Metabolic Typing: Answering the Unanswerable
by Bill Wolcott
In a very real sense, the information explosion over the last 10 years has quite possibly brought more confusion than clarity to your quest for health. As a result, you may have found yourself asking questions like:
- Why is it that my best friend's nutritional supplements work absolute miracles, but make me feel lousy?
- How can one best selling book say one thing about nutrition, and the other bestseller say just the opposite?
- Why will a certain diet give my friend energy and help to lose weight but make me tired and gain weight?
- Why can't I get rid of my candida overgrowth problem, even though I've followed an "anti-candida" diet?
- How can someone eat the best organic foods, take the finest nutritional supplements that money can buy, get plenty of rest, exercise regularly... and still not feel well?
Or maybe your concern is with more serious issues like...
- Why are two thirds of Americans overweight?
- How can so many people be obese when people are more diet-, health- and exercise-conscious than ever before?
- Why is degenerative disease skyrocketing?
- Why are younger and younger people falling prey to diseases of the aged?
- Why are cancer, heart disease and diabetes increasing each year?
And if youre a health professional working with nutrition, you may also be baffled by questions such as...
- Why does a low fat, low protein, high complex carbohydrate diet raise cholesterol in some people instead of lowering it like it does in other people?
- Why does taking a nutritional product or protocol help one person with a problem but not another with the same problem?
- If nutrition is so important, why doesnt it work for so many people?
How can there be so much confusion and contradiction about something that is supposed to be so good for you?
The unfortunate reason is that the majority of the people talking about nutrition know just enough to be dangerous. They know that nutrition can be the answer, but they don't know how to use it properly. And, yes, it is a two-edged sword: If you use it properly, it can help make you well. But, make no mistake. If you use it improperly, it can help make you sick or keep you that way.
You know. Take this nutrient for that condition. A magic bullet. One standard nutritional remedy for each problem or a universal diet that is supposed to work for everyone.
But, your own experience and all the contradictory books and articles that you've ever read, aside from making the field of nutrition confusing, frustrating and sometimes downright baffling, have already shown you that this approach doesn't work. And your common sense agrees. You know that you are unique! You know one shoe size doesn't fit all. You know that everyone is as unique as their fingerprints. So, why would anyone ever think that one diet is right for everyone? Or, that what works nutritionally for one person would work for another as well?
The fact is, you really can eat the best organic foods, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, get sufficient rest, take the finest supplements that money can buy... and still not feel well, or even start feeling worse than before!
So, what is the answer? The answer is to find out what is right for you!
On a biochemical level each of us is as unique as we are in our fingerprints. Actually our uniqueness extends far beyond just our fingerprints and encompasses virtually every aspect of ourselves -- personality, behavior, temperament, external physical traits, internal size, shape, placement and efficiency of all of our organs and glands, and rates of our cellular metabolism. Simply put, our DNA is unique.
Standardized nutritional approaches fail to recognize that, for genetic reasons, people are all very different from one another on a biochemical or metabolic level. Due to widely varying hereditary influences, we all process or utilize foods and nutrients very differently. Thus, the very same nutritional protocol that enables one person to lead a long healthy life full of robust health can cause serious illness in someone else. As the ancient Roman philosopher Lucretius once said, One mans food is anothers poison. It turns out, his statement is quite literally true.
Fortunately, however, through the research that has been done over the past 25 years, there is available a systematic, testable, repeatable and verifiable advanced nutritional technology that enables people to discover their own unique dietary needs with a very high degree of precision. This technology is known as Metabolic Typing. Through metabolic typing those often mysterious, seemingly unanswerable questions become perfectly clear and answerable indeed.
What exactly is metabolic typing and why is it important?
Metabolic typing is a systematic, testable, repeatable, and verifiable methodology based on research and extensive clinical experience over the last 25 years that combines the wisdom of the ancient systems of medicine with our modern scientific understanding of physiology and biochemistry.
Metabolic typing analyzes, evaluates, and interprets objective physiological and biochemical indicators along with symptomatology in order to define ones metabolic type -- the specific, individualized, genetically-based patterns of biochemical metabolic individuality that dictate ones physiological and neurological design limits and requirements for nutritional substances.
The food that we eat is intended as the fuel for our bodys cells, our engines of metabolism. Our cells in turn convert the fuel to energy to be used in all the life-supporting processes of metabolism that keep us alive and healthy. But like any engine, our body needs a certain kind of fuel to function optimally. A gasoline engine requires gasoline for fuel. A diesel engine is designed to run on diesel for fuel. But try to run a gas engine on diesel or a diesel engine on gas and not only will the energy output be deficient, but using the wrong fuel for the engine will cause real problems for the engine itself.
Similarly, our bodies have genetically-based requirements for specific kinds of foods and balances of nutrients in order to produce optimal energy and function in a state of optimal health. If we meet these design requirements, we can expect to be healthy, energetic, fit and trim.
Failure to obtain on a regular basis the kinds of foods our bodies are designed to utilize will initially produce sub-clinical health complaints such as fatigue, aches and pains, headaches, indigestion, weight gain, constipation, rashes, dry skin, low blood sugar, etc.
