What is "Metabolic Typing®"?
Think of your body as being like a large, multi-national corporation that has thousands of employees, numerous departments, a multitude of communication requirements, complex production schedules, multi-dimensional supply channels, etc., yet the innumerable activities of the corporation all fall under the direction and control of only a handful of executives. Your metabolism works in a similar fashion. ( Metabolism refers to the sum total of all physiological and biochemical reactions that take place in your body in order to sustain life ). Although hundreds of thousands of biochemical reactions take place in your body on a daily basis, they all fall under the regulation of only a few Fundamental Homeostatic Controls. (FHC)
Metabolic Typing® uncovers the patterns of the genetically-based strengths and weaknesses that make each of us, on a physiological and biochemical level, as unique as our fingerprints. It evolved through a correlation of the known scientific facts concerning the fundamental control systems, with the clinical observation and empirical experience of hundreds of practitioners, with hundreds of thousands of cases
over the last 35+ years.
Autonomic Nervous System
The ANS, referred to as the master regulator of metabolism, has two divisions: the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic. Each works in opposition to the other, yet they work together to maintain homeostasis ( metabolic balance and efficiency ). For example, Sympathetic nervous stimulation speeds the heart rate, while Parasympathetic stimulation slows the heart rate. Together, the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic divisions work to maintain the proper heart rate, as well as the functioning of all the various organs and glands. Certain organs are "switched on" by the Sympathetic and "switched off" by the Parasympathetic, while other organs are "switched on" by the Parasympathetic and "switched off" by the Sympathetic. Some people have inherited stronger organs and glands that are stimulated by the Sympathetic division. These are known as the Sympathetic Dominant Metabolic Types®. Other people have inherited greater strength overall in the Parasympathetic organs and glands and are thus known as Parasympathetic Dominant Metabolic Types®. In those whose organs and glands are relatively balanced between Sympathetic and Parasympathetic influences, the term Balanced Dominants is used to describe their Metabolic Type®.
While it might be said that the ANS is concerned with maintenance and regulation of energy, the Oxidative System concerns the rate at which nutrients are converted to energy within all of your body's 100 trillion cells. It involves 3 important intracellular processes:
- Beta Oxidation
- Citric Acid Cycle
About 20% of the potential energy created from your food comes from the combustion of carbohydrates in Glycolysis. The other potential 80% comes from the Citric Acid Cycle. In simple terms, energy is produced in the Citric Acid Cycle from a combination of the right amount of Oxaloacetate ( from the combustion of carbohydrates in Glycolysis ) and the right amount of Acetyl Coenzyme-A ( from metabolism of fats in Beta Oxidation ). If there is too much Oxaloacetate and not enough Acetyl Co-A, or if there is too much Acetyl Co-A and not enough Oxaloacetate, then energy production is deficient.
Some people are Fast Oxidizers -- they are poor at metabolizing fats and producing Acetyl Co-A from Beta Oxidation and so they are overly reliant on the combustion of carbohydrates in Glycolysis for energy production. Fast Oxidizers tend to burn carbohydrates too quickly and thus they produce excess Oxaloacetate. A high carbohydrate diet only worsens the problem, but increased amounts of fats and proteins ( dietary sources of Acetyl Co-A ) and specific nutrients to help activate and support Beta Oxidation, help balance their chemistries and normalize their energy production.
Slow Oxidizers have the same problem as Fast Oxidizers -- deficient energy production -- but for the exact opposite reasons. Slow Oxidizers are overly reliant on fat metabolism in Beta Oxidation, so they produce excess Acetyl Co-A, but they are also poor at carbohydrate combustion in Glycolysis, and tend to be deficient in the production of Oxaloacetate. Unlike the Fast Oxidizers, Slow Oxidizers do well on higher carbohydrate intakes ( dietary sources for oxaloacetate ) with less protein and fat in their diets ( sources of Acetyl Co-A ) and they require different nutrients to activate and support Glycolysis.
In short, both the kinds of foods and the proportions of the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are very different for each Metabolic Type®. They require different "fuels" and different "fuel mixes" in order to properly convert their nutrients into energy.
