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‚ÄčThe Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #22 - ‚ÄčSiim Land


Siim Land is an author, speaker, high performance coach and biohacker. He creates content about human optimization, nutrition, longevity, and all things biohacking.
LEARN MORE AT‚Äč:

https://www.siimland.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAohrrjG-3gEp5QF1WlM9_w
https://www.instagram.com/siimland/

https://www.siimland.co/autophagy-cheat-sheet

SHOWNOTES

01:45 - LISTEN ON HIMALAYA!: Download The Free Himalaya App (Www.himalaya.fm) To FINALLY Keep All Your Podcasts In One Place, Follow Your Favorites, Make Playlists, Leave Comments, And More! Follow The Melanie Avalon Podcast In Himalaya For Early Access 24 Hours In Advance! You Can Also Join Melanie's Exclusive Community For Exclusive Monthly Content, Episode Discussion, And Guest Requests! Use The Code MELANIE To Get Your First Month Free!

01:55 - Paleo OMAD Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life: Join Melanie's Facebook Group To Discuss And Learn About All Things Biohacking! All Conversations Welcome!

03:00 - BEAUTY COUNTER: Non-Toxic Beauty Products Tested For Heavy Metals, Which Support Skin Health And Look Amazing!  Shop At Beautycounter.com/MelanieAvalon For Something Magical! For Exclusive Offers And Discounts, And More On The Science Of Skincare, Get On Melanie's Private Beauty Counter Email List At MelanieAvalon.com/BeautyCounter!

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6:15 - Siim's Personal Health History And Path To Autophagy  

8:45 - The Misconceptions Of Autophagy

10:00 - What Is The Metabolism: Anabolism And Catabolism 

12:00 - What Is Autophagy?

13:30 - The Many Types Of Autophagy

15:00 - Turning On And Off Autophagy 

18:45 - Exercise Intensity And Fuel Substrates

20:30 - When Does The Fast Start?

22:20 - Fuel Substrates In The Liver 

23:30  - The Ketogenic, Insulin Resistance, And Glucose

27:20 - Gluconeogensis And "Unnatural" Energy Production Methods 

29:15 - Fuel Substrates For The Brain 

31:15 - Excess Energy Generation And Inflammation

32:30 - Protein Assimilation, MTOR, And Eating Throughout The Day

34:50: FEALS: Feals makes CBD oil which satisfies ALL of my stringent criteria: it's premium, full spectrum, organic, tested, pure CBD in MCT oil! It's delivered directly to your doorstep. CBD supports the body's natural cannabinoid system, and can address an array of issues, from sleep to stress to chronic pain, and more! Go To https://feals.com/melanieavalon To Become A Member And Get 50% Off Your First Order, With Free Shipping

37:20 - FOOD SENSE GUIDEGet Melanie's App To Tackle Your Food Sensitivities! Food Sense Includes A Searchable Catalogue Of 300+ Foods, Revealing Their Gluten, Lectin, FODMAP, Amine, Histamine, Glutamate, Oxalate, Salicylate, Sulfite, And Thiol Status. Food Sense Also Includes Compound Overviews, Reactions To Look For, Lists Of Foods High And Low In Them, The Ability To Create Your Own Personal Lists, And More!

40:25 - Can Excess Protein Or MCTs Be Stored As Fat?

43:30 - Metabolism, Thyroid, Calorie Restriction And Longevity

47:10 - Are The Benefits Of Fasting Just Due To CR?

50:45 - The Role Of Antioxidants 

57:00 - NMN

58:00 - How Do Different Types of Protein Affect Autophagy?

NAD+ Gold By Quicksilver Scientific (Formulated With TMG, 10% Off!)

1:01:40 - What Breaks A Fast?

Keto Before 6 (10% Off!) 

1:03:30 - Amino Acids Last In The Bloodstream

Chris Masterjohn And Paul Saladino: The Carnivore Debate: Part 2

1:05:20 - Food Macros And Autophagy

1:10:40 - How To Get Off The Hedonic Treadmill?

Time-restricted eating can overcome the bad effects of faulty genes and unhealthy diet 

‚ÄčTRANSCRIPT

‚Äč‚Äč‚ÄčMelanie Avalon:
Hi, friends. Welcome back to the show. I am so, so excited to be here today with somebody that I feel very familiar with, and I feel like we've been here before. That is Siim Land. For listeners, we actually recorded this episode like a month ago, and we lost the file. So, here we are again. But it's all good, because I'm actually pretty much obsessed with all of Siim's work, love talking to him. Listeners are probably very familiar with his work.

Melanie Avalon:
He is the host of the Body Mind Empowerment Podcast, which, as listeners know, I listen to a lot of podcasts, but that is one of my all-time favorites. It's amazing. I cannot recommend enough that listeners check it out. He's also the author of a fantastic book that I have been talking about Siim on my other podcast, The Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I pretty much refer listeners now to that book every episode. It is called Metabolic Autophagy: Practice Intermittent Fasting and Resistance Training to Build Muscle and Promote Longevity. It is a wonder. It is the deepest of deep dive into autophagy. It answers so many questions I had had for so long about so many things. So, super excited to get into some of that today. Siim, thank you so much for being here.

Siim Land:
Yeah. Glad to talk with you again. Also, I'm super excited to talk about autophagy.

Melanie Avalon:
I know. It's amazing. To start things off, would you like to tell listeners a little bit about your personal health history and what made you so interested in autophagy and everything that you talk about in the bio-hacking world?

Siim Land:
Yeah, yeah. Well, usually when people get into bio-hacking, they come from this history of some disease or some other condition, but that's not the case for me. I've been pretty healthy all my life. I've never had any weight issues, or I've never had some health conditions either, but I've always just been somewhat average and mediocre in terms of the genetics and those sort of things. But since my high school years, I got into weightlifting and doing some form of just building muscle and improving my body composition. Since that time, I've been very interested in nutrition, the metabolism, and how do you achieve a specific result in terms of your body.

Siim Land:
With that, I stumbled upon intermittent fasting in my high school, and that was kind of my first introduction to optimizing your nutrition and meal timing and then those sort of things. But I practiced it for a few years before I actually started creating content about it. In my college, I started my blog where I did different experiments and just generally practiced writing and those things, and fasting was a reemerging topic that I covered. Since that time, I've just gradually gotten more into the science of it as well as more of the physiology.

Siim Land:
Eventually I just decided to write the book about autophagy specifically, but at that time the trend of autophagy has been growing for quite a few years, but there's still a lot of misconceptions about it, and people don't know exactly how it works. They also think that it's only the best thing ever and that there are no side effects, whereas if you actually look into the research, then there are a few side effects. It's definitely not this black and white solution to everything. So, yeah, that's why I wrote the book, because the goal of the book Metabolic Autophagy is to kind of bridge this gap between achieving let's say optimal muscle development and longevity with the help of intermittent fasting, so how will you get the benefits of autophagy but at the same time still being able to train and improve your body composition and maintain leanness, so to say.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. You really hit the nail when you talked about all the misconceptions surrounding autophagy, because I know on The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, we get very basic questions about autophagy, but a lot of them are very much the same. It's like, when does autophagy start? People think that it's either on or off. People want to know sort of a similar thing, like what breaks a fast. I think it's definitely kind of like people think fasting is ... I don't know. It's very similar to something like fasting that I think is even more complicated than most people realize.

