12 Fitness Tips from the World’s Fittest CEO

As the reigning “World’s Fittest CEO,” (2nd place 2013, 1st place 2014) one of the most common questions I get asked is, “How do you stay in shape with all the travel you do?” (for LifeVantage, where I serve as Chief Science Officer).

I travel hundreds of thousands of miles every year all around the world. Whether I’m speaking at a scientific conference in Europe, or educating a group of coaches and athletes in the USA, or even scouting for interesting herbal extracts in Asian markets or the jungles of Brazil or Malaysia, it can be a huge challenge to stay in good physical (and mental) shape.

In one of my books, The Secret of Vigor, I write about maintaining “vigor” in the face of chronic stress. Vigor is a term from psychology research that means the opposite of “burnout” and is described as a combination of physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional well-being. The book outlines much of the extensive research and complex underlying biochemistry (hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters) that drives our psychology (how we feel and behave) on a daily basis, but it also breaks down some of the simple “what to do” aspects of improving vigor to boost energy, improve mood, focus attention, and even trim your waistline. I call these “what to do” tips, “VIPs” for vigor improvement practices – and I’ll share some of my favorites with you below (5 for Nutrition, 4 for Exercise, and 3 for Mind).

Top 5 Nutrition VIPs

Eat by color – choose bright and avoid white. Brightly colored fruits and veggies are high in protective phytonutrients – so try to include at least one of each “color” in your diet every day. Look for all the colors in the rainbow: Red (lycopene from tomatoes), Orange (beta-carotene from carrots), Yellow (lutein from corn), Green (chlorophyll from spinach), Blue (anthocyanidins from blueberries), Indigo (catechins from blackberries), and Purple (quercetin from grapes). Avoid processed foods based on white flour – such as white bread, rolls, and baked goods.

Is it calorie worthy? Ask yourself whether or not the food you’re thinking about eating is really “worth” the calories that you’re about to “spend” on eating it. For example, I think it’s great to enjoy a nice glass of red wine or a warm chocolate chop cookie, but don’t eat a cookie that’s only so-so. For example, one of my favorite fitness snacks is low-fat fruit yogurt because it’s a rich source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, protein, and probiotics – all of which are important for fat metabolism and helping us shed body fat and boost lean tissue. Two of my favorite yogurts are Noosa (Australian) and Chobani (Greek) – as much because they taste like dessert as because of their super-high nutrient content.

Practice pairing of macronutrients. Always combine a carbohydrate with a protein and fat. Carbohydrates in and of themselves are not “bad,” but both the form of carbohydrate (how much it’s processed) will determine your body’s biochemical response. For example, the more refined (less “whole”) the carb is, the more likely it is to raise blood sugar levels, leading to oxidation, inflammation, and problems with muscle building and recovery. Combining any carb source with some protein and fat will slow it’s absorption and lessen it’s oxidizing/inflammatory effects in your body.

Eat more healthy (omega-3) fats and fewer unhealthy (omega-6) fats. Fatty fish – like mackerel, bluefish, wild salmon, and tuna are rich omega-3s that improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Reduce your intake of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids found in high concentrations in vegetable oils such as corn/soybean/sunflower oil. If you’re not a fish eater, then two of my favorite omega-3 supplements are Ocean Blue and Nordic Naturals – both offer a great balance between reasonable cost and high-purity/potency.

Supplement wisely. A big part of my supplement routine to geared toward enhancing my body’s own protective and recuperative abilities. This means assuring a high intake of nutrients and herbal extracts that activate natural performance pathways in the body – including turmeric, green tea, milk thistle, bacopa, ashwagandha, New Zealand pine bark, quercetin, and theanine. Activating the Nrf2 pathway (with Protandim) is a built-in way to turn on your body’s own production of antioxidant enzymes and anti-inflammatory proteins. Maintaining mental and physical performance during exercise (with Axio) is my secret weapon to getting into that feel-good “flow” state where energy, mood, and focus are at peak levels.

Top 4 Exercise VIPs

Practice “MIM” – by making your workout your “Most Important Meeting” of the day. Research shows that exercise is even more effective that prescription antidepressants or ADHD drugs for improving mood and maintaining mental focus – so think of your daily workout as an investment in your career just as much as it is an investment in your physical health and mental well-being.

No “junk” workouts. Similar to the “calorie worthy” diet concept, you want to make sure to avoid “junk workouts” where you’re simply going through the motions. When you have limited time and need to squeeze as much value out of each minute, every workout needs to have a focus. This means that you need to decide what type of workout you’re doing – such as building speed (hard/fast intervals) or endurance (long/slow distance) or building strength (weights/Crossfit) or balance (yoga, plyometrics, etc). Don’t fall into the trap of going at “medium” intensity all the time just to feel like you got a “good” workout – that’s the path to mediocre performance.