Dominance -- Putting It All Together
Within each of these Control Systems, there are 3 possible Metabolic Type® categories:
Autonomic Nervous System
- Sympathetic Type
- Balanced Type
- Parasympathetic Type
- Slow Oxidizer Type
- Mixed Oxidizer Type
- Fast Oxidizer Type
Therefore, there are 9 possible Metabolic Type® combinations involving
the pairing of the Autonomic and the Oxidative Systems:
- Sympathetic Fast
- Sympathetic Mixed
- Sympathetic Slow
- Balanced Fast
- Balanced Mixed
- Balanced Slow
- Parasympathetic Fast
- Parasympathetic Mixed
- Parasympathetic Slow
Within each pair, one Fundamental Homeostatic Control ( FHC ) will be dominant -- either the Autonomic or the Oxidative System. For example, in the first pairing, either the Sympathetic Autonomic System will dominate, or the Fast Oxidative System will dominate. Why is this significant ? Because whichever control mechanism is dominant will dictate how nutrients will behave in your body. This is because foods and nutrients have opposite biochemical behavior in the different FHC's. Any food can be either stimulating or sedating, acidifying or alkalinizing -- not due to an inherent quality of the food itself, but rather due to the effect of the food on the dominant control mechanism. Every food and every nutrient has a very specific effect on the body's FHC's. For example, eating an orange or taking a potassium supplement will alkalinize the chemistry of an Autonomic Dominant ( by stimulating the Parasympathetic System ), but will acidify the chemistry of an Oxidative Dominant ( by increasing Fast Oxidation ).
The different influence of nutrients and foods on each Metabolic Type® is what makes nutrition so confusing. It's a matter of a roll of the dice without Metabolic Typing®. This is the reason that "one man's food is another's poison" -- what can help heal one person can worsen the same condition in another person. [ Note: This phenomena was first observed in 1983, by W.L. Wolcott, the founder of The Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing® and was coined by him as "The Dominance Factor." ]
Certain foods stimulate, strengthen and support the Parasympathetic System ( alkalinize ), while other foods stimulate, strengthen and support the Sympathetic System ( acidify ). In the Oxidative System, the effects of these same foods are actually reversed! This is why nutrition can be so confusing, complex and unpredictable.
Our online questionnaire solves this problem quickly and easily.
Make no mistake food is the most powerful "drug" on this earth. You eat it several times a day, every day of your life. It contains hundreds upon hundreds of compounds that your body uses as its "fuel for life." Your food can be your medicine or your poison. It has the power to heal. But it also has the power to make you ill if you eat foods that are wrong for you. With the exception of accidents and suicide, the 10 leading causes of death in the US can all be caused by eating the wrong diet, and all of them have been cured by eating the right diet!
It's not only what you eat, it's also in what proportions you consume your macro-nutrients ( proteins, fats, and carbohydrates ) that will allow you to maximize your energy, develop peak performance, normalize your appetite and be as trim as you can be. After eating, you should feel an elevation of your energy, a normalization of your moods, and a sense of feeling satisfied. If, within 1-2 hours after eating, you feel more tired, or your mood worsens, or you still feel hungry, crave sweets or feel like you need a "pick-me-up," then you need to change the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates at that meal until your symptoms improve.
More than Diet Alone
If you follow your Metabolic Type® diet program as closely as you can, then
the right supplements for your Metabolic Type® can have their full intended
effect. If you eat the wrong diet but take the right supplements, it's like
trying to walk in two different directions at the same time.
Use the Metabolic Typing® online questionnaire and finally find out exactly
which diet and supplements are right for your Metabolic Type® today!
- Acid / Alkaline ( pH of the body ) - the degree of acidity or alkalinity, which is regulated by several of the Fundamental Homeostatic Controls. Because all biochemical processes are dependent upon a specific, narrow pH range, the acid / alkaline balance is very important in deciding the presence of health or disease.
- Aerobic - Chemical processes in the body that require oxygen. Example: Long-distance running is an aerobic exercise. ( see Anaerobic )
- Allergy - Hypersensitivity to substances including ( but not limited to ) environmental and foods. Some symptoms produced by allergy are sneezing, rashes, itching, fatigue, and depression.
- Anabolic - The building up in the body into more complex substances from simpler ones. Part of the Lipo-Oxidative Control System involving the balance of anabolic / catabolic processes in the body. Anabolic processes are anaerobic ( not requiring oxygen ) and involve increased levels of sterols relative to fatty acids, resulting in decreased cell membrane permeability. ( see Anaerobic and Lipo-Oxidative )
- Anaerobic - Chemical processes in the body that do not require oxygen. Example: Sprinting and weight-lifting are anaerobic exercises. Anaerobic processes are also anabolic in nature. ( see Aerobic and Anabolic )
- Asthma - Condition characterized by sudden, recurring attacks of coughing, chest constriction, labored breathing, lung congestion and wheezing. Asthma involves overreactivity by the parasympathetic vagus nerve.
