Balancing Biochemistry

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

My 13th book, Best Future You, is out!

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be posting excerpts from the book and blogging frequently about the main concept in the book – which is the idea of harnessing your body’s internal cellular biochemistry to achieve true balance in body, mind, and spirit – and in doing so, help you to become your “Best Future You” in terms of how you look, how you feel, and how you perform on every level.

Chapter 1 – The Battle for Balance

Balancing Biochemistry

When measuring the state of their health through lab tests, people often want to get their “numbers” down. For instance, they may strive to lower their cholesterol or to lower high blood-pressure readings. But when it comes to the subject of cellular stress, the goal is not simply to “lower” oxidizing free radicals or inflammatory cytokines or even stress hormones like cortisol – but instead to maintain proper balance. In fact, many stress physiologists believe that the problem is not so much the absolute level of cellular stress that people are exposed to, but their degrees of variability in that exposure that lead to imbalances that further lead to tissue dysfunction and systemic disease. In other words, people should aim to have neither high levels of cellular stress – nor low levels – but rather, a “just right” level that fluctuates normally in response to stress and adaptation. In coming chapters, we’ll look more at how chronically high cellular stress is bad, but also how chronically low cellular stress can also be bad—and especially how “flat” levels of cellular stress/adaptation that show little to no fluctuation seem to be just as bad as either extreme, because they lead to problems with biochemical balance and to adverse changes in other aspects of biochemistry farther “downstream” in the metabolic cascade.

You’ve just learned a great deal about biochemistry, and at this point you have a better understanding of how exposure to our external and internal environments affects your biochemical balance. You may also have come to realize that chronic cellular stress is not only a major stumbling block to developing daily vigor but a drastic threat to your long-term health as well. As you continue reading, you will recognize that the importance of balancing cellular stress is at the very heart of, and sets the foundation for, everything that we might do to improve how we feel, look, and perform.

Thanks for reading – tune in for the next installment when I kick off Chapter 2 with “Managing Cellular Stress – the Basis for Feeling, Looking, and Performing Your Best


Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN
Nutritional Biochemist and Author


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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)
A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press)
About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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