I have the honor of reconnecting with Scott Emmens today! Scott is the COO of MD Logic and a fellow health entrepreneur.
Scott and I dive into Myo-inositol, one of my latest and favorite supplements! We explain what it is, its mechanism of action, and how it impacts the blood-brain barrier. We discuss its clinical considerations, relevant research regarding metabolic health, sleep, sleep architecture, and how we supplement ourselves. We also get into how we create Myo-inositol in our bodies, factors that could deplete endogenous Myo-inositol, and why supplementation can be beneficial.
“If you don’t get sufficient sleep, you are going to have metabolic insufficiency.”
– Scott Emmens
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN
- What Myo-inositol is and what it does.
- Why I decided to make Myo-inositol my next supplement.
- How does a supplement containing sugar alcohol support metabolic health?
- How Myo-inositol benefits metabolic health.
- Will it break your fast if you use Myo-inositol in a fasted state?
- What is the mechanism of action of Myo-inositol in the cells?
- How Myo-inositol impacts the blood-brain barrier and neurotransmitter pathways.
- How Myo-inositol may reduce inflammation and impact thought-processing.
- Why is it critically important to maintain metabolic health throughout our lifetime?
- Some natural sources of Myo-inositol.
- How our modern lifestyles can impact our ability to create endogenous Myo-inositol and make it harder to keep the levels optimized in the body.
- How Myo-inositol improves the entire sleep structure.
- What distinguishes MD Logic from other similar companies?
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 and utilizes ice baths “cold immersion” photobiomodulation 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. 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.
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Check out Cynthia’s website
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Go to www.cynthiathurlow.com/inositol to get 25% off Myo-inositol between the 11th and the 19th of March and 15% off between the 20th and the 31st of March.
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, is 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, I had the honor of reconnecting with Scott Emmens. Scott is the COO of MD Logic and a fellow health entrepreneur. Today, we spoke at great length about one of my favorite supplements, Myo-inositol. We spoke extensively about what it is, its mechanism of action, especially in the brain and with neurotransmitters, the net impact on the blood-brain barrier, as well as clinical considerations and relevant research with regard to metabolic health, sleep and sleep architecture and how we go about supplementing, what things can actually deplete our ability to create myo-inositol in our bodies and why supplementation can be hugely impactful. I hope you will enjoy this conversation as much as I did recording it.
Well, I’m delighted and excited to have Scott Emmens back. He’s the COO of MD Logic. Scott, I’m really excited to have this conversation today about Inositol.
Scott Emmens: I am too, Cynthia. I have to say, this molecule, although I’ve known about it for quite some time, as I did the research for this, really opened my eyes up to it. So, I’m thrilled to have it. My first question for you is, when you decided to make your next supplement Inositol, what was it that made you choose Inositol? For the audience, what is Inositol?
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, it’s a great question. I think it’s important to be fully transparent and share with everyone that sleep over the last 8 to 10 years has been elusive in many instances. I’m always looking for ways to improve my quality of sleep to ensure that I am getting restful sleep. I mean, now I track my metrics on my Oura Ring, but about a year and a half ago, I was already aware of myo-inositol, which is a specific type of an inositol, which we’ll talk about in a second. And I decided to just guinea pig. I was like, “Okay, I’m going to take this before bed. I’m going to see what net impact it has on my sleep.” This is the experimentation of the N of 1, the power of how important that is. What I found is when I woke up in the morning, I didn’t just feel more rested, my sleep metrics absolutely recorded deeper and longer deep sleep.
For anyone that is familiarized with deep and REM sleep, they both have different purposes. One is really focused on brain health, the other one is really focused on bodily health. But as we are getting older, it sometimes can be more challenging to get high quality deep and REM sleep. And so, over the course of about six months, I was able to adjust dosages, timing. I started including it in a lot of my treatment protocols with my own patients and clients. Happily, the N of 1 became N of 20 or 30 and from there I started talking more about it. But if we’re talking specifically about this particular form of inositol, myo-inositol is a type of sugar alcohol. And it’s actually the most abundant inositol in the body, making up 95% of free inositol. It’s found within cell membranes. It’s sometimes referred to as a vitamin, although that’s really a misnomer, vitamin B8.
It’s not a true vitamin because our bodies can actually make myo-inositol and we can sometimes get it from foods in our diets, whether it’s fruits and nuts and grains and beans. We’ll discuss later why some people may not be able to extract a lot of inositol from their foods. We know that it acts as a signaling agent. It’s not just about brain health. We know it can actually help with blood sugar, which for most of our listeners, talking about metabolic health is obviously a huge focus of my work. And then, interestingly enough, it’s also a nootropic agent. It helps the brain with cell signaling.
And to me, the more I learned about it, it was not just a supplement for women with PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, although the research is really solid in that area. But it’s a supplement that I’ve seen really compelling clinical results from patients, not just with improvement in blood sugar, but also improvement in cognition and sleep quality. And so, that’s really the basis of the supplements that we’re working on together, is to make sure that they are focused in these areas, which are the areas I think most of our listeners are concerned about as well.
Scott Emmens: That alone is quite a list of things that [Cynthia laughs] this particular supplement can address. But there are more which is interesting. To take a step back, you mentioned that it’s a sugar alcohol. So, for our keto friends and people that are wondering, well, how does something that has a sugar alcohol in it, how does that support metabolic health? Articulate or walk the audience through how that works.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. So, it’s not the sugar alcohol that we’re thinking of that’s contrived in a lab per se, that we’re trying to increase the sweetness of a product and make it keto friendly. This is really speaking to the ability to move glucose into the cells intracellularly and the stimulation of specific mechanisms in the cell. There’s this GLUT4 translocation, which is a fancy way of saying “It’s going to make it much more readily accepted into the cell.” We know if only 7% of the population right now is metabolically flexible, this is something that most if not all of us want to be concerned about.
The other thing that’s interesting is it can actually play a role in regulating the release of free fatty acids from adipose tissue. This can be impactful if we are fasting and in a fasted state, we are trying to utilize either stored sugar or stored free fatty acids as a fuel source, it’s going to help facilitate that by keeping our insulin levels a bit lower. Then, interestingly enough, it can actually promote the conversion from glucose to glycogen. Glycogen is stored sugar and so we store glycogen in our skeletal muscle and our livers, hopefully not too much of it, so that we end up developing something called NAFLD or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. But there’re several different mechanisms that can help with insulin sensitivity that are of particular interest to me. For those of us that are out there that are metabolically flexible, it can be very effective to help with maintaining insulin sensitivity. For those that are actively working on improving their metabolic health can be useful as well.
Scott Emmens: A couple of things there that I just wanted to circle back on. First is when we talk about sugar and the fasting, we’re going to get questions on, does this break my fast? So, I guess that’s question one. Would inositol technically break your fast given that it is actually working to pull in the sugar? What are your thoughts there?
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it’s interesting. I think it’s always in the context of what is the greatest value. From my perspective, if we are going from maybe let’s say our blood sugar is within a healthy range and we take Inositol in a fasted state, I’m more concerned about making sure that you are maintaining this insulin sensitivity than I am about– the concerns and I know it gets very granular, very nuanced. I know that I would say 50% of the questions that my team and I field on social media on a given day is related to does X break my fast? Typically, I take inositol in the evening, usually at the tail end of my feeding window. That’s when I will take it. But I have plenty of patients as an example that have PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome and if you look at the clinical research the recommendation is usually 2 grams twice a day. So, very likely they are taking their inositol in a fasted state and in a fed state. I think it really comes down to what are your goals.
From my perspective, this is one of those gray areas. I’m completely comfortable with my patients taking this in a fasted state and not worrying about whether or not this is breaking a clean fast. This is very different than someone taking, let’s just say, one of the keto sweeteners in something in a fasted state and wondering what’s going on. This is actually helping to improve that insulin sensitivity. So, for me, I’m less concerned about it.
Scott Emmens: Yeah, I completely agree. I think that’s the perfect response for folks to make it clear that this is an individual need. What are you taking it for specifically? What’s the core reason you’re taking it? And then you can determine when you’re taking it. But I think the benefit of when you take it in a fasted state, given, let’s use the PCOS example, might be a fasted state is a perfectly valid and more important reason to take it than worry about whether it’s going to have a minor impact on your fast or not. I think it really does come down to individual choices, individual specific goals.
Cynthia Thurlow: I think for a lot of people when they’re getting nuanced about does X item beverage supplement break my fast? The bigger question is, are you insulin sensitive? Are you metabolically healthy? If you are, I’m less concerned about what you are. These tiny little choices that you’re making as opposed to someone who may be new to intermittent fasting, maybe new to these kinds of products, maybe has been quite sedentary, has 25, 50 pounds to lose, then we have to get much more deliberate. These are individuals that likely would benefit from a bit more than opposed to a little bit less. But with that being said, it’s always in the context of what are your goals, what are your metabolic health threshold at this point in time and you can make adjustments.
Scott Emmens: I think the key there is if metabolic health is what you’re seeking, then that is the key. If you are metabolically flexible and healthy, breaking the fast with minor things here and there are not going to make much of a difference. But what will make it much more, in my opinion you could disagree, is that your metabolic health and overall flexibility is going to be a much more important factor long term than whether you’re stuck to your fast precisely or not.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and I think this is a good time to just interject that sometimes we get caught up in the little details when in essence we should be flying at 30,000 feet or we’re kind of looking down on collectively, what are all the choices we’re making throughout the day, throughout the week and what net impact? How is your sleep? How are you managing your stress? Are you lifting weights? Are you eating a nutrient-dense, whole-food diet, which could look a little different for everyone? Are you eating enough protein? Are you satiated? Those things to me as a rule are, they take precedence over one supplement? It’s not to ignore the questions that I know will be forthcoming with regard to this. But just keeping your eye on the big picture as opposed to worrying about little bits of minutiae. Sometimes we’ll get questions on social media about a particular type of tea or a particular type of coffee, and we’ll say, let’s look at the ingredient list, let’s educate ourselves, what could be contributing to what your concern is about? but I think sometimes people get fixated on one thing and they’re not looking at the big picture.