Get In, Get Out, Recover. I train a maximum of 8-10 hours per week, even when I’m training for an Ironman or an ultramarathon. If you focus on quality workouts with a purpose, you can get a lot of fitness bang for your workout buck – but you also have to recover properly to fully reap those rewards. Whether we talk about joints, bones, muscles, tendons, or any other tissue, the right amount of the right type of exercise can help stimulate production of new collagen, removal of damaged tissue, and delivery of vital oxygen and nutrients. The body is designed to move – so much so that the human body is the only machine that breaks down from underuse rather than from overuse. That said, it’s quite clear that our body (and mind) can break down from overuse as well, as evidenced by the numerous over-trained athletes that I have worked with over the years. I use two supplements from Wicked Fast Sports Nutrition to get the most out of each workout (Energ-Ease) and to recover completely for the next one (Recover-Ease).

Take a full day off each week. Recovery for both body and mind is so important – and so neglected – I’ll emphasize it’s importance by giving you another tip about it. A “day off” means no work – or workouts. No thoughts about work or worries about workouts. Take this day to relax, reflect, and recharge, regardless of whether or not a “Sabbath” day of rest has any religious connotations for you. Read a book. Take a walk. Luxuriate in the act of doing nothing. I guarantee that if you give yourself over to a solid month of “do-nothing Sundays” (or Saturdays, or whichever day of the week works best for your schedule), you will feel more physically and mentally refreshed than you could possibly imagine. Doing nothing will give you back a lot.

Top 3 Mind VIPs

Numerous research studies verify the damage to body and mind caused by chronic stress. Being stressed out and sleep-deprived has been shown to increase heart disease and depression, reduce sex drive, suppress immune function, increase illness/injury rates, and accelerate both muscle loss and weight gain (especially belly fat) by nearly 10 times! Being fat, stressed, tired, sex-deprived, sick, and injured is no way to become the best version of yourself.

Get some sleep. Far and away the most effective stress-management technique you can practice is very simple: Get enough sleep. For example a Yale University study of 1,709 men found that those who regularly got less than six hours of shut-eye doubled their risk of weight gain and diabetes because of elevated cortisol and its interference with insulin metabolism and blood-sugar control. Even one or two nights of good, sound, restful sleep can do more for maintaining your biochemical balance, improving your performance, and reducing your long-term risk for many chronic diseases than a whole lifetime of stress-management classes. It is almost impossible to overstate the crucial role adequate sleep plays in controlling your stress response, helping you lose weight, boosting your energy levels, improving your mood, and, of course, raising your level of vigor.

Manage electronic interruptions. The beeps and buzzes from your computer and iPhone can add an annoying level of stress to your day. Instead of just responding every time you get an electronic interruption, take charge of those devices and set them to only alert you at specific times. Remember that your cell phone is there for your convenience – not the convenience of others. For instance, most e-mail programs are automatically set to check for new messages every five minutes – which means you’re interrupted by the “new-message beep” ninety-six times in an eight-hour day! How do you expect to get any “real” work done? Also, consider (as I do) shutting off your e-mail program during certain parts of the day, enabling you to get your “important” work accomplished whenever you’re most mentally fresh.

Whenever possible, leave the cell phone behind. It may be hard to imagine today, but it wasn’t too many years ago that people got along perfectly fine without cell phones. Try taking a break from your phone when possible by leaving it behind – especially during your workout. I make that recommendation, because if you carry your phone with you—even if you tell yourself that you won’t answer it—a part of your mind still waits for it to ring, or buzz, or play your favorite ringtone. Let that part of your brain relax and forget about the phone every now and then.

So there you have it – my dozen tips (5 diet, 4 workout, and 3 mental VIPs) that helped me become the “World’s Fittest CEO” – and have such a blast doing it that I’ll be back in 2015 to give it another go. Join me?

Thanks for reading,

Shawn

==================================

Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D.

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

801-915-1170 (mobile)

smtalbott@mac.com

www.shawntalbott.com

UPCOMING BOOK:  Deadly Antioxidants – Why Your Daily Vitamins May Be Causing Cancer and Shortening Your Life (and How You Can Turn on Your Body’s Own Antioxidants for Optimal Health)

Follow me on YouTube 

Follow me on Amazon 

Follow me on Twitter  

Follow me on LinkedIn 

Follow me on ShareCare 

Follow me on Facebook 

Follow me on  Facebook (Author page)

-The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

-Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic

-The Cortisol Connection - Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House)

-The Cortisol Connection Diet - The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House)

-Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection - The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House)

-Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living - Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books)

-The Immune Miracle - The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012)

-The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens)

-A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements - an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press)

Sarasota & Jacksonville FL

This week, I had the great pleasure of speaking to sold-out standing-room-only crowds in Sarasota FL (March 10) and Jacksonville FL (March 11) about the importance of balancing cellular stress for optimal health and to help us feel, look, and perform at our best.

In Sarasota, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Brandon & Lynette Cunningham and in Jacksonville, I was with Gabe & Jill Pearson – who are all Master Pro10s in LifeVantage.

Here are the audio files and slides form my presentation…

Sarasota Audio:

Jacksonville Audio:

Slides (PDF):

Talbott Florida Slides March2015

Slides (PPT):

Talbott Florida Slides March2015

Thanks for reading…

Shawn

=============================================

Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACN, FACSM, FAIS

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

smtalbott@mac.com

http://ShawnTalbott.com

UPCOMING BOOK:  Deadly Antioxidants – Why Your Daily Vitamins May Be Causing Cancer and Shortening Your Life (and How You Can Turn on Your Body’s Own Antioxidants for Optimal Health)

Follow me on YouTube http://youtube.com/c/DrShawnTalbott

Follow me on Amazon http://amazon.com/-/e/B001IU0YV6

Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/DocTalbott

Follow me on LinkedIn http://linkedin.com/in/ShawnTalbott

Follow me on ShareCare http://sharecare.com/user/shawn-talbott/blog

Follow me on Facebook http://facebook.com/DocTalbott

Follow me on FB (Author) http://facebook.com/pages/Shawn-Talbott/260570213961041

-The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy (http://amzn.to/ovkwJf)

-Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic  (http://www.KilleratLarge.com)

-The Cortisol Connection – Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House) – http://CortisolConnection.com/

-The Cortisol Connection Diet - The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House) – http://CortisolConnectionDiet.com/

-Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection – The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House) – http://CortisolControl.com/

-Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living – Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books) – http://PainFreeLivingBook.com/

-The Immune Miracle – The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012) – http://amzn.to/SPLV4W

-The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens) – http://SupplementWatch.com/

-A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press) – http://SupplementWatch.com/

Loveland CO & Casper WY

Last week, on March 4 & 5, I had the great pleasure to speak to standing-room-only crowds in Loveland CO and Casper WY.

My main topic was to discuss the importance of managing Cellular Stress (for health, longevity, metabolism, etc) and how natural activation of our internal “stress thermostat” (the Nrf2 Pathway) can help us to Look, Feel, and Perform our Best.

Before the seminar in Loveland, I also held an open webinar on “The Importance of the Nrf2 Pathway” that covered some of the emerging scientific evidence supporting the benefits of Nrf2 Activation for health-effects in every tissue in the body and possible prevention of diseases including diabetes, obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, cancer, arthritis, and many others.

March 5th Webinar (Video):

March 5th Seminar in Loveland, CO (Audio):

March 6th Seminar in Casper WY (Audio):

Slides from March 5 & 6 Seminars:

PDF = Talbott Product Education Feb2014

PPT = Talbott Product Education Feb2014

For those who prefer to READ the details about Nrf2, there are also the following tools available:

Nrf2 And You Brochures

Deadly Antioxidants Book

 

Thanks for reading…

Shawn

==================================

Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D.

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

801-915-1170 (mobile)

smtalbott@mac.com

www.shawntalbott.com

UPCOMING BOOK:  Deadly Antioxidants – Why Your Daily Vitamins May Be Causing Cancer and Shortening Your Life (and How You Can Turn on Your Body’s Own Antioxidants for Optimal Health)

Follow me on YouTube 

Follow me on Amazon 

Follow me on Twitter  

Follow me on LinkedIn 

Follow me on ShareCare 

Follow me on Facebook 

Follow me on  Facebook (Author page)

-The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

-Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic

-The Cortisol Connection - Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House)

-The Cortisol Connection Diet - The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House)

-Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection - The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House)

-Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living - Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books)

-The Immune Miracle - The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012)

-The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens)

-A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements - an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press)

LifeVantage Opportunity Events in Boise (Nampa) and Seattle

Two nights of PACKED rooms in Nampa (Boise area) and Seattle – rooms filled to bursting with people learning about managing Cellular Stress to support health (how we FEEL), improve beauty (how we LOOK), and boost energy/mood/focus (how we PERFORM).

Please see the slides (PPT and PDF) and Audio files (MP3) from each presentation below (enjoy)…

Nampa/Boise Audio:

Seattle Audio:

Slides:

Talbott Product Education Feb2014 (PDF)

Talbott Product Education Feb2014 (PPT)

Thanks for visiting…

Shawn

=============================================

Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACN, FACSM, FAIS

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

smtalbott@mac.com

http://ShawnTalbott.com

UPCOMING BOOK:  Deadly Antioxidants – Why Your Daily Vitamins May Be Causing Cancer and Shortening Your Life (and How You Can Turn on Your Body’s Own Antioxidants for Optimal Health)

Follow me on YouTube http://youtube.com/user/smtalbott

Follow me on Amazon http://amazon.com/-/e/B001IU0YV6

Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/DocTalbott

Follow me on LinkedIn http://linkedin.com/in/ShawnTalbott

Follow me on ShareCare http://sharecare.com/user/shawn-talbott/blog

Follow me on Facebook http://facebook.com/DocTalbott

Follow me on FB (Author) http://facebook.com/pages/Shawn-Talbott/260570213961041

-The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy (http://amzn.to/ovkwJf)

-Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic  (http://www.KilleratLarge.com)

-The Cortisol Connection – Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House) – http://CortisolConnection.com/

-The Cortisol Connection Diet - The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House) – http://CortisolConnectionDiet.com/

-Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection – The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House) – http://CortisolControl.com/

-Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living – Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books) – http://PainFreeLivingBook.com/

-The Immune Miracle – The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012) – http://amzn.to/SPLV4W

-The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens) – http://SupplementWatch.com/

-A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press) – http://SupplementWatch.com/

Energy Boosters

Just a quick post – adding a short video that expands on my earlier post about Energy Boosting Foods and Supplements.

