Why You Are Different From Every Other Person On Earth
Nutritional Individuality & Metabolic Typing
Part 1 by
Michael SellarThere is much discussion about nutrition these days. So you should be aware of the importance of eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, low fat meat and oily fish, and avoiding processed, refined, adulterated foods.
For at least 95% of people this would be excellent advice. If it was followed the NHS wouldn't have such a huge workload.
But you're reading this as an individual. I don't know you. Maybe you are among the 5% that has unusual dietary requirements. So I can't tell you as an individual what you should eat. Only you can know this!
Most books on nutrition assume everybody is the same. But it ain't so. We're all different.
Let me give you an example.
Over the last decade or so we've all been told how bad fat is. Fat is blamed for everything. Heart disease. Cancer. Overweight. Rising petrol prices. You name it. Instead we should switch to carbohydrates - fruit, veg, grains etc.
Well let me tell you about a diet some children are put on by doctors.
When Fat Is Good90% of the calories on this diet come from fat. You read that right. 90%.
What banana republic does this take place in?
Have the doctors been struck off? No. It's medically approved for children.
How overweight are these kids? Normal weight.
Their cholesterol levels must be astronomical surely? No. A tad higher than usual but nothing to worry about.
Give up? These kids have epilepsy. This diet controls their seizures.
You see the point I'm making? A typical meal of chicken, carrots, double cream and butter might turn your stomach. But to these kids and their families, it's just what the doctor ordered, so to speak.
You're still not convinced are you? You think that's a special case.
Surely we can make the general statement: fat is bad; fruits and vegetables are good?
Some nutritionists believe our most common nutritional deficiency is .... fat!!!
The subject of fat requires a whole article to itself. You'll have to wait for that. So let's leave it and look at fruit and veg for now.
When Vegetables Are BadIn February 2002 professor McColl of Glasgow University warned us that eating vegetables could be the cause of the fastest growing cancer in the UK. He and his research team think nitrate fertilisers could be responsible for the trebling of throat cancer over the last 20 years. Scotland is the worst affected area in the UK.
Buying organic is not the answer. They are also loaded with nitrate.
Now the good professor might be completely off beam here. I can't see how Scotland can suffer the worst. It's not exactly a secret the Scots have a hands-off relationship with vegetables.
Let's take another example. This is fictional but could be real.
Brian has problems like asthma, rhinitis, nasal polyps, and nettle rash. Knowing I know something about nutrition, he's avoided me for years. But now he asks me for advice. I question him casually about his diet.
Nothing green to be found (apart from jelly babies). His fast food outlet has never heard of carrots or apples and wonders what animal they come from. He lives on meat, dairy and refined wheat products.
I persuade Brian to change his diet for the better. Plenty of fruit and vegetables. He promises to follow my directions to the letter.
A few weeks later we bump into each other. He looks terrible. He's feeling far worse. He withdraws my invitation to his daughter's wedding.
What went wrong?
I forgot to ask whether he is allergic to aspirin!
"It's funny you should mention that because when I was a child I suffered the same symptoms after my mother gave me aspirin. The doctors found I had this allergy, so I've always avoided aspirin."
So why did his symptoms get worse? Because the chemical found in aspirin (salicylate) occurs in high amounts in most fruits and vegetables, but is naturally low on his old diet. He was on a low salicylate diet without being aware of it.
My advice had the same effect as prescribing aspirin.
I should point out, before I get a lot of rude e-mails from my colleagues, this scenario could not happen in a one-to-one consultation with a nutritional therapist, because a proper case history is taken.
So you see most fruits and vegetables would not be good for someone like Brian.
I could also mention all the naturally occurring toxins, carcinogens and mutagens found in fruits and vegetables. But I won't. At least not for this article.
I could even point out how sensitive many people are to carbohydrates. They must limit their intake of fruits and vegetables because they play havoc with their blood sugar levels. But I'm not going to dwell on this either.
I might even mention the many people who have a toxic reaction to certain foods. Even healthy foods, like grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes, onions. In fact you could be intolerant to almost anything. You may never find out unless you're tested.
The point is you are an individual, with individual requirements. You may be a homo sapien like everyone else, but you are truly unique.
Where Did I Come From?No, I'm not discussing the birds and the bees here, though I agree, it's more fun than nutrition. I mean where did your ancestors originate? This would be useful to know. It might tell you what you're best adapted to eat.
If it's from Eskimos, a high protein diet might be best. If it's from Japan, a low animal fat diet would be a good idea. And if it's from the East End of London, you're well adapted to eating pie, mash and jellied eels!
Should I Drinka Pinta Milka Day?If you are Greek Cypriot there's an 85% chance you'll have trouble digesting milk because of a deficiency of lactase - the enzyme needed to digest it.
But if you originate from Denmark there's a 98% chance you'll have no problems digesting milk.
You are as different on the inside as on the outside. Giving general advice may be inappropriate to you.
You Are Special - You Are UniqueThanks to that great scientist Roger J Williams and his books Biochemical Individuality and You Are Extraordinary we know how our anatomical differences affect our personality, character and life. Here's some examples:
Normal stomachs vary enormously in shape and size. They may empty their contents rapidly or slowly.
Pepsin and hydrochloric acid, needed to break down protein, can vary a thousandfold. In fact a lot of normal, healthy people, have no stomach acid at all!
Some people have such a large oesophagus they've swallowed a whole set of false teeth (some people will do anything to get on You've Been Framed). Other people have difficulty swallowing a small tablet.
These kind of differences help explain the food choices we make, how much we eat, how frequently we eat, how rapidly or slowly we eat.
The weights of normal livers can vary fourfold. This may affect how well we convert nutrients into building material and energy (metabolism).
The weights of some endocrine (hormone producing) glands like the thyroid can vary sixfold. This will influence appetite, thirst and much else.
The blood supply to glands and organs also varies. This will affect their efficiency.
The Answer Could Be In Your BloodIn his book Biobalance Rudolf A Wiley gives some interesting examples of people's individual responses to foods.
For 15 years Ann had the following problems: chronic fatigue, poor attention span, frequent vaginal discharge, metallic taste in the mouth, poor memory, abdominal bloating, overweight.
All lab tests were normal. She was told there was nothing physically wrong with her!
Dr. Wiley recommended a diet which was the exact opposite of the "healthy" diet she'd been eating. She was told to eat sausage and eggs, well buttered toast, coffee with heavy cream for breakfast. Buttered, fried potatoes and beef for lunch. Liver, fried cauliflower and creamed spinach for dinner.
Although this diet looked dreadful and her friends thought she'd die, she felt so ill she was prepared to do anything.
Within a month she'd lost 15 pounds in weight and felt much better. Within 3 months she achieved her ideal weight for the first time in her adult life and all symptoms disappeared. Her blood fat levels and cholesterol remained normal.
Next he gives the example of Melissa who had a similar health profile to Ann, but she was put on a wholefood, near vegetarian diet, with lots of fruit and vegetables.
Yet after just one week on this diet, all her symptoms vanished. 3 years later she's still fine.
This was after 10 years of intensive psychotherapy!
You are no doubt wondering why two people with similar health problems were put on such different diets. The answer lies in the pH or level of alkinity of the blood. I'll discuss Dr. Wiley's system in a future article.
Peter J D'Adamo also believes the answer is in your blood. But it's not pH. In his book Eat Right 4 Your Type, he suggests you have no choice about what's best to eat (or what types of exercise you should do), because this is determined by your blood group. He gives 4 diets, 4 exercise programmes and 4 plans for healthy living according to whether you're an O,A,B or the very select AB. Your internal chemistry, the way you absorb nutrients and what foods your body handles well will be reflected in your blood type.
What Metabolic Type Are You?After Dr. William D Kelley cured himself of cancer with a mainly vegetarian diet (and much else) he put his wife on a strictly vegetarian diet when she became ill. When she nearly died from his 'cure' he realised how individual our responses can be. He went on to develop a system called metabolic typing.
This looks at both the efficiency of your metabolism and the tendencies towards dominance within your autonomic nervous system.
After much research he came up with 10 metabolic types. Once you know what your type is, you know what foods you function best on. For instance type 1's would do best on a mainly raw vegetarian diet. Type 2's must have meat to function at their best; like fatty lamb and beef.
You need to answer an incredible 3,200 questions. Blood and urine analysis is also undertaken. If you survive this experience you'll discover your metabolic type.
Kelley devised this system decades ago. It has since been modified and updated (and simplified I hope). I will look further at this system and report in a future article.
Body Typing divides people into 25 types based on the idea that each person has a dominant gland or organ determined at birth. Each body type has certain physical characteristics and psychological traits. And each has its own nutritional needs. By recognising which body type we are, we can eat according to the specific needs of our body.
A Sticky Doughnut Could Be Good!I thought this idea was original to me until I found someone else had thought of it first. I'll never become a guru this way.
Wally Heiby in his book, The Reverse Effect comes up with what he calls the Pleasure Concept.
Human beings are a combination of mind, body and spirit. We can influence our health by our beliefs and mental state.
Being positive, confident, outgoing, optimistic and happy; liking ourselves; feeling in control of life; setting realistic goals; having supportive friends; giving and receiving love; challenging work; pleasurable pastimes; all these and more are important.
Heiby believes, and I agree with him, that occasionally eating something that gives us pleasure but is a nutritional no-no, could be good for us. A chocolate eclair filled with whipped cream; a 99 with hundreds and thousands; a doughnut oozing with sticky jam; a Yorkie Bar.
The negative nutritional aspects can be outweighed by the pleasure of the experience. This feeling of pleasure has many positive effects on our biochemistry.
"I believe.....those more casual about their eating habits - even if life-shortening foods are consumed - will generally live longer than those eating only healthful foods, if the orientation of the latter is such that pleasure is reduced."
There is very little point eating healthy food if it makes you miserable. You are not benefiting your health at all. You may make it worse. Just as being unhappy and depressed reduces the efficiency of our immune systems.
"Eat healthful foods and avoid unhealthful ones, but only to the extent that such eating does not reduce the fun of living!"
Summing UpFor the vast majority of people, a nutrititious wholefood diet is best.
But your dietary needs may differ from everybody else. We are all different. There is no single diet that's best for everybody. Only you can know what's best for your body. Be your own expert!
Foods we think of as healthy may not be for you.
Foods we think of as unhealthy may not be for you.
Foods known to be unhealthy, may still be healthy for you.
The diet of your ancestors might help you know what you're best adapted to eat.
Your individual internal anatomy could determine your eating habits.
Methods to determine your individual needs have been devised, such as blood pH, blood type, metabolic typing and body typing.
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.