Scott Emmens: Agreed. And sleep is a great example. If you don’t get sufficient sleep, you are going to have metabolic insufficiencies or perhaps your blood sugar will spike. And you’ll crave sweet food and that’s been proven time and time again. If you’re sleep deprived, especially over a long period of time, even one day, frankly, but you go less than 6 hours of sleep, you’re going to have impacts on your blood sugar that are not going to be positive. So, everything matters. All of those things combined to your point, I think, is really where the rubber meets the road in terms of your metabolic flexibility and health.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I think it goes without saying that when we’re talking about sleep, I always like to mention sleep is foundational to our health. If you’re not getting a quality sleep, everything else is secondary to that. Don’t overfast or don’t fast at all if you can’t figure out why you’re not sleeping well. There’re so many women, in particular, I don’t want to pick on women, but I know for myself, the first couple of years I was in perimenopause, my sleep, it was like an art form. I had to figure out the right things I needed to do to get myself to sleep through the night. But to your point, we know even one night of sleep can be detrimental to our metabolic health, can contribute to insulin resistance, will raise cortisol, will cause us to want to eat junk and not broccoli and chicken. Just understanding that if you’re not sleeping well, that’s the first thing to work on before you even worry about anything else get your sleep dialed in, figure out why you’re not sleeping, and then fit all the other pieces into the puzzle.
Scott Emmens: One of the things I like about inositol is not only that it helps with your deep sleep, but it helps with your entire sleep structure, meaning each phase, you’d mentioned the various phases and it helps with structuring that sleep so that you get a perfect balance. I shouldn’t say perfect, but a better balance, an improved balance that was really interesting to me. I guess we could move on into mechanisms of action into the cell.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, absolutely. When we’re talking about how Myo-inositol and I know that’s a bit of a mouthful, so maybe for listeners I’m going to just say inositol. But the product that we are talking about is Myo-inositol.
Scott Emmens: In the supplement world, if you see inositol, that is Myo-inositol.
Cynthia Thurlow: Generally, yes.
Scott Emmens: 99% of the time if it says just inositol, that’s going to be Myo-inositol. The other most common is D-chiro-inositol, and there’re reasons that you don’t necessarily want to use it, and if you do it has to be in a very precise amount and it’s probably best off to start with Myo-inositol, just by itself for a lot of clinical reasons, but inositol pretty much means Myo-inositol unless it says D-chiro and that’s a totally different ball of wax which you got to be very careful with.
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely, so, such a good point. When we’re talking about our cells, we know that it plays a role in DNA repair. As we’re getting older, we are more likely to be having issues with our mitochondria which are effectively the powerhouses of our cells. DNA repair, it’s absolutely essential for that. It helps regulate cell metabolism. Again, these are kind of nerdy little caveats but really important to understand that this supplement in particular is working at the cellular level and not just kind of these extraneous topics. We know it’s very important for the component of the cell membrane. Our cell membranes are important for communication between cells and so understanding that as we are getting older, as things are maybe not working as efficiently. This is why I really like the idea of using inositol in conjunction with fasting whether you’re taking this at the tail end of your feeding window or incorporating it throughout your day, understanding that at a very basic level, this can help your cells become more efficient, have more energy, be able to improve communication between cells, which, the older I get, the more I think about things on a bit more detailed level because I realize how humbling is to understand how our bodies work effectively.
Scott Emmens: Truly. I mean our bodies are a miracle if you think about it. How many different things have to go right for your body to work? It’s amazing we can get up in the morning sometimes.
Cynthia Thurlow: True, very true. [laughs]
Scott Emmens: Component of the cell membrane and the cell membrane is typically like the fatty layer around that and mitochondria have their own cell membrane as well, correct?
Cynthia Thurlow: They do, they do. There’s phospholipid bi-layering and this is why things that we’re exposed to our environment, our personal care products, our food, can all impact this in positive or negative ways. Understanding that we are contributing to components that are going to make this protective layer more effective and allow it to be optimized is certainly very exciting.
Scott Emmens: Absolutely. We know that mitochondrial health leads to so many other things too including brain health, so, excellent. Now, the number of things that Inositol, Myo-inositol we’re speaking about in particular, and we’ll just say Inositol to keep it easy [Cynthia laughs] but it’s all when we say Inositol, we’re saying Myo-inositol. The amount of things that this product has been clinically studied for in the brain and then the amount of new and upcoming research really blew me away.
I had known about Inositol for many years. I’ve known many people that have taken it, but when I started to get into the research, as you and I were preparing the product and preparing this podcast, I just was really blown away by the amount of influence this could have on your mood, on your cognition, on the speed of your brain, on your sleep architecture. Let’s talk about the things in the brain and why do you think it works there and why that’s so important, and what are the core key things that are provable that we can stand behind the clinical data on?
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, we know inositol is very effective with brain signaling. Again, as we’ve already talked about, it’s a component of our cellular membranes. Starting with protection of the blood-brain barrier being a previous ER nurse, there are specific substances that can cross the blood-brain barrier and others that cannot. Now that we understand a whole lot more about the gut microbiome and the interrelationship between leaky gut, leaky brain, understanding that Inositol can beneficial in helping to strengthen that blood-brain barrier.
The blood-brain barrier is designed to protect us, but in many instances, due to lifestyle, personal care choices, etc., can weaken this and can allow us to absorb substances into the brain that do not belong. I also think about neuroplasticity, which is this concept where it allows us to create new neural pathways. It’s also particularly beneficial with commonly recognized neurotransmitters like dopamine, acetylcholine, GABA, and serotonin, understanding that it can strengthen and improve these specific neurotransmitter pathways as well as communication between the neurotransmitters.
I think about glutamic acid or glutamate and GABA. GABA is this inhibitory neurotransmitter, and glutamate is this excitatory neurotransmitter and making sure that we’re influencing the right neurotransmitter at the right time. You don’t want to be stimulated when you’re trying to go to bed. You want to have this inhibitory communication with GABA in particular. I also think about assisting and regulating sodium levels. We talk a lot about electrolytes on this podcast and how important they are knowing that inositol is involved in the regulation of sodium. There’s a sodium-potassium pump in the body across these cellular membranes and this in and of itself helps with maintenance of myelin sheaths that protect our neurons. Down to regulating electrolytes, but also protecting the fatty myelin sheath that allows for proper transmission impulses in between different brain cells I found particularly interesting.
Scott Emmens: I would have to agree. I’ll start there but there were a lot of things I want to unpack with that one. So, the myelin sheaths to bring it into layman’s terms are like the rubber around an electric cord and that rubber around electric cords keeps other electric cords from touching each other and shorting out. I think it was ALD, which was a nerve disease. The movie Lorenzo’s Oil, do you remember that movie?
Cynthia Thurlow: I do.
Scott Emmens: And his son had that disease. I might be getting the acronyms wrong or the verbiage wrong, but it was basically a disease of the myelin sheaths not being properly built. So, your myelin sheaths are so important because if they’re not created well in your brain, then your neurons don’t– even if you have the neurons, but the myelin sheaths are brittle or not connected, you can have little shorts, little skips, and your cognition can decline.
That goes for all of your nerves, right? You’ve got to have really good myelin sheaths, which also goes back to the point on that bilipid layer that protects the cell. That’s like a myelin sheath for the cell, different mechanism, but you’ve got to prevent those short circuits. That’s really important for brain health and overall function cognition. So, I found that fascinating. The other thing, just to tap into it, as you had mentioned how it works with choline, etc. There was a study I read that choline in combination with Myo-inositol, is also beneficial.
Now, choline in itself is really good for your brain if you’re not getting enough in your diet, so that’s something we can talk about down the road. I do take choline every day with Myo-inositol, with my black coffee. By the way, it does sweeten my coffee just the smidge. it’s not like sugar, but just a tiny little sweet taste. It’s really made my black coffee more pleasurable.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it’s funny, after I was hospitalized four years ago, I remember I got out of the hospital and I craved red meat and I craved eggs. Eggs are rich in choline and I have eggs every single day, sometimes four or five at a time. I love that you’re seeing this improvement in taking choline on a daily basis. The interrelationship with Inositol makes a great deal of sense. I also think about how Inositol can reduce inflammation by actually reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines. These inflammatory substances that we find in the body, some of which are inflammatory in terms of cytokines, others are not. And then also impacts thought processing. This was something that I tried to get really detailed about because I found this particularly interesting as we are getting older, especially women in particular, as we’re losing estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone signaling in the brain that can impact how– do we have brain fog, are we struggling with trying to find the words, understanding that thought processing as we’re getting older can sometimes be mitigated by hormonal fluctuations? But understanding that there are things that we can include into our diet or supplement regimen that can help improve this.
It’s interesting that this one research article that I looked at, it was talking about how when serotonin and dopamine levels are not optimized, so these are two neurotransmitters. As these are not optimized, it can actually make anxiety and depression worse. This alone can impact cognition, memory and can contribute to some of the age-related decline that we see, but how the introduction of some of these lifestyle measures can make a huge net impact. Now I know for myself personally, I always say that I can accept a lot of things that are changing in my body as I’m getting older, but the brain piece I’m not willing to accept. So, I’m always trying to optimize and make sure I stay sharp. I have teenagers I have to stay on top of and running a business and just being a good human. And I’m curious for you, when you were doing your own research, what did you see that was specific to the neurotransmitter processing in the brain? Anything that you could add to that particular research that I had mentioned?
Scott Emmens: What I saw was similar to what you saw that it does enhance the brain’s ability to maintain both the amount of dopamine and serotonin. But also, this part that you had mentioned, the neural pathways helping to support the growth of neural pathways. Well, if you can grow neural pathways faster when you’re learning something new, to me that is a massive advantage because as we age, growing new neural pathways becomes pretty challenging. If you can do anything to help support that and I think that’s why I like to take the choline with it along with other things that I think support that ability to grow neural pathways. I take a lot of things that have BDNF in them such as Lion’s Mane, ginkgo biloba. They don’t have BDNF in them. They help the body support its own BDNF.
Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise helps with BDNF, which is brain-derived neurotropic factor. Basically, that’s your fertilizer for your brain to grow new neurons. That to me was a big one. But also, the speed with which and the balance which with the dopamine, serotonin and I think might have mentioned GABA in there as well. That sort of perfect balance, again, I use the word perfect. That improved balance to me was really the way that I was like, this is something I really feel like is going to be important for my long-term brain health. Because just like you, I can take– I’m 52, my body’s not going to bench press 300 pounds anymore. I’m okay with that. But I don’t want my brain to decline to the point where I’m just two steps behind or feeling like I’m not 100%. I want my brain to get as healthy as it possibly can be because by the time I’m 80, right, whatever my baseline is now, it’s not going to get better at 80. But If I can maintain it or make it a little better over the next couple of years and then maintain that for a while, I’m going to have a little bit more capacity as I age. To me, I think of all the things I worry about from a longevity health standpoint, it is 100% brain.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, same. It’s interesting how even 10 years ago, I probably wasn’t thinking that way, but the more research that I look at and the more I understand what’s happening in the brain as we’re getting older if we’re not actively working against the status quo. One of the other really important/interesting distinctions about brain health as we are getting older is the potentiality of loss of insulin sensitivity and poor metabolic health. Understanding that at the basis of insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia is an upregulation in inflammation and oxidative stress which we know goes on to actually damage our neurons and our brains. Unfortunately, I think for many people, they don’t understand the interrelationship that our brains in the latter stages of our lives 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond are made in our 40s and 50s. So, understanding how critically important metabolic health is not just to our bodies but also our brains is so, so important.
