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Boost Energy and Reduce Stress Naturall: Vitality 101

old message Supplements good for reducing stress and boosting energy! Darrell Miller 03/26/07


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Date: March 26, 2007 02:05 PM
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Subject: Supplements good for reducing stress and boosting energy!

Vitality 101

 

More and more Americans are feeling overworked, overtired, and overcome by life’s demands. We just do not have the energy we need to meet our responsibilities to the people we care about. More importantly, we don’t even have the energy to have fun! It seems that a constant feeling of fatigue has become part of the American way of life.

Research has shown that the same processes that cause lack of energy can rob us of sleep, saddle us with excess weight, disrupt our hormonal balance, and create significant amounts of stress in our daily lives. Chronic stress can dramatically contribute to fatigue, sleep disorders, irritability, and anxiety. The research simply confirms what most of us already know – uncomfortable stress can really wear us out mentally and physically! It can take away the satisfaction of a job well done. It can take away our ability to believe in ourselves. And, sadly and maybe most importantly, continual stress can take the fun and joy out of life.

In a separate issue of Ask the Doctor, we discuss the energy and sleeping needs of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In this issue, I discuss the 3-step process I call “Vitality 101.” People do not have to accept pain, insomnia, or fatigue. It’s time for everyone to feel great and have a life they love!

 

Step 1 – Nutrition

Good overall nutrition is important for everyone! As a foundation product to support energy levels, a powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that you need to have great energy all through your day.

The following chart lists the most critical ingredients. You can see that almost all of the vitamins and minerals work together to help improve energy levels and overall health.

Nutrients

Effect on Vitality & Energy

Vitamin A

Essential for healthy skin and mucous membrane integrity, healthy immune system responses and healthy bone growth and healthy reproductive processes. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene is an antioxidant and free radical fighter.

Vitamin C

Necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system. Antioxidant, free radical fighter. Assists with hormone synthesis; supports healthy skin integrity; supports healthy iron absorption.

Vitamin D

Essential for healthy calcium and phosphorus metabolism, and the absorption of vitamin A; supports bone mineralization.

Vitamin E

Helps oxygen circulation; supports healthy nerve transmissions; supports healthy leg nerves and muscles; helps boost energy levels.

Magnesium

Supports enzyme activity involved in energy production; supports healthy nerve and muscle function; supports healthy immune system functions

Malic Acid

Catalyst to stimulate the complete burning of fuel for energy; supports healthy connective tissue and muscle functioning.

Betaine

Works with B vitamins to synthesize amino acids, and acts as a precursor to SAM-e. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally-occurring molecule in the body, and may have an effect on overall mood elevation

Selenium

Works with vitamin E to maintain healthy cell membranes; supports healthy thyroid functioning.

Zinc

Supports healthy immune system, healthy enzyme processes and healthy immune response.

Amino Acids

Glycine, Serine, Taurine, Tyrosine are essential for the production of energy in the body. Also essential for brain function.

Fructooligosaccharides

Provides nutrition for good bacteria in the intestinal tract, improving digestion and healthy microflora.

In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a high potency vitamin B-complex supplement. This should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, which are especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body. It is also critical to get enough water, as most Americans are chronically dehydrated.

 

B Vitamins

Effect on Vitality & Energy

Thiamine B1

Supports healthy energy, growth, appetite, and learning capacity; healthy red blood cell production; carbohydrate metabolism and the production of hydrochloric acid.

Riboflavin B2

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is crucial in the production of body energy. Supports healthy glutathione reductase activity, which helps maintain glutathione, a major protector against free radical damage. Vitamin B2 itself also has antioxidant qualities.

Niacinamide B3

Niacinamide is an essential nutrient for the healthy metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, as well as for the production of hydrochloric acid for digestion.

Pantothenic Acid B5

An essential component in the production of coenzyme A, a vital catalyst that is required for the conversion of carbohydrates, fats, and protein into energy.

Pyridoxine HCL B6

Aids in the conversion of amino acids to carbohydrate or fat for storage or energy. Also required for the production of serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. Since it aids in the formation of several neurotransmitters it is an essential nutrient in the regulation of mental processes.

Vitamin B12

An essential nutrient for healthy energy production. Vitamin B12 helps support metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It contributes to healthy cell formation and cellular longevity.

Folic Acid

Folic acid promotes energy production and supports the immune and nervous systems. Folic acid works best when combined with vitamin B12. Recent research shows folic acid can reduce the amount of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood.

 

Step 2 – Rest Your Body

Having trouble sleeping is one of the most troubling symptoms of stress. While the stress is wearing us down and making us tired, it’s also keeping us tense and unable tot relax. The result? That easy drift into sleep becomes harder and harder. And if we are lucky enough to actually get some shut-eye, stress will often wake us up, sometimes several times a night.

This occurs because excess stress suppresses the sleep center in the brain. It is important to break the “stress/insomnia cycle” early, before it results in pain and hormonal and immune dysfunction!

Because good quality sleep is how the body repairs and re-energizes itself, it may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Look for a supplement that has a blend of herbs that promote deep sleep, such as valerian, L-theanine, hops, passionflower, Jamaica dogwood and wild lettuce. This combination of herbs is important as each herb addresses a different aspect of sleeplessness and muscle tension caused by stress. Taking only one or two of these herbs alone is much less likely to be effective.

 

Ingredients

Effect on Sleep

Wild Lettuce

Has been found to have sedative effects.

Hops

Acts as a mild sedative and has a sleep inducing effect.

Jamaica Dogwood

Has been found to be mildly sedative and is often used for anxiousness.

L-Theanine

Causes significant increases of neurotransmitter concentrations in the brain, which promotes muscle relaxation and improves sleep.

Valerian

This herb has been clinically studied for its ability to improve sleep quality.

Passionflower

This herb eases nervousness and insomnia.

 

Step 3 – Manage Excess Stress Levels

In this fast paced world, it is important to learn to manage the stressor in our lives. Glandular extracts, such as raw adrenal extract, can offer natural support to help our bodies deal with the effects of stress and, in turn, can boost your energy levels. Exercise is another stress buster. Using your body physically is important for good health. Find something that is fun for you, however, or you are unlikely to stick with it!

 

Q. Does stress zap my energy in any other ways besides making me lay awake at night and causing me to be a zombie the next morning?

A. Most people are familiar with the body’s dramatic response to an emergency. The heart pounds, the muscles constrict, and the lungs expand – and while this is happening, we are capable of greater than normal strength and speed. This response is the body’s way of rescuing itself when faced with an emergency. We don’t have to think about it to make it happen. It’s automatic.

The same can be said of a chronic stress response. Whether we’re late for a business meeting because we’re stuck in traffic, or worrying about how we are going to pay for our children’s college tuition, our response to stress happens automatically. The difference between the two is that the body’s response in an emergency starts and resolves itself quickly. The response to being stuck in traffic may not.

The body makes the “stress hormone”, cortisol, to handle the normal stresses of day-to-day living. But in an emergency situation, the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, secrete increased amounts of this hormone until the emergency passes. Then the body returns to its normal function. Unfortunately, however, chronic stress is more complex. When our body is subjected to increased amounts of the hormone, cortisol, for an extended time, it can lead to a condition known as “adrenal burnout” or “adrenal fatigue.” While it’s true that very large amounts of cortisol can have damaging effects on our hormones, too little cortisol doesn’t allow us to respond to stress properly. It’s really a matter of balance.

 

Q. How can I control the stress in my life and re-energize?

A. Many people who are under constant stress may have adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.

The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. The key in learning how to deal with daily stress is to allow the body to return to its normal state. I discuss additional techniques for coping with stress in my recent book Three Steps to Happiness! Healing Through Joy (see my website, www. jacobeitelbaum .com, for more information). In addition to stress control, it is important to supplement your adrenals with a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function. Glandular therapy, which uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands, can improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacked and thus repaired the malfunctioning gland.

 

Adrenal Extract

If you are one of the unlucky folks with stressed-out adrenal glands, you should see great results from taking raw adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and cortex adrenal.

 

The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.

 

Ingredients

Effect on Stress

Adrenal Polypeptide Fractions & Adrenal Cortex Extract

Polypeptide fractions are easily digested and help support the thyroid and the adrenal gland to regulate levels of cortisol and other hormones.

Vitamin C

Provides extra support during periods of chronic stress.

Vitamin B6

Required to make serotonin, melatonin and dopamine – all vital for maintaining energy levels – very important in dealing with stress-filled lifestyles.

L-Tyrosine

L-tyrosine is an amino acid that supports nerve transmission and healthy adrenal, thyroid and pituitary glands. Converts to epinephrine and norepinephrine, brain neurotransmitters crucial during times of stress.

Licorice

The component of licorice called glycyrrhizin, which breaks down into glycyrrhizic acid. This compound inhibits the breakdown of cortisol produced by the body, helping balance this important hormone. Glycyrrhizic acid’s mechanism of action is through the inhibition of 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of cortisol to cortisone. It also inhibits the metabolism of corticol, and minimizes the binding of cortisol to mineral corticoid receptors.

 

Liver Extract

Did your grandmother ever tell you to eat your liver so that you didn’t get “tired blood?” Well, it turns out that she was right. Liver extract is another glandular extract that can help improve energy levels.

Liver extract is an excellent source of highly bioavailable nutrients including iron, B vitamins (especially B12), and other minerals. The stamina and energy-enhancing benefits of liver are widely touted. Liver extract has been shown to support healthy function of the liver and increase the energy levels inside our body.

Because heat will destroy the key components in the liver, a high quality liver extract supplement should be cold-processed and encapsulated to enhance speed and absorption of nutrients from liver. A high quality aqueous liver extract supplement should also contain vitamin B12 to support healthy blood iron and oxygen levels to energize.

Ingredients

Effect on Stress

Liver Fractions

Liver extract may have anti-vital properties and increase the mitochondrial production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is an important carrier of energy in the cells.

Vitamin B12

B12 is necessary for the production of red blood cells and healthy blood oxygen levels.

 

Q. It will be great to get a good night’s sleep. Are there also any other natural alternatives that could help promote relaxation and increase my energy levels during the day?

A. Yes, there are. Rhodiola rosea is an all-natural herb that has long been used to help relieve stress and increase energy. Rhodiola has also been used to lift our moods, improve sexual satisfaction, and even help in certain nervous system disorders. First used in Siberia and Russia, Rhodiola is now being extensively studied and has been found to increase resistance to toxins (both physical and chemical), balance the work of the body, help memory storage and mental functioning, and improve resistance to physical and emotional stress.

In clinical trials, the most effective Rhodiola rosea extract was found to contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. While there are many Rhodiola supplements in health food stores, only those containing these specific amounts can provide the best results.

 

Lifestyle Treatments

Altered digestion, food intolerances, decreased energy, fatigue, cognitive problems, and sleeplessness create the need for changes in daily living routines. These can include alterations in diet; exercise modifications; alterations in activities of daily living according to one’s energy level; and sleep/rest management. All may require the assistance of a professional clinician, such as a chiropractor, nutrition specialist, physical and/or occupational therapist, mental health professional, or sleep therapist.

 

Conclusion

Super busy lives demand super strength nutrition. Begin each day with a powdered nutritional supplement after getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients to combat your fatigue. Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy. Rhodiola rosea, and ginseng can offer additional natural nutritional support in your busy life to boost your energy levels. These nutritional supplements can be used daily and you will feel energized to get through each day’s challenges and opportunities!



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