Osteoporosis, Blood Sugar and Insulin

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Osteoporosis is a textbook example of degenerative disease and affects nearly one out of 8 people in this country, mostly women. Degenerative disease is the leading cause of illness in this country, and a condition that affects nearly 70 percent of Americans. While awareness of the condition has increased dramatically over the last few years, which has seemed to lower the incidence of this potentially life threatening disease, it continues to escalate steadily in this country, and around the world.


By James Heilman, MD, via Wikimedia Commons

These days, even the most nutritionally obtuse person can tell you that taking calcium supplements can help strengthen the bone. More sophisticated aware nutrition minded folks may tell you about Magnesium and Vitamin D, and a so-called expert may even mention the importance of Vitamin K, zinc, and protein.
However, one of most significant keys to dealing with osteoporosis involves blood sugar and insulin, and hardly anyone ever addresses the importance of these two key health markers. Yet, in an article published in Annals of Endocrinology from December 2012, researchers bluntly remarked that “Diabetic osteoporosis (OP) is increasingly recognized as a significant co-morbidity of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2-DM)” , and further stated ”…elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are prone to develop OP. The insufficiency of insulin, the decreased insulin sensitivity….is important causes for OP in the patients with type 2 diabetes.”

Dysglycemia (a fancy way of saying messed up blood sugar) is tragic, and pervasive biochemical pathology with involvement in almost all degenerative disease. But, because blood sugar and insulin can be manipulated and controlled by our food choices, for better or worse, this is actually good news. In other words, if we change the way we eat we can change our blood sugar too!

And, as far as osteoporosis goes, it means one of the most important things you can do to keep bones from dissolving (which is essentially what osteoporosis is) is to stop eating the pasta! And the grains, and bread, and the cereal, and the fruit juice, and all the other blood sugar busting foods that form such a significant part of the Standard American Diet. And It wouldn’t hurt to throw in sugar metabolizing nutrients either. Alpha lipoic acid 200mg-400mg is a great blood sugar stabilizing supplement. Magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin A can help too. And then there are the B-Vitamins, best added to water and sipped on throughout the day.

Of course there’s more to building bone than just controlling sugar. Even if you just want to prevent osteoporosis, in addition to calcium, there’s lots of great under-appreciated and underutilized nutritional supplements that will help build and strengthen bone. Check out my favorites below. While by no means complete, it represents a great place to start if you’re looking to start an anti-osteoporosis nutritional program.

1. Protein – especially whey and egg. Bone soup is a good way to get bone building protein too.
2. Magnesium – the glycinate form is great. Use 1200mg a day.
3. Vitamin D3 – cod liver oil and adequate sun exposure (maybe 10-15 minutes a day 3 or 4 days a week) are the best ways to get this important nutrient.
4. Vitamin K2 – 5,000mcg daily. It’s a calcium magnet that helps harden bones.
5. Chromium Picolinate – helps stabilize blood sugar – 200mcg after meals.
6. B-Complex – use a powder form (Sanitas B-complex Power Blend or Youngevity’s Beyond Tangy Tangerine are both good sources) and add to water and sip all day.
7. Essential Fatty Acids – Udo’s Blend or Youngevity’s ultimate EFA caps are both good sources.
8. Vitamin C – Bones are 30% collagen, and you can’t make collagen without Vitamin C.-Take 5,000 to 10,000 mg a day.
9. Silica – Abkit Liquid Silica Gel is a good source, take maybe 1-2 tablespoons a day.
10. Hyaluronic acid capsules – 100 to 200mg a day. Your nails and hair will benefit too!
11. MSM (Sulfur) – 1000 mg a day. Extra benefit: it’s great for liver detox.
12. Vitamin A – Take 20,000 i.u daily. I call it Vitamin Anabolic. Important for building bone tissue and protein utilization. Take it with fatty foods or meals.
13. Zinc Picolinate 50mg a day – works synergistically with Vitamin A. It’s the anabolic mineral.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Adult Persistent Acne or APA

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben


  • Millions of Americans have Adult Persistent Acne
  • APA? Think adrenal and ovary/testes hormones
  • Causes as always: digestive, insulin, blood sugar, adrenal stress
  • Ovarian involvement sometimes results in cysts in the ovaries.  This condition is called Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Symptoms include obesity, blood pressure issues fertility development of body hair, loss of head hair and oily skin and blemishes
  • For all APA use nutrition, diet and lifestyle strategies, they work!


Think zits are for kids?  Think again!  According to The International Dermal Institute between 40 and 55 percent of the adult population age 20-40 have with low grade, persistent acne and oily skin.That means millions of unfortunate Americans and what’s even more disconcerting is the fact that dermatologists who refer to this condition as Adult Persistent Acne (APA) are, for the most part, impotent and clueless when it comes to addressing this difficult and unpleasant skin condition.  The accepted medical protocols for dealing with APA remain mired in the tired antiquated, decades-old saws of steroids and antibiotics or worse barbaric deep chemical peels using toxic substances and potential carcinogens  like croton oil, phenol or aminolevulenic acid.

Adult Persistent Acne APAWhen it comes to the biology of APA, no health condition screams adrenal and reproductive gland dysfunction louder. Both the adrenals as well as the ovaries/testes produce substances that regulate the skin oil production, pigmentation and skin cell growth that are the hallmark features of adult acne.

To put it simply and concisely, the symptoms of adult persistent acne are a classic case of hormone pathology.  And, hormone pathology is itself more often than not a reflection of digestive and blood sugar problems.

Food toxins and allergies can result in malabsorbtion of raw materials for hormone production In fact, one of the more poorly recognized causes of APA is food intolerance and digestive issues.  If you find that in addition to problem skin you have digestive health issues, including loose stools and/ or constipation, chronic heartburn bloating, gas, or simply general gastrointestinal discomfort and unpleasantness AND you’re breaking out, the chances are pretty good that you’re dealing with some kind of digestive related skin condition.  And once the digestive distress becomes long-term and chronic you’re very possible that you’ll end up dealing with adrenal stress which can then function as a secondary cause of problem skin.  This is especially likely if your facial blemishes appear as rashy and diffuse (spread out all over the face) and if they are showing up on the back or chest or other non-facial parts of the body.

Then there’s blood sugar connection to adult acne.  Elevations in insulin, the sugar controlling hormone are often involved in the development APA.   Once the blood sugar system become overwhelmed, the adrenal activity is unregulated. Many of the more common features of adult persistent acne, especially skin oiliness and hyper-pigmentation are a common sign of adrenal hormone activation.

Even more significant, the dermal distress of APA is more than merely an unsavory superficial skin condition.  The hormone pathology behind the appearance of blemishes, dark spots and oily patches can be the harbinger of much more serious health issues to come.  Because the gland chemicals that are involved in causing adult acne are largely cleared by the lymphatic system, it’s like likely the over the long haul APA can result in congestion in this significant circulatory conduit for biochemical waste.  Because the lymphatic system is charged with eliminating the acne-inducing toxic and old hormones over time congestion of lymph fluid is likely to occur.  Clogging of the lymphatic system may then manifest as immune activity and inflammation and causing even more adult acne, hyper-pigmentation and oiliness.  Ultimately lymphatic congestion can wreak even worse biochemical havoc; liver disease, heart disease and cancer are just some of the ways lymphatic congestion can show up.

As mentioned previously, the hormone issues associated APA may be related to blood sugar dysfunction.  And because of the close connection between blood sugar and female reproductive hormones, women are especially prone to blood sugar induced APA.  Over the course of years and decades of sugar abuse (the average American consumes nearly half a pound a day, far more than the human body is supposed to handling) chronic elevations in insulin are likely.  Insulin as growth inducing substance stimulates cell growth and division.  In the ovaries this rapid cell growth and division can cause cysts.  Ovarian cysts produce symptom hormones and this can be especially problematic for some women.   In fact, elevations ovarian hormones the resulting symptoms, collectively known as Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) include weight gain, hair loss and the oily skin and blemishes associated with adult persistent acne.

If you are one of the many unfortunate sufferers of APA don’t despair.  Because ultimately acne like all skin and health conditions is a biochemical/nutrient problem, there are many biochemical/nutrient strategies(as opposed to pharmaceutical) for dealing with APA. Below are my Top 17nutrients and strategies for addressing adult persistent acne:

1)    Zinc Picolinate ( 50mg a day) – best taken with 2mg of Copper chelate, important for blood sugar control as well as hormone production and balance

2)    Vitamin A (20,000 iu a day) – premier skin vitamin stabilized the growth of skin cells and sebum (skin oil) producing cells too

3)    Vitamin B5 (1000-200mg three times a day taking each dose with the entire B-complex) – key vitamin for skin oils and adrenal gland hormones

4)    Vitamin B3 (timed release 100-300 mg daily,taking each dose take with the entire B-complex) – anti-inflammatory, improves blood sugar control

5)    NAC (500-1000mg) a day – important liver support nutrient, improve hormone processing

6)    Selenium Monomethionine (600mcg a day) – detoxification of old hormone

7)    Glutamine (1000 mg a day) – general detoxification and anti-inflammatory properties

8)    MSM (2000mg a day) – detoxification, improve hormone elimination

9)    Vitamin C (5000-10,000 mg a day) – the “primal panacea”, good for everything.  Involved in hormone production as well as blood sugar chemistry

10)   Probiotics (80 billion units of multiple strains) – improves fat metabolism, detoxification and hormone processing