- Autonomic Nervous System - Communications system from the brain to the organs, glands and every cell in the body, considered the master regulator of metabolism. The ANS consists of two divisions -- Sympathetic and Parasympathetic -- whose opposing, yet complementary ( push / pull ) interplay, results in metabolic regulation. Example: Sympathetic speeds the heart rate, Parasympathetic slows it. Together, these opposing influences regulate the heart rate.
- Beta Oxidation - See Oxidation.
- Biochemical - Processes and chemicals in living organisms.
- Biochemical Individuality - Inherited patterns of chemical processes in human metabolism that are unique to each person.
- Candida - A yeast infection which inhibits efficient digestion and assimilation, and if chronic, exhausts the immune system, thereby contributing to any degenerative process.
- Carbo-Oxidative - Fundamental Control System concerned with cellular conversion of nutrients to energy. Metabolic Types® in this system are Fast Oxidizers, Mixed Oxidizers and Slow Oxidizers. ( see Oxidation )
- Carbo Type - Metabolic Type® ( Sympathetic or Slow Oxidizer ) that does well on relatively small amounts of protein and fat foods compared to carbohydrates.
- Catabolic - The breaking down in the body of more complex substances into simpler ones. Part of the Lipo-Oxidative Control System involving the balance of anabolic / catabolic processes in the body. Catabolic processes are aerobic ( using oxygen ) and involve increased levels of fatty acids relative to sterols, resulting in increased cell membrane permeability. ( see Aerobic and Lipo-Oxidative )
- Citric Acid Cycle - See Oxidation.
- Constitutional Type - Concerns constitutional ( hot, cold, dry, etc. ) qualities of the body that relate to similar constitutional qualities of foods and herbs.
- Dominant System - The Fundamental Control System that is responsible for how foods and nutrients behave in the body. Nutrients behave differently when different systems are dominant, even to the point that the same food in different Metabolic Types® can have opposite biochemical effects. For example, potassium alkalinizes in Autonomic Dominant Metabolic Types®, but potassium acidifies in Oxidative Dominant Metabolic Types®. "The Dominance Factor" explains why what works for one person can actually worsen another person with the same condition.
- Electrolytes - Mineral salts in the body's fluids that conduct electricity. The balance of electrolytes in body fluids is important to ensure that vital substances ( nutrients, enzymes, toxins, hormones, etc. ) are effectively transported to where they need to go.
- Electrolyte Insufficiency - Not enough electrolytes in the body's fluids.
- Electrolyte Stress - Too dense a ratio of mineral salts in the body's fluids.
- Endocrine Type - One of the four primary energy-producing endocrine glands ( pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, gonads ) that play a major role in body structure and determine how and where fat accumulates on the body.
- Enzymes - Complex substances in plants and animals that can cause changes in other substances. Enzymes function only within a very narrow range of pH. ( see Acid / Alkaline )
- Fatty Acids - A group of acids occurring in natural fats.
- FHC - Abbreviation for "Fundamental Homeostatic Control Systems."
- Fundamental Homeostatic Controls - Regulatory systems that direct the thousands of biochemical reactions that take place daily within the body and are the basis for one's Metabolic Type®.
- Gag ( reflex ) - To choke, or the urge felt in the throat to vomit.
- Glycemic Index - All carbohydrates - fruits, vegetables, grains - are converted to glucose in the body. Carbohydrates are categorized according to the speed at which they hit the bloodstream in the form of glucose and they are ranked accordingly in what is known as the Glycemic Index.
- Glycolysis - see Oxidation.
- Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing® - Process of evaluating the interrelationship of the body's Fundamental Homeostatic Controls for the creation, maintenance and control of energy and the determination of unique, individual nutritional requirements.
- Homeostatic - The tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, ( such as the internal environment of the human body ) to maintain internal stability, due to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that disturbs its normal condition or function.
- Incontinence - Urinating or defecating involuntarily.
- Krebs Cycle - see Oxidation.
