Episode 265: All About Supplements With Scott Emmens, The Supplement Industry, Purity, Potency, Testing, Toxins, Authenticity, Organics, Common Additives, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


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May 15

Welcome to Episode 265 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, hosted by Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine Diet: Lose Weight And Feel Great With Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, And Wine and Cynthia Thurlow, author of Intermittent Fasting Transformation: The 45-Day Program for Women to Lose Stubborn Weight, Improve Hormonal Health, and Slow Aging.

Today's episode of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast is brought to you by:

BUTCHERBOX: Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, Wild-Caught Seafood: Nutrient-Rich, Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended, And Shipped Straight To Your Door! For A Limited Time Go To Butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get 2 10 Oz. Ribeyes, 5 Lbs Of Chicken Drumsticks, And A Pack Of Burgers For FREE!!

BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Support Your Health With Delicious USDA Organic Beauty & The Broth Bone Broth! It's Shelf Stable With No Preservatives, And No Salt Added. Choose Grass Fed, Grass Finished Beef, Or Free Range, Antibiotic And Hormone-Free Chicken, Or Their NEW Organic Vegan Mushroom Broth Concentrate! The Concentrated Packets Are 8x Stronger Than Any Cup Of Broth: Simply Reconstitute With 8 Ounces Of Hot Water. They’re Convenient To Take Anywhere On The Go, Especially Travel! Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

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To submit your own questions, email questions@IFpodcast.com, or submit your questions here!! 


1:10 - BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get 2 10 oz. ribeyes, 5 lbs of chicken drumsticks, and a pack of burgers for FREE!!

4:00 - BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At MelanieAvalon.com/beautycounter, And Something Magical Might Happen After Your First Order! Find Your Perfect Beautycounter Products With Melanie's Quiz: melanieavalon.com/beautycounterquiz
Join Melanie's Facebook Group Clean Beauty And Safe Skincare With Melanie Avalon To Discuss And Learn About All The Things Clean Beauty, Beautycounter And Safe Skincare!

10:00 - scott's personal story

12:00 - orphan drugs

20:30 - MD Logic

24:25 - purity, potency, and testing

28:00 - GMP (Good Manufacturing process)

31:00 - testing for authenticity, purity and potency

32:00 - melatonin

Melatonin Natural Health Products and Supplements: Presence of Serotonin and Significant Variability of Melatonin Content

34:00 - organics

36:00 - Other Ingredients

38:00 - variances in dosage

41:00 - BEAUTY AND THE BROTH: Go To melanieavalon.com/broth To Get 15% Off Any Order With The Code MelanieAvalon!

47:45 - fillers and side effects

56:45 - MCT as the flow agent

The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #136 - Dr. Steven Gundry

1:00:30 - enteric coatings

Frequently Asked Questions

1:07:00 - serrapeptase

1:10:00 - timing

1:12:20 - long term supplemental use, should you take a break?

INSIDETRACKER: Get The Blood And DNA Tests You Need To Be Testing, Personalized Dietary Recommendations, An Online Portal To Analyze Your Bloodwork, Find Out Your True "Inner Age," And More! Listen To My Interview With The Founder Gil Blander At melanieavalon.com/insidetracker! Go To insidetracker.com/melanie And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE20 For 20% Off All Tests Sitewide!

1:21:20 - rotation

1:21:35 - vitamin d

1:23:30 - magnesium

1:26:30 - FEALS: Go To feals.com/ifpodcast To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping!

1:31:00 - taking with or without food, fasted or unfasted

1:34:50 - HCL and digestive enzymes

1:35:40 - heartburn medicines

1:38:50 - Recommendations for other supplements

use the code melanieavalon for 10% any Order At AvalonX.us and mdlogichealth.com, And Get On The Email List To Stay Up To Date With All The Special Offers And News About Melanie's New Supplements At avalonx.us/emaillist

Our content does not constitute an attempt to practice medicine, and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please consult a qualified health care provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 265 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. If you want to burn fat, gain energy, and enhance your health by changing when you eat, not what you eat with no calorie counting, then this show is for you. I'm Melanie Avalon, author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. And I'm here with my cohost, Gin Stephens, author of Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ginstephens.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this podcast do not constitute medical advice or treatment. So, pour yourself a cup of black coffee, a mug of tea, or even a glass of wine if it's that time, and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi, friends. I'm about to tell you how you can get a free grilling bundle with over seven pounds of delicious meat all for free. Yes, for free. We are so honored to be sponsored by ButcherBox. They make it so, so easy to get high-quality humanely raised meat that you can trust. They deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, that's really hard to find, by the way, and wild caught sustainable and responsible seafood shipped directly to your door. When you become a member, you're joining a community focused on doing what's better for everyone. That includes caring about the lives of animals, the livelihoods of farmers, treating our planet with respect, and enjoying deliciously better meals together. There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to transparency, regarding grazing practices, what is actually in our food, how animals are being treated. I did so much research on ButcherBox. You can actually check out my blog post all about it at melanieavalon.com/butcherbox. But I am so grateful for all of the information that I learned about their company. All of their beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished. That's really hard to find. And they work personally with all the farmers to truly support the regenerative agriculture system. I also did an interview with Robb Wolf on my show, the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, all about the massive importance of supporting regenerative agriculture for the sustainability of not only ourselves, but the planet. This is so important to me. I'll put a link to that in the show notes. 

If you recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Seaspiracy, you might be a little bit nervous about eating seafood. Now, I understand why ButcherBox makes it so, so clear and important about how they work with the seafood industry. Everything is checked for transparency, for quality, and for sustainable raising practices. You want their seafood. The value is incredible. The average cost is actually less than $6 per meal. And it's so easy. Everything ships directly to your door. I am a huge steak lover. Every time I go to a restaurant, I usually order the steak. Oh, my goodness, the ButcherBox steaks are amazing. I remember the first time I had one and I just thought, "This is honestly one of the best steaks I've ever had in my entire life." On top of that, did you know that the fatty acid profile of grass-fed, grass-finished steaks is much healthier for you than conventional steaks. And their bacon, for example, is from pastured pork, and sugar and nitrate free. How hard is that to find? 

And for a limited time, ButcherBox is offering our new members a free grilling bundle in their first order. Friends, this is a deal you do not want to miss, especially with the warm weather upon us. Just go to butcherbox.com/ifpodcast and you will get two 10-ounce grass-fed ribeyes, five pounds of organic free range chicken drumsticks, and a pack of grass-fed burgers all for free. Yes, for free. That's butcherbox.com/ifpodcast to claim this deal. And we'll put all this information in the show notes. 

And one more thing before we jump in. Are you fasting clean inside and out? Did you know that one of our largest exposures to toxic compounds, including endocrine disrupters, which mess with our hormones, obesogens, which literally cause our body to store and gain weight, as well as carcinogens linked to cancer is actually through our skincare? Europe has banned thousands of these compounds for being toxic, and the US has only banned around 10. It's honestly shocking. When you're putting on your conventional skincare makeup, you're likely putting toxic compounds directly into your body. These compounds can make you feel bad, can make it really hard to lose weight, can affect your hormones, your mood, your health. And ladies, if you're thinking of having kids, when you have a child, these compounds actually go directly through the placenta into the newborn. That means your skincare makeup that you're putting on today actually affects the health of future generations. 

Did you know that conventional lipstick, for example often tests high for lead and the half-life of lead can be up to 30 years in your bones? That means when you put on your lipstick, 30 years later, half of that lead might still be in your body. Thankfully, there's an easy, easy solution to this. There's a company called Beautycounter and they were founded on a mission to change this. Every single ingredient and their products is extensively tested to be safe for your skin. You can actually feel good about what you put on. And on top of that, their products actually work. That's because they're not “all natural.” They actually combine the best of both worlds, both synthetic and natural ingredients to create products that actually support the health of your skin and make your skin look amazing. They have skincare lines for all your skin types, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner that I love, anti-aging and brightening peels, and vitamin C serums, and incredible makeup. If you see my makeup on Instagram, that's all Beautycounter. You can shop with us at melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. 

And if you're thinking of making safe skincare a part of your future like we have, we definitely suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. It's like the Amazon Prime for clean beauty. You get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on qualifying orders, and a welcome gift that is worth way more than the price of the yearlong membership, totally, completely worth it. Also, definitely join my clean beauty email list at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty, I give away a lot of free things on that list and join me on my Facebook group, Clean Beauty and Safe Skincare with Melanie Avalon. I do a weekly giveaway every single week for Beautycounter, people share their experience and product reviews, and so much more. And again, the link to shop with us is melanieavalon.com/beautycounter. All right, now, enjoy the show.

Melanie Avalon: Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is Episode number 265 of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I am here with somebody very, very special. Friends, I've been so excited about this episode for so long. You guys know on the podcast, we have been fans of a supplement called serrapeptase for quite a while and a lot of you're probably familiar with it now, but I actually, recently in winter of 2021 launched my own supplement brand AvalonX and the first supplement was serrapeptase. And you guys were so, so excited. It's done so well. I learned so much in that process about the world of supplements, how they're made, how they're created, what you need to be looking for with brands and ingredients, and I have learned so much. I've been getting so many questions from listeners. I thought it would be very, very appropriate and welcome to bring on my fantastic partner, who made the entire AvalonX product line a possibility, I would not be here today if it were not for this incredible man, this human being, who has become one of my dearest friends of all time, I am here with Scott Emmens. He is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, COO of MD Logic supplements. And we've been looking forward to this episode for so long to tell our stories about how we met up and started the whole process of creating the AvalonX supplement line. And yeah, actually, just having an educational episode as well on the supplement industry and what you need to be looking for when taking supplements. There're so many things that I'm excited to tackle. And Scott, thank you so much for being here.

Scott Emmens: Melanie, thank you so much and we do have quite the story to tell about this journey that we've both been on together. I'm thrilled to be on The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I've been listening to you for quite some time now. It's quite a privilege to be a guest on the show.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, this is a really surreal moment. I'm just taking it in right now, because I remember-- Well, Scott and I have a debate about in the beginning, who reached out to who and who rescheduled on who, because Scott insists that I rescheduled on him multiple times and was pushing him off to talk to [giggles] in the beginning. 

Scott Emmens: I'm sticking with that story.

Melanie Avalon: But just going back to the beginning, it's really surreal from that moment that we first connected to where we are now. Because I know, regardless of the details of how it happened, we did have a phone call to meet each other many, many months ago, about a year ago now, right?

Scott Emmens: Yeah. It was almost a year to the day. It's just about a year. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's crazy. We had a phone call. Basically, Scott reached out to me. Again, we debate how this actually went down. But he reached out to me to talk about his MD Logic line and just the potential for synergy there. We weren't quite sure in what capacity, but I had been wanting to potentially create a supplement line and potentially make a serrapeptase. When we had our first call, we just connected on so many levels. I think we literally talked about the role of enteric coatings in supplements for probably 45 minutes and I think that's when we know that there's something here. I'm going to stop talking though, Scott, would you like to tell listeners a little bit about your personal story, because you do have a history in the pharmaceutical industry prior to your work at MD Logic. So, what's your background, what's your story, how did you come to MD Logic, why are you and I working together now, just all the things?

Scott Emmens: Yeah. I'd love to tell my side of how we met. Actually, I think it was you that either responded quickly or maybe liked something I sent your way and it was near infrared and my DYI infrared sauna. So, I put that on Instagram. I think I just either copied you or sent you.

Melanie Avalon: Scott, I don't think that happened.

Scott Emmens: It did. You totally loved my DYI Infrared Sauna.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, maybe. I think maybe you DM'ed me it and maybe I liked the DM. Is that possibility?

Scott Emmens: You know what? That's very possible. That's probably more likely. I said I'd love to catch up with you and discuss how we could partner together. And you said, "That sounds good. We'll be in touch." And then we set up a date, and then you rescheduled, and then we set up a date, and then you rescheduled, and then I thought, "Well, if the third one doesn't happen, this is probably not going to happen." And then we ultimately did connect by phone and you're right. It was supposed to be, I think, a 30-minute exploratory phone call and we've spent two hours on the phone just talking about the geekiest stuff you can possibly talk about when it comes to supplements, and science, and biohacking. It was a great conversation. I knew immediately that we'd end up working together from that moment. I was excited. 

To answer your question a little bit about my background for you and for your audience, so, I did start my career in pharmaceuticals. I spent a good 20 plus years in the biotech pharmaceutical space and it ranged from your mundane blood pressure medications, all the way to orphan drugs, and rare disease medications. Orphan drugs are drugs that are for diseases. They're really made for orphan diseases. And those are diseases that are defined as, I believe it's less than 20,000 patients. You have to double check me on the number. But if you have a drug that's in the orphan or rare disease space, orphan being the most rare. Then the FDA gives that usually Fast Track approval and typically, they're going to give you a voucher to get your product to market sooner. 

The reason that they do that is, if it's a disease that's "an orphan disease" and then 20,000 patients that have it, well, there's not a lot of impetus or motivation from a pharmaceutical company to take the time and energy to find the population, to conduct the study, and then to make a drug that's reasonably priced enough, that's not going to break the bank of those 20,000 patients, but these people need help and support. So, the FDA gives special timelines and a slightly different review process for orphan drugs. It really just allows them to get to market much faster for less capital upfront.

Melanie Avalon: Last night, I was listening to Peter Attia, one of his Q&A episodes on drug trials, and he was talking about how Phase 1 of the drug trial is testing only for toxicity, basically. So, in that situation, do they even Fast Track that, because not to be morbid, but there's less chance of hurting people? 

Scott Emmens: No, you're still going to have to do all of your toxicity studies right and you're going to have to do all of the basic toxicity studies, and metabolite studies, and you're going to have to do all the essential things to make sure the product is essentially safe and effective. However, where there are some differences is, for example, the size of the trial. For a cholesterol medication, you might need to do 5,000 to 7,000 patients. But for an orphan drug, you may only need to study, let's say, two studies of hundred patients per study. Because it's so difficult to find those patients and enroll them, you're not going to be able to do that with 5000 people. It's only 20,000 people. Where you see the speed pickup is in the number of patients that are in the trial, it's going to be a much smaller trial, and then the FDA expedites review of that product. 

The other thing that can happen is, in the regulatory decision, where the FDA has to make a decision on this drug for said orphan disease, they might be more inclined to approve it, even if it has some known side effects. Because there's nothing else or there's the other products in the market also cause side effects, they're not very effective. So, you might get a little bit more leniency in an orphan drug or disease state that's very serious, but just really doesn't have any effective treatments.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. That's what I think I was getting at the leniency. That would make sense.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. When the FDA board votes, they'll take everything into consideration. Risk benefit ratio and when you're looking at an orphan disease, obviously, the benefit to risk ratio is going to bump up a little, because you've got so few patients that are really, really sick, because typically, these orphan diseases, the outcome is a lot of morbidity and mortality and it's rather quick. Often, they're going to give the benefit of the doubt to get that product to market. What they'll do if the product, let's say, has some side effects they're pretty concerned about, they might do what's called an extension trial. I think it's called [unintelligible [00:15:39] the acronym. And that's basically a post-marketing tracking of every prescription written to every patient that gets that drug and then you track everything that happens with that patient for a period of two to three years to make sure that those concerns you might have had don't show up in a larger population or in a more significant way.

Melanie Avalon: Okay, so, back to your story.

Scott Emmens: I spent a lot of time in the biotech industry. But my mother was an early influence on me. She was a little bit of a hippie in the day in the 70s. Everything was organically made, everything was homemade. For Easter, I literally got sesame sticks, like, that was my Easter candy. [laughs] My treat might be some grapes. I didn't know what a cookie was or a Ring Ding until I went to kindergarten and I tasted another kid's lunch and I was like, "What is that spectacular thing you're eating?" I kind of grew up in this health environment and then in sixth through maybe 10th grade ate a lot of junk food as most kids that age do. But I did notice, I didn't feel as good. I started playing sports, and I started wrestling, and I really wanted to get healthy. That's when I got back into, "How am I going to keep my performance as a wrestler in peak performance?" and this was the 80s, 90s. I'm dating myself a tad, but that's Muscular Development. What was the other magazine that was out of the time? Ironman, something or other. I don't even know if Men's Fitness was out at that point. 

I really started to dig into that and then I started to dig into some biology books, and just felt like, "This was what I wanted to do." I loved understanding how the human body worked, I loved enhancing the optimization of my own personal physical performance. Then I just loved science, it was my thing. As you know, all things sci-fi including Star Trek. When I went to college, I became an environmental science major, to kind of dig in that, but I got more and more into weightlifting, which then turned into bodybuilding. Now, bodybuilding is probably one of the greatest ways to self-learn biohacking, but I don't recommend it. It's not exactly the healthiest sport that there is on earth. But you do learn exactly how your body feels. You get to the point, where when you're bodybuilding, you've got to get down to 4% body fat, you've got to keep your muscle mass going. I was a natural bodybuilder, not doing steroids. For me, I had to work a little harder, I had to know the nutrition a little better, I had to really make sure that what I was doing was working, because I was going up against these guys that I knew were doing other testosterone therapies, we'll call it. So, I really wanted to continue on that path and so I switched majors at that point to become a biology major with the intention of going into sports medicine as a physician assistant. So, that was the path. 

While I was doing, my physician assistant rotation in the hospital, these pharmaceutical people were coming into the hospital to talk to doctors. Well, a few folks started talking about it, a couple of managers met me and the next thing I knew I was getting recruited/drafted into the pharmaceutical industry. I found myself with a really well-paying job and I really enjoyed teaching the science and helping, spread the message about education, about how to prevent diabetes or whatever the disease I was working on at the time, prevent hypertension. And then, explaining to the physicians, where our drug was appropriate, where it wasn't appropriate. It was a really good career and I really enjoyed that for a long time. Ultimately, though, I started my own biotech company. That worked out really well. We sold that in 2020. And then my passion, which has always been optimizing human health and longevity, I had an opportunity to begin building this wellness company with one of the other partners from my biotech company and we decided to do that in February of 2020, literally, one month before the pandemic.

Melanie Avalon: A few thoughts to that. First of all, I know your story and I've gotten to know you so well over the past year. But just hearing your story again now, it just iterates to me how perfect of a partner you are, because you have the background, and the experience, and all the things like you just talked about. You have the health and wellness background from growing up and realizing the importance of nutrition, the bodybuilding world, which is such a world, I think for understanding. Again, like you said, how things really do affect your body and including things like supplements. Then you have the pharmaceutical background, and then ultimately, MD Logic. Can you talk a little bit more about MD Logic and also, because MD Logic already existed prior to 2020? So, what brought you to that company and what are their current goals? What do you guys do?

Scott Emmens: That's a great question. MD Logic was started in 2005 by a group of physicians, who were really struggling at that point. There were a number of physician-only brands, but not nearly as many as they are today. And they didn't feel they were getting the exact products that they wanted. They created MD Logic, and worked with our manufacturer to design and make their line of products. They didn't want them to be private label with their physician, individual physician names on it. They want it to be a brand of products that physicians could trust and go to. They created that brand in 2005 and brand again till 2020. What made us decide to take on MD Logic was, it just really happened organically. My partner, Wes and I both are big tennis buffs, we love playing tennis, and we would talk about strategy, and talk about playing tennis. 

One day, Wes just got into the topic of, "What do you do for maintenance of health and how do you keep your joints in shape?" Because Wes is about my age. I'm 51 years old. At that age, these things are important. I started telling you, "Oh, actually, I'm really into the supplement world and in the biohacking world, here are some things I can give you some guidance on." I started giving Wes some tips on what you might want to take for tennis in terms of a pre-workout mix, what do you might want to take post workout, how to avoid--? He was getting some cramps in his legs, things like that. We just had these informal discussions. And then as we got closer to selling our biotech company, the opportunity to buy MD Logic came along, because the owner of the brand had moved the other physicians, only two or three physicians still actively using it at that point. We had an opportunity to purchase it and we said, "You know what, this looks like a really good brand. We know the manufacturer and we know that they're going to continue to support the product, we know that they have the highest standards of quality, they test the product before they-- every ingredient is tested before it even comes in for purity, for potency, for toxic metals, mold, and then its composition to make sure it is what they say it is." Every single ingredient is tested before it even walks in the door. 

And then all those products that are made are retested, again, to make sure that they have that same purity, that same potency, that they have all the things that we've said that they were going to have in them and they pass all the compliance tests as well. We knew the quality of the company, we knew a few of the positions, we interviewed with them. They raved about the brand, they raved about the products, they just felt like it needed some tender loving care. Having been in the biotech industry and being a supplement buff, Wes also liked supplements. He was into health. We just said let's pool our money together, and bring in some investors, and start this company. And so, that's what we did. We bought MD Logic, the brand and then turned it into a company in 2020.

Melanie Avalon: Well, congrats on that, by the way. A few things I wanted to touch on. One was, I just want to tell the listeners, when Scott says that he's into the biohacking stuff, he really is into the biohacking stuff. That's been one of the most amazing things about our relationship, as well as we can just geek out on all of the biohacking things for so long. You listen to all of the stuff I listen to and are really interested in all the different dietary and lifestyle approaches. It's been really, really wonderful. I'm glad you brought up the purity and the potency and the testing and all of that, because there're two really big topics that I definitely want to tackle in today's episode. And one is the actual supplement industry itself and what's going into that, what to look for, and then also the huge topic of what supplements people actually need to take, or should be taking, or might want to take? And as a teaser, I do have a lot of questions from listeners I'll be leaving those in as well.

I was debating which avenue to go first, but maybe since you did touch on that purity, that potency that testing, so, stepping back a little, supplements in general, because there's pharmaceuticals that require a prescription from a doctor, then there's this whole supplement world, where people can get supplements on the shelf to the store, they can get them online, they're very easily accessible. And at least from my understanding, there seems to be very little regulation. So, here's the first question. I think supplements can seem more credible if they're on a store shelf, but what does that even mean? Are all supplements safe to take? What are your thoughts on where we get our supplements from, what should we be looking for in supplements?

Scott Emmens: There's a lot of different questions and a lot of nuances to what you're asking. I think everyone has those questions. Everyone wonders like, "Is this generic brand from drugstore A, is this a good brand?" "Is this stuff from large, shipping company, is this a good supplement?" The brand itself may very well be a good brand. The issue with them going and being sitting in other warehouses or sitting in third party warehouses with the brand have no control over what's going on. It could accelerate the degradation of that product. Yes, I think people tend to think when they see it on a shelf that it might have a higher quality in point in fact, though, it might just be easy to take those products and put them on the shelf, because they can manufacture them in huge bulk for very little cost, and they're using ingredients that aren't necessarily the best forms of ingredients. For example, you and I will talk more about this. I'm sure have been working on a magnesium and what are all the right forms you want. We've discovered there're somewhere between 12 and 16 different magnesiums depending on how you want to define which ones are "allowed in the US," which ones are under patent, et cetera, but there's no less than 12 forms of magnesium. 

We know that magnesium oxide, for example, while it contains a high amount of elemental magnesium, your body only absorbs about 5% of it. It's not a very good magnesium by itself to replace low dietary magnesium. Just because something's on a shelf, or at a store, or even at a high-end store, a lot of times those products are just third-party manufactured for that high end store by another manufacturer. Since you don't have visibility into who that manufacturer is, you don't necessarily know if it's good. The things to look forward that a lot of folks know are and the most important is, United States manufactured, meaning assembled. Now, they're going to get ingredients from all over the world. You're going to source ingredients from all over the world. But you want a manufacturer in the United States, so that it's done under certain stringent guidelines, and those stringent guidelines are the same ones that the FDA has for prescription drugs and that's called GMP or good manufacturing process. Most people don't recognize that if you have GMP, it's not just a certification that you get once. If you're a GMP-certified manufacturing facility for supplements, you were under the FDA's purview all of the time. 

Just part of their natural way that they do business, if you're a GMP facility is they're going to come to your facility, every year, sometimes two or more often, if they suspect something is going wrong, but at least every year, sometimes it's a surprise, sometimes they announce it, and they come in and they look for various things you're not doing correctly to the GMP process. For example, one of the things that they want you to do is isolate ingredients, so that you're not getting cross contamination. If they were to come into a facility and see two ingredients that were crisscrossing or touching one another, that might be a note in their findings. And then you can get various degrees of warning letters that will either create them to want to be in your facility more often. They'll ask for a written, how are you going to resolve this. That's the GMP manufacturing portion. The FDA does inspect all of the GMP certified facilities and make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to do. That's why that GMP certification is so important. So, you don't see that on your bottle or it's not clearly clear, then you probably don't want to go with that company.

Melanie Avalon: Wow, I learned so much just now. I didn't realize all of that nuance behind that certification. I've learned a lot. This is very helpful. Does that certification include the testing for purity, and potency, and toxicity as well?

Scott Emmens: Yes. Order for the products to be considered safe for human consumption, you've got to do a baseline of certifications. Now, if you get a CFA from the vendor, some companies would take that CFA from the vendor and say, "Okay, this is clean, because we have the CFA vendor put it on to the vendor." Meaning, the person who sold you the raw ingredient. The problem with doing just that way though, is A, you're not really following the spirit of the laws of GMP meeting. You've tested it. And B, there are companies that will sell active ingredient that maybe is a little old, maybe it's supposed to be 80% pure, but it's only 75% pure, it's not quite reading specs, and they'll try and discount it, and there are some shops that will purchase that stuff. Now, there's nothing wrong with it as long as it doesn't go bad and they disclose that their percentage is lower. But if they don't test it, how would they know. It's really important that every company test their active ingredient or the raw ingredient that comes in for the potency of that product, the purity of that product, and then to make sure that that product is free of toxins, and molds, and heavy metals. And finally, that the product that you've gotten is in fact, the product that you said. Meaning I asked for astragalus, and I got astragalus or I asked for astragalus, and it's 60% astragalus and it's 30% just cellulose.

Melanie Avalon: Speaking to that, there are some pretty shocking studies where they do just that they look at different brands and see if they actually contain what they say they contain and it's just not. Like, did you say that study on the melatonin? 

Scott Emmens: I did not. But it's interesting, you bring that up a mutual friend of ours, who just tried the MD Logic melatonin. She said, "She took three," because she always takes three of her brand and she said, "it knocked her out," because and then she said, "I don't think that the brand I'm taking actually has six milligrams, it says six milligrams, but I was taking three and I was fine in the morning. I took three of yours, which are five milligrams and I was so tired in the morning." She said clearly, they weren't six milligrams. So, I'm curious to hear this melatonin story or study I should say.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I haven't read it in a while. So, I'll put a link to it in the show notes. But it basically just looked at these different melatonin supplements from multiple brands and it was all over the place as far as if it actually contained what it said. It was pretty scary.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, that doesn't totally shock me, especially with melatonin, because I have had some interesting experiences with melatonin as well, much like our friend. But I think that's why it's so important. Again, if you're following GMP all the way, and then you're going that extra level, for example, we don't just test the ingredients as they come in, we then batch test, meaning, we randomly pull bottles off of the assembly line, and then test those bottles, and the product in it to say, "Okay, we've said there's five milligrams of melatonin in every capsule, is there five milligrams of melatonin in every capsule?" Or the multi-ingredient like our immunologic, which has seven, I think it's 14 different ingredients. You got zinc, quercetin, vitamin D, vitamin C, astragalus, selenium. We have to then take those and individually test a few of those bottles coming off the shelves as the batches going through to say, "Does it have 10 milligrams of selenium or does it have the 50 milligrams of zinc that we've said." It's not just that we're testing the ingredients as they're coming in. We make sure that once the final product is done, that final product also passes all of those same tests in the additional test is, does it have the milligrams of each ingredient that we've said it has. If it doesn't, then it just gets thrown away and we either check the batch or that might be a bad bottle, maybe it's a one off, or you just make an entire new batch. We're not going to send something out that does not have what we say is in it.

Melanie Avalon: It's something else that this made me think of and it's something you and I have talked about a lot, because you're talking about testing for the toxins and the mold and things like that. Because we've been working on formulating a berberine, for example. It was really important to me to get a USDA organic berberine. But then the more we are talking about it, the more I was realizing that say you don't use an organic berberine. If you yourself are doing all of that testing to ascertain if there are toxins or not, it's almost like not that the USDA organic label isn't important, but I can see how it'd be possible that you could have a non-organic supplement tested that would be "safer" than an organic supplement that wasn't tested. Thoughts?

Scott Emmens: Yeah, that's absolutely true. I think it's just like when we say natural flavors versus artificial flavors, you could have a natural product or natural flavor. There's just as many downsides or more than something that is artificial. There is some truth to that. To your point, because you're testing for the purity of that ingredient, you're testing for the heavy metals and the toxins in that ingredient. You're likely going to the point mitigate the risk of "it's not organic." Now, it's always better if you can, not always, it's mostly better if you can start with organic, because then you are more likely to have less toxins and then there are some things that are just really difficult to detect like pesticides and to what level of the pesticides in there. Those are tests that are not necessarily as easy to complete with every single ingredient. So, if it's organic, you're a little more confident that it's not covered in some sort of pesticide. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, 100%. Another question from that. That said, we're testing the actual ingredients for toxicity, and mold, and issues, and heavy metals. But there are all of these other ingredients that are very, very common in supplements, GMP-certified supplements as well, but might actually pose an issue. I've learned so much about this with our own formulation for the serrapeptase and our future supplements. Why are there these other ingredients in the first place? Jessica says, "How can I better understand what the other ingredients in a supplement may be doing to my body?" What are these other ingredients, are they necessarily safe, why are they there, other ingredients? And for listeners, I mean, maybe this is being too over clarifying. But if you look at the supplement bottle, you see the actual supplement that you're buying it for the active ingredient, but then there's this other ingredient list and it often includes these other things. So, what are those and should we be concerned about them?

Scott Emmens: Before I get into what those are, because I think your listeners are going to learn something about what the purpose is. They might know what those things are, they might have heard of magnesium stearate or calcium palmitate, but what is the purpose and why are they used? I want to take one quick step back, because earlier you had said, it's not a lot of FDA supervision on the supplement companies. I would say, actually, the FDA does a really good job of monitoring claims of companies that are making claims about their supplements. They do a good job on the companies that are GMP certified and making sure that they're following the good manufacturing processes to prevent contamination, to prevent any toxins from getting in there to make sure that all of the processes are being followed, so that the ingredients are correct. They do a pretty good job of that and they do a really good job of watching what people are putting claims on. There is a good bit of scrutiny from the FDA on supplements. 

I think where the public perception comes in is what you were talking about earlier, that sometimes, the ingredients are just not to the level that they say. They're a little bit too much, a little bit too little. But interestingly enough, that can actually happen with prescription drugs. A generic drug can actually have a variance of 10%. Meaning, they say it's got 1000 milligrams in it, maybe it only has 900, maybe it has 1,100. There are variances. Even within prescription drugs, they allow for a slight variance within that spectrum. What might happen is, these companies are is taking a variance a little too far. But there is a good oversight. I just want to be clear that there's a good oversight. I think the majority of companies try to do the right thing, especially in today's climate and with a lot of the quality companies that are out there. But there are a lot of folks that are just either trying too hard to get their product to market and maybe taking advantage of that 10% on either side.

Melanie Avalon: That's a good clarity. Really quick question. The 10%, is it 10% across the board or is it adjusted for--? If you have a supplement, where the effective dose is a very narrow range, like, the 10% might have more implications based on what the original dosing is?

Scott Emmens: Yes. Especially, if it's a medication that has a really narrow therapeutic index to put that into normal terms, that means that the dose that you take for getting well and then the dose that will make you really sick are really, you're talking about a couple of milligrams difference. If 10 milligrams makes you better, but 12 makes you sick, that's a narrow therapeutic window. In that case, you've got to be really spot on with your product. There are some products, for example, that have been generic for decades. But the main manufacturer is still the one that makes it, because the process to do it and make sure that it stays within that that really tight, narrow therapeutic index is so difficult that the generic companies don't want to take it on. 

A great example of that are some of the thyroid hormones, because they have to be really specific. I think Premarin might still be manufactured by the original makers of it, it might be generic, but I think it still might be manufactured by them, don't quote me on that, but there are drugs like that. Antidepressants, there's some where the generic version wasn't quite getting it done. So, they had to go back to the branded one to make sure it was within that therapeutic window. So, very astute, Melanie, I think, if you've got a product that has a narrow therapeutic window, meaning, a tiny miss on either side could cause problems, yes, at that point you're going to have much more stringent guidelines and you should.

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Melanie Avalon: There's a book I've been wanting to read and now, the title of it is slipping my mind. I was discussing it actually with Dr. Alan Christianson. He wrote an array of books like The Thyroid Reset Diet and The Metabolism Reset Diet, but he works a lot with the thyroid. And he, for example, is not a fan of compounded thyroid medication, because of the potential for what you just spoke about. It's such a narrow range that if it's even just off a little bit, it can have massive implications. And there's some book that came out recently that was all about this. I'll have to find it and put it in the show notes. But it was about compounding pharmacies doing the wrong amounts of things and the issues that happen with that.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, compound pharmacies are a great thing to have. Because there're certain people that need very special designs of medications or kids that can't swallow pills. Compound pharmacies serve a really important niche in the healthcare space, where they've gotten into trouble is where exactly what you've said. They're not spending enough time being precise with the exact dose on medicines that it really makes a difference in and to the listeners so I'm sure most know what a compound pharmacy is, but in case you don't, a compound pharmacy is a pharmacy that will take a medication that's in a pill form or gel form, and they'll blend it into a liquid for a child, for example, or they'll take two or three other medications, and they'll blend them together to get to the right progesterone or estrogen ratio, let's say they were working on a hormone product, for example. So, that's what they do and they serve that great purpose.

But yes, you're right, Melanie. Where they've gotten into trouble is, where they've got these products that are narrow therapeutic windows and they're over or under prescribing or adding that active ingredient. And the other places, sometimes, there was one big case in the early 2000s I want to say, where there was a tremendous amount of cross contamination with bacteria, and viruses, and things that were getting into the, I think, it might have been even E. coli that was getting into this one particular product.

Melanie Avalon: Actually, that brings everything together full circle, because the other use of compounding pharmacies could be included in what you just said, but it might be a little bit different, which is sometimes, they will rather than get the generic form and crush it up or dose it differently, they'll get just the source ingredient and then you can actually choose your own fillers. This is why everything comes together. For example, I get things compounded often, because I'm on thyroid medication. I do actually use a compounding pharmacy, but they get just the pure thyroid hormone and then I choose the filler. So, I usually compound them with ascorbic acid, which is vitamin C, which brings us back to this filler thing.

Scott Emmens: It does, pulls that to full circle.

Melanie Avalon: So, the fillers, I've been very specific about them for a while. So, what are they? 

Scott Emmens: There're two things that people sometimes get confused. There are anti-caking agents and then there are fillers, and they're used for two very different purposes. The most common thing you're going to see on your labels is going to be magnesium stearate, or calcium palmitate, or silicon dioxide and that will be on the other ingredients list. You also see micro cellulose from time to time, stearic acid, hypromellose things like that. But the big ones are the stearate, the palmitate, [unintelligible [00:48:17], silicon dioxide rather and those are anti-caking agents. Why do you need an anti-caking agent? Well, when you're making these products in massive quantities, they're going through these machines and then you have to get into this tiny little capsule at a very high rate of speed. But a lot of these supplements are sticky and they attract water. Well, as soon as the water, let's say, the machine is cold, and you're putting warm powder in there, and condensation, all of a sudden, the moisture from the air, the product starts to kick up. And then if you're adding another product that maybe is a little bit sticky, the product really starts to kick up. 

They use these anti-caking agents, which are things like magnesium stearate, and calcium palmitate, and so forth, so that the product just flows through the machine quickly and easily into the capsule without jamming up the machines, so, they can make 20 million capsules at the price that it would cost to make 20,000 capsules if you're doing it smaller. That's why those anti-caking agents are used and they're the mainstay of the industry. In terms of their health benefit or health effects, magnesium stearate is actually in foods that you eat. You're going to see magnesium stearate and other stearates in things like beef, and milk, and eggs. It is a natural stearic acid. I believe it's a long chain saturated fatty acid. But again, it's a flow or anti-caking agent. Its main deal is just keep a barrier, so that that powder gets in there and the consistency of the medication is precise. That's what it's doing.

In terms of what it could be doing negative, there are people that feel it could have a laxative effect on you, for folks that do have delicate bowel situations, which I know is something that you talk about quite a bit, it can irritate the mucous lining of your bowels and trigger some issues in your bowels that aren't necessarily going to be positive. There are some studies, however, they haven't really panned out that there could be a minor in large doses mind you not like one pill, in large doses. There could be some mild impact on immune system if you're taking them in significant amounts. And then there's a little bit of a concern from people that think that pesticides might be in that stearate, because a lot of the stearate comes from seed oils and seed oils are particularly of concern, especially some of the genetically modified ones that are designed to be sprayed with various insecticides and pesticides. 

In terms of what the FDA says, magnesium stearate is G.R.A.S., which is generally recognized as safe as are all the other anti-caking agents. If you're taking one or two supplements a day, I wouldn't be concerned about at all. Even three or four supplements a day, I wouldn't be concerned about at all. But when you start taking 10, 11 supplements a day, many of us biohackers do, that's where you start to think maybe I'd like to dial down my magnesium stearate. I know that was a particular point, when we were creating your serrapeptase, you were adamant that you did not want any serrapeptase in your--magnesium stearate, palmitate, anything that was on that spectrum of potentially bad, you didn't want that in there. And I'll pause there to get your either follow up question or thoughts on that.

Melanie Avalon: I look at so many supplement brands. I'm always looking at different supplements, because it's been a huge part of my life for so long with my focus on health and wellness in biohacking and all the things. And maybe I err on the side of being overcautious. I thought what you just gave us a very nuanced and excellent answer to the question, because you're not saying like, it's going to kill you. It's bad automatically, nor that it's completely fine. It seems context is really important. 

Scott Emmens: Dosage and context. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, exactly. Although, interestingly, I was just thinking, because there's again, I'm going to reference a book that I don't remember. Although, I did remember the other book, the compounding book was called Kill Shot. It came out in February of 2021. The tagline says, The Untold Story Of The Worst Contaminated Drug Crisis In U.S. History.

Scott Emmens: That's the one I was talking about, where they--

Melanie Avalon: Oh, really? 

Scott Emmens: Yeah. What year was that? Early 2000?

Melanie Avalon: I'm not sure, probably.

Scott Emmens: What year was that? 

Melanie Avalon: That it came out or that what it's about?

Scott Emmens: When the contamination happened? I was thinking early 2000s. 

Melanie Avalon: It was the New England Compounding Center. They don't say the date. 

Scott Emmens: And that's really what got compounding pharmacies on the radar in a negative way. That was a landmark case.

Melanie Avalon: They don't say the date in the brief description, but I'll put a link to it in the show notes. There was another book, I don’t know if it was a book or just a person in this sphere, but he was advocating the idea that potential toxicity of the buildup of these fillers and things in our supplements in our body, which again, it's hard to know to what extent these things are actually having certain effects. But I guess, just for me, I just would love to err on the side of-- If I can take it all out to the extent that I can, that would be amazing. Okay, friends, listeners, so, when I met Scott, this is going to answer this topic, this question that we're talking about, we decided to create serrapeptase for the first supplement and maybe we can circle back to why we made that decision. But in the initial formulation process, I was so intense and Scott had to look up so many things for me. I was like, "He's going to leave, he's going to give up on me."

Scott Emmens: It was close, Melanie. it was borderline for a while there. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I felt so bad, because I would basically veto everything and then he would go and do all this research, and he would come to me really excited with an ingredient we could possibly use and I'd be like, "Nope, we can't use that either, because of blah, blah, blah." He found an organic rice related supplement and then I was like, "No, because people with autoimmune issues might struggle."

Scott Emmens: I was so excited about that one, because you would say, "I don't want any magnesium stearate, I don't want any--" I'm like, "All right, I still need some sort of flow agent." And so, I found this flow agent that was made from rice husks and I was like, "Oh, perfect, organic rice husks. This is perfect. She's going to love it." And then you're like, "Yeah, no, I don't do rice." I was like that was the one that broke me. I was like, "Oh, my God." [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: Because you also came to me with acacia and you were so excited. You're like, "This has been shown to help people's bowel movements, it has benefits" and I was like, "No, we can't do acacia. It's a no for people who have-- I think people, who react to FODMAPs."

Scott Emmens: Yes, which I learned about that day. Yeah, I remember.

Melanie Avalon: I will say, thank you for sticking with me, because I know that was really rough. [giggles] But then I'll let you tell the story what we came to.

Scott Emmens: The reason that I stuck with you was because I had the same vision of like, "What's the cleanest possible product that we can create?" Not just the first product, but to the entire line. You and I have discussed that, MD Logic is beginning to look at all of our products and figure out, where can we get rid of the stearates and the palmitates, and what will we use to replace them. It's not as easy as just swapping out. For each product, we're making with you, Melanie, as you know and well, tell it to the audience, it's not like we can just come up with a system that works for every product, because each ingredient has its own level of stickiness. Enzymes happen to be particularly sticky. Serrapeptase is particularly prone to caking up. That one took a lot of how are we going to make this with just medium chain triglycerides, which was a huge, huge success. The fact that we could make a high-potency serrapeptase in MCTs which our research as you and I were discussing it not only could act as the flow agent, but also might enhance its absorption as what we saw in the literature said that the serrapeptase is likely helped by fatty acids and medium chain triglyceride in terms of the absorption through the intestine. So, it was like a double win. 

You're getting this pure MCT with no other fillers, just the capsule and the serrapeptase in the flow agent of MCTs and then that MCT also helped absorption. It was such a huge win. But it was a challenge to get to that point. But the reason I was so hell bent on figuring out how we're going to do this is, I just knew that if we can do it for this product, we can do it for others. And that's where the long-term vision of MD Logic and that's the long-term vision for AvalonX. To your point, let's have the cleanest powerful product. Maybe the magnesium stearate, it's not that bad. But if you're taking, again, 10, 20 capsules a day and you can eliminate it, why not?

Melanie Avalon: I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much. Because I just see what you told me going back and forth and bringing me these things. Even with the MCTs, it was an up and down situation. We thought it would maybe work, but then it was like a no, but then it was a yes, but then it was a no. I was riding on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen and I just can't even imagine all the phone calls and things that you had to do to make that happen. So, thank you so, so much. The thing I love about the MCTs is and to clarify for people, because this is the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Listeners are concerned about the clean fast and things like that. And actually, a lot of listener questions about that. So, from my perspective, the MCTs, well, first of all, it's a tiny, tiny amount in these supplements. It's not like you're taking a tablespoon of MCT oil.

Scott Emmens: No, much smaller than that.

Melanie Avalon: It's tiny. But even in that amount, I personally don't see any way that it would break your fast, if anything I think it would actually enhance your fast. And then on top of that, it really helps with the absorption and things like that like we said. And actually, after interviewing Dr. Steven Gundry on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast for his newest book, which was Unlocking the Keto Code, he really got me thinking, maybe I should be supplementing a tiny bit of MCTs in my diet every day. And so, maybe this can contribute to that a little bit through the supplements.

Scott Emmens: That product will soon to be coming. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, teaser, teaser, teaser. Actually, another question though because this actually relates to all of this, because with serrapeptase specifically, and we should probably define what that is. But before we do, I'll just ask this question. A lot of people historically have experienced GI effects with serrapeptase. For example, Morris said, "Why do some people experience GI distress because of serrapeptase?" Actually, before we created our AvalonX serrapeptase, I thought it was from the enzyme itself. I thought it was something in serrapeptase that was upsetting people's guts. That might be the case, but I actually now, after everything we went through and ended up creating our formulation, and myself, so many of my audience reporting back that they experienced no GI distress with serrapeptase, and I can say personally, because I've been taking serrapeptase for years, and I always experienced a little bit of discomfort with it and with my AvalonX, none, gone, like it's completely gone. I think it might have been actually from the enteric coatings that are often used in serrapeptase. 

Scott Emmens: That's a good point. We should probably talk briefly about that maybe. 

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I think so. Especially, because I think there's a lot of confusion out there about enteric coatings versus acid-resistant capsules like we use. What is the purpose of enteric coatings and acid-resistant capsules?

Scott Emmens: In enteric coating, whether it's on the product itself in the bead, where they make those little enteric-coated time release beads or within enteric coated-capsule.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Wait, can I pause you really quickly? Now, I'm getting a flashback. That was the thing, because when we first had our phone call, I was saying that the enteric coating was what we bonded over. But it was this discussion, when I was asking you about the enteric-coated beads versus the enteric-coated capsules. You were so excited, because I don't think anybody probably asked you that before and it was something you had thought about. So, yeah. Sorry, I interrupted.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, I was very excited, because I'm like, "Ooh, I have studied this. I have this answer." Yes, I was excited to be able to discuss it. You were equally as excited to talk about it. I remember distinctly we were having a conversation about, you said, "Well, shouldn't it be enteric coated, because it has to get through the acid of the stomach." I said, "It absolutely has to make it through the stomach." It's acid liable, meaning, it gets destroyed in acid. Yes, we've got to make it get through the stomach intact. But I don't think enteric coating is the best way to go for a couple of reasons. The first is, it's either a chemical coating on the capsule itself and that chemical coating is usually some plasticized chemical. Basically, it's like a plastic. These enteric-coated capsules, they don't necessarily tell you the ingredients in that enteric coating either. It might say, enteric-coated beads or enteric-coated capsule. But it doesn't always tell you what that enteric coating is made of. When the enteric coating came up, I said, "Well, if you do the enteric-coated beads or capsules, you're going to be putting another-- a different chemical on and/or a chemical/plastic, that's going to act as protectant before it gets into the stomach."

The other thing with enteric-coated beads, especially is, some of those beads break up before others, some don't make it through intact, so just to be wasn't the right way to go for your brand, because you wanted it so clean. Once we had the discussion, I think memory serves, you were like, "Yeah, absolutely I'm on board with that." The difference between your capsule and most of the "enteric-coated capsules" is it's a very, very robust, delayed, release capsule that is designed to not degrade in acid, but designed to degrade much faster in a pH of seven or above. I took four brands plus yours, and I had a video that I'll send out to you at some point in time. We put them in vinegar, which is about a three pH or so. The AvalonX brand was literally still intact three hours later. However, you put that in water and it dissolves in 10 minutes. I think that also might have something to do with the fact that you're not getting an upset stomach, because you're not having to digest plastics or other enteric-coated chemicals that are on these enteric-coated products that could have an impact on your GI system for sure. Your serrapeptase uses the capsule is a vegetable delayed capsule release, so it's vegan, there's no chemicals, nothing else on it. It's just designed to be acid resistant through its thickness in its osmotic layer and that's it. So, you're getting a pure delayed capsule versus an enteric released capsule or beads.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, and I was so thrilled when you took those videos and did those experiments at home, because that really shows the effectiveness. You can see that our AvalonX serrapeptase is not breaking down in the acidic conditions compared to how some of the other brands were, and then it does break down in the alkaline environment that you need it to release into the intestine. And then actually, since we're talking about it, that would answer-- Tracy's question was "serrapeptase." She wants to know, will coffee affect it and other people have been asking me that as well. Now, people can understand, why coffee is okay to have with it, because coffee is slightly acidic itself. And then I actually asked you this, Scott and you were saying that, coffee on top of once it gets mixed with your stomach acid, that environment will still be acidic enough that it's not going to break down the capsule.

Scott Emmens: I take my serrapeptase every morning with my coffee. That's the first thing I do is, I have my coffee, put a pinch of salt in my coffee. For a couple of reasons, it helps with bitterness and it also keeps you a little hydrated. Then I take my serrapeptase, no problem. You're right. Once you drank that coffee, it's hitting your stomach and that's a pH of two or three. It's not going to be anywhere near alkaline enough to dissolve that capsule.

Melanie Avalon: And then actually, we have another good question from Bridget. She says, "I just received your serrapeptase. I'm wondering when to take it? Will it break my clean fast and are there any contraindications with other supplements?" We've answered a bit of this, but we can recap. And also, for listeners, they can actually go to avalonx.us/faq and we have a lot of questions there. Briefly answer your questions, Bridget, "Well, will it break my clean fast?" I was talking about that earlier that it's fine for your clean fast. And then when to take it? It is super important to take it on an empty stomach for the reasons discussed, because if you take it with food and maybe this is the time, where we can actually talk about what it is, then there's a potential that it will break down, because it's a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down things that will actually attach to your food and break down your food rather than getting into your bloodstream, where it then breaks down problematic proteins in your body. So, to define serrapeptase, this actually goes back to Scott and I's first conversation because you hadn't heard of serrapeptase, right? 

Scott Emmens: No. I got to say, we both caught each other with a supplement that neither of us had heard of. You had mentioned serrapeptase, I was talking about galantamine and I said, "I can't believe it, but I've never heard of serrapeptase." And then you started telling me about it. I think there's something here.

Melanie Avalon: Even now, I'm actually still shocked that you hadn't heard of it. But yeah, it's just funny, because it's a very niche supplement. But our audience on this show, they're so familiar with it, because I'm very well experienced and versed in supplements and I experiment with a lot of different ones, and we can talk about that a little bit later about what you should or should not be taking. But my cohost, Gin at the time, she doesn't take a lot of supplements, but there was one supplement she was currently taking when she and I first met, and it was serrapeptase. It created this whole serrapeptase fan club. Yeah, so, I was really passionate about it for so long. What it is? It's an enzyme originally created by the Japanese silkworm and it is not cultured in the lab, so yes, it is vegan. That's a big misconception. But when you take it in the fasted state, it actually goes into your bloodstream and then it can break down problematic proteins in your body. So, it can really help potentially alleviate conditions, where your body is reacting to these protein buildups. 

The reason I started taking, for example, was for my allergies. It will clear your sinuses like none other. It's amazing for me for that and a lot of listeners have experienced that as well, and then people may experience reduced brain fog. And since then, I've gone and dived deep, deep, deep into the clinical literature about all the studies on it. There's been studies showing how it may reduce inflammation, and even potentially break down amyloid plaque, and reduce cholesterol, and enhance wound healing, and so many things. It's really just a wonder supplement and that it can really enhance so many beneficial processes in your body. That was a reason I wanted to create it as the foundational beginning enzyme. Do you have any thoughts about that or should I--? 

Scott Emmens: Well, that's why I was so in favor of it, because one of the key success factors is that the person selling the product has to have a knowledge of it and a passion for it, and then their audience needs to have some education about what it is. Based on what you told me, I've been on an Intermittent Fasting Podcast for many years, it became a cult little enzyme amongst the audience that you and Gin talk to. I think that was part of the reason I wanted to do it with you as you had such a conviction and passion for it. After having done the research that you had sent over to me that you had and then doing my own research I thought, "This is some kind of product." I had actually ended up buying a few bottles of other brands to test them out. There were a couple I tested out that I was like, "I could feel after three or four capsules, my nasal passages clearing out, allergies getting better, and then I dug into the research on the amyloid plaque. Wow, there's really something here." Yes. I thought, "It was the perfect for supplement to start." It turned out to be true.

Your audience, thank you all. You guys have made it just such a tremendous success. It's really remarkable. I just want to circle back to the question of when to take it and about the fast. I think you've said this, Melanie. But actually, first thing in the morning is probably the best time to take it while you're still in your fasted state, because of the way that it works to the proteolytic enzyme and breaking down problematic proteins, it's going to do that better when your body is already in an autophagy state anyway, and you're almost assisting your body giving you that extra little boost during that time. I will also take it in the evening if I haven't had anything to eat for two or three hours. I'll take one before bed and I find it that helps me kind of wake up a little bit-- a little bit more pep in my step.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you said that because we had a question from Teresa and she said, "Do you get benefits from taking serrapeptase more than once a day as in taking two at first wake up, then taking more, say, four hours later while still fasted?" That's actually a different situation than before bed like you were saying, but so, yes, you can take it multiple times and presumably if you're getting more into your system, there's more enzyme to be doing its magic. 

Scott Emmens: Yeah. I think anything that you take multiple times is always going to be better than one time. That's just if you look at the way your body metabolizes things of the half-life of certain things, you're going to get a better outcome if it's in your system for a little bit of a longer period of time. Take one in the morning or two in the morning, one four hours later, you're going to spread the power of it over a longer period of time. For me, the reason I take one in the evening is, doing the research, although, it's mostly in animals. But when you look at the research that it has on breaking down various clots in the blood and various issues in the brain, I thought your brain does this rinse at night when you're sleeping. The cerebral fluid goes in your brain. For lack of a better word, like dishwashes your brain, cleanses it out. So, that's why I take my serrapeptase in the evening with my magnesium. 

Melanie Avalon: And now, I'm so glad we're talking about this, because this actually ties into a much broader topic that we got a lot of questions about. There're actually two big questions here. One, we definitely need to get to, "Which is how to know what to actually take?" I think we can circle back to that. But first, since we're talking about the timing, we got a lot of questions about, "Should you be taking supplements regularly or should you be switching things up?" I'm just going to read some of these and then maybe we can just address all of it in a general answer. For example, Kimmy says that, "She has quite a few supplements that she likes to take and she wanted to know if it could or would be beneficial to take a few supplements one day and then on the next day take different supplements and alternate on different days." 

I think the reason she's asking this is because Terry, for example, said, "should supplements be rotated, so that the body doesn't rely on them?" And then Tina wanted to know, "How do you know what to take long term versus short term?" Oh, and then also, Teresa wanted to know, "How frequently should we test changing doses or skipping doses and what might be assigned that a supplement is no longer working?" I think there's a lot of questions out there about, "should you take supplements every day, do they need to be rotated, do you build up a tolerance?" I think the answer is very long and nuanced, and it depends on what you're taking, and why. I have a lot of thoughts, but Scott, what are your thoughts about this?

Scott Emmens: As an avid taker of supplements, both personally and then as part of my profession, I understand where this question is coming from, because I have had this discussion many times. As a bodybuilder, one of the things you do is you switch up your exercises, so, your muscles don't get used to that same exercise and you continue to get growth. It makes a lot of intuitive sense to ask that question. The first thing I'll say, though is, this is a question you definitely want to work with a health coach on or a physician, someone qualified to work with you. If you can get some testing done, I think a lot of folks want to take supplements and just let their body tell them if it's working. If you're in tune with your body that's going to work more often than not. But I think you want to know where you're at from a testing perspective. 

You know Melanie, we're working with a company right now as you are aware that does some great bloodwork that looks for various, I think it's almost 50 different biomarkers in your blood to determine what nutrients you need. They can combine that with a DNA test. We also have a DNA company working with, and you can combine those two things to look at what's going on, and then you can track that over time to see how it's going. So, there are ways to track what's happening in your body and what's going on both physiologically, meaning, how you feel and then what is happening from a blood chemistry level. I think those are important things to do. Now, they're expensive. So, I don't do them very often.

Melanie Avalon: Well, I don't know what company you're speaking about specifically, Scott. For listeners, I will provide a resource to a very similar company, which is InsideTracker and they've actually sponsored quite a few episodes on this show. They do provide bloodwork testing and I'm glad you were talking about that, because it goes into a broader question, which I think we need to answer. In order to answer the when to take and if you should rotate and all of that stuff, which is Sharon's question of, "How do we know which supplements to take to benefit us?"

Scott Emmens: That's exactly why I wanted to start there. Because if you don't know what's going on, you're using InsideTracker, they're going to let you take a blood test pretty much anywhere. The Quest Diagnostic is who they're mostly connected with. They'll even send someone to your home to take the blood for you. That's pretty easy. But that's your starting point. Because if you have no idea where your blood levels of magnesium, and iron, and copper, and manganese, if you don't know where they are and you just start randomly popping nutrients, you could be offsetting the balance. 

One of the things that I've learned in this industry is that everything has a tradeoff. If you take too much vitamin A, you can bump down your vitamin D. Too much vitamin D, you bump down your vitamin A. Too much copper, you're messing with your iron. Too much iron, you're messing with your copper. Everything you take is going to have an impact on other nutrients, and so, you want to have them in balance. The first thing to do I think is to test. Once you've got that baseline test, you can decide what you're going to focus on and optimize, and then retest later, and see what's going on. That's I think pretty important to do because listening to your body is only going to get you so far. If you're taking things you don't need, you could be shifting the delicate balance of minerals in your body in the wrong direction. So, I'll leave that at that.

Melanie Avalon: These are examples of nutritional supplements. Vitamin D, iron, things like that, but I think it's important to step back, and there're big categories of supplements with different goals, and I think that informs what testing is needed, and how you might be taking it, and if it would need to be rotated. Things like the nutritional supplements that you just talked about, you're taking it for nutritional purpose, it's something that probably depending on what it is. It can be tested, so, you can actually see where your levels are. And then that would inform the frequency or the dosage that you're actually taking of that supplement. It would be a goal that would be related to what your blood level is showing. It's not necessarily-- I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have different thoughts about any of this, Scott, but it's not really something I don't think where you're going to build a tolerance, because you're filling in a nutritional gap. It would have been anyways an external nutrient that the body would need. For whatever reason, you're not able to get it via your diet or you need it in a different, more concentrated dose. So, it's not something where I'm as concerned about the tolerance effect. It's more about just what is the amount that you need and what are you getting? That'd be one category.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. First, let me start with, I completely agree with, what are your objectives in taking the supplements? Are they for beauty, are they for brawn and muscle, are they for your brain health, are they for emotional health, are they for hormonal health? I think the objective of why you're taking it and what you're trying to accomplish is just as important as the testing. You've got to know like, "What is the objective of trying to achieve? If I'm just trying to optimize my nutrition or am I trying to optimize my nutrition for a specific outcome?" That's important. Once you know those two things, you know your DNA says, "Oh, you've got a problem converting folic acid into usable folate." And then you go get tested and sure enough your folate levels are really low. Now, you know that folate it's probably something I'm going to need to take. Now, at what point do you want to "rotate it out?" Well, you may never want to rotate out folate because you've been tested, you know that your DNA doesn't process folic acid. So, that might be a vitamin that you just keep on going. 

Another one, for example, is going to be magnesium. I'm never going to not take my magnesium, because I know I'm not getting it in my diet and I know it's crucial to so many different enzymatic processes of my body. It's crucial for athletic performance, it's crucial for ATP performance, it's crucial for bone manufacturing. I know there's no way in heck I'm getting enough magnesium. Things like that, I'm not going to necessarily rotate out. Things that I do rotate out, for example, are things that are more hormonally based or maybe a vitamin D, vitamin D3, I take in the wintertime, but I don't necessarily take in the summer, because I try to get out in the sun and get natural vitamin D. However, I was once surprised to see that I was doing that tactic, went and got my blood tested and my vitamin D was 32. Now, 32 is actually "normal." But for me, I like to be around 50. So, 32 was surprisingly low considering how much I was in the sun, at least how much I felt I was in the sun and how much vitamin D I was taking. 

The other things I'll rotate, I rotate DHEA. I don't want to take DHEA all the time. I take that from time to time, give my body a little extra boost in the hormone arena. And then there's a product we make called Estro Detox. And that's for both men and women. I think men see that and they think it's a drug just for women. But there are so many plastics in our diet that act as estradiol, or estrogen mimickers, or what do they call muscle obesogens. On top of that, there's a lot of conversion from testosterone that can be to various forms of estrogen. I will do two weeks, I call it a cycle. Two weeks of Estro Detox, three capsules a day, and then I'll go three months and I won't take that. And then I'll retake it again and cleanse my body out of all that estrogen and plastics. There are things I do rotate. But in general, rotation to your point is not something you need to do for building up a tolerance to it. I think it's really more about do you really need it? And if you don't need it, why you're going to take it?

Melanie Avalon: For example, with a vitamin D, I think vitamin D is so, so important for immunity and so many things. That's something where it's been so helpful to have InsideTracker. For listeners, because it can be pricey, we do have a discount code. If you go to insidetracker.com/melanie and use the coupon code MELANIE20, you can actually get 20% off sitewide. So, that's super helpful. But I just pulled up, for example, my InsideTracker app and I can see my vitamin D levels since 2019 on this really cool chart, and I can actually see every test what it was at. When I started, I was pretty low. I started at 36, I dropped at 27, down to the lowest I think was 24. Similar to you, Scott. And then I really got on top of it and I went overboard. So, I started doing one-to-three-minute sessions in UVB tanning booth and supplementing vitamin D and I actually shot it up to 126.

Scott Emmens: Wow, that's a big bump. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: It was a slow. It went to 38, and then to 45, and then the next time I tested it was 126 in the red and I was like, "Oh, we need to backtrack a little bit." [laughs] I've actually been pretty good. The last four tests have been between in the 80s, which is the upper high range for InsideTracker's range. Yeah, so that's something super helpful. And then I'm really glad you mentioned that about magnesium because that's a perfect example. Because in my dream world, we get all of our nutrients from food. That's just the way it would be. But unfortunately, that's can be really hard to do with today's modern diet, and farming practices, and nutrient depleted soils. Magnesium is one for example that is involved in so many processes in the body. Our soils are so magnesium depleted that it can be really hard to get enough and most people are magnesium deficient. That's why we've been so excited to be working on our next supplement, which is magnesium. 

I got so many questions when I asked her questions. Jobeth, "When is your magnesium available? Susan, "I'm wondering the same thing. I need to reorder my magnesium before too long." Carly, "Is your magnesium available yet?" Tony, "When will your magnesium be available?" Friends, it is coming soon. I did get questions about, because we've been partnering on this show historically with BiOptimizers that's a really good example of me being really concerned for brands before I had my own and still the importance of finding brands that you really, really trust. I know the founders of BiOptimizers. I've had them on the show multiple times. I felt really, really comfortable partnering with them. I know so many people have benefited from their supplements. It's really been a wonderful thing, because I got this question from Lizzie, for example. She says, "You use to advertise a magnesium. Do you still recommend it?" This is an example, where when I create with Scott and MD Logic, the AvalonX brand, basically, my goal is to look at the supplements that I'm currently taking. So, I was taking Magnesium Breakthrough by BiOptimizers. Find what's there, find what's working, and if I can at all improve on it in any way, do that. Yes, I still recommend BiOptimizers and the AvalonX magnesium that we are creating that I am so excited about. We're basically just going a step above with some things that I really wanted to fine tune. Really making sure they're no extra fillers that are in there.

There'll be less fillers than there are in BiOptimizers. We wanted to add in, Scott was talking about the role of people having issues processing certain like B vitamins, for example, and that can be a genetic thing. We wanted to put in cofactors for magnesium that takes that into account. We're using activated forms of B6 and manganese, which are cofactors in magnesium absorption. And then putting it in a glass bottle, because something that's really, really important to me is the health of not only our bodies, but the planet and I'm just really concerned with plastics in our environment, in our bodies, in the planet. Yes, your BiOptimizers magnesium, I'm not reneging on everything I said about that. I'm grateful to them for creating such an amazing product and I'm really excited to create my own manifestation of magnesium and the best way that I see possible. That was long. So, you have thoughts about that, Scott?

Scott Emmens: Yeah. Condensed that into this one sentence, which you basically did the same thing with serrapeptase that you did with magnesium and we worked with you to do that. How do we make this magnesium? It's really good, take it to insanely perfect level and that's what we did. If you like BiOptimizers, you're going to love AvalonX. And if you want to skip your BiOptimizers, you can certainly do that. But I promise you, this is going to be a tremendous magnesium. I think some of the surprises you're going to announce that are going to go along with that Melanie will just make it all the better. So, I won't spoil that for you.

Melanie Avalon: I know. I'm so excited about everything in the future. 

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Melanie Avalon: We are going back to those different pillars of foundational supplements. The nutritional ones, something like serrapeptase though, that's not a nutrition. That's an enzyme. That's taking a supplement, where it has it's like a verb. The other supplements are like nouns. The serrapeptase is like a verb, because it's doing something in your body. That's something where you don't have to really worry about tolerance or something like that, because it's doing an action that you are supporting your body with. I think the issue with tolerance and things like that comes in with supplements that are more stimulant related. You know caffeine, coffee, things like that or neurotropics, where you might be playing around with neurotransmitters, where there could be the potential for some downregulation of your brain's neurotransmitter system, that's where I think you might need to take into account rotating on and off. Thoughts about that?

Scott Emmens: Yeah, no, I agree completely. I think the area that I brought up where I rotate things on and off are the hormone products or detox products. I don't want to be on a detox product long term. Alpha-lipoic acid is great. But if you're on alpha-lipoic acid all the time, you're in a chronic state of detox and you might just be pushing a lot of things to float through your blood if you're not using a binder with it. There are things that are designed for a specific purpose and a specific timeframe. And then there are things like magnesium and serrapeptase that have specific reasons you're taking them that don't have any build up effect that you should take. A detoxifying agent like a colon cleanse, you're not going to take that on a regular basis or alpha-lipoic acid that's always detoxifying. You could become anemic, because you pull out too much of your iron, or copper, or zinc, for example. 

In the hormones, I rotate, because if you overdo hormones like DHEA or Estro Detox, those can start having some odd effects that you don't want to have either. Those are the only ones I rotate really. If it's got a specific purpose, it's an essential nutrient that I know I'm not in getting my diet. I don't rotate that out and I don't see necessarily a rationale or reason to do so. But in the examples, you and I both gave, I think it makes perfect sense to rotate them out or pause them for a while.

Melanie Avalon: One more topic that it relates to all of this, but we got a lot of questions about taking into consideration the fasting and the eating window. Terry wants to know, "Best supplements to take on a fast versus an eating window." Amy said, "Best timing of supplements. Should it be while fasting, with food? If it's with food, is it before or after and how much? If it's with fasting, how long from the start of the fast to how long before breaking the fast?" Aaron wanted to know, "When to take supplements?" This might be in relation to the serrapeptase fasted or not. Jocelyn, "When best to take if you only have a five-hour eating window." 

My thoughts on that is that, it was a type of supplement, where it is nutritional based. A lot of them can be taken in your eating window with food. I try to put everything that I can in the eating window into the eating window, because why not err on the side of keeping the fast as clean as possible. I take probiotics in the eating window. I know a lot of people take this fast, but I take them in the eating window. I really take most things in the eating window, unless it specifically needs to be fasted. So, that would be serrapeptase, which I think really enhances the fast. Something like-- I'm trying to think, what do I take? Oh, I take berberine fasted, as well as you can also take that before food. But yeah, Scott, you have thoughts on fasting versus eating?

Scott Emmens: Yes. I take most of my water-soluble vitamins and things that are liver supporting or detoxifying on a fasted state. My B vitamins, I'll take on a fasted state, because they're stimulating anyway. I usually take those in the morning. I will take my magnesium. Sometimes, I'll take it one in the morning along with maybe some zinc, although, that's not an optimal way to do that, because zinc can be a little upsetting on the stomach. So, you got to be careful. Certain liver things, I'll take. Milk thistle for example, and berberine. I'll combine those and take those on a fasted state. A lot of the water-soluble vitamins or vitamins that are specifically there to help detox or help with autophagy, I'll take those during my fasted state. 

Things that are there that are antioxidants, that are fat soluble vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K2, CoQ10, all of those I'm going to take with food. And then if I'm taking something like immunologic, which has a lot of different nutrients in there, I'll take that with food. And obviously, my digestive enzyme, I'm going to take with food as well. I'd say, if it's a water-soluble vitamin, that is going to be working alongside the fast and supporting the fasting or supporting detoxification. I'll take those in the fasted state, usually in the morning, or late morning, or early afternoon. And then I'll take all of my fat-soluble vitamins and other types of nutrients typically with my first meal of the day. And then with dinner, I'll take a few extra things like krill oil, and phosphatidylserine, and then I'll do two more magnesium before bed.

Melanie Avalon: I'm glad you mentioned the digestive enzymes, because that's definitely something where for example, I take HCl and digestive enzymes with my meals every night and I probably will be for life and that really helps me radically, and helps me absorb my food, it helps with any potential GI issues. I just feel like a better person taking them. I know people will say, "Oh, but maybe you're down regulating your natural production of enzymes." But I've looked into it, and I think it's debated a little bit, and I just know that I personally experienced so much benefit that I have no problem taking it every night.

Scott Emmens: I don't think there's any sufficient evidence to show that it downregulates your own acid production. But there is evidence to suggest that heartburn medicines will upregulate your acid production. Proton pump inhibitors, they have a history of studies that show that they have a conglomeration of various side effects. There's a rise in all-cause mortality, there's a rise in fractures, there's a rise in I think, even maybe-- Don't quote me on this. I might even say it, but there's rise in many disease factors of long-term use, not short-term use, but long-term use. And I was on those suckers for 15 years and I decided it was time to get off. I restarted researching like, "How do you get off of these acid blockers?" Because if you're taking acid blocker by virtue of that, you can't digest all your calcium properly. You can't digest your magnesium properly. Your body needs acid to break down your proteins properly, to get vitamin B12 properly, to get your minerals, especially properly. I decided I had to get off it and I started taking the digestive enzymes. This is about four or five years ago.

I wouldn't leave the house without my proton pump inhibitor. Because the heartburn was so bad. I literally was able within a month or two to get almost completely off. And within three months, I only needed those on rare occasions when I just really overdid it. It got to a point where even I didn't even need the digestive enzymes every single night. I only needed to take them with large meals, like, if I was eating dinner out, or having a large holiday meal, or tons of meat, or tons of fat and meat. It's the only time I really need them now, which tells me I didn't downregulate anything. In fact, my digestive system seems to be working better than it was when I was taking the proton pump inhibitors. Ironically enough, my best friend just came to visit me. I haven't seen him in two years since COVID and I was telling about the digestive enzymes last night. He goes, "I always get heartburn. Let me try one of those." 

He had this massive meal, he took only just one of the digestive enzymes, and this morning he woke up he goes, "Dude, I have never slept so great without heartburn in my life." That was just his first time taking it. There're no question digestive enzymes are really important. We know as you age, your acid in your stomach begins to decline, your digestive enzymes begin to decline. So, I think that's one that you probably will be taking for life. But in terms of downregulating, I personally haven't seen it. In fact, my digestive system seems better than ever. 

Melanie Avalon: That's definitely. Yeah, it'd been my experience, and what I've seen from a lot of our audience, and what I've seen just from my own research. I won't say anything in set in stone, but I'm very passionate about digestive enzymes and I'm very passionate about making things that I'm passionate about. I'll just leave it at that which actually speaks to maybe something that we could end with which is we got a lot of questions about other supplements. Shannon wanted to know about, "NMN recommendations," which was something that I had previously thought we were going to be making soon, but we ran into some issues with regulations surrounding that. Christina wanted to know about "Algae supplements." Linda wanted to know about, "Berberine," Nicole wanted to know about "Multivitamins," Carly wants to know about, "Collagen and fiber." So, the future of both AvalonX and MD Logic with these supplements, not sure what we want to say or what you want to say, Scott? Yeah, what would you like to say about just questions about future supplements?

Scott Emmens: Yeah, I'm comfortable answering those. I think you had told me there was a question about the algae and we be able to offer algae at a less expensive price and something like that.

Melanie Avalon: I'll read it. Christina said, "Is there any way you could offer algae supplements that are less expensive than what is available now?"

Scott Emmens: Ah, well, the answer to that is yes. We are working on three different USDA organic forms of algae. I'll leave it at that, but I think they are the ones that you're looking for, the packaging, they will not be tablets, they will actually be in a powdered form, and it'll be in a travel size, so you can take them on the road, you can just rip it open, pour it into your smoothie, no chewing necessary. We're pretty excited about that. They will be less expensive and you will get more total grams of algae per unit. I think you'll be happy with that. Expect that sometime in July, maybe a little sooner. In terms of berberine, how could we not do a berberine and that's going to be an AvalonX product and that is likely not too far off from the magnesium, which don't hold us to this date, but we think we're going to launch in late May. We're pretty confident, it will be ready for shipping sometime in late May and we're also extremely confident. You're going to love the formula for all the reasons Melanie mentioned.

In terms of collagen, that one I will definitely answer. We are literally about to launch an MD Logic marine collagen sustainably wild caught, sustainably caught white fish that is tested for all types of toxins and mold, etc. Also tested to make sure that it is in fact pure fish marine collagen. It is top tier marine collagen. It is highly dissolvable. So, it's not going to cake up. It is flavorless. But what we added to it, which is very important, there are small amounts of the collagen cofactors. What folks may or may not know that are collagen junkies like I am is that, in order for your body to utilize the collagen that you're taking in, you have to have copper, zinc, vitamin A, C, and manganese. Those are those five. 

Now, there are others, but those five are absolutely essential for your body to be able to convert the collagen you intake, because the collagen peptides we all drink in our coffee, or OJ, or whatever we put it in, those collagen peptides are essentially broken down collagen. It's broken down into its amino acids. Your body then has to reconstitute those amino acids from the collagen into functional elastic or elastin skin. To do that, it's either got to turn into tendons, or skin, or cartilage, or whatever it's turning that collagen you've eaten into. But every time it does that, it requires molecules of copper, zinc, manganese, and vitamin A and vitamin C is actually one of the most important to create collagen. Without that, without those cofactors, to create the enzymatic processes, your body literally can't reconstruct that collagen. If it does it can't do it in an efficient way, where the collagen is meeting the needs that the body wants. If we added those cofactors, plus we added biotin for hair, skin and nails, because collagen by itself without biotin is a great ingredient.

But again, you need that biotin for your body to really grow that hair. We've created a collagen that gives you just the right amounts and the right proportions of these cofactors all in one minus the manganese, because manganese tastes horrible. You've got to flavor this collagen with the biotin in it that you can put in your coffee or wherever. We're super excited about that. MD Logic Health is going to be launching that soon. If you're looking to get it, please sign up to MD Logic Health. I'm sure Melanie can put something in the show notes, Melanie, if that's possible. So, in summary, collagens are not all created equal. You definitely want to have those cofactors in your collagen to get the most of it.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. For listeners, I know a lot of you guys have been wanting a collagen supplement. When I say that the person you want to trust with this collagen is Scott Emmens at MD Logic. The person that you want to trust with this collagen is Scott Emmens at MD Logic. He has been telling me about this collagen for so long and is so excited about it. When people, who have the knowledge, and the science, and the savviness get really excited about something, that's when you get really amazing products that you want. I'm just so thrilled, Scott that you are creating this and I can't wait for listeners to try it. Information because I know people are probably really excited and want all this right now. The things that are not available, you need to get on my supplement email list, because that's where I'm going to be sending the emails to let you know when these products launch. You can always, of course be checking mdlogichealth.com. But if you want to get the latest and know when it's coming, and get it before it sells out, because there's always the potential with first runs that things sell out, get on my email list. That's at avalonx.us/emaillist. A-V-A-L-O-N-X dot US slash emaillist. So, get on that right now. 

And then I do have a coupon code for listeners, a discount code, and this code will work on both AvalonX supplements, which right now, I just have the serrapeptase, but the magnesium will be coming soon. Although, the launch special for magnesium will be pretty amazing. The code will probably not work on the initial launch of any new supplement, but it will after the launch. The serrapeptase and then also, you can use this code sitewide at mdlogichealth.com. They have so many supplements. Definitely, definitely go check out all the supplements. And again, we talked about this earlier, but some of those supplements do have things like stearates and such, which, may or may not be a problem for you. It's really an individual case by case basis. But in general, I don't want to put words in your mouth, Scott.

Scott Emmens: Yes. We're working on a few major projects right now. The big one is taking our core product line-- I mentioned this earlier, taking our core product line and getting the stearates and palmitates out. One of your listeners had a question about, "If you're taking seven different supplements of magnesium stearate, at what point does it become a problem, etc.?" The FDA says 2,500 milligrams. You have to take fistfuls of vitamins. Literally, fistfuls to hit that amount, because there's very little in any of these products individually. But I also agree with you, Melanie. If you can take it out, why not take it out. That's what we're trying to do. But as I alluded to before, so, for example, every time you change a formula, you need a specific anti-caking for that particular blend of formula. For example, with your serrapeptase, we used a specific MCT. With the magnesium, we're using different kind of organic MCTs. And then for the berberine, we had to use a very specific, very pricey product for the anti-caking that's found in nature. We've got these very natural safe "anti-caking agents," they're almost really not even anti-caking. They're really just a way to make sure the flow happens, which is why we also have to make your products in small batches, which is a good thing, because then the quality control, again, is even higher on those products. 

What we're doing is, we're looking at each one of our products at MD Logic Health to say, "How can we get the stearate and palmitate out and what's the proper ingredients or ingredients that are more natural and that will help the product with either absorption, or long lasting, or how can it benefit besides just not being a stearate?" Each one of those top five products and replace the stearates wherever possible and that will take some time, but that's our long-term vision to be as clean as we can. We're working on sustainable packaging in two different forms and that probably won't happen till 2023. But when it does, we're going to be very excited to be able to promote that.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Those are all really, really exciting things. I'm personally so, so excited. But even before that, like I said, the supplements at MD Logic Health are amazing. Definitely check out that whole catalog. I don't know if I got to saying this, but that coupon code MELANIEAVALON will not only get you 10% off at avalonx.us but also at mdlogichealth.com. So, super, super amazing. This has been so amazing. We've got through a lot of stuff.

Scott Emmens: We did. There's one last question that I would like to answer, because I'm obsessed with mitochondria and Shannon asked about "The NMN and any recommendations for mitochondria?" And I'll bet you'll have some, too.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. So, Shannon wants to know, "NMN recommendations and any specific mitochondrial support," Scott.

Scott Emmens: I'm going to give you five supplements and two things to do. Supplement wise, copper between two and four milligrams a day, Vitamin A and if you listen to the copper book, I think it's called copper Cu-RE. It'll explain why copper is so important for your mitochondrial health and why vitamin A is so important for that.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. And to interject really quickly for listeners, I'm actually interviewing that author His name is Morley Robbins. It's called Cu-RE, spelled Cu dash RE and the Cu is like copper. Cu-RE Your Fatigue: The Root Cause and How To Fix It On Your Own. So, it's a whiles away, end of 2022, but I will be interviewing him on the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Okay, so, sorry to interrupt. What were the other supplements?

Scott Emmens: I would just say, do not miss that interview. It will blow you away. I've been taking copper now for a couple of months and it has made a remarkable difference in my stamina. It's remarkable. Next, CoQ10, krill oil, melatonin, magnesium, and then PPQ is a question mark. I'm not sure just exactly how effective that one is. 

Melanie Avalon: PQQ? 

Scott Emmens: I think it's PQQ. Yeah. What did I say? PPQ? Then trans-resveratrol is probably a good one to do. Those are some of the core mitochondrial support nutrients I take on a pretty regular basis. And then proven mitochondrial support is red light therapy and deliberate cold exposure. Primarily, when I say cold exposure in a tub of very cold water about 50 degrees, obviously, don't do that if you have a heart condition, talk to your physician. Take your time, start with cold showers, work up to it. It takes a while. I was telling Melanie the other day. If I could only have one single bio hack, it would be cold immersion.

Melanie Avalon: Yes, I think those are great recommendations. I do personally love NMN. I currently take another brand. I hope someday I can make my own or an NR, just because that whole industry, that whole world, I think there's a lot of benefit there, but it's really sketchy. It's really hard to figure out which brand to take. People ask me all the time if I recommend a brand and I don't, because I just don't know. But for mitochondrial support, I'm a big fan of that. I like the ones you mentioned. I don't supplement with resveratrol. I actually just try to get it from wine. I'm on the fence about my thoughts about supplementation with it, but I know there's like science behind it, so, I can see why you think that. CoQ10 is definitely a good one. But yeah, the lifestyle things, I love, love, love. So, Scott does his ice baths, I do my daily cryotherapy, which just makes me feel like a million bucks. I really, really recommend that. And again, red light therapy is amazing for mitochondrial health, even just the lifestyle things that we practice like fasting here on the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I think fasting can be one of the best things that you can do for your mitochondria.

Scott Emmens: Fasting is a tremendous mitochondrial support.

Melanie Avalon: Which is perfect. Well, this has been absolutely amazing. Scott, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so, so much for reaching out to me like a year ago and I'm just so grateful, and thrilled for how everything has manifested, and I'm so passionate about this journey that we're on and the future of everything that we're doing. What's really exciting and gratifying is, it's not just me and you. I see this manifest and all the listeners and they get to try the supplements and report back. I get testimonials and feedback daily, literally, daily from people, who have tried the serrapeptase, for example, and just experienced amazing benefits. So, I'm really excited. You're such a wealth of knowledge. I'm sure listeners got a lot out of this. I'm really excited to see what's in the future.

Scott Emmens: Well, thank you so much, Melanie. It's just a pleasure working with you and your audience is tremendous. They're always giving extra little tidbits of health. They're giving each other guidance and advice of what's working for them. They're super supportive of you and of each other. They ask really intelligent questions and it's great to see how engaged they are. They've really helped us be successful and I love working with you. Trust me, folks, when I say, when Melanie says, she wants it clean, she means clean and she goes out of her way to make sure she's looking at every single ingredient all the way down to every ingredient within each capsule, and you guys are getting the absolute best products possible when you're buying MD Logic or AvalonX. There's no question about it. She's just done a tremendous job and I think you're going to love the products to follow.

Melanie Avalon: Yay. I'm so happy. Well, again, for listeners, the show notes for today's episode, which you'll definitely want to check out, we'll put links to everything there. ifpodcast.com/episode265. To get on the email list, to get the updates about all of the future supplements, definitely get on that, avalonx.us/emaillist, to get the serrapeptase supplement, which is live now that's at avalon.us. You can save 10% on that serrapeptase or anything at MD Logic Health with the coupon code MELANIEAVALON. I didn't mention this, yet. You can save 15% on serrapeptase, if you get a subscription. That's an amazing way to get a super discount and also help with sustainability, because you're reducing shipping, because you actually get three bottles at once at that lower price every four months. That's more sustainable for the planet as well. All of that is at avalonx.us, and there will be a full transcript, and all of the notes in the show notes. 

This has been absolutely wonderful. Normally, I say to my cohost, I'll talk to you next week. But Scott, I talk to you pretty much every day. So, I will talk to you very soon.

Scott Emmens: Sounds great. Thank you, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon: Bye.

Scott Emmens: Bye-bye. 

Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much for listening to the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. Please remember, everything we discussed on this show does not constitute medical advice. We're not doctors. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing your review on iTunes. We couldn't do this without our amazing team. Administration by Sharon Merriman, editing by Podcast Doctors, show notes and artwork by Brianna Joyner, transcripts by SpeechDocs, theme music by Leland Cox. See you next week.


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