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

Fibromyalgia Latin for “Muscle Fiber Pain”

Fibromyalgia Latin for “Muscle Fiber Pain”

The location of the nine paired tender points that comprise the 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia.

The first thing I think about when I hear the dreaded diagnosis is something one of my professors in pharmacy school used to talk about at least once a semester. A diagnosis is a definition and not disease. What he meant was the nomenclature associated with some type of bodily dysfunction is nothing more than a moniker and designation. It tells nothing about what is occurring in the body or how to address it; it simply names it.
Fibromyalgia is the Latin term for “muscle fiber pain”. That means when you go to your doctor complaining of muscle pain and you leave with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, what your medical guru is basically doing is taking your complaint, translating it to a medieval dialect, giving you a pain medication or maybe an anti-depressant (!) and then billing you. This is a textbook example of how the medical model works. It can’t do anything real, but it can officiate your symptomology by sanctifying it with a Latin moniker.

It reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. As you’ll recall at the end of the flick, the scarecrow, with a head filled with nothing but straw, travels far and wide to find the magical wizard (doctor) who, it was said, could miraculously create for him a brain. As it turns out however, the wizard (doctor) is nothing but a fraud, and while he can’t deliver him any gray matter, he can give him something that, where he comes from, re-presents a brain. A diploma! In other words instead of giving his patient anything real, he gives him a piece of paper that supposedly symbolizes something real. Sounds a lot like the medical model to me!
So what to do if you are dealing with muscle fiber pain i.e. fibromyalgia? Well, as turns out you can actually do a lot. That’s because fibromyalgia represents toxicity, specifically blood toxicity. In 1990, Dr. John Couvaras, a fertility physician from Phoenix, discovered that women given an injection of the blood thinner heparin to improve circulatory problems associated with infertility reported that their fibromyalgia symptoms were dramatically reduced. He subsequently developed the “Hypercoagulation Theory of Fibromyalgia” that postulated that sticky, coagulated blood, following toxicity, results in the deposition of clotting proteins and other poisons in the muscle that eventually results in the classic pain syndrome associated with fibromyalgia. And where does that toxicity come from in the first place? Typically, the liver and the ultimately the small intestine. Here’s what happens:

The small intestine is the home of the “microbiome”, trillions of bacterial cells made up of many hundreds of strains. The numbers and types and exact proportions of these bacterial strains are tightly regulated. If there are long standing digestive health issues, especially in the processing of fats, over time these proportions get thrown off and the wrong types of bacterial strains can proliferate. Medical folks call this “dysbiosis” or “SIBO” (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth). Because these bacteria are constantly secreting waste material, eventually the body will mount an immune (defensive) response and an inflammatory reaction will ensue. As this progresses eventually the blood can become contaminated. And the major blood response to this kind of contamination is clotting.
To compound the problem the healthy microbiome is involved in estrogen metabolism. When dysbiosis occurs, estrogen is not broken down correctly and toxic byproducts can build up. Usually the liver can handle these byproducts, but under conditions of long term bacterial and estrogenic toxicity, this critical detox organ can become overload and even more poisons can enter into the blood. Thus fibromyalgia should be regarded as the final result of estrogenic and digestive system toxicity following long term dysbiosis.

So if you are dealing with the pain and misery of fibromyalgia here’s what you want to do: First of all correct digestive problems. Look for problem foods i.e. foods that cause any digestive distress (heartburn bloating cramps, loose stools, constipation etc.) and eliminate them. Get on a good probiotic supplement (I like Youngevity’s BioLumin Nightly Essence) and eat lots of fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kim chee and fermented beets. You can make your own fermented veggies pretty easily, basically by mashing or cutting up veggies and adding some bacterial starter and salt. And use a good probiotic supplement on a regular basis and make sure you use a product that has multiple bacterial strains. Use digestive enzymes and apple cider vinegar after all meals, especially ones that contain lots of fat. And, taking digestive enzymes on an empty stomach can have blood thinning effects that can improve fibromyalgia symptoms. Practice calorie restriction (eating less) and take a food holiday (fast) once a week or so. Use essential fatty acid supplements which can support estrogen metabolism. Consider estrogen balancing supplements like Vitamin A (20,000 iu a day), Vitamin E (400 iu a day) and pregnenolone (100mg a day). And applying a progesterone cream 5-7 days a week cream can be helpful too.
10 other interesting supplements that may help improve fibromyalgia symptoms:

Melatonin-4-6 mg at bedtime
Theanine-100-500mg daily
Magnesium Glycinate-2000mg daily
Vitamin C -1000-5000mg daily
N-Acetyl Cysteine- 500mg daily
Vitamin E-(mixed tocopherols) – 400 iu daily
Selenium-200-400mcgdaily
Cetyl Myristoleate -100-500mg daily
Malic Acid – 1000mg a day
Sam-E – 100-200mg daily

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Anti-oxidants

I get lots of letters. Mostly they’re honest questions from folks trying to resolve health issues and get back on track with taking care of their bodies, getting off prescription drugs, and getting on a good nutritional supplement program. Sometimes I get positive feedback or kudos encouraging me to carry on with my efforts to wake people up to the power of nutrition. And sometimes (not too often fortunately) I get letters criticizing my work or the positions I take on health care, prescription drugs, or vitamin and mineral supplementation. Yesterday, I received a note that falls into that last category from a gentleman in Texas that referenced a story that appeared in the mainstream media questioning the health benefits of anti-oxidant type supplements.

Anti-oxidantsThe article threw cold water on the importance of these highly regarded nutritional substances and attempted to debunk the idea that they could have beneficial effects on health on longevity. Even worse, it was headlined “We Spend Millions on Anti-oxidants, But Now Researchers Say They Make Our Bodies Age Faster” and implied that anti-oxidants may even have a harmful pro-aging effects.

Needless to say, as a longtime advocate for the use of these types of supplements, the letter and the title both grabbed my attention. However, after reading the study itself which was published online in the May 8, 2014 edition of the prestigious journal ”Cell”, I discovered that despite the compelling and somewhat incendiary newspaper headline, that’s not what the researchers from McGill University in Canada actually concluded. Rather than stating that anti-oxidant nutrients were harmful (the study actually never even mentioned the word “anti-oxidant”), the researchers were simply making the point that some toxic free radical effects, that would ordinarily be neutralized by protective nutrients, can potentially have longevity inducing effects.

This idea that substances that are toxic or poisonous may actually provide health benefits is based on the science of “hormesis”, a tried and true theory that says that small amounts of ordinarily harmful material may actually promote health. In other words, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Clearly there’s lots of evidence to support this theory which, for example, explains the body building benefits associated with the stresses of exercise-induced muscle trauma, as well as homeopathic practices which involve giving infinitesimally small doses of poisons to activate healing mechanisms.

But this idea of stresses and toxins supporting health should not be misconstrued to mean that the use of protective nutrients like anti-oxidants are somehow hurtful and can have an anti-health and anti-longevity effects. If that were the case, then the next logical next step would be to immerse ourselves in toxicity, and keep ourselves deprived of essential and protective nutrients lest we interfere with the hormetic, health promoting effects of toxins.

Clearly that’s nonsensical. While no one disputes that some stresses (whether they’re in the form of exercise, homeopathic medicines OR free radicals) can be beneficial and can stimulate growth as well as health and longevity; to make that obvious truth mean that anti-oxidants, by virtue of their protective effects against cell damage, can somehow accelerate the aging process is an inaccurate conclusion. At best it is a stretch and at worst a misleading unwarranted conclusion that flies in the face of logic and common sense.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Stem Cells and Skin Care

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

The latest skin care “must have” ingredient is plant stem cells. Now if you’re asking yourself why exactly you need, or want to be using, these substances which are technically called meristem cells on your skin, this article is written for you.

So first of all what exactly are “stem cells”? Well, the simple answer is stem cells are precursor cells. They are essentially blank cells that can be turned into any other type of cell. They stay dormant until they are triggered to become specialized. Scientists refer to them as “pluripotent”. That means they are potent in many different ways. Stem cells in other words are like magical raw material “master” cells that may be transformed into bone cells, OR skin cells, OR brain cells, OR any other of the 220 different types of biological cells. That’s pretty cool. This pluripotent property makes stem cells the ideal raw material for the body to use to repair various organs and tissues in the case of injury, damage, or simply wear and tear. And it makes them potentially very useful for medical treatments that can restore and regenerate the health of bodily systems that contain cells damaged from disease.

Plant Stem Cells

SuperManu – Own work, by Clematis 1) Meristem; 2) Columelle 3) Lateral part of the tip; 4) Dead Cells; 5) Elongation zone

The skin which is turning over and subject to more damage than most other systems in the body understandably contains large concentrations of stem cells. Thus manufacturers of skin care products have become intrigued with the use of these elements for their potential use in skin care products.

Can topically applied human stem cell-containing products really have an effect on the skin? Well, that an interesting question that is unfortunately impossible to answer. That’s because human stem cells are tightly regulated by the FDA. As of April 2014, the FDA has not approved any stem cell-based products for consumer or patient use, other than blood forming stem cells designed for the treatment of certain blood cancers and some inherited metabolic and immune system disorders. And the FDA takes the illegal marketing of these kinds of products very seriously. In December 2011, three men were arrested and charged with 15 counts of criminal activity related to manufacturing, selling and using stem cells without FDA approval.

Thus the entrance of plant stem cells (technically called “meristem” cells) onto the skincare product stage. Cosmetic companies always looking for something new to market and sell, but legally prevented for exploiting the possible benefits of human stem cells in the creams and lotions have turned to the use of plant-derived stem cells which suffer no limitation from government intervention.

Meristem cells, like their human counterparts, are unspecialized and pluripotent. Like our stem cells they are chameleon-like and can become any other cell. Except, obviously they can only become any other plant cell. They can become root cells, or leaf cells, or pistol or stamen cells. They are, after all, the precursor masters cells for PLANTS.

What’s more, it’s really not possible to include active plant stem cells in a skin care products. Plant stem cell like all cells requires a growth medium; the right kinds of chemical and pH conditions. In addition to that, the anti-microbial and anti-oxidant systems required for preservation of most cosmetic products are toxic to stem cells (and really all cells).

What most manufacturers are able to do is include extracts of plant stem cells in their wares. Plants are cut to trigger the production of chemicals that form a healing tissue called a callous which contains undifferentiated meristem cells. The cells from this callous are then fed and grown in the lab where the callouses concentration of active substances is increased by up to a thousand times. The callous is then added to a liquid, typically water, glycerin or glycol, which serves to dissolve the actives that have been nurtured in the laboratory. This active material containing liquid which is essentially a type of tea is then used as a raw material for the production of supposed stem cell containing skin care products. What is important to recognize is this extract contains no meristem cells but simply the contents of these cells which have been dissolved in the liquid medium

This is not to say however, that there isn’t any upside using these kinds of ingredients. Even though it is not possible to get any actual stem cell benefits from meristem cells, there is a lot of nutritional value. That’s because stem cells, and the liquids they are extracted into, are absolutely packed with vital growth inducing environmental protecting and anti-aging active materials that can be exploited by human skin. Amino acids, trace minerals and bioflavonoids. In addition complex sugars and growth factors can help improve cell-to-cell communication, therefore helping maintain an overall healthy skin environment.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Skin Care

Fight or Flight Stress Response

In an article that was published in October of 2010 in the journal “Psychological Science” collaborating researchers from Harvard and Columbia Universities found that humans and animals can up-regulate, (i.e. stimulate) the production of healing chemicals by intentionally assuming open, wide, spread out expansive positions and postures; holding the shoulder up and widening the chest muscles for as little as two minutes. In that short period of time, according to the researchers, you can drop your stress hormone levels, and increase testosterone and other anabolic building hormones, just by holding the body in certain positions.

Fight or Flight Stress Response

When someone experiences a stressful event, the amygdala, an area of the brain that contributes to emotional processing, sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. Harvard Health

When was the last time you went to as doctor’s office for your arthritis or osteoporosis, autoimmune or degenerative disease and had him tell you to keep your shoulder wide and open up your chest? Probably never, but strategies like these that can not only improve our ability to heal in a completely non-toxic fashion, but even more importantly they can keep us from having to interact with an intrusive and ineffective medical model that has presided over the most dramatic increase in degenerative disease in the history of man.

The stress response that manifests as elevations in blood pressure, clotting of the blood, suppression of the immune system, and a laxity of the digestive musculature is the unifying component in the devolvement of all degenerative diseases. It’s the one thing they all have in common. Whether you’re dealing with arthritis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular health issues, digestive distress, autoimmune issues, or any of the 12,800 various diagnosis that you can get from your MD, the one thing all of these various pathologies have in common is an underlying activation of stress response chemistry.

The stress response is a survival response; it’s the way the body handles a threat to its existence, whether perceived or real. The body communicates to the brain via chemicals that are secreted into the blood. When a threat is sensed stress chemicals will enter into the blood, which will travel to the brain, which will in turn initiate various biochemical activities to dispatch the threat.

One of the first things that the brain will do is signal the liver to release sugar, which is required for quick bursts of energy in anticipation of handling survival needs via “fight or flight”. Of course, if the stress is only perceived and doesn’t require actual fighting or fleeing, the sugar released from the liver won’t get used but will likely make its way into a fat cell. In this way excessive stimulation of fight or flight biochemistry, without the actual fight or flight occurring, can result in an increase in the size of fat cells. To make matters worse, fat storage itself is a survival mechanism. In other words, if the body thinks it’s survival is being threatened all sugar will be readily converted into fat. That means that in addition to all that excess stress induced sugar released from the liver that is going to get converted to fat, under conditions of repeated and chronic fight or flight stimulation, any sugars and carbohydrate that we’re eating will get stored as fat pretty efficiently as well. This is the brain’s way of protecting us from what it thinks is the main survival threat, which is starvation. Repeated activation of survival biochemistry is one if the main reasons for our obesity epidemic, and until we figure out how to deal with the stress response it isn’t going to be going away. If you’re one of the many folks who is trying to lose weight, but you can’t seem to do it, this might be why. Weight gain is, often times, the manifestation of a stress response; and as long as the brain thinks survival is being threatened it can be very difficult to drop the pounds.

If you just can’t seem to drop the pounds regardless of aerobic exercise and counting calories, consider techniques to reduce the stress response. Slow, deep breathing works. So do hot tubs and massage. Taking regular naps can help. Reducing the intake of sugars and processed foods, which can represent a major stress burden, is important. And because nutritional deficiencies are a major survival threat, making sure you’re using the “Mighty 90” essential nutrients throughout the day should be a pillar of any anti stress, weight loss program.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Oxygen Deficiency or Hypoxia

Miki Ryosuke says that breathing can keep you skinny. In an article published in the Daily Mail, The former Japanese actor claims to have lost nearly thirty pounds in 7 weeks by practicing what he calls the “Long Breath Diet” a system whereby practioners inhale slowly for three seconds and exhale vigorously for seven seconds. Mr. Ryosuke claims that by practicing his Long Breath technique for two to five minutes a day, overweight and obese patients will notice rapid weight loss benefits. Even if Ryosuke claims are exaggerated, what is not exaggerated is the fact that there is an important relationship between fat cells and oxygen that may play a role in the development of obesity, and the difficulty of weight loss.

Oxygen Deficiency or Hypoxia

By LadyofHats, via Wikimedia Commons

Of all the substances that are required for the functioning of the human body, none is more critical than oxygen. While not typically regarded as one of the “Mighty 90” nutrients, no vitamin, mineral, fatty or amino acid can come close to the importance of the 8th element, a simple little atom that comprises about one-fifth of the air we breathe. Without essential nutrition we can live for months, without water can probably survive for 3 or 4 days, but without oxygen inspiration our expiration is inevitable within mere minutes.

The condition called hypoxia, tech-talk for oxygen-deprived blood is the single most important cause of disease in the body. Under hypoxic conditions, blood pressure will rise as the body attempts to deliver more oxygen to the tissues and breathing rates will increase as the lungs reach out, grasping for more air from which to extract the essential element. The brain, which utilizes 20 to 25 percent of the body’s oxygen, is likely to begin to operate sluggishly. Stress hormone (cortisol) secretion will increase as the body attempts to cope with oxygen depletion. This can ultimately result in immune system suppression and an increase in the formation of tumors and cancers. And, over time, genetic changes will take place that will inhibit protein synthesis and slow down key process like detoxification and repair.

One of the most interesting responses to oxygen deprivation involves fat cells. Known as adipocytes, these cells initiate various coping strategies to deal with an inability to obtain oxygen. One of these strategies involves fat cells becoming impervious to the signals of insulin. This phenomenon known as insulin resistance, can in turn lead to an increase in the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, ultimately increasing fat storage, manifesting as weight gain. In other words, less oxygen means more fat. Additionally, increases in insulin secretion following insulin resistance can lead to fatty tissue fibroids and fatty tumors called lipomas

If you just can’t seem to lose weight no matter how many calories you’ve cut, supplements you’ve swallowed, miles or time you’ve spent on the treadmill, it’s possible that you’re dealing with oxygen deficiency. Try practicing slow deep breathing on a regular basis. Always breathe through the nose and make sure that the breath gets down into the lower part of your belly. You can get apps for your smartphone that can help you learn to deep breathe. I like one called “My Calm Beat”. Buy a bag of balloons and practice blowing them up with as few long, strong breaths as possible. If possible, working out at high elevation can be a great way to increase lung capacity and improve oxygenation. And, because plants produce oxygen as a byproduct of their natural chemistry, making sure you’ve got lots of greenery in the house can be helpful.

Paying attention to your breathing may give you some significant weight loss benefits,but even if you don’t lose weight immediately you’re gonna have more energy, think more clearly, improve heart health, and reduce stress hormone levels. Breathing may not make you skinny right away, but it will definitely help you feel better, and in the long term you’re probably going to lose some pounds too.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health