I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is not one diet that is right for everybody. There cannot be. There are far too many factors that are continuously influencing your body’s nutritional requirements. Fortunately, through the identification of your Metabolic Type, you can get a much closer understanding of your body’s nutritional requirements. Furthermore, by understanding the body’s Fundamental Homeostatic Controls (FHC’s), you can understand the nature of disease, dysfunction and imbalance.
Throw Away Everything You Thought You Knew About Health
Metabolic Type Nutrition is not a “diet”. it is the identification of your dominant and therefore over-reactive metabolic functions, and the direct nutritional application to those processes. The conventional understanding of health and nutrition is largely inept, flawed by design in a number of ways. The biggest way that it is inept is that conventional understanding fails to grasp the most fundamental reality: Biochemical Individuality.
You can take numerous studies, randomize the people in it, and come out with very different results. You can show in one study how calcium is harmful to the body in various ways, and you can show in another study how calcium is critically important to the body in numerous ways. With one group of people, you can show how a high protein, high fat diet improves the health and blood chemistry of people with hypothyroid function, you can show how that exact same diet makes a diabetic’s symptoms worse. You can show how a diet with moderate amounts of salt improves the vasculature and blood volume of one person, and creates hypertension in someone else.
You can look at one genetic group of people (such as the Inuits) who subsist on a diet almost entirely of animal fat and protein, who if they maintain that ancestral diet in the frigid tundra, they will be free of disease and have ideal health. You can look at the tribes in South America who subsist on vegetarian diets and who also live free of disease provided that they maintain that type of an ancestral diet.
Every one of these examples I have presented, all point to one very critical element: Biochemical Individuality. Biochemical Individuality means that your body’s biochemically individualistic nature is what will determine the type of nutrients and foods that it must have for its source of fuel.
This is not something new. This is the basis of the oldest systems of medicine in the world: Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Fundamental Homeostatic Controls (FHC’s)
All of the billions of biochemical processes that take place inside of the human body all fall under the control of a few small control systems, called Fundamental Homeostatic Controls, or FHC’s. These control systems are dualistic in nature and can be likened to the Chinese Medicine concepts of Yin and Yang. Metabolic Type Nutrition aims to identify the status of these Fundamental Homeostatic Control Systems in order to assess the biochemical individuality of each person.
FHC #1: Autonomic Nervous System: Sympathetic/Parasympathetic
The autonomic nervous system is the master regulator of metabolism. The two branches (sympathetic/parasympathetic) function through opposition. Sympathetic nervous system processes ‘turn on’ the ‘fight or flight’ stress responses such as:
- the elevation of blood sugar
- the elevation of blood pressure
- the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline
- the lowering of digestive secretions
The parasympathetic nervous system’s processes turn on the “resting and digesting” functions, which tend to oppose the sympathetic responses. The parasympathetic nervous system “turns on” processes such as:
- the lowering of blood sugar
- the lowering of blood pressure
- the release of ‘resting’ hormones such as melatonin
- the increase of digestive secretions
In a normal and healthy body, there is a balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic. Problems arise when people get stuck in being too sympathetic or too parasympathetic. Parasympathetic dominants need more protein and fat in order to strengthen weak sympathetic function, whereas sympathetic dominants need more carbohydrates and less protein and fat in order to strengthen their weaker parasympathetic functions.
FHC#2: Slow/Fast Oxidation
Do you have any vague recollection of biology class from high school? The Krebs Cycle, otherwise known as the citric acid cycle is the most critical process for the production and utilization of energy. In Metabolic Type Nutrition, the variability of energy production within the cell is referred to as Oxidative Metabolism. George Watson, PhD and Rudolf Wiley, PhD have done the most research in this field. Watson was the first to identify the 3 oxidative types in his groundbreaking book ‘Nutrition and Your Mind’, 1972.
By observing small but significant changes in blood ph, Co2, glucose and other blood chemistry factors, Watson and Wiley determined that there are 3 varying speeds of intracellular energy production: Fast oxidation, Slow oxidation and Mixed oxidation. Fast and slow oxidizers have nearly opposite nutrient requirements and mixed oxidizers have a need for a balance begin the 2 extremes.
Fast oxidizers are “glucogenic”, meaning that they need considerably more fat and protein to slow their over-reliance on carbohydrate metabolism. Slow oxidizers are ketogenic, meaning they need to eat more carbohydrates in order to speed their underactive carbohydrate metabolism. Mixed oxidizers usually need 1-2 meals suited for carbo types, and 1-2 meals suited for protein types. This is because the pH and physiological changes of mixed types change throughout the day.
FHC #3: Fluid/Electrolyte Control: Electrolyte Insufficiency/Electrolyte Stress
The balance between biologically active water and mineral salts is critical for maintaining the proper balance of fluid dynamics and pH, both in the cells and in the tissues. An electrolyte insufficiency means that there is low blood volume, With electrolyte insufficiency, there is often weak endocrine and cardiovascular tone and function. Often times there are low amounts of mineralcorticoids such as aldosterone, whose job is to retain sodium.
An electrolyte stress imbalance indicates an excessive amount of mineral salts and a low amount of intracellular fluids. This indicates actually that the cells are dehydrated because fluid tends to accumulate in the tissues. With electrolyte stress, there are abnormal pH levels in the body. Electrolyte stress is a primary cause of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and kidney failure.
It is quite amazing how many diseases are caused in part by electrolyte imbalances.
FHC #4: Anaerobic/Dysaerobic Control (Anabolic/Catabolic)
The processes of anaerobic (without oxygen) and dysaerobic (with oxygen) metabolism is fundamental for understanding cell membrane dynamics. How important is this? Consider that there is no disease does not have a component of anaerobic or dysaerobic imbalances.
The discoveries regarding this FHC was pioneered by the brilliant and amazing Emanuel Revici, MD. Revici was an astounding scientist and physician who had amassed an incredible body of work spanning more than 7 decades. Many of Revici’s colleagues considered him to be the ‘Einstein of nutritional biochemistry’.
in summary, Anaerobic imbalances involve cell membranes that are too tight, deficient in certain fatty acids, and overproducing lactic acid. Dysaerobic imbalances involve excess fatty acids resulting in free radical damage and cell death. Both anaerobic and dysaerobic imbalances represent cellular oxidation out of control.
Consider that cancer ALWAYS begins as anaerobic at the tissue level, yet cancer cells can mutate into dysaerobic ones. Revici used the urine specific gravity, urinary surface tension and urine pH to guage the anaerobic/dysaerobic imbalances. He also used blood tests to detect the intracellular levels of potassium. This is critical because potassium is a major electrolyte whose function is the maintain the proper pH of the cell.
FHC #5: Acid/Alkaline Control
The balance between various acids and alkalii are essential for efficient energy production. Acid and alkaline balance is one of the most misunderstood physiological controls in the health world. Both acid and alkaline imbalances are pathological. Alkalosis is just as problematic as acidosis.
There are various levels of acid and alkaline balance in the body including intracellular pH, blood pH, tissue pH as well as organ level pH. Click HERE to read more about acid/alkaline control.