Episode 324: Air Purification, Biking, Protein Intake & Exercise, Bolus Intake Of Protein, Allulose, Monk Fruit, Erythritol, Stevia, Hormones, Blood Sugar, And More!

Intermittent Fasting


Help Make The Intermittent Fasting Podcast Possible!

Hi Friends! We put a ton of time and energy into researching and producing The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. You can help support us on Patreon! Every dollar helps!

Jul 02

Welcome to Episode 324 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 Vanessa Spina, author of Keto Essentials: 150 Ketogenic Recipes to Revitalize, Heal, and Shed Weight.

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 NY Strip Steak For Free In Every Box For 1 Year Plus $20 Off Your First Order!

 JOOVV: Like intermittent fasting, red light therapy can benefit the body on so many levels! It literally works on the mitochondrial level to help your cells generate more energy! Red light can help you burn fat (including targeted fat burning and stubborn fat!), contour your body, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, produce collagen for epic skin, support muscle recovery, reduce joint pain and inflammation, combat fatigue, help you sleep better, improve mood, and so much more!! These devices are literally LIFE CHANGING!! For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

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


BEAUTYCOUNTER: Keep Your Fast Clean Inside And Out With Safe Skincare! Shop With Us At melanieavalon.com/beautycounter And Use The Code CLEANFORALL20 For 20% Off PLUS 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!

BUTCHERBOX: For A Limited Time Go To butcherbox.com/ifpodcast And Get Flank Steak For Free In Every Box For 3 Months Plus $20 Off Your First Order!

JOOVV: For A Limited Time Go To Joovv.com/ifpodcast And Use The Code IFPODCAST For An Exclusive Discount!

Go To carolbike.com And Use The Code MELANIEAVALON To Get $100 Off!

AVALONX BERBERINE: This Natural, Potent Anti-Inflammatory Plant Alkaloid Reduces Blood Sugar And Blood Lipids, Aids Weight Loss, Supports A Healthy Body Composition, Stimulates AMPK And Autophagy, Benefits Gut Bacteria And GI Health, And More! Help Us Release What Works Best For You! On 7/07 At 7pm EST Select Your Favorite Option For The Pre-Launch Of The Berberine Big Bottle Subscription! 
AvalonX Supplements Are Free Of Toxic Fillers And Common Allergens (Including Wheat, Rice, Gluten, Dairy, Shellfish, Nuts, Soy, Eggs, And Yeast), Tested To Be Free Of Heavy Metals And Mold, And Triple Tested For Purity And Potency. 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! Get 10% Off Avalonx.Us And Mdlogichealth.Com With The Code MelanieAvalon!

Go To toneprotein.com To Stay Up To Date On Vanessa's New Protein Supplement!

Listener Q&A: Lori - What does our body do with a bolus of protein if we have a shorter feeding window?

Listener Q&A: Samantha - Have you heard of Allulos?

Allulose in human diet: the knowns and the unknowns

Allulose for the attenuation of postprandial blood glucose levels in healthy humans: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Effects of D-allulose on glucose tolerance and insulin response to a standard oral sucrose load: results of a prospective, randomized, crossover study

Allulose Attenuated Age‐Associated Sarcopenia via Regulating IGF‐1 and Myostatin in Aged Mice

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


Melanie Avalon: Welcome to Episode 324 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, biohacker, author of What When Wine, and creator of the supplement line AvalonX. And I'm here with my cohost, Vanessa Spina, sports nutrition specialist, author of Keto Essentials, and creator of the Tone breath ketone analyzer and Tone Lux red light therapy panels. For more on us, check out ifpodcast.com, melanieavalon.com, and ketogenicgirl.com. Please remember, the thoughts and opinions on this show do not constitute medical advice or treatment. To be featured on the show, email us your questions to questions@ifpodcast.com. We would love to hear from you. So, pour yourself a mug of black coffee, a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine if it's that time and get ready for The Intermittent Fasting Podcast.

Hi, everybody, and welcome. This is Episode number 324 of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm Melanie Avalon and I'm here with Vanessa Spina. 

Vanessa Spina: Hi, everyone. 

Melanie Avalon: How are you, Vanessa? 

Vanessa Spina: I'm doing amazing. How are you? 

Melanie Avalon: I'm great. Where should we start? I feel like it's been so long. 

Vanessa Spina: I know. I've really missed podcasting with you. I was listening to today's episode, and just been really enjoying. Listening back to our episodes, it was just funny, because I remember when you first announced that you were going to be changing the host, and you and I first started talking, and I was so excited to be cohosting with you, but a tiny little part of me was like, "I'm going to miss listening [unintelligible [00:01:49]," but it's actually still quite fun to listen even though I already know what the answers are going to be, it's still fun. So, yeah, I'm really glad that we're back. 

Melanie Avalon: I have so much fun. I was telling you this right before how I was talking with a friend yesterday and we were talking about the concept of loneliness and having connections and-- Well, actually, we're talking-- I was reading about this as well how especially men, I think, loneliness becomes more of an epidemic for them, especially when they age, and it's hard for them to find friend groups. But in any case, I was reflecting on how the people I get to hang out with daily in my work are also my best friends like you, and Scott, our supplement partner, and all the things. So, I'm really grateful for that. 

Vanessa Spina: I am too. It makes it so much fun. I'm going to work at night and I'm so excited. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I know. I know. It's been so long. I just want to update listeners. I am still really, really obsessed now that I've used it some more with this CAROL AI Bike.

Vanessa Spina: Oh, yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: It's like my gym. It's amazing. 

Vanessa Spina: I remember you said you were really into it. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Because I think last time I talked about it, I just started it. I'm actually able to do it a couple times a week now, and it's just so easy. Basically for listeners, it's like HIIT, H-I-I-T, interval training, but it's called REHIT because it's even more efficient and it uses AI and the whole workout takes eight minutes. I was saying before, it acts like you're a hunter-gatherer walking in the woods, and then a tiger comes, and it yells at you, and you run. It's amazing. So, people are really looking to optimize their metabolic health and fitness and are not gym goers intense like me, then definitely check it out. The code MELANIEAVALON will get you a $100 off of that. It's called CAROL AI. So, if you go to carolbike.com, you can learn about it, and the coupon code MELANIEAVALON will get you a $100 off. I'm wondering if they'll be at the Biohacking Conference, which is next week, Vanessa. Oh, my goodness. I'm so scared. How do you travel so intensely? Give me your skills.

Vanessa Spina: I'm lucky that my parents brought me up traveling a lot. We did such long flights. But I always find packing to be challenging because there're so many micro decisions involved and you have to anticipate all these different scenarios and things. And now that we have a one-year-old, almost two-year-old, it adds a whole other [giggles] dimension to packing of anticipating their needs as well. And for me that's the toughest part about doing it. But I think I just try to plan as best as I can. Some of my friends make spreadsheet things, [giggles] especially when we have more than one kid, you know? My best friend, Jess, she has spreadsheet that she'll send to me on her packing methods and things like that, because there're just so many things you have to remember. But at the end of the day, if you need something, you can probably find it locally unless you're going to the middle of the jungle or something. But what is it about travel that do you find the most intimidating or challenging? 

Melanie Avalon: Mostly, how it affects [giggles] the circadian rhythms of everything in my body. So, my digestion primarily, my sleep. It's really those things. So, it's not the actual travel. It is a lot to bring all your stuff, like, all my supplements, and all my red-light devices, and clothing and shoes, yeah. So, it's more like the environment I would like to have. Although, although, I just learned, when I interviewed-- Who was saying this? Oh, when I interviewed David Milburn at HypoAir, he makes a certain type of air purifier. Did you know this, Vanessa? He said that, if you call hotels and ask for the hypoallergenic rooms that a lot of hotels have special rooms for people with issues. And so, they'll use more cleaning stuff. Did you know that? 

Vanessa Spina: No. That's really interesting. 

Melanie Avalon: He said most hotels do it and it'll have more air purification. The reason he knows about it is they actually outfit hotels with their technology for these either rooms or floors. 

Vanessa Spina: Oh, interesting. 

Melanie Avalon: So, I was like, "That's a--" I'm glad we're talking about this. After this, I'm going to-- 

Vanessa Spina: You could do that for your trip. Yeah. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, I'm going to do that. I'll report back. 

Vanessa Spina: I was just reading about how air purity can affect the mitochondria and how important it is to have a HEPA air filter, which I've started looking into at least for our bedroom, because you spend so much time in there breathing every night. Yeah, I'm looking into one now. Apparently, it has to be HEPA designated in order to meet certain standards that would be beneficial to your mitochondria. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Okay. So, that's really interesting. So, in the study, they were looking at HEPA filters specifically? 

Vanessa Spina: This is in a new book I'm reading about Mitochondria and the Future of Medicine. It's really interesting, because they were listing out the top things that can affect your mitochondria. It's one of the topics I talk about on other podcasts when people interview me is, like, the ways that you can optimize your mitochondria. So, I'm always trying to learn more things. The author's number one thing when it came to optimizing mitochondria was getting a HEPA air filter. So, I was like, "Well, if it's our number one thing, then I think I need to look into this." It's because, as you know, the mitochondria need oxygen to make ATP and the ingestion of carbon monoxide is so bad for the mitochondria because it's basically a lack of oxygen. So, the ATP production stops and this buildup of electron happens. So, it's so crucial to mitochondria to have pure oxygen. 

Melanie Avalon: So, that's really fascinating. When I interview David, I can't wait to air that episode, I learned so much about air purification, because apparently, there're multiple different modalities and methods. And so, HEPA, for example, has to do with particle size, so physically capturing particles in the air. The HEPA designation is designating that it can capture a certain-- I don't know if it's a certain particle size or number, but that's what it's addressing, basically. I should pull up the charts I had from when I interviewed him. So, in my apartment, I have multiple units that use HEPA air filter. So, I use Alen, I have AirDoctor, and then there're other technologies. So, his technology, HypoAir, it's crazy because it's like this really small little unit but what it does is it actually-- it's technology-- 

Now I'm forgetting exactly the technology. But it basically acts offensively instead of defensively. So, if you think of HEPA, HEPA is being like a defense because it's taking the particles out of the air. This actually changes something in the air that actually goes out and kills things. So, it kills mold spores and viruses on surfaces. And so, the air doesn't have to go through the unit for it to kill things everywhere in the room, which is really fascinating. Then there're other filters, a lot of HEPA filters will have carbon filters as well, and that helps absorb odors and gases. Yeah, there's just so much to air purification and I'm obsessed with it. I have so many units in my apartment. 

Vanessa Spina: Do you also have plants? Because that's something that I know there're certain plants that can be natural air purifiers for you? 

Melanie Avalon: I do. Well, I have you know my cucumbers-- I have cucumbers, I have a Dollar Tree, I have quite a few different plants. I know there are specific ones that are supposed to better, like, better at that. I'm not sure, you know, if any of mine meet those qualifications, but I do like the plants. Oh, I saw on your Instagram, your beautiful-- was that your deck that you did? 

Vanessa Spina: Yes, we just redid the stone on the deck. So, we have a terrace going around, like, the front of our place and then on the side. And then we have a little garden on the side, and we are replacing the stone. It turned out really nice. They got it all done in one day. It just upgraded the side, because it was just like an older stone that had been there. Our building is actually quite new, but it just had been a bit weathered, so we replaced it. It looks all pretty now with the flowers and everything, but we actually live right next to a small forest. So, if you saw in the stories, there's just forest everywhere, and there's, basically, our deck, and then there's just forest. So, it's really amazing because we're still in the city too. 

Melanie Avalon: Wow. That's best of both worlds. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah, exactly. 

Melanie Avalon: That's amazing. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah, it's really amazing. [laughs] 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so jealous. City and forest altogether?

Vanessa Spina: That's why I was telling you. We were so excited. Speaking of biking, when she kicked the episode off with CAROL Bike, we were so excited to get our bikes out. I keep telling you about it, because it's actually been three years since I've gotten to bike. Pete and I, that's what we would do every weekend. We would get on our bikes, go down, bike all along the river, stop somewhere, like, a cute little burger place and get burgers, and then get back on the bike. It was just so much fun. We did that all summer. And then, because I was pregnant and then had Luca, we haven't been able to. He's finally old enough that we got him a little bike seat, and he's on the bike seat on the back of Pete's bike, and so they go in front and I'm in the back, so I can watch him and interact with him, and we're just back at it finally it's absolute heaven just going through the woods. Because I was saying, the woods are all around us, we can just go up into the forest here, and bike for hours, and then discover little hidden castles in the woods and-- 

Melanie Avalon: Hidden castles?

Vanessa Spina: Yeah, there was one-- Yeah, there were . 

Melanie Avalon: Wait, real hidden castles? Are they abandoned? 

Vanessa Spina: Czech has the highest density of castles per capita in Europe. So, there're castles everywhere. 

Melanie Avalon: Well, okay, wait, let's pause for one sec. Okay, so like people live in these castles? 

Vanessa Spina: Well, some of them people still live. The original families will hand them down and they'll live in part of the castle, but that's what we do a lot of times on the weekend is go visit a castle. You can go to a tour of the interior. A lot of them still have original furniture in it. It's absolutely stunning. They have these incredible Venetian chandeliers from Murano in Italy. It's just so beautiful and so much fun. [giggles] We go to a lot of them on the weekends and we're starting to do that now that we're able to be more mobile and stuff. But there's one that we went to, we were just talking about this weekend, we stumbled upon and it looks like it used to have the Knights Templar or something there. We found another one that had all this grotto inside, and then we went inside, and there was all the Knights Templar relics and all of their, just like, clothes that they wore. It's just amazing, like, just find this stuff in the middle of nowhere sometimes. 

Melanie Avalon: Woah. That's such an adventure. 

Vanessa Spina: It's so much fun. Now we can take Luca with us. So, I want to get that CAROL Bike you're talking about, but we also love biking outside in the summer. It's just so amazing to be in nature. And now that we're back at it, it's all I think about during the week. It's like, I can't wait to go biking on Saturday and Sunday. 

Melanie Avalon: That's amazing. Now it's reminding me too growing up-- When I was growing up in Atlanta, I'm going to have to go back and find this. I'm going to do this. I wonder if it's still there. I remember outside of our neighborhood, there was a castle. It was like a person's normal house, but they made it look like a castle. It had like a moat, it had a moat. [laughs] I'm going to go find that by myself. When I first moved back here, I was like, "I'm going to go look at my childhood house." So, I drove to it and it was in a not the safest part of town now. Everything has changed. So, I drove and I just parked, and I just sat there for a second, and everybody was looking at me, and then I left. [laughs] But I looked at it for-- It's so crazy to see things from that, like, from your childhood. This was, like, my real childhood. This is until I was probably four or so. 

Vanessa Spina: And you're thinking of moving, right? 

Melanie Avalon: I feel like I should move to Austin. 

Vanessa Spina: I'm so jealous. I would love to live there. 

Melanie Avalon: You should. No, not really. You're in Prague with castles. [laughs] 

Vanessa Spina: I know. We could form this community with all the biohackers and people who are interested in health optimization, create some, like, what is it, like, a compound. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Commune? No, is that bad? I don't know the correct terminology. Yeah. No, I am seriously considering it. I feel like everybody I know now or a lot of the people I know in this sphere, all live in Austin. It's the place to be. Is it even hotter than here, Georgia? I don't know. 

Vanessa Spina: Probably similar. But I know in the summer, when I would go to KetoCon, it was insanely hot. 

Melanie Avalon: Is it more dry though? It's drier than the south. 

Vanessa Spina: I'm not sure exactly, but I just know that you just go in the AC because it's so hot. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. Well, we shall see. Okay, next episode, I have to tell you about the wedding, because I realized it's been so long since we've talked. 

Vanessa Spina: I actually was planning to ask you about it. Okay. Let's save that recap for the next one. 

Melanie Avalon: Perfect. Okay. So, one quick announcement before we jump in. My berberine supplement, we're we are launching subscriptions, and we launched a large bottle for serrapeptase a few months ago, and that went really well. We want to do it for berberine as well. It was easier with serrapeptase. With berberine, it's hard to tell how often people are taking it and how much they're taking. So, we're going to do a trial subscription thing where it's like you guys get to help us know what you want. So, this ends July 17th. So, you have a little bit longer, so grab it now. You can get either two bottles for two months, so the normal bottles or two bottles for three months. And you will get grandfathered in for life on a major discount. I'm pretty sure I know what it is, but I don't want to say because I don't want to be wrong. But it'll be basically one of the biggest discounts you can get and you'll be grandfathered in. So, as long as you keep the subscription, you'll keep that discount. 

Then based on how that goes, we'll make a large bottle based on what's more popular. So, it's going to help us know what you guys want with a large bottle, and it also gives people the chance to get on a berberine subscription. It's really shocking. I mean this. I thought when I made my berberine that it would be the same. I was taking Thorne before. I thought it would look the same on my CGM, because I like Thorne. It's crazy that effect I've seen on my personal blood sugar levels using AvalonX berberine, and other people have said this as well, like, friends, other influencers. So, if you're looking to help your blood sugar and work with that, it also has antiaging effects because it affects the AMPK pathway, it can help with cholesterol, it can help with gut microbiome. It's really an awesome supplement. So, avalonx.us, you can get that subscription now. You can get updates at avalonx.us/emailist. And you can get text updates with a 20% off coupon code when you text AVALONX to 877-861-8318. And now with all of that, before we jump in, Vanessa, do you want to give your landing page for your protein powder that's coming out in the future? 

Vanessa Spina: I am so excited about Tone protein, which is a scientifically formulated protein that is optimized for building muscle, triggering muscle protein synthesis. I'm going to be sharing more details on how it works. But if you would like to get on the exclusive VIP list, you'll receive a very special launch discount, and you just need to sign up with your name and email at toneprotein.com. That's toneprotein.com and I'm sure you'll link that up in the show notes for everyone. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited for you. I think about you now all the time. Last night, I was listening to an interview all about protein powders. Oh, it was about protein powders and BCAA. It was about everything protein and they were talking about their products, and I was like, "Vanessa's going to have the best product ever." 

Vanessa Spina: Oh, thank you so much. That means so much to me. 

Melanie Avalon: Aren't you focusing on formulating it to be the--? I don't want to put words in your mouth. I feel very good about your formulation. 

Vanessa Spina: Thank you. Yeah, I'm going to be sharing more details on how it works, but it is-- Yeah, it's being scientifically optimized for building muscle in a way that no other protein is doing or has done. So, I'm really excited about it. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, I'm so excited. Okay. So, yes, friends. Okay. So, on that note, shall we jump into questions for today? 

Vanessa Spina: Yes, I can't wait to get into them. 

Melanie Avalon: All right. So, to start things off, we have a question from Lori, and this was actually from Facebook. I think it was probably when I was asking for questions for you in Facebook. So, Lori says, "What does our body do with the bolus of protein, speaking of protein, if we have a shorter feeding window two to four hours? I've been trying to eat 100 grams of protein a day in my feeding window, but I have heard on other podcasts like, Huberman Lab, that it is best to take in the protein in two to three separate meals of 40 to 50 grams each meal, advantages/disadvantages. And then she also wants to know about the timing of protein intake with exercise." 

Vanessa Spina: Oh, it's such a great question. I'm sure you have lots of thoughts on this as well, Melanie. But I'll give you my opinion on the pros and cons. Optimally, if you were just going for building the most amount of muscle possible, so in the case of someone who's a professional body builder, for example, or just someone who really wants to build the most muscle possible regardless of other goals, that's your number one goal, you would want to eat at least 30 grams of protein as many times as you possibly could in the day. Now, most of us are not trying to be professional bodybuilders, but every time you eat a certain amount of protein, so around 30 grams of protein from lean chicken breast, or steak, or pork, or eggs, you are increasing the level of leucine in your blood, which is an amino acid. It's part of the branched-chain amino acids, but it actually has the biggest or strongest effect on triggering mTOR for muscle protein synthesis. And so, if you have under this amount of leucine, it's called the leucine threshold, basically. If you exceed it, which is for most people around 3 grams, it can be somewhere for 2.5 to 3 grams depending on how old you are. The younger you are, you can basically just look at protein and you'll build muscle. But if you're over 30, then you're probably going to need at least maybe 2.7 to 3 grams of leucine at that meal.

So, what that means is that, when you exceed that threshold, your body starts making muscle. The thing is, if you eat more than what you need to trigger muscle protein synthesis, you are not going to trigger it more. You can only trigger it once in one sitting. So, if you eat 30 grams of protein, you'll trigger it once. If you eat 100 grams of protein at that meal, you'll also trigger it once. So, if you're eating all of your protein in just one meal a day, then if your goal isn't to build more muscle than anything else, if you have other goals. For example, longevity or optimizing just body composition overall. There're so many different goals that you could have, then that's fine. 

But if your goal is to say put on 4 to 6 pounds of muscle in a year, you're going to be missing out on those opportunities. I would put it at the very minimum to split it up into two separate meals or three up to four being more optimal if that's your goal. So, some people say, if you eat all of that protein in a bolus that-- I've interviewed amazing protein scientists like, Dr. Don Layman, who say that, "Basically, the rest for every 100 grams of protein that you eat, you get about 60 grams of glucose," like, basically, the protein just turns to glucose. But if you are eating it at separate meals, most of that protein is going to go towards building muscle. So, it depends on what you're optimizing for. I would say, at the very least, if your goal is 100 grams approaching a day to split it up into two at minimum up to three separate meals. If you're doing two, like, 40 to 50 grams, like you said, if you're doing three meals a day, then 30 to 35 grams per meal. 

In terms of timing, protein intake with exercise, for most people who are not professional athletes, your anabolic window lasts about 24 hours. So, you could eat protein even the day before, like say, if you had protein at dinner and then work out the next day in the morning, and that protein is still going to go towards helping you lay down new muscle fibers at that workout. So, it's usually about 24 hours for anyone who isn't a professional athlete. Professional athletes are people who have been doing, for example, resistance training for years, they may need to time it a little bit closer within two hours to four hours of the meal. So, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, Melanie. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. That was amazing. Quick question. So, at the very beginning, you said, basically, ideally, if you're wanting to get maximum muscle, everything that you would be eating this protein as much as you can throughout the day, what is the actual window of each of those times? 

Vanessa Spina: You would basically eat when you wake up. Professional bodybuilders, they'll eat proteins six, seven, eight times a day. That's why they're just always eating, like, the whole pretty much every two hours. So, I think within a couple hours, you could trigger it again. So, for example, in the Paul Arciero, the protein pacing, they had very specific time windows where they were eating that protein, every two hours to three hours. I think sometimes, three hours to four hours, but making sure to get it at regular intervals throughout the day. That's typically what aesthetic bodybuilders do. They wake up, have a protein meal at breakfast and some of them will even have a protein shake before going to bed, because it can also help with retaining muscle. 

Melanie Avalon: That sounds very exhausting. 

Vanessa Spina: It's a job. It's a job in itself, like, you're carrying around chicken breast with you everywhere you go. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Yeah, I agree with everything that you said. I will say, because I know people get worried about muscle retention with fasting, for example, specifically. It's a two-part thing, because you were talking about the anabolic window of exercise lasting for 24 hours. So, not the same thing because that's related to exercise but, for example, with intermittent fasting, a lot of people will eat all of their protein within a shorter window and they're worried about potential muscle loss. So, this is just N of 1 for me and again, I eat a protein a lot, and I do eat it over quite a few hours. I wonder your thoughts on this Vanessa. 

I eat so much protein and I wonder if that's why I've been able to, not just maintain but build muscle with daily intermittent fasting window for years and years. Do you think most people would struggle with their protein intake in a shorter window? 

Vanessa Spina: Sorry. The question is, would people struggle--? 

Melanie Avalon: So, I think about this all the time, because I eat such a high-protein diet and I eat it in a "one-meal-a-day situation" and I have for a decade. I've had zero issues with muscle maintenance and zero issues with gaining muscle. So, I know it's possible, basically, in a shorter window. But I also wonder is the effect, is it because I'm eating so much protein, more than most people would. I just wonder how in the practical day to day life, do more people who do a shorter eating window find issues with this rather than not and your experience with all people you've worked with?

Vanessa Spina: I think because you're younger, that's part of it. You don't need to consume as much. Especially when you're in your 20s and 30s, you just don't need to consume as much protein and you don't need to consume as much leucine to just maintain what you have. Because every day you have a certain amount of muscle protein breakdown occurring. You just want to make sure that you trigger muscle protein synthesis enough, so that it at least equals the amount of muscle protein breakdown. You'll be fine with just one bolus of protein what you're doing every day. I don't want to say this will happen for you, but in 20 years or maybe 30 years, you might need to do two meals, I don't know. You might be fine because you're consuming such a big bolus of protein that you're probably hitting 5 grams, 6 grams, 7 grams of leucine, which is what you need when you're in your 50s and 60s. So, it could be fine just for maintenance and building. But if you were going to go be a full-time bodybuilder, you probably would find that you would need to do more than one meal just to compete with the amount of muscle that other people are putting on by consuming protein all day long.

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Exactly. Yeah. Well, you hit on exactly what I've wondered, because whenever I hear people talk about this, and I told you before the show that I was listening to an episode all about this last night, and they talk about which I agree with and believe that as you age, it's more of an issue basically after-- Yeah, what I just said. I'm like, "But am I the unicorn here?" Because I just like to seeing myself eating all this protein for like ever. I just love it. 

Vanessa Spina: Well, do you know how many grams you do in a day? 

Melanie Avalon: I should probably check. I literally eat pounds and pounds of meat and seafood every night. I could throw it in Cronometer really quick. 

Vanessa Spina: Maybe you're somewhere between 150 grams to 200 grams. Think one pound is like 50-- usually one pound is around 50 grams. So, if you're doing three pounds, it'd be around 150 grams, fours pounds would be like around 200 grams. 

Melanie Avalon: This is a pound of protein, like, but salmon's fattier is 99 grams. Is that right? Let's see, tilapia 120 grams, trout 92 grams. 

Vanessa Spina: Okay. Maybe I'm thinking, maybe it's closer to 100 grams per pound. 

Melanie Avalon: That's what I always thought with chicken, but chicken's very lean. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah, chicken has so much protein in it. It's crazy. 

Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I would say it's probably in the 200s of protein grams. 

Vanessa Spina: It may be also because you're not just eating it all within half an hour or an hour. You are eating it within your-- You have four hour or five-hour eating windows, right, something like that? So, maybe it's also spreading it out a little bit. So, you have this constant trickle of amino acids. 

Melanie Avalon: I think that does need to be considered, because I probably am digesting that meal for a long time. So, it's probably a slower release of the protein of the amino acids.

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. Because it takes four hours to five hours after a meal for them all to be broken down.

Melanie Avalon: Yes. I did not mean to turn this into about me. I just been thinking a lot about that with the aging aspect. Interestingly, last night in the interview I was listening to, he was saying with leucine that it can actually turn catabolic. Does that make any sense to you? 

Vanessa Spina: Mm-mm. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. I meant to take notes, such a fail. I was like, "I've asked Vanessa about this."

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. Ask me when you find out or send me the podcast. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay, I will, I will. 

Vanessa Spina: It would be catabolic if you eat a meal and you don't get enough leucine. 

Melanie Avalon: I'll have to relisten and see what he was saying about it specifically. It's really interesting. He was talking about the EAAs and people used to focus on just leucine, val-- What are the three? Leucine, valine, and isoleucine.

Vanessa Spina: Isoleucine. Yeah, isoleucine is like a secondary triggered after leucine, but leucine, like, by itself. It just blows away the other ones for muscle protein synthesis activation. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Gotcha. Yeah, I think it was in the context of-- I will revisit it and circle back.

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. It's really interesting. 

Melanie Avalon: Does that answer her question mostly? 

Vanessa Spina: I think so. 

Melanie Avalon: Awesome. 

Vanessa Spina: All right. Our next question is from Samantha Tuff. "Morning. Just a quick hey y'all, I hope you are doing well. I'm sorry about the trolls of the universe. They're crazy, and jealous, and you guys are rocking it. Keep it up." 

Melanie Avalon: I'll jump in to explain what she's talking about there, because I don't think you were here, Vanessa. Cynthia and I had a few episodes where we were talking about the environment of social media and just some of the negative energy we had experienced. So, I think this was Samantha reaching out to be supportive, which is very kind. So, thank you, Samantha. 

Vanessa Spina: She asks, "Have you heard of allulose? I am going to do some research, but thought who best to send down a new rabbit hole than Melanie. Have a fantastic weekend. Hearts." Thanks, Sam Tuff.

Melanie Avalon: I like that you read the emoji hearts. We love emojis, by the way, if listeners ever want to add emojis.

Vanessa Spina: More emojis  

Melanie Avalon: Yes. Just go whatever speaks to you. [giggles] Wait. Question, Vanessa. When you're deciding what emojis to use, do you do what I do, which is I just look at all them, I'm like, "What speaks to me right now"? 

Vanessa Spina: For sure. It's like a catalog of feelings. 

Melanie Avalon: It's like, I was talking with a friend the other day, and we needed to come up with an emoji to communicate something specific between us. It was so fun. I was like, "I just need to look through the catalog. I need to pick the one that will embody this vibe." What did we do before emojis? 

Vanessa Spina: I don't know, but whenever there's an update, I'm so excited. Sometimes, I'll just scroll through to see if there're any new ones that I'm like, "Oh, my gosh, there's this."

Melanie Avalon: You further convinced me to update, so that I can see, when I get the question mark boxes, it kills me. 

Vanessa Spina: So exciting. There's a new one which is, like, angel wings really into it right now. 

Melanie Avalon: You know my sister, because I couldn't see what my sister was sending me, and I told her, so she sent me screenshot, and it was this beautiful new blue shade of heart. 

Vanessa Spina: That's the heart I keep using. That's the one you're like I can't see what you're sending me. It's always the pretty blue heart." 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. Okay, I'm going to update. I'm going to join you in the blue heart, angel wing club.

Vanessa Spina: That's way better than just seeing a box question mark.

Melanie Avalon: I know. It reminds me of Mario though. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah, I know. [laughs] My favorite. 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, back to the question. Thank you, Sam, for your question. It's funny. So, I've had this one in the lineup for a little bit, but I didn't answer it because I thought we had just answered it. But then I remembered when we answered this, it was when Gin was the cohost. So, it's been a while. So, time to revisit this question. I went down the rabbit hole as requested and learned a lot. So, before I jump into this, Vanessa, do you use allulose?

Vanessa Spina: I use stevia and monk fruit, but we're actually researching allulose right now for the protein. So, I am super excited to hear your answer on this. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, this is exciting. Wow, this is in real life. 

Vanessa Spina: My brother randomly this weekend was like, "I think you should use allulose in your protein powder." 

Melanie Avalon: Okay. This is exciting. This is perfect. Well, I have noticed probably throughout the past year-ish, year and a half that I feel like allulose as the sweetener has skyrocketed. Well, it used to be artificial sweeteners. Let me know if you agree with this timeline. I feel like, first, it was artificial sweeteners. Then it was erythritol and stevia and they of floated there for a little bit. And then stevia, I feel got more popular. And then monk fruit came in. Then it was like stevia and monk fruit. 

Vanessa Spina: What do you like? 

Melanie Avalon: Well, back in the day, I don't use any of them really now. I did like stevia, especially when I was struggling with Lyme disease. I read a study about how stevia was anti-Lyme. So, I went through a phase where I was all the stevia, like, on everything. I don't know, I like stevia and I liked monk fruit. How about you? 

Vanessa Spina: I like stevia or stevia. I never had any issues with it. I like that it's made from a plant. But there was a concerning report out recently that it can negatively affect male fertility. I was talking about it with Scott, because I was like, "Maybe we should look into a different one." I said, first, someone commented that on my post and I was like, "Do you have the source?" They didn't reply back. But I asked Scott and he was like, "Yeah. I saw that report." So, I was like, "Send it to me, please." So, I don't know yet if there's any truth to it or validity at all or if it was one of those things where there was a weird clickbait headline like the thing that happened with erythritol, which was, yeah, crazy. 

Melanie Avalon: What happened with erythritol? That's ringing a bell a little bit. 

Vanessa Spina: There was a study that came out this, I think it was sometime around Christmas time maybe or the early in the New Year, and it was a study showing that it increased risk for cardiac events. But when all these people in the community started breaking it down like, Robb Wolf, and all these people. Dr. Ryan Lowery, I know he did a really comprehensive breakdown and he was just explaining why. In the study, it turned out that the body can actually endogenously produce erythritol when people are obese. So, that's actually what was happening is that, there were higher levels of erythritol. Because of that, more so obesity was linked with cardiac events or a prior probability of that. They were somehow trying to paint erythritol the sweetener as the issue. But there're a lot of different breakdowns that were really good explaining it. But of course, the headline, I had so many people send it to me who just saw the headline and were freaking out about it, I don't really use it, but I have recommended it in my cookbooks and stuff. So, I was really glad to see that what people were saying it was. 

Melanie Avalon: As far as taste goes, I do really like the taste of erythritol. And then, yes, stevia. I remember, I was using monk fruit a lot and then I was reading about how it could possibly mess with hormones, and I was like, "Oh, it's always something. Always something." 

Vanessa Spina: So, allulose might be the  

Melanie Avalon: So, what is allulose? So, actually, it is a sugar. It's a low energy monosaccharide sugar. It's naturally found in some fruits, so kiwis, figs, and raisins, but in very small amounts. And then compared to sugar, it's about 70% of the sweetness of sugar. It's 0.2 calories a gram, so that's 95% less calories compared to straight up sucrose what we think of as white sugar. So, here's the thing. It is similar to fructose and it actually uses the exact same transport and distribution pathways that fructose uses, but we don't have enzymes to metabolize it. So, basically, what happens is, it is a sugar, it tastes sweet, it goes down the fructose pathway, we don't extract energy from it. It actually almost completely extracted with the help of the kidneys and doesn't provide any calories. So, that's really cool. 

On top of that, so not only is it sweet without any calories, there's actually been a lot of studies on its effect on blood sugar levels and insulin levels. It seems to have really beneficial effects. So, it actually has anti-diabetic effects. The majority or a lot of the studies especially in the beginning were in Asian populations, but they were pretty consistently showing this data. I found a newer study. It was called Effects of D-allulose on glucose tolerance and insulin response to a standard oral sucrose load: results of a prospective, randomized, crossover study. So, this was a 2021 study. They looked at a Western population to see the effects of allulose and they compared it. 

So, basically, the participants were given a standard load. So, they were given a basic load of normal sugar, 50 grams and then they were randomized to either a placebo or they were given more and more doses of allulose, so 2.5 grams, 5 grams, 7.5 grams, 10 grams. It was a crossover treatment, so people did both things. And then they measured glucose and insulin levels to see the effects. They found it was dose dependent. Meaning, the higher the dose of allulose, the greater the effect of reducing blood sugar levels in the allulose group 30 minutes after the dose compared to the placebo. So, that is pretty cool. It didn't continue beyond that. They didn't have continued lower blood sugar after the 30-minute mark, but it did happen right after. Also, the insulin levels were trending towards lower as well.

Again, it's similar to the sugar, the insulin. Later on, it didn't have any effects, but it did immediately after the meal. So, their conclusion was that, I'll just read it to you. It said, " This is the largest study assessing the effects of D-allulose in Westerners demonstrating an early dose-dependent reduction in plasma glucose and insulin levels as well as decreased postprandial glucose and insulin excursion in subjects, oh, without diabetes." So, these were normal people. So, in addition to what I was saying about how the allulose is basically processed, but not processed by the body. There's also been a lot of other hypotheses. What's the plural of hypothesis? 

Vanessa Spina: Hypotheses. 

Melanie Avalon: Hypotheses. Hypotheses, I feel like I should know that for why this happens. It's like berberine. When I was researching berberine and I realized there're all these potential ways that it may be working. That seems to be the same with allulose. So, it may inhibit enzymes directly in the body, which suppress the glycemic response to carbs. It may also directly slow the absorption of glucose if it's there at the same time. So, basically, not only is it tricking the body, and tasting sweet, and not being metabolized, it might actually at the same time impede or stop the body from also absorbing any sugar taken with it. So, I've been reading about how people with blood sugar issues will actually add allulose to the carb meals to actually beneficially affect the absorption of the carbs as in slow it down or inhibit it a bit, which is very interesting. 

It has been shown to stimulate glycogen synthesis in the liver and also promote faster restoration of glycogen in the liver and muscles after exercise. That's really interesting. So, not only is it impeding carbohydrate absorption, it's also helping promote the actual glycogen in the liver, which is I feel like that's a little bit counterintuitive, but very interesting. And then it also induces glucagon like peptide 1, GLP-1 released for intestinal cells and can regulate glucose concentrations after glucose and allulose intake. So, yeah, it seems to have a lot of really cool facts. Then I went down the rabbit hole, because I was reading in one list of benefits where they said it had potential antiaging properties and I was like, "What?" So, then I went and looked that up. These are all in animal trials, but there was one trial in mice called Allulose Attenuated Age-Associated Sarcopenia via Regulating IGF-1 and Myostatin in Aged Mice and they found that allulose actually improved sarcopenia in mice, and enhanced the antioxidant properties, and it was all by altering mRNA in their bodies and affecting IGF-1. So, it might support muscle maintenance like we were talking about earlier. 

Another study, again, this was in yeast, they actually found that allulose affected, it might work as a calorie restriction mimetic. Meaning, it can send signaling to the body, like, a calorie restriction or fasting would do, specifically activating the AMPK pathway that we talk about a lot, which is you have the AMPK pathway and the mTOR pathway. AMPK, it's activated by things like calorie restriction, fasting, exercise, and it helps the body with repair, and it just has a lot of antiaging potential to it. Allulose might affect that as well. So, that was a lot there. But it sounds like allulose has a lot of potential benefits when it comes to blood sugar control, insulin and it's more practical because I know that was like a lot of sciency stuff. I think it bakes very similar to sugar. So, you can use it very similar to sugar in your goods, and it doesn't really have-- You've tried it, right, Vanessa, have you? 

Vanessa Spina: I haven't actually tried it before. 

Melanie Avalon: Oh, so, it actually tastes very similar to sugar and acts the same. It doesn't really have any weird aftertaste at all. It's very surprising, actually. So, it seems to be a pretty cool supplement. I do have one concern about it, but before I do that, do you have any thoughts based on all of that? 

Vanessa Spina: Well, I'm feeling really good about it. And then I was doing a little bit of research, and it turns out that it's banned in Europe, because it's a potential carcinogen. Canada also, but there's also current applications to have allulose approved in Europe. So, it sounds like the most recent update is that, it's actually going through the process as a novel sugar for approval. This was back in September. It's going through this process, a novel foods process in order to gain approval and be able to be sold in the EU. I don't know if it's in Canada. It's definitely approved by the FDA. There're some German researchers that published a study in nature and they said that allulose has real potential to meet customers' needs in the EU when replacing sugar or sweeteners with different forms of sugar, and taste is one of the most important factors. As you were saying, it tastes good, followed by its glycemic effect, and then on insulin and then the price, dental health, and calorie content. So, it sounds like it might get approved, but it's not yet. 

Melanie Avalon: It's so interesting because I'm just googling carcinogen. I wonder what studies they're using, because I'm not finding any studies. Nothing's coming up for studies showing that it's a carcinogen.

Vanessa Spina: So, it just hasn't been approved for use yet in Canada or Europe, because it's considered a novel food, which means it hasn't been available long enough for sufficient testing according to the governments in Europe. So, it may have no carcinogenic effect at all. That was just one thing that I read, so maybe it's new and they need more studies in order to approach this. It sounds like they're just being a little more cautious with it, but it's been improved in the US by the FDA since 2012. So, it sounds like they just need more research, but these German researchers just submitted a study, and so it's going through the process. 

Melanie Avalon: Did it say the timing on that? 

Vanessa Spina: That was September of 2022, the most recent, September. 

Melanie Avalon: I'll be really curious to see how that unfolds. Studies were overwhelmingly positive. I did find one negative study and it was just hypothesizing. It was saying that, in vitro so not in vivo, but in vitro, basically, if they put this certain type of bacteria called [giggles] Klebsiella pneumoniae, which is an opportunistic human pathogen. So, basically, if they take this bacteria that we don't want flourishing in us and they put it in as a culture and they give it allulose, it uses the allulose, so they were saying that we need to make sure it doesn't support the growth of problematic bacteria. That was the only negative thing I could find. 

My thoughts, "negative," and this is all-- This is going to be the case, I think, with any artificially sweetened thing, which it's mostly after interviewing Mark Schatzker for his book-- Well, he wrote The Dorito Effect, but he also wrote The End of Craving. I don't know if I talked about this when you were on the show, but he talks about studies where they give people artificially sweetened beverages, where they were either calorie matched to the actual amount of sugar or not calorie matched. Does this ring a bell? 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah, we talked about it before-- Yeah, it's like his theory that it's really just a mismatch in what you're signaling to the body is coming in and what is actually coming in that causes confusion with the metabolism.

Melanie Avalon: Yeah, look at you. On top of it. Yeah, so, he talks about these really fascinating studies where basically when people were given mismatched beverages. If it was artificially sweetened and it actually had less calories than it tasted like it did, it actually stopped the people's [giggles] metabolisms. So, it's really ironic, because basically, they'd be taking in less calories, but their body thought it was sweeter and it freaked out and it downregulated the metabolic rate. So, his whole theory is, well, not his whole theory, he has a lot of theories. But one of his theories is that, artificially sweetened things might create confusion with the body. So, that is separate from allulose. That's just the concept in general of artificially sweetened things. But when it comes to actual allulose, it's overwhelming the positive studies on it. 

Vanessa Spina: I agree. I think it sounds overwhelmingly positive. My brother mentioned it, because he said, maybe it's the only sweetener that he can actually tolerate. I think that's also an issue that people have with these sweeteners is for some people they cause gastric distress. And so, yeah, if it's one that is well tolerated that would be a big plus too. 

Melanie Avalon: What's really interesting and something to think about for the labeling if you do go this route and you'll come to this. I don't know if this will change, but when they label it on the packages, it has to be labeled as a carb, I believe. So, when you look at the label, it'll say that it has all these grams of sugar, but then you have to have a disclaimer saying that's from allulose and it's not metabolized. 

Vanessa Spina: I've seen that for sugar alcohols. I wonder if it would be the same for stevia or for all of them, because I would never consider stevia a carb.

Melanie Avalon: Stevia, no. Monk fruit, no. Sugar alcohols, yes, but labeled as a sugar alcohol. The problem with allulose is that you have to label it at least right now, it's labeled as a sugar. So, it's really confusing. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah, because it sounds like it technically is one, but your body just doesn't metabolize it. 

Melanie Avalon: It requires a lot of education and it requires a lot of disclaimers on the bag to let people know that. 

Vanessa Spina: Yeah. Well, I really appreciate you sharing all that incredible research on it and I'm sure listeners will as well, because it was so comprehensive. Thank you. 

Melanie Avalon: No. Thank you. I'm really excited for your journey of designing the protein and what you-- You have to keep as much as you can without giving things away. You have to let me know. [laughs] 

Vanessa Spina: Yes, definitely. I'm just so excited for the formulation. I think stevia probably is going to make the most sense. I'm super interested to learn about all of them. It sounds like everything. There're pros and cons with everything. But yeah, we just got to research it a little bit more. But it's so much fun to just be in that creative space with it. 

Melanie Avalon: I love it. I will say if I'm just putting on my forecast hat, I do see allulose being the future, like, it's the trend I've seen. So, I think it will become more and more popular. 

Vanessa Spina: I definitely have seen it trending more and more. So, I got to try it. Maybe I'll try it when we're in Denver, because I was pleasantly surprised with monk fruit. I tried that a couple of times at KetoCon, actually and I thought it was great. And Pete actually liked that one, he doesn't like the other one. So, I did get that one a little while for him. But it's great to see more stuff, more options available. Yeah, I personally use stevia most days, a little bit in my yogurt, sometimes in some water with lemon, like, make a lemonade, or in my protein shakes. 

Melanie Avalon: I'm so excited. This is so exciting. It's in real life, in real time. I feel like the audience is helping us develop the protein powder, so exciting. I love it. 

Vanessa Spina: Oh, so many great questions on this episode. 

Melanie Avalon: I know. So, for listeners, if you'd like to submit your own questions to the show, I remember we love emojis, just email questions@ifpodcast.com or go to ifpodcast.com and submit questions there. The show notes for today's episode will be at ifpodcast.com/episode324, and those will have a transcript as well as links to everything that we talked about, so that's super helpful. You can follow us on Instagram. We are @ifpodcast, I am @melanieavalon, and Vanessa is @ketogenicgirl. All right, I think that's all the things. Anything from you, Vanessa, before we wrap this up? 

Vanessa Spina: I can't wait to catch you all on the next episode. 

Melanie Avalon: Likewise. Talk to you next week. Bye. 

Vanessa Spina: Okay. 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 and no patient-doctor relationship is formed. If you enjoyed the show, please consider writing a 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, and original theme composed by Leland Cox and re-composed by Steve Saunders. See you next week.

[Transcript provided by SpeechDocs Podcast Transcription]


Check out the Stuff We Like page for links to any of the books/supplements/products etc. mentioned on the podcast that we like!

More on Vanessa: ketogenicgirl.com

Theme Music Composed By Leland Cox: LelandCox.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving us a review in Apple Podcasts - it helps more than you know!