Melanie Avalon:
I'm trying to remember. You said you were originally going to call the book something else. What was it?

Siim Land:
Originally, it was going to be Anabolic Autophagy, which refers to the aspect of anabolism and growing muscle tissue. Anabolism is the growth of new cells and new tissue. When you are building muscle, then you're being anabolic. If you say autophagy itself, it's the opposite of anabolism. Autophagy's catabolism and breakdown. So, you can't really build muscle with autophagy, but if you combine the title with anabolic autophagy, then you could, if you practice a good resistance training routine and you also have your nutrition optimized. So, it is still possible to build muscle with intermittent fasting. You just have to know how to do it and what kind of foods to eat.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. I remember you saying that, and I remember thinking the beautiful irony of that title and how it would probably go over a lot of people's heads. Well, I think Metabolic Autophagy is great. Speaking of, there's two big concepts in that title: the metabolism and autophagy. I guess, can we start with a basic overview of metabolism, since it does all relate to how our cells are producing, generating, using energy?

Siim Land:
Yeah. Your metabolism kind of describes everything that is related to just energy production. Living, being alive requires metabolic processes, and you need to generate energy in order to survive. The metabolism is divided into two soft categories. One of them is anabolism, which is the growth of new cells, and the other is catabolism, which is the breakdown of new cells or old cells and existing cells. During the day, you're constantly cycling in between those two states, because the body can't be in both states at the same time, because in nature, if you were to be constantly growing, then you're kind of putting yourself in danger of dying and running out of resources, because in nature there aren't an abundance of endless amount of resources. In nature, you're going to always have to be very rational and be very cautious with how much energy are you using and where are you directing it.

Siim Land:
So, whenever your body is growing and it's in an anabolic state, it's not going to be catabolic where it's breaking down, and vice versa. If it's catabolic, then it can't grow, because it's in this conservation mode, so to say, that it's trying to promote its survival for longer. During the day, yeah, you are cycling in between those two states. For example, if you are fasting, then you're naturally going to be catabolic. That's where the autophagy process tends to ramp up, and when you eat, you stop autophagy and shift into the anabolic state which is going to repair tissues and potentially build new tissue as well, depending on the situation. When you're eating, you go into anabolism, and when you fast you're in catabolism.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay. So, I do have a question about that. Perhaps it'll make more sense when we dive deeper into autophagy itself. Maybe we should define autophagy first before I start asking the questions. Okay. The concept of autophagy, could you provide a basic overview of that as how it relates to the metabolism? Then I'll bring in my question.

Siim Land:
Yeah. Autophagy translates into self-eating. As the name says, it's a catabolic process during which your body's recycling cell components that are worn out and are causing damage, and are causing inflammation. So, it's almost like a cleanup crew where your body's just like, "Okay, we need to tighten it up a little bit and eliminate the junk that we don't need."

Siim Land:
In terms of the metabolism, then autophagy's more than just this on and off switch. It's more of a very intricate part of healthy cellular functioning. So there is always some form of autophagy happening, but the degree depends a lot on your energy status and energy balance so to say. That's why while you're fasting your autophagy tends to ramp up, because you're under higher energy stress and the body just tries to rationalize itself, or become more rational and become more conservative if that makes sense and vice versa, if you're eating then there's still autophagies involved with more processes other than cell break down, it's also involved in the process of fat oxidation as well as just eliminating pathogens and bacteria and in the microbiome as well. So it's a very intricate part of healthy cellular metabolism.

Melanie Avalon:
That was something I learned, was it xenophagy? Was that the one that related to the bacteria and viruses?

Siim Land:
Yeah, I think there are over a dozen different types of autophagy, like xenophagy is the autophagy of bacteria, and for example mitophagy is the autophagy of mitochondria. And lipophagy is the autophagy of lipids, and fat essentially.

Melanie Avalon:
That's crazy. So xeno ... How do you say it?

Siim Land:
Xenophagy.

Melanie Avalon:
Xenophagy, so that's the bacteria themselves doing the autophagy process, or the body getting rid of the bacteria?

Siim Land:
Yeah, the body's getting rid of the autophagy. The process of autophagy is mediated through the formation of autophagosomes, which are like lysosomal structures that essentially engulf the particle or the bacteria or the mitochondria that is about to be eaten, and the engulf it and the lysosomes are essentially like garbage bins or they contain different enzymes that break down those ingredients, and autophagosomes are essentially just these formations that break down those nutrients or these ingredients, and then release them as energy and particles.

Melanie Avalon:
Gotcha. I love it, love the idea of cleaning out some of that stuff out of your body. So that brings me back to my question. I don't know if I can express this correctly, but you were talking about anabolism and catabolism and how it's one or the other, so they're not existing at the same time. When you're in the catabolic state though, if you're breaking down protein and say autophagy is happening, isn't there some sort of building happening at that same time? Is autophagy-

Siim Land:
Can it make you anabolic.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, yeah, I've been thinking about this. I'm confused about ... Because we say it's not on or off, so is it on or off?

Siim Land:
That's exactly like when you are going through autophagy then that is going to release some nutrients as well as amino acids. So you're not really completely deprived from the energy when you have autophagectuated, and that's why it goes back to the idea that it's not like an on and off switch, because if autophagy would be like a complete on on and off switch then it would me that whenever you're fasting, then you're kicking yourself all the time out of a fasting state, by creating the energy with autophagy, which is not actually what's happening. When you are breaking down, let's say these mitochondria and these different proteins, then those nutrients get released, but they also get used up by the body, and the amount of that energy is just so insignificant and so small that it's not going to completely switch you over into a fully fed state. There's probably going to be a certain threshold that you can get away with, but I think where that threshold is, is very hard to kind of pinpoint, and identify and it's also going to very greatly between the individual and the particular energy status in the particular moment.

Siim Land:
For example, if you're sitting in your house, your energy burden is quite small, you're not really burning that much energy whereas if you were to do a sprint or do some jumping jacks, then your energy deprivation would also increase, the energy stress, and therefore you would also experience high rates of autophagy because of that. So exactly 16 hours or exactly 24 hours until I reach autophagy is very much depending on the particular situation and the particular energy status in that moment.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, so I think that's a big paradigm shift for a lot of listeners just as far as autophagy happening at some sort of baseline all the time. We know that fasting supports autophagy, is fasting the quickest way into the most intense form of autophagy or are there other pathways that would actually lead to more autophagy? Exercise, compounds?

Siim Land:
Usually people associate autophagy with fasting, and it is true that the longer you fast, the more autophagy you're going to experience gradually. After a certain point. If you want to really, in this particular moment stimulate some autophagy then you can do some really high intensity exercise, because that's also stimulates the same pathways as those fasting, and arguably it can also be faster, because for example the stress from hill sprints or burpees or kettle bell swings is actually much higher than the stress you get from fasting. There are some studies showing for example even just 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise also initiates the formation of these autophagosomes which would indicate that the autophagy is beginning to happen. Just any kind of exercise itself will also promote it, and chances are that the fasting exercise would lead to more autophagy than failed exercise, because you're stacking the stressors onto yourself with fasting as well as exercise. But yeah, exercise is one, fasting is one, generally eating less calories also kind of increases the base of autophagy and certain compounds like coffee, teas and even apple cider vinegar and these polyphenols they're also shown to induce autophagy.

Melanie Avalon:
So with the exercise instigating autophagy does a certain amount of intensity more likely make a person burn a specific fuel substrate and would that affect autophagy? More likely be burning fat versus glucose, glycogen?

Siim Land:
Yeah, all of this balance between the anabolism and catabolism is determined by your liver glycogen and the liver is like this sort of signaling ground that is constantly monitoring the energy status of your body, so it's a very vital organ that is kind of central to your metabolic status, and liver glycogen itself can be depleted with fasting, because the role of liver glycogen is to balance your blood sugar and maintain that energy balance, and if you're fasting your liver glycogen will gradually decrease and usually it's about 20 to 24 hours to fully deplete your liver glycogen and once liver glycogen is depleted, then you start to up regulate ketosis, and that's also probably when autophagy is going to gradually start to increase. That's why exercise will lead to a faster autophagy, because you're depleting the liver glycogen faster, so any form of exercise uses glycogen to a certain extent, but especially high intensity exercise will use more of the glycogen. Anything like lifting weights, hit cardio it's going to burn more liver glycogen, and it can probably lead to faster autophagy, but you can still achieve the same results with just walking or low-intensity cardio it's just going to take a longer period of time.

Melanie Avalon:
That relates to a question we get all the time on the Intermittent Fasting podcast, which is a similar question to when this autophagy start, people will ask when does the fasting state start. Is the fasted state an on off thing? Is it determined completely by liver glycogen storage or are there ways around that? Are there other factors?

Siim Land:
Yeah, well in truth it is true that you're not going to start fasting immediately after you finish your last meal like your body still take some time to digest the food, and it's also depending on what kind of food, have you eaten. So for example, if you eat something that has fiber or something that has protein and fats, then it's inevitably going to take a longer time to digest and your body is going to stay in this fast state several hours after having eaten. I think it may just become going too much into the details and kind of starting to micromanage these things that don't really matter in the end of the day.

Siim Land:
I would still categorize my starting point of my fast would still be the ending point of my last meal, maybe add an additional hour after that, but generally once you stop eating, you can start counting your fast so to say, but yeah in terms of the autophagy process, then you can still experience more autophagy by being mindful of what kind of foods are you eating, or you can experience the benefits faster so to say, so if you're not overeating calories, you're not gaining weight, then you're still going to get into autophagy faster, because you're not hording calories, you're not gaining excess energy, and also maintaining some form of carbohydrate restriction would also help you to experience the benefits faster, because like we said liver glycogen determines autophagy to a certain extent and if you're eating a high carb diet, then it's naturally going to take you a longer time to get into ketosis, as well as to get into autophagy, than if you would on a low carb or ketogenic diet.

Melanie Avalon:
Do you know when it comes to liver glycogen when somebody follows a lower carb diet for an extended period of time, particularly I guess a ketogenic diet, because the liver itself cannot fuel on ketones. So do you know if pathways in the liver change as far as how it processes glycogen or glucose? I just know for me, I used to be able it seemed to eat a much higher carb intake specifically fruit. We talked about this last time. But since going low carb recently for quite a while to address some gut issues, now whenever I try to bring back fruit or anything it's a massive fail every single time, my sugar cravings are through the roof whereas before I was completely fine. I do intermittent fasting every single day. This is all in my eating window.

Melanie Avalon:
So do you know if within the liver if there is a change in how efficient it is at using glucose? Kind of similar to the concept of insulin resistance on a ketogenic diet, and what are your thoughts on that? People will say that on a ketogenic diet that it does create a sort of insulin resistance, do you think that's healthy? What are your thoughts on both of those, the liver and just in general?

Siim Land:
I do think that it probably changes some aspects of how your body uses fuel, especially the glycogenic glucose. So generally, your glucose demands would it drop if you're going on a keto diet, and you're decreasing your carbohydrate intake. And that's especially seen in the brain as well, so after you keto up you can cover nearly 75% of your brain's energy demands with ketones, and that doesn't specifically apply to the liver, your liver still uses liver glycogen as its fuel, but liver glycogen can be created from a lot of different substrates besides glucose or fructose. You can create glycogen even while fasting. For example, you're converting fatty acids or triglycerides into glucose through the process of gluconeogenesis as well as amino acids and lactate even can be converted into glycogen, so you don't even have to eat anything to refill your muscle glycogen or liver glycogen for that matter, you can just burn your own body fat, and as you become more keto adapted, or as you go into deeper ketosis, that process essentially becomes more efficient.

Siim Land:
Even though let's say you may not be eating a lot of carbs, your liver glycogen tends to be still somewhat self regulating and it's maintaining this sort of, I'm not sure to what extent can you fill it, maybe you probably won't be filling to 100%, but you can still deliver what probably maintain a certain amount of liver glycogen through the help of converting body fat into liver glycogen through gluconeogenesis. But I'm not exactly sure what's the amount or what's the threshold specifically.

Siim Land:
But yeah, it is true, you can just convert your other fuel substrate into glycogen, so the body's very efficient with that. In terms of the insulin resistance, if you stay in ketosis for a longer period of time, then you change these metabolic processes that prefer more ketones and fatty acids for fuel and you kind of start to use your ability to metabolize glucose, by becoming slightly insulin resistant. And generally it's like survival response for that sort of glucose duration. Your body just starts to prioritize the glucose for the brain, so it's kind of waiting that okay, we haven't had glucose in a long while, so whenever we do get it, the next chance we have, we're going to allow the brain to get the first dose of glucose, so to say that we wouldn't have the muscles and the liver sucking up the glucose and kind of stealing it away from the brain.

Siim Land:
It's a physiological adaptation to glucose duration that essentially helps the glucose to be transported into the brain instead of the muscles, so the muscles themselves just become insulin resistant in that particular moment when you do introduce the glucose, but it's not like pathological insulin resistance that is going to lead to disease or something. In the end, maybe not a good idea to start eating a bunch of carbs if you've been keto for several months and weeks, you may want to gradually reintroduce them to break that insulin resistance and allow the muscles to become sensitive to glucose again, but it's more of a thing that the body just has to change its metabolic processes, and insulin resistance itself isn't a massively bad thing in that context. Being more insulin sensitive would also mean that your body is just very efficiently able to store that food as body fat as well, or store it. So insulin resistance can actually mean that you're wasting away some of the glucose in that particular moment. So it's a very context dependent situation.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, I definitely can see that, that it is very context driven like you said. Do you think there is, because people often say especially with gluconeogenesis even though it gets the job done pretty well, creating the glucose and glycogen that's needed, some people say that's a stressful situation for the body, does the body even quote think about things that way? Is it a stressful process or does it even matter? Or do we just see it as stressful because it's not the norm?

Siim Land:
Right, well I don't think of it like a really big stressor, so it does make sense that if your body has to go through an extra step in order to create glucose, compared to just getting it from food directly, then it's still not a huge issue in terms of your general health. The burden of gluconeogenesis isn't really there. It's just the only kind of downside for that would be that you're wasting more energy, you're burning more calories for the gluconeogenesis process to take place, but it's not going to have a negative health outcome, and the amount of ATP generated from glucose is still small, then the amount of ATP generated from fat or ketones. So you can also argue that just eating glucose itself can be like a quote unquote stressor, because you're getting less energy from it, compared to something like fat or ketones. Another example as well in the context of gluconeogenesis, like when you're exercising you're lifting weights, your body also goes through gluconeogenesis by converting lactate into glucose. High level athletes who are carb athletes, carb adapted, they're also experiencing massive amounts of gluconeogenesis especially during exercise. 

