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

Pharmacy Rx, Pharacakeia & Horus

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Pharmacy students are taught that the ubiquitous Rx prescription symbol refers to the Latin designation to take. But as it turns out that there’s another more mysterious and occult tradition associated with the well-known sigil that has come to be synonymous with all things pharmacy.

Pharmacy Rx, Pharacakeia & Horus

The Eye of Horus

Modern pharmacy’s early roots in 16th century Europe owes much of its basic tenets of “pharacakeia”, the science of making administering drugs, to early Greek medical practices. And the Greeks in turn assimilated much of their understanding of the healing arts from the Ancient Egyptians who works they revered.

The Egyptians regarded Horus as the father of medicine. Horus according to Egyptian theology was the son of the two primary Egyptian deities Osiris and Isis. According to the tale he was also the avenger of his father’s death at the hands of his wicked uncle Seth (later named Satan), brother of Osiris with whom he did battle, losing his left eye in the fight. Thoth, the god of wisdom and the patron deity of physicians and scientists, magically healed the eye and gave it back to Horus who used it as a remedy to restore his father Osiris to the world of the living.

Thus began the legend of the Eye of Horus which initially referenced Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, known as the Dog Star whose first appearance at the beginning of summer predicted the flooding of the Nile. Over time it was linked to the sun itself (The Eye of Ra) and then the sky; Egyptian hieroglyphs depict Horus as having the head of a falcon. From there it was a short leap to connecting the Eye to light and sight and later it became a powerful sigil representing healing and rebirth. Egyptians referred to the eye with the term “wedjat”, meaning “whole one” and in addition to wholeness (healing) they associated the symbol with protection, prosperity and abundance. Other variations of the Eye of Horus that can be found in the superstitions around the “evil eye” and it having been linked in metaphysical circles to the Hindu concept of the third Eye (or the pineal gland if you’re more scientific). And of course it shows up in modern culture in freemasonry’s all-seeing –eye in the pyramid as well as the eye associated with the dollar bill and the so-called Great Seal of the United States.

So what’s this got to do with pharmacy? Well as it turns out, at least according to some folks, the Eye of Horus bears an interesting resemblance to the Latin designation Rx. While pharmacy students learn that it is a directive to the patient there are those who believe it is actually an acknowledgment of the historical and occult foundations of the practice of pharmacy.

Check it out and see what you think:
Horus Rx
    

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Perspective

Avocado Soybean Unsaponafiables

Recently something called “Avocado Soybean Unsaponafiables” (ASUs) has gotten a lot of attention. Dr. (Wizard of) Oz and guests on his syndicated television show have raved about it. A European research review determined that it was beneficial for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip. And, according to U.S. National Library of Medicine, ASUs can help reduce the production of inflammatory agents secreted from the body’s defense (immune) system.

Avocado UnsaponafiablesAs the name implies, ASUs are derived from avocados and soy. But what exactly are “unsaponifiables”? Well, to understand unsaponafiables, we must first understand saponafiables.

Basically, there are two important classes of active materials we can get from plants. One can be turned into soap; the other can’t. Scientists call the soapy ones “saponafiable” and the rest are said to be “un-saponafiable”. Saponafiables called glucosides are a key ingredient in many “natural” cleansing products. For example, one specific type of glucoside called “decyl glucoside” is a standard issue foaming ingredient derived from the saponafiable components of corn. Unsaponifiables, on the other hand, while valuable are the parts of plants, including avocado and soy that you can’t clean your skin with.

Unsaponifiables account for the much of the nutritional value of plants. Sterols are a particularly beneficial type
“unsap” (as herbalists refer to the more unwieldy unsaponafiable term) nutrient that can help stabilize blood fats and lower blood cholesterol. They may have anti-inflammatory benefits too. Other unsaponifiables get deposited in the skin and eyes where they help protect delicate tissues from the sun. Most eye vitamins will contain a few unsaponifiables like lutein or zeaxanthin. Beta carotene is a particularly important skin health-supporting unsaponafiable that the body can convert into Vitamin A.
Unsaponifiables called terpenes can be used in skin care products to help improve the penetration of active materials. The skin makes its own version of terpenes, and when the ones made by plants are applied to the skin, they tend to gravitate towards the biological one found in the body’s largest organ (the skin). This makes terpenes and terpenes-containing plants extracts particularly effective at penetrating the skin surface into the lower, more active cutaneous layers.

