Amino acids

Mighty 90 Essential Nutrients Detox

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Mrs. Adams looked grumpy,but who could blame her. She had just gotten out of the hospital and her first stop after being discharged was my pharmacy and her first order of business was having a stack of prescriptions filled. And, aside from the fact that Mrs. Adams was going to be parting with a significant chunk of change (she had a twenty dollar co-pay which meant her 12 prescriptions were going to costing her 240 bucks), she was about to bombard her biology with enough chemical poisons to make her body eligible as a toxic waste dump. To compound her problems, unbeknownst to Mrs. Adams and probably her doctor too, not only were her pharmacological protocols going to be poisoning her body, but even worse, unless she was savvy enough to get on a supplement program, she was inevitably going to be dealing with the consequences of nutrient deficiency that could conceivably lead to a whole host of pathological symptomology, and might even shorten her life.

Mighty 90 Healthy Start PackOne of the more significant, if underappreciated, aspects of prescription drug toxicity, involves the depletion of nutritional raw materials that fuel the detoxification system, the collective term for the ordinarily extremely effective purifying processes that are, for the most part, housed in the liver. That’s because these detoxifying biochemical reactions all depend on the must-have “essential” nutrients known as the “Mighty 90” to do their work. In fact, every chemical reaction in the body depends on these essential substances and in the presence of excessive poisons (drugs), detox “machinery” can become like a metaphorical sinkhole, diverting and draining nutritional elements, keeping them from participating in the many other biochemical reactions that are responsible for maintaining the health and integrity of the human body.

Vital vitamins, mandatory minerals, and important amino acids and fatty acids are not only key detox players, but are also important molecules involved in providing cells with energy, and protection; and also as mechanical raw materials for building structural components of cells and tissues. The more drugs we take and the more they accumulate in the body, the more nutrients will be diverted from the heart, brain, skin, and various glands and organs and into the liver for detoxification. If they are not replaced via food and supplements, over time they can become depleted and not only will purification and elimination of poisons become compromised but so will also thousands of other biochemical reactions that likewise are dependent on the presence of these critically important biochemicals.

The key point is that the depletion of the “Mighty 90” that follows the entrance of drugs/toxins into the body, and the subsequent increases in detoxification activity may show up as a breakdown in any of the countless biochemical processes that occur in the body. Respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous system dysfunctions are especially likely. as these systems require large amounts of nutrition. The same is true of the digestive system and the skin. In fact any pathology is possible under conditions of nutrient deficiency, BUT because these disease symptoms may not be directly linked to specific pharmacological toxins they won’t be considered a side effect. These symptoms may not even show up on the package insert that by law must list all possible adverse reactions, but nonetheless, even if merely indirectly, they can be considered to be manifestations of the toxicity prescription drugs.

Thus the introduction of any poisons into the body, while obviously not in an organism’s interest, and which by definition can directly initiate toxicity, may also result in indirect negative effects simply by costing the body precious nutritional materials. Sure, the detox system is great and wonderfully efficient, but it needs raw materials to do its work. These raw materials are the essential vitamins, minerals and fatty and amino acids, and the more detoxification work that occurs, the greater the cost in these nutrients, and the more likely the appearance of side effects related to deficiency. All of us need the “Mighty 90” or “90 for Life”. The countless chemical reactions in the body depend on their presence, and because they can’t be made, they must be obtained and ingested. But if you’re on prescription drugs, which suck up nutrition like a dry sponge sucks up water, its extra important that you to be replacing them via diet and especially via supplementation. Focus especially on detox vitamin Like Vitamin C (500mg a day), Vitamin E (400 iu a day), and the B-complex (use a B-100 capsule several times a day), and sip on Youngevity’s Beyond Tangy Tangerine which is packed with all the B vitamins). Minerals like magnesium (1500mg a day), zinc (50mg a day) and copper (2-4 mg) a day can also be helpful. Hyaluronic acid (200mg a day) and glutamine (1-5 grams a day), while not strictly must-have biomolecules, can provide additional support for detoxification system.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Nutrition

Chapter 1 Proteins

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Proteins are complex molecules made up of individual building blocks called amino acids. While these individual sub-components have powerful health effects as individual molecules, there is no nutritional substance more important than those that emerge from stringing those amino acids together and forming proteins.