Siim Land:
You can choose, okay are you going to get your glucose from eating, or are you going to get your glucose from exercise, and arguably the exercise proportion is generally healthier and it's kind of more efficient in that manner.

Melanie Avalon:
That's true. I remember reading that in the book and I was like, "That is fascinating." I've been familiar a little bit about the role of lactate, and how I think the brain likes lactate as a field source.

Siim Land:
Yeah, the brain has actually shown that in the presence of fuel alternatives, the glucose in the brain actually prefers those alternatives whether that be lactate or ketones. Although the primary or default fuel source is glucose for the brain, it can actually sill prefer to use different types of fuel substrates if they're available. The glucose is just a very good survival fuel. So it's very easily neutralized and fast absorbed as well, compared to other ones. It's just a way of the body going into we don't know when our last meal is going to come from, or next meal is going to come from, so therefore we're going to just burn that glucose or try to absorb it as much as possible.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay, so here's a super random hypothetical question that would never really even exist, but as a thought experiment, say you had one person fueling on glucose primarily for their glucose, but in a let's say calorie restricted state, compared to a person creating glucose be it gluconeogenesis on a low carb diet, from those substrates a higher calorie diet than the other one, but because of the extra step and the inefficiency, perhaps it pans out to the same amount of energy provided to the body at the end of the day, does that make sense? Both of them are providing the same amount of actual energy. 

Siim Land:
Well, yeah, it depends a lot on the macronutrients of the food that they're eating. If you're eating a higher protein intake, then it's already going to waste more energy for metabolizing that protein, because protein has the highest thermic effect of food compared to carbohydrates, so carbohydrates are the second best highest thermic effect of food, and fat has the least. So if you're eating somewhat of a higher protein diet, then you're naturally going to burn more calories for digesting it as well.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, and where I'm going with that, you actually touched on it, is between those two situations, is one of them actually more inflammatory? Is it an inflammatory state to be generating excess energy that's wasted? I've been wondering that for so long.

Siim Land:
Maybe, maybe a little bit, especially it depends on the particular food as well. Too much protein is definitely going to be inflammatory because it operates certain pathways such as mTOR and IGF-1, which are these anabolic switches that promote cell growth and proliferation. So if you're constantly in an overabundance of energy and you're growing too much, then the body kind of tries to mitigate that by triggering inflammation and trying to deal with it. Too much growth is not good, because it can promote inflammation, but it can also lead to the proliferation of malignancies and cancerous cells as well. So just because of that, you don't really want to overdo the anabolism as well and too much protein is a stimulating factor for anabolism.

Melanie Avalon:
Do you know if it caps out the amount of protein creating the amount of anabolism. What I mean by that is say you're doing intermittent fasting and you eat one person eats 100 grams ... Well, we'll say the same person to make it a better control. A person eats 100 grams of protein in one meal, will that make mTOR simulated for a certain amount of time, compared to if they ate 500 grams of protein, or is it not really about that? Like if it's in an intermittent fasting pattern I'm just wondering if you can eat so much protein in your one meal a day that could you be anabolic the entirety of the next day?

Siim Land:
Well, first of all, I want to go back to the idea that mTOR it has a point of diminishing returns, so it's not the linear progression that the more protein you eat, the mTOR you're going to stimulate. Because the body can only handle certain amounts of muscle protein synthesis at a time, and usually it's said it kind of maxes out around 30 to 40 grams of protein per meal for the muscle protein synthesis. That's why with fasting you can't really overstimulate mTOR because you're eating at a smaller frequency, so if you are eating only two times or once a day, then the amount of mTOR stimulation is still you do it two times, and maybe if you eat a larger amount of protein for example like 100 to 200 grams, then yeah the protein is going to stay ... you're going to digest that protein over a slower period of time, for like several hours afterwards, and that is going to gradually keep you in this semi anabolic state.

Siim Land:
But if you were to compare that to eating maybe three to four times a day, then the amount of mTOR stimulation would be higher, because you're eating more frequently, so mTOR is primarily determined by the eating frequency as well, so you can't overstimulate mTOR in one particular situation, because the body puts a limiting factor on itself, so you're not going to grow the more protein that you eat.

Siim Land:
The way you overcome this limit is by having more frequent meals, that's why body builders and fitness competitors, they eat very frequently. They want to keep themselves in this anabolic state of growth for longer and more frequently. Compared to fasting, the amount of mTOR stimulation would be smaller, because you're doing it less frequently.

Melanie Avalon:
That touches on one of the big questions/potential myths that is out there that we get all the time is because the body can seemingly only "process" a certain amount of protein at one time, I'll let you talk to whether or not that is a myth. Do you need to be taking in protein all throughout the day or can you have all of your protein in one meal?

Siim Land:
It depends on the goals. If you want to really maximize muscle growth, then yeah it's probably a smarter idea, or it's just more effective and faster to eat more frequently, but it doesn't mean that you can't absorb more protein in one sitting or in fewer meals. So the myth that you need to eat six meals a day comes from the idea that in order to stimulate muscle growth and synthesis, which is the process of building muscle tissue, then you need to eat at least 20 to 30 grams of protein and maximally 40 grams of protein. 

Siim Land:
You're not going to see a higher synthesis of muscle protein if you eat more than that, the way you overcome this limit is by having more frequent meals, and you can still absorb more protein in one sitting, it's just that the effect on muscle protein synthesis isn't going to be larger. You're not going to achieve the same amount of muscle growth by eating only once a day compared to eating six times a day if the protein is equal because the frequency on the six meal a day is higher, and you're able to stimulate muscle protein synthesis more frequently, whereas with one meal a day or two meals a day, then you can eat the same amount of protein, but you won't be able to build more muscle because you're reaching this threshold after which your body isn't going to build more tissue.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay, so the goal seems to be the key factor there, gotcha.

Siim Land:
Right, yeah, it's for the person. For example, let's say recreational if there's those people who don't have specifically professional goals, then for them a few studies have show that for example women specifically eating their entire days of protein within four hours, then they don't see decrease in lean body mass, so they're not losing muscle. So that's at least yeah, you're not going to be losing muscle, even if you eat your entire days of protein in a shorter window, but it's still possible to build muscle with it as well, it's just going to be much more slower and it's definitely not as fast as you would be eating several times a day.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay. Sort of similar to that, it seems like adding in extra protein to ones diet, especially if their goal is weight loss specifically that that often has a beneficial effect due to new increase satiety, also the less likelihood of it being stored as fat, the excess protein, thermo genic effect, what are your thoughts on excess protein and the potential for fat storage, and also excess MCTs? Is there even a pathway for fat storage for MCTs? Like C-8 oil, like pure C-8 oil.

Siim Land:
Well, I think that you probably won't be able to eat unlimited amounts of MCTs and get away with it. So I think maybe if you consume too much MCTs, then you're probably going to get some diarrhea or some other digestive problems, which essentially eliminates that MCT, so you're not really digesting it fully. If your body would still consume MCTs in excess, then it probably would be converted to body fat eventually. It's just that the MCTs may raise your metabolism a little bit but it's not unlimited amounts so to say. The same applies to protein. Protein does raise your metabolism, but it does so by the thermic effect of food, so you're just wasting more energy on the digestion of protein, but you can't really still eat unlimited amounts of protein if you crush your calorie threshold, it's harder to convert it into fat, but it's still possible eventually.

Melanie Avalon:
So the metabolic boost that you get from protein versus MCT, I'm not trying to go on a really crazy tangent rabbit hole, but these are the things I think about. You mentioned the thermic effect of food would be the case for protein, for MCTs is it not a thermic effect? Is it more how it literally boosts the metabolic rate? Is it different?

Siim Land:
Yeah, I think it's slightly different. MCTs kind of bypass certain stages of energy production as well that in the mitochondria compared to regular fats that have to go through more steps. I'm not sure exactly the fat itself has a much lower thermic effect than protein or carbohydrates, but MCTs they raise your metabolism through a different mechanism.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay. The reason I'm asking, I've been experimenting with very high doses of MCTs, and it's very fascinating the exuberant amount of calories I've been taking in through them, and actually lose weight. I'm like this is insane.

Siim Land:
Well, you know you can also be affecting your spontaneous movement. You just get more energy, and therefore you're burning more calories as well by just moving around more, and you're giving your body this additional source of calories you can use, which essentially helps you to burn more calories as well, during the day time.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, I think that's often a common factor, but weirdly enough with me, that's not the case, because I've been doing it in a low carb context, and I've actually been feeling less neat, non exercise activity thermogenesis compared to my carb days. It's weird, the body is so interesting. That's all I know.

Siim Land:
For sure.

Melanie Avalon:
One thing I have experienced though, especially on the high MCT meals is I get extremely hot, which is pretty much when I'm contemplating my question earlier, where I'm like is this excess energy production aging my body? What are your thoughts on the metabolism and longevity, because I know we see in a lot of studies that longevity seems to correlate with lower thyroid levels for example, and even calorie restriction seems to correlate to longevity, which would insinuate a lower metabolic rate, what are your thoughts on the metabolism as far as how it relates to longevity.

Siim Land:
Calorie restriction is one of the surest ways of extending life span in almost all species, the problem is that it's not necessarily caused by the calorie restriction itself. It's more often caused by the pathways that calorie restriction stimulates, so you can achieve similar effects without calorie restriction by doing intermittent fasting and exercising and those sort of things, because if you were to try to identify why does calorie restriction work, then science has found that certain pathways such as autophagy is one of them, but there's also like sirtuins and AMPK, specifically those are the pathways that make calorie restriction work, and they essentially trigger DNA repair as well as release of stem cells and removal of junk material and reduction in oxidative stress, so the body is just repairing itself, and calorie restriction is a stressor that stimulates these pathways, but fasting has actually been shown to mimic calorie restriction without the reduction of calories.

Siim Land:
For example, in mice, they feed different groups of mice, the same amount of food, but they do it in different time windows. So one group eats throughout the entire day, and add lopedium with no time restriction, the second group eats over the course of 13 hours, which is basically a standard feeding window, and the last group eats only once a day within three hours, and the group that lives the longest is the one who eats once a day despite eating the same amount of calories. Kind of goes to show that the goal isn't necessarily going to be calorie restriction or starvation, the goal is to find why does calorie restriction work, and are there better ways of achieving that, because calorie restriction can also have quite a few negative side effects, like you're going to lose your muscle mass, you're going to feel cold and feel tired, you have low thyroid and all these negative side effects of chronic energy restriction. 

Siim Land:
You don't necessarily have to, the main point is that with fasting, and time eating, you're going to essentially gain the benefits of calorie restriction without having to reduce the calories that much or it would be still good idea to not overeat calories, but you don't probably have to go into this severe malnourished state to reap those benefits as long as you confine the eating window, because when you're fasting, you're experiencing higher rates of autophagy and higher rates of sirtuin-activation anyway than if you were to be eating, because even if it's calorie restricted, because the fasting is a more potent stimulus, it's a higher energy stressor, even exercise as well. If you combine some form of time eating with exercise, then you probably don't have to restrict your calories that much.

Melanie Avalon:
I think that's a huge paradigm shift, especially in the intermittent fasting world. And there's been this ongoing debate for so long about whether or not the benefits of fasting are purely due to calorie restriction, I feel like every other study is asking that.

Siim Land:
Yeah, well calorie restriction is a part of it, if you were to be overeating with fasting, then you're probably not going to see those effects. So you probably have to stay around somewhere your maintenance or something like that to see a positive effect.

Melanie Avalon:
You think so? You think even with-

Siim Land:
The fasting could mitigate some of the negative effects of overeating, like if you overeat within time eating, or intermittent fasting, then the metabolic side effects would be smaller than if you were to do it over the course of the entire day, because you're mitigating the damage with extended periods of fasting. If you eat one meal a day with McDonald's, then it's probably less harmful than if you were to be eating McDonald's three times a day, even if the calories are the same, because you're kind of suppressing the inflammation with the fasting period, whereas if you're eating three times a day with McDonald's you're keeping your inflammation high chronically and kind of all the time.

Melanie Avalon:
Oh my goodness, three times a day with McDonald's. Not the best situation.

Siim Land:
That's all most people eat.

Melanie Avalon:
I know, I'm not judging, I'm just saying it like I just know how it makes me feel personally and it's really nice to be freed from that, especially with intermittent fasting. There was one study, and I'm going to have to track it down, and I don't remember, I think it was in a book that referenced it, so it's probably going to take me a while to find it, but it was talking about comparing I don't know if it was rodents or people. It was probably people, because it was comparing quote healthy foods eaten throughout the day compared to unquote unhealthy foods eaten in a intermittent fasting or a time restricted eating pattern.

Siim Land:
Right, yeah, I think it's one of the mice studies that have been done with time-restricted eating, like a lot of these quote unquote high fat diets in research are just processed food diets with high amounts of carbs, with fat. So it's basically a McDonald's diet for mice, and they see that the mice who eat over the course of eight hours, the same junk food diet, then they're still healthier, and they have less body fat, than the mice who eat the same diet, the same McDonald's diet over the course of 12 hours or the entire day, so the confinement of the eating window shows that the mice are still healthier despite eating a bad diet.

Melanie Avalon:
Well, there was one study that was slightly different because it compared the unhealthy diet in a fasted pattern to a quote healthy diet in a non fasted pattern and it actually saw benefits with the fasting, which was shocking. I'm going to have to track that one down.

Siim Land:
That makes sense, because any kind of eating triggers some inflammation because you're having to metabolism itself always creates byproducts of inflammatory cytokines and oxygenated stress, so if you eat a lot that goes back to the idea of, does having a higher metabolism or a lower metabolism determine your lifespan, so if your metabolism is super fast you're burning a bunch of calories, then you are inevitably going to create slightly more oxygenated stress because of metabolism being revved up more frequently, whereas if you were to be confining the window, then it would be a slightly smaller effect on the oxygenated stress, so you would experience lower inflammation. 

Siim Land:
It's generally eating anything, even if it's healthy food, can become a stressor on the body if you do it too frequently. And it's generally a good idea to give your metabolism and nutrition a longer break every day.

