Electricity is a Dieter’s Best-friend!

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Living systems are electricity-generating at every level, from the atomic to the organismic. The brilliant Noble-prize winning biophysicist Albert Szent-Gyorgi, who is most recognized for his discovery of Vitamin C said: “…life is driven by nothing else but electrons (electricity) and by the energy given off by these electrons.”.

In terms of our human bodies, we are bioelectrical systems that depend on the generation and and conduction of electrical charges to operate effectively. This energy is at least partially carried via special atoms and molecules called “buffers” and “electrolytes”. There are 3 parts to our biological electrical system. There are alkaline substances like minerals (e.g. potassium, calcium, magnesium) and bicarbonate that function to suck up and carry electrical energy. These are said to be positively charged. Acid substances like fatty acids, ascorbic acid or amino acids spew out or contribute electrical energy. These are said to be negatively charged. And then there is the fluid medium (blood and lymph) that mixes everything together so the electricity can be conducted.

Electricity is a Dieter's Best-friendThis relationship between electrolytes, vitamins and other nutritional components in combination with liquids is one of the easiest biochemical phenomena that we can take advantage of for our nutrition and good health. Because all living systems contain electrolytes and buffers we can soak fresh fruits and veggies and eventually the energy conducting compounds will gradually leach out, turning plain old water into a highly electro-conductive beverage packed with potassium, magnesium and calcium and chloride and vitamins among other substances. It will amp up the body’s electrical energy, without contributing a caloric load or stressing the digestive system. You’ll feel a sense of vitality and vigor without the drowsiness that can follow normal dining. That’s why lemon water is a dieter’s best friend! The same is true about cucumber water, strawberry water, blueberry water or even fresh veggie soup. Just throw your fruits and veggies sliced up (make sure you leave the peels!) into a pitcher of water and let it sit for a few hours. You will have a tasty, electrical drink that functions as a source of trace nutrients and electricity-carrying substances. Drink up, you will find it energizing, and stimulating in a smooth, healthy and non-caffeine-like fashion. It’s zero-calorie, satisfying nature makes it ideal for dieters too!

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Phospho-lipid Phun!

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Cell membranes are largely composed of fats (along with some proteins). There are two main types of cell membrane fats, cholesterol and phospholipids. We’ll discuss cholesterol in a later post. For this article we will be addressing phospho-lipids.

Phospho-lipids are interesting chemical structure with a watery end which contains the mineral phosphorus (phospho-) and a fatty end (-lipid). Phospho-lipids help cell membranes maintain their integrity and structure. They also conduct electrical energy which helps the membrane maintain its battery-like charge. This electrical activity is important for the health and function of the internal cell environment. Nutrients enter in the cell in part via pores and channels on the membrane. The openings dilate or constrict at least partially in response to phospho-lipid generated electrical energy. They have a voltage-sensing property which allows them to open and close pores on cellular demand.

The electrical nature of phospho-lipids makes them especially important for brain and nerve cells (neurons), which are highly electrical in nature. Phospho-lipids are also important for skin health and play a particularly important role in maintaining skin softness and hydration.

Because phospho-lipids have a watery and fatty nature, they can help disperse dietary fats into digestive fluids. Bile is largely composed of phospholipids. The fats in cell membranes are protected from oxidation (rancidity) by phospho-lipids which bind the very active and oxidation-inducing metals iron and copper.

Because of the relationship of diseases to cell membrane health, taking advantage of phospho-lipid nutrition is an important step in the return to or the maintenance of health. While the body can make its own phospho-lipids, they do require the use of precious enzymes and energy so including them in the diet can be a helpful health strategy.

Also, if you have fat malabsorbtion, liver health issues or have had a gall bladder removed you may want to consider supplemental phospho-lipids to take advantage of their fat dispersing properties mentioned above. The same is true if you have neural problems such as Parkinson’s disease or cognitive issues such dementia, memory problems, or learning disorders. Up to 60% of the brain by weight is composed of phospho-lipids and similar compounds.

By far the best source of dietary phospho-lipids is eggs. Muscle and organ meats are good sources too as are wheat germ and peanuts. The fatty components of soy (not the protein) also contain phospho-lipids.

Supplemental phospho-lipids can also be obtained by using lecithin, either in its powder or liquid form. Taking 200 to 300 mg a day of choline and inostitol may also help improve the production of phospho-lipids.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Nutrition

Cholesterol and Computer Chips

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

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

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

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

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

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