2

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Thoughts on the claim of a 'unique metabolism' referenced via the 'metabolic typing' diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 04, 2012 at 11:56 AM

For interest sake...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolic_typing

Metabolic typing is the term for a diet based upon the concept of metabolic type. Proponents claim that each person has a unique metabolism, and that therefore the nutrients which are appropriate for one person may be inappropriate for a second, and detrimental for a third. Metabolic typing claims to use common visible symptoms related to the skin, eyes, and other superficial parts of the body to assess different aspects of a person's metabolism and categorize them into broad metabolic types. In addition, some proponents of metabolic typing use tests such as hair analysis to determine a person's "metabolic type".

Reading the full Wiki article I can't say it gave me much confidence in the claim, but I wondered if anyone else as heard of 'metabolic typing' and whether there is anything to it in terms of us all having a 'unique metabolism'?

12e840daecfe5ac2279cffda499e1595

on January 10, 2012
at 07:59 AM

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of EVOLUTION! Exactly you just proved my point. Different environments. Different foods. Different adaptations. Different biochemistry. Different requirements for food. Eskimos and Quechua Indians from the South American jungle have adapted to different environments. They SHOULD NOT eat the same food.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 09:43 PM

Just spotted: http://robbwolf.com/2010/02/23/the-paleolithic-solution-episode-16/ where he talks about it.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 07:22 PM

Interesting Column totals: 15, 23, 4. I did come out "protein type" which is correct for me.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 04, 2012
at 06:36 PM

For the record, my type suggests eating high carb, which I empirically don't do well on. So don't get too attached to your results page.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 04, 2012
at 06:33 PM

For the record, my type suggests eating high carb, which I empirically don't do well on. So don't get too attached to your results page.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:09 PM

Thanks, that is interesting to know.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on January 04, 2012
at 01:52 PM

Gonna have to agree with heavyarms; this is a typical case of oversimplification of natural human variation. I'm reminded of Jungian typology, where human beings are categorized into 16 unique psychological types. Yes, obviously humans are different, but any attempts to categorize end in gross generalizations.

082bf04a7486991c5e573a66f1404b3e

(813)

on January 04, 2012
at 12:14 PM

Homing in on the salient comment "a diet based upon..."; I'd be very keen to know if that's simply calorific intake, or specific food-type intake? I think it's blindingly obvious the everyone has a different metabolism, but designing a diet around it sounds very suspect.

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7 Answers

2
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on January 04, 2012
at 04:19 PM

I actually had metabolic typing done, before I ever came 'round to paleo. There are three basic 'types' -- protein type; carb type; and mixed type -- in the Metabolic Typing sphere. They're, in general terms, based around how a person responds to a series of questions and lab tests used to determine how well that person processes carbohydrates. The carbohydrates in question do include grains, but specifically require a period of no fruit and no sugars prior to the testing.

I tested as a "protein type", both by questionnaire and subsequent physical testing. Following the metabolic typing system worked really well for me--until I realized that I'm more a "fat type" than a "protein type" -- I don't do great on high levels of protein. I need to replace the carbohydrates in my diet with fat calories instead to truly stay healthy. However, on a very positive note, most of the practitioners who do the testing for metabolic testing actually TELL you that you'll need to refine the diet to fit your body's particular parameters, so n=1 experimentation is encouraged to find the right macronutrient balance for an individual body.

I think it has some value -- especially for someone who might not be ready to completely abandon grains and other cultivars. It's one more tool in the 'better health' toolbox, IMO.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:09 PM

Thanks, that is interesting to know.

1
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 04, 2012
at 06:35 PM

This questionnaire led me to a surprisingly consistent set of answers (>90% of my answer fell under column 1)

This makes me think that at the very least, there is some consistency in the traits being measured.

There may be validity to metabolic typing.

Further reference if you're interested. The reviews on this are oddly high, maybe giving credence to the idea that this is rooted in something legitimate.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 07:22 PM

Interesting Column totals: 15, 23, 4. I did come out "protein type" which is correct for me.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 04, 2012
at 06:36 PM

For the record, my type suggests eating high carb, which I empirically don't do well on. So don't get too attached to your results page.

0
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 10, 2012
at 01:15 PM

The A to Z diet study and genetic followup would give credence to this idea, too. The study tested the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets and found that there was a lot of variation in weight loss within each diet. A genetics company followed up with over a hundred of the women in the study and found that gene expression patterns for a handful of genes (ABP2, ADRB2, and PPAR-gamma) could predict whether they had better success with low-fat/high-carb or high-fat/low-carb.

0
12e840daecfe5ac2279cffda499e1595

on January 10, 2012
at 07:52 AM

Little common sense: Natural selection: Replicating organisms that are not perfect will make mistakes and mutate. If the mutations tend to enhance survivability they are more likely to be reproduced in future generations. This guarantees adaptation to environment. Are there different environments in the world? Yes. Do they have diff food sources? Yes. Therefore people adapt and change. This is fundamental to Metabolic Typing. There is no logical scientific argument that will refute this, NONE! Of course people are different. Don't we look different on the outside? Haven't we adapted to our environments in different ways? Of course look at skin color. As you go further from the equator you get lighter skin. Why? Less sun light. Sun light creates vitamin D. Therefore people living in northern climates have lighter skin color. That's just one example. Don't believe me, (I can't understand how) read Bio Chemical Individuality by Roger Williams, Ph.D. biochemistry, the discover of Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acid (no slouch). Don't people have different reactions to different drugs? Of course. Metabolic Typing is a complicated science based off of the compilation of many different researchers, many mistakes and many successes. It is not a Hair Mineral test although that will give insight to individuality. It is not based off of simple types such as protein types or carb types, it is based off of your unique biochemistry. Your a snow flake. Realize the reason literally every other diet has failed for the majority of people. There is no one-size-fits all nutritional approach that is, has been, or ever will be successful. If you want more info, I will send you four free videos. Sign up on my page: http://www.paleoathletics.com/Paleo_Athletics.com/Metabolic_Typing.html

12e840daecfe5ac2279cffda499e1595

on January 10, 2012
at 07:59 AM

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of EVOLUTION! Exactly you just proved my point. Different environments. Different foods. Different adaptations. Different biochemistry. Different requirements for food. Eskimos and Quechua Indians from the South American jungle have adapted to different environments. They SHOULD NOT eat the same food.

0
9225c8e3ea353a2c604cacd62506047d

on January 04, 2012
at 10:02 PM

It sounds to me a little bit like the 'eat right for your blood type' philosophy: http://questioning-answers.blogspot.com/2011/07/eat-right-for-your-blood-type.html Not trying to poo-poo it or anything but look at any metabolomics study (metabolomics = study of urine and blood for various metabolites) and you see that we all have our own very individual metabolism governed by genes, environment and everything epigenetic in-between.

0
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 04, 2012
at 06:32 PM

This questionnaire led me to a surprisingly consistent set of answers (>90% of my answer fell under column 1)

This makes me think that at the very least, there is some consistency in the traits being measured.

There may be validity to metabolic typing.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on January 04, 2012
at 06:33 PM

For the record, my type suggests eating high carb, which I empirically don't do well on. So don't get too attached to your results page.

0
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on January 04, 2012
at 05:45 PM

I believe people do have broad peculiarities, that are probably genetic, as well as personal ones too. Such as propensity to insulin resistance, propensity to more obvious grain intolerance etc...

But also there are the peculiarities that come from long term lifestyle choices - lack of exercise, over-consumption of alcohol, sweets, processed food in general will inevitably cause metabolic derangements and nutritional deficiencies through affecting the liver, pancreas etc that they will create an effect similar to a genetic predisposition, I would imagine.

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