too late. That second chance is there for the taking...but it won't wait until tomorrow. Start making that second chance happen TODAY!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Osteoporosis: Bone Mineral Density (DXA) Exam vs Risk Factors

Clinical risk factors* for osteopenia and osteoporosis include:

   - Loss of height
   - Low body weight
   - Advanced age
   - Late age at menarche
   - Menopausal
   - Time since menopause
   - Smoking
   - Calcium intake
   - Alcohol intake
   - Medications
   - Inflammatory conditions
   - Prior fragility fracture

But: Risk factor assessment is NOT a substitute for having a bone mineral density examination (DXA). Research shows that 50% of patients with osteoporosis do not have risk factors and 50% of patients with risk factors do not have osteoporosis as per a DXA exam** (T score of -2.5 or worse).

So: Make sure you get a bone density examination (DXA)! Please do not rely on risk factors because they DO NOT predict your chances of having osteoporosis.

*Riggs B.L. and Melton L.J., NEJM. 1986;314:1676-1686.
**Delmas, P.D. et al. Impact Trial, JBMR. 2005; 20:557-563.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Exercise and Osteoporosis...Make it a Priority

As I was cruising to the finish line in a recent triathlon (finishing 1st in my age group [60-64] and 4th overall), a surge of great pleasure ran through me. "This is who I am...someone who uses his body to the max." I ABSOLUTELY love it. I love being an athlete. It really IS WHO I AM! The interesting byline here is that I also have--or at least HAD-- severe osteoporosis. I would be miserable if I couldn't train and compete hard.

That brought to mind a recent posting on an osteoporosis chat line where a woman wrote "I have advanced osteoporosis and it is an exercise limitation." She went on to explain that there were many things that she could not do because of her bone loss and increased fracture risk.

This not only saddened me but reminded me of the dreaded fear of "breaking" that the diagnosis of osteoporosis carries with it. My initial diagnosis at the age of 45 seems like eons ago. My T-score was -4.3 and I experienced a lot of fractures. The fear of ongoing fracturing was HUGE, but thankfully none of that seemed to stop me. The key here is that from the very beginning I was in a fighting mode. I never let the diagnosis stop me. I fought back. Of course most of you know by now that OsteoNaturals is the result of this fight and the ingredients in our products are what turned things around for me. I now have my bone health under control and, thankfully, OsteoNaturals has become an integral weapon for others in their fight to reclaim skeletal health. The really great thing is that these people are winning too.  Onward!
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