| One Man's Food is Another's Poison|
As you may already know, metabolism is simply the sum total of all the chemical and biological activities that are necessary to sustain life. Although these life functions -- or metabolic activities -- are many and diverse, they can be summarized as follows: nutrition, transport, respiration, synthesis, regulation, growth and reproduction.
In order to sustain life, all these metabolic activities require energy. The air, water, sunlight, and food ( nutrients ) which we acquire from our environment are used by our body to produce this vital, life-sustaining energy.
The raw materials in the foods we eat (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc.) are particularly important, since they're used by our bodies to repair, rebuild and heal tissue. But foods and nutrients are also essential because they provide the fuel that is oxidized (burned or combusted) in our cells to provide energy for all metabolic activities.
In fact every biochemical process in your body is entirely dependent on the rate, quality and amount of energy available to you. When optimum energy is available to your body on all levels -- to all your cells, organs, glands and systems -- then optimum (balanced and efficient) functioning of your body, or good health, is possible.
It is on the cellular level that all metabolic activity takes place and efficiency or inefficiency is determined. Each cell in your body is like a biochemical factory built to fulfill a specific metabolic function. As food passes through the digestive tract, it is absorbed into the bloodstream where it is transported to the cells. Once nutrients arrive at the cells, they are assimilated into the cells, and then utilized by the cells for the production of energy and for the fulfillment of the cells' "programmed" function
We all need a full spectrum of nutrients. But, different people have genetically programmed requirements for different amounts of the various nutrients. It is these differing genetic requirements that explain why a given nutrient can cause one person to feel good, have no effect on another, and cause a third person to feel poorly.
Poor Health Begins at the Cellular Level
Each cell in your body "knows" how to be a perfect cell -- it's designed to be healthy, and to efficiently perform the functions for which it was created.
But, unless the specific raw materials for which you have a genetically-based need are made available to your body at the right place, at the right time, and in a form that can be utilized, inefficiency at a cellular level will result. In turn, your cells' ability to perform their designated functions will be impaired.
As your cells lose the ability to adequately produce energy (from a lack of sufficient nutrients), they also lose their ability to repair and rebuild tissue. Strong, healthy cells become replaced with weak, defective ones. This in turn exerts a "domino effect" on your whole system.
If the cells of an organ become weakened and less able to fulfill their roles, the function of the organ itself becomes weak and inefficient. When this happens, stress is put on your entire system -- with disease as the inevitable result.
On the other hand, when cells do get all the nutrients for which there is a genetically required need, they're capable of producing optimum amounts of energy. With adequate available energy, they can readily fulfill their genetic roles. And with the proper raw materials (nutrients), the cells can also repair and rebuild and reproduce efficiently and effectively.
When the cells are strong, healthy and efficient, so too are the organs, glands and systems they comprise -- with good health as the natural result. But in order to acquire the nutrients for which your body has a genetic need, you must first identify what your needs are. That's the purpose of identifying your metabolic type.
An Example of Varying Dietary Requirements
One important factor that is used to determine your metabolic type is your rate of cellular oxidation. Thus, one of the things that the book's metabolic survey (questionnaire) is designed to do is find out which of the following three characteristics may apply to you:
Slow oxidizers require low-fat, low protein, high carbohydrate diets, whereas fast oxidizers need high-protein, high-fat, low carbohydrate diets. Mixed oxidizers require relatively equal amounts of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
As an example, let's say that you are a fast oxidizer but you are not eating a diet that includes adequate amounts of protein and fat. Here's what's likely to happen: