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 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.

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