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The Roots of Metabolic Typing

The Roots of Metabolic Typing 

This idea is not new. The roots of the concept of biochemical individuality and the system of Metabolic Typing can be traced to antiquity.

The ancient Chinese system of medicine recognized 5 elemental types. Ancient Ayurvedic medicine was based on the interaction of the 5 elements and 7 energy centers in the individual – primary treatment addressed ones dosha, or metabolic type. Analysis in ancient Egyptian medicine dealt with the 7 organ systems in the body. Greek physicians and philosophers were concerned, as Hippocrates stated, with the patient who has the disease rather than the disease which has the patient , and recognized the 4 humors (liver-bile types). Socrates and later Jung and Freud recognized various personality types. The Roman philosopher, Lucretius, is attributed with the saying “one man’s meat, is another man’s poison.”

Metabolic Typing Through History

In modern times, there have been some known and many not so well known medical researchers who recognized the value of metabolic individuality.

In 1919, Frances Pottenger, M.D., published his SYMPTOMS OF VISCERAL DISEASE, where he established the autonomic nervous system as the basis of metabolic individuality and correlated the influence of various nutrients on the autonomic nervous system.

Dr. Sheldon in the ’40’s published his famous ATLAS OF THE BODY providing photographic illustrations of his somatotypes ectomorphs, endomorphs and mesomorphs.

In the ’50’s, Dr. Melvin Page and Dr. Henry Bieler concurrently developed concepts of endocrine types, e.g., Thyroid, Adrenal and Pituitary types, and their relationship to various foods.

Dr. George Watson, also in the ’50’s, in his astounding book, NUTRITION AND THE MIND, published his research into the variable influences of oxidation in different individuals he classified as Fast Oxidizers and Slow Oxidizers.

In 1956, the noted biochemist, Dr. Roger Williams, published his genetotrophic theory on biochemical individuality, based on his research which suggested that every human being has, because of his genetic make-up, distinctive nutritional needs that must be met to achieve optimum health and well-being.

Dr. Royal Lee’s extensive writings in the 50’s and 60’s correlated nutritional influences of the autonomic and endocrine systems.

Dr. James D’Adamo in the ’70’s put forth a system of individual typing based upon ABO blood types.

In the mid ’70’s, Dr. William D. Kelley became the first to apply Dr. William’s concept of nutritional individuality to computer science. He developed a computerized system of metabolic typing based on the autonomic nervous system (which became the seed for The Healthexcel System Of Metabolic Typing).

Dr. Emanuel Revici recognized the necessity to address biochemical individuality and devoted his life’s work to the development of an entirely new system of medicine based upon the variances between individuals in their catabolic and anabolic influences. Further efforts to address metabolic individuality can be seen in current works of numerous others pioneers.

Among the more recent who have joined the ranks are Dr. Elliot Abravanel, Dr. Paul Eck, Dr. David Watts, Dr. Michael Colgan and Dr. Jeffrey Bland.

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METABOLIC TYPING: A Modern Day Science

The Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing draws from the works of all the past researchers, but not in the sense of a grab bag of ideas. Rather, it has pieced together independent parts of the puzzle contributed from past researchers into a homogenous whole. It is the result of an 11 year process involving both synthesis and distillation, born of a marriage of extensive study and clinical experience/observation.

The paradigm set forth by the Healthexcel system establishes a framework through which may be seen the relationships of the autonomous discoveries of past, present and future nutritional health-related scientific research. It provides a viewpoint from which one can see the massive “mosaic” of scientific research in terms of the patterns of how the individual pieces fit together. There are tens of thousands of individual items of scientific research . . . but, how do they relate to one another as a whole? The dilemma scientists faced in the past is like the proverbial situation of being unable to see the forest for the trees. The Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing allows for a view of the forest.