Protein
The word protein is derived from Latin where it refers to primary importance. There are anywhere from 50-200,000 different proteins in the body, which vary basedon their amino acid sequence, and this enormous number gives the protein structure it’s mind-boggling versatility. 75-80% of the dry weight of the body is protein and this includes enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, muscle, bone, teeth and tissue. All of the proteins of the body are custom designed for individual needs and built up from smaller building-block components called amino acids.

Proteins are synthesized originally from plants utilizing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen which are ubiquitous and nitrogen which must be extracted from the soils or from so called nitrogen-fixing bacteria which attach themselves to roots and do the extracting work for the plant. Animals then obtain their protein by eating plants or other animals. When the animal expires, the nitrogen from the proteins return to the earth where it is recycled into further protein production. In addition, one of the primary roles of dietary protein is to supply the body with nitrogen.

All foods can be thought of as being comprised of two categories of substance. Macronutrient (protein, fats and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and trace elements). Micronutrients serve to support utilization of macronutrients. And macronutrient’s main function is to help to produce the most critical substance in the body…protein! That’s right, as critical as fats and carbohydrates are, their main role is to stimulate the production of proteins. As we live and age our body is constantly breaking down. Fortunately, when we are thriving, this break down initiates a building up process and the life force that is responsible for this process is mediated by protein. The secret of health and “young-gevity” is to make sure that there are enough protein building blocks present to allow the formation of more cells and tissue as old cells and tissue die off. While some protein building blocks can be manufactured, many cannot. Thus the importance of generous and strategic ingestion of dietary protein.

When it comes to dietary protein, the most important thing to recognize is that not all dietary proteins are equally valuable. The measurement of protein value is referred to as “biological value” or BV and is measured on a scale of 1-100. The biological value of a given protein is based on the relationship between protein consumed and protein excreted. This gives an indication of how much consumed protein actually remains within the body to do work.

The so called “BV scale” features eggs as a perfect 100 with beef protein around 80, soy around 70 and wheat around 50. But the standout protein based on biological value is whey protein which scores a 104; it’s literally off the charts. And whey protein isolates, which are processed to reduce fats and lactose (as well as, unfortunately, many of the health-supporting, bioactive compounds found in the concentrated form) score an incredible 154! And whey protein is not only important because of it’s biological value.

Proteins are large molecules that are composed of smaller biding blocks called amino acids. Typically those composed of smaller groups of amino acids are called peptides 2-9 amino acids) and larger combinations (1-2000 amino acids long) are referred to as polypeptide or proteins. The link between amino acids is referred to as a peptide bond. The bulk of the human body (after water is removed) is composed of protein. There are subdivided into two types: fibrous and globular.

Fibrous proteins are elongated and insoluble in water. They play a structural and supportive role and are also involved in movement. The human body is held together by the action of fibrous proteins of collagen is the prototype (the precursor “colla-“ is Latin for glue) which is the most abundant protein in the human body, (almost 25% of the human body’s protein is collagen) , and possibly the most abundant protein on earth. There are at least 20 different types of human collagen similar in structure but different in distribution. In skin and connective tissue, collagen is found with a fibrous protein called elastin which as its name implies, has a highly elastic nature ( an elastin fiber can stretch 5 times as much as a rubber band!). When combined with the rigid nature of collagen the resulting networked matrix can provide strong support and resistance with flexible contractility. Collagen also forms about 1/3 of bone, where in combination with minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc it forms a powerfully resilient composite capable of mild flexibility and distortion.

A good rule of thumb for daily protein requirements is about ½ to 1 gram per pound of body weight. If you’re healing or exercising or under unusual stress you need more. Women who are pregnant also have higher protein requirements. You will find yourself craving sweets when you need more protein. The next time you have a hankering for a candy bar or a glass of apple juice, try some dense protein (eggs or powdered whey protein, for example) instead. When you’ve ingested enough protein, your sweet craving will disappear. Just think about how often you crave sweets on a typical day, and that should give you an idea of how much daily protein your body is required!

The best way to meet your protein need on a daily basis is smoothies. Try mixing protein powder with ice cold distilled water and essential fatty acids (more on EFAs later). Crack a raw egg in and add a couple of frozen organic strawberries. If you want to more sweetener try xylitol or stevia. Cocoa powder will make it chocolaty and vanilla extract will spike the chocolate flavor. The smoothie format is filling and easy to prepare. And it allows you to get a high concentration of protein. (30-40 grams easily).

The best time to take your protein supplement (or ideally, smoothie) is after working out. The body is “’primed” for the absorption of all nutrients after it’s been stimulated, and this is especially true of proteins. Later, when we talk about amino acids, we will discover that this priming function is especially significant with these protein building blocks. The next best time is bedtime. This will allow for more effective tissue regeneration and healing as well as improved hormonal production, all of which occur at night. The third best time is at breakfast , as pm healing and growth can cause nutrient depletion. Of course, during the day protein supplementation can help stave off munchies and/or the tendency to snack on sweets. Remember, protein requirements are often disguised as sweet cravings.

Proteins are large molecules that are composed of smaller biding blocks called amino acids. Typically those composed of smaller groups of amino acids are called peptides 2-9 amino acids) and larger combinations (1-2000 amino acids long) are referred to as polypeptide or proteins. The link between amino acids is referred to as a peptide bond. The bulk of the human body (after water is removed) is composed of protein. There are subdivided into two types: fibrous and globular.

Fibrous proteins are elongated and insoluble in water. They play a structural and supportive role and are also involved in movement. The human body is held together by the action of fibrous proteins of collagen is the prototype (the precursor “colla-“ is Latin for glue) which is the most abundant protein in the human body, (almost 25% of the human body’s protein is collagen) , and possibly the most abundant protein on earth. There are at least 20 different types of human collagen similar in structure but different in distribution. In skin and connective tissue, collagen is found with a fibrous protein called elastin which as its name implies, has a highly elastic nature ( an elastin fiber can stretch 5 times as much as a rubber band!). When combined with the rigid nature of collagen the resulting networked matrix can provide strong support and resistance with flexible contractility. Collagen also forms about 1/3 of bone, where in combination with minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc it forms a powerfully resilient composite capable of mild flexibility and distortion.

Perhaps due to the popularity, as well as the glut of products in the health food marketplace, their seems to be some confusion around some whey supplements. To clarify, whey protein is a blend of globular proteins derived from whey, which is in turn a by-product milk that is leftover from cheese production. There are three main types of whey protein supplements: whey protein concentrate which has the highest concentration of non-protein bioactive compounds (more on these substances later) whey protein isolate, which has been processed (via microfiltration or “ion exchange”) to remove fats and lactose but contains over 90% protein and whey protein hydrolysate, which has been partially digested for ease of absorbtion. The isolate and hydrolysate forms may be easier to use if allergies or digestive issues are a factor. For most folks whey protein concentrates, which are the least processed, serve as an effective protein source and the additional benefits of non protein bioactive compounds that support the immune system and act as natural ant-biotics as well as a significantly lower cost are a plus. Also, whenever it comes to proteins (and food in general) less processing is usually better. Look for new Zealand whey as this enlightened country has a great respect for dairy products and minimezes (or avoids) the use of hormones and anti-biotics.

Now while proteins come in over 100,000 forms they are all built up from around 20 components called amino acids. You can think of amino acids like beads on a string and the proteins as the final necklace. The functionality of the protein necklace depends upon its amino acid beads. The term amino refers to the ammonium molecule which can be found somewhere in an amino acid and the acid refers to the portion of the amino acid that is (logically) acidic. According to Eric Braverman, who has written extensively on amino acids, when the when the acidic portion is removed the remaining amine can function as a messenger in the nervous system, and when the amine portion is removed, the remaining acid can be used in numerous biochemical processes including detoxification and energy production.

Update

Now you can sit back, relax and watch the “The 8 Chapters of Good Nutrition” on video.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in 8 Chapters of Good Nutrition, Nutrition