Advertisements

Food Matters TV

The award-winning documentary that I produced a few years ago, “Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat” is streaming on FMTV (Food Matters Television).

Killer at Large won numerous “best-documentary” awards, was included as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to fight childhood obesity, and has been screened for hundreds of organizations around the country to help promote healthy eating, regular exercise, and overall well-being.

If you’re serious about taking charge of your health, then FMTV is a great way to educate and inspire yourself to…

•Improve your diet, health & well-being

•Prepare tasty and delicious meals

•Heal your body with real whole foods & superfoods

•Achieve your ideal weight naturally

Think of FMTV as “Netflix for Health” – an online streaming channel over-flowing with hard-hitting documentaries, inspirational mind & body segments, quick & healthy recipes, yoga classes, exercise routines and more.

As a reader of my blog, you can take a 10-day trial of FMTV for FREE!

Visit this link to learn more.

Thanks for reading.

Shawn

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

Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

smtalbott@mac.com

www.shawntalbott.com

 

New Book! = Best Future You: Harnessing Your Body’s Biochemistry to Achieve Balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit

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)

Advertisements

Skin Stress

Best Future YouHarnessing Your Body’s Biochemistry to Achieve Balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit

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 7 – Look Your Best

Skin Stress 

When we’re under any type of stress, our body’s secrete a higher level of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol isn’t “bad” in and of itself. It’s a normal part of our physiological makeup. The problem occurs when we’re exposed to too much of it on a chronic basis – a scenario that is all too common in today’s fast-paced, overbooked way of living.

Because of cortisol’s wide-ranging influence on other important aspects of metabolism (especially those metabolic pathways associated most closely with “aging”), it is often called the “death hormone” and is associated with a tipping of the turnover process described above toward the “breakdown” side of the equation. The “death hormone” description is a fairly accurate nickname because cortisol is a hormone that tends to increase with age, and our increased exposure to cortisol as we age has been linked to breakdown and dysfunction in every tissue in the body, especially connective tissues such as skin. This breakdown of our tissue does, in a real sense, bring us closer to death and age us unnecessarily before our time. So whether we’re talking about skin, or muscles, or brain neurons, it makes sense to address cortisol’s role in cellular stress and the metabolism of aging.

Since cellular stress is basically the driving force underlying several metabolic pathways, we need to control it in order to slow down the skin’s aging process, treat and prevent problem skin, and promote radiant, healthy skin. When we do this, we get unexpected perks: Controlling cellular stress also produces beneficial results in terms of weight loss, improved mood, and enhanced libido!

One major way that cortisol earns its nickname as the “death hormone” is through its destructive effect on collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body (about a third of all the proteins ) and the chief structural component of skin tissues (about 90 percent). Collagen serves as the primary framework on which all the major structures in our body, including our skin, are built. It’s what wards off lines and wrinkles, and it is about the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth.

The health of our skin is affected by how well we metabolize collagen – that is, how well our systems make collagen available to our bodies for productive use. Collagen metabolism can be influenced by our eating habits, exercise patterns, and lifestyles. When we are under stress, our cortisol levels increase, contributing to a faster breakdown of tissues that contain collagen, such as bone and skin.

Another source of collagen destruction is the drying-out process that comes with aging. However, there are ways to reduce this destruction and promote the synthesis of stronger collagen fibers. Most people try to do this by using topical cosmetics that deliver lubricants and moisturizers back to the surface of the skin in an attempt to slow the aging process. Some of these topical remedies are natural and work well with the body’s own self-healing tendency, but entire premise of this book is that the best, most natural way to care for every one of the trillions of cells in our body (including your skin) is to support the CDR pathways inside of each of those individual cells. This can greatly help bring the collagen-turnover process into balance, and it can even tip the scales slightly in your favor when it comes to repairing vital connective tissues and preventing (or at least delaying) some of the conditions that we normally associate with aging.

If you are still too young to require “anti-aging” advice and your concern is treating and preventing problem skin – for example, if your situation is not dry skin but the opposite: oily, acne-prone skin – then CDR activation (topically and internally) can also be the foundation of inside-out skin care while you are young. Since this is an approach that makes you feel better as well as look better, it can grow with you very comfortably through the years, so that when your skin becomes more mature, it will have the long-term benefit of healthy CDR balance.