Each individual researcher had a piece of the puzzle. Each could claim a certain amount of success with the application of his concepts. His theories were accurate, but only for some of the people some of the time. In each instance, there was always a certain group for whom the theory would fail. The Healthexcel system demonstrates that each in his own way was correct, but only when viewed as a part, a dimension, of a greater whole. We now believe that the body is structured in many different levels, each having its own “rules” of behavior in relation to nutrition. The common glue which binds all the different levels and all the different theories is energy. Whether we are talking about the autonomic influence, the oxidative influence, the endocrine influence or the circadian influence, we are talking about the creation, maintenance and control of energy and how nutrition relates to that process. We now see that Pottenger, Watson, Bieler, and the ancients were all talking about the same truth metabolic individuality as seen from different perspectives. For this reason, we owe a debt of gratitude to all those great research pioneers who have come before us.



In stark contrast to orthodox medicine which seeks to find a therapeutic modality for each condition that will be the same for everyone, Healthexcel, in recognizing the existence of metabolic individuality, believes that, especially where degenerative conditions are concerned, it is not possible to treat the condition, when it comes to nutrition. Rather, the person who has the condition, that is, each individual’s specific needs, are what need be addressed. This is because Healthexcel has found that the same condition found in different people may arise because of virtually opposite kinds of nutritional imbalances different Metabolic Types. For example, one person may have an excessive level of potassium relative to calcium, but another may have an excessive amount of calcium relative to potassium, yet both individuals may have the same health problem. If both were treated with the same course of nutrition, one would get better and the other would get worse!

Thus, pursuant to Healthexcel’s concepts, properly addressing nutritional requirements in two individuals who have the same condition, would be totally different in different metabolic types, because the actual condition would never be considered, only each person’s unique needs. This is the antithesis of the spirit of orthodox medicine which seeks to find one solution for every disease that is right for everyone. But, when it comes to nutrition and building health, this approach is impossible and is doomed to failure because each person is biochemically unique . . . To paraphrase the wisdom attributed to the Roman philosopher Lucretius, “One man’s meat, is another man’s poison.”

While it certainly is true that in spirit we are all created equal, and while it may be true that in this society we are all equal under the law, on a biochemical level we are as unique from each other as our fingerprints! Have you ever considered the extent to which the concept of individual differences applies? 


We are different on a mental/emotional level in our minds, emotions, beliefs, values, attitudes, personalities, interests, likes, dislikes, behavior and energy levels. Some of us have quick minds; in others our mental processes occur more slowly. Some are more logically oriented while others are more intuitively oriented. Some people are warm, emotional, expressive. Others are more cool, distant, aloof and tend to hold in their feelings and emotions. We have the “A-Type” hyper, more aggressive type personalities, as well as those on the other end of the spectrum, the more apathetic, lethargic, laid-back, take-it-as-it-comes type of people. Some of us have high energy levels, while others have low energy levels. This list comparing psychological traits could, of course, go on and on. Even within the same family, we can see dramatic differences between family members.


Externally, we differ in height, weight and build. Some tend toward a thicker build, others toward a leaner build. Some have thick, bulky muscles; others have thin, small muscles. Some have large, thick bones; others have smaller, thinner bones. We differ in the ratio of lean body weight to fat; in color and texture of hair; in color, texture and toughness of skin; in color and size of eyes; in color, size and shape of teeth, and of course in our fingerprints.


Although our psychological and external physical differences are readily apparent, not many people realize the extent to which we differ from each other internally, as well.

We all have different strengths and weaknesses in the various bodily Systems like the cardiovascular system, digestive system and immune system. This is commonly known. Some people have strong digestion; others have weaker digestion and must take care what is eaten. Some have strong immune systems and are rarely ill, while others seem to catch everything that comes along.

But, few know that we also differ in the Size, Shape, Weight, Placement, Strength, and Efficiency of our Organs and Glands. Did you now that in some people the heart is on the left; in others it is in the center; and in still others it is more to the right? Most have their appendix on the right side; but in some it can be located on the left. The size and shape of the stomach can vary tremendously. And, certainly, although we may not have thought much about it, we all know that we differ in the various strengths and weaknesses of our organs. One may have a strong thyroid, but a weak stomach. Another may have a strong stomach but suffer from constipation due to poor colon function. The variations are endless. All these variations define our metabolic individuality.

Differences are also known to exist in other bodily Tissues. The blood, for example, is recognized to exist in different types, like Type A, and Type B, Type AB and Type O. But, did you know that in tests done on “normal, healthy” samples of blood, even of the same type, that no two “normal” blood samples were found to be the same?

These infinitely variable combinations of differences that make up our unique individual selves extend even to the Cellular level, for here we find that we differ in rates of cellular metabolism, oxidation and efficiency. And, at the Subnuclear level of the cell, we find the genes where the differences which structure our individuality are encoded like a blueprint of our unique selves.

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Having pondered the extent of our individuality, can anyone even for a moment really believe that one diet is right for everyone? This biochemical individuality from head to toe, from internal to external, on every level of the body in fact, is precisely why there are so many different diets that seem to work. Most all special diets DO work . . . but only for a select number of the population, those that fall under a certain metabolic type. The mistake is in assuming that one diet is right for everyone!

Think of the differences that must exist in the metabolism of the Eskimo as compared to that of the vegetarian East Indian. The traditional Eskimos ate up to 10 pounds of meat a day with enormous amounts of fat in their diet as well. And, yet, there was no evidence of cancer or cardiovascular disease in their history. This is because for countless generations their physiologies, through natural adaptation, natural selection and genetic mutation, became perfectly suited to their environment as well as the foodstuffs naturally available. Thus, Eskimos actually developed a genetic need for high protein and high fat in order to survive and be healthy. But, transpose the diet of the Eskimo to that of the East Indian vegetarian and you have major problems.

This principle of diet being linked to genetic requirement is seen throughout nature. Every species is genetically “programmed” to feed on specific sources of foods. They are not guided in their food selection by their taste buds, nor manipulated by the latest onslaught of the Madison Avenue advertisers, nor brainwashed by TV ads about what is “good to eat.” Unlike man who has his free will in all matters including his dietary choices animals naturally eat according to their natures (their genetic dictates). Consequently, insects, reptiles, fish, birds and mammals (except man) are not plagued with degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and multiple sclerosis the diseases which are responsible for over 80% of human illnesses.

Remember, when the body does not obtain all the nutrients for which it has a genetic need in order to produce optimum energy for all its life-sustaining processes of metabolism, processes of REgeneration turn into those of DEgeneration. You can’t feed a tiger leaves, nor can you feed an elephant meat and expect either one to be healthy. You can’t use diesel in place of gasoline or gasoline in place of diesel and expect the engine to properly and efficiently turn the fuel into energy. Every person has very unique requirements for a specific balance of nutrients that need be obtained from his diet. When obtained, these make up the right “fuel mixture” for his body’s engines of metabolism (his cells). But, what the right balance is for one person, is not the same as for another. From this we can understand that: Any given food in and of itself is neither good nor bad; a food is good or bad only relative to its effect on a given metabolic type . 


Because we in the United States have become a genetic melting pot of the world, our genetic requirements for nutrition are not as evident as that of the Eskimo. Nonetheless, each of us must meet our genetic requirement for nutrition, just as must the Eskimo meet his, in order to manufacture optimum energy levels from our cellular processes of metabolism . . . in order to be healthy. We believe that this is the key to gaining and maintaining health as opposed to succumbing to degenerative problems. In order to achieve and maintain optimum health, one must acquire the nutrients for which one has a genetic-based requirement. Failure to do so leads to inefficient energy production on a cellular level, which in turn leads to inefficient cellular activity, which in turn leads to inefficient organ activity, which in turn leads to inefficient systemic activity, which may then become the basis for all manner of degenerative conditions. The key to unlocking the secrets of good health and well-being is optimum energy production through meeting individual requirements for nutrition! How does one find out about one’s “individual nutritional requirements?” . . . Through the Healthexcel Program!