Melanie Avalon:
Speaking of oxidative stress, how do you feel about antioxidants from foods versus our body naturally producing antioxidants endogenously I know this comes up a lot in the carnivore movement, they'll say that their body's creating it's own natural antioxidants, and then another really quick thing related to that. This was one of the things that made me think I really wanted to bring back fruit into my life. I was listening to a Chris Master John podcast, and he was mentioning that something I hadn't heard before, but that in the ketogenic state it was good for basically the whole body, like the brain, the hypothalamus, everything, but it was at the expense of glutathione production in the liver. So basically the liver took a hit, whereas the rest of the body benefited, and I was like, "Oh that's interesting." So yeah, oxidative stress, glutathione, things like that what are your thoughts about that supported via food compared to endogenously?

Siim Land:
Well, yeah, I think that your body does do a really good job producing its own antioxidants and kind of maintaining strength antioxidant defense systems with things like glutathione and NRF-2 and even autophagy can be considered some form of detox or antioxidant. And you definitely don't need a bunch of antioxidants from food or supplements to maintain health.

Siim Land:
Studies show that a lot of the antioxidant supplementation isn't increasing longevity or doesn't really affect health span or anything like that. It doesn't even prevent cancer or cardiovascular disease. Basically they do help to maybe mitigate some oxygenated stress, but you don't want to avoid it completely either, so you would probably want to rely more on your body's own endogenous antioxidant defense systems like glutathione and getting your antioxidant boost from things like exercise and fasting and taking saunas and cold, because those things are much more potent anyway, they're much more potent than any kind of supplement or any kind of antioxidant from food.

Siim Land:
I think that generally, if you live a very low inflammation lifestyle, you're not experiencing any inflammation or any oxygenated stress on a grand scale, then you probably don't need to rely on even the antioxidants from food or vegetables or fruit, but maybe some people if you do I still think it's a good idea to keep some vegetables and fruit in your diet, just because your body would also get some form of the xenohormesis the eating the fiber and eating the polyphenols from the plants, those things are still also going to trigger some of the same processes as you would with fasting like the glutathione and those things. So you're getting some antioxidant boost from the vegetables as well if you eat them, it's just the argument against that is that it's a negative because the plants also come with some collateral damage, or something like that, which I think that most really don't have to worry about. The amount can still make your body more robust in the sense of being able to deal with that, so it's a positive hermetic stressor still.

Melanie Avalon:
I feel like for a lot of people the best of both worlds could be doing intermittent fasting with those plant and those hermetic stressors in the eating window so then it's kind of like best of both worlds.

Siim Land:
It's like for example, the idea that a bunch of antioxidants and vegetables are good. The reason it's been shown to be somewhat beneficial for some cohorts and some studies, is that those people they aren't really healthy people anyway. The average person isn't exercising that regularly. They're not doing fasting, and they're not taking saunas and those things, so their own antioxidant defense systems are already pretty weak, so they're kind of fragile and they're not resilient compared to someone who is already taking care of their health, they're exercising regularly, they're fasting, then for them the effect from antioxidants and vegetables is definitely much smaller that for someone that is eating the McDonald's diet, then of course their health is going to improve and their inflammation is going to lower if they swap out the burger and fries for a salad and some vegetables, so they start to eat better, and they start to eat more healthy, then for them they will experience lower inflammation just because of that, just because of removing the junk food.

Siim Land:
For most people, let's say health conscious people, the effect for them is much smaller, and generally the more potent stimulus is still fasting or exercise.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, the great old health user bias. It's kind of like when they do studies on, we don't have to go into all this, but the role of meat, or red meat and such in people, and I like when they do the studies, I think they did one recently where they compared people who specifically shopped at health food stores, and when you look at those type of people, the meat eaters versus the non meat eaters, there's not a difference in the health outcomes.

Siim Land:
I'm starting to believe that the food itself doesn't have a huge impact on your general health anyway. The bigger impact actually comes from either fasting or exercise, and saunas and those things, the hermetic stress, because the food itself although it's a very important factor, and you can't really let's say out-exercise a bad diet, it's still possible to a certain extent, for example like we talked about earlier that if you're fasting and you're eating a junk food diet, then you can still be healthy, just because the fasting is going to counterbalance the negative effects from the diet. So the diet itself doesn't have to be even the most pristine diet, and it doesn't really have to be that clean, as long as you're counter balancing it with exercise and those things. It's not like even what you eat that matters, it's when you eat it and when you fast.

Melanie Avalon:
Exactly. I think up until recently people have been thinking it's all about the food or the fast, especially with the work of David Sinclair, and I know we both have had him on our podcast recently. It seems to be like you just said, the genetic factors, the genes and everything and the pathways are getting activated from the fasting, which you can also get from all these other practices.

Melanie Avalon:
Speaking of, so random, have you started, because I think last time we talked had you used NMM?

Siim Land:
Yeah, I did. I'm using the quick silver scientific NMM with trimethyl glycine, so yeah, I've been using it. It's been good.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, so two questions about that, because when we talked, I hadn't started taking it yet, because I was interviewing David Sinclair the next week, and I was like I'm going to ask him about it. I have the same version of you. I've been noticing a lot of benefits from that, which for listeners it serves as a precursor to NAD in the body, which I think also has I think a huge effect. With everything we're talking about with them, longevity and genetics and our body dealing with stressors and inflammation and everything. Super random question though, so it gets formulated with TMG, which you mentioned. This is kind of a few different questions here that we can go with. Okay, TMG is it just a form of glycine basically?

Siim Land:
Yeah, basically yeah.

Melanie Avalon:
Basically. Okay, so glycine and lucine, and all the cines, methionine, what are your thoughts on how those different types of protein effect longevity, affect autophagy, and do they all ... I know lucine seems to be the most potent stimulator as far as breaking a fast, but the methionine seems to be really correlated to mTOR what are your thoughts on all the different branches of amino acids?

Siim Land:
The amino acids, there's different types of them and generally the branch gene amino acids are more anabolic so to say, that they're more used for muscle potent synthesis, and you mentioned lucine, and lucine is the key amino acid that dictates muscle protein synthesis and mTOR activation. Generally, foods that have high amounts of lucine are almost all foods that have protein have it, but generally animal protein and eggs and fish and those things have more lucine as well at methionine, so methionine is the most abundant amino acid that you can't really avoid fully, but generally plant foods have less lucine and less methionine, but any kind of protein can let's say affect autophagy, but some proteins and some amino acids affect it less. So glycine is one of those things that has a less effect on autology and mTOR, because it's not like mTOR simulating generally I think I've seen some research showing that it can also stimulate autophagy a little bit, but it's probably again in small amounts, because glycine can help with lowering the balance between methionine and glycine so to say.

Siim Land:
So if your methionine is high, then it's an indication that your mTOR is also going to be somewhat elevated, because methionine is like a growth one of the anabolic amino acids, whereas glycine isn't so much, and with higher amounts of glycine you can essentially counter balance the negative effects of too much methionine, so that's how it kind of effects the energy balance of your body.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay, yeah, it's sort of a selfish question coming from me, because I'll take that in, I can never say it, MNM, I've been taking it during my fast, but I've been wondering because it's formulated with TMG if that was a problem.