Thanks for reading – be sure to tune in for the next installment about the “FACE Program” approach to controlling all of the major aspects of skin biochemistry.

====================================
Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
801-915-1170 (mobile)

 

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

Skin Protein Maintenance – Synthesis, Breakdown and Repair

Best Future YouHarnessing Your Body’s Biochemistry to Achieve Balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit

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 7 – Look Your Best

Skin Protein Maintenance – Synthesis, Breakdown and Repair

As mentioned above, skin proteins maintain strength and resiliency by continually undergoing a process of breakdown and rebuilding. This process, known as collagen turnover, is a recycling process that helps get rid of older collagen, elastin, and keratin fibers that may be damaged or weakened, and replaces them with newer, healthier fibers that are stronger and more able to withstand strain. Just as public works crews are sent out to repair potholes in roads, your body has to fight an ongoing struggle to constantly maintain and repair the collagen network.

Without this ongoing renewal and repair process of skin protein turnover, small bits of daily damage would build up and result in a serious deterioration of the tissue. In skin, this leads to the familiar dulling and wrinkling as we age; in joints, this might lead to painful arthritis; in bones it might lead to a stress fracture; and in muscles and tendons the risk for strains and tears might be increased.

I certainly don’t need to tell anybody reading this book that skin wrinkles as we age. Wrinkled skin is almost something that we’ve all come to accept as an inevitable part of the aging process. Have you ever stopped to wonder, though, just why it is that our skin wrinkles as we age? How about the fact that some people have more wrinkles than others? How about whether or not something can be done about it?

Well, there are a number of approaches that can be taken to help combat the appearance of wrinkles in the skin. The basic underlying reason that our skin wrinkles with age is because we “dry out.” As we age, our bodies actually lose moisture little by little – and the end result is that we all “shrivel” up a bit. The drying out process can be accelerated by environmental factors such as prolonged exposure to the sun and smoking. Luckily, however, this drying out process can be slowed somewhat by the wide range of topical cosmetics that deliver lubricants and moisturizers back to the surface of the skin. A different approach to preventing the drying and wrinkling effects of aging is to moisturize the skin by providing nourishment from the inside – with balanced nutrition and dietary supplements that help to improve the efficiency of the turnover process.

As we age, the deeper layer of skin, known as the dermis, gets thinner. The progressive breakdown of collagen and elastin (which can be accelerated by sunlight and cigarette smoke) results in a loss of skin strength and a reduced ability to maintain adequate levels of lubricating fluid. Proper dietary support can help to reduce the destruction of collagen and promote the synthesis of stronger collagen fibers.

Hair and nails are composed of another structural protein called keratin. In many ways, keratin is similar to collagen – both are long strand-like proteins that serve a structural function in the body. The composition of the amino acid building blocks, however, is a bit different between collagen and keratin. In collagen, more than half of the amino acids are accounted for by proline, glycine or hydroxyproline. Keratin also contains fairly high levels of glycine and proline, which account for about 20% of the molecule, but it also contains about 10% of another amino acid called cysteine – something that collagen lacks.

Brittle hair and nails are a common complaint affecting about 30-40% of the population. Although weak brittle hair and nails can be the result of a variety of factors such as environmental exposure, the process of keratin synthesis can be enhanced by the same steps which enhance collagen synthesis.

With age, a number of noticeable changes in collagen structures become apparent. Collagen fibers lose their elasticity – so we may become “droopy” in areas of our body which used to be firm. Collagen in skin begins to lose its ability to hold water, so our skin dries out and begins to wrinkle. The keratinized cells, destined to become strands of hair, become fewer in number and lose their ability to produce pigment – so we either go bald or turn gray. With age, cartilage cells lose their ability to produce new collagen – so we lose cartilage thickness and our joints begin to ache. Bones become weaker over time as the rate of collagen and mineral breakdown exceeds our ability to replace losses with healthy tissue.

If we could just balance the collagen turnover process, or better yet, tip the scales slightly in our favor – we could balance out the destruction and repair of our vital connective tissues and prevent (or delay) some of the conditions that we normally associate with aging.

Thanks for reading – be sure to tune in for the next installment about “Skin Stress

====================================
Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
801-915-1170 (mobile)

 

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

Ways to De-Stress?

