The Burma Road Practice
Active Birth Workshops & Doula
Alexander Technique
Allergy Testing
Cranial Osteopathy
Craniosacral Therapy
Hypnotherapy & Counselling
Life Coaching
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Massage Therapy
Paediatric Osteopathy
Past Life Regression
Personal Training
Pilates Classes
Site Map
Nutrition Articles (23)
Natural Health Articles (8)
About Us
Contact Us

Biochemical Individuality - Metabolic Typing Diet


Why You Are Different From Every Other Person On Earth

Nutritional Individuality & Metabolic Typing

Part 2


Michael Sellar

Dr Roger Williams was given morphine to control the pain and send him to sleep after an ulcer operation. It did relieve the pain but did not send him to sleep. In fact it made his mind active. So his doctor gave him a second, heavier dose. That would surely do the trick. The result was a mind that raced even faster. He had “a long night full of torture.”

This incident was put aside for many years, but eventually he went on to make a study of the differences between people. Astonishing anatomical differences that make for different characters and personalities. Differences in hormone and enzyme secretions, composition of body fluids, sleep requirements and patterns, reactions to temperature, alcohol consumption capacity, food selection and metabolism etc.

The Genetotrophic Principle

People’s nutritional requirements were also found to vary. Inadequate or unbalanced nutrition at the cellular level was deemed to be an important cause of poor health. He called this the genetotrophic principle.

“Every individual organism that has a distinctive genetic background has distinctive nutritional needs which must be met for optimal well-being.”

He suggested the metabolic peculiarities that predispose towards a particular health problem should be sought, and the metabolic weakness should be corrected through optimum nutrition for that individual.

Mainstream medicine largely ignored the biochemical individuality approach. But orthodontist William Donald Kelley was influenced by his work after his wife’s illness.

Given only weeks to live, he cured his own cancer with a vegetarian, wholefood diet, nutritional supplements and detoxification. He went on to treat many other people successfully with cancer and degenerative diseases.

Yet when his wife became very ill after being exposed to toxic paint fumes, the regimen which saved him actually worsened her condition. In a last desperate attempt to save her, he fed her beef broth. Her health rapidly recovered. This incident made him realise there was no universal diet. He devised a way to assess people’s unique dietary needs through metabolic typing.

The Autonomic Model

The clue to where he should look came from two other researchers, Francis Pottenger MD and Royal Lee DDS. They discovered that much of the answer lay in the autonomic nervous system (ANS) that controls bodily processes outside of conscious control. Divided into two parts, the sympathetic “fight or flight” branch which tends to speed up metabolism, and the parasympathetic “rest and digest” branch which tends to slow metabolism.

People may be neurologically influenced by one system more than the other, and they may differ in the degree to which they are influenced by the ANS as a whole. These inborn genetic/environmental influences can result in either sympathetic or parasympathetic dominance in an individual. This will give rise to different physical, behavioural and psychological tendencies.

For instance, the sympathetic dominant type will tend to be tall and thin with an angular face, tend towards high blood pressure and constipation, have a poor appetite, be highly motivated with excellent concentration.

The parasympathetic dominant type will be shorter and wider with a round face, tend towards low blood pressure and diarrhoea, have a big appetite, procrastinate and be lethargic.

These are just a small selection of differences. In fact there are hundreds of physical and behavioural differences and health problems associated with, or prone to each of the dominant types.

Dr Pottenger was the first to use calcium and potassium to influence both branches to guide the ANS into balance. Lee expanded the use of nutrients and defined a broader range of health problem linked to ANS imbalance. But it was Kelley who used the ANS as a means to determine people’s metabolic individuality.

After analysing thousands of people, Kelley believed they could be placed into 3 basic categories. The sympathetic dominant type requires a high carbohydrate, low protein, predominantly vegetarian diet to function optimally. The parasympathetic dominant type needs a high percentage of calories from fatty meat. The third category are balanced types who thrive on a wide variety of foods. These 3 basic types were divided into 10 subtypes, each with their own dietary and nutritional requirements.

Many people with serious health problems regained their health using Kelley’s protocols. However, he was unable to help everybody. Indeed, some people’s health deteriorated. Why was this?

The Oxidative Model

George Watson PhD ascribed mental and emotional disorders to metabolic problems. Over the years he was able to restore the health of several hundred patients who had exhausted psychotherapy and standard medical procedures. People with depression, mood swings, poor concentration and erratic behaviour. He solved their problems through diet and nutritional supplementation.

He developed his own metabolic typing system based on cellular oxidation. Foods are turned into energy in a sequence of steps in glycolysis and the Krebs cycle. Certain vitamins and minerals are required at each stage. A lack of these can result in less than optimal energy production and “a wide variety of mental and emotional disorders.” How a person functions psychologically depends on the rate of cellular oxidation.

Through many years of research, Watson found some people can be fast or slow oxidisers. Fast oxidisers do not burn sugar rapidly enough or in sufficient amounts in glycolysis. Slow oxidisers do the opposite. Since the normal functioning of the Krebs cycle - which produces most of the energy - depends on the efficient functioning of the glycolytic energy cycle, any problems with the latter will affect the rate of energy release and the amount of energy that can be formed.

Although genetics and environment affect cellular oxidation, it can be influenced by diet. By varying the proportion of carbohydrates to fat to protein; by varying the type of protein eaten; by giving specific vitamins and minerals depending on oxidative type, imbalances could be rectified.

The Dominance Factor

William Wolcott worked as Dr. Kelley’s clinical assistant. He came across Watson’s work in 1981. While it confirmed the importance of metabolic typing, it presented a problem. The oxidative model contradicted the ANS model! For instance, in the former, potassium has an acidifying effect. In the latter it alkalises. Wolcott discovered the answer to this seeming contradiction lay in which system, oxidative or ANS, was dominant in any particular individual. The dominance factor determines how foods or nutrients behave in the body, so it is essential to know which system is dominant.

This explained why some people on Kelley’s programme got worse. Once this new protocol was put into action many difficult cases could be resolved. “The results were swift and dramatic. Suddenly I began seeing real progress in those who had not previously responded to nutritional regimens based just on the Kelley autonomic model alone.”

“Together, the autonomic type and the oxidation rate determine the overall metabolic type and define the requirements of nutritional individuality. It is imperative for the practising nutritional therapist to accurately determine their interrelationships. It is only in so doing that the therapist will be rewarded with success. If the requirements of the nutritional individuality are correctly fulfilled, the results can be so astonishing as to appear to stem from the realm of magic. It is only then that the therapist can understand from his own experience that truly, food can be our medicine or our poison.”

Other Metabolic Influences

Although the ANS and oxidation rate are the most important metabolic variables, there are many others.

Anabolic and Catabolic Imbalance
Anabolic/catabolic balance, based on the research of the late Dr Revici, is concerned with the build up and breakdown of bodily tissues, the quality of energy production within each cell, and the permeability of cell membranes.

With anabolic imbalance there is an excess of sterols to fatty acids. The inflow of oxygen and nutrients and the outflow of wastes are compromised. This causes a shift towards anaerobic metabolism. In catabolic imbalance, the opposite applies with excess oxidation and resulting free radical generation.

Electrolyte Balance
Regulates circulation and osmotic pressure. Electrolyte balance is based on the research of Guy Schenker. Electrolyte excess can lead to clumping, making it difficult for fluids to circulate, putting stress on the cardiovascular system. Electrolyte deficiency can disrupt the endocrine and cardiovascular system.

Acid/Alkaline Balance
Changes in pH are usually due to their effect on homeostatic controls. Those who are too acid for instance tend to be sympathetic dominant fast oxidisers. pH is also influenced by anabolic/catabolic balance, electrolyte balance, respiration, endocrine functioning and to a lesser extent, food ash. There are also six other acid/alkaline imbalances that involve respiratory and renal function.

Prostaglandin Balance
These regulate inflammatory and immune responses. The main ones are series one, two and three. Each series can be influenced by diet, drugs, vitamins, minerals and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Endocrine & Blood Type
Drs. Bieler and Abravanel found each gland can be stimulated by certain foods, and Drs. D’Adamo found that certain people are affected by blood type specific dietary lectins.

Metabolic Typing in Practice

The complexities of metabolism seem insurmountable. However, typing is not impossible. True, for someone with a serious chronic illness, a questionnaire covering over 3000 questions will have to be answered and a good deal of lab work carried out.

For others, answering 65 questions will give an idea of which general category a person is in. Wolcott says this has a “very high degree of accuracy” being a “remarkably advanced and powerful tool.” If clarification is required, he provides a means to fine tune the diet so the right macronutrient ratios can be identified. Details in his book or healthexcel.com

Harold Kristal DDS provides a Self-Test Kit allowing a number of tests to be carried out at home over a 3 hour period. The Kit contains a blood glucose meter and test strips, lancets, glucose and protein challenge powders, pH papers and questionnaire. A chart is filled out during the testing period and the results are faxed or posted off. A report is then sent back informing the user of their metabolic type.

This article was first published in Enzyme Digest No. 62, Autumn 2003

Any health and medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.