Siim Land:
It's not that at that point it's not a big problem, and the reason why it's combined with TMG has to do with methylation actually, so if you are taking NAD precursors, whether that NMM or nicotinamyrobasite, then you're losing some of your methyl donors in the process, because they consume your methyl donors and one of the methyl donors is TMG so you're essentially giving yourself back the methyl donors that you lose by taking the NAD precursors, and you're supplementing them so that you won't run out of the methyl donors themselves. If your methylation start to decrease and suffer, then you're just going to actually feel less energized, you're going to actually feel more of an energy crisis, which is the opposite that you would want to get from taking NAD. So that's why it's combined with TMG so that you avoid the situation where you're losing your methyl donors.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay, gotcha. So I can feel good about that one. And for listeners, I'll put a link to that one that we both take in the show notes and I actually have a discount for listeners if they on any of the Quick Silver products, I think it's a 10% discount, so definitely check out the show notes for that, and which actually have you taken their keto before six supplement?

Siim Land:
Yeah, I have yeah.

Melanie Avalon:
That's another one. I just started taking it recently, and I wanted to ask you about it, because it's so funny. On the Intermittent Fasting podcast every single day we get a question emailed to us, does this break my fast, does this break my fast. We always kind of laugh, but now I feel like I'm asking it of myself. With the keto before six, I'm like does this break my fast. I was looking at all of the ingredients in it, and it's a lot of ingredients that you actually discuss in your book, which seem to actually encourage autophagy, so I am wondering taking things during the fast, I think it has berberine, [aquearsatan 00:54:20], resveratrol, things like that. What are your thoughts on stuff like that taken in the fasted state?

Siim Land:
Yeah, I think that they definitely wouldn't break autophagy and some of the ingredients can actually stimulate it like you mentioned berberine and those, and essentially taking them in a fasted state would in a way speed up the process of going into autophagy and ketosis, so that's the entire idea behind the product is that you're going to take keto before six, during the daytime and you're not eating carbs, and that stimulates AMPK pathway, which in turn is going to speed up the depletion of liver glycogen, and encourage the production of ketones and then in the evening you break this idea you're going to kick yourself out of ketosis by eating carbs, and you're going to be back in ketosis the next day by taking that supplement again, which can definitely work to a certain extent, and it does stimulate the autophagy process as well if you take it.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay, very interesting. And that actually reminded me of something else I meant to ask way earlier, do you know how long, because people often say amino acids from protein they're not stored as energy substrates, do they last in the bloodstream, do they hang out in the bloodstream? How does that work? When you eat meat or something, is it like the protein is either used as fuel and for growth, then does it circle in the bloodstream?

Siim Land:
Yeah, protein can't be stored for a long period of time the same way as you can store body fat, or glycogen. Protein is like a short term energy source or energy substrate that can be used for repair and growth and maintenance, that's why eating excess protein doesn't mean that you're going to store it, and then your body's going to use it for later, but it does stay around in your system for slightly longer than people think that like we said earlier, you're not finishing your digestion after you stop eating, like if food is going to be digested for several hours after you eat, and protein generally is a slower digesting food that's going to take at least a few hours before you actually fully digest it and then there's also some amino acid pools in your body that retain some of the amino acids for a longer period of time, and generally it's probably depending on the type of protein, but usually the amino acid pool can store amino acids for up to 16 hours or something like that, and generally not longer than 24 hours.

Melanie Avalon:
Oh, but it could be up to 24 hours?

Siim Land:
Yeah.

Melanie Avalon:
So if you're doing a one meal a day thing?

Siim Land:
Yeah, you could probably, if you have let's say depends on the type of protein as well. Usually for example, eggs are much more faster absorbing protein and faster digestible protein than from steak or some meat, so the meat is going to be probably staying in your system for longer than eggs, or whey protein for example, which is even faster than an egg.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, that actually brings us to what I wanted to ask you next, because I think just autophagy, the whole the myth that we started with at the beginning that it's either on or off, with fasting I think there's this idea that it's just all meals are the same, you're in the fed state so it doesn't matter the composition or the type of protein, but something you talk about in your book is that there's actually levels of the potential for autophagy from different types of food, so you have the high TOR, and how much they stimulate mTOR, so you have the high TOR, the mod TOR, the low TOR, the N TOR, which is neutral, then you have the ones that actually encourage autophagy, which was the what was it? The high AT-

Siim Land:
ATG, yeah, it's an abbreviation of autophagy proteins. In the book I kind of outlined this scale for determining what's the anabolic score of a particular food, or the autophagy score of a particular food. That is primarily determined by the amount of amino acids, specifically lucine as well as carbohydrates, which are going to determine how much mTOR, or how much autophagy are they going to stimulate. So high protein foods such as like we mentioned already, eggs, fish, meat, those things are more mTOR stimulating, which is why I categorized them or called them as high TOR foods, and then there's like moderator mTor, mod-Tor foods, which will be they do have some protein and amino acids, but they're generally not as high in lucine or methylene for example. And those things can be like fish or even organ meats can be categorized here, and even plant based foods like some lentils or some carbohydrates, they can stimulate mTOR and switch over from catabolic state into an anabolic state.

Siim Land:
For example, some neutral foods would be anything that doesn't really effect these processes that significantly and they're somewhat neutral, and those will be vegetables and those thing like fruit even can be put here, and the autophagy foods are things that stimulate autophagy like coffee, apple cider vinegar, teas, some polyphenols, and even these adaptogens, medicine or mushrooms, berberine, resveratrol and those things.

Melanie Avalon:
I was fascinated reading it, especially the medicinal mushrooms, especially because I recently got a lot of samples of the four sigmatic mushroom coffee, and I was like oh this is perfect timing, I can read about it there. For listeners, it's really fascinating. I didn't realize, one thing you mentioned is that red meat for example, I think it was a mod TOR, but you said it's actually not that anabolic compared to eggs, and some other things, which I think most people would be like what? They probably think a steak is the most anabolic thing there is, but really there were some other combinations that were much more so.

Siim Land:
Yeah, it depends on the amount of the food as well. For example, a three ounce steak is probably less anabolic than 10 eggs, and vice versa, one egg isn't necessarily more anabolic than a three ounce steak, so it depends on the amounts as well. The eggs are somewhat more anabolic and inter stimulating, because they contain more lucine per gram, and such. For example, if you even were to combine the mTOR isn't stimulated by protein only, it's also stimulated by carbs, and incidence specifically kind of over exaggerates the particular anabolic response of any food. If you combine protein with carbs, then that's going to spike mTOR more than if you were to eat only protein, because the insulin is this leverage that directs the body in a certain direction and it is like a storage hormone and an anabolic hormone, so it makes sense that if you combine any kind of food with insulin or carbs then that's going to raise the mTOR more. 

Siim Land:
So that's why a low carb diet is, although a low carb diet may be higher in meat or protein, it's not necessarily going to be more anabolic, or it's not going to necessarily stimulate more mTOR, because the insulin is low, so you're taking out one variable out of the equation, whereas if you were to be eating chicken breast and rice, then that would be still higher in mTOR, and more anabolic, because you're getting both the protein and you're getting the carbs and insulin, which kind of combines the spiking together.