We all know that too much stress is “bad” for us, but we’re often stumped for ways to easily counteract our stress signals. Here are some simple strategies…

Here is a feature article from the March 2016 issue of Cosmopolitan where I talk a little about why it can be so difficult to relax and de-stress.

Here is a great explanation on Relaxation Breathing from a recent Harvard Business Review article. The “short-version” for this type of creating (that activates our parasympathetic nervous system, which basically puts the “brakes” on our stress response) is to breathe full and deeply for one minute – so the total time spent on each inhalation and exhalation together is 10 seconds, for a total of six breaths per minute.

Finally, here are a few seminars (in mp3 format) that I did about stress balance, mental/physical vigor, and stress fat at a behavioral medicine conference:

 

 

 

I hope some of these help you to relax and de-stress…

Thanks for reading (and listening)!

====================================
Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
801-915-1170 (mobile)

 

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

Our Skin Reflects Our True Health

Best Future YouHarnessing Your Body’s Biochemistry to Achieve Balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit

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 7 – Look Your Best

Our Skin Reflects Our True Health

You’ve heard the old saying, “Beauty is more than skin deep” – and it’s true – especially when you realize that our body has a built-in “beauty protection” network inside of every cell, including our skin cells. You’ll often hear that the skin has “two layers” (the dermis and epidermis), but the epidermis (uppermost layer) is actually comprised of five distinct layers and the dermis (deeper layer) has two different layers – so our skin actually has seven different layers that protect our delicate (internal) tissues from the damaging (external) environment.

Emerging science is discovering a new approach to caring for your skin, one that addresses what goes on inside you and at the deeper layers of skin (not just the surface) in order to bring forth the most glowing, clear, healthy skin on your outside. Achieving healthy, beautiful skin is truly an inside-out process. Looking better, feeling better, having more confidence, and causing your exterior to reflect your beautiful interior (and vice versa) is what the latest skin science is all about.

Nobody wants to look like they’re aging. Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on lotions, creams, and coatings to be applied to the surface of the skin (the dead part, called the stratum corneum). Many of these concoctions do a wonderful job of smoothing out wrinkles and giving the appearance of younger, healthier skin. The illusion of healthier skin, however, rapidly fades when the beauty cream wears off.

What is Our Skin Made Of?

Before we get too far into an explanation about how to make our skin look better, let’s take a few minutes to understand what our skin is actually made of. Skin is a highly structured group of specialized cells (keratinocytes) and complex proteins (collagen, elastin, keratin, etc). Each of these proteins is a specialized type often referred to as structural protein. It might help you to think of structural proteins as the steel girders and construction rods of the body. If we were to think of the body as a structure such as an office building or skyscraper, then structural proteins would be the steel girders, the iron rivets and the outer surface of the building.

Structural proteins play a vital role in maintaining the basic integrity of various tissues in the body. By integrity, I am referring to the actual “state of repair” of bodily tissues such as your joints, bones, tendons and ligaments. You might visualize healthy collagen as the surface of a brand new highway (smooth, strong, free from damage) whereas an old country road covered with potholes might be a way to visualize unhealthy or damaged collagen. By maintaining proper function and supporting the body’s vital cellular renewal processes, we can help to delay or prevent many of the degenerative conditions commonly associated with aging.

Collagen and related structural proteins are constantly in a steady state of turnover – meaning that the collagen matrix is continually being broken down and rebuilt in response to the demands placed on it. Under normal circumstances, turnover is balanced between synthetic (production) and degenerative (breakdown) processes. This allows periodic removal and repair of damaged tissue and its replacement with healthy new tissue. Under certain conditions, however, the balance between tissue breakdown and repair can become unbalanced – resulting in excess tissue deterioration. Sometimes this is due to extreme cellular destruction, sometimes to inadequate repair and sometimes to a combination of both.

A number of factors are known to influence the body’s ability to adapt to conditions which unbalance the cellular turnover process, including:

  • Aging causes a number of biochemical and biomechanical changes in skin and other connective tissues. For example, in skin, both the number of cells and their individual activity may decline with age. This means that older skin may be less able to repair damage and less resistant to injury and environmental insults than younger skin.
  • Genetic factors are thought to play a role in metabolism of collagen and other structural proteins and may explain some of the variation in risk of collagen-related diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis, which can be related in certain ways to skin aging (fine lines and wrinkles).
  • Physical activity has the potential to significantly influence collagen and structural protein metabolism by enhancing transport of nutrients from the blood into the connective tissues, including skin, where they can be used. Too little activity or too much mechanical stress may unbalance the collagen repair process and impair connective tissue function.
  • Medications, including over the counter pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) can interfere with the normal collagen repair process. Although such medications are widely used for the temporary relief of pain and inflammation of arthritis and other injuries, their overall effect is to address the symptom of pain – not the underlying cause of tissue damage. Chronic use of such pain relievers may actually accelerate connective tissue damage and worsen the very condition from which you are trying to get relief.

Cellular Turnover

As discussed above, collagen and other structural proteins are continually undergoing a process of breakdown and repair. This cycle of tearing down and building back up again is referred to as “turnover” and is a perfectly normal part of keeping the connective tissues such as skin at peak health. The turnover process allows tissues with a high collagen content to adapt to stress and repair themselves after suffering damage. For instance, let’s say you “over do it” at the company softball game and wake up with stiff achy muscles and joints the next morning. The pain and discomfort that you are feeling is a result of damage to your muscles, tendons and ligaments caused by the stress of overexertion. You already know that the pain and stiffness will eventually go away over the next couple of days – that’s because your natural turnover process will begin to remove the damaged tissue and replace it with brand new healthy tissue that is just a little bit stronger than it was before. The very same process is at work when we need to repair our damaged skin after too many hours in the sun, or when we’re repairing a scratch, cut, or other wound to the skin.

The collagen turnover process can be influenced by a variety of factors including age, physical health and nutrient intake. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to point out the wrinkling of skin, the stiffening of joints and the graying (or loss) of hair as we age. We’ve known for decades that regular physical activity and proper nutrition can help delay or reverse some of the deterioration of our bodies. In fact, many of the losses in function considered to be “inevitable” consequences of aging are little more than minor inefficiencies and subtle deficits that have built up over many years.

For example, joint stiffness is probably the first consequence of aging that we notice. Why? Because we try to get up from the chair or carry something across the yard and we say, “Whoa, I never felt that before.” What you’re feeling in this situation is the result of years and years of accumulated stress (and inadequate repair) in your connective tissue. The key to maintaining optimal connective tissue function is to maintain and support the naturally balanced process of collagen turnover.

Virtually each and every situation that we associate with “aging” can be directly attributed to the lifetime balance of degradation and repair within each tissue. In the innumerable cases that make us feel older (joint pain, weak muscles, stiff tendons and wrinkling skin) a significant underlying connection to collagen health exists. In each case, the balance between breakdown and repair has tilted in favor of collagen loss.

Even if collagen breakdown outpaces repair by just a very slight amount, the combined effect over the years will lead to dysfunction. If you could just give the balance a little bump – and either nudge the synthesis of collagen a little higher or push the breakdown of collagen a little lower – then you’d be back in balance. Even better, if you could stack the deck in your favor, by increasing collagen synthesis above the breakdown rate, then you could actually make gains in those areas that previously gave you grief.

Thanks for reading – be sure to tune in for the next installment about “Skin Protein Maintenance – Synthesis, Breakdown and Repair

====================================
Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
801-915-1170 (mobile)

 

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

A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Supporting Energy

Best Future YouHarnessing Your Body’s Biochemistry to Achieve Balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit

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 6 – Feel Your Best

A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Supporting Energy

Caffeine

Caffeine is perhaps the best-known and most-researched enhancer of cognitive function and perceived energy levels. Research on the physiological effects of caffeine in relation to human mental and physical performance is extensive. Caffeine is quickly absorbed and can appear in the bloodstream within 15-45 minutes of consumption with peak concentrations evident one hour post-ingestion and decreasing by 50-75% within 3-6 hours. Overall, the findings from hundreds of research studies investigating the effects of caffeine supplementation on physical and mental performance indicate a positive combined effect on both the central (brain and nerves) and peripheral (muscle and fat) systems. Caffeine is known to boost the effects of brain neurotransmitters including serotonin (mood), dopamine (concentration), and acetylcholine (focus).

Research also shows that the amount of caffeine we consume matters. Consumption of about 100-200mg (about 1-2 cups of coffee) tends to deliver many of the “energizing” effects of caffeine, without the side effects associated with caffeine over-consumption (tension, irritability, headaches, insomnia). For healthy adults FDA has cited 400mg/day as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects. FDA has not set a level for children, but the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the consumption of caffeine and other stimulants by children and adolescents. Finally, caffeine consumption has also been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, meaning that caffeine can be part of a healthy approach to supporting mental and physical energy levels.

“Energy” Vitamins and Minerals (Niacin, Vitamins B6 & B12, and Magnesium)

Every energy-related reaction that takes place in the body, 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, while magnesium is needed for proper muscle contraction and nerve function. It is fairly well accepted in the scientific community that subclinical or marginal deficiencies of essential micronutrients, especially the B-complex vitamins and magnesium, can lead to psychological and physiological symptoms that are related to fatigue.

Monterey Pine Bark Extract (New Zealand Pine Bark Extract)

Pine bark extract, particularly from Monterey or New Zealand pine (Pinus radiata), is one of the richest sources of specialized brain-supportive compounds called proanthocyanidins, that have been shown to balance stress hormones and neurotransmitters, including cortisol, epinephrine, and dopamine – leading to improvements in mental focus, concentration, and irritability.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) has been associated with a wide-range of benefits for health and longevity. In particular, specific polyphenol compounds from green tea (epigallocatechin-3-gallate; EGCG) may both protect and enhance brain function by blocking the formation of beta-amyloid plaques that have been linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. In addition, green tea consumption has been independently associated with significantly better mental function (global cognition), memory (information processing speed), and problem solving (executive function).

DMAE

DMAE, or Di-Methyl-Amino-Ethanol, is a naturally-occuring amino-alcohol that serves as a precursor for production of the brain neurotransmitter, acetylcholine (responsible for nerve transmissions and cognitive function). In the diet, it is found in high concentrations in “brain food” such as anchovies and sardines. DMAE has been used since the 1950s to improve memory, focus, alertness, and mood while stimulating neural (brain) activity. Many researchers believe that DMAE may serve a mental energy function by increasing the brain’s capacity to produce acetylcholine, which commonly declines with aging and memory loss.

Nicotinamide ribosome (NR)

Nicotinamide ribosome (NR) is a metabolite of vitamin B3 (niacin) that has been shown to effectively increase cellular levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) needed for mitochondrial function, cellular energy, neurological function, and optimal aging. NAD levels typically fall during aging, but NR supplementation has been shown to improve endurance, enhance respiratory exchange ratio (RER, an index of fat metabolism), increase production of new mitochondria, and improve cognitive function (mental energy). In one study of aged mice (2 years old), increasing levels of NAD with NR feeding resulted in a restoration of youthful mitochondria levels (to levels seen in 6-month old mice). In human terms, that would be comparable to a 60-year-old restoring their mitochondria levels to those of a 20-year-old.

Quercetin

Quercetin is a water-soluble flavonoid typically found in red wine, onions, and apples. In the body, quercetin plays a role in both improving blood flow and in elevating norepinephrine levels, both of which have been linked to increased cellular and whole-body energy levels.

Theanine

Theanine is a unique amino acid found in the leaves of green tea (Camellia sinensis). A unique aspect of theanine is that it acts as a “non-sedating relaxant” to help increase the brain’s production of alpha-waves (those associated with “relaxed alertness”). This makes theanine extremely effective for combating tension, stress, and anxiety—without inducing drowsiness. By increasing the brain’s output of alpha waves, theanine helps to control anxiety, increase mental focus, improve concentration, and promote creativity.

What Would You Do With More Energy?

I find it interesting, that once people understand the actual underlying triggers of their fatigue (low mood, lack of focus, high stress, etc), they are empowered to DO something about restoring their natural levels of mental and physical energy.

I also find it interesting that the type of “energy” (vigor) that people derive from the multi-dimensional approach described above is probably better described as “motivation” because it is a particularly “actionable” type of energy that makes people feel like getting up and doing something. These people tend to use that energy in proactive ways – starting a business, being active with their family, volunteering in their church or community, even just walking their dog.

However you decide to use your new-found “energy,” I hope that you will give some though to “paying it forward” and helping someone that you care about to achieve the same high level of mental and physical energy in their own life.

Thanks for reading – please tune in for the next installment, where we’ll shift gears away from “Feeling Your Best” toward “Looking Your Best” with Chapter 7 about skin health.