- Lipo-Oxidative ( Anabolic / Catabolic ) - One of the Fundamental Control Systems concerning fatty acid / sterol ( mostly unsaturated fat ) balance. Catabolic processes are aerobic ( requiring oxygen ). Anabolic processes are anaerobic ( not requiring oxygen ). Catabolic ( the breaking down in the body of more complex substances into simpler ones ). Anabolic ( the building up in the body into more complex substances from simpler ones ). This Control System concerns the balance of anabolic / catabolic processes and regulates membrane permeability.
- Macro-Nutrients - Proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the diet. The macro-nutrient ratio at each meal is critical for efficient energy production and good health. The ideal ratio varies between Metabolic Types®, as well as from meal to meal.
- Metabolism - Sum total of all physiological and biochemical changes that take place in the body and all energy and material transformations that occur in living cells, utilizing food, air, water and light.
- Metabolic Type® - Inherited strengths, weaknesses and patterns in metabolism that define metabolic individuality and unique requirements for nutrition.
- Mixed Type - Metabolic Type® ( Balanced or Mixed ) that does best on a mixture of the appropriate foods for both the Protein Types and Carbo Types.
- NeuroEndocrine - The interrelationship of the Autonomic Nervous System and the Endocrine System.
- Oxidation - Intracellular processes that convert nutrients to energy. Oxidation involves the interplay of 3 intracellular processes: Glycolysis, Beta Oxidation and the Krebs or Citric Acid Cycle. Glycolysis concerns metabolism of carbohydrates. Beta Oxidation is involved in fat metabolism. And Citric Acid Cycle is the final step of energy conversion involving products produced from Glycolysis and Beta Oxidation. These 3 processes can be thought of as providing the recipe for energy production in the cells of the body.
- Oxidative - Referring to the process of intracellular conversion of nutrients to energy.
- Parasympathetic - Repairing and rebuilding ( "rest and digest" ) side of the autonomic nervous system.
- pH - see Acid / Alkaline.
- Physiological - The functions / life processes of living things.
- Prostaglandin(s) - Derived from fatty acids. Found everywhere in the body and play a role in every metabolic activity.
- Protein Type - Metabolic Type® ( Parasympathetic or Fast Oxidizer ) that does well on high protein, high fat, low carbohydrate diet.
- Sympathetic - "Fight or flight" ( stressor ) side of the autonomic nervous system.
Autonomic Pioneering research linking the autonomic system to nutrition performed by:
* Francis Pottenger, M.D. Symptoms Of Visceral Disease. 1919.
* Royal Lee, D.D.S. Therapeutic Food Manual. 1946.
* William D.Kelley, D.D.S. The Metabolic Types. 1976.
Carbo-Oxidative Original discovery of the oxidative connection to nutrition and metabolic individuality by:
* George Watson, Ph.D. Nutrition And Your Mind. 1972.
* Also see work of Rudolph Wiley, Ph.D. BioBalance. 1989.
Lipo-Oxidative Model based on decades of research on catabolic/anabolic processes by:
* Emanuel Revici, M.D. Research In Physiopathology As Basis Of Guided Chemotherapy. 1961.
Electrolyte/Fluid Balance based on the work of:
* John Riddick and Guy Schenker, D.C. An Analytical System Of Clinical Nutrition. 1989.
Acid/Alkaline Balance Six different imbalances derived from the work of:
* Guy Schenker, D.C. An Analytical System Of Clinical Nutrition. 1989.
Endocrine Type based on works of:
* Henry Harrower, M.D. Practical Endocrinology. 1932.
* Henry Bieler, M.D. Food Is Your Best Medicine. 1965.
* Elliott Abravanel, M.D. Body Type Diet. 1984.
Prostaglandin Balance derived from work of:
* Udo Erasmus. Fats And Oils. 1984.
* Mary Enig. Know Your Fats. 2000.
Constitutional Type drawn from AyurVeda.
* AyurVeda. Charika Samhita.
* Dr. David Frawley. AyurVedic Healing. 1989.
* Dr. Vasant Lad. Ayurveda. 1984.
* Dr. Robert Svoboda. AyurVeda. 1992.
Dominance Factor And The Healthexcel System Of Metabolic Typing® developed by:
* W.L. Wolcott. A Theoretical Model For Clinical Application Of The Relationship Between The Autonomic Nervous System And The Oxidation Rate In The Determination Of Metabolic Types® And The Requirements Of Nutritional Individuality. 1983.
* W.L. Wolcott with Trish Fahey. The Metabolic Typing® Diet. Doubleday, 2000.