The Healthexcel Program provides a means for identifying individual nutritional requirements. The Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing involves the analysis of the interrelationship of the body’s 3 main systems responsible for the creation, maintenance and control of energy:
The Autonomic Nervous System
The Oxidative System , and
The Endocrine System . . .
. . as well as identification of one’s Constitutional Elements .

The autonomic nervous system controls all involuntary activity in the body, such as digestion, elimination, heart rate, immune activity, etc. It is comprised of two divisions: sympathetic and parasympathetic. The oxidative system is concerned with the rate nutrients are converted to energy in the cells. The endocrine system exerts its influence on metabolism through the secretion of hormones which control various activities in the body.

Each person has inherited various strengths and weaknesses in each of these systems. Some people are more strongly influenced by the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system, while others are influenced more strongly by the parasympathetic system. Some people are fast oxidizers; others are slow oxidizers. And, so on. The genetically-based variances in the autonomic, oxidative and endocrine systems provide the basis for all our physiological, psychological and diet-related characteristics. For example, sympathetic types tend to have high energy, be aggressive, have weak digestion and dry skin, but have excellent concentration. Slow oxidizers tend to be lethargic, depressed and have weak appetites. Where Pituitary endocrine types tend to gain weight eating dairy products; Adrenal types tend to lose weight eating dairy products.

All the physiological, psychological and diet-related characteristics of an individual can be categorized according to their relationship to the autonomic, oxidative, endocrine systems and constitutional elements. Consequently, although each person is unique, his characteristics form a certain pattern and thereby fall under a certain metabolic classification. Once one’s metabolic classification or Metabolic Type is identified, a basis exists for understanding not only the cause from a biochemical (nutritional) standpoint for any adverse condition that may be present, but also the requirements for nutrition necessary to restore balance and efficiency within each individual. This is because all the various foods and nutrients vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc., have been categorized according to how they influence the 4 systems mentioned above.


We stated above that Healthexcel has found that the same condition found in different people may arise because of virtually opposite kinds of nutritional imbalances . It is also true that any given nutrient can have virtually opposite influences in different metabolic types . Certain nutrients will have a stimulating effect, while others will have a sedating effect. Some will cause a metabolic shift toward acidity, while others a shift toward alkalinity. Certain ones will have a catabolic effect, while others an anabolic effect. However, from extensive empirical evidence, Healthexcel has also discovered that any given nutrient (or food) can have a different effect on different individuals, depending on which system is the dominant system. In other words, in and of itself, a given nutrient is not stimulating or sedating, acidifying or alkalizing. What determines a nutrient’s effect is ultimately what system is influenced in a given individual. We have termed this the DOMINANCE FACTOR. The dominance factor serves to explain why one person can take potassium and feel an energy pick up, while someone else will experience a loss in energy. To give an example, if an individual is categorized as an autonomic dominant metabolic type, potassium will slow him down because of its influence of stimulating parasympathetic activity. Whenever the parasympathetic system becomes stronger than the sympathetic system, the body chemistry will shift more alkaline and tend toward a hypoactive state. But, if potassium is given to an oxidative dominant metabolic type, it will increase the rate of oxidation causing an energy boost in a slow oxidizer and a shift toward a more acidic metabolism. The principle of the Dominance Factor explains why what works for one person does not work for another, or how a given food or nutrient can behave differently in different people. Thus, according to Healthexcel’s concepts, the effect of any given nutrient on a given person depends on which system is dominant and on what level the nutrient is active . (It is probably becoming obvious to you why it takes a computer to keep all of this information straight).

The human body is extremely complex. Understanding how nutrition influences the body is also very complex. But, without the perspective afforded by Healthexcel’s system of metabolic typing, the field of nutrition remains utterly baffling. Through Healthexcel’s philosophy, we have a basis for understanding why so much scientific research as regards nutrition has seemingly been so contradictory. Any research on the effects of a given nutrient may have different results depending on the differences in the metabolic types employed in the research . The only nutritional research that makes sense would be that performed on a homogenous metabolic type group.


Determination of one’s metabolic classification is accomplished through a computer analysis of a very extensive questionnaire (3,000+ questions) covering physical, psychological and diet-related characteristics. A hair tissue analysis is also employed for screening and tracking of heavy metal toxins such as cadmium, aluminum, lead and mercury, as they have been found to play a major role in the overall health status due to their disruption of biochemical balance and their disturbance of enzyme systems.

Interestingly, no other lab tests are employed, which comes as a surprise to many people. It has been learned over the last 15 years that no lab tests currently available can provide the kind of information necessary for a metabolic type determination. Metabolic Typing is concerned with the recognition of patterns of the overall metabolic “style” of functioning. But, any lab test can only provide information about one specific level in the body, thus affording a kind of “tunnel vision” perspective of a body level, view that is not useful for Metabolic Typing..

For example, blood analysis provides information about the tissue level. It does not give information about the cellular level or the nuclear level. So, a high mineral in the blood tells little about cellular levels of that nutrient. Furthermore, as the blood is a homeostatic mechanism, it attempts to maintain normal levels at all times. Thus, although the blood level of calcium may be within a normal range, little or no information is provided regarding what the body is doing to keep normal levels in the blood . . . Calcium may be pulled from the bones, teeth and hair in order to maintain a norm in the blood a very abnormal condition yet no evidence of abnormality may be seen in the blood. It is not uncommon to see blood nutrient levels within relatively “normal” ranges even in terminally ill cancer patients! In addition, even if the blood can identify weak areas in the body, it still does not tell us what to do about it. For that, we need to understand the metabolic type in order to understand how nutrients behave in the metabolism in question. Remember, one’s food is another’s poison. And, what causes a weakness in one person, may correct that weakness in another.

In its own fashion, the body constantly defines its own individuality, and gives expression to its imbalances and makes known the need for its requirements. The mental, emotional, behavioral, physical and diet-related characteristics constantly displayed and “updated” by the body offers ample description and an unending flow of information regarding its status. The interpretation and understanding of this “body language” is the quest of metabolic typing and is accomplished through Healthexcel’s computer analysis.

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A Good Health Handbook For The 21ST CENTURY

Upon completion of the analysis, a detailed metabolic lifestyle report is provided. In addition to providing individualized recommendations for diet and nutritional supplements which are appropriate for each individual type, additional information is also provided regarding metabolic lifestyle changes. In short, all the information one needs in order to assist the body in building health is provided in the report. The report addresses the following areas:

  • Explains the results of the analysis
  • Explains how the metabolic type was determined
  • Explains how the supplement and diet programs were selected
  • Explains the need for nutritional supplementation
  • Recommends a nutritional supplement program
  • Recommends a metabolic type diet, including a list of allowable foods, restricted foods and optional meal plans
  • Explains how specific foods influence the metabolic type
  • Discusses the role of toxicity/detoxification in building health
  • Discusses the role of structural integration in building health
  • Considers the virtues of food combining
  • Explains proper food selection and preparation
  • Discusses the importance of pure water
  • Covers general rules of good health practices
  • A separate report is also provided for one’s doctor, summarizing the results and the recommendations.

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The human body is designed to be healthy. Every cell in the body knows exactly what to do and how to go about doing it. The Healthexcel Program is designed to provide the body with all the nutrients for which it has a genetic requirement so that the body can begin to do what it already knows how to do. In this sense, the Healthexcel Program does very little. But, by providing the body with all it needs, it helps to unleash the marvelous, sometimes seemingly miraculous healing powers innate to the body.

It is a gross injustice for anyone to fill his body with toxins through the ingestion of junk foods; unnatural synthetic foods; tar, nicotine and cadmium from tobacco smoke; lead and carbon monoxide from auto exhaust and all manner of industrial air pollutants; a myriad of the more than 10,000 non-life-supporting chemicals from herbicides, pesticides and preservatives; 150 pounds on the average of sugar a year; alcohol; caffeine; aerosol sprays, perfumes and deodorants; prescription and non-prescription drugs; denatured, devitalized food; stress; and nutrients that are inappropriate