====================================
Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
801-915-1170 (mobile)

 

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

Feeling sluggish and blah?

Here is an article that I recently wrote for an Alternative Medicine magazine – hope you like it!

Restoring your mental and physical equilibrium will help you achieve the best version of yourself

By Shawn Talbott, PhD, LDN, FACSM

Americans are tired, depressed, and overweight. We spend more than $100 billion on energy drinks, antidepressants, sleep drugs, and other products designed to help us feel different. But they don’t necessarily help us feel better. Most of the problems we experience in our wellbeing and vitality are because we are out of balance biochemically – our internal equilibrium is off. Our diets and environment, as well as our physical, emotional and psychological health, can cause biochemical changes in our bodies that drive how we feel, how we look and how we perform on every level.

The solution is to restore the equilibrium in body, mind, and spirit. Once you get back in biochemical balance, brain fog fades, replaced by mental clarity. You start losing weight, especially in the abdominal area (belly fat). You sleep better and daytime energy levels return to youthful levels. That feeling of emotional engagement and wellbeing returns. And as you get yourself into a more positive cycle, you click into the groove. It gets easier to stay there. You start making good choices that keep your biochemistry going in the right way.

Your age is stressing your body 

People are surprised to learn that even the process of aging represents a stress on the body because of the slow and progressive disruption of metabolic balance. Cortisol (a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands in response to stress) levels rise and testosterone levels fall about one percent each per year after your mid-30s. Eventually, we all age ourselves into metabolic imbalance, but stress exposure and sleep loss accelerate the process and lead us (faster) to a state of low vigor where we gain belly fat while we feel more tired, more depressed and more confused.

While every day can bring different challenges to our equilibrium, especially for working moms, there are numerous factors within our ability to control. Tactics such as natural dietary supplements, lifestyle programs, aromatherapy and even brain training can help restore equilibrium so you look, feel and perform better. These strategies are in line with how your body is intended to operate. The whole idea is restoring your equilibrium is to give you the foundation and opportunity to get whatever is out of your grasp, whether it’s weight loss, energy or something else.

How to get you started on your rebalancing journey 

The side effects to the following tips might include losing some of that belly fat, feeling less fatigued, and having fewer episodes of the blues. You may also become more active, and might even smile more often.

  • Do what you can to make the sources of your stress more predictable, or learn to develop more control over those stressors. Start by identifying patterns. If morning rush hour always causes your first headache of the day, consider changing your morning routine so that you can leave 10 minutes earlier. One of the fundamental biochemical facts you need to know is that chronic stress robs you of vigor. The unrelenting, chronic stress that most people put up with every day can wreak havoc with your sleep, weight, and general health.
  • Control the rust. When iron is exposed to air, oxygen triggers a chemical reaction called oxidation. During oxidation, renegade oxygen molecules called free radicals chip away at the composition of the iron. In our bodies, similar free radicals form as byproducts from the “burning” of food for energy and the breakdown of toxic substances, such as cigarette smoke and other pollutants. Manage oxidation by consuming plenty of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, green tea and cocoa. (I really don’t have to remind you to quit smoking, do I?)
  • Manage inflammation. Inflammation is blamed for many chronic diseases. Reduce it by eating fewer fried foods and more healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon and tuna.
  • Stabilize your glucose. You don’t have to completely understand the glycemic index to know that spikes in insulin (the result of flooding your body with glucose) aren’t good for you. It can lead to food cravings and more serious conditions. Help level it off by giving up full-sugar soda, switching from refined grains to whole grains, and eating proteins with your carbs.

What foods to avoid?

When it comes to diet, biochemical balance and health, researchers know a great deal about what not to do. This comes down to avoiding or limiting your intake of highly refined carbohydrates, sodas and processed foods containing high-fructose corn syrup and trans-fat (usually listed on the label as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil). Why do you need to avoid these types of highly processed foods? Because they set off a biochemical chain reaction in the body that leads to unhealthy elevations in blood sugar, insulin, cortisol, cytokines and free radicals – all combining to disrupt equilibrium and generate the majority of our first-world health problems including obesity, diabetes, depression, fatigue, low libido, attention deficit, and many others.