Melanie Avalon:
Gotcha. For listeners, definitely check out the book because Siim has this whole awesome list that goes through the different types of foods and combinations, it's so fascinating. I'm in all these categories, and then he also has, because we don't have time to go into to it today, but if you are interesting in bodybuilding exercise, things like that, gym routines, how to best do that, how to do that with fasting, how to support that, it's all in the book. So definitely get it. Like I said, I mentioned your book now on the other podcast all the time, because we'll get questions about exercise, and just go read Siim's book because it's all in there. So taking the lazy out, but I thank you for your work, it's super, super amazing.

Melanie Avalon:
One thing I love about your book is it does go so deep into the science of all of this and really makes you rethink ... Kind of like what you were saying it's not the food, it's more like these lifestyle practices and these other stressors and these other things that we do. I was wondering if you could just talk briefly to your thoughts about the whole how we can, especially for people who feel like they're stuck on the hedonic treadmill, which is something you talk about a lot. This idea that our threshold for certain pleasures can change, and we may feel like we're stuck in these things that we need, because it's a reward that we want, but really we can change that and we can get joy, and fulfillment from any lifestyle I think if we you know once it becomes the new routine, the new habit. What are your advice for people who feel like they're just stuck on this, are finding it hard to jump into these things like fasting or changing their diet, or thermo genesis, sauna? I mean that's probably easier to just do, because you just go do it. But yeah, what's your advice there?

Siim Land:
The idea is that you can never be fully satisfied if you start chasing the pleasures and the hedonic pursuits so to say that if this is essentially your body adapts always to the stimulus that it receives, whether that be the temperature of your house, whether that be the food that you eat, or whether that be these different let's say converse that you choose to pick up on, and vice versa, your body isn't necessarily happy because of those things, it's happy because of a certain balance or a certain threshold that it's at at a particular moment.

Siim Land:
So you can calibrate this homeostasis or this level of threshold, basically according to your will, and according to how you reframe things, so for example if you're in an ice bath, then objectively you can think that okay, this is pretty harsh, and it's pretty uncomfortable and painful and it's like hell, but in your own subjective mind, you can definitely reframe it by thinking about it, oh yeah I'm helping my longevity, I'm increasing my fat burning feeling awesome, I'm doing this sort of hard difficult thing and I'm feeling more joyful because of doing that, and you can apply the same mentality to things like exercise and fasting, you just have to remind yourself that although these things can be difficult, they will eventually help me to be healthier and essentially also help me to reach these goals that I do want in the end, which would be to be more happy, and to be more fulfilled in life.

Siim Land:
Yeah, usually when people are stuck in some sort of vicious cycles of either not being able to overcome some addictions, food addictions or something, then usually you need to detach yourself from these things for a certain period of time, so that your body will reset its sensitivity to them and for example the sugar detox is like a stupid word, but essentially that's how you can reset your taste buds and kind overcome these addictions. So fasting itself is a very effective way of resetting the hedonic homeostasis, and kind of resetting your taste buds and allowing your body to become more sensitive to those things again and afterwards you don't really actually want them after you re habituated. So usually going for a long fast or going for any kind of fasting is hard at first, but it's the most effective way of going about it.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, I think fasting is absolutely amazing for that. I do wonder though, I think for a lot of people it can really ... I mean you said you don't even want them afterwards, I think it can make you not feel like you have to have them, but then I do wonder just to throw a slight complication into it, especially with the work of Stephan [Geeany 01:06:51] and stuff and the hyperpalability of food and how it ties into our enate evolutionary ... Like the enate want for stock up on calories. Our bodies sort of want to take in all the calories maybe rather than not, so it makes me think that I don't know, because some people say after the do intermittent fasting they never again, like my co-host Jen on the intermittent fasting podcast, she said she's not even tempted at all, she wouldn't even like the taste of these old foods, whereas for me and this might just be me, but I still would like all the things. I don't feel like I have to have them is the difference.

Siim Land:
Fasting is going to, it's never that a particular food is bad, or cake and donuts and junk food are not bad by themselves, they're only bad if people over consume them, and if people are addicted to them. You can still incorporate aspects of moderation and can still include them into your diet, if you do it willingly and if you do it deliberately. You're not doing it out of this addiction, or you're not doing it uncontrollable of I can't stop eating them. That's the problem. If you do it like I choose to have this food in moderation, then that's perfectly fine. And like we said earlier, you can mitigate all the negative side effects with some form of fasting or something like that. 

Siim Land:
There's nothing wrong with that, and the fasting itself is just going to detach yourself from the addiction for a certain period of time so that you can regain your sanity almost, so you can rebuild your self control, and you can teach yourself moderation afterwards, because even if you're helping yourself to avoid let's say you avoid these treats, these processed foods, but you're still not able to control yourself then it's not an ideal situation because you're still although your coping the attachment with fasting, you're not really completely free from it, because if you were to eat it, then you would lose your sanity and you would rebound massively, whereas if you were to be able to moderate yourself and practice balance, then that would be still a better option than to completely avoid it. The problem is never the food itself, the problem is always the particular attachment to it and whether or not you're able to control it.

Melanie Avalon:
This is so true, so true. I think so many people think fasting especially if they haven't done it, that it's restriction and it's a state of wanting, when really I think it can be complete freedom. It's wonderful, which brings us to final question that I ask every guest on this podcast, and it's kind of perfect with what we were talking about with the role of the mindset and the attachment and the voices in our head and everything like that. I have recently come to realize just how important something like gratitude is even, which is something that's really great you can do while you're fasting if you're struggling, just think of something you're grateful for. So Siim, what is something that you're grateful for?

Siim Land:
I would say that at the moment I'm pretty grateful for just the current state of humanity as it is, so most of the world is pretty safe, and they're not really in this dire living conditions, although a lot of the world is, but it's still getting better, and at least most of the Western world, you still have a roof over your head, you're not going to starve, even if you try to do fasting, you still have some security and such, in the past, humans were always exposed to the elements and it was very uncertain for the to live, and it was very dangerous, whereas in the modern world you don't have a lot of dangers that you can die to, that's why it's a good reminder that although we modern people we tend to whine a lot about these different things, it's still always better than it was in the past. So we have to remind ourselves that there's a lot of things to be grateful for.

Melanie Avalon:
That's a really unique answer, I really like that. Speaking of grateful, A, I'm ridiculously grateful for all of your work, your podcast, your book, everything you're doing. I learned so much from it, and I think I know so many people are, and you're really making a stamp on humanity so thank you for that, and thank you for recording again.

Siim Land:
Yeah.

Melanie Avalon:
I feel so bad, but this was round two, so thank you so much. Although, I really like the way the conversation went. I'm super happy. So sending out gratitude that hopefully this one worked this time around.

Melanie Avalon:
So, if listeners would like to ... How can they best follow your work? I'll put links to your book, your podcast, how else can they follow you?

Siim Land:
Yeah, well my website is siimland.com, there you can find some articles, more like in depth science and research, but on YouTube I'm Siim Land, and my podcast is also Body Mind Empowerment with Siim Land.

Melanie Avalon:
Are you on Instagram? Oh yeah, there you are.

Siim Land:
Yeah.

Melanie Avalon:
I'm going to follow you on Instagram. I recently decided to try to be more active on Instagram. For listeners I will put links to all that in the show notes, and thank you so much, this was a really epic awesome conversation.

Siim Land:
Yeah, it was good talking.

Melanie Avalon:
Thank you so much.‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč

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