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Stress takes a toll on health – nutrients can help.

Mood & Stress Support

CLICK on image for more interviews on mood and stress.

What is stress? It seems like a simple question on the face of it, but when we look deeper, we begin to see that stress is highly complex. Stress is a highly subjective experience that defies definition. We know when we feel stressful, we know there are stressful events in our lives, but what is stress?

“Stress” in the modern sense was coined by Hans Selye in 1936. Selye defined stress as “a non-specific response in the body to any demand for change”. Selye discovered that animals’ subjected to difficult stimuli exhibited similar pathologic changes in the stomach, lymph tissue and adrenals. He further demonstrated that persistent stress could cause animals to develop sometimes serious health issues.

Stress was generally considered as being synonymous with distress and dictionaries defined it as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension” or “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” Thus, stress was put in a negative light and its positive effects ignored. However, stress can be helpful and good when it motivates people to accomplish more.

Stress ManSelye went further to distinguish between stress as a response in the body from “stressors” which are the forces that create stress in our bodies. This suggests that we may be able to reduce our exposure to stressors in our lives. We don’t always have much control over the stressors that surround us. We can’t easily leave a bad situation.

What we do have control over are the personal things that we each can do to reduce our stress response. By taking control over the time we have we can change our lifestyle and environment to reduce stressors and increase positive activities that help the body deal with stress.

There are many strategies for managing your stress and you should consider the lifestyles changes that can make a difference. Examine your life and determine what your stressors are. Then consider what can be changed. There is always something you can do. Exercise, meditation, deep breathing, diet, reduce the digital impact on your day (cut down on phone and TV time), take nutritional supplements and so on.

In this interview with Neil Levin, we will discuss the impact that stress has on our systems and we will explore some of the nutrients that benefit those systems. There is the idea that stress will make your health challenges harder to manage. It is also important to understand your own particular challenges. For example, do you have sleep issues, mood issues, minor pain and so on? You always want to look for the best ways to nourish your body for your very specific health issues.

When considering nutrients for typical everyday stress look for the ones that support the structure and function of the systems involved. Experiment with high quality supplements to discover what works best in your system.

Sleep and mood support
Getting a good night’s sleep and maintaining a healthy mood can have a profound impact on your overall health and well-being. The benefits of sleep duration and quality are well-documented, as are the benefits of maintaining a healthy mood. Both help to support overall mental health, which is essential for a good quality of life.

Nutrients that support the health of the nervous system and brain are a great way to help maintain overall mental health, including a healthy mood and normal sleep patterns.

Potential nutrients for stress, mood, sleep and nervous system support:

  • Vitamins: B vitamins
  • Minerals: Calcium, magnesium
  • Amino Acids: Tryptophan, 5-HTP, GABA, L-theanine, SAMe
  • Herbs: Holy Basil, Valerian, Hops, Relora®

There are some of the most well-known supplements. There are others. It is fine to experiment to discover which products work best for you. Remember, drugs are not nutrients and nutrients are not drugs. Don’t confuse the two. If you are taking medications or are under a doctor’s care, please work with your health care provider. Also be sure to look for high quality products, as that is necessary to achieve the benefits. Poor quality products can never deliver the benefits and you are likely wasting your money.

Stress Level Self-Assessment
Stress comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, differs for each of us, we all respond to stress in diverse ways, acute and chronic stress have different effects, and the separation between them is often blurred. These and demographic influences make it difficult for scientists to agree on a definition of stress, much less measure it. There are hundreds of stress questionnaires, ranging from the Social Readjustment Rating Scale for periodic major life change events published by Holmes and Rahe over 40 years ago (with numerous revisions since then), to the Daily Hassles Scale that lists minor annoyances like fights with customers and family or being stuck in traffic that can occur several times a day. Others, like the Perceived Stress Scale and Profile of Mood States, assess the effects of stress, or are designed specifically for job stress, women, children, teenagers, the elderly, Type A behavior, depression, anger, anxiety etc.
You can find these assessments at American Institute of Stress.

Stress Management Using Self-Help Techniques for Dealing with Stress
It may seem like there’s nothing you can do about stress.The bills won’t stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think.

In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of managing stress. Stress management is all about taking charge: of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems. No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure and regain control. Learn more at Harvard Health Publishing.

NOW Foods produces nutritional formulas for mood and stress, as well as many of the individual nutrients such as those mentioned above. You can learn more about these products at

NOW Foods has received many awards for its products. It you want to know something about a company consider how it is recognized by others. These awards are impressive and I suggest you review them. Here is a sample. There are many more.


About Neil Levin, CCN, DANLA
Neil E. Levin, is the Senior Nutrition Education Manager and a product formulator for NOW Foods. He is a board-certified clinical nutritionist with a diplomat in advanced nutritional laboratory assessment. The U.S. Natural Products Association (NPA) presented Neil its Industry Champion Award in 2008 for “people who have made notable individual contributions to the natural products industry above and beyond what is expected to achieve commercial success. “Neil’s interviews and articles are published in magazines and newspapers. He has been featured in many radio interviews and television news reports. Neil blogs at; is on Facebook (Honest Nutrition) and Twitter (neilelevin).



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Our bodies need 72 major and trace minerals.


CLICK on image for interviews on Mineral Support

Most people don’t know a lot about the importance of minerals in human health. The average person may only know about calcium or perhaps a few of the other major minerals. Even consumers who know a fair amount about nutrition are often clueless when it comes to the trace minerals. Most are surprised to learn that there are 72 trace minerals that are beneficial for human nutrition. How many can you name? (See list below)

One of the challenges facing all of us is the declining nutritional minerals in our soil. Just for a moment, ponder where do the elements that make up a healthy body come from? Of course the answer is food. Where does food get the minerals? From the soil. Where does the soil get it’s minerals? They are part of the earth. What happens to the minerals in the soil? They become part of the plants that we consume. It’s the life cycle. 

The emerging concern is that minerals are not being regenerated or replaced in our soil. It is clear that our soils and the foods grown in them have less mineral nutritional value than in the past. We are more able now the understand the role of these trace minerals in human health and we can understand more about how the shortage of these important nutrients can affect us.

In this interview with Dr. Darrin Starkey we will discuss the role of minerals in human health and the growing problem of depleted soils. We will explore the minerals from Trace Minerals Research and their mineral products which are derived from Utah’s Great Salt Lake. The world’s minerals eventually wash into lakes and  oceans. The Great Salt Lake has the 72 trace minerals in perfect balance and you can take these minerals to assure that you are getting these important trace minerals. This is the core purpose that drives Trace Minerals Research.

ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops (the following excerpt is from Trace Minerals Research)

Great Salt Lake, Utah

ConcenTrace is extracted directly from a natural source that took thousands of years to create. Over these thousands of years, the minerals in ConcenTrace have been broken down to their most natural state where they have become naturally charged, living minerals that are bioavailable and soluble in water. In addition, the solution is in precisely the same proportion as healthy human fluids without synthetically produced compounds or deadly heavy metals.


  • Bone, Joint & Health
  • Re-Mineralize Distilled Water–1/4-1/2 teaspoon per gallon for fresh spring water taste.
  • Electrolyte Replacement–Increased energy, vitality. Soluble minerals are the electrolytes which conduct the body’s electrical energies.
  • Maintain pH Balance in the Body
  • Hair and Skin.
  • Helps Normalize Bowel Functions
  • Calcium Assimilation.
  • Circulatory Health
  • Vitamin Enhancement–Vitamins without minerals DO NOT work.
  • Gardens and Plants.
  • Pets-Pet owners add ConcenTrace® to their pet’s food and water.
  • Body Building.
  • Athletic Performance
  • Add to Carbonated Beverages–A recent study has shown that a few drops per glass balances soda pop to greatly reduce the potentially harmful effects of carbonation.
  • Magnesium Supplement–One of the highest quality, least expensive, most assimilable magnesium supplements on the market.
  • Cooking–Studies show mineral depletion in our soils. We frankly are not getting the minerals in the foods we eat. ConcenTrace remineralizes these foods and adds flavor. (End excerpt)

Trace Minerals Research
Trace Minerals Research has over 100 products that include ionic trace minerals as part of the formula. The ConcenTrace drops are the flagship product and are very versatile. They also produce a great variety of products such as Multi-Vitamins and Stress Formulas. Explore the ConcenTrace drops and expand from there. You may be pleasantly surprise at how well you feel when you augment these important and often missing trace minerals.

Trace Minerals Research maintains a library of research and articles and you can explore much more on their site.

Minerals in your body and found in ConcenTrace:
Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Bismuth, Boron, Bromide, Cadmium, Calcium, Carbonate, Cerium, Cesium, Chloride, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Dysprosium, Erbium, Europium, Fluoride, Gadolinium, Gallium, Gold, Hafnium, Holmium, Indium, Iodine, Iridium, Iron, Lanthanum, Lead, Lithium, Lutetium, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Molybdenum, Neodymium, Nickel, Niobium, Osmium, Palladium, Phosphorus, Platinum, Potassium, Praseodymium, Rhenium, Rhodium, Rubidium, Ruthenium, Samarium, Scandium, Selenium, Silicon, Silver, Sodium, Strontium, Sulfate/Sulfur, Tantalum, Tellurium, Terbium ,Thallium, Thorium, Thulium, Tin, Titanium, Tungsten, Vanadium, Ytterbium, Yttrium, Zinc, Zirconium.

When we consider this list of minerals as important in human health, it is easy to see how much we don’t know about their functions in human health. Most of us will never know what most of these minerals do in the body, but we can assume they are there for a purpose. Nature is very efficient that way. When you realize that many people are nutrient deficient it makes sense to supplement. ConcenTrace is an easy way to put these minerals back into your life.

About Dr. Darrin Starkey
Dr. Darrin Starkey has been a board certified naturopathic physician since 2000 and is a member of the American Alternative Medical Association (AAMA). He has worked for Trace Minerals Research (TMR) since 1991 and is currently the Director of Training and Education. He is considered an expert in the field of mineral and trace mineral nutrition, balance, and deficiency, and focuses his training and education on the building blocks of a healthy diet and the important role trace minerals play in health and nutrition.

Dr. Starkey is also an advocate of adequate hydration and proper nutrition and focuses his seminars on the fact that most of the world’s soil has been stripped of minerals due to pollution and over-farming, causing the soil and our food to be depleted of the necessary minerals and trace minerals that ensure optimum health and wellness. He has educated and trained tens of thousands of consumers and retailers throughout the United States, Canada, and Indonesia. He continually searches for new ways to educate people about the benefits of mineral and trace mineral supplementation and their role in health and nutrition. 


265 – Nutrition for Healthy and Glowing Skin- My Interview with Tracy Kreider

When we consider how old we look, we usually focus on facial skin health. As we get older we see the effects of aging most obviously in our faces. We spend millions of dollars on potions and lotions that promise more youthful skin. There are certainly things we can all do to improve the health and appearance of our skin.

In this interview with Tracy Kreider we will explore the factors that contribute to accelerated skin aging. Some things we have no control over, but at the same time there are many things you can do to have healthier skin. We will also discuss Maxi-Skin from Country Life as a product that uses clinically studied ingredients for skin health.

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264 – Glutathione for Liver Health and Detox – My Interview with Ross Pelton

In this interview Natural Pharmacist Ross Pelton will discuss the role of glutathione as the body’s master antioxidant. He will explain very clearly why glutathione is a critical liver detox agent. As part of this discussion, Ross will sound the alarm about the toxins in our lives. This can be an overwhelming aspect of this topic. The problem is so pervasive. The positive message that we hear from Ross is that there are effective ways that we can reduce our risk and improve our health and longevity in the process with glutathione.

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263 – Adrenal Stress and Adaptogenic Herbs – My Interview with Dr. Mary Bove

In this interview Dr. Mary Bove will discuss the role of adaptogenic herbs for stress. Adaptogenic herbs refers to  herbs that support physiological processes and promotion of homeostasis, for example, decreased cellular sensitivity to stress. Herbs have a long history of usage for human health. We now have the opportunity to improve on the historical uses through modern science. We now have the science to explore deeply into the chemistry of herbs and create products that bring out those properties. We now have more and more clinical evidence of the structure/function benefits of herbs. 

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262 – The Future of Liposome Nutrition – My Interview with Emek Blair

Liposomes are basically a nutrient wrapped in a layer of fat (phosphatidylcholine, an important beneficial fat molecule). This is the same way that nutrition is delivered to babies through breast milk. Little fat bubbles fulled with nutrients. Liposomes are sometimes used with drugs to deliver drugs to specific targets in the body. Liposomes are also used to deliver nutrients into the body. Liposomes are better at carrying nutrients into the body and also delivering that nutrient into the cell than powders which make up most tablets and capsules. The phosphatidylcholine part of the liposome is then added as a healthy fat to cell membranes. These are important distinctions in the delivery system that determine how well your supplements are absorbed and utilized.

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261 – Nutrition for Children – My Interview with Neil Levin

What are the Most Important Nutrients for Children’s Health?
While a well-rounded diet and plenty of daily activity are always the best ways to maintain health, supplements are a great way to fill in the gaps until these healthy habits are fully formed. Growing bodies and minds need a vast number of nutrients for optimal development. For children, all nutrients are important in some way, but some are more important than others. It is interesting to note that these are the same nutrients that are also deficient in adults as well. No surprise there.

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260 – The Challenge of Iron Deficiency for Women – My Interview with Dr. Erin Stokes

In this interview with Dr. Stokes, we will discuss in depth the challenges that women face with iron deficiency. It is the number one nutritional deficiency in the world. We will also discuss the newly completed clinical study using Blood Builder. There is a lot of good news to share. So for thirty years, we have had the experience of women to confirm the value and effectiveness of Blood Builder. Now we have clinical evidence. We will also discuss the differences between iron deficiency and anemia. People often confuse the two. This interview will clear that up.

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259 – Probiotics for Vaginal and Urinary Health – My Interview with Anthony Thomas

The probiotic industry has exploded and now we have hundreds of companies putting products into the marketplace that have no real science or benefit. This is a big bandwagon and everyone now has a probiotic. If you are serious about the products you buy, then learn to dig deeper. Ask questions, seek evidence, and figure out what companies and which products you can trust. It’s only hard in the beginning, and as you learn more you will gain confidence. You will make better choices and better choices lead to better outcomes. 

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258 – You Have Three Brains – My Interview with Dr. Karen Jensen, ND

“The human brain has always been a source of fascination. For centuries scientists have been trying to unlock its secrets. This has never been more relevant than today, when more people, young and old, are being diagnosed with brain disorders – such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, learning disorders, and dementias – than ever before.
In her new book, naturopathic doctor Karen Jensen explores the intricate communication network between the heart, the brain, and the gut. An increasing body of research suggests that these three “brains” all work together to determine our mental, emotional, and physical health. These three brains not only influence optimal brain function but the very essence of our identity.

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