Cholesterol

Cholesterol and Sugar

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

(PharmacistBen) A very strange cultural myth has somehow become health dogma (defined as an authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolute truth) despite little definitive evidence to support it. A biochemically ignorant speculation and hypothesis (experiment) that many of us have bought into is that you can poison your body and your body’s cholesterol manufacturing system with cholesterol lowering drugs, and somehow be the better for it.

Cholesterol and Sugar

By David-i98 via Wikipedia Commons

This is very important as millions of Americans (an astounding 1 out 8 or 9 Americans) are on one or another. One out of every 4 adults over the age of 45 is on a statin drug. This, despite the fact, that there are hundreds of studies demonstrating their toxicity and relationship to all kinds of health issues ranging from muscle pain to brain and memory problems. Stain drugs have even been linked to diabetes and cancer; two of top three the leading causes of death.

Cholesterol control is best thought of as sugar control. There’s a reason why diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol go hand in hand. But the thing about diabetes is that the designation of it (or the determination of it) is arbitrary. That’s right! Whether or not you’re officially considered a diabetic is arbitrarily determined by the magic of the medical model and the black magicians who come up with so-called diagnostic standards.

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are three main tests that determine whether or not you’re a diabetic. The A1C test measures blood glucose as an average over the course 2 to 3 months. You’re considered a diabetic if you’re A1C score is greater than 6.5%. The Fasting Blood Glucose test is the second test doctors use to assess diabetes. As the name implies, you have to fast for at least 8 hours before this test, and you’re considered a diabetic if your blood glucose is over 126 mg per dl of blood (which works out to about a teaspoonful of glucose for the entire gallon or so of blood that circulates in the average human body). The third test is called the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, and that measures blood sugar before and after you drink a super sweet glucose drink. If your blood sugar is over 200 after you take an oral glucose tolerance test, the doctor will pronounce you officially a diabetic.

The problem with these tests is no one really knows just exactly what a healthy or appropriate blood sugar should be. All of these numbers and determinations are based on bell curves, reference values, and statistics. Human beings are individuals. To take care of our health, we have to recognize our specific, individual biochemical nature. To superimpose statistics and bell curves on top of individuals is BAD SCIENCE.

Does it make sense to anyone that if your fasting blood sugar is recorded as 125 mg per dl, you are non-diabetic, but if you’re at 126, all of a sudden you have a disease? If you’re at 125, you can go about your business as usual because you’re healthy. No, our blood sugar is still way too high, and just because the medical model hasn’t officially pronounced us diseased, our sugar chemistry is definitely wacked, and we are most assuredly not healthy.

Pretty much all adults (or at least those who are subsisting on the SAD) can assume that blood sugar control is not good. Dysglycemia is part and parcel of our modern lifestyle and of the aging process. A sure sign that your blood sugar is starting to get thrown off is a pot belly. Do you know ANYONE who doesn’t have a little pooch going on? How many people are able to say their gut is the same size when they’re 40 as when they are 20? High blood pressure is another dysglycemic red flag and, most assuredly, so is elevated blood fats and cholesterol.

Think cholesterol and blood fats, think blood sugar. The best way to lower your cholesterol naturally is to lower blood sugar by eating less food that spikes blood sugar and by eating less food in general. Dysglycemia is a food and eating health issue; it’s not a drug issue. Because elevated blood cholesterol is about dysglycemia, if you want to lower your blood cholesterol, change the way you eat: more protein and less sugar. And EAT MORE FAT, and EAT MORE CHOLESTEROL!! (I know this is contrary to all the conventional crapola that you hear from mainstream lobbyist groups, but they care more about your money than your health.) Organizations (really, big business corporations) like the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have presided over the biggest increases in heart disease and diabetes IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. When, in fact, the more cholesterol you eat, the less cholesterol your body makes! In other words, cholesterol-containing foods are nature’s non-toxic, healthy statin drugs. Tell that to the next boneheaded medical doctor who warns that you better start taking a toxin that poisons the liver cells so they can’t produce this incredibly important biomolecule!

In addition to consuming cholesterol, using sugar-metabolizing supplements can help. The Chromium and Vanadium in the product Sweet Eaze can help lower blood sugar and can lower blood cholesterol. The Sweet Eaze is like a natural statin drug without the drug toxicity. The B-vitamins are incredibly important for blood sugar metabolism. Beyond Tangy Tangerine is loaded with the B-vitamins. If you’re a diabetic (and remember we all are to some extent), you would be very wise to use some BTT after all sweets as well as starchy meals (bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.). Thiamine is especially important for lowering blood sugar. Niacin is one of the most critical of all nutrients for helping the body process sugar. And not coincidentally, niacin is one of the most important nutrients for the liver, and is just as effective at lowering cholesterol as statin drugs. You’ll get a good dose of niacin in the Beyond Tangy Tangerine, but if you’re seriously concerned about elevated blood cholesterol, you might want to add in a 100mg daily dose of time-release niacin too.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Good Cholesterol, Bad Cholesterol

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Good CholesterolDid you know that HDL and LDL are NOT cholesterol? Did you know that there are no biochemical entities called good cholesterol or bad cholesterol? And, did you know that cholesterol is an incredibly important biological chemical, maybe the most important in the body and to this day, there has been no definitive link established between cholesterol in the blood and heart disease?

Given that there were 174 million prescriptions written for statin drugs in 2010 and tens of millions of Americans are currently on or have been on these cholesterol-lowering medications, it may be important to delve into some of these ideas a bit further. HDL and LDL are abbreviations for High Density Lipoprotein and Low Density Lipoprotein. They are transport molecules that carry cholesterol (among other substances) throughout the body. Although the cholesterol contained in both of these substances is exactly the same, HDL is said to be “good” because it delivers cholesterol to the liver and LDL is said to be “bad” because it carries cholesterol from the liver to the arteries where it is used as a precursor to dozens of critical biochemical substances including cortisol, Vitamin D, DHEA, pregnenolone, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and many other reproductive hormones.

It also serves as a parent compound to numerous skin moisture factors. And it is a critical component of the membrane that surrounds each of the estimated 100 trillion cells in the body.

Given the utter lack of evidence that cholesterol in its non-oxidized form has any causal link to heart disease and that the guidelines for supposedly healthy blood cholesterol levels are determined to a large degree by the drug companies that make billions of dollars by selling cholesterol-lowering medications, it may make sense to think long and hard before filling or refilling your next statin drug prescription.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Your Heart

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

The human heart beats over 100,000 times a day, 40 million times a year 3.5 billion times in a typical  lifetime, pumping blood over 60,000 miles of circulatory highway.  It generates an electrical field 50 times stronger than the brain, that can be measured several feet outside the body.  It’s got brain cells in it, it produces hormones and most of us never even give this incredible biological system a thought.  That is, unless it gets sick.  And, unfortunately, the odds of that happening are higher than you may think.  Heart disease, is now the leading cause of death in America and as of 2006,  81 million people had some form of it, whether it be hypertension, angina, stroke, MI or heart failure.  That’s almost one out of 4 Americans.  Over 1/3 of deaths are caused by heart disease, so clearly this is something we want to be looking at.  The good news is overall mortality has been declining as we begin to understand the impact of our lifestyle choices on our circulatory systems and our heart.  Heart and its Blood VesselsThe good news is that as our understandings around improve, so can our overall mortality.  In a study of almost 43,000 men that was published in the journal “Circulation” it was found that men who adopted all of the low-risk behaviors were 87 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease during the study period compared to men who adopted none of the behaviors.  Furthermore researchers estimated that 62 percent of all “coronary events” that occurred during the study period may have been prevented if all members of the study population adopted the lifestyle factors.  Now folks we don’t need research and we don’t need studies to prove to us that the health of the heart as with the health of the body can be enhanced by lifestyle choices.  That means exercise, watching what we eat,  no smoking,  relaxation and of course nutritional supplementation.  With an emphasis on nutritional supplementation!  Indeed, there’s no organ system in the body that has evidenced the powers of nutritional supplementation more than the cardiovascular system.  You want some tips for your ticker?  OK well, here ya’ go!  There’s probably no more important group of nutrients for your heart than the B-complex.  Now probably most of you have heard about the B-complex, but here’s a couple of things you probably didn’t know.  You never want to take individual B vitamins without taking the group.  The B-complex is, as the name implies a complex.  They work together.  While sometimes it’s instructive to talk about each of the B-vitamins and their roles individually, it important to never lose track of the fact that they appear in nature together, and they work together.  They each support each other. So if , for example you want to work with blood fats, triglycerides and cholesterol and your taking Vitamin B3, niacin which has been shown to have some dramatic effects on lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need Vitamins B1 Thiamine, Folic acid and Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B5 among others of the  of the B complex.  They all work together as a team.  Same idea if you’re taking Vitamin B12 for energy or as anti depressant or Vitamin B5 for treating acne.  Each component of the complex acts to support each of the other components.  And here’ another point to keep in mind.  When your body attempts to excrete a particular B-vitamin it tends to do it in a complex.  So if, for example, you’re taking Vitamin B3 for your triglycerides, when your body excretes the B#, it will do it with any B1, B2, B5, B12 etc that’s in the system.  If you’re not taking additional amounts of these vitamins, you can actually cause deficiencies.  So make sure you’re taking the entire B-complex. And taking it in generous amounts.  It’s water soluble so you’re gonna be urinating out what’s not used right away, so you’re levels may not be where you need them to be if you’re only taking a B-vitamin pill once or twice a day.  That’s why I like my patients to be using B-complex powders and liquids that can be sipped on throughout the day.  We want to be careful about using nutrients like we use pharmaceuticals.  Oh you have arthritis, take niacin.  Menstrual cramps take B6, you’re depressed take B12.  That’s called allopathic nutrition and it’s just another way we try to monetize good nutrition.  Sure Thiamin, Vitamin B1 helps with insulin and blood sugar.  Riboflavin, Vitamin B2 deficiency is associated with migraine headaches.  B6, pantothenic acid is great for stabilizing excess skin oils, B6 is well known for helping woman who are experiencing female problems, be they estrogenic cancers, premenstrual breakout or morning sickness.  And of course the well documented link between mood and energy levels and Vitamin B12.  But remember friends, they’re all working together as a complex and they are excreted together as a complex.   And they are found in nature as a complex.  So, you want to make sure, even if you’re taking high doses of one B-vitamin for a specific reason, that you’re taking generous amount of the entire complex.

Then there’s that good old standby Vitamin C.  Vitamin C is like that spouse or relationship that you have that you just don’t appreciate, cause it’s there very day.   You see most of us get enough Vitamin C to prevent full blown deficiency disease.  This makes us take our relationship to Vitamin C for granted.  What I mean to say is that while we may have an OK relationship with Vitamin C, a relationship that keeps us out of dramatic trouble, hardly anyone gets the amount of Vitamin C that’s required for optimal functioning of multiple systems in the body.  Vitamin C is so critical for the functioning of a cell, that it actually has a doorway on the membrane of a cell so that it can access the inside of cells.  That is an amazing fact that underscores the vital nature of this powerful nutrient that most of us don’t appreciate or get nearly enough of.  Dr. Mathias Rath has written extensively about this in several books including one with the very catchy title: “Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks, But People Do”.  Dr. Rath, who is a highly renowned physician and a colleague of the famous Vitamin C pioneer Dr. Linus Pauling says that animals don’t get heart attacks because they produce large amounts of Vitamin C.  That’s right, for some unknown reason only humans, gorillas and certain types of guinea pigs don’t make Vitamin C.  All the other creatures in the animal kingdom make large amounts of this vital nutrient.  Under normal circumstances the daily amount produced by animals , adjusted for comparison to a 150lb human, is somewhere between 3,000 mg and 15,000 mg, with an average of 5,400 mg.  And yet the RDA for adults in this country is 60mg.  Are you kidding me??!!  60mg??!!  A mouse produces the adjusted equivalent of 2300mg a day and when it’s under stress it produces the equivalent of 20,000 grams a day!!!  So now, let me ask you something do you think it’s possible that maybe the typical American who’s not supplementing and getting his Vitamin C from arrange juice (a glass of orange juice, by the way, has around 80 or 90 mg of Vitamin C) may be deficient.  And given all the roles Vitamin C plays in the body, especially in cardiovascular health, you can begin to C why we may have a hidden nutritional deficiency going on here.  And by way, so much for getting all your nutrients from food!  Vitamin C is absolutely critical for the production of collagen.  Without it you simply can’t make collagen.  And without enough you simply can’t make enough collagen.  Collagen is required for vascular health, because blood vessels maintain their strength and elasticity largely on the strength of this vital protein.  In fact, when collagen in arteries and veins becomes old or weakened that’s when we’re at highest risk of stroke aneurysms and other cardiovascular issues.  Oh, by the way, on of the bodies mechanisms for patching up weak vessels is to use cholesterol as a glue.  That’s why elevated cholesterol levels sometimes, not always, but sometimes precede heart attacks.  And please pay no attention to the silliness around cholesterol lowering drugs and reduction of heart disease.  The facts according to the Framingham study, which is a 50 year study that’s produced over 1000 scientific papers are: now listen up here: for each “1% mg/dL drop in cholesterol there was an 11% increase in coronary and total mortality”. So, don’t be talking to me about lowering cholesterol to protect the heart.  I’ve said it many times on this program: to poison the body to stop it from producing chemistry is just plain BAD MEDICINE and BAD SCIENCE!!  If you cholesterol levels are high there are simple and natural ways to lowering them that do not involve drugs.  Permit me to repeat:  You don’t need cholesterol lowering drugs!  We’ll address that whole can of worms in a posting to come…

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Cholesterol and Computer Chips

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

The electrical nature of the human body has been explored by scientists and intrigued researchers who study this stuff, for almost 200 years.  And this week’s edition of New Scientist magazine has a great story on electrical fields and cardiovascular disease that is sure to add to the fascination.

It turns out that something called “ferroelectricity” (the property non-ordinarily electrical  materials have to store energy), plays a significant role in heart health.  Even though ferroelectricity is a specific type of electrical energy, non-technical readers of this post can simply think of it as plain old household electricity (whatever that is!).

Cholesterol and Computer Chips This interesting electric phenomenon has been exploited by computer engineers for its information storing properties (as always electricity equals information),  And now its being explored as a way to manipulate the cholesterol adhering properties of artery walls.  It seems that cholesterol also has an electric nature and this may be one of the reasons it “sticks” to arteries.  And this is what has cardiovascular researchers so excited.  Scientists in Portugal are reporting in this month’s version of Advanced Functional Materials that amino acids in the aorta, the heart’s most important artery,  are also  potentially electric and it is believed that this may impact the of the formation of aortic cholesterol plaques.  Considering that plaque formation and hardening of the arteries are the leading cause of heart disease and death, these findings may lead to important advances in cardiovascular health.  In fact, some researchers believe that a future generation of cardiovascular drugs may work by changing the electric properties of the vessels of the heart, rendering them inhospitable to cholesterol “sticking”.  According to Jiangsu Li a scientist at the University of Washington, it’s possible that “drugs of the future could have a certain electric charge that could be transferred to an artery wall.”

And what’s even more interesting is they may lead to the development of molecules, like the heart’s electrical amino acids, that can actually be used as information storage devices, in much the same way that electric memory chips store information in our home PCs.  Wouldn’t it be cool to have biological molecules like amino acids function as little information storage devices?  Or, could it be possible the divine force/evolution has already beaten us to the punch!

Top 3 Electrical Nutrients for the Heart
 
  1. Essential Fatty Acids
  2. Vitamin C
  3. Taurine
 
Interesting Bio-electrical Facts
 
  • pH is really a measurement of electrical energy.  An acid pH  (0-7) is an excess of electrical charge, while an alkaline pH (7-14) represents relatively reduced electrical energy.
  • The heart generates an electrical field that can be measured up to 10 feet outside the human body.  That means that there is literally a huge interlocking electrical field surrounding our little blue planet that’s composed  of smaller fields, emitted from 7 billion human hearts, merging into one big field of electrical energy!
  • Water conducts electricity.  Drinking water and maintaining tissue hydration helps keep the maintain a healthy bio electric field.  Dehydrated athletes’s and regular people too can experience a rapid increase in energy and a sense of well being when hydration is restored.
Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

More on Cholesterol and Hardening of the Arteries

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Are you on a statin drug? Is your doctor obsessed with your HDL or LDL statistics? Are you concerned about heart disease.

If you answered yes to any of the above you’re gonna want to read this post about cholesterol and the silliness around cholesterol-mania; this crazy idea that lowering cholesterol levels by poisoning the liver is somehow an appropriate strategy for reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Lowering cholesterol production in the liver pharmacologically is a biochemically ignorant health strategy. There are however, some very effective strategies, nutritional strategies that can very effectively reduce the risks of atherosclerosis that is hardening of the arteries. And by the way atherosclerosis doesn’t just cause heart problems.

Oyster Mushroom with lovastatinAll the arteries in the body can become sclerotic, which simply means hardened. So sclerosis is clearly a health issue and the fact that cholesterol is present in the hardened patched inside the arteries is not evidence that cholesterol is the cause or that lowering cholesterol manufacturing in the liver is appropriate strategy. However there are some very effective nutritional strategies for reducing atherosclerosis and unlike the biochemical lunacy that is behind the use of the stating drugs, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, chromium, lowering blood sugar levels, lowering insulin.

There are literally dozens of different ways you can keep your heart healthy without touching a drug, going to a doctor, needing health insurance help or any other mainstream medical technique we’re told we have to do. In the world of nutrition when we talk about some of these nutrients, one of the most important facets is this feature that supplements have that makes them useful in a whole variety of ways. You know Vitamin C helps with skin and insulin and the liver and the brain and the adrenal glands etc. Calcium for bones and blood pressure and the heart and the brain and perhaps no more nutrient is as significant as magnesium which in addition to being calcium’s partner and involved in over 300 different chemical reactions in the body is also one of the most common nutritional deficiencies.

The bottom line is: If your doctor has “ordered” you to be on a statin on some other cholesterol lowering drug, you do have options, nutritional non-toxic alternative that you may want to consider.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health