I’ve been reading a lot about how the human body functions in all it’s intricacies. While I am a Biology/Chemistry major and learned all about how alike we are in form and function, what I have learned since my college education is that we are more like snowflakes. While we have the same basic building materials those materials are put together in different ways making us each unique.
Yes we all have a liver, skin, and eyeballs but what have you seen with your eyeballs? What traumas have you experienced? What lessons did your parents teach you? What have you witnessed since your birth? All of these intricate factors changes how energy flows through our bodies. This shift in energy flow makes us very unique. A room full of people can look at a painting and when interviewed about what they liked about it or what they saw, every answer will be unique.
This uniqueness must be honored. In today’s society we are all squeezed into a box. We are forced to be the same as everyone else. This is causing a myriad of health imbalances because we are NOT all alike. When we are freed from this “same as everyone else” prison we can allow our wings to expand and fly free.
In this 5 part blog series I will go over, in a high level fashion, the basic physiologic constitutions that I use to work with my clients and help them to establish a baseline for their own health and wellness. First I will start of with the basic principles of physiologic constitutions and follow up with the oxidative system. In part 2 I will cover sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system dominance. In part 3 I will cover the Ayurvedic system. In part 4 I will cover anabolic-catabolic qualities as well as endocrine dominance. Finally, in part 5 I will cover blood type and pH.
THE KEY PRINCIPLES OF PHYSIOLOGIC CONSTITUTIONS ARE:
- any nutrient and food can have opposite biochemical effects in different individuals;
- any symptoms or degenerate conditions can be caused by opposite biochemical imbalances;
- diseases are the result of underlying metabolic imbalances, and so the treatment of disease is the treatment of the underlying metabolic imbalance;
- in a particular individual there is one homeostatic regulatory system that dominates these other systems;
- which system dominates will determine how a particular diet or nutrient behaves in one’s system;
- to accurately select a proper diet and nutrients, one needs to know the dominant system and metabolic type.
Some of the main constitutional systems originally outlined by W L. Wolcott to consider include:
- autonomic system operating on a continuum ranging from sympathetic-dominant to parasympathetic-dominant;
- oxidative system operating on a continuum ranging from fast oxidation of glucose to slow oxidation of glucose;
- Ayurvedic psychophysiologic constitutional tendencies as found in the dosha forces kapha/ pitta/ vata;
- acid/ alkaline operating on a continuum ranging from acid- to alkaline-forming foods;
- endocrine glands ranging from the dominant endocrine type to the least dominant (adrenal, thyroid, gonadal, and pituitary);
- lipo-oxidative system operating on a continuum ranging from catabolic-aerobic-acid versus anabolic-anaerobic-alkaline;
- blood type, such as Type O, A, AB, etc., associated with lectin sensitivity.
Once we determine the dominant physiologic system of an individual, we then can begin to develop a diet that works to balance that system and most effectively bring homeostasis (balanced physiologic functioning of the biologic system) and optimal health to the overall organism.
1.Oxidative: oxidative system operating on a continuum ranging from fast oxidation of glucose to slow oxidation of glucose. It is the most common dominant system found in approximately 60% of the population.
THE PRIMARY FUNCTION OF THE OXIDATIVE SYSTEM is to convert proteins, fats, starches, and sugars into cellular energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the biological form of energy storage at the cellular level. There are two main biochemical energy cycles at the cellular level that produce ATP. One is called glycolysis and the other is called the citric acid cycle. Glycolysis provides about 33% of the cellular energy. The citric acid cycle, when operating optimally, produces about 66% of the cellular energy. To make each of these cycles work optimally and efficiently, there needs to be an optimal ratio of raw materials coming from sugars, protein, and complex carbohydrates in a person’s diet.
Needs of Fast, Slow, and Mixed Oxidizers:
Fast Oxidizer: people whose metabolism burns glucose quickly and have too much activity in the glycolysis cycle. In this case there is an imbalance with the metabolites of the fat and protein metabolism, which is insufficient to match the excess of metabolites such as pyruvate from the glycolysis cycle. To get the correct mix, fast oxidizers need to eat more protein and fat to produce more acetyl-CoA to keep up with the high glycolysis metabolism. The best diet balance is high protein, 50-55%; low carbohydrate, 30-35%; medium fat, 20-25%; tendency to be acid.
Slow Oxidizer: A person with a slow oxidative metabolism processes glucose too slowly in the glycolysis cycle and therefore does not create the proper fuel mix with the catabolic products of fat and protein metabolism. The result of this poor mix is a slow-down of the production of energy in the cells. Adverse psychological effects of this include documented cases of anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. The best diet balance is low protein, 30-35%; high carbohydrate, 55-60%; low fat, 10-15%; tendency to be alkaline.
Mixed Oxidizer: The best diet balance is medium protein, 40-45%; medium carbohydrate, 40-45%; medium fat, 15-20%; tendency to be optimal pH 7.46.
Sorting out the most appropriate diet in this complex field requires looking at all the factors. The most important point to remember is that we are unique individuals, and as such we best serve ourselves by developing a diet pattern that is unique to our physiology.
There is no one diet for everyone nor one nutrient that will work miracles for everyone. Conscious living means to remain conscious. It implies being your own scientist and entering into a process of trial and error as you finetune your diet. Rediscovering how to eat in a way that best enhances our health, well-being, and joy is a noble endeavor. When we change our diet so that it is optimal for us, it positively influences all our biological systems and every aspect of our health and well-being.
There are three essential questions to remember:
- Am I emotionally stable after eating?
- Do I have increased physical energy after eating?
- Am I craving any foods?
The answers to these questions cannot be obtained from any book. They must come from our own experience. This is a most important key to conscious living.
If you have any further questions and would like to receive your own analysis to dial in your unique needs faster, please send me an email at email@example.com or click this link [Initialize It! Program] to schedule an appointment.
- Cousens Md, Gabriel (2009-03-03). Conscious Eating: Second Edition (Kindle Locations 857-864). North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition.