Ben Fuchs

Ben Fuchs is a nutritional pharmacist from Colorado. He specializes in using nutritional supplements when other healthcare practitioners use toxic pharmaceutical drugs.He is the founder and formulator of Truth Treatment Systems for skin care, host of The Bright Side syndicated radio show, a member of Youngevity's Scientific Advisory Board, health expert and frequent guest on Coast to Coast am with George Noory."The human body is a healing and regenerating system, designed divinely to heal & renew itself on a moment to moment basis." "Take charge of your biochemistry through foods and supplements, rather than allow toxic prescription drugs to take charge of you." ~Ben Fuchs
Ben Fuchs is a nutritional pharmacist from Colorado. He specializes in using nutritional supplements when other healthcare practitioners use toxic pharmaceutical drugs.He is the founder and formulator of Truth Treatment Systems for skin care, host of The Bright Side syndicated radio show, a member of Youngevity's Scientific Advisory Board, health expert and frequent guest on Coast to Coast am with George Noory."The human body is a healing and regenerating system, designed divinely to heal & renew itself on a moment to moment basis." "Take charge of your biochemistry through foods and supplements, rather than allow toxic prescription drugs to take charge of you." ~Ben Fuchs

Mental Health, Sugar and Insulin

Mental Health, Sugar and Insulin

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

One of the most important mental health references in my library is called “Insulin Treatment in Psychiatry”. It was published in the 1950s and it provides ample evidence of how critical changes in blood sugar chemistry are for mental and emotional well-being. There are chapters with titles like “Biochemical Changes in the Brain Occurring During Insulin Hypoglycemia” , “Insulin Therapy in Schizophrenia” and “Trends in Insulin Treatment in Psychiatry” that provide proof positive that manipulations of blood sugar can play a crucial, non-pharmacological role in improving mental health.

Insulin is an anabolic (growth) hormone with many properties, the most striking of which is its ability to encourage fat cells to absorb sugar (glucose) and store it as fat. But what was recognized by old-time medical researchers, many decades ago, was the fact that this same hormone, as well-known as it was for its role in blood sugar control, was also a potential tool for psychiatrists treating various mental disorders.

Why is this so important? Well, the average American is ingesting over 140 pounds a year of sugar and another 60 pounds or so a year of high fructose corn syrup. In 1960 the amount Americans consumed was less than 100 pounds a year of sugar and zero pounds of high fructose corn syrup. If it is indeed true that there is an insulin connection to mental illness, considering the seeming epidemic in mental disorders 21st century Americans are confronting, one is forced to question how much is related to insulin and associated issues with blood sugar.

This question becomes especially significant in the case of children who are the most obvious and notorious consumers of the sweet stuff. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at any given time, one out of five American children is suffering from some kind of mental illness. That’s anywhere from 7.7 to 12.8 million kids! 30 to 40 percent have ADHD, 10% suffer from an anxiety disorder, and at any given time, 1 out of thirty-three will be clinically depressed and 3 out of 1000 will be diagnosed as schizophrenic.

The statistics for adults are no less alarming. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in four Americans over the age of 18 suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder.

If you go to a physician or psychiatrist and leave with diagnosis of depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD or some other mental health issue, it’s unlikely anyone will be questioning your diet or suggesting nutritional supplements. In fact, the odds are pretty good that you’re going to get a prescription (or two or three) for a psychotropic drug. In a one year survey period from 2006 to 2007, there were 472 million mental health prescriptions written. That’s almost 10 percent of the total annual number of prescriptions written in the U.S. There are over 170 prescription drugs used for mental health and there are more on the way. According to the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, there are 313 new drugs in research and development that are designed specifically to treat a variety of mental health concerns.

If you are suffering from some kind of mental illness, or you or your children are on a prescription drug that you want to get off of, or if you are being pressured by a well-meaning physician or loved one to start taking a prescription drug, please understand that you have options. And one of the most important ones involves (surprise, surprise) blood sugar and insulin.

Insulin Treatment In Psychiatry Insulin Treatment In Psychiatry

Contributing Authors Include Hans Hoff, Joseph Wortis, Ivan Bennett, And Many Others. Proceedings Of The International Conference On The Insulin Treatment In Psychiatry Held At The New York Academy Of Medicine, October 24-25, 1958.

Insulin Treatment In Psychiatry

Laying off the sugar and refined carbohydrates is the obvious first step. But “just say no” doesn’t usually work. Will-power is relatively useless when it comes to resisting sugar. The best way to wean yourself blood sugar and insulin spiking foods is to increase intake protein and essential fatty acids. It’s probably a good idea to start off all meals with a protein powder drink and 3 to 9 Omega6/Omega 3 capsules or a couple of teaspoonful of a good EFA liquid-like Udo’s Choice. Then make sure you’re getting all the nutrients that help the body process sugar. The B-vitamins in liquid form are very important. Vitamins B1 and B3 have specific sugar-metabolizing properties. (Interestingly, Dr. Abram Hoffer used to use these two nutrients as medications in his protocol for treating schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.). Taking 50mg a day of Zinc picolinate and 2000 mg of chelated Magnesium would probably be wise. And, the minerals Chromium and Vanadium are well known for improving insulin response and blood sugar levels. There are many more supplements available for stabilizing blood sugar, and ultimately improving and helping maintain mental health. We’ll be getting to those in future posts.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Beware Ezekial Bread!

Ezekiel Bread
By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

I’ve gotten a few questions lately about this stuff called Ezekiel Bread, which a type of bread that’s made largely from grains and beans that have been sprouted. The entire ingredient deck from this particular form of bread includes various organic sprouted grains (wheat, barley, spelt and millet), something called organic malted barley (which acts as a source of sugar and is used to feed by beer brewers to feed yeast), sprouted beans (soy and lentils), water, yeast and salt, Ezekiel bread is named for the prophet Ezekiel, who in the bible was given a recipe for making bread. Ezekiel 4:9 says: “Take also unto yourself wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make yourself bread of it…”

The manufacturers of this stuff follow the recipe and make their product which they call Ezekiel bread. It’s a good thing they didn’t read any further when they came up with the recipe because three verses later in Ezekiel 4:12 we learn that God wants to add other stuff to the recipe. Specifically human feces! The exact line from the bible reads: “And thou shall eat it as barley cakes, and thou shall bake it with dung that cometh out of man…”!!

Ezekial BreadIt cannot be argued that sprouted breads are healthy choices when compared to regular bread. The minerals in the grains are more available to the human digestive system and they contain more protein. But that does not mean that these types of bread are overall healthy foods, especially if you have sugar problems.

The difference between sprouted breads and regular bread is mostly in the fact that while the latter is made from wheat flour, which is ground up wheat kernels, sprouted bread, is made from wheat kernels that have already sprouted. Because sprouts use up the sugar in the wheat kernels to make protein, Ezekiel bread has less sugar and more protein. But, because the kernels are typically not sprouted all the way, there is still sugar in Ezekiel Bread, not as much as there is in regular bread perhaps, but unless the kernel is completely sprouted and there is nothing left but the shell, you are still getting sugar. Just check out the nutritional facts that are printed right on the label. Every slice of Ezekiel Bread has 15grams or three teaspoonful of sugar in it. And most people are eating 2 or 3 slices. That means you’re looking at 6 teaspoonfuls of sugar if you’re eating a couple of slices. If you eat 3 or 4, that’s 9 to 12 teaspoonfuls of sugar. It’s not ordinary “table sugar”, its starch but it’s still going to get turned into sugar in your body, and it will raise blood sugar and create an insulin response.

One of the most obvious red flags when it comes to sprouted breads like Ezekiel Bread is that fact people really like it! And what is it that makes Ezekiel Bread such a popular alternative among the blood-sugar -conscious folks who try it? It’s probably not the fat because there’s only about ½ a gram of fat per slice of the stuff. And it’s probably not the protein, because there’s isn’t a lot of protein either. There’s a little fiber, but people don’t exactly go crazy about fiber. And you don’t see a lot of folks going out looking for sprouted barely or millet either. The reason people like Ezekiel Bread is the same reason people like most of the foods they eat. It’s the carbs! And the carbs in this sprouted bread are the same as the carbs in any kind of bread, (although the fiber, can slow down the release of the sugar).

Any way you describe it, the facts it is carbohydrates mean sugar! An average slice of white bread has around 20-25 calories, but an average slice of Ezekiel bread has 80 calories. There are over 3 times more calories in a slice of Ezekiel bread then there is a slice of white bread. And these are sugar dense calories. In fact NOT including the fiber (which is non-caloric), almost half the calories from Ezekiel Bread come from carbohydrates/sugar. It may not be pure sucrose or table sugar. It may be in the form of starch, but it will still have an effect on your blood glucose. 3 teaspoonfuls of sugar per slice! Ezekiel bread does have some protein value, so it’s not as bad as white bread or cake or pasta, which are awful and empty foods, but it’s still a load of sugar; sugar that you don’t need.
This is why we have to be savvy, why we have to be nutrition label readers. No one can deny that sprouted breads are better that regular bread, but if you are diabetic or concerned about blood sugar I’d avoid them. And, if you have leaky gut problems or Celiac Disease, or any digestive issues, it important to recognize that sprouted bread still contain gluten and allergenic proteins.

