Christian Living

healthenews 02/08/08

Stressed Out? You're Not Alone

There's a lot of information in this initial entry of my blogging. If you want to read the whole thing, please do. However, you might want to skim for what you specifically want - and not stress out over too much material! I'll be more succinct next time around.

You probably came here because you are experiencing more stress than you would like. Welcome to the Fellowship of the Stressed! You know the worst position to be in is one of feeling helpless. At a time when there is more stress than ever, there are also more resources than ever. One of the major hurdles is that most of us are afraid to ask for help - especially men. We are all works in progress.

First, faith in God does help us with stress. We know He's in charge and that in the long run, we are in His hands. Still, faith can add to our stress as well. Trust in Christ often gets people in trouble with the authorities, family members, classmates and co-workers. Of course, this is especially true in certain parts of the world and not nearly so much in the USA, Canada, and Europe. I credit Dr. Paul Vitz, Professor of Psychology at New York University, for pointing this out to me in an interview a number of years ago. Indeed, praying for the needs of the millions of Christians is a way of taking the focus off ourselves and that does lower our stress - as a side benefit to this important activity of solidarity with fellow believers.

Okay, you may have come here to find out more about the supplements mentioned in my stress story. One of the most common frustrations people have is hearing about some supplement, but having no details - perhaps even the spelling of odd-sounding herbs.

Even with instructions, it's still wise to be careful of any recommendation of particular products. You still are going to have to use your own discernment. Mentioning of any products is not an endorsement but a suggestion as to a few of the possibilities. There are many products out there and any ones mentioned are a limited sampling.

L-theanine. Suntheanine is a standardized version of theanine and used in many products. Generally that would be the one to seek out. Theanine is one of many helpful substances found in green tea. Unfortunately most green tea doesn't have enough theanine to be helpful.

Theanine is very good for helping when a person is feeling distracted and unfocused - in Japan it's used a standard medication for ADHD. How much to take varies, but usually 200-400 mg. as needed is a guideline. Children with ADHD often take 200 mg. in the morning and the same at night before bed. Theanine is very safe. Some of the theanine-based products shown in the story are Now Foods L-Theanine, Enzymatic Therapy's L-Theanine, and LifeExtension's Natural Stress Relief -the herb lemon balm and theanine.

Rhodiola. Science News tells the story of a Russian soldier who fought in Afghanistan in 1979. A fellow soldier received a plant with yellow flowers from back home in Siberia. That was rhodiola and they used the root to make a tea. The soldier found it helped him walk and exercise in the mountains. After he left the army, he became depressed and suffered war flashbacks until he was able to figure out that rhodiola was a way to help him back to health.

Rhodiola is an adaptogen - meaning that it's a substance that normalizes low or high physiological responses of the body. So, it is not surprising that the Soviets gave rhodiola to their Olympic athletes and cosmonauts. Products shown in the story include Solaray's Super Rhodiola Extract and LifeLink's Rhodiola Rosea.

Turmeric. This herb is also known as curcumin and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Thus, it can help alleviate the damage that comes from stress. This is one of my favorite herbs because of its significant properties. Supplements seen in the story are LifeLink's PriMeric -turmeric and quercetin, another good herb-, Jarrow's Curcumin 95 -turmeric concentrate and related compounds-, Nature's Plus's Turmeric -standardized curcumin-.

Phosphatidylserine, or PS, can help reduce the effects of excess cortisol. One of those effects is encouraging an increase of belly fat (visceral fat). As we age, our bodies tend to produce less PS and that tends to harm memory. Solgar's Phosphatidylserine Complex Tablets and LifeLink's PS are products from the story.

You may have noticed several LifeLink products listed. I came across them on the internet and they had several of the products I wanted to mention. The bigger companies are certainly good, but I also like to show some of the smaller firms that otherwise might get ignored.

Combined supplements. Many supplements do use a variety of items to get a synergistic -"sum greater than the mere addition of the individual items"- effect. The only one in the story is Now Foods' Super Cortisol Support that has rhodiola, green tea extract, banaba, magnolia extract, and other herbs as well as some minerals and vitamins. There are many others out there and it is worth researching.

In addition, my two experts, Doug Kaufmann and Dr. Frank Minirth, need to be mentioned because they are well-respected authorities on health issues. Dr. Minirth is the author or co-author of a number of good books such as A Brilliant Mind: Proven Ways to Increase Your Brainpower (2007), Happiness Is a Lifestyle: Choosing to Make a Positive Change (2005), and Happiness Is a Choice: Symptoms, Causes, and Cures of Depression (2004)  Kaufmann is host of the popular health show, Know the Cause. The stations that carry his program are listed here.  He is also the author of a number of books including The Fungus Link (3 different volumes), The Germ That Causes Cancer, and Eating Your Way to Good Health.

Give Now