This video is from an interview at KENS-5 in San Antonio – I was able to stop by the studio after giving a Science Seminar in San Antonio last week where I talked about the importance of balancing cellular stress.

Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting…

Shawn

=============================================

Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACN, FACSM, FAIS

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

smtalbott@mac.com

http://ShawnTalbott.com

UPCOMING BOOK:  Deadly Antioxidants – Why Your Daily Vitamins May Be Causing Cancer and Shortening Your Life (and How You Can Turn on Your Body’s Own Antioxidants for Optimal Health)

Follow me on YouTube http://youtube.com/c/DrShawnTalbott

Follow me on Amazon http://amazon.com/-/e/B001IU0YV6

Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/DocTalbott

Follow me on LinkedIn http://linkedin.com/in/ShawnTalbott

Follow me on ShareCare http://sharecare.com/user/shawn-talbott/blog

Follow me on Facebook http://facebook.com/DocTalbott

Follow me on FB (Author) http://facebook.com/pages/Shawn-Talbott/260570213961041

-The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy (http://amzn.to/ovkwJf)

-Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic  (http://www.KilleratLarge.com)

-The Cortisol Connection – Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House) – http://CortisolConnection.com/

-The Cortisol Connection Diet - The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House) – http://CortisolConnectionDiet.com/

-Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection – The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House) – http://CortisolControl.com/

-Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living – Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books) – http://PainFreeLivingBook.com/

-The Immune Miracle – The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012) – http://amzn.to/SPLV4W

-The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens) – http://SupplementWatch.com/

-A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press) – http://SupplementWatch.com/

Cellular Stress and Cellular Balance are HOT Areas of Research

The title above is a bit of an understatement.

The global scientific community is pursuing research into reducing cellular stress at an unprecedented rate. It used to be that you would have a few researchers at the “nutrition” conference or a few scientists at the “physiology” conference presenting data on managing different markers of cellular stress. Now, however, there are thousands of scientists studying cellular stress and presenting research findings at conferences around the world – and even entire scientific conferences dedicated to cellular stress reduction, such as the Nrf2 research conference held earlier this month in England.

You can read more about the England Nrf2 research conference below, and listen to a short Audio Update about the conference at Cambridge University HERE:

Earlier this year, I wrote and released an early “pre-publication” version of my upcoming book, Best Future You (which will be published in October 2015). The excerpt that I released focused on the novel “core strategy” of activating the Nrf2 pathway for reducing cellular stress, versus the “traditional approach” of taking antioxidant vitamin supplements (Deadly Antioxidants).

In March 2014, I did a national radio tour on this topic of “making antioxidants, versus taking antioxidants” with nearly two dozen radio stations across the country – many of which are posted online for listening/sharing.

In April 2014, I spoke at TEDx (Sandy, Utah) about how cellular stress is related to health, mood, and energy – and how maintaining cellular/biochemical balance can enable us to feel our best, look our best, and perform at our best.

In September 2014, I spoke at The 431 Project in Vermont about how cellular stress is involved in mental and physical performance as well as the balance between health and disease. This multi-day health conference coincided with another multi-day event where I was crowned The World’s Fittest CEO – due in large part to employing several strategies to reduce cellular stress and maintain my own cellular balance.

In October 2014, I presented at the American College of Lifestyle Medicine conference (ACLM – San Diego) about balancing cellular stress to deliver a “new kind of energy” (mental/physical/feel good energy that we can measure as psychological vigor). This research was selected as the “Outstanding Professional Scientific Abstract Poster” of the 2014 ACLM conference.

In December 2014, I presented two lectures about cellular stress and Nrf2 metabolism at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M – Las Vegas).

Earlier this month, (January 2015), I presented a scientific poster about “Phytonutrient Activation of the Nrf2 Pathway” at the Biochemical Society conference on Nrf2 metabolism at Cambridge University in England. I presented on Day 2 and have also blogged about Day 1 and Day 3.

We’ve had standing-room only crowds in dozens of cities around the country – and in many of those cities, I’ve shared my slides and audio recordings for people to share. Here is a recent Powerpoint file that is typical of the slides that I use in these presentations = Talbott Missoula Dec2014

Later in 2015, I’ll be presenting scientific information about the benefits of Nrf2 activation for reducing cellular stress at several conferences, including the Experimental Biology Annual Scientific Conference (March), Philippines Heart Association (May), and the Healthy Aging Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (July).

2014 was an amazing year for someone like me who studies and educates about Cellular Stress – and it’s looking like 2015 will be even more interesting.

