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To understand the field of nutrition, it is important to understand some basic concepts. The foremost is the recognition of individuality. While fingerprints set individuals apart from each other, people have another characteristic that makes them unique as well; it is their metabolism.
Before we had the thinking brain and the consciousness of spirit, I believe that our gut was the first brain. Scientists are finding more and more the relationship on the cellular level of the same types of cells in the brain as in the gut. For example, the gut has a greater quantity of the feel good hormonal brain cells like dopamine, serotonin, etc., than the brain. The late Dr. Roger Williams was one of the earliest researchers to recognize this characteristic, which he called “biochemical individuality.”
Genetic studies have shown that a vast diversity exists among the human population. There is also a high degree of variability in the biochemical makeup of individuals that affects their nutritional status, including absorption, excretion, and metabolism of nutrients. Dr. Williams pointed out that adults of the same age and size in similar environmental settings who ate a similar diet, had several-fold differences in their nutritional requirements. Even children within the same family have different biochemical make-ups, creating distinct differences in their nutritional needs.
Today, there is a greater recognition and acceptance of the fact that metabolic individuality exists. People are being classified according to personality and body types.
High stress individuals, for example, are classified as type A personalities, and are known to be susceptible to stress-related diseases. Type B personalities, on the other hand, are not as likely to succumb to conditions that affect type A personalities. For example, individuals who have an apple-shaped body structure, are found to be susceptible to diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. The apple shape is due to an increased fat deposition in the abdominal region. Individuals with a pear-shaped body structure are not at as much of a risk for these conditions. Pear-shaped individuals tend to accumulate fat below the hips, in the buttocks and thighs.
To determine if you have an apple or pear shaped body type, measure your hips and waist. Then divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. If the result is 0.75 or less, you have a pear shaped body type. If the result is greater than 0.75, you have a tendency toward an apple shape body type.
“If any facet of an individual’s life history leaves a bio-chemical mark that can be measured in the laboratory, then this life history marker can potentially be used to specify individuality.” Based upon this statement, a plausible model for determining metabolic types can be presented through mineral patterns found in biopsied human hair. The study of thousands of Tissue Mineral Analyses (TMAs) has revealed distinctive patterns which help to recognize metabolic types.
Eight metabolic categories can be identified through properly obtained, assayed and interpreted hair samples. These include the fast metabolic types 1 through 4, and the slow metabolic types 1 through 4. People generally fall into these two categories: they are either “fast” or “slow” metabolizers.
The term metabolism describes the utilization of nutrients and the efficiency of that utilization on a cellular level. The neurological and endocrine systems largely govern cellular metabolism and nutritional status. One’s nutritional status in turn also affects these systems.
There are telltale signs that distinguish fast from slow metabolizers. They appear depending upon the degree of trace element imbalances, endocrine activity, and how long the pattern has been present.
There are several advantages to knowing one’s metabolic type. We know that individuals are subject to specific health conditions depending upon their personality such as type A or B, and body types such as apple or pear shapes. Body types, personality types and metabolic types are all affected by the body chemistry. Body chemistry is affected or controlled by the endocrine and nervous systems. These systems also affect nutritional status. Conversely, these systems can be changed through specific nutritional factors.
So before going out to try the latest fad diets and popping in supplements and/or over the counter, as well as prescription drugs, wouldn’t you be better off to find out about your mineral nutritional status to be get your body and mind in alignment? This can alleviate your body from chronic inflammation and to escape some of the diseases that befall humans.
Williams, R. Biochemical Individuality. Wiley and Sons, Pub., 1977.