I know this is the supplement science section but I have searched through all the threads discussing this topic and none of them were very detailed or informative. My main goal for this thread is to discuss Metabolic Tping and whether or not people think it's a legitimate practice or if it's just a money making scheme. I'm hoping some of the health professionals and doctors can chime in on this as I really value their opinions. Let's get a healthy debate going and also share any personal experiences you might have with Metabolic Typing or your reactions to certain foods.
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 over 60,000 cases over the last 25 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:
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
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:
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.