Nutrition Topic 1. Metabolic Typing and Related Factors (2016 update)

Metabolic Types and Related Factors
Introduction (2016 update)
Cordell E. Logan, ND


Metabolic Typing is a method to determine which of four types you fall into based upon whether you are a fast or slow oxidizer, and what part of the autonomic nervous system has the more influence.

This 2016 update reflects a major re-evaluation of the trend of health as influenced by the autonomic nervous system. For decades or much longer, the autonomic nervous system was thought to be divided into the parasympathetic and the sympathetic systems. Now we add a third: the social nervous system as researched by Dr. Stephen Porgus. By doing this we more fully understand the stresses many people experience now.

How you handle food is determined by two or more processes. One is how the liver and digestive system governs the conversion of food to energy. This is based upon the Krebs Cycle. It has been determined that you can be either a fast or a slow oxidizer. The second process is based upon the neuroendocrine control of energy. Sympathetic is commonly associated with high nervous energy. Here we may find the type “A” personality. The parasympathetic dominant person tends to be more relaxed. Neither is right nor wrong. With the new third, the vagus nerve, which is more closely associated with the parasympathetic division, has both myelinated and unmyelinated parts. Emotions are largely associated with this.
It may be surprising to you that different foods result in different pH changes in the blood that are dependent upon these two governing systems, and not upon the acidity or alkalinity of the original food.
The ideal pH of the blood is 7.46. This does not change much and is always in the alkaline range. However, for our purposes here, we define blood that is above 7.46 to be “too alkaline” and blood that is below 7.46 to be “too acid” even though it really is not in the acid range.

The Fast Oxidizer’s blood is relatively too acid. The Slow oxidizer’s is too alkaline. The Sympathetic dominant’s blood is too acid. The Parasympathetic dominant’s blood is too alkaline.

Yet the ideal diet for the Fast Oxidizer and the Parasympathetic person is the same. The same goes for the Slow Oxidizer and the Sympathetic person.

Tomatoes acidify the two Oxidative types. This is good for Slow Oxidizer but not for the Fast Oxidizer. Tomatoes alkalinize the Autonomic types. This is good for the Sympathetic person but not for the Parasympathetic person.

Spinach is alkaline forming for the Oxidative types. This is good for the Fast Oxidizer (whose blood is too acid) but not for the Slow Oxidizer (whose blood is too alkaline). Spinach is acid forming for the Autonomic types. This is good for the Parasympathetic person but not for the Sympathetic person. Wheat is acid forming for the Oxidative types. This is good for Slow Oxidizer but not for the Fast Oxidizer. Wheat is alkaline forming for the Autonomic types. This bad for the Parasympathetic types but good the Sympathetic types.

We can use a questionnaire to determine food groupings best for you. We can get a good idea as to which of the four types fits you most closely, however, these four split into two food groupings (Group 1 or Group 2), which is really what you are want in the end. The Slow Oxidizer and the Sympathetic dominant person goes into food Group 1. The Fast Oxidizer and the Parasympathetic dominant person goes into food Group 2.

Group 1 type needs more Complex Carbohydrates and less Protein and Fats. Group 2 type needs more Protein and Fats and less Complex Carbohydrates. Now we can see why some do well with the Atkin’s type diet (higher protein and fats) and some don’t.
Dr. Melvin E. Page (DDS) did work during the 1940s on the relationship between blood calcium and phosphorus. An ideal ratio, calcium divided by phosphorus, is 2.5. For example, if phosphorus is relatively low, the ratio would be higher, and indicates the person tends to be parasympathetic. The opposite means sympathetic.

The growing incidence of autoimmune problems also impinges upon body metabolism.
The questionnaire, now with the input of the third part of the autonomic nervous system, is a “work in progress,” however, determining the major food groupings can still have benefit.

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    • This site contains educational articles that can impact your health. Dr. Logan is licensed as a Naturopathic Doctor in Utah. He graduated from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, now called the National University of Natural Medicine.
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