11)    Vitamin E (400 iu a day) – dramatic anti-inflammatory and healing properties

12)   Isolate and eliminate problem foods (dairy, grains eggs and legumes are BIG problem foods; ANY vegetable can be a trigger as well)

13)   Eat lots of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy) – improves hormone processing and detoxification.  Steam lightly if you have any thyroid issues

14)   Reduce intake of insulin spiking foods

15)   Reduce intake of ALL foods caloric intake, fasting can have a dramatic impact

16)   Slow down and deepen breathing, deep diaphragmatic breathing techniques daily to improve adrenal function

17)   Exfoliate and cleanse daily 2% salicylic acid toners and cleanser.  Keeping excess skin oils off of the face is important.  These secretions from oil glands, technically called sebum undergo chemical when they’re exposed to air that can cause inflammation and increase zittiness.  Proper and regular exfoliation will assure that potential poor clogging dead skin cells are removed off of the skin surface.

18)   Use Retinoic Acid cream or gel!!  It is by far and away the most important topical skin product you can use.   It improves all markers of skin health including hyper-pigmentation, oily skin and blemish formation.  It’ll even prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.



Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Bone and Tissue Building Nutrients

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

After breaking a bone, or being involved in any surgical procedure, making sure there are enough anabolic (building) nutrients present in the body, can be an important strategy for accelerating the healing process.  The same is true for anabolic requirements arising from exercise or simply to slow down the aging process.  The following are some important nutrients that can help speed up healing, improve tissue building associated with exercise and help stave off some of the breakdown affects associated with aging.

Bone & Tissue

  • SILICA POWDER – 100 to 150 mg a day

Silica is essential to skeletal development and aids in mineralization of bone.  Essential for both bone hardness and flexibility.  Improves collagen production.

  • MSM – 3-5 gm a day

Contains digestible, non-toxic sulfur a major requirement for bone, cartilage, and collagen building. Sulfur is also a critical component of detoxification enzymes.

  • CALCIUM/MAGNESIUM – 2gm/1gm a day

Primary mineral components of bone.  Involved in growth enzymes.

  • ZINC PICOLINATE – 50mg /day

Mineral component of bone.  Mineral component of protein-inducing enzymes involved in growth. Stimulates healing and healthy testosterone synthesis.

  • WHEY PROTEIN- 30gm/ 2-5 times a day

Stimulates growth of new tissue.  Stimulates bone growth.

  • EFAs –  3-9 Capsules/day

Initiates tissue growth activity.  Maintains circulatory fluidity.

  • BROMELAIN/PAPAIN- 1-2 gm/day

Helps dissolves scar tissue.  Accelerate healing, reduces swelling, bruising and pain associated with inflammation

  • VITAMIN K2 100mcg/day

Aids in bone remineralization.

  • SUNLIGHT (for VITAMIN D) – lots but don’t burn

Aids calcium deposition in bones.

  • VITAMIN D3 – 2500-5000 i.u./day

Aids calcium deposition in bones.

  • B-COMPLEX (especially FOLIC ACID) 1/8 teaspoonful /3 times a day Stimulates tissue growth processes.  Important in assimilation of dietary nutrients.
  • VITAMIN E- 400iu/day

Accelerates healing and tissue regenerative processes.

  • VITAMIN C – 1000mg/3 times day

Accelerates collagen production. Facilitates tissue development, healing processes.

  • SPIRULINA/KELP POWDER – 2-3 teaspoonsful/day

Important source of digestible, absorbable minerals.

  • BOVINE CARTILAGE – 1-2 gm/day

Accelerates healing, tissue growth.

  • VITAMIN A – 20,000 iu/day

Important source of absorbable minerals for bone/tissue growth, enzyme systems.

  • BONE SOUP –  as much as possible beef/chicken/fish bones soaked in water with veggies
  • HYALURONIC ACID 200-400mg/day

Important for anabolic support and connective tissue (collagen)  building.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Nutrition

Top 12 Tips and Tools for Easy Detoxification Part 2

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

While genetic tendencies (and epi-genetic factors) as well as stress and poor nutrition play an important role in illness, underlying almost all manifestations of poor health is toxicity. And I’m talking about both internal and external toxicity which are obviously related. Human beings have been saturating their outer and inner environments with poison since the dawn of history. These days, we actually enter the world as a toxic mess. Even newborn babies have been shown to have high levels of toxic pollutants. In 2005 Greenpeace published a report titled “Hazardous Chemicals in Umbilical Cord Blood” where they concluded that hazardous chemicals are a common occurrence in umbilical cord blood. Newborns tested out at a whopping average of 287 toxins, 180 of which were known carcinogens!

