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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2003
As a clinical psychologist, I've studied the subject of cortisol and how it affects weight loss and multiple other health-related aspects. Beyond a doubt, this is the definitive work on the subject. Dr. Talbott is ahead of the curve with his research and perspective. If, as a consumer, you are interested in the "facts" about cortisol and how it can help you to lose weight and maintain good health, this book is mandatory reading!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2003
This is one of the most helpful books I have ever read. The author has the ability to explain cortisol and the risks of a chronically elevated cortisol level in layman's terms. Anyone who is struggling with stress, fatigue, or a problematic appetite must read this book. If you follow the book's advice, you will experience an amazing improvement in your quality of life.
The book is an informative resource on dozens of vitamins, minerals, and supplements. I also liked the helpful daily food plans in the appendix. But, I think the most important aspects of the book is the author's overall message: (1) chronically elevated cortisol levels result in numerous health and "enjoyment of life" problems, and could ultimately set the stage for disease; (2) chronically elevated cortisol levels and associated problems are completely avoidable with awareness and behavioral changes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2003
GREAT BOOK! The Cortisol Connection can do a great deal to help you understand WHY cortisol-control is good for your long-term health, but also HOW to approach cortisol-control using diet and lifestyle. It makes a complicated topic easy to understand. As a nutritionist, I know that people who suffer from chronic stress often are also suffering from lifestyle related diseases (obseity, diabetes, hypertension, depession, and osteoporosis) which now may be linked to the detrimental effects of unhealthy cortisol levels. The Cortisol Connection gives details on diets, exercise and supplements that have been shown to control cortisol levels and promote optimal health (Dr. Talbott's SENSE program). If you have stress, you need this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
As an owner of a metabolism and body composition lab, I have seen some people who just can't seem to get results equal to the efforts put forth. After chalking my own slow metabolism up to genetics, I had a major blood panel and hormone panel done. I found that my Cortisol level was very high and with some research I found this book. Wow! What an eye opener. Dr. Talbot explains exactly why stress will defeat your efforts with fat loss and even why your energy levels are zapped. He also has a sensible plan to manage it and get your body and health back on track.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2003
As a researcher and author in the field of alternative health, I found this book is a leader in proposing and substantiating an important theory of disease and healing. Stress- it is almost impossible to escape in our busy lifestyles, and finally the firm link to how it is degrading our health has been revealed. Dr. Talbott has gift for pulling together hard science and condensing it into the bigger picture that is easy and fun to read. I recommend it for anyone who is interested in health, stress, and the mind/body connection. This book is responsible for a truely groundbreaking theory that will spawn much discussion among health-care professionals and enthusiasts alike.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2004
My wife and I have two children under the age of three, we both work, eat mostly vegetarian and organic foods, and we exercise regularly, so you'd think we have a healthy lifestyle. Wrong. You know how much energy it takes just to find and pay for healthy foods and quality exercise venues for us and our children? After running across The Cortisol Connection, I discovered why we are so routinely frazzled. Dr. Talbott touches a topic that makes so much sense and was completely unknown to us. He offers detailed and definitive explanations as to why our stress levels are so high and how to combat them. I can definitely say that after utilizing some of his advice and supplement suggestions, we feel far less "stressed out" than we used to be. My wife has broken free of her afternoon sugar craving and has lost the 5-10 lbs of stubborn post-pregnancy chub. I highly recommend this book to anyone who feels stressed out by our "modern" way of life.
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on January 14, 2003
This book is an essential tool in helping people understand how stress can adversely effect their health. The author gives you a simple understanding of the negative effects of stress and cortisol. Most importantly he then gives you a practical and simple way to combat those negative effects. The thing I like most about the book is its ability to explain the very complex cortisol problems stress creates with simple terms and examples. I personally didn't think stress was a big factor in my life. However, I found myself saying, "that's why that happens!" or, "Wow, I better change that bad habit!" over and over again while reading the book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2004
Stress is bad for you. We all knew that, but Shawn Talbott explains some of the biochemistry of stress in layman's terms. After reading The Cortisol Connection, you will know WHY chronic stress is bad and what it's likely to do to you.
Much of this has been covered better in other books about stress, such as Robert Sapolsky's Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers. What's new about Cortisol Connection is the strong evidence that stress makes you gain weight. It puts on fat and makes your cells resistant to insulin, which puts you at risk for diabetes.
I'm very interested in this, because I'm currently researching a new book called The Politics of Diabetes. (I should also admit that Hunter House, publisher of Cortisol Connection, also published my first book, The Art of Getting Well: Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness.) I found Talbott's work helpful.
What I did not find, though, was many good ideas for what to DO about stress. He mentions stress reduction and exercise, but he seems to believe these are not realistic goals for most of us in our fast-paced society. Nearly all his recommendations are for food supplements - vitamins, herbs, minerals, amino acids - over 50 in all. And he really doesn't prioritize among them. I still have no idea where to start with these supplements, which ones have strong supporting evidence and which don't.
I also found his reference list really aggravating. I like to check references, both to learn more and to confirm that the author is playing straight with the facts. Talbott combines all the references for the first five chapters (six pages of references) into one long list, without numbers. So there's no way to tell which reference goes with which paragraph or claim in the book. The supplements actually have many more references than the information on stress does.
So if you are inclined to seek health through supplements, this may be the stress book for you. If you don't like investigating supplement claims and prowling around health food stores, you can still get some good information about stress here, but that's about it.
David Spero RN, author of The Art of Getting Well, Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness. [...]
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on February 21, 2003
i've been ill for quite a while with extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, fuzzy thinking, etc. i learned from reading this book that i have syndrome x (insulin resistance). i am gradually implementing the recommendations outlined in the book and for the first time in a long while i feel like i am heading back toward healing and wholeness again - i am beginning to feel better!
you will find this book easy to read with practical advice about diet, exercise and food supplements. it's really helping me to turn my physical life around.
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on January 2, 2003
This book was great. The suggestions are practical enough that anyone can put them to use, yet powerful enough that they work. Talbott uses metaphors which help accentuate the importance of Cortisol control in an easy to understand and sometimes humorous way. I've been practicing Talbott's suggestions for two months and can definitely notice a difference. In today's high stress society this book will help just about anybody from the corporate businessman to the elite athlete.
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