These biochemical events are not only bad for your long-term health but also bad for your long- and short-term ability to heal and rebuild tissues. For example, chugging a sugary soda leads to microscopic tissue destruction via a number of the following related events:

  • Spiking blood sugar and insulin levels lead to protein glycation and destruction of collagen and elastin (key structural proteins in healthy connective tissues such as skin and joint cartilage).
  • Elevated cortisol levels lead to imbalances in the inflammatory process in favor of pro-inflammatory cytokines (which lead to further damage to tissues and blood vessel linings).
  • Inflammatory cytokine signaling elevates free-radical destruction of cells and tissue membranes throughout the body.

And, all these events are detrimental to your level of vigor (how we feel and perform) but also to how we look and how long we might live.

What to eat? 

The proposition that poor dietary choices can lead to so much destructive metabolism in your body is scary. However, we all make these choices many times a day when we choose what we eat. Very good scientific evidence helps people choose diets that provide ingredients that not only reduce these detrimental biochemical chain reactions but also prevent and reverse the effects of oxidation, glycation, inflammation, and all the rest of the negative factors on health.

Some of the easiest routes to controlling these metabolic marauders are the following:

  • Eat healthier (omega-3) fats and fewer unhealthy (omega-6) fats.
  • Eat fewer refined carbohydrates and more whole-grain carbs.
  • Eat more antioxidants from brightly colored fruits/veggies and balanced supplements.
  • Reduce stress or control your exposure to the stress hormone cortisol.

A few words about testosterone

Both men and women should be concerned about having sufficient amounts of this hormone. Our testosterone levels peak in our mid-20s to early 30s, and dip to about 40-50 percent of youthful levels by about the time we hit age 60. Stress, poor diet and sleep patterns, and lack of exercise can cause those levels to decrease even further. There are many benefits to maintaining youthful testosterone levels, including high psychological vigor (mental/physical energy), improved muscle mass, less body fat and improved general well-being.

Connecting the dots: stress, cortisol and testosterone

One of the major problems with today’s “late to bed, early to rise” lifestyle is that your cortisol levels never have enough time to fully dissipate as they are supposed to overnight. As a result, your body never has a chance to fully recover and repair itself from the detrimental effects of chronic stress. That overexposure to cortisol throws a monkey wrench into your ability to maintain biochemical balance. And when your biochemical balance is out of whack, it puts your overall metabolism into a downward spiral, accelerating the breakdown of tissues and sending your energy, mood and mental focus into a tailspin, leaving you with low vigor.

Not only is it possible to begin shedding the “blahs” and kick start the quality of your life today, it’s a great deal easier to implement than most people understand. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time giving the same old standard recommendations. By now, you know all about the importance of physical activity, eating balanced meals and getting enough sleep – but few of us do it because of a lack of understanding about the importance of internal equilibrium to our levels of physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional well-being. Instead, I am excited to talk with people about improving their equilibrium and vigor, so that they can all become even better versions of themselves.

Biography: Dr. Shawn Talbott

Dr. Shawn Talbott holds a MS in Exercise Science from UMass, an EMP in Entrepreneurship and ACE in Management from MIT, and a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from Rutgers. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Nutrition and has educated elite-level athletes in a variety of sports including at the United States Olympic Training Centers. He is the author of hundreds of articles and 13 books on nutrition and fitness – and his work has been featured in media outlets around the world, including at the White House as part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to fight childhood obesity and a variety of segments on The Dr Oz Show.

Lifestyle Tips to Pump Up Your Energy

Best Future YouHarnessing Your Body’s Biochemistry to Achieve Balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit

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 6 – Feel Your Best

Lifestyle Tips to Pump Up Your Energy

Reduce Stress

1. Mange electronic interruptions: beeps, buzzes and other sounds add an annoying level of stress – be sure to avoid blue-light electronics one hour before bed

2. Recreate to re-create; Allow yourself to decompress Know when to go hard and ease off.

  • Take a full day off each week: no work or thought of work
  • Get a massage
  • Take a bath or yoga class
  • Read a “trashy” novel

3. Improve sleep quality; get 7-8 hours a night

  • Inadequate sleep is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, among other chronic diseases.
  • Recent investigations have helped prove that eight hours a night is optimum for cellular rejuvenation, and yet, according to one study, 71 percent of Americans get less than that—and are sleep deprived.
  • Most Americans get an average of 5-6 hours of sleep per night – enough of a sleep deprivation that it increases cortisol (by 50%) – interferes with blood sugar – increases appetite for junk food – and accelerates belly fat gain (risk factor for diabetes).

Nutrition: Eat for Energy

1. Eat healthy omega 3s. Omega 3s have been research to increase energy and support your mood, reduce inflammation (fatty fish, nuts and seeds)

2. Eat balanced antioxidants: Brightly colored fruit and veggies reduce oxidation (cellular damage and accelerated aging)

3. Avoid refined carbs, sugar and processed foods (these cause inflammation and glycation and lead to destruction of collagen and elastin)

Exercise: Workout for Body and Brain

1. Duke University researchers have reported 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 days a week is more effective than prescription antidepressants for relieving anxiety and depression

2. Exercise increases production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which encourages the growth and function of brain cells

3. Exercise induces the CDR pathways inside of all cells to improve “cellular housekeeping” and cellular energy metabolism

Energy-improving dietary supplements

1. Elevate levels of NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) to improve cellular metabolism and mitochondrial function. Supplementing with nicotinamide ribosome (NR) has been shown to increase NAD levels and stimulate creation of new mitochondria.

2. Boost your brain’s blood flow with flavonoids (proanthocyanidins from pine bark extract, quercetin from apples/onions, catechins from green tea)

3. Improve brain cell (neurons) communication with smart foods – obtained from foods and supplements (omega 3s from fish, theanine from green tea, B-vitamins from whole grains)

Thanks for reading – be sure to tune in for the next installment where I’ll dig deeper into some of the most effective supplements for delivering a “Multi-Dimensional Approach to Supporting Energy.”

====================================
Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
801-915-1170 (mobile)

 

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

Ashwagandha reduces stress and lowers bo

Ashwagandha reduces stress and lowers body weight http://ow.ly/4mKNlf

The Importance of CDR Activation for Mental and Physical Energy

Best Future YouHarnessing Your Body’s Biochemistry to Achieve Balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit

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 6 – Feel Your Best

The Importance of CDR Activation for Mental and Physical Energy

Biochemical and genetic research studies are showing us how many of the ancient herbal remedies mentioned earlier work by activating the CDR cellular “switch” inside of every cell in our bodies. This CDR switch induces the natural production of internal cellular anti-stress proteins and increases our production of internal antioxidant enzymes.

You might think of the CDR pathway as an internal “thermostat” for cellular stress. Whenever a cell is under stress – whether from oxidative stress, or inflammatory stress, or any type of other stress that our modern world might throw at us, the CDR pathway senses the stress and induces numerous protective responses. Some of these responses help to reduce oxidative stress (antioxidant enzymes), while others help to clean up damage (housekeeping proteins) and prepare our cells for exposure to future stressors (heat shock proteins).

This natural induction of CDR is very much a “master regulator” of the body’s antioxidant and protective response – and the same mechanism at the heart of numerous new biotechnology and pharmaceutical research projects. In many ways, the natural induction of CDR is the future of maintaining proper internal balance and holistically protecting our body from environmental stress.

The CDR pathway is important for protecting every single cell in our body, but nerve cells, especially brain neurons; as well as mitochondria (our internal cellular energy generators) are particularly susceptible to damage from oxidative stress. A recent study funded by the Department of Defense (DARPA – Advanced Research Projects) showed that inducing CDR protects brain cells from oxidative stress induced by high altitude hypoxia (Lisk et al. Free Radic Biol Med. 2013 Oct;63:264-73). Another recent study showed that CDR induction may be particularly important for protecting the brain during degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (Hybertson et al. Mol Aspects Med. 2011 Aug;32(4-6):234-46). Numerous studies have indicated that mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to neuron degeneration via oxidative stress – and that specific flavonoids such as quercetin, proanthocyanidins, and EGCG can protect neuron growth against mitochondrial-linked pathologies (Dajas et al. Central Nerv. Syst. Agents in Med. Chem., 2013, 13, 30-35). Based on these and numerous other studies, it seems clear that optimal mental energy and performance is supported through variety of mechanisms that hinge on optimal activity of the CDR pathway.

Thanks for reading – please tune in for the next installment about, “Lifestyle Tips to Pump Up Your Energy.”

====================================
Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
801-915-1170 (mobile)

 

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