Understanding that also maintaining insulin sensitivity can help with buffering these hormonal changes that are happening in women’s brains and frankly men’s brains as well. The number one reason why men are dealing with lowered testosterone levels is this loss of insulin sensitivity and also exposure to estrogen-mimicking chemicals as well as women as they’re transitioning from perimenopause into menopause, they’re losing estradiol signaling, progesterone signaling, testosterone signaling in the brain that can actually exacerbate underlying insulin resistance.
Scott Emmens: That’s a serious problem. I have heard the type 3 diabetes analogy fairly often, actually came out of the diabetes world and at that point they were starting to use things like metformin and TZDs, which are insulin sensitizers for clinical trials and Alzheimer’s. Now, I don’t think those drugs were the right kind of drugs because they don’t cross the blood-brain barrier. So, that’s probably something to think about. But speaking of crossing the blood-brain barrier and these issues with keeping the cell structure intact, chemicals in our diet can actually make your blood-brain barrier more permeable and not in a good way. You want to make sure that you’ve got this, your blood-brain barrier, you’re doing everything you can do to protect it because if it breaks down and negative chemicals get into the brain, you’re going to have more death of neurons and keep your body in this constant state of inflammation that you just spoke about. That’s another thing that in our diets there’re a lot of different chemicals and additives and food additives that you don’t even necessarily know are letting things penetrate your blood-brain barrier whether you’re aware of that or not.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, just even thinking, I did a great podcast with Jeffrey Smith, who’s this incredible advocate that’s doing amazing work educating people about the dangers of certain types of pesticides and herbicides like glyphosate. And understanding that glyphosate creates small intestine hyperpermeability aka leaky gut. Guess what? When you get a leaky gut, you got a leaky brain. Understanding that these things aren’t entirely benign and just being conscientious, not feeling like you have to be fearful about your environment but just being informed, and understanding that things like grains, where you can get some exogenous sources of inositol can also be challenging for the body to break down. I’m sure we’ll probably talk about this, the role of phytic acid and exposure to these pesticides and herbicides that are designed to make, “Healthier crops,” can actually lead to mineral issues, not being able to absorb as much minerals from the foods that we think we are, but also deal with some of the health implications of exposure to said herbicides and pesticides.
Scott Emmens: Yeah, we definitely have to talk about the phytic acid and natural exogenous sources of inositol. Now, again, we had mentioned that the kidney and the liver make about 2 grams in the kidney and about a gram in liver. One of the studies I read, despite where it’s made, the most concentration of inositol is in your brain. Obviously, there’s something that your brain needs with this natural body-producing compound that’s critically important. Maybe it is time to get into the natural sources and why there are some issues there or did we skip something along the way?
Cynthia Thurlow: It’s interesting, we touched on the fact that you can get some exogenous, which means outside the body sources from nuts and grains and beans and fruit. What’s interesting, though, is that in particular to grains, phytic acid is a component of a cell wall of plant-based food that can actually impair mineral absorption in the body. You may ingest said food, but your body may not be able to fully optimize. The statistic I read last night was that the average diet allows for 720 milligrams a day found in grains and seeds, but can be as low as 250 milligrams or as high as 1600 milligrams depending on the foods consumed.
It’s interesting because as I was looking at different philosophies of research, organ meats can be a great source. I know that organ meats for many people are either things they don’t like the taste of, the flavor profile, the texture, trying to get these into the diet. But I thought it would be interesting to kind of identify some of the things that can reduce our ability to be able to extract inositol from food. Number one was insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia. That was number one and again only 7% of the population actually is metabolically flexible, so that’s important.
Low-salt intake, we unfortunately have conditioned an entire generation of clinicians and humans that you want to have a low-sodium diet. It’s really that you want a less processed diet. Most of the salt that people are consuming is iodized salt, which is a low-quality type of salt. It’s not per se that we shouldn’t have salts in our diet because I’ll be the first person to say we need high-quality salt, but it’s the quality of salt that we’re consuming. Antibiotic use, I mean, how many people listening have been on multiple rounds of antibiotics? I certainly have had the benefits of needing to take antibiotics, but then understanding that that’s largely impacted my entire body diffusely. Then, interestingly enough, caffeine intake, so especially coffee, can reduce your endogenous stores of Myo-inositol which I thought was really interesting.
Scott Emmens: You’re bumming me out.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, exactly and low magnesium. I’m always talking about magnesium anyway, but magnesium is critically important for the biosynthesis of Myo-inositol. Just get another reason why we need more magnesium replacement in our lives. You just can’t get enough from eating organic foods or using a whiff of magnesium every day. I could go off on a whole magnesium tangent and my listeners know this, but those are just some of the ways that our modern-day lifestyles can impact our ability to create endogenous Myo-inositol and actually make it harder for us to keep our levels optimized in the body.
Scott Emmens: Absolutely. I read the same thing and it was kind of shocking to me because, again, I’ve done a lot of research on magnesium. Magnesium is essential to us, and I was like, “What is magnesium not essential to?” It seems to be essential to just about everything in the body. To your point, magnesium is drawn out of you for so many different reasons. Sodium, same thing. If you’re a completely sedentary person or you don’t– hot sports or saunas are not your thing, or you’re not a big sweater. maybe you only need 2000 milligrams a day. If you’re an athlete especially a competitive athlete, you’re going to need probably a lot more than 2000 milligrams of, to your point, quality sodium not processed sodium that’s put into your processed pizza or from the old-fashioned little blue bottle there. It’s iodized salt. You want a good quality, high mineral, high-quality mixture salt. And there’re lots available. Yes, those are two critically important things.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and it’s interesting, there’re over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body that utilize magnesium. This is just one of many examples of why low magnesium is going to impact all of these other processes. I’m the first person to say that when I was working in clinical cardiology, we would recommend transdermal. So, skin-absorbed magnesium and oral magnesium to be able to optimize levels. Just understanding that most magnesiums are not going to get you to where you need to be. More often than not, most people need two different ways of getting the magnesium in through the skin and then also orally.
Scott Emmens: I’m pretty tolerant of magnesium. I take a number of different kinds of magnesiums, different forms. One form I’m actually looking into a little bit more is magnesium chloride because it’s already converted into an electrolyte. Whereas the other magnesium your body has to take it and convert it into magnesium chloride essentially to make it an “Electrolyte.” I’m really looking at that as maybe the next thing I add to my diet. But magnesium in general, I take a lot of in a lot of different forms. I’ll mix them up, but I want to get one foundational magnesium, which I take on a regular basis. I usually add a threonate or a gluconate or bisglycinate and I’m looking into actually two new kinds to potentially launch in the next few months.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, absolutely. It’s interesting because listeners will ask. My favorite products are Ancient Minerals. They have a spray that you can use, a spray oil, and also a lotion very efficacious. That’s what we used in electrophysiology, which is a subsect of cardiology. Typically, you spray into two cupped hands, you rub on your trunk and your arms and legs, leave on for 20 minutes and shower off, very cost effective. You can get it on the Ancient Minerals website or even probably Amazon.
The other magnesium that I think is most efficacious for me personally is magnesium L-threonate. I take that in powdered formulation usually before bed. That is one of the very few formulations that will cross the blood-brain barrier. For me, it’s all about relaxation, sleep support and those are probably the two I use the most of. I would say if anyone listening has magnesium oxide in their medicine cabinet, in their supplement drawer, you only absorb about 11%, it is worth throwing in the garbage. It is so poorly absorbed by the body. That was what we used to use in the hospital a lot until I knew better. I always like to share that as a pearl. If you have it, toss it, you don’t get much out of it, and you’re essentially creating expensive urine.
Inevitably, there’ll be lots of questions about why this supplement at this time. I think I’ve been very transparent that my focus for our collaborative work together is metabolic health, brain health, and certainly sleep support because that’s such a pain point for so many. I thought we could talk about a little bit of the indications for why this is the supplement that we chose to do now and then talk about dosing, and then talk about why MD Logic’s standards are so high and how that has impacted the decision to kind of collaborate together. Just from a high-level perspective, 40% to 60% of perimenopausal and menopausal women have differing issues surrounding insomnia. Those are not my statistics, that’s just statistics that I read. Overall, 10% to 30% of the overall population, both men and women, some as high as 50% to 60% by the second study I looked at. We know it’s more commonly seen in women and I think a large amount of that is the fluctuations in progesterone, which oftentimes helps us fall asleep, and changes in estradiol, predominant form of estrogen as we’re transitioning out of our cycling years into perimenopause helps us stay asleep.
There was an article, meta-analysis in Frontiers in Psychiatry that talked about in observational studies, there’s a higher prevalence in women than men. I don’t think we needed a study to confirm that just from talking to patients over the years. Certainly, a greater issue for women than men. And then understanding that Inositol helps us fall asleep and then if we wake up in the middle of the night, will allow us to fall asleep more easily. Even Huberman Lab talks about how Myo-inositol is part of his sleep stack. He uses it several times a week, just makes it part of his sleep stack. I love my own sleep stack, but this is an absolutely integral part of it. We know that Myo-inositol impacts serotonin levels which induces a sense of peace and calm, certainly the way that you want to be thinking as you’re kind of heading off to bed, and then it also has direct communication with GABA. GABA is this inhibitory neurotransmitter that we find in the brain and can help support healthy function of the receptors there. Again, inhibitory neurotransmitter that we are positively impacting by the utilization and supplementation of Myo-inositol.
Scott Emmens: Yeah, the number of things that it does for sleep is really remarkable as we’ve talked about the faster onset of sleep, the higher quality of sleep, the sleep architecture, the ability to fall asleep if you wake up. And that’s my problem. I can fall asleep, but I will inevitably wake up at 1 in the morning, thoughts racing, and 2 hours later I’m still looking at a podcast or something and I can’t fall asleep. Now, I try not to take my phone to bed, but when I wake up at 1 in the morning, I’m like I need something to kind of soothe my brain back to sleep, so that’s great. I have a sleep stack too, which now includes Myo-inositol and I also do my melatonin with that as well as I’m just recently experimenting with L-theanine, which I’m really liking. I haven’t quite dialed in the right dosage yet or like timing, but I really like L-theanine both during the day as a cognitive enhancer with my coffee. It keeps me from getting jittery and kind of balance that caffeine out. I take one of our products along with it, which is a choline, Alpha GPC, acetyl-L-carnitine, and phosphatidylserine blend. I take that along with L-theanine in the morning and then I take the L-theanine, the Inositol, and the melatonin at night. With that combo, I’ve been sleeping really well.
Cynthia Thurlow: That’s great. It’s interesting because I have found that if I take the Inositol every night it works better than just using it as needed. I do think there’s some degree of cumulative effect. The therapeutic dose that I have found is 1 gram in the evening is very effective. If you look at research on polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS, you can definitely see therapeutic benefit from 2 grams twice a day. But obviously, if you’re working with someone on your PCOS, an endocrinologist, a GYN, an integrative trained healthcare practitioner, they may have you on other items as well. So, definitely worth discussing with them. It’s interesting, there was one research article that talked about dosing in menopause is 3 grams a night. I haven’t experimented with that. But having said that, I think the nice thing is you can adjust. If I’m having a particularly stressful day, I may take 2 grams at night as opposed to 1 gram. I think a nice starting point is 1 gram. I do find that most of my patients do really well at that dose.
Scott Emmens: I’ve been doing about 3 grams and that’s been the perfect amount.
Cynthia Thurlow: Sweet spot.
Scott Emmens: I take 1 gram in the day, 2 grams before bed. That seems to be my sweet spot, 4 grams seems a bit much, so I’ve kind of been balancing around 2 to 3 grams. One of the other things I wonder if it helps with sleep is and maybe this is because of the GABA, but it has been shown to reduce cravings for binge eating disorder. It’s been shown to help in panic disorders. It’s been shown to help with certain anxieties and OCDs. I just wonder if all of these also are contributing to the overall ability to sleep. If you have less anxiety, you’re going to sleep better, or is that you’re getting sleep, thus your anxiety is lower. Chicken and egg sort of thing. It just seems to be working across the spectrum of things that disrupt sleep.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I think it’s important just to understand that, as you mentioned the chicken or the egg, looking at it as what is contributing to the changes in sleep, for a lot of people, they’re anxious by nature. It’s hard to shut their brain off. Things like L-theanine as you mentioned and alluded to is a really nice amino acid. It’s interesting we have components of L-theanine in green tea. We’d have to drink quite a bit to get enough L-theanine on board. That calming effect that you get from L-theanine that can be a nice adjunct to other types of sleep support. It would be remiss if we didn’t at least touch quickly on metabolic health, I know we’ve talked a bit about it. We know only 7% of adults in the United States are metabolically healthy and fewer than one in 15 have optimal metabolic health. That means that you’re not being treated for high blood pressure or elevated triglycerides. You don’t have a waist circumference greater than 45 inches if you’re a male, greater than 35 inches if you’re a female. Means your fasting blood sugar is optimized, I like to say between 75 and 90, and you have appropriate levels of HDL. For women greater than 55, men greater than 45 and technically, the metabolic syndrome diagnosis is made when you have 3/5 of those.
We know that Myo-inositol can be helpful for insulin sensitizing. Then there’s solid randomized controlled trials on this. We’re not just sharing cherry-picking research. We’re really looking at the research. It can effectively help to promote weight loss in conjunction with that. What I liked was there was one study that was talking about it can be used in conjunction with other medications like Glucophage, magnesium, progesterone in particular. You can utilize these concurrently. Again, if you’re on any of these medications, talk to your prescribing provider. We’re not providing medical advice. We’re just providing guidance in terms of what the research is showing and it was interesting there was one article that talked about how utilizing Inositol with whey protein will help for better absorption. If you’re not dairy intolerant like I am for a lot of other people, you could probably throw it in with a shake or make a protein pudding and know that you’ll get better absorption from the whey utilization.
Scott Emmens: I did not read about that. But it’s Interesting but now that I know coffee decreases Myo-inositol, I’m going to put 2 grams in my coffee in the morning.
Scott Emmens: Excellent, okay.
Cynthia Thurlow: I think something that I think would be super helpful is to explain to listeners. We have this partnership together that we are co-collaborating on supplements. What is it about MD Logic that distinguishes your company from other companies on the market?
Scott Emmens: There’re a couple of things. The first is what we’ve tried to do is partner with people like yourself that have extremely high standards of what they are looking for. We don’t do white label, which is private labeling, a product that you already make and then just putting someone else’s name on it. That’s not what we’re about. We’re about clinicians or people that are in the know that understand what they want in their supplement, what their customers want. That’s the place we first start is who are the people we want to work with because we want to make sure that they are as committed to the quality as we are, that they’re trying to do the best possible thing for their clients and patients because otherwise it would reflect negatively on us. So, that’s where we start. It starts with the quality of who the client is that wants to create a supplement with us and then it goes through what we consider the gold standard of GMP.
Now, GMP has its baseline standards and many companies are GMP certified, but that doesn’t mean they are GMP compliant. Meaning you can have a GMP facility that’s had multiple violations over three to five years. I’m not suggesting that every company has to have a zero, never has had a GMP violation because they’ll give you a violation for small things, potentially. When I say they that’s the FDA. So, what we do is we start the process by looking at the ingredient itself, making sure that the ingredient itself, before it even comes onto the factory floor. Now, this is not necessarily what most companies do because you only legally have to test it at the end of the process. But we don’t even want to bring the product into the door, into the quarantine facility where we make the products because if it’s infected with mold or toxins, it could spill over to other things, so every product is tested for toxins, mold, heavy metals, purity, strength, and identity before it even gets into the facility.
Then what we do is we take that product and we create it in the perfect GMP process, which is, you have to make sure that the product is stored at a certain temperature. You have to make sure that you use certain specification sheets so even the documentation to make the product is important. We make sure that if we make what’s called a variation from time to time or standard operating procedure that every one of those is filled out, that each process is followed, that the person in charge of the facility is following that SOP to the letter of the law, meaning if they say it has to be 6 inches above the ground, the product has to be stored 6 inches above the ground. All of our products are then stored and climate controlled. Then we send them out for testing. Some products we send out for third-party testing, but we do two in-house tests, which is, again we do all of those same things again at the end of the product. So, let’s say we’re making a combination product and we use seven ingredients. Well, after it goes through the whole process, you want to make sure of a couple of things. One, is it still as pure and clean as the day it arrived? And all of the strengths, purity and potency, and identity of those products what we said is in there.
So, if we said there’s 100 milligrams of vitamin C, there’s 100 milligrams of vitamin C. If we said there’s 200 milligrams of astragalus, there’s 200 milligrams of astragalus, and then is it pure? Does it still have the same levels of heavy metal as when it came into the factory? Or did it get exposed to something? So, it gets tested before it comes in. We follow all of those other regulations because if you leave something on the floor, it could get wet and it gets moldy. So, what came in as clean is now on your floor. It gets moist because it’s on the concrete slab, and then it might create mold. We do the testing at the very beginning, all four of the GMP plus heavy metals.
For certain products, we’ll send out for additional testing, such as enzyme products. We’ll test out to make sure that the SPUs of an enzyme are active that there’s what we say, how many– 125,000 for our serrapeptase for example. We send that out for third-party testing to make sure that’s how many active enzymes are in each of those capsules. It’s not just an internal test, it’s also external. Now, some folks say, “Oh, we third party test, but that also means that they third party, they’re paying another client and another entity that they don’t know this facility and they don’t know if they’re doing their job correctly. It sounds great to do third-party testing, but unless you know that third party really well and you know they’re following all GMP, you really want to have your own ownership and oversight to make sure that the lab assistants are doing that job properly.
So, we do both an internal and if we need to, we’ll send things out for third party, on occasion we’ll send things out if we’re like questioning the potential toxins of something. We’ll send it out for additional screening for pesticides, for example. We go through a very rigorous process. At then at the end, we also test it for shelf stability. Every single step along the way before it gets into the consumer’s hand, it’s been a chain of custody tested across the board for strength, compliance, identity, toxins, heavy mold, etc. At the beginning, at the end, and its climate stored from that process from the beginning to the end.
The only part of that process we can’t control is if it’s in a UPS truck in California. There might be a couple of hours, but we test things to make sure that they can withstand that kind of temperature for a couple of hours. Whereas when you go to a mega warehouse, let’s just say box stores and shipping stores, for example, you have no idea how long it’s been sitting there. You have no idea if GMP has been filed through that process. We feel really good about the products we send out because the ingredients are what we say, the purity is what we say, the heavy metals are what we say. We pass all of those tests on the front and the backend. That’s what we feel really good about.
And then we work really hard to make sure that the product we’re delivering has the least amount of toxic things in it and is the best for the environment it can possibly be, and we’re working more and more towards that with each new product. Now, we’re a young company, so we inherited some of the products we have, but each time we [unintelligible [00:48:16] a product, we’re taking out the stearates and the palmitates, making it in a glass bottle to reduce phthalates in the world and plastics in general. You and I could talk about plastics forever. We’re really taking extraordinary efforts to make sure that the product that shows up at your door is the best possible quality you can get.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, and I’m so grateful for that. I talk all the time about how most pharmaceutical grade companies don’t third-party source to Amazon. I think a lot of individuals are surprised to know that buying pharmaceutical grade supplements is really the way to go if you’re going to choose to take a supplement, making sure that you’re purchasing from a company that has such a rigorous set of standards for evaluation, transportation, and preservation of their products.
Now, for listeners that are still listening and tuning in, want to be fully transparent and share that the presale for Myo-inositol or Inositol starts on March 11th through the 19th. You can get 25% off and you can go to www.cynthiathurlow.com/inositol. That’s I-N-O-S-I-T-O-L, little bit of a mouthful. From March 20th to the 31st, you can get 15% off. So, obviously, you want to jump on board when it goes on sale and then understanding that you don’t need a code for the presale that will get you directly to the discounted price. Again. www.cynthiathurlow.com/inositol I-N-O-S-I-T-O-L, little bit of a mouthful but it’s fully worth it. Scott, always a pleasure to connect with you. Let my listeners know how to connect with you outside of the podcast, how to reach you on social media or through your website.
Scott Emmens: The best place to reach me is @longevityprotocol on Instagram or #collagenguru on TikTok if that’s your thing. But primarily I don’t do Facebook, so you won’t find me there. If you would like to get a hold of me directly to talk to me specifically about anything, you can reach out to the mdlogichealth.com is our website. Reach out to us there, just say, “Hey, I’d like to speak to Scott Emmens” and our assistant will get you in touch with me.
Cynthia Thurlow: Great. Thanks so much again, Scott. It’s always a pleasure connecting with you.
Scott Emmens: Cynthia, pleasure as always. Thank you so much.
Cynthia Thurlow: If you love this podcast episode, please leave a rating and review, subscribe and tell a friend!