Thanks for reading,

Shawn

=============================================

Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACN, FACSM, FAIS

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

smtalbott@mac.com

http://ShawnTalbott.com

UPCOMING BOOK:  Deadly Antioxidants – Why Your Daily Vitamins May Be Causing Cancer and Shortening Your Life (and How You Can Turn on Your Body’s Own Antioxidants for Optimal Health)

Follow me on YouTube http://youtube.com/c/DrShawnTalbott

Follow me on Amazon http://amazon.com/-/e/B001IU0YV6

Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/DocTalbott

Follow me on LinkedIn http://linkedin.com/in/ShawnTalbott

Follow me on ShareCare http://sharecare.com/user/shawn-talbott/blog

Follow me on Facebook http://facebook.com/DocTalbott

Follow me on FB (Author) http://facebook.com/pages/Shawn-Talbott/260570213961041

-The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy (http://amzn.to/ovkwJf)

-Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic  (http://www.KilleratLarge.com)

-The Cortisol Connection – Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House) – http://CortisolConnection.com/

-The Cortisol Connection Diet - The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House) – http://CortisolConnectionDiet.com/

-Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection – The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House) – http://CortisolControl.com/

-Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living – Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books) – http://PainFreeLivingBook.com/

-The Immune Miracle – The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012) – http://amzn.to/SPLV4W

-The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens) – http://SupplementWatch.com/

-A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press) – http://SupplementWatch.com/

Davis Phinney Foundation (Improving the lives of people with Parkinson’s Disease)

From January 24 to February 1 (9 days), I’ll be joining a bunch of nuts in riding the “Tour of Sufferlandria” (the greatest tour of a mythical nation) to raise money for the Davis Phinney Foundation – a fantastic charity that is improving the lives of people with  Parkinson’s Disease in the name of Davis Phinney, a former professional cyclist and one of my boyhood heroes when I was growing up and just learning how to race bicycles.

The Tour of Sufferlandria will have me cycling 9 different “stages” over 9 days (the super-high-intensity “SufferFest” cycling videos that I use for workouts to keep me in shape as the World’s Fittest CEO – I also use Troy Jacobson’s Spinerval videos to train other aspects of fitness) – so I should be sufficiently exhausted by day 7 when I step on stage to speak at the SOLD OUT  Science Seminar in San Antonio, TX on January 30 (and still with 2 stages to ride).

I NEED YOUR HELP!

I have a goal of raising $2,500 for the Davis Phinney Foundation – and I’d like to ask for your help in having me not only reach that goal, but in blowing right through it. PLEASE visit my donation page – and I appreciate every single dollar that you’re able to spare to support the fight against Parkinson’s Disease and the mission to improve the lives of people living with Parkinson’s.

As a “Thank You” for your support, I’ll send you an autographed copy of my Deadly Antioxidants book (why your daily vitamins may be causing cancer and shortening your life and how Nrf2 can turn on your body’s own antioxidants for optimal health). Just email me at smtalbott@mac.com after you’ve donated – tell me your mailing address – and I’ll pop an autographed book in the mail to you – easy peasy. The more you can donate, the more books I’ll send.

As an additional “Thank You” for your support, I will paste below the text of a recently completed educational brochure (“Nrf2 and the Brain and Nervous System”) that will be released on January 30 and is ONLY available at the San Antonio Science Seminar. You’ll see from the information below that oxidative stress, and Nrf2 metabolism, is closely involved with many aspects of brain health and neurological function – so you can see why I’m passionate about helping people to understand the benefits of phytonutrient activation of Nrf2 and it’s potential health benefits.

Thanks for reading – and thanks VERY MUCH for your donation to the Davis Phinney Foundation!

Shawn

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Nrf2 and…Brain and Nervous System

Aging is characterized by a progressive decline in the efficiency of cellular function and the increased risk for disease and death – not a happy future! At the very heart of the aging process is the balance between cellular stressors and our ability to maintain biochemical balance and avoid cellular damage in the face of those stressors. The “free radical theory of aging” suggests that reactive oxygen molecules (free radicals) produced during cellular energy metabolism have damaging effects on all cells and across all tissue in the body – causing cumulative damage over time that ultimately results in aging, dysfunction, and death.

Each of our cells has a built-in system of defense to protect from damage by cellular stressors – called the Nrf2 pathway (see sidebar). In the aging (healthy) brain, as well as in the cases of several neurodegenerative diseases, there is a dramatic decline in the body’s ability to mount a robust defense against cellular stressors – which increases the vulnerability of the brain and the entire nervous system to damage. For example, oxidative damage to the DNA and cell membranes has been detected at levels more than 10 times higher in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients and 17 times higher in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients compared to healthy subjects.

Brain neurons and nerve cells in general are high in lipids (fats) that are highly susceptible to attack by free radicals. High levels of damaged fatty acids, as well as damaged proteins, have been identified in aging brains and associated with cognitive deficits. In the brain, such damage to fatty acids and proteins is known to set off an immune/inflammatory response that often leads to further cellular damage when prolonged. Elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines leads to a vicious cycle of further cellular damage that propagates through a chain reaction across tissues.

Natural plant-derived bioactive compounds (phytonutrients) have been shown to exert both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in brain tissue. For example, known Nrf2-activating phytonutrients such as EGCG from green tea, curcumin from turmeric, and quercetin from onions have been shown to reduce amyloid plaque accumulation (Alzheimer’s) and increase regeneration of dopamine fibers (Parkinson’s), suggesting a general neuro-protective benefit of natural Nrf2 activators. Indeed, population studies have shown a dramatic protective effect of diets high in fruits/vegetables and healthy oils (Mediterranean and Okinawan diets) on risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Although the range of brain and nervous system diseases is varied with distinct pathologic features, there is considerable scientific evidence to support oxidative stress as a common pathogenic mechanism in many neurological conditions. Oxidative damage occurs early in virtually all nervous system disorders, including chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), as well as acute brain injury such as stoke and traumatic brain injury (TBI, including concussions), suggesting that oxidative stress plays a prominent role in disease progression. Nrf2 activation is known to be disrupted in many nervous system disorders and brain levels of protective antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione, etc) are typically reduced in neurodegenerative disorders as well as during normal aging. For example, neurons with low Nrf2 activity are more susceptible to oxidative stress, but cellular damage can be reduced through Nrf2 activation. In both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh (J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2007 January; 66(1): 75-85) have described an insufficient and disrupted activation of the Nrf2 pathway in neurons located in the areas of the brain affected by the disease process.

One important study has shown that a specific blend of phytonutrients (“Product 5x”) can significantly increase levels of superoxide dismutase and catalase in human subjects (Free Radic Biol Med. 2006 Jan 15;40(2):341-7). Conducted at the Webb-Waring Institute for Cancer, Aging and Antioxidant Research at the University of Colorado in Denver, the study showed that natural activation of the Nrf2 pathway increased superoxide dismutase by 30% and catalase increased by 54%, while reducing cellular damage by an average of 40% within 30 days. Importantly, the typical age-related increase in cell damage completely disappeared after supplementation with “Product 5x” – so much so that a 78-year old subject had similar (low) levels of cellular damage to that of a 20-year old subject (indicating a dramatic cellular anti-aging effect).

Other studies (Free Radic Biol Med. 2009 Feb 1;46(3):430-40) have shown that the ingredients in “Product 5x” work synergistically. This means that when all “Product 5x” ingredients were used together on cells, their antioxidant effect was more than the sum of the effects from its individual ingredients. Together, the patented blend of “Product 5x” ingredients was found to have a strongly 2-4 fold synergistic effect on increasing glutathione, a powerful antioxidant and scavenger of free radicals, especially in nerve tissue.

In a recent study funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the United States Department of Defense), “Product 5x” was found to induce Nrf2 and protects brain cells subjected to the stress of high altitude. Results showed that Nrf2 activation by the “Product 5x” blend of phytonutrients was effective in supporting a healthy response to “leaky” blood vessels in the lungs and the brain caused by being at high altitude. “Product 5x” was found to induce Nrf2 at a higher degree than the other agents (prescription drugs for treating altitude sickness) and reduce cerebral vascular leak by 62%, suggesting a promising approach to supporting brain health during various forms of cerebral stress.

These and other recent scientific findings have linked Nrf2 activation not only to an elevated antioxidant capacity, but also to increases in other types of protective proteins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF – a brain protein associated with stimulation of neuron growth and with anti-depressive effects). Interestingly, several established natural Nrf2 activators such as curcumin, sulforaphane, spirulina, and melatonin, have been shown to exert neuroprotective effects in brain and nerve tissue. While the brain-protective benefits of isolated phytonutrient bioactives is extremely interesting, even more interesting is the emerging approach of scientifically examining the synergistic combinations of nutrients to determine improved potency and efficacy for maintaining optimal brain health and preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

Nrf2 Sidebar…

Nrf2 is an internal cellular protein that serves as a “master regulator” of the body’s stress response. You might think of Nrf2 as a “thermostat” within our cells that senses the level of cellular stress and turns on internal protective mechanisms.

Interestingly, while we know that there are numerous Nrf2-inducers in the natural world, we also know that specific combinations of ingredients can maximize gene expression in hundreds of genes associated with superior health of tissues and organs throughout the body. This suggests that our cells possess all the genetic resources required to maintain proper oxidative balance, promote health, and slow the aging process at the genetic level by naturally activating the Nrf2 pathway.

With age, both the level of total Nrf2 protein and the efficiency of its activation decline – leading to reductions in levels of internal protective enzymes and increases in markers of cellular stress. Three important methods have been scientifically proven to increase both Nrf2 protein levels and activity to reduce cellular stress:

  1. Regular exercise
  2. Diet high in brightly-colored fruits/vegetables
  3. Nrf2-activating phytonutrients (plant-derived bioactives)

One specific blend of 5 herbs has been patented for its demonstrated effects in reducing oxidative and inflammatory stress. The 5-ingredient blend (containing extracts of ashwagandha, bacopa, green tea, milk thistle, and turmeric) has been studied in dozens of peer reviewed studies at universities around the country and published in some of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world. These studies show how this specific blend helps to activate Nrf2 and the body’s own protective mechanisms, resulting in an average reduction in cellular stress of as much as 40 percent within thirty days.

More information about Nrf2 activation for improved health can be found in the Deadly Antioxidants book and at http://www.ShawnTalbott.com

Top Energy Boosting Super Foods and Supplements

As busy and productive people with over-scheduled, stressful lifestyles (sometimes combined with little quality sleep and poor eating habits), it is no wonder so many of us feel drained. “Saying that you feel tired usually describes a symptom,” explains Shawn M. Talbott, PhD, author of The Secret of Vigor (Hunter House, 2012). “It could mean that we’re feeling emotionally burned out. We may have brain fog. Or, it could be actual physical fatigue from not getting enough sleep. All of this has its roots in chronic stress, and it leads us to not feel as engaged and focused as we want to be.”

By managing inflammation, stress, and oxidation and improving nutrition we can boost our energy levels. Anti-inflammatory foods boost energy because having too much inflammation in your body can cause the brain to experience mental exhaustion and burnout.

The two best anti-inflammatory foods to add to your grocery list are dark chocolate and blueberries. Dark chocolate contains both theobromine for sustained mental energy; and a small amount of sugar, for reducing sweet-cravings induced by the stress hormone, cortisol. Blueberries are packed with potassium, vitamin C, and flavonoids, which activate the body’s internal production of antioxidant enzymes for profound anti-inflammatory benefits, especially for the brain.

When the body is exposed to chronic stress it produces more of the stress hormone, cortisol, which leads to muscle loss, immune system suppression, and both mental and physical exhaustion. Two of the most effective anti-stress foods are pumpkin seeds and green tea. Munching on roasted pumpkin seeds can have a relaxation effect form both the “crunching” action and because they contain a high content of the amino acid, tryptophan, which has a relaxing effect in the brain. Green tea contains another amino acid called theanine, which has a physical and mental relaxation effect, yet also improved mental focus and improves a state known as “relaxed alertness.”

For a direct injection of energy, be sure to get your B, Cs and Omega-3s! Whole grains are a rich source of the entire family of B-complex vitamins, which are essential for the metabolism of food into cellular energy. Eating more healthy omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish or fish oil supplements have been shown in numerous research studies to support mood and reduce inflammation. Brightly colored fruit and veggies provide cell-protecting phytonutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids and carotenoids that reduce oxidation and inflammation – both of which can cause cellular damage, drain energy levels and accelerate aging.

Avoid traditional high-caffeine and sugar energy drinks. The high levels of caffeine and simple sugars in most energy drinks can cause a blood sugar spike and then an energy crash a couple hours later. Likewise, refined carbs and processed foods cause inflammation and lead to destruction of collagen and elastin in the skin – so you’ll look as bad as you feel. Instead, look for the new generation of “feel good” drinks like Axio Charged and Axio Volt that combine flavonoids, theanine, B-complex vitamins, and other nutrients to maintain sustained mental and physical energy levels with the added benefits of stress resilience, improved mood and sharp mental focus.

Cambridge England Nrf2 Conference – Day 3 Highlights

Day 3 of the Nrf2 Science Conference at Cambridge University is completed – and I think my brain is melting after 3 days of intense discussions about Nrf2 pathway metabolism! In a good way, of course.

There we SO many great presentations, posters, and discussions – so I thought I would simply share just a few of my favorite posters and slides from the 3-day conference. You should be able to download and scale the images below so you can read the details of the research.

Enjoy!

Shawn

Posters

ALS ALS2 Glucose Inflammation Leukemia Muscle Contraction Muscle Glycogen Muscle Regeneration Obesity UV Radiation Withaferin Ashwagandha

Slides

Adapative Response Slide Cellular Stress Slide Cytoprotecive Mechanisms Slide Damage Control Slide Disease Tolerance Slide Nrf2 Intermediary Metabolism Slide Nrf2 Intervention Targets Slide Nrf2 Sensor Cycle Slide

Pictures of Cambridge (hey, it’s a very cool historic University – founded in 1209)!

Cambridge Alley Cambridge Buildings Cambridge Church Cambridge River Cambridge River2

Cambridge England Nrf2 Conference – Day 2 Highlights

Here are some updates from Day 2 of the Nrf2 Conference at Cambridge University.

Dr. Sabine Werner from the Institute for Molecular Health Science in Germany talked about the role of Nrf2 in the skin – as a key regulator of the cellular stress response and trigger for production of cytoprotective proteins involved in skin protection and healing. Loss of Nrf2 activity causes delayed wound healing and strongly enhances skin cancer – so the activation level of Nrf2 is critical for healthy skin.

Dr. Miguel Soares from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia in Portugal delivered presentation about how Nrf2 acts as a master regulator of tissue damage control in disease tolerance. He described a 3-part scenario (“ART”) of tissue protection via Nrf2, including Avoidance of damage (by protective cellular enzymes), Resistance (to cellular stress), and Tolerance (where the cell responds to cellular stressor with adaptations of repair and rejuvenation to tolerate future stressors).

Dr. Jeffrey Johnson from the University of Wisconsin shared his insights into the role of Nrf2 activation in preventing neurodegeneration. He noted that cellular stress and neuron (brain cell) damage is a hallmark of multiple chronic brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease). Dr. Johnson described a series of elegant experiments showing how Nrf2 activation is a novel neuroprotection pathway that confers resistance to a variety of neurogenerative insults. In short, Nrf2 activation protects brain cells from initial damage and improves resistance to future damage. Truly remarkable potential for future prevention and treatment of brain disorders and damage.

This 2nd day of the conference also saw a number of scientific poster presentations – more than 60 in all – describing various aspects of Nrf2 metabolism for not just the reduction of cellular stress and improved cell cell function, but also for a wide range of metabolic effects including energy metabolism (fat/glucose metabolism), muscle synthesis, cancer prevention, brain protection, skin health, liver function, hormone balance, and many others. The more we learn about the various functions of the Nrf2 pathway, the more it makes sense that it should be involved in “everything” related to the maintenance of cellular balance and optimal health at the cellular and genetic level.

Two posters that I’d like to highlight are mine about “Phytonutrient activation of the Nrf2 pathway” and Dr. Sveta Silverman’s about breast cancer. Both posters and abstracts are included below.

In Dr. Silverman’s poster, she describes the evaluation of breast cancer in subjects taking the Nrf2-synergy herbal supplement Protandim.

Here is the Abstract from Dr. Silverman’s poster:

P060 Morphologic comparison of three cases of Low Grade Invasive Ductal Carcinoma: one case of 60 y.o. female on phytochemical NRF2 activator for 7 months, one case of 69 y.o. female on neo-adjuvant hormonal therapy for
8 month, one case of 70 y.o. female with no pre-surgical intervention

Sveta Silverman, Misericordia Hospital, Edmonton, Canada

Oxidative stress plays an important role in etiology of breast cancer. Nrf2 is a transcription factor that regulates an expression of a large number of antioxidant and cytoprotective genes; it has been demonstrated to be protective against cancer. Protandim, a proprietary bland of 5 botanicals (bacopa, ashwaghanda, milk thistle, green tea and turmeric), synergistically activates NRF2 factor.

To date, there are no reports on pathologic evaluation of breast carcinoma in patients taking Protandim. We present three cases of breast Invasive Ductal Carcinoma with similar pathologic grade and stage from one patient on Protandim, one patient post neo-adjuvant hormonal therapy and control case of Breast Carcinoma with no previous tumor alteration. The morphologic appearance of breast carcinoma from patient, obtaining Protandim and from patient on Letrozole is quite similar displaying cellular degeneration. There is no cellular degenerative effect, identified in control case.

We hypothesized that Protandim, via NRF2 up-regulation, caused tumor cell degeneration. This is a purely observational study with very narrow “cohort” to draw any conclusions, and further clinicopathologic correlation with more and more similar studies is needed.

Here is Dr. Silverman’s poster = Silverman Nrf2 London

In my poster presentation, I describe the main benefits of synergistic phytonutrient activation of the Nrf2 pathway, using specific data from studies of Nrf2-synergizing products Protandim (oral dietary supplement) and TrueScience (topical cell balancer):

  • Increases tissue Nrf2 protein levels
  • Stimulates production of endogenous antioxidant enzymes
  • Induces genes associated with cellular health
  • Diminishes DNA damage (UV-induced)
  • Reduces biochemical markers of cellular stress
  • Demonstrates oral and topical efficacy

Here is the Abstract from my poster:

P011 Phytonutrient activation of the Nrf2 pathway

Shawn M. Talbott, LifeVantage Corp, Sandy, USA

A number of natural dietary compounds have been shown to modulate expression of hundreds of genes associated with superior health of the heart, colon, brain, and other tissues – suggesting that our cells possess all the genetic resources required to maintain proper oxidative balance, promote health, and slow the aging process at the genetic level by triggering the Nrf2 pathway.

Interestingly, many “healthy” foods may actually owe many of their health-promoting benefits to the induction of Nrf2 pathways by naturally-occurring bioactive compounds. For example, sul- foraphane from broccoli, curcumin from turmeric, resveratrol from red grapes/wine, quercetin from apples/onions, catechins from tea, and many others.
Natural Nrf2 activators have been studied in a variety of scenarios, including in vitro, in vivo, and gene expression microarray analysis. Because Nrf2 regulates the gene expression of a wide variety of antioxidant enzymes and cytoprotective proteins, it is logical for natural Nrf2 triggering to play a pivotal role in the cellular defense against environmental stresses, par- ticularly against diseases related to immune and inflammatory responses, tissue remodeling and fibrosis, carcinogenesis and metastasis, and neurological and cognitive dysfunction.
This presentation will examine a range of experiments on phytonutrient activators of the Nrf2 pathway and induction of endogenous antioxidant enzymes (catalase, heme-oxygenase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and others) to elucidate the potential of natural Nrf2 triggering not only for specific disease prevention, but also for general health promotion.

Here is my Poster = Talbott Nrf2 London Poster_v1

It’s been a great conference so far – the last day (Day 3) is today – so look for another set of highlights tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,

Shawn

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Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACN, FACSM, FAIS

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

smtalbott@mac.com

http://ShawnTalbott.com

UPCOMING BOOK:  Deadly Antioxidants – Why Your Daily Vitamins May Be Causing Cancer and Shortening Your Life (and How You Can Turn on Your Body’s Own Antioxidants for Optimal Health)

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-The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy (http://amzn.to/ovkwJf)

-Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic  (http://www.KilleratLarge.com)

-The Cortisol Connection – Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House) – http://CortisolConnection.com/

-The Cortisol Connection Diet - The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House) – http://CortisolConnectionDiet.com/

-Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection – The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House) – http://CortisolControl.com/

-Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living – Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books) – http://PainFreeLivingBook.com/

-The Immune Miracle – The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012) – http://amzn.to/SPLV4W

-The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens) – http://SupplementWatch.com/

-A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press) – http://SupplementWatch.com/

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