Metabolic Typing (Part 1)


Maybe you are one of the millions of people who are seeking an answer to maintaining your body in good shape and good health, but you might be a little on the heavy side, or you feel like ‘crap’ when you wake up despite the fact that you stayed in the night before watching the ‘box’ without touching a drop of alcohol.  

It might be that you’re not getting enough sleep, so come the afternoon you feel lethargic, or when you eat a meal you feel like a ‘power nap’ for an hour.

 It’s possible that you have a little hypertension and possibly your blood sugars are high and your friendly physician tells you to relax and says, “I have just the thing for you…here is a prescription for your diseases.”

You want to exercise but you don’t’ have the energy and now you find that one of your favorite foods are ‘starting not to agree with you’ and you feel bloated and full and you just want to DIE.  

Does this sound like you?

If you are overweight, maybe a little obese, what’s your first thought?     …it’s either ‘who cares’ or ‘maybe I need to lose some weight’.  What diet is best for me?

Low fat diet, ketogenic, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, flexitarian, plant based, body for life, cookie, hackers, weight watchers, dukan, south beach, very low calorie, calorie restriction, master cleanse, sugar buster, juice fasting, gluten free, raw, low sodium?

You might have had a health crisis like a mild stroke or you are told you are deficient in something, then it might be recommended that you visit a nutritionist who will help you plan a customized diet to help you put back the nutrients you are missing or a diet that will help your arthritis.  

All these diets may help temporarily, but to continue over a long period of time might be difficult, so, although these diets might help you shed some pounds if it’s a weight loss diet you are looking for, but as soon as you stop and you return to your old style of eating the weight will return.  Why?  

Because the body establishes a set point for your weight and frame and the body prefers to maintain that set point.  

You can change the set point but that requires a lifestyle change of diet.

However to effectively lose weight short term or long, it is necessary to understand some basic physiological functioning which I will cover in the article on Weight loss but suffice to say the most effective way is to consume:

60% healthy fats (grass fed animal meats)

15% carbohydrates (fruit/veg)

25% protein (cheese,butter)

The key is not to spike insulin, it must be at 0 or nearly 0, because insulin shuts down fat burning (sugar, starch foods will spike insulin)

Achieving Metabolic Equilibrium

What we want to cover in this article is diet and lifestyle for life, to achieve metabolic equilibrium.  

Remember, your body is unique, your body is built and designed for health, this is its default state.  

Allopathic physicians want to fight disease, not build the body for health, but they are incapable of doing this, not because they are not smart, or intelligent, it’s because their medical training is designed to fight disease, to look for genes that cause disease, and administer chemicals to change the body’s physiology and balance.  

It is only diet and lifestyle that maintains physiological,chemical and psychological balance and prevent disease states.  THE ONLY WAY.

Even some nutritionists behave the same way as allopathic physicians, by recommending nutritional protocols to match the symptoms.  

Allopaths recommend pharmaceutical chemicals to match the symptoms.  

Symptoms are not diseases, they are clues to what the underlying problem is , which is, 99% of the time,  PHYSIOLOGICAL IMBALANCE, more often than not, Microbiome imbalance and dysfunction (we all know about this now, if you have read previous articles). Don’t forget the 2 stressors Physical, chemical and Emotional.  Many symptoms can occur due to imbalance within the spine and the nervous system caused by sublaxtion that needs to be adjusted and corrected by a Chiropractor.

What is Metabolic Typing?

Metabolic typing is the dietary nutritional means to bring  PHYSIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BALANCE to the Human Body.  

A Metabolic Typing diet is not a ‘Fad’ diet, it is a custom (a retrofit to your specific metabolism) nutritional protocol that provides maximum efficiency in terms of how you process food and convert energy from that food.

It is also a means to maintain ultimate health and prevent physiological degradation.  If you have a health challenge (a fancy term meaning dis-ease),  metabolic typing is a means to correct the imbalance.  

Metabolic typing does not target the allopathic definition of disease, IT TARGETS THE INDIVIDUAL.  

We are as individual and unique as our fingerprints with a common substrate of function.  This means that we all digest, absorb and metabolize our food the same way but it’s the effect that food and nutrients have on our individual bodies that varies.  

In other words, food that can alkalize a body, the same food can acidify a body, because of various factors that behave differently.

You could almost say that people need individualized diets, not one-fits-all diets, but there is certain common ground, obviously, but each person needs to be assessed individually in order to fine tune all of their physiological functions so as they ‘purr’ like a Rolls Royce Silver cloud.  

Readers must discard their beliefs that are instilled in them that everybody must have the same cholesterol level, blood pressure, SAME DIET..this is 1881 thinking (about the same time the sphygmomanometer was invented, for all those uninitiated to ‘docspeek’ the blood pressure cuff ), foolish and ignorant.  

You are not just another patient in the physicians ‘assembly line’ you are wonderful and unique, and above all, deserve the utmost respect (in the words of  Jesse Jackson who famously said  “I maybe on welfare, but I am somebody, I maybe poor, but I am somebody”) and SOMEBODY YOU ARE.

The Origins of Metabolic Typing

In our discussions on Metabolic typing let us remember the US Biochemist Dr Roger Williams (1893-1988) who wrote several books including ‘You are Extraordinary’ which examines the physiological differences between human beings written in 1967 and ‘Biological individuality’ written in 1956.

Dr Williams isolated and named Folic acid, discovered Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5 ), Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), and Lipoic acid or its commonly known as Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) a very powerful essential omega 3 fatty acid antioxidant, found in both plants and organ meat and is the precursor for other important Omega 3 fatty acids DHA/EPA and Avidin, a compound in raw egg whites that binds the nutrient Biotin (Vitamin B7when the eggs are cooked.

Eating raw eggs deprives you of biotin which maintains healthy nails, hair, skin, supports a healthy metabolism and supports a healthy cardiovascular system, thyroid and adrenal function.

Dr Williams’ brother Robert, discovered Thiamine (Vitamin B1) an extremely important Vitamin that supports digestion, immune system, skin, liver and the immune system.

Between the years 1880 and 1883, Japanese sailors ate daily Polished rice (where thiamine is removed) and as a result 6000 perished from a disease called Beri beri and some suffered Korsakoff’s syndrome (a form of dementia).  

It was in 1884 that a Japanese naval surgeon Kanekiro Takaki who was able to convince the Japanese admiralty that the deaths were caused by a Thiamine deficiency.

Sympathetic/Parasympathetic Chemical Balance

Dr William Donald Kelley the dentist who cured himself of Stage IV pancreatic cancer through dietary changes featured in the article on Cancer, spent years developing individualized dietary regimens for all his cancer patients in an attempt to chemically re-balance their physiological processes and he concluded that the human species were broadly divided into 3 groups ‘Sympathetic Dominant metabolizers’, ‘Parasympathetic Dominant metabolizers’, and ‘Balanced metabolizers’.  

The sympathetic/parasympathetic labels refer to the Autonomic nervous system (ANS) which has these 2 branches ( In fact as Pottenger pointed out in his great monograph ‘Symptoms of Visceral disease’ there is a third branch, the enteric nervous system located in the gut and bowel).

We have mentioned these 2 divisions in previous articles but the Sympathetic branch is our daily ‘on’ switch during our awake state, where it initiates increased heart rate and cardiac output while blocking the production and release of stomach acid and pancreatic digestive enzymes.  This branch is the body’s ‘Gas Pedal’ or the fight or flight system.

The Parasympathetic branch, our ‘off’ switch, fires during our relax/sleep cycle initiating a slower heart rate but stimulating stomach acid production and pancreatic enzyme release to realize our digestive function. This branch is the body’s ‘Brake Pedal’ or the rest and digest system.

When dominance is present, the sympathetic’s heart and cardiac output functions efficiently but hyperactively, while their parasympathetic organs (stomach.pancreas) are weak and inefficient.  

The reverse is true for the dominant Parasympathetics.

The balanced metabolizers as you would expect are efficient in both branches.  

According to Kelley, this dominance factor spreads across civilizations and the regions they inhabit, stating that sympathetic dominance is common in civilizations living in tropical climates in South America, Africa, Asia and Australia and jungles living off mainly plant based food (approx 80%) with occasional meat (approx 20%).  

The opposite is true for civilizations that live in the Northern hemisphere such as northern Europe and the colder regions of Asia and the Americas, Canada, who are mainly parasympathetics eating a mainly meat diet with occasional plant foods. This is typical of traditional Inuit/Eskimo although most now live off take-out pizza and eat Cheerios.  

Kelley also devised an elaborate 3200 questionnaire to establish dominance or balance for each of his patients, but he devised his own metabolic typing specifically for cancer patients who tended to be dominant in either branch.

He also concluded that meat and protein acidified the body and plant food alkalizes the body (acidity/alkalinity PH of the bodies tissue not the blood).

The pH of the Body

There seems to be a myth circling the WWW that food changes Blood PH..this is erroneous, the body, specifically the kidneys and lungs, precisely control blood PH between 7.36-7.45.  

PH is measured in Mols/litre of hydrogen ions to a –  logarithmic (base 10) scale, and is defined by the amount of disassociation to generate Hydrogen ions (Holy moly this is getting too complicated ).

Let’s put it another way, for water the PH value is 7 (neutral PH) which is calculated by plugging in 1*10 power of -7 to the formulae   – log10 {H+} =  -log10 {1*10 power -7} = 7 mols/litre.  

Therefore, anything below 7 is considered too acid, like Hydrochloric acid ( stomach acid ), and anything above 7 is alkaline.  

In summary, when we talk about body PH it’s the value measured in our body tissue.  

Generally, acidic environments, such as in the stomach (PH is between 1-3), life cannot be supported for long, so the stomach lining is completely replaced in approx 8 days.

The kidneys and the lungs work together to maintain the tight blood PH  (usually 7.4) by using buffers that add or remove H+ (Hydrogen Ions- lowers PH -Acidic) or OH-(Hydroxide – raises PH -Alkaline) using a Carbonic-acid-Bicarbonate Buffer (H2CO3).  

Carbon dioxide which is produced by the muscles, enters the bloodstream and combines with water to form Carbonic acid.

Once it enters the lungs, the Carbonic acid is converted back into water and the lung secretes the waste product CO2 (Carbon dioxide). The buffer displayed below, as an equation, which tends toward the right ( Carbonic acid formation ) or to the left ( Bicarbonate formation)

H+ + HCO3 (Bicarbonate) —– H2CO3  (Carbonic Acid)

So, if an when an excess of H+ ions is present it begins to increase, the Bicarbonate ions absorbing H+ ions forming Carbonic acid.  

If  H+ ions are present it will begin to decrease, the Carbonic acid will turn into Bicarbonate.

The Kelley Protocol

Kelley’s protocol ensured both dominant phenotypes got all essential nutrients in varying amounts so although the Sympathetic patients were eating a predominantly plant based diet they would consume the lion’s share of fruit, sugar and complex carbohydrates, yielding the most Vitamin C, Beta carotene, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine, Biotin, Vitamin D, K, Niacin magnesium, chromium, manganese, potassium, folate.  

For the Parasympathetics they would eat the most protein, saturated fat and cholesterol, Vitamin B12, A, Pantothenic acid, E, Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Selenium and Sodium, and Niacin.  

There Must be Balance

So Kelley’s claims that autonomic imbalance is the root cause of most disease seems to be confirmed by Dr Pottenger who was active between the years of 1919-1945, who also believed that much pathology and most symptoms of disease can be attributed to autonomic dysfunction, as he alluded in his book ‘Symptoms of Visceral disease’ published in 1919.  

Furthermore, Ernst Gellhorn, a Physiology professor from Minnesota University in his 1967 publication ‘Principles of Autonomic-Somatic Integrations: Physiological basis and Psychological and Clinical Implications’ also believed that autonomic imbalance explains much toward physical as well as psychiatric illness.

Kelley believed that the parasympathetic branch that regulates rest and digestion, promotes alkalinity in the body, while the sympathetic branch, that regulates ‘fight or flight’ activity promotes acidity in the body.  

As we stated above, it’s minerals like Magnesium and Manganese suppress sympathetic function, and Potassium enhance parasympathetic function to achieve functional equilibrium for a Sympathetic dominant individual.  

However William Wolcott questions this theory and suggests that we need to consider another bodily process that is related to this ‘Balancing act’.  

Mr. Wolcott and Trish Fahey published in 2000 a wonderful book on Metabolic typing with that he is no stranger to, since he actually had the privilege to work with Kelley.  

Wolcott met Kelley in 1978 during a weekend educational seminar on Kelley’s nutritional protocol and overtime Wolcott managed to cure his allergies that had plagued him for most of his life using Kelley’s protocol.

After that initial meeting Kelley offered Wolcott a job as his assistant in Winthrop.  

This collaboration went on for a number of years helping other clinicians around the country who were administering Kelley’s nutritional regimen for their patients.  

Wolcott, however noticed that on one hand he was amazed at the number of patients that did well on the treatment but in other cases as he states

“no matter what we tried,we could not produce any meaningful results”.

Cellular Oxidation

(Fast/Slow/Mixed Oxidizers)

Wolcott searched for an answer to why some patients were not improving no matter what he tried .  

He found it in a book written by George Watson PHD a clinical Psychologist in 1972 called ‘Nutrition and the Mind’.  Watson explained that certain nutrients would worsen an individual’s emotional state while the same nutrients would improve another individuals emotional disposition.

As a result, Watson devised a method of classifying individuals metabolic needs based on cellular oxidation (We discussed this before in a previous article where our cells within their mitochondria convert nutrients into energy using the citric acid or Krebs cycle that convert energy from the oxidation of acetyl-CoA produced from Carbohydrates, Proteins and fats).  

Cellular oxidation, like the ANS defines 2 oxidiser types ‘Slow oxidisers’ (individuals who burned nutrients slowly) and ‘Fast Oxidisers’ (individuals who burned nutrients fast) with a third category, ‘mixed oxidisers’.  

Furthermore, although cellular oxidation is due in part to environmental and inherited circumstance, diet has a fundamental influence.  

So what does this mean in practice?

Fast oxidisers burn food fast so they need ‘slower burning fuel’ like protein rich food and fat included in every meal, not a diet rich in carbohydrates, grains and seeds as the slow oxidizer can survive on.

What have we learned so far?  

Both the autonomic nervous system and cellular oxidation play a major role in overall physiological and homeostatic balance and food and nutrients will have a variable effect on both these systems.

In Part 2 we will explore the other systems that provide information to accurately decide on metabolic types and how individuals assessed what their metabolic types are.

‘It is not the strength of the body, but the strength of the spirit.’ – J.R.R. Tolkien


  1. Epigenetics ( the death of genetic theory of disease transmission ) ( 2014 Book) Joel Wallach, Ma Lan, Gerhard Schrauzer
  2. The Metabolic typing diet William Wolcott & Trish Fahey (2000)
  3. Acids,bases,PH and Buffers Khan Academy

Author:  Eric Malouin