Metabolic Differences in People

Metabolism is “the sum of all the biochemical and electrical changes taking place within all the cells of the body that permit it to continue to grow and function.”

As one would assume, individuals do indeed have unique metabolisms. What can improve a condition in one metabolic type, can make it worse in a second metabolic type, or have minimal or no effect on a third metabolic type.

Lucretius (95-55 BC ), a Roman philosopher once stated:
“One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

Key differences between individuals relate to the manner in which food is metabolized and the way in which energy is produced and delivered. If diet is used to attempt to balance pH to the “optimal” level of 7.46, then one needs to know if any given food will make the body more acidic or more alkaline. However, this “simple” task of determining whether or not a particular food is acid-forming or alkaline-forming in a given person is not so easy – because each of us is different (i.e., our metabolic types are unique). For some metabolic types, a tomato is acid-forming. For others, it is alkaline-forming. Why is this?

Different Metabolic Types handle acids quite differently from other metabolic types. Some metabolic types readily oxidize (“burn”) weaker (also called volatile) acids, such as those in vinegar, tomatoes, and lemons, and eliminate them as gases (carbon dioxide) through the lungs, leaving the alkaline part, namely alkaline minerals, behind. They make the body more alkaline. Other metabolic types do not easily oxidize acids, so they must be neutralized in the bloodstream, using up precious alkaline reserves, leading to a less alkaline (more acidic) body.

Why Diets Often Fail

There are a number of ways of looking at metabolic types, and they vary from ancient methods developed over thousands of years to quite modern theories made popular in recent decades.

Metabolic experts agree that no one diet is right for everyone. They believe that any diet, in order to work properly, must be compatible with your metabolic type. If your diet, for example, stresses acidifying foods and your metabolism is already too acidic, then the diet will tend to have terrible results. Likewise, if your body is too yin, and you have a diet that is too yang, that diet also will most likely make you feel worse. If you tend to oxidize (burn up) foods quickly, then a diet of fast burning simple carbohydrates will probably be a disaster. A good diet must be compatible with balancing your pH, normalizing your Yin and Yang, and must promote proper Chi flow within the body. According to many doctors, one can only “live right” when eating, exercising, sleeping, and otherwise living in accordance with one’s metabolic type and current bodily conditions.

Metabolic Types – in the Western World

Much has to do with the dominant method by which the body handles energy – via Oxidation or via the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), both of which have subgroups.

Oxidation is the process whereby nutrients are “burned” or “oxidized” into energy in the body, using the Oxidative System. The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) also has much to do with how energy is produced and distributed in the body.

Ann Louise Gittleman in Your Body Knows Best writes:
“The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is referred to as the master regulator of metabolism and is considered the primary basis for the classification of metabolic types. Each of the systems with which we are concerned, autonomic and oxidative, has an important role to play in metabolic typing and each has an influence on, an interrelates with, the other.”

Other factors include ancestry, blood type, and Yin-Yang energy balance in the body. Some metabolic diets focus on balancing blood pH, since the body operates most efficiently at a given blood pH. Iodine, for instance, is utilized best at a blood pH of about 7.46.

Dr. Harold Kristal states, in The Nutrition Solution: A Guide to your Metabolic Type:
“Anything below a blood pH of 7.46 is overly acid; anything above is overly alkaline. If the blood pH is at the ideal level, then optimum absorption and utilization of micro- and macronutrients will take place. The further the pH deviates from the ideal, the less efficient will be the absorption and utilization of these nutrients. This creates an imbalanced milieu in which allergies, fatigue, digestive disorders, and a multitude of other disease conditions can occur.”

Two popular metabolic type diets (more detailed information is found on next ChiSpree Website page) focus on:

  • Balancing Blood pH to 7.46 using diet based on an individual’s method of energy production and delivery (Dr. Harold Kristal has 5 Metabolic Types)
  • Blood Type diets and lifestyle (Dr. d’Adamo has 4 Metabolic “blood” Types)

Metabolic Types – in the Oriental World

Oriental Medicine, having developed over thousands of years, is no less complex than Western Medicine. Ancient Eastern cultures (e.g., India and China) have quite different ways of looking at metabolism. They focus strongly on promoting Yin-Yang balance within the body. Oriental physicians believe strongly that energy imbalances occur before any disease is evident, and that correcting energy balance can prevent disease. Health comes when energy imbalances and energy blockages are cleared up. Two of the most ancient methods of healing (more detailed information is found on next ChiSpree Website page) are based on metabolic types, but they are determined quite differently than in the West. They involve:

  • Combinations of three types of doshas (Ayurvedic medicine of India)
  • The Yin-Yang balance in the body (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Each of the 4 systems of dealing with metabolic types mentioned above, and explained in more detail on the next ChiSpree Website page, and each has a monumental body of medical knowledge associated with it. By way of just one example, consider the taking of one’s pulse. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses 3 pulse positions, on each different wrist, at 3 different depths, with correspondences to different internal Yin and Yang organs. Each pulse can be of some 28 different pulse patterns (related to depth, speed, width, strength, overall shape/quality, rhythm and length), resulting in hundreds of different pulse combinations. The pulse is therefore a more valuable diagnostic too in Traditional Chinese Medicine than in Western Medicine.

Ayurvedic Medicine of India, called Ayurveda (“science of longevity”), having been around for thousands of years also, is equally advanced, using a myriad of pulse patterns, in addition to using the eyes, nails and tongue for diagnosis. In fact, Eastern medicine actually spread from India to China and Japan, as well as to other locations such as Russia, Egypt, Greece and Rome.

See Diets Based on Metabolic Type for more information.

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