Vitamins and Vigor

Want to feel better than you’ve ever felt? 

Here’s another excerpt from my 10th book, The Secret of VigorHow to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

 

Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year are:

*Lose Weight

*Get in Shape

*Reduce Stress

*Get Healthier

*Win the Lottery

 

The Secret of Vigor can help you with 4 out of 5 of the most popular resolution goals, so I’ll be posting excerpts from the book for the next several weeks – so please stay tuned for each installment. 

If you simply can’t wait, then you can certainly get a copy at http://amzn.to/1eju3wu or at your favorite library or bookstore.

Vitamins and Vigor

It almost goes without saying that taking a general multivitamin and mineral supplement is a good idea for anybody who is under stress, maintains a hectic lifestyle, or needs more vigor. Every energy-related reaction that takes place in the body, especially those involved in the stress response, relies in one way or another on vitamins and minerals as “cofactors” to make the reactions go. For example, B-complex vitamins are needed for metabolism of protein and carbohydrate, chromium is involved in handling carbohydrates, magnesium and calcium are needed for proper muscle contraction, zinc and copper are required as enzyme cofactors in nearly three hundred separate reactions, iron is needed to help shuttle oxygen in the blood—the list goes on and on.

It is fairly well accepted in the medical community that subclinical or marginal deficiencies of essential micronutrients, especially the B vitamins and magnesium, can lead to psychological and physiological symptoms that are related to stress. Many studies show that various combinations of vitamins and minerals reduce oxidation and inflammation, help control blood sugar, improve immune-system function, and generally improve overall health and well-being. Surveys show that “most” health professionals take daily multivitamins, and scientific evidence generally supports the rationale behind using a general nutritional supplement as a foundation on which to build a solid regimen of biochemical balance.

Dietary Supplements and the Four Pillars of Health

Rather than write another encyclopedia about dietary supplements, I want to use this chapter to give you a somewhat brief, but hopefully practical, overview of some of the vitamins and nutritional supplements that I have found over the years to be most beneficial for restoring biochemical balance in the Four Pillars of Health. If you want more details for each supplement, I invite you to see the Resources section of this book for some recommended textbooks specializing in dietary supplement science, including the traditional use, scientific evidence, safety, and dosing recommendations for a wide range of potentially beneficial dietary supplements.

Even though a great deal of the biochemistry presented in earlier sections may appear to be a bit complicated and overwhelming, the overall picture is really quite simple. You basically want to stop excessive levels of oxidation, inflammation, glycation, and stress-hormone exposure. By reining in these destructive biochemical forces, you can slow the breakdown of your tissues and enhance their restoration. At the same time, you want to enhance the process of repair and rebuilding of those damaged tissues—and restoring biochemical balance allows the body to do its job of repair much faster and more completely. Finally, you also want to protect the new healthy tissue from future damage by maintaining your biochemical balance and keeping it from becoming unbalanced again. If your biochemistry is balanced and your tissues are functioning optimally, then you’ll “feel” that balance in terms of a high perception of vigor. Remember, as stated in the beginning of this book: “Balance your biochemistry to beat burnout!”

You’ve already been introduced to the idea that it is important to eat a variety of brightly-colored fruits & vegetables and whole grains to provide adequate levels of B-complex vitamins, phytonutrients such as carotenoids/flavonoids, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The forthcoming sections discuss what roles specific vitamins can play in strengthening the Four Pillars of Health. I also provide you with information on a targeted blend of herbs for restoring biochemical balance, such as eurycoma, citrus PMFs (polymethoxylated flavones), green-tea catechins, theanine, and others.

To make it easier for you to see the link between dietary supplements and specific pathways to greater vigor, I have broken down the rest of the chapter into sections that address each of the Four Pillars of Health.

Secret of Vigor – Chapter 10: Vigor Improvement Practices—Dietary Supplements

Want to feel better than you’ve ever felt? 

Here’s another excerpt from my 10th book, The Secret of VigorHow to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year are:

*Lose Weight

*Get in Shape

*Reduce Stress

*Get Healthier

*Win the Lottery

The Secret of Vigor can help you with 4 out of 5 of the most popular resolution goals, so I’ll be posting excerpts from the book for the next several weeks – so please stay tuned for each installment. 

If you simply can’t wait, then you can certainly get a copy at http://amzn.to/1eju3wu or at your favorite library or bookstore.

Chapter 10: Vigor Improvement Practices—Dietary Supplements

Natural dietary supplements are known to effectively and safely influence the stress response and can help restore biochemical balance in each of the Four Pillars of Health. In this chapter, each supplement is described in terms of the scientific and medical evidence for its effects on vigor. Recommendations for safety, dosage levels, and what to look for if you decide to use the supplement are also provided.

Dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs/extracts, are extremely safe. As the author of two academic textbooks on the subject of dietary supplements, I believe it is worth noting that when supplements are used as directed, any adverse events or side effects are exceedingly rare. That said, they do happen from time to time, and they are almost impossible to predict because of differences between product formulations, individual health statuses, medication regimens, and numerous lifestyle factors (diet, sleep, stress, etc.). For example, any individual who is under medical supervision for a chronic disease or who is taking prescription or over-the-counter medications should check with their health-care provider before adding any dietary supplement to their daily regimen. Likewise, women should understand that any dietary supplement that they are considering taking is unlikely to have been researched or found to be safe under conditions of pregnancy or lactation, so it is best to avoid these supplements during these high-risk times of life.

Why Take Supplements?

Because so many strategies for reducing stress and increasing vigor are available, some people question whether they really need nutritional supplements. But I counter by asking them, “Why not take supplements?” In research and in real life, I have seen the value of a strategic regimen of carefully chosen natural dietary supplements. These supplements can help restore biochemical balance within and between each of the Four Pillars of Health: manage oxidation, control inflammation, stabilize glucose, and balance stress hormones.

Let’s admit it: For most people, from a purely practical perspective, developing a regimen for biochemical balance that incorporates appropriate dietary supplementation is usually more “doable” than following a complicated stress-management program or making time for regular exercise. This does not at all imply that stress management is unimportant or that supplements can provide all the same benefits that exercise delivers. Nevertheless, supplements, for many people, represent a habit that they can incorporate into their already-busy daily lives, and supplements can have powerfully beneficial effects on controlling stress and restoring vigor.

Whether your exposure to stress is the result of physical or psychological factors, the response mounted by the body’s hormonal system is exactly the same and just as detrimental. This means physical stressors, such as suboptimal nutrition (dieting), extremes of exercise (too much or too little), inadequate sleep, or even “aging,” will affect the body in many of the same ways as psychological stressors, such as concerns about bills, traffic, deadlines, family worries, etc. No matter what source of stress a person is exposed to, the body proceeds through a systemic stress response that eventually leads to problems with biochemical balance, reduced vigor, and declining health. However, advances in nutritional science and biochemistry have shown that a wide variety of dietary and herbal ingredients can assist the body in mounting an adaptive response to stress and help minimize or control some of the systemic detrimental health effects of stress.

These natural products represent a logical and convenient approach for many people who are subjected to stressors on a daily basis—for example, from work, finances, or the environment. Most of the time, “removing” the stressor (avoiding it) is an impossible option, no matter how desirable that option may be. Think about it: You have to work (stress!), you have to pay your bills on time (stress!), you may have to sit in rush-hour traffic (stress!), and you have family and interpersonal relationships that don’t always go smoothly (stress!). You also know that you should be “eating better” and that you should be “getting more exercise” (both of which can help control the stress response), but the reality of your busy life means that other things often take priority over exercise—jobs, kids, spouses, chores…you name it. In addition, the very concept of taking time out of your busy schedules for a yoga or meditation class may be downright laughable, even though you know it would likely do you a lot of good.

For some people, a properly formulated supplement regimen may be the “last piece of the puzzle” that helps them finally restore biochemical balance in their bodies. For others, the supplements may be the “first step” toward getting their metabolism back on an even keel and allowing them to incorporate other healthy lifestyle choices, such as regular exercise and proper diet. For many people, the only logical solution to managing an overactive stress response and restoring vigor may be the use of targeted dietary supplements to help establish and maintain the body’s biochemical balance.

TEDx Talk

I’ve been a HUGE fan of the TEDTalks series of lectures – “Ideas Worth Spreading” – and have always wondered if someday I’d get to deliver one of my own…

Well, that day came on April 26, 2014 when I was invited to give a talk at TEDxSandy – a locally organized TED event around the idea of “Under Pressure” (stress in the modern world).

Since my area of research concerns the concept that “Biochemistry Drives Behavior” (the reason we Feel – or Look – or Perform a certain way is because of biochemical changes in our individual cells), I talked about how being in balance – or being “just right” – can help us to become our best future self.

Here is my talk, “The Qi of Goldilocks” on YouTube.

Hope you enjoy it – and thanks for reading…

Shawn

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Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACN, FACSM, FAIS
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
801-576-0788 (office)
801-915-1170 (mobile)

 

NEW BOOK: The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy
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-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://www.cortisolconnection.com/
-The Cortisol Connection Diet – The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House) – http://www.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://www.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://www.supplementwatch.com/
-A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press) – http://www.supplementwatch.com/