But long-term deficiency of the right foods for the metabolic type will lead to degenerative conditions like asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, etc. In other words, its not just that the Eskimos can eat up to 10 pounds of meat and huge amounts of fat and almost no carbohydrate; they need to eat that way in order to be healthy because thats what their metabolisms are genetically programmed to utilize as fuel. Similarly, each of us has very specific requirements for nutrients that must be met in order to obtain and maintain good health, energy and well-being for a lifetime.
Without metabolic typing, there is no way to discern ones medicine from ones poison. Without metabolic typing, there is no way to know how nutrients behave in one person as opposed to another. In essence, without metabolic typing, no rational basis exists for which to select proper diet and nutritional supplementation because ones metabolic type dictates individual responses to nutrients.
This gets to the heart of some core premises of metabolic typing that have not only great significance for each individual in identification of a proper diet, but also have profound implications for scientific research. Lets look at two of these core premises of our system of metabolic typing. Heres the first one:
- ANY NUTRIENT AND ANY FOOD CAN HAVE VIRTUALLY OPPOSITE BIOCHEMICAL INFLUENCES IN DIFFERENT METABOLIC TYPES.
The metabolic type defines the way in which the body reacts to nutrients. Different metabolic types react differently to the same nutrient. For example, in one metabolic type 100 milligrams of potassium or eating, say, an orange (also high in potassium), will cause the bodys pH to shift alkaline and produce a sedating effect. But in a different metabolic type, the same amount of potassium or an orange will produce an acid shift and a stimulating response. This has been observed tens of thousands of times through both objective metabolic type testing as well as through changes in symptomatology.
Now the second core premise:
- ANY ADVERSE SYMPTOM OR DEGENERATIVE CONDITION CAN ARISE DUE TO VIRTUALLY OPPOSITE BIOCHEMICAL IMBALANCES.
This same principle applies to any adverse health complaint, from simple to complex, from cramps to cardiovascular disease (CVD), from rashes to rheumatoid arthritis. For example, we have seen just as many cases of high cholesterol and CVD resolve through a high carbohydrate, low fat, low protein diet as we have seen resolve through the opposite low carb, high protein, high fat diet. Match the diet to the metabolic type and any degenerative condition has a chance to reverse. But eat the wrong foods for the metabolic type -- even high quality, organic foods -- and degenerative processes will only worsen.
The implications of these premises are staggering.
If they are true, then allopathic nutrition has no rational basis. Seeking a common therapy for all people for every condition is a wild goose chase and is doomed to failure. Any success with that approach has been and will continue to be by chance -- not systematic, reliable predictability.
If any nutrient or food can have totally opposite influences, biochemically speaking, in different people, how can there be a treatment, for any condition, that can work for all people?
The answer is that there cant be only one treatment. This is precisely why what works for one person can worsen the same condition in another person. This is why what makes your friend thin can make you fat. This is why what improves energy and performance for one person can worsen it in another. As it turns out, metabolic typing explains why Lucretius adage, One mans food is another mans poison, is literally true.
And, if it is true that two people with the same degenerative disease can have virtually opposite biochemical imbalances, and that when two opposite biochemical protocols are administered the problem resolves, then this clearly means that its not the diseases that should be treated but the underlying metabolic type imbalances that have caused the diseases that need be addressed.
From this viewpoint, the diseases are not the problems; they are the symptoms, the manifestations, the expressions of the underlying, foundational imbalances. The reality of metabolic individuality demands that the person who has the disease -- not the disease that has the person -- be treated!
These premises of metabolic typing also explain why scientific research on nutrition is usually so inconclusive and produces such inconsistent results. For example, researchers have been confounded why calcium can lower blood pressure in some but raise it in others. Similar findings occurred with the effect of potassium. Until research on the effect of a given nutrient on a given condition is performed on a like metabolic type subject population, you will always see variable results.
The problem is that there hasnt been a reference point or a framework in which to organize and understand the thousands upon thousands of research findings, many of which are outright contradictory in nature. Its like an enormous jigsaw puzzle that arrives without the picture on the box. How do the pieces fit together? How can we possibly make sense and make use of this research?
The wrong questions have been and are still being asked. Instead of seeking answers to the effects of biochemical substances on diseases, we need to turn our attention to understanding how nutrients effect individual metabolisms. Instead of thinking in terms of treating disease, we must learn to think in terms of building health and meeting and optimizing genetic functional capacity by addressing the needs of each individuals metabolic type.
The adverse influences in the environment will continue to increase in the years ahead. In order to survive and live a full, productive life in the current millennium, especially if one wants to live a healthy life, it is becoming increasingly important that each individual take responsibility for his own health and address the inescapable requirements of his biochemical individuality, for it is only in so doing that the body will adapt and maintain its defenses against the adversities of the environment and that the joy and exuberance of true good health can be known.
W.L. and Suzi Wolcott, © Healthexcel, Inc., 1987, 1997, 2003
Find Your Metabolic Profile
Shattering Nutritional Myths
Core Premises of
the Healthexcel System Of Metabolic Typing