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What is a metabolic type?

Your body is a complex series of many millions of chemical reactions. You could liken it to a large multi-national company with thousands of employees. The behaviour of the employees comes from the decisions made by the handful of executives at the top. The human body is the same, the millions of reactions that take place daily are determined by just 11 control systems.

Your metabolic type is the pattern of each of these systems. A metabolic type is generally classified as the state of the two major systems upon the body. These are, the state of your Autonomic nervous system and Oxidation system. The more of the eleven systems analyzed on top of this, the more accurate your metabolic type recommendations can be made.

Classifying your metabolic type

To classify your metabolic type you need to discover how the two major systems are behaving and how they compare to each other.

Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

The ANS controls all the processes of our body that are below the level of consciousness e.g. breathing, digestion, heart rate, and perspiration. The ANS is divided into two parts, the flight or flight response (sympathetic branch) and the rest and recovery response (parasympathetic branch).

Each part is associated with stimulating an organ into action. For example, the sympathetic branch increases heart rate, while the parasympathetic branch activates digestion. The opposite branch will also slow down the others processes.

As an example, if you are eating dinner, your parasympathetic branch activates the digestive organs; if a lion walked into the room, the sympathetic branch would stop the digestive processes and activate increased heart rate, secretion of adrenaline etc. On the lion,s departure (assuming you had not been eaten), the parasympathetic branch would slow down the heart rate and stop adrenaline production before reactivating digestion to absorb your dinner.

This push-pull mechanism by the two parts of the ANS shows itself through the magnitude of effect they have on a host of different physical and mental characteristics. For example, a high resting heart rate, low patience, goal oriented attitude shows signs of sympathetic influence. A low resting heart rate, relaxed and intuitive attitude shows influences from the parasympathetic branch. We all have varying degrees of influence on the hundreds of such variable traits. When viewed together the overall picture of the where the nervous system lies at rest can be seen and allows you to be classified.

Oxidation System

The oxidation system is the other major system that defines your metabolic type. It relates to the processing of your food, especially carbohydrates and fats. To gain efficient energy production the right amounts of the chemical products derived from food, must arrive in the cells at the same time. To do this you must be aware of how the body handles food.

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The oxidative system classifies people as either slow, mixed or fast oxidizers, a fast oxidizer is said to process carbohydrates too quickly compared to fats and a slow oxidizers processes carbohydrates too slowly compared to fats. A mixed oxidizer somewhere in between these two. These imbalances within the body cause problems by not getting the right products in the cells at the right time
The oxidation classifications are related to key dietary traits and psychological characteristics. Through analysis of the many possible traits an overall picture of your status can be found and placed along the         continuum.

Dominance

The above two systems have the largest influence on your bodies chemical reactions. Out of these one of the two will be more important. This is dependent upon each individual case. The dominant system and the classification within this determines which general nutrition scheme you should be following. There are six major nutrition plans to follow depending which cross is most important out of the two.

The dominance factor explains why there is such contradiction in nutrition today. Different people need different foods for their body. Therefore you can follow a healthy diet yet not get results because though the diet was healthy in a general sense it was not right for your body.

The dominance factor also explains why supplements and nutrients do not produce consistent results from nutrition studies. This is because different people need different nutrients but also because different metabolic type need different carrier forms of a nutrient. For example, both Parasympathetics and Fast oxidizers are low in Calcium within the cell but one needs an acidic form of calcium while the other alkaline. The dominance factor is what makes nutrition so complicated!

Changing Type

I have, since first discovering metabolic typing, been a fast oxidizer metabolic type. This meant I followed nutrition plan 3 which seeked to reduce the speed I processed carbohydrates and increase my fat processing ability.

On retesting recently my body is now a mixed oxidizer and thus I now follow nutrition plan 2. These changes are common place, read more about changes in my article on how your body chemistry can change.

Further Levels of Analysis in your Metabolic Type.

Through examining some or all of the other 8 systems within the body you are able to make further refinements with each of the 6 general nutritional schemes, through elimination or supplementation of certain foods and nutrients.

To discover four of the ten systems within your body and how they affect your health please consider taking the metabolic typing test as part of one of my courses.

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