Terpenes also have sun protection benefits. One in particular, called cinnamic acid, is found in cinnamon, citrus fruits, grapes, and Shea butter (made from the African Shea nut), and can detoxify solar radiation and provide a mild sun blocking activity. You can make your own sun protecting moisturizer by mixing some cinnamon with Shea butter, and adding a lemon or orange rind and red wine. Evaporate off the alcohol and water, and what is left behind will be tithe unsaponifiables.
And speaking of Shea butter, when it comes to plant unsaponafiable content, the remarkable African nut butter pretty much tops the list. While most contain 1-2 or maybe 3 percent unsaponifiables, unrefined Shea Butter contains 7 to 19 percent, although once refined and processed, it has much less. Besides the aforementioned cinnamic acid, Shea butter also contains skin-friendly unsaponafiable carotenoids and Vitamin E, both of which are sun protective.

Another important class of unsaponifiables called catechins is found in Green Tea, a beverage enjoyed by hundreds of millions of people around the world. One in particular, best known by its acronym EGCG, is responsible for the remarkable health benefits associated with drinking what is considered to be the world’s most popular drink. EGCG (which is much easier to say and write than the tongue-contorting designation it refers to: epigallicathechin gallate!) is renowned for its health benefits for the heart and circulatory system, joints and skin. ECGC can even help fight cancer. According to the ordinarily skeptical American Cancer Society, ECGC has been shown to act against laboratory-induced cancer cells. Other studies have indicated that EGCG may suppress the spreading of cancer cells and induce their spontaneous suicidal destruction.
In addition to ASU, another unsaponafiable-rich plant has recently become popular, this time in the world of hair care. It called Argan Oil, and you can find it as an active ingredient in many premium shampoos and conditioners. Unsaps from Argan, including polyphenols and tocopherols, have been touted for their anti-hair loss benefits, for moisturizing and softening hair, and for improving split ends and frizziness. And, in an article published in the Journal of Cosmetics in September of 2013, Argan Oil unsaponifiables were shown to provide protection against hair damage associated with coloring processes and dyes.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

About Hormones and Hormone Problems

I had just finished a talk, and as usual, folks were milling around looking to get some questions answered. A woman named Nancy steps out of the crowd. She’s in her early 50’s with a whole slew of symptoms that I’ve heard many times before; Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. Her moods are swinging like a cheap screen door in a winter storm and loss of libido may end her marriage. She’s carrying an extra 30 pounds of body weight, and no matter how she changes her diet, she can’t drop them.

Hormones and Hormone ProblemsShe, of course, knows it’s her hormones. At least that’s what she tells me. But when I ask her what exactly she means by hormones she really can’t come up with much of an answer. That’s because she has little understanding of what is meant by this catch-all term “hormones”, and Nancy isn’t alone. Women like Nancy come up to me after every presentation that I do. I receive letters, take phone calls, and answer texts and messages on this subject many times a week.

Modern scientific understanding of hormones is over a hundred years old, but do a random survey amongst your non-medical friends to see how many people could really explain what a hormone is and/or what it does. Probably not many, if any. How can we really understand how to address hormone related health issues without having a basic grasp of what these things are and how they work.

In order to understand hormones, we have to understand cells which are best thought of as little extraordinary animals. Each one of these creepy-crawly blobs of goo, so tiny it takes 1000 to make an inch, is studded with hundreds of thousands of sub-microscopic switches called receptors. When these switches are activated, stuff happens.

A hormone is nothing more than a chemical that activates those switches. It’s a bit more complicated in the sense that there are different hormones for different switches and because combinations of hormonal switches get activated simultaneously, but, in essence, it’s just a question of switches and chemicals, i.e. the hormones that activate them.