Sprouts are great, but Ezekiel Bread isn’t sprouts and it doesn’t taste anything like sprouts In fact it looks and smells and tastes like bread. A heavy, thick somewhat unusual bread but a “bread” nonetheless.

If we’re having blood sugar problems, and we know we should be getting off the bread, we’re kidding ourselves if we think the solution is to start eating a different type of bread, Ezekiel or otherwise. What we should be attempting to do is wean ourselves off of the bread habit and the bread taste. I’m not beating up on Ezekiel or any other sprouted bread. I’m just saying let’s not be fooling ourselves. Look on the nutrition facts. If it’s says carbohydrates, that means sugar and that means elevation in blood glucose and insulin and that means beware if you’re a diabetic or pre-diabetic. There’s just no other way you can slice it.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Nutrition

Cell Membrane Goo is Good!

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

The body’s most critical control point for the manifestation of health or the lack thereof is a microscopic slice of biochemistry that is hardly ever addressed by mainstream medicine. It’s about 10 thousand times thinner than a human hair and it’s called the cell membrane. Not the cell mind you, but the nanoscopic flexible and intelligent (!) covering that surrounds it.

Cell MembraneNow in order to understand the significance of the cell membrane to the health of the body, we really have to use our right brain imagination skills and paint a picture in our minds eye. So think of a grape. That grape is going to be our imaginary cell. Except the grape we’re talking about is actually an intelligent life-form. Our grape/cell is an actually a little animal. A miniature animal that eats and excretes, makes proteins, has a nervous system and a digestive system, reproduces and fights off enemies and even thinks (processes information).

So picture a little grape-like blob. The circles you see on a piece of paper in a high school biology textbook that represent a cell are 2 dimensional representations. In reality a cell is a little blob, but if you looked at it without a high resolution microscope you probably couldn’t tell that it has a third dimension that makes it 3D, grape-like blob, not a circle. And this little blob is a universe of countless components, about ¼ the thickness of a human hair that has more working parts than a Boeing 747!! And, they are highly integrated parts, interacting with each other on countless parallel levels, meaning there are an infinite amount of simultaneous chemical reactions happening on the order of tens of thousands up to hundreds of thousands PER SECOND!!! A typical cell has something like 6 million working parts, all of which are communicating to each other instantaneously, on a parallel level that’s incomprehensible to our silly human heads (that are too busy with important stuff like Herman Cain, Obama and The Simpson’s and the Kardashians). And these 6 million parts are self-repairing and self adjusting. T hey are by definition “smart parts”.

Cell Membrane Goo is GoodNow this entire enchilada of parallel processing working parts is all covered by a skin, called the cell membrane. Just like the skin on our grape. The only difference between the skin on our grape and the skin that is a cell membrane is that the cell membrane is gooey. And this gooey quality is super important for cell health. Gooey is good!

Goo by its very nature creates the potential for smart. This is a very interesting biochemical phenomenon. The harder and more stiff a material is, the less potential it has for information processing. You notice our brain is gooey, it’s not solid. In fact, as it becomes less gooey with age it becomes less healthy. Alzheimer’s disease for example is associated with multiple hardenings of the brain’s goo which are technically called “plaques”.

The reason goo is smart is because it has an almost infinite different types of shapes it can take, that’s what makes something gooey, you can’t measure dimensions on it, because it always changing shape, that’s what goo is. Technically the shapes are called “conformations” and whenever somethings gooey it has infinite conformations. So, too put it simply: goo means flexibility and flexibility means information processing (smart). On the other hand, solidity means non-flexibility and non flexibility means non-information processing (dumb). To the cell and the body, Goo = smart AND solid = dumb.

Now in reality a biological structure like a cell or its membrane is NOT completely gooey. It will have certain structural components that make it, in actuality, partial goo or“semi-goo”. Remember, goo processes information. One of the ways information processing can be observed is in electrical (energy) conduction. So, our semi-gooey cell membrane is conducting energy. But only through its gooey part not it’s solid part. Because the energy can only flow through the semi-goo, the energy which flows, which is CONDUCTED, is actually only “semi-conducted”. So in essence goo is a SEMI-CONDUCTOR. Now what else can act like a semiconductor? A computer chip. In fact, all a chip is, is a semi conductor. So goo can act like a chip in a computer. Goo can act like an information processing system. But the goo needs be organized somehow (it’s only partial goo). You need organized goo NOT random goo. And nowhere in entire universe do we have a goo structure, that is as exquisitely architected and nano-organized as as a cell membrane. This skin, that coats the incredibly organized and synchronized internal milieu is itself structured with a profoundly deep and awe inspiring complexity that makes it a living breathing, self repairing and self adjusting computer chip. And, it plays a significant role in determining the health and condition of the inner cosmos of a cell.

So, the gooey cell membrane is where the action is in the disease process. Disease is largely about breakdowns in the cell membrane. Aging is largely about breakdowns in the cell membrane. And, many issues with hormone activity are largely about breakdowns in the cell membrane. Fortunately, cell membrane health can be regulated, in large part by decisions, lifestyle choices that we make involving food and nutrition. We’ll address those in a coming post.

-Health and the lack thereof always involves cells.
-Cells are 3D grape-like blobs, even though we represent them on paper as 2D circles.
-Cells are covered by a gooey membrane .
-The gooey membrane acts as an information processor, a veritable computer chip!
-The gooey, “smart” membrane plays an important role in determining how healthy the inner environment of a cell will be.
-In large, part maintaining cell membrane health involves healthy lifestyle choices.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Medical BS , Genetics and The Bright Side

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Sometimes, when we’re looking for the Bright Side of anything, we have to eliminate or expand upon ideas that until our search began were assumed to be true and inviolable. The world of health is filled with such ideas. It isn’t all that long ago, for example, that pasta was considered a health food. When I was growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, margarine was known to be a healthier choice for your bread or potatoes or corn on the cob than butter.

Recently the so-called “Central Dogma” has been promoted as the cause of both health and disease. The “Central Dogma” is a biochemical theory, first described by Francis Crick in the 1950s that basically states that once something is programmed genetically, it can’t be changed.

Francis Crick Genetics
In other words, once something is “in your genes”, that’s it. There are no other points, according to the “Central Dogma”, of control for the production of proteins, for the production of chemicals, for the production of of YOU. Now, whether or not the fact that Francis Crick was one of the guys who discovered DNA (at least that’s how the story goes), whether his role as discoverer, is important for his championing of DNA as the final determinant of how our lives and bodies show up is really besides the point.

The fact is that until very recently it was the opinion of medical professionals, scientists as well the average person on the street, that our diseases are in our genes and that’s that. If something is coded genetically cancer, for example, than cancer it is and cancer it will be. Doctors recommend the removal of organs typically the ovaries or the breasts, because of the supposed likelihood of the appearance of cancers based on genetic history. Christina Applegate’s preventive double mastectomy of a couple of years ago is just one of the more famous recent examples. Well fortunately the days of the preeminence of the genome are quickly coming to an end. What is being recognized today by more and more health care professional as well as their patients is that the structure and components of our environment have a large role to play in what kinds of expressions are produced by our genes. It’s all part of a science called EPIGENETICS, as in superior to or above genetics. Epigenetics was mentioned in Time Magazine as one of the top ten medical discoveries of 2009 and it basically frees us from the tyranny of our genes. In other words, no longer do we have to be held hostage to our genetic history. No longer do we have to be so terrified of our DNA that we feel that our only recourse against genetic disease is to have our organs removed.

The science of epigenetics is really what The Bright Side is all about, because it gives our choices an element of importance, it gives us an element of control, and that is good news! The science of epigenetics is our key to health and vitality, because unlike the science of genetics which relegates our role in our health to an “afterthought”, because after all: “it’s in our genes”, epigenetics states that what is produced, expressed at the genetic level is connected to the lifestyle choices we make. By the choices of the foods we eat, the supplements we take and even by the thoughts we think and the emotions we feel. All these factors are predominant influences in what shows up as our bodies and as our chemistry for better or for worse, because they all effect our genes.

Dr. Bruce Lipton who was one of the earliest proponents of the theory of epigenetics actually has pictures in his book “The Biology Of Belief” of black mice who were made albino by manipulation of the mother mouse’s diet. In other words what type of offspring was produced from a genetic perspective were changed by an epigenetic manipulation, in this case the mother’s diet. This well-reported and multiply verified phenomenon should be as significant to humanity as Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation was to American slaves in the mid 19th century. This new scientific reality is in essence humanity’s emancipation from genetic slavery. It does however make our choices much more important.

Epigenetics in effect makes us as conscious, volitional choice-making beings responsible for our health. And that’s the Bright Side, that’s the good news. Yes, your genes are control points for who and what we are, for the color of our skin and eyes and hair, for the production of mutations and malfunctions as well as for the extraordinary biochemical miracle the living body produces on a nanosecond basis. But, they are not fundamental. Rather, they are flexible. And they are flexible to or responsive to superior control points. In other words there are control points above genetics, epi-genetic and many of these epigenetic points are nutritional molecules. In fact gene activity depends on a wide variety of nutrients which can function as on-off switches. What this really means is that we can literally feed our genetics, for better or for worse. The latest scientific literature shows that genetics is not a hard-wired, fixed and rigid system, but rather a flexible and responsive biochemical milieu that adapts to environmental and chemical changes during the lifetime of it owner.

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