Easy DetoxificationToxic air can be filled with literally hundreds of deadly and carcinogenic compounds, (some like chemtrails intentionally deposited there for no “known” reason), not to mention radioactive waste from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima. When human fat biopsies are performed styrene, dioxins, xylene and dichlorobenzene among other unsavory, unhealthy and potentially carcinogenic chemicals shows up in 100% of cases. There are deadly chemicals in water too, fluoride and chlorine may arguably provide benefits, but no one can discount their truly toxic nature. Water is also a source of other unpleasant drinking material including prescription drugs and industrial (and even human) waste. Pesticides are an especially serious problem. Measurable levels have been found in breast fluid from mother’s milk around the world, including Eskimos living in the North Pole, thousands of miles from source of the nearest farm or fruit orchard. Internally there is no way to know exactly how much toxicity we’re dealing with, but it’s safe to say the average person’s detox system is probably being overloaded. Food, stress, trauma, experiences in addition to interfacing (really integrating) with our toxic external environment can put quite a load on the body’s ability to clean itself out and over time lots of nasty stuff can end up in various bodily fluids and tissues.

But it’s important to recognize that indeed we have a detox system. In fact the human body is remarkably well equipped to handle a lot of poison! But it needs certain substances to do its work. In a later post we’ll talk about the liver and what’s known as Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification, but for now let’s just say there are some key nutrients we should all be using to keep the poisons our bodies have to deal with the more manageable level. Maybe we’ve done such a number on our planet that there’s no way we can completely clean it up but let’s not forget that the human being grew up in a world filled with natural poisons too. There are chemical processes built into the body to allow it to detoxify and purify itself, but by and large these processes require raw materials in the form of nutrients. Last post we listed Part One of the top 12 Detox supplements, focusing on treatment and non-nutritional approaches. Below is Part two of the Top 12 detoxification nutritional supplements (with apologies to fans of the B-complex, alpha-lipoic acid, probiotics and fiber, which while important for detox, did not make this list) for supporting the body’s ability to detoxify in an unfortunately very toxic world.

1. MSM 500-1000mg daily, NAC 100-500mg daily. both contains sulfur which is a key player in biological detoxification. Sulfur attracts (chelates) heavy metals and is an important component of the glutathione system, perhaps the most powerful detox system in all of biochemistry. Provide protection from lead and mercury poisoning. Sulfur even has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s probably a good idea to use MSM (absorbable sulfur) and the sulfur amino acid cysteine in the form of NAC (so potent a detoxifier that it’s part of the emergency room protocol for liver poisoning) on a daily basis.

2.Selenium 200-400mcg daily – important for activation of the glutathione, the major human biological detoxification molecule. Protects fats from oxidation and is specific for protection from heavy metals like mercury. Selenium is the most important trace mineral for anti-oxidant defense. Powerful anti-cancer protectant, important for cardiovascular and thyroid health too. This is one you can take too much of so keep your daily dose under 800mcg daily. For optimum effects take as selenomethionine. Garlic, onions and cruciferous vegetables are great food sources of this important mineral.

3.Vitamin E 400 iu daily – Important for keeping fats in cell membranes and organs from oxidation and heavy metal assault. Important fro recycling anti-oxidant detox substances like Vitamin C and glutathione. Works synergistically with selenium. Tocotrienol form more protective than tocopherol form.. Especially protective for smokers (lung) and alcoholics (liver). Improves detoxification of pharmaceuticals. May also decrese the effectiveness of medications (which is of course a consequence of their toxicity). This one is difficult to get from foods so supplementation is a must.

4.Glutamine 1-5 grams daily- essential for the production of glutathione, the body’s major detoxification substance. Required for liver detoxification pathways and works synergistically with Vitamin C, E and selenium. Importance for digestive health also support detox functions. Most abundant amino acid in the body, relevant for health of all cells.

5.Vitamin C 1 to 10 grams daily – Spectacularly important nutrient for detoxification and immune system support. Works synergistically with Vitamin E, selenium and glutathione. Protects against cancer and heavy metal poisoning. Provides neutralizing protection from lead. May provide protection from chlorine. Sucrose (sugar) reduces its effectiveness. Especially effective against radiation. Improves elimination of toxins through bowel movements. Non-toxic in even very high doses.

6.Good Minerals– nutritional minerals protect against heavy metal poisoning by minerals with similar electromagnetic properties. Zinc protects against cadmium (smokers are especially at risk from cadmium in tobacco). Calcium, magnesium and zinc provide protection from aluminum. Iron, copper and zinc help may keep lead toxicity at bay. Iodine provides protection from bromine and fluorine and radioactive iodine (e.g. Fukushima). BTW, if you’re interested in testing your nutritional status, ask for an RBC (red blood cell) test. The most accurate measurements for nutrient levels and heavy metal toxicity are done directly on cells NOT plasma, the watery/protein portion of blood.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Toxic