I am delighted to have Scott Emmens and Kara Lazauskas joining me on the podcast today! Scott is the President of MD Logic, and Kara is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with a graduate degree in Molecular Muscle Exercise Physiology and a background in Sports Medicine.
Scott’s fascination with fitness began when he was sixteen. He had asthma, and it confused him to see kids more out of shape than he was performing better than him. So he started working out. When he went to college, he developed an obsession with how the human body worked and became an amateur bodybuilder.
Kara is a total badass! Even though she lost her left lung to a benign tumor when she was just three-and-a-half years old, she became a Titan Games competitor. She is also an MMA fighter.
In this episode, Kara, Scott, and I dive into supplements in the sports and performance fields, the rigors of the FDA GMP (Good Manufacturing Process), and the need for quality supplementation. We discuss the value of Creatine Monohydrate, its benefits, some common misconceptions, and age-related changes that impact metabolic health. We discuss how brain metabolism can be supported with Creatine, gender-related differences, how estrogen influences Creatine, and how Creatine can be helpful in reducing the risk of depression and influencing BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). We also get into the unmatched safety and security standards of MD Logic, my reasons for aligning with them in creating Creatine Monohydrate, and some upcoming discounts for Creatine and melatonin during the holidays.
I sincerely hope you will enjoy listening to today’s conversation.
“Creatine puts me on my game mentally.”
“It’s pretty crazy to think that something so safe and so fairly inexpensive can have that wide of a spectrum of benefits!”
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- How Kara got to where she is today.
- How Scott got into using Creatine to biohack his fitness and health and started MD Logic.
- Scott shares some of his concerns about the supplement industry.
- Why is Creatine Monohydrate such an important supplement for muscle and brain health?
- The benefits of taking a daily dose of Creatine Monohydrate.
- How Creatine helps us have better quality sleep and perform better on lower energy.
- Why do we need to actively support our musculature throughout our lifetime?
- How Creatine helps to prevent sarcopenia and dementia as we age.
- How not supplementing with Creatine can impact mood disorders in women.
- How Creatine assists in reducing the risk of depression and influencing BDNF.
- How being physically active improves brain health and insulin sensitivity and contributes to metabolic health.
- What makes the Creatine Monohydrate created through MD Logic different and unique?
Bio – Scott Emmens
Scott Emmens is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of MD Logic Health. His interest in BIOHACKING and nutrition began in college as an amateur natural bodybuilder and Biology major. While in college, he sought to teach others how to stay strong, lean, and fit via recovery. It was in college he created his first fitness system and a 30-page booklet called “The Natural Body Building System” He continues to be on the cutting edge of bio-optimization. He utilizes ice baths “cold immersion” phot biomodulation commonly referred to as redlight and infrared therapies among many nutrition and fasting techniques.
Scott utilized his knowledge and love of biology and fitness to help drive his career in Biotech where he held a variety of roles as a Sales Leader, Disease Education Awareness Director, Director of Operations, and executive. In 2018 Scott was the lead founder of Olaregen therapeutics (Pronounced Ola-Region therapeutics.) Specializing in wound and skin care using nutrients, peptides, and collagen for a variety of skin conditions.
During his 20 years as Biotech founder and executive, Scott focused on a blend of integrative and allopathic medicine. He was working within many complex therapeutic areas, including neurology, rare disease, asthma, and diabetes. Scott has held various strategic and operational roles preparing him to be both a health advocate and entrepreneur. His personal mission is to help people become their own health advocates while providing them with the knowledge and resources to be physically spiritually and emotionally fit. Ultimately leading Scott to create MD Logic Health.
Connect with Cynthia Thurlow
- Follow on Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn
- Check out Cynthia’s website
- Connect with Scott Emmens on LinkedIn
- Connect with Kara Lazauskas on LinkedIn
Cynthia Thurlow: Welcome to Everyday Wellness Podcast. I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner Cynthia Thurlow. This podcast is designed to educate, empower, and inspire you to achieve your health and wellness goals. My goal and intent are to provide you with the best content and conversations from leaders in the health and wellness industry each week and impact over a million lives.
Today is a very special podcast. I am joined by Scott Emmens who is the President of MD Logic and also Kara Lazauskas. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and has a graduate degree in Molecular Muscle Exercise Physiology with a background in sports medicine. Today, we dove deep into information surrounding supplements in the sports and performance fields. We talked about the rigors of the FDA, GMP, and the need for quality when we’re looking at supplementation. We spoke at great length about the value of creatine monohydrate, the benefits, common misconceptions, and age-related changes that impact metabolic health, specifically skeletal muscle, and the “Metabolic sink.”
We reviewed how brain metabolism can be supported with the utilization of creatine, especially in stages of sleep impacting memory, cognition, and attention as well as the synthesis of neurotransmitters. We spoke about gender-related differences, specifically about women in their menstrual cycle, perimenopause, and menopause, and how estrogen influences creatine and creatine kinase. The impact of depression rates which are higher in women and how creatine can beneficial in reducing our risk for depression as well as influencing BDNF which is brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is essentially fertilizer for neurons in our brains. We spoke about dosing, the reasons why I decided to align with MD Logic in creating creatine monohydrate, and how their safety and security standards are unmatched.
We also spoke about some upcoming discounts on creatine, holiday dates including creatine monohydrate going on sale for 20% off from December 22 to January 5 and also upcoming discounts on melatonin, which is my favorite form of melatonin that MD Logic makes. I hope you will enjoy this conversation as much as I did recording it. I facilitated a lot of the questions that I’ve been receiving across social media, and if you like and enjoy this podcast, please help me obtain more reviews. These really do help exposing the podcast to more people. Nearly every single day across social media I have people reaching out, telling me how much this podcast has helped them, help their loved ones, their friends, their family. Please leave a rating and review on iTunes. If you’re able to do so, I will endeavor to be so very grateful. Enjoy the podcast.
Welcome, Kara. Welcome, Scott. It’s so good to have you on the podcast today.
Scott Emmens: Thank you. My pleasure to be here.
Kara Lazauskas: Thank you.
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. Let’s start the conversation. Obviously, in the podcast intro, I provided listeners with a little bit of perspective about your backgrounds. Kara, why don’t you start just explaining your experience in metabolic health, muscle physiology, physical training and for full transparency, Kara is a complete badass. She is a former Titan Games competitor. She’s an MMA fighter. I’ve met her in person. She is the real deal. I’d love for you to share a bit about your background and then we’ll kind of introduce Scott.
Kara Lazauskas: Of course. Really how it started was I always say I was probably meant to be in the sports performance beside of scientific medicine or sports medicine, and just the difference between clientele athletes, practitioner, and scientist, researcher and kind of melding those together. Because at the age of 3.5, I lost my left lung to a benign, but to a tumor that covered 75% of my left lung. At a very young age, I was always very into the why. Why did this mass grow? Why did I have five knee surgeries that kind of took away my basketball career in early age and what happened and progressed from there is then going to grad school under Dr. Andy Galpin and doing muscle biopsy research where he performed one of the first studies on male and female athletes looking through HIIT exercise and nutrient signaling throughout the course of core biopsies and proceeded to get my master’s in molecular muscle exercise physiology. From there, it started off with selfish reasons as, “Why are these things happening to my body? Why am I not getting to the next level in sports?”, to this huge interest of, “Well, now how can I serve others? How can we take science to another level? How can we take the human experience to another level?”
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, and I think it’s really emerging research. I think there’s now a great amount of technology that allows us to better understand the human body, better understanding differences between men and women, et cetera. We also have Scott on board and Scott is the COO of MD Logic. I decided to work directly with Scott and his team to help formulate my creatine supplement. So welcome, Scott. I would love for you to talk a little bit about your background as well.
Scott Emmens: Thank you, Cynthia. Kara, pleasure to meet you here on the podcast today. My fascination with fitness started probably when I was 16. I couldn’t understand. I had asthma as a kid. I still have asthma, but I would call it under control. I’d see these other kids more out of shape than me, always able to perform. I was confusing. I started kind of working out around that age, which most boys trying to get into manhood, they start working out and hitting the gym and I did okay. Things went well, went to college, and that’s when I became obsessed with biology and physiology, became a major in biology, and really started to understand how the human body worked and became an amateur bodybuilder in college. That was my first exposure to creatine amongst many other supplements that came and went. Some are no longer even available on the market.
As a bodybuilder in the natural world, I was competing against folks that were doing performance-enhancing drugs, which is pretty tough to compete against. I really had to work on “What is the way that I can recover faster, what is the way that I can do exercises better, what are the nutrients I can take that will at least give me a shot?” That was my first sort of biohacking. That was before biohacking was a thing, but that was my biohacking into how to become fit and really healthy. I started also applying that to my overall health and my friend’s health, and it just kept progressing. When I graduated from college, I had this biology degree, I was into this natural world, and I stumbled into pharmaceutical sales and just worked my way up based on my passion for science, passion for helping people, and ultimately became an executive in a number of biotech companies, then created my own biotech company, and then in 2020 decided I really want to get back to my roots, which is wellness and health. I thought, if I can bring the pharmaceutical rigor of, quality products with education to the public that’s the passion and that’s why I started MD Logic.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I’m so very grateful that our paths crossed. Maybe for the benefits of listeners who may not be familiarized with kind of the standard process with supplements. They’re not regulated by any agencies. Ergogenic aids, which are supplements are not regulated. What are some of the concerns that you saw about the supplement industry, vis-à-vis your own experiences within the pharmaceutical agency as a prior bodybuilder and then as the head of MD Logic.
Scott Emmens: So, early in life as we all are, I was a little naive, so I assumed it was on the market and on the shelf, it was safe, it was tested, it was clean, it was pure and it was safe. Well, that’s not necessarily true and that applies to pharmaceuticals as well. Pharmaceutical companies are also under what’s called GMP. I do want to dispel the myth that supplements are not regulated by anybody. Actually, they’re regulated by two bodies. They’re regulated by the FDA in terms of quality and GMP which stands for Good Manufacturing Process. They’re also regulated by the FTC, which is more about the marketing aspect, how people market their products. Oftentimes people get in trouble for, like, miracle cure, cures this. You can’t make any claim at all about the prevention or curing of any kind of disease. So that’s where people get in trouble. Where I really started to see this delineation as I dug deeper, even in pharma, you’ll get what’s called– I want to say it’s a 43 or 403, if I’m getting that number wrong, forgive me, but that’s a warning letter that they come into your factory as the pharmaceutical industry and they’ll say, we found this excrement in your product, or this didn’t meet specs, or your people are not trained on the standard operating procedure for how to navigate this particular issue. You failed in these three areas and the plan won’t necessarily be closed unless it’s an egregious issue.
They’ll give you 15 days to answer and then a certain number of days to respond and correct that. That applies both in the pharmaceutical world and in the GMP supplement world. If you’re a GMP facility, you are held standard to the FDA, to the same standard that the pharmaceutical companies are. The problem is that these minimum standards sometimes don’t really allow to ensure that the product that they say you’re getting ends up being correct. Let me give you a quick example if I may. For example, one of the sort of, I will call it a loophole, for lack of a better word and it might not be the best word, but I’m going to read directly from FDA’s site. Here’s what they define as a quality GMP supplement and that is “The SGMP rule defines quality to mean that the dietary supplement consistently meets and establishes specifications for identity, purity, strength and composition and limits on contaminants, and has been manufactured, packaged, labeled, and held under conditions to prevent alteration under Federal Sections 402(a) 1, 2, 3, and a4 yada yada.”
What that’s basically saying is you got to have those four things tested on the final product, not the ingredient beforehand, but the final product. It has to be manufactured and packaged and labeled under conditions that prevent adulteration. That’s where you can get into trouble because you can label and package it and then stash it. It’s not off the ground. It’s supposed to be elevated off the ground so that if water seeps in, it doesn’t get infected, rodents can’t eat a little hole in your package and leave excrement which does happen. There are warning letters you can look up online. Those are the kinds of things that it can occur. Also, if you have skipped that step that I had mentioned earlier, I hope I’m not coming off if I’m going too long here, Cynthia.
Also, the thing that there is another loophole that I discovered is if you decide and this is what it says directly from the FDA, if I rely on the certificate of analysis, which is basically you’re certifying that this product meets the identity and the identity only for the ingredient, not the other things I mentioned. If you’re relying on that identity certification from the supplier, what do you need to do? It says basically, ” establish reliability with a certificate, make sure it complies with the FDA etc., etc.” However, let’s say that a year ago that certificate on the identity. If you as the manufacturer haven’t tested that product for identity, you’ve now put an ingredient into your product that you haven’t personally tested. The other thing is does that qualify as third party? Because you see a lot of this third-party lab testing. Well, if you’re using a certificate of analysis from the company that sent the ingredient, some people could say, well, is that third party? All these words get massaged into the lingo and that’s where I found these loopholes and I thought we can do a lot better than hence why we started MD Logic.
Cynthia Thurlow: It makes a lot of sense for people to understand that this is why it’s important to buy high-quality supplements. I typically recommend that people not buy all of their supplements off of Amazon. A lot of pharmaceutical grade companies don’t allow their products to be a third-party source, meaning they don’t allow their products to be sold on websites like that. That’s not to suggest that one or two of your supplements if they come off of Amazon, they may indeed be fine. Really understanding that the buyer beware that doing your due diligence really makes a big difference. This degree of clarity and purpose is one of the reasons why I decided to work directly with you all. I think many of my listeners know I’ve had supplements that have been white labeled, meaning another company produced the supplement and I just put my personal labeling on it and I wanted to pivot and move in a direction where I could create exactly what I wanted, the way I wanted. Let’s start talking about working together, talking about creatine and that’s actually why we also have Kara is our creatine expert that’s on the call, but talking about creatine and why it’s so important and why this is not the creatine that maybe you heard about back in the 1970s and the 1980s where people were using massive amounts of creatine in conjunction with anabolic steroids. This is actually a very safe supplement. It’s a very well-researched supplement, and it’s the first supplement I decided to go with because there’s such solid research in terms of looking at muscle and brain health in particular.
Scott Emmens: Well, Cynthia, I would first say let’s be specific about the form of creatine. We specifically chose creatine monohydrate, the reason we specifically chose that form. Now you’ll see a number of different forms of creatine and the jury is out there, maybe some of those creatines may have some validity in the marketplace, but all of the research that you’re talking about that’s happened since the 80’s to know 90% of that research may be higher than that is on creatine monohydrate. We attribute these benefits or these ways that it supports the body’s strength and cognition and muscle endurance and other things that it does, it is from the studies on creatine monohydrate. I wanted to emphasize that first because that is important. Choosing creatine monohydrate as the first is fantastic. I have direct experience with the creatine world of the past and it was like 20 g a day for the first 15 days.
I can tell you that 20 g a day is not an easy amount to digest. I was 190-pound 22-year-old weightlifting fiend at that point and it was still tough to suck down 20 g of creatine, which they call a loading dose. Well, subsequent research and a few decades later we’ve discovered you don’t need to do that massive loading dose. You can get a lot of the benefits of creatine by gradually increasing your stores, which we know, I think it’s 66% of all creatine is stored in your muscle and so you don’t need to do that. The other issue is the negative ones and I’m sure Kara can speak to this as well. There were a lot of people doing either steroids or Ephedra, which is a stimulant, which was all like on a label at the time, other stimulants and other things that could harm your kidneys, along with these massive doses of protein and massive doses of creatine.
Creatine kind of got lumped into this category of, “Oh, it might be bad for your kidneys,” but it’s not. All of the data reveals that if you use creatine in moderation, which we think is somewhere between, let’s call it 3 and I would give them say 10 g a day based on the literature I’ve read, is relatively safe. If you’re talking about 10 g every day and then you’re adding other things to it, well, then you have to be cautious. Really, I think a lot of the negative publicity that came out of creatine was because people were using it in these massive doses with other massive doses of protein and other substances. I’ll pass the baton to Kara to get her perspective on that.
Kara Lazauskas: Also, one thing to clarify is why were people feeling or lumping creatine monohydrate with the steroid use, with the protein usage and getting these effects that they were alluding to the creatine monohydrate? Well, let’s break down the word monohydrate. It’s a hydrate. You’re going to hold water, so you exceed these doses, which we know 2 to 3 g a day even, [unintelligible [00:17:06] health benefits alone is worth it because we’re going to be losing these stores anyway. We have to constantly build them back up in a daily fashion. Even if it’s as low as a dose as 2 to 3 g a day, you’re still going to see that benefit over time. It takes about 30 days over, then a couple of months over a few years, you’re now going to not only have the muscle benefit, but then your brain tissue is now going to be at a better level than everyone else’s.
It doesn’t have to be this loading phase for that week because you are going to get that water bloat, you are going to get that water retention and you’re not going to feel so hot. Which is where some of the negative connotations started with creatine monohydrates. They’re forgetting it is still a hydrate. You’re still going to hold water if you’re going to load in that high of a dosage, which, like Scott was saying back in the day, everyone was doing the 20 g. Everyone was saying, “Oh, you have to load, oh, you have to take and then you dial back down to 5 to 7 g. We know we don’t have to be anywhere near that to get the same benefits. As long as you’re consistent in habit of that almost a micro dose daily, which is a whole other hot topic word is the micro-dosing. You can also do that with creatine in a very safe manner, especially because it is like we’ve been saying, the safest, the number one supplement even in the exercise physiology community and the most studied out there. Any scientist, any researcher in exercise physiology, in muscle physiology, and sports performance ask any of them what are three supplements every athlete should take, the first thing they always say is creatine monohydrate.
They’ll go down the line and some people vary with fish oils or vitamin Cs. The first thing down the line with some of the best researchers in the world, it’s always creatine monohydrate, the first thing they say. The formula used to be and it still is true to this day, where kind of the 20 g came into play is what used to be said and still some athletes will do this is 0.3 g/kg of body weight daily. If I’m a 180-pound female, which I’m about 150, but I’m going to say 180 pounds, that’s 25 g a day I’m taking the creatine. That’s a lot for anybody to handle without having a nice amount of water retention. Just be aware that you don’t have to go with that 0.3 g/kg of body weight daily as long as you’re taking those 2 to 3 g daily and doing it consistently over time, you’re going to have the same benefits you’re going to have without the water retention.
Cynthia Thurlow: I think for many women the water retention is a particularly unappealing side effect, especially for women that are still cycling and maybe as they’re heading into their luteal phase, they’re having more bloating, they’re having more water retention even as an aside. It’s so interesting to me that this has been a supplement that’s been so well embraced in the performance and muscle health industry. Yet, as a licensed healthcare provider, I feel like, in many ways, it’s like a whole new world for me because I had these prejudicial perspectives because of what I had heard from colleagues of mine from years ago. It’s really not rooted in science. The science suggests otherwise. Maybe we can start the conversation talking about some of the benefits of creatine. Obviously, with my product, the two that were most important to me, at least initially, were muscle health and also brain and cognition. I think many individuals irrespective of where they are in their life stage, maybe they’re thinking more about their muscles when they’re younger. We should all be thinking about our muscle and brain health throughout our lifetime, not just when we hit middle age and all of a sudden, we’re like, oh, the issues surrounding sarcopenia become a larger problem.
Kara Lazauskas: And also, another great benefit of creatine, which a lot of people always are surprised and tend to forget, is sleep deprivation. If you’re having a daily dose in those, we just alluded to prior. If you have one of those nights, say you’re studying up all night or when you have one of those nights if you’re taking a daily dose, it helps actually with sleep deprivation. It helps keep your brain at a healthy level when you’re at an unhealthy level of sleep. As long as we’re taking it daily, just like anything, just like any vitamin or supplement, if it’s the right one and it’s produced and manufactured the right way, as were speaking to earlier, it’s going to be the benefits almost tenfold. The fact that you can go on 5 hours of sleep and then take some– I mean, it’s pretty crazy to think something so safe and so fairly inexpensive can have that wide spectrum of benefits.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, and it’s interesting that one of the first testimonials that we received was a woman who’s been struggling, a middle-aged woman struggling with sleep. She said within two days of taking our creatine monohydrate, she slept through the night without any other changes. She said, I just kind of went into this blindly thinking, great, it’ll be better for my brain and muscle health. I had no idea that the sleep would improve substantially. For anyone who’s out there who’s north of like 35 or 40, you have a good night of sleep. That means a whole lot. That’s a huge metric to have met. To me, that was incredibly gratifying. We’ve got a lot of other feedback. Scott, what are your thoughts on the use of creatine for sleep support? Have you seen any good research that has swayed you in that direction as well?
Scott Emmens: There are two points. First of all, yes, I have seen some significant research on sleep and I can tell you I’ve been taking between 3 and 6 g a day and sometimes I’ll take more because I’m 185-pound man. I think for women that’s what makes your creatine so great is does flexibility where you can get 3 g a day, which is like just what you need to keep yourself constantly kind of either growing a little bit or if you have a deficit. But yes, so sleep, I think is important, but what Kara mentioned I think is equally as important. Let’s say for whatever reason you still don’t get that great night of sleep. You got a huge presentation in the morning and you’re nervous and you’re anxious and I know what that’s like as a busy executive on the run, I had been doing dozens of things. I’m sure Cynthia, you know what it’s like and Kara, I’m sure you know what that’s like. You wake up at 3:00 AM, you fall asleep and you’ve got to be up at 6 00 AM and you’re like “Oh my God, now I have to go to a presentation in front of a thousand people,” and your brain isn’t quite there. Creatine has and I just recently noticed this because I had stopped taking it for a long time. My brain can function on 6 hours of sleep, whereas before no way. I think that’s in large part due and Kara, correct me if you think something different, but in large part due to the fact that creatine gives your brain the ATP it needs and kind of gives it the resuscitation to say “Hey, we can power through this. I know you’re a little tired today, but you can power through this.” Not only does creatine help you have better quality of sleep, it also, if you don’t, allows you to perform better on lower energy. One of the things I think the verbiage in the literature I read was something focused under sleep deprivation or something to that effect. That was really surprising to me because there are not many supplements that can do that and even caffeine can just make you a little bit jittery, but not necessarily on your game. Whereas I found creatine puts me on my game mentally.
Cynthia Thurlow: I think it’s really important. It’s interesting. On Tuesday evening I participated in the Influencer’s Dinner at John Levy’s house which was a wonderful experience and I was up late, I had to take a 05:00 AM cab to get to Newark to get on an airplane to come home. I had a total of 4 hours of sleep and I functioned really well all day until I went to bed. And so, I credit the creatine piece. What’s interesting was when I was looking at the research, we know that creatine helps support stages of sleep and greater neuronal ATP resynthesis. It impacts memory and cognition and also attention and it’s also involved in neurotransmitters. Sometimes when I’m sleep deprived prior to taking creatine, I would sometimes almost get this anxious feeling and it was because my body was feeling overly tired much like kids do when they’re overly tired. It’s interesting there’s a positive relationship between creatine levels and cerebral spinal fluid in the brain and dopamine and serotonin metabolites. It’s certainly very consistent with not just cognition but also with energy. Lastly with the impact on neurotransmitter production which I think is really significant.
Kara Lazauskas: One of my favorite analogies is I like to think of creatine monohydrate as the vitamin IV or the NAD that no one’s purchasing and no one’s taking. Everyone wants to spend the $500 on vitamin IV at the local health injection or wellness center when you spend the 15, 20 bucks on creatine and you’re going to get the same benefits, but everyone’s just sweeping it under the rug because of the fancy store down the street with the IVs.
Scott Emmens: I think that’s a great point, Kara. I think if we boil this down to a couple of things. Really everything that requires energy, everything. Your muscles require energy, your immune system requires energy, even the creation of your neurotransmitters requires energy. If you don’t have enough ATP to create that energy, you’re going to have all these deficiencies across everything that requires energy. I mean life boils down to energy. I can’t remember which podcast I was listening to, but it had some really remarkable data in it. I think the title or the gist of it was it’s not just muscle endurance energy support, it’s a brain and cognition endurance supplement. That kind of hit me like wow and it all comes down to mitochondria and energy. You got a lot of mitochondria in your brain, you got a lot of mitochondria in other parts of your body, your heart, your brain, your muscles, obviously.
I do think that this is something that I really underestimated and I’m pretty excited about that because I feel like as you hit this age point, I’m 52, you do start drinking three cups of coffee a day. And I don’t want to drink three cups of coffee a day. I’m down to one cup of coffee a day as long as it’s got my creative monohydrate in it.
Cynthia Thurlow: That’s a wonderful testimony to the net impact. Let’s pivot a little bit and talk about metabolic health. I know this is an interest of Kara’s and yours as well. What are some of the changes, Kara, that start happening in our muscles as we are getting older? I really want to dive into sarcopenia because I don’t think I appreciated/valued the fact that I was hitting peak bone and muscle mass in my 20’s and 30’s until I got into my 40’s and I learned otherwise about why I should have known even as a clinician we were not taught that, and now why I try so hard to make sure others understand the value of supporting muscle-protein synthesis, supporting musculature throughout our lifetime, and not just worrying about it because you’re 45 and you realize all of a sudden your metabolic health is in the toilet.
Kara Lazauskas: Scale to muscle is a very amazing and vast metabolic sink. If we are not utilizing it in the right ways and utilizing it or we essentially stop training or stop supplementing with things like creatine. There is a situation where if you don’t use it, you can lose it. It’s going to be one heck of a ride trying to develop that back. There is a point in which as you age and as this sink essentially starts to get little bit smaller because we’re not utilizing it, we’re not supplementing it, our skeletal muscle essentially says, “Okay, you’re not giving me anything to work with, you’re not giving me anything to resist against. So, you know what? You’re not going to give me something, I’m going to do nothing and if I have nothing to resist against, I have nothing to work against. I’m essentially going to be everything.” Which is what we see in muscle fiber types at Cal State Fullerton, where we did the muscle biopsy research with Andy, that was one of the craziest things we saw with renal failure patients out of Stanford is to see their skeletal muscle after being bedridden and they’re on their deathbed, they’re in the last stages of their life, to see what happened to their muscle tissue, to see essentially their fiber type all over the place. It was everything. You can literally see into the gels what happens towards the end of like what happens when you do not actually supplement appropriately and give resistance to the muscle is it essentially just gives up completely and turns into almost a mush of everything. One of my favorite topics of conversation is “You have to go towards resistance or your body is going to resist you.”
Cynthia Thurlow: It’s an excellent point and it’s interesting. In 2019, I was in the hospital for 13 days and I lost 15 pounds. My muscles were just catabolized. I left the hospital 15 pounds lighter because I was in bed for 13 days. I remember explaining to someone to lose that much muscle and my body did it because I was needing to lose that much muscle has taken years to get back to a point where I’m building muscle again. It’s devastating to our bodies metabolically and otherwise. You lose insulin sensitivity when you are losing muscle mass. For many people they’re like I don’t understand why running, doing all these endurance sports as a 40 or 50 or 60-year-old person is no longer serving your metabolic needs. Like really making sure that you are doing some degree of strength training every week in the gym and eating enough protein and utilizing things like creatine. We had an amazing testimonial from Dr. Sandy. Dr. Sandy is not only a good friend, she’s a clinical psychologist. She’s 70 years old and she has been using creatine and loves this product. And she was leg pressing 300 pounds. Sandy is 90 pounds. She’s this tiny itty-bitty person. It just goes to show you this is not just a product for younger people. This is a product that can be utilized throughout your lifetime with significant benefits.
Kara Lazauskas: I always think, ask anybody as they age, what’s the one thing you’re most nervous about besides losing muscle mass or getting fatter? Everyone says, just don’t let me lose my mind. Just dementia is everyone’s worst fear. How do you help prevent that? Creatine is actually one of the major ways besides resistance training and exercise for preventing that end-stage life, cognition loss.
Scott Emmens: Muscle is expensive. The body abuses muscle as an expensive asset to have to maintain. If you’re not using it and you’re not feeding it, what’s the first thing your body is going to catabolize. It’s going to eat your muscles, right, even before your fat because it saves the fat because that’s cheap you already got it. Keeping this muscle is expensive for us, so let’s eat that and that’s why you lost so much weight Cynthia, your body said, well, she’s not eating, she’s not exercising. This is an expensive commodity. To your second point, Kara and I know you can relate to this as an avid bodybuilder in my 20s, if I took a month off, I’d lose 10 pounds then it would take me three months. It was like the law of one to three, three months to get it back, one month to lose it, and it was tough.
I had a personal experience with this. My dad was about 74. I had taken him to Lake George, put him on my uncle’s boat, and were going out for boat rides, and he went to get out of the boat and onto the dock, and he literally couldn’t get himself up out of the boat. I sat down with him, and I had a really heart-to-heart conversation explaining to dad, this is step one of you ending up in the nursing home. You can’t step up and get out of this boat and onto the dock on your own with your leg quad and these are his quads. These are some of the strongest muscles in your body. You’re a couple of years away from being in a nursing home and I know you don’t want that. Well, he took that to heart and I sent him a bunch of supplements and he started taking them, hit the StairMaster in the gym, and started doing some light, nothing crazy. Now he’s walking 5 miles a day. He looks fantastic. He can get up and move. He’s 78, so he’s four years older, and he looks ten years younger than he did when he was 74. It’s really been a transformation. I had a personal experience of that. I don’t think people realize just how serious sarcopenia is. When you’re losing your muscle and your strength that is one of the first determinations that your longevity and health span is waning. There’s a multitude of studies on grip strength and quad strength that prove that out.
Cynthia Thurlow: It’s interesting how many patients I took care of in the hospital when I would round and they would be 50 years old and they could not get from their bed to the bedside commode and get off the commode because their quadricep muscles were so weak. And we would be rounding quickly. I would always identify these are the types of patients I’m most concerned about because if you can’t get off the toilet at 50, that is not setting you up well for longevity. The other thing that I think is really interesting is that now that I fully understand and appreciate the progression of sarcopenia that really accelerates after the age of 40, unless you’re working against it, is how many women in particular I see that are just skinny, but they’re so sarcopenic like, they have no musculature. They’re just so thin and a lot of that is a byproduct of the fact that they’ve lost all this muscle. I always use the example because I love analogies that young muscle is a filet, it’s mostly muscle. You look at a ribeye, although delicious, we don’t want to become the ribeye. That is when we have all this marbling and this adipose tissue, which is highly inflammatory and full of cytokines, and just really understanding that is what happens as a byproduct of aging if you don’t work against it. Kara, I’m sure for you in the lab you probably were seeing examples of this every day.
Kara Lazauskas: That was always the most interesting thing is the skinniest people we would do, the skinniest subjects we had are individuals or participants sometimes had the worst and the most unhealthy skeletal muscle and the most unhealthy tissue. Essentially, it’s been shown time and time again in the research. We know we can’t say anything as fact, but we know as well as we can that the longer you keep your two-way muscle fiber type or our fast twitch or our resistance training fiber, as I like to call it, we know the longer you live, it’s just a fact. It’s also the first thing to go when we become sedentary. It’s the longer you keep it, the longer you’re going to live. However, a lot of individuals and I always think about this when it comes to especially women, they get so nervous about getting bulky and this kind of ties both resistance training, skeletal health, and creatine. All of these things have been avoided over the last couple of decades particularly with women. Why? Because they are all associated with being bulky and not healthy, and not longevity, and not keeping you out of the hospital. It was flipped into the script of no, you’ll look like a man, or all or no, which we know could not be farther from the truth. That myth is still– Client the other day said that to me. Oh, isn’t creatine a steroid?
Cynthia Thurlow: No, no.
Kara Lazauskas: I mean the fact that is still a topic of conversation and also that resistance training can make you bulky and flipping, changing the narrative to, hey, actually this is what keeps us out of the hospital. Actually, providing these things to your body is what helps the skeletal muscle, helps us metabolic sink operate and function at a high level. That’s what it’s all about.
Scott Emmens: I’m so shocked that there’s still that.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah.
Scott Emmens: It could go as far as creatine a steroid, and even the hydration part, I mean, again, to your point, the bulk, if you’re doing normal reasonable resistance training, I can assure you’re not getting bulky. It takes an insane amount of really tough effort to put on a quarter of an inch on your bicep. So, let’s put that in perspective. And I’m a guy, I’ve got a lot more testosterone than a woman, so I’m going to put on muscle mass easier. And that’s hard for me, the other thing is, Kara, I wanted your perspective on, because earlier you mentioned and I just want to go back to this, the hydration and Cynthia, you mentioned a lot of women get concerned about bloat, but let’s say even 3 to 5 g, I’m imagining most of the hydration is intercellular. It’s not like you’re hydrating and bloating, it’s inside the muscle cell. So, you’re not going to see that. It’s actually just going to make you feel more fit in tone. Is that an accurate statement?
Kara Lazauskas: Oh, of course. That’s where the big myth comes into play, is I think the mind is a very powerful tool, correct, a lot of us– The placebo effect is quite real. When a lot of people, even though the dose they’re taking is intracellular and it’s 3 to 5 g because they’ve been told, because they’ve had these myths fed to them for so many years or either have not done the research or lack of education or they’ve been told X, Y, Z things from someone else. The mind tells them, oh, something is happening more. The body kind of follows through a little bit. It always interests me when I have participants or clients or athletes or I’m like, no, your dose isn’t even high enough for any of that to occur. A brain is a powerful tool and the placebo effect is really real. If you think that’s happening, I’m telling you, it’s not the creatine, it’s not the resistance training. It’s your mind that we need to focus on now. It’s the myth in the lies you’ve been told, essentially. It’s just rewording and getting the education, the information out there, the right information for people to understand what is actually happening in the human body and what is actually happening when we provide our body these things and not this woo-woo stuff that I still hear and still see in the magazines. I’ve still seen on blogs posted in 2022, women should just go for runs or they shouldn’t resistance train. Or also the huge myth that women cannot gain the same skeletal muscle mass to men. In absolute terms, yes.
Scott Emmens: Relativity, right.
Kara Lazauskas: Yeah, we just start with less muscle mass. We only have two-thirds of the muscle mass in the upper body as men. Of course, relatively we have less to begin with though. Absolutely we can gain the same health benefits.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I think it’s really interesting that reframe when we’re talking to patients or clients, really helping them understand that this is the research, this is what it demonstrates. I’ve been using creatine for over a year, and one of the things that really swayed me about creatine was not only the benefits related to muscle and brain health, but also the understanding that women endogenously have less creatine stores. So, that was of interest to me. Also understanding that creatine levels in our bodies change around our menstrual cycles. It’s interesting that estrogen plays a role in creatine and creatine kinase and understanding that if you plot out where women are in their menstrual cycle, they can get more glucose oxidation, they can have their needs for creatine internally and the body can change significantly and then vis-à-vis women in perimenopause and menopause can also benefit from utilizing creatine, so it’s not just one stage of life where women, in particular, will benefit, it’s throughout their lifetime. There are indications for utilizing this for these benefits.
Scott Emmens: To that point, Cynthia, I’ll share another personal story and I shared this with you last time we spoke. Kara, this will be news to you. My daughter Kylie, who’s only 5’6″, so she’s petite for a hurdler, but she is a 100 hurdler as well as 400-meter runner, and sometimes she’s the 400-meter hurdles, which God love you if you can complete that race because it’s just agonizing. Her freshman year she was told, “She had no jumping ability and she should stick to just running,” Her sophomore year she did better, she started climbing up the ranks. She was ranked 225 in the state. In her junior year, dad decided to create an MD Logic creatine blend with some creatine and amino acids that I would put in her little smoothie every day before meets and when she went training. She ended up finishing 6th in the state that year, went to Pennsylvania State track for the 100 hurdles, then finished 6th in the state, and then went on to break the Central Bucks East 30-year record for the 60-meter hurdle and the 100-meter hurdle.
I’m not saying it was the creatine, I’m just saying it didn’t hurt, [laughs] but I’m very proud of that. I think she learned a very important lesson, too, which was nutrition is a huge part because there were a lot of other things we did too, but nutrition was a huge part of her performance because a lot of her peers had kind of done amazing sophomore year, pretty good junior, and then just that was it. They really haven’t gone on to do much more. Now that she’s at college, it’s harder for me to get this stuff into her because she’s on her own, yeah, I took it dad, I took it. I don’t know that last time wasn’t so good, but it was, I think, a game changer for her psychologically and to watch her confidence grow and to see how happy she was both from the performance she was doing and just that pride of accomplishing something that she really was told. She literally was told she had no jumping ability, not to make that a big deal, but I was proud of her. So anyway, that’s my personal story.
Kara Lazauskas: Creatine is the wonder drug. There’s no reason to– I actually used to manage the GNC. My quick story is I used to manage the GNC in Pittsburgh back in my undergraduate years. I’ll never forget the amount of older women or young kids or young athletes in the Pittsburgh area, the time when I was at coming into the GNC and asking for either the supplement that was pink because it was labeled to women or the “Oh, I need to take alkalized creatine that’s $40 more because apparently it won’t make me bloat or it’s going to help me. I would always have to explain to them, hey, here’s the thing to look for but also remember just because something is pink or just because something is more expensive does not mean it’s going to give you a better benefit or less of a benefit. It always cracks me up in vitamin shops or GNCs or all these supplement stores is the amount what they put in the front in the store, what they put in the back in the store, and what they put things in the middle, and I would not be able to recognize that. It’s still a store at the end of the day. They’re still trying to get you to buy certain things for certain reasons that has nothing to do with the science or what it can actually potentially do for you. A lot of times, it’s the thing you least expect, that $15 creatine monohydrate supplement, that $5 vitamin C bottle as long as it’s to the production standards and through FDA standards because we all know that the Wild Wild West, as Scott was alluding to in the beginning, I just call it the Wild West. Sometimes the thing you’re walking past is actually the thing you need the most, but you’re walking past it because it’s the cheaper, depending on what you’re looking at might not fit the bill.
Scott Emmens: These companies do such a great job with marketing and the nuance of the language and the verbiage that, I mean, some of them are really good at. Now, there are a lot of amazing quality companies there. I don’t want to sabotage the whole industry. There are a lot of companies that are based a lot on marketing to your point. They put it in pink and they charge $10 more. It might even be the same product. I’ve seen that happen 100 times. Sarafem was Prozac by the pharma industry? It was for mood disorder during menstruation, and they just took Prozac, repackaged it, called it Sarafem, and charged 25 bucks more. Literally, that happened, I mean, so that happens in our industry, too. When the times right, Cynthia, I’d love to circle back to what Kara was alluding to, was like, what are those quality things that your creatine has gone through that I feel so great about with all of our products that many creatines and other supplements probably have not gotten through. When you’re ready, let me know when we can circle back to that.
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. I did want to address it because it opened up the door to talk about mood disorders and depression. We know that there’s good solid research talking about the fact that women, we are at two times greater risk as women for depression. This is directly linked to hormonal milestones like puberty and then also menopause, and there’s a 31% greater incidence of depression in adults with low creatine intake. Not just exogenous creatine that you get from protein, which unfortunately is not enough, animal-based protein that’s not enough in your diet to be able to replete what women intrinsically don’t make enough of. If we’re not supplementing with creatine, it can impact these mood disorders. The other thing that I thought was really interesting is brain-derived neurotrophic factor is involved in brain health and cognition. We know that aging and stress actually reduces this in our bodies, especially those that are not actively learning new hobbies or new activities, which is why I tell everyone to listen to podcasts and read and stimulate your brain because it’s so important. We know that creatine is also involved in BDNF production in the brain. When we keep talking about brain and cognition, I just wanted to tie in those two other pieces prior to talking about what makes the creatine monohydrate that we’re doing together so different from what else is on the market.
Scott Emmens: Yeah, and I’m obsessed with BDNF, brain-derived neurotropic factor, they call the fertilizer for neurons. I think basically what it does is it allows your body to stimulate new neurons at a faster rate, which is quite interesting. I think Cynthia but I don’t know, you know the data or Kara you know the data on this, does BDNF also correlate to depression?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.
Kara Lazauskas: Oh, I was going to say speaking of mood disorders and depression and going off the statistics, Cynthia, just alluded to what is the biggest statistic going on right now that’s freaking out the entire world, especially post-COVID? Is that the rate of SSRIs, SSRIs being prescribed out is also right in line with the suicide, depression, death rate, and death toll. They’re 100% correlated in almost the same scary chart of increases in prescription medications to alleviate depression or alleviate anxiety and suicide rate. It’s a natural way to prevent that is supplementing with things like creatine monohydrate and starting at a younger, early age and being consistent about it. Now we just took a natural SSRI without the negative side effects or without the negative connotations.
Scott Emmens: Yeah. Just as the form of the brain in me is just saying, I want to make sure that we don’t encourage anyone to go off their SSRI. Always talk to your doctor.
Kara Lazauskas: Yes, yes, yes.
Scott Emmens: Always just want to put that through. Never stop that, there can be serious consequences. Just cold turkey doing that. Please, we’re not suggesting that but I think what we are saying, this product has some real benefits. [crosstalk]
Scott Emmens: Yes, absolutely, definitely. This product has got some real benefits in the way that it works on the brain and when that can’t be under looked. I think your stat was 31% greater depression in people with lower-than-average creatine, I think it was. BDNF, we know, is tremendous too. So, there’s something to it. Exercise, we know, also increases BDNF. There were several studies that show exercise to improve mood. If your creatine level is higher and your energy levels are higher, you’re going to be more likely to exercise. Until then you’re probably going to get in this nice spiral up because once you start spiraling down and you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix all day and you’re getting more depressed and then you’re eating more that’s just the spiral down towards like ‘Ah’ and it just doesn’t get better. Or if you’re getting more energy and you’re getting out there and you’re exercising, I think you’re going to put yourself in a position to have a spiral upwards in terms of your mental health and physical health and I think they’re correlated. I’ve always been a spirit, mind, body kind of person. If your brain and your emotions are in a good place that probably means you’re physically in a good place too.
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. I would also add that we know that people that are most metabolically healthy are individuals that are physically active. It doesn’t mean that you have to be in the gym seven days a week. Just being physically active not only improves brain health, also improves insulin sensitivity, also contributes to metabolic health. Throw in some strength training, and that in and of itself can be life changing. Kara is there anything else you would add in there with physical activity and muscle health as well?
Kara Lazauskas: I would say the biggest thing is the consistency of it all. I think a lot of us, they really are mood resistance training, dementia, the cognitive benefits, the sleep deprivation, the longevity piece, all of these things have one common denominator, is we all just want to live our best possible life. Again, what tends to happen is we ignore the little things, which is just being consistent throughout a long period of time. It’s all about time and exposure when it comes to longevity and it comes to, “Optimal health,” which I always come from places what is actually optimal, it depends on who you’re speaking to. However, when it comes down to its just time and exposure every single day over a long period of time. Now we’re going to feel better mentally, physically, emotionally. It changes the whole game. It always blows my mind that we tend to take things in a very complex or complicated manner when really it’s that simple.
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely.
Kara Lazauskas: It’s time and exposure and giving the body something to work with but it takes time and consistency.
Scott Emmens: I think that’s important because some folks hit the gym for a month, they don’t feel great because let’s face it. The first month you’re going to be sore and most people have a tendency to go in and like going all and in the first week, they’re going to come out and they’re aching and they’re sore. You want to make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success by working with a trainer if you haven’t trained before and if you haven’t trained in a long time, I always think it’s better to be more consistent. Kara, you tell me if you agree. But consistency over trying to just go gangbusters and pin it all. Just get to the gym, the rest will follow.
Kara Lazauskas: We all, every single listener, every single one of us in this room, we can all attest to the fact that we know somebody that goes or went to the gym for seven days and never went back again. The rule I give individuals all the time whether they’re working with a practitioner or not, or a trainer or not, coach or not, is if you are sore for more than three days, you need tone the volume back down. Either tone it down or break open the sessions because no one should be sore for more than 72 hours. That’s a red flag your body saying, “Hey, this was a little too much, let’s back it up a little bit,” so that way we can keep that consistency. I just call it the 72-hour rule. If you are sore for longer than three days, it was probably too much volume or too much intensity and we need to tone it back down. [crosstalk]
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, that’s a good rule to have because I think there’s also this misnomer that people have to be super super sore in order to have really worked hard. I remind people that you can get some delayed onset muscle soreness. Maybe you’re not sore when you leave the gym. I always know that I’ve worked my legs hard when it bothers me to go up and down the stairs when I get home, I’m always like, okay, that’s a good sign. You don’t want to be in pain. You then are sedentary for three days in between to recover. I think that’s kind of what you’re alluding to.
Kara Lazauskas: Correct. Yeah, there’s nothing– actually but a good example is US or any sprinter, any 100 meters sprinter. If you ever performed their training sessions, just say you went to the track, you’re going to do their ten 100 meters sprints. I’ve had so many individuals say, I’m not tired at all. I don’t feel like I worked out. I don’t feel like I did anything. You look at the sprinters that are doing that as their career and they’re jacked, they’re ripped. They look amazing. They’re obviously professional or Olympic athletes and the Average Joe goes to do that same work and they’re like, “Oh, I don’t feel like I tried. I don’t feel sore. I didn’t do anything.” That’s the myth that everyone thinks that we need to be sore to have benefits, but look it’s just time and exposure, and it’s in having the right dials and the right buttons to press. Again, working with the right practitioner, coach, or trainer and [unintelligible [00:52:53], I would say you need a team and have the right team around you so that when you are ready to develop to the next level, you know the right steps for yourself because everyone’s going to differ.
Scott Emmens: Yeah, absolutely. My son first started working out. He was like, “How sore should I be?” I said, “Look, let me give you this analogy. If you were building calluses on your hands and you went outside and you took an axe or hammer or whatever, and you whack that log until your callus was bleeding, and then the next day you went out and you made them bleed again and they never have a chance to heal, you’re not going to ever get calluses. You’re just going to have raw skin. You want to go out there the first time, and when that point of– this is starting to hurt, that’s it, right? You can go a little further and then you develop calluses. If you’re always just ripping the muscle down to the bone by overexerting it, you’re going to overtrain.” And I think that’s changing. Back in my day, in the glory days of the 90s, it was workout till you had passed out. Recovery was a second thought. I think the reason that I did better than most people that were not taking steroids was because I had done so much research on recovery and form and condition– time and exposure what you keep saying care. It’s time and exposure and doing the exercises properly and knowing what you’re doing. That was an analogy that my son was like, “Oh, that makes sense.” Like, he got that.
Kara Lazauskas: I call it “Greasing the groove.” You’re greasing the groove. Every day you add maybe a rep or you add maybe a minute more of time or 30 seconds more of time, or you add another layer to that exercise. Every day you’re greasing the groove and you do it daily. It’s actually one thing in special operators in the military that they perform a lot of pushups and pull ups every hour on the hour. Start with one pull-up every hour throughout the day. A week of time goes by then you’re going two pull-ups every hour for that week every day, and then three, and then all of a sudden you get to the end of the month, you get towards the end of six weeks, you’re knocking out 20 pull-ups at a time like it’s nothing. Again, time exposure and just greasing the groove.
Scott Emmens: I’m going to try that work out.
Scott Emmens: I like that. One pull-up every hour.
Kara Lazauskas: The first week is great because you’re doing one pull-up. First week, you’ll love it because you’re just doing one pull-up. Okay, wait an hour, one pull-up and just do it until that hour prior to bed and get ready with your bedtime routine or whatever that may be for yourself. A week goes by and once it gets easy, you go up to two pull-ups and then you can do it with really any exercise. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that with the back squat or with a heavy load. It’s more definitely more for body weight or even if we took this into a supplement or to creatine, it’s just the daily dose every day, same thing happens, same thing occurs.
Cynthia Thurlow: That’s a great analogy.
Kara Lazauskas: [laughs] Be careful.
Scott Emmens: Scott’s taking notes as we’re talking. He’s going to implement this immediately.
Kara Lazauskas: It is interesting when you do ‘grease the groove’ how surprised even clients of mine or athletes of mine have got, how quickly they’ve gotten to ten pull-ups in a row just by having a little increment and dialing it up just a little bit every day. Now, you don’t have to do every hour on the hour, so I hope not everyone’s like, “Oh my God,” I’m sitting on my desk at work, I can exactly put a pull up bar in my office. You don’t have to do it that way. You can say every 3 hours or pre in the morning before I leave, I’m going to take my 2 or 3 g of creatine or I’m going to do my 10 push-ups or 5 pull-ups whatever you set for yourself. At night I’m doing this set and then I’m just going to do that daily, perform that daily. It would be funny if everyone just started doing pull-ups in the middle of their workplace.
Cynthia Thurlow: My youngest, when he was doing ninja training that was a thing pre-pandemic for him. He was a competitive swimmer and he decided he wanted a pull-up bar in his bedroom. So, honest to goodness this kid like 9 or 10 years old was doing pull-ups every night because he was training for these ninja courses that he was doing with friends, which I thought was fantastic. I said how many 10-year-olds are asking their parents for a pull-up bar to put in their bedroom? [laughs] But he had one.
Kara Lazauskas: I had P90X when I was 10, 11, 12. I asked for P90X for Christmas. If everyone remembers those old Tony Horton videos back in the day, that was the next Step Up-
Scott Emmens: I should do.
Kara Lazauskas: -to Jane Fonda.
Kara Lazauskas: P90X [crosstalk].
Scott Emmens: Richard Simmons.
Cynthia Thurlow: I love it. I love it.
Kara Lazauskas: Yeah, man, he disappeared, that man.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, he did.
Scott Emmens: He did.
Kara Lazauskas: The same thing is the progression of supplementation as well as Scott can attest to is the world’s changed drastically and yet some of us are still stuck in the past where we now have this technology, we have this information out there. We just need to have the right sources speaking the information to us or finding the information for us.
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. That’s why I think it’s so important. I always say my platform is to educate, inspire, and empower women, and indirectly men, too because women oftentimes are the ones that are the dispensers of information. Scott, I definitely want to make sure that we talk about what makes our joint product, our joint effort so unique, the creatine monohydrate that we have created through MD logic. Let’s touch on that in terms of what makes it different, what makes it unique. Obviously, one of the reasons why I wanted to create my own supplement was I didn’t find anything else on the market that met my specifications. Admittedly, I’m a little bit OCD coming from an allopathic medical model and obviously for years prescribing medications and being very specific and deliberate with how I took care of my patients.
Scott Emmens: Well, I think Cynthia first it starts with what we had talked or I alluded to earlier, which is that GMP is the bare minimum thing that you need to file. There’s a set of guidelines that are very specific, and they go from the font size, on the labeling to how you’re supposed to package certain products away from each other so they don’t cross-contaminate, even down to things like, let me see if I can read it here real quick. Calibration of the machines. You’ve got to calibrate each machine, test the machine, write down the fact that you did calibrate it appropriately. You’ve got to scrub and clean the machine, test the machine for residues, and then all this has to be documented. There’s like a lot of these little things that are taken for granted that you don’t do, but you need to do that.
People that pass their GMP certification do all of these basic things. When it came to identity of the product that’s where there’s a big difference. I had mentioned that you can just use the CFA, what’s called the Certificate of Authorization from the FDA and the supplier. You don’t have to test the identity yourself. That’s too dangerous from where we sit. So, here’s what happens first, we go to an FDA-approved company that has a CFA that’s recent within less than a year that says this product has passed the FDA certification of identity. So, we never go to anyone else, that’s the starting point. Then we order the product, we take it into our warehouse, and then it’s quarantined. It does not enter the main facility. That’s important because let’s say it has mold or yeast or some other toxin inside it, and you haven’t done your test yet. Well, guess what? Now you’ve infected your entire facility. Most places just they don’t necessarily do that. I shouldn’t say most places. I don’t know what most places do. I do know that there are ways around that and when you see warning letters on the facility itself, not for marketing purposes, but on the facility and the practices, that’s one of the more common things you’ll see is that there’s some kind of cross-contamination. It usually happens because they put things too close together. They didn’t clean the machines properly or they haven’t stored the products properly. But we quarantine it. We test it. We don’t just test it for identity. We test it for identity, purity, strength, mold, yeast, toxins, and compliance before it enters our facility. Once it’s past all of that then we bring it into the facility.
We don’t just test the top layer or one box. If they send five boxes, we’re going to test a scoop in the middle of those each five boxes before it enters the facility. So that’s step one. We know by the time it gets to the facility, the identity, purity, strength, and compliance of that product and toxins have been tested so that it doesn’t interfere with anything else. We are making sure that what the COA that already came from the company that provided that active ingredient is accurate. Now we’re good. So, then we go through the process. When everything is stored properly in a climate-controlled facility that’s another thing they said in here. Is it stored appropriately? Not everything is stored in a climate-controlled facility. I don’t want to pick on the large shipping companies, but who knows what facilities those products are being stored in and for how long? Especially if it’s an oil, my goodness, what’s going on? So that’s number one.
Then we do batch testing, which means we randomly will take the product off the shelf through the line. We’ll just grab a bottle as it’s being made, we test that. We also do testing for stability. We put it through a rigorous heat test and moisture test to make sure that the product is going to stay fresh for two years or three years depending on what that product is. We do a final test to say, okay, we’ve done this final test. At the very end, the product is complete, it’s in the bag, it’s ready to go. Now we’re going to do all of those tests plus an additional one. Let’s say it’s a multicombination blend, but yours is not. Yours is just one ingredient, pure creatine monohydrate, that’s it. There are no filters, no anti-caking agents, no nothing. That’s it. It’s just creatine monohydrate, which is a thing of beauty.
Let’s say it did have other things. We do all four of those tests over again plus we would then say and does it have what we say it had in it? If we say it has 50 mg of vitamin C, 1000 IUs of vitamin D, 25 mg of vitamin B6, at the end of that does it pass all the purity test? Because something can get contaminated along the way. You got to test for purity again, strength again, and identity again. You also have to test as what we said in it, in it at those right dosages. That’s when it goes out the door. We know that it’s been climate controlled, that it’s been tested before it came in, that’s been tested along the way, it’s been tested for freshness, and it’s been tested before it goes out that door. That’s why I feel great about taking our products.
Lastly, we’re working really hard towards single ingredient products or combination products that don’t have harsh what we call anti-caking agents. That is what you would call your magnesium stearates, your palmitates, or your silicon dioxides. In my book, magnesium stearate, that’s not such a big deal in small doses, but if you’re taking 75 different capsules a day, it can add up. We’re trying to minimize that or eliminate it where we can. It’s not always possible, but we have been starting to use monolaurin, it’s actually a dietary supplement use in digestion, but we’re using that in place of these other things now, it’s triple the price. Sometimes we’ll say, why is your product so expensive? Well, we got to make it in small batches for lots of different reasons. We got to use these very expensive non– so I’ll call them stearates for lack of a better one. Silicon dioxide, I think, is the worst. So that we can make a pure product that I feel great about taking every day in my life, that my kids can take every day of their life. If the sticker price hits you a little, just remember we’ve gone through all those extra processes to make sure that it’s pure. We’re trying to go even a step further and then we’re trying to reduce the plastics and things. So, for example, yours comes in a pouch rather than a plastic jar, which minimizes exposure to the product and to the environment for phthalates and plastics, which I know. We’ve talked a lot about how plastic is an endocrine disruptor and in some cases, when we use pills or other things, we’re using glass. We’re really trying to get away from harsh plastics and other products. And that’s like phase two.
That’s our 2023 goal, is to really clean up the entire line to make it as pure as possible. It’s not always going to be possible to have zero magnesium stearate in it. I just want to be clear about that. But we’re working our way towards that. I think the big difference is the quality starting and then the way it’s packaged makes a big deal. The way that it’s refined in terms of, like, how does it dissolve? Your creatine dissolves super easy, most creatine do, but yours dissolves super easy. It’s like I said a single ingredient. It’s not in a big plastic tub. I think all those things, each one of those incremental improvements separates your creatine from the pack. And of course, it’s monohydrate. I think Kara would agree that is the most studied best creatine you’re going to get for your money.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I’m so very grateful that we’re able to partner and we’re getting ready to talk about the next supplement. But before we talk about that on a subsequent podcast, I just wanted to make sure that listeners knew that there’s a creatine holiday special coming up, December 22 through January 5 with CYNTHIA20 you will get 20% off on creatine which is really exciting. I also want to mention my favorite melatonin, because it has both a sustained and non-sustained release. By far, this is the most efficacious melatonin I’ve ever taken. I told Scott that I made the mistake of taking the amount I used to take with another manufacturer and I could not wake up in the morning. [laughs]
Scott Emmens: I tried to warn you. [laughs]
Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, you did. I didn’t believe you, but now I do. And so, really, efficacious very cost effective. The melatonin will be 20% off for the melatonin from December 16 through the 31st, and that is 20% off your first bottle with CYNTHIA20. Again, that’s December 16 through January 31st. In January, there is going to be a subscription for 25% off for life and that is upcoming. I’m really very grateful for both of your times today. I know that listeners will get a lot of value out of both your backgrounds and your contributions. I can’t thank you both enough. Please let listeners know how to connect with you outside of this podcast, how to connect with you, Kara, if they’d like to work with you. Scott, if they would like to learn more about MD Logic, obviously you can go to my website, but if they want to learn more?
Kara Lazauskas: For myself, you could find me on Instagram. Do not make fun of the Instagram handle. It is K-I-L-E-R-K-0. That’s @kilerk0 just always kept the name. Once I did the Titan Game show, I had to keep that, on my website is also on my social media channel, but just karakilian.com you can also email me from there, sign up for the newsletter and we can stay connected.
Scott Emmens: For me, my Instagram handle is @longevityprotocol and you can also reach me via email. If you go to the MD Logic site and you want to work with us in some way or work with me, feel free to go to the MD Logic site and just send something to customer service with what you’d like to talk about and they’ll get you in touch with me.
Cynthia Thurlow: Awesome. Thank you so much for your time today.
Kara Lazauskas: Thank you.
Scott Emmens: Thank you so much.
Cynthia Thurlow: If you love this podcast episode, please leave a rating and review, subscribe and tell a friend.