Because the body’s functions all result from the activities of cells, if it’s happening in the body, it’s happening because of hormones. Hormones can be thought of as messages; the very word “hormone” is Latin for: “I arouse to activity”. That means that we are healthy (or not) because of hormones. In fact, from a physical perspective, we are everything we are because of hormones. To say you have a hormone problem when you are sick is like saying you have a money problem when you’re broke. Or a mechanical problem if your car breaks down. Of course, it’s true, but it’s tautological (saying the same thing twice in different words) and not helpful for taking care of the problem.

We have two major types of hormones. One type is fast-acting and rapidly broken down. These are substances that activate quick biochemical functions such as nerve firings, muscle contractions, and various secretions in response to food or some kind of irritant. These quick acting hormones have names like “prostaglandins” and “leukotrienes,” and they live fast and die young. They allow cells to respond to their environment in a speedy fashion, and they’re quickly broken down. In the brain, these hormone chemicals are called neurotransmitters, and they’re associated with various moods and brain functions.
When most people talk about hormones and hormone problems, most of the time they are referring to the second type, more long acting hormone substances called steroids, typically the so-called male hormone testosterone and the so-called female hormone estrogen. I say “so-called” because it’s somewhat of a misunderstanding to refer to these hormones in this sex-specific fashion as both genders produce both substances. Nonetheless, despite the fact that there are dozens upon dozens of various hormone substances in the body, when women blame their hormones, they’re usually referring to estrogen; likewise, when males talk about theirs, they typically mean testosterone.

So, if you’re a guy or a gal and you want to work on your hormones (testosterone or estrogen), what can you do? Well, probably the most important step you can take to return these two steroid substances back to their appropriate levels and potency is pay attention to intake of fatty foods and fat absorption. Steroid hormones are all derived from cholesterol which is a major component of fat-dense foods like eggs and dairy and organ meats, so making sure you’re getting enough of these types of foods can be helpful. You, of course, want to make sure that you’re absorbing these substances in the intestine as well. That means after you eat your omelet, cheese, and liver, you use digestive enzymes, lecithin, and apple cider vinegar– all of which can improve the body’s ability to absorb and utilize their cholesterol content.

Nutrients can help too. Below are 13 nutritional supplements that can help improve steroid hormone health:

Probiotics – 10 billion units/multiple strains daily
Magnesium Chelate -1000-2000mg daily
B-100 Complex – 2-3 tablets daily
Vitamin C -1000-3000mg daily
Omega-3’s – 1-2 grams daily
Evening Primrose Oil – 1-2 teaspoonsful daily
Zinc Picolinate – 50mg daily
Selenium Chelate -400mcg daily
Vitamin A -20,000 iu daily
Vitamin E -400 iu daily
Vitamin D – Sunlight 5000 iu daily
Pregnenolone -100mg daily
Choline – 100-200mg daily

 

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Chitin’s Powerful Anti-inflammatory Properties

Shrimp and lobsters make their own anti-inflammatory molecules. That has scientists very excited. In a press release posted last week by the College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, officials announced that they had received a $380,000 National Institute of Health grant to investigate just how the marine medicine could be used to eliminate inflammatory diseases in humans.

The crabby chemical that is the center of attention is called a chitin. It’s a key constituent of the shells of various oceans animals including crayfish, shrimp, krill, and barnacles. It is one of the most abundant molecules in all of nature, second only to cellulose. And, as it turns out, in addition to being abundant (and cheap), chitin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Properties that are so impressive, that the natural molecule found in so many crust critters is being studied in hopes of finding a pharmaceutical treatment for inflammatory diseases including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, arthritis, and heart disease. And it’s not just shellfish that contain this fascinating medicinal molecule. You can find chitin in the hard shells of insects as well as in the cell walls of most fungi and algae.

Chitin's Powerful Anti-inflammatory PropertiesChitin is made up of repeating pieces of sugar to which it owes its interesting medicinal properties. Actually the sugar isn’t any old glucose. It’s a “specialty” glucose that scientists call a “proteo-glycan” (protein-sugar) because it has a little chunk of amino acid attached to it. The little proteanaceous piece turns the ordinarily “one trick pony” glucose, which is basically only good as a source of energy, into glucoseamine, a sort of “super glucose”, that provides structure and support for everything from bones to butterfly wings and has therapeutic properties to boot. Arthritis sufferers, in particular, have exploited the healing powers of glucosamine for decades.

The glucosamine pieces that make up chitin are a type of glucosamine called NA-glucosamine (NAG). The NA component makes this type of glucosamine especially effective at healing and soothing. This is really what has scientists and drug companies so excited. In addition to NAG’s calming and quenching qualities, it contains the precursors for hyaluronic acid, one of the most important of all growth and repair and anti-inflammatory molecules in the body. NAG is especially effective at helping take the edge off intestinal pain and discomfort associated with various digestive ailments.

If you don’t want to wait for some drug company to patent a molecule, and sell it to you for 20 dollars a dose, to enjoy the benefits of crustacean chitin, use glucosamine supplements. If you’re looking to heal the gut get some NAG. They’re available in health food stores or on the internet. They are very inexpensive and both are completely non-toxic.

Food can be an especially good source of NAG, especially homemade chicken soup. The knobby cartilage on chicken bones is a great source of NAG as well as other substances like amino acids, chondroitin, and collagen that can all contribute joint health benefits. You can save shrimp shells, put in a tea ball and let them steep in the soup. Make sure you throw in some lime or lemon; a little acid is required to dissolve the NAG into the soup. Aloe is also a good source of NAG, as is Noni. Algaes, a great source of everything good and healthy, also contain appreciable amounts of NAG.

  • NAG can improve the health of your skin. It can prevent wrinkles, improve sun damage, and has topical moisturizing benefits too.
  • If you’re looking for a blend of joint rebuilding glucosamine AND gut soothing, skin supporting NAG use chitosan, a chitin-derivative that is composed of both glucosamine and NA glucosamine.
  • Chitosan is great for your hair. Break open a capsule; dissolve it in water, mix, and let sit until it forms a clear gel which you can apply to your tresses as a hair mask. Upon rinsing, it will leave your hair soft and smooth. Its molecules are positively charged, and they can bind to negatively charged protein on the hair cuticle giving it conditioning and strengthening properties too!
  • Glucosamine and NAG contain glucose, so if you’re a diabetic, taking too much may throw off your blood sugar a bit.
Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Is Medicalization Oppressive?

You may not have heard of it, but the term medicalization is so significant and relevant it has its own Wikipedia entry. Around since the 1970’s, the word applies to the process of regarding as much of human life as grist for the medical model mill as possible, to essentially control as much of human life as possible (using drugs, and devises, and doctors, and medical procedures) and make lots of lucre while doing it. It can be construed as a type of social manipulation that attempts to enforce and superimpose so-called standards and thereby “normalize” the wide ranging spectrum of human activities which are diverse, idiosyncratic and often based on nothing more than the unique nature of personal preference and individual biochemistry.

Is Medicalization Oppressive?

By Ddcfnc at en.wikipedia, from Wikimedia Commons

One of the problems with the medicalization of everyday life (that’s the title of a book of essays by the medical writer and psychiatrist Dr. Tomas Szaz) is the tendency for it to become disease mongering. At what point does the need to control, become aspects of body and being, such as hell and the development of disease? At what point do regular mammograms and prostate exams and colonoscopies become excessive. And even worse, when does diagnosis like depression, and ADD, and Oppositional Defiance Order (which according to the psychiatry’s diagnostic bible, the DSM IV, is defined as “disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior toward authority figures”) become oppressive?

In fact, nothing exemplifies the tendency for everyday behaviors to become medicalized than the world of psychiatry, where even ordinary, non-extreme behavior can easily find itself in the medical model’s cross-hairs. According to Szaz, “…psychiatry’s first order of business was to establish insanity as a genuine disease”. In essence, psychiatry was an invented medical practice that is a textbook case of medicalization. Diagnosis often times is nothing more than labels that re-frame a dislike of authority, and a desire to shop, surf the internet or indulge in habitual behaviors as illnesses; and self-servingly assess whether said behaviors are in actuality extreme enough to require application of the tools of modern medicine. The result is, in essence, the doctor and his diagnosis as the sole determinant of whether or not a depressed, addicted or otherwise mentally/emotionally disturbed patient is actually dealing with a disease. This, as Szaz writes: “…psychiatry is medicalization through and through.”

One of most tragic and egregious examples of psychiatric medicalization involves children. Over the past 2 decades, what used to pass for rambunctiousness, insatiable curiosity, and excitement is regarded more and more as an opportunity to medicate. They call it ADHD and according to the US Center for Disease diagnosis have been increasing 3 percent a year since 1970. Currently more than 6 million children, more than one out of ten (!) between the ages of 4 and 17 have been labeled attention deficit, although according to the Hastings Center, a organization that bills itself as a “bioethics research think-tank”, many of the “…manifestations of the behaviors that today we call symptoms of ADHD (inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity) have been recognized as problematic for the last 100 years – and arguably for much longer.” In any case, whether or not a child has attention or concentration issues, in the opinion if this pharmacist anyway, should not be an excuse to medicalized him with physician approved poison (drug) or any other doctor intervention.

In addition to psychiatry, medicalization has affected some of the most intimate areas of human activity. In the 1990’s even the bedroom became a viable target for medical model sharpshooters. That’s when the little blue pill forever changed the way we think about and have sex, and Viagra, Pfizer’s azure entry into the erectile dysfunction market, made male virility and sexual vigor yet another reason to go to the doctor. These days many millions of men can enjoy regular long-term erections thanks to the support of at least three different pharmaceuticals that generate drug companies more 5 billion dollar a year in sales. Men who are losing their masculine mojo sexually can now enjoy a jolt of manliness via prescription testosterone creams and gels. You’ve probably seen the ads, which seem like they air during every commercial break and feature middle age studs telling us how they used to be fat, fatigued and sexless until they started applying their Androgel or Axiron on their arms or abdomens. What they don’t tell you however is the fact that using prescription testosterone may not be risk-free. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009, men on testosterone therapy were shown to have four times as many cardiovascular problems as non-medicated men. The number of events was so significant that the study had to be stropped. And whether “Low-T”, as testosterone deficiency is referred by drug company marketers, is actually a disease and whether drug company motives are really health-based is not clear, but some observers of the medicalization phenomenon think not. According to Barbara Mintzes of the University of British Columbia School of Public Health, by marketing testosterone therapy, and “…expanding the boundaries of the disease to common symptoms in aging males, such as fatigue and reduced libido, drug companies seek to increase their markets and boost their sales”.

And, if you’re losing your locks, no worries. Healthy, disease-free men (and women) have been going bald for centuries without any other associated health challenges, but these days you can chose from a number of drug and doctor options that will grow hair. Whether it’s Propecia, or Rogaine, or even topical steroid creams if your lettuce is thinning, the pharmaco-medical model is ready and willing to assist (for a price). Never mind the fact that all drugs have the potential to cause adverse reactions and can negatively affect health as well as longevity, if you’re going bald, at least according to pharmaceutical manufacturers, you can always get a prescription, and as the marketing copy on the website for Rogaine Hair Growth Treatment claims: “’take control’ (??) of your baldness and ‘help regrow’ your hair”.

Whether the purported health issues are psychiatric, or sexual or anything else, the bottom line is there’s lots of money in convincing people that they’re suffering needlessly. Drug companies, no friends of mankind and with money and marketing in mind, actively define disease states and promote them to the medical community and to their patients. To be fair, some researcher’s still believe that the curative power of prescription medication outweigh the social implications of the pharmaceutical industry’s tendency to push their wares on consumers, and what might be called manipulative marketing is nothing more than intelligent business practice. But, whether it’s drug-pushing and disease mongering or simply smart sales techniques the fact remains that, in many cases, the businesses selling us cures are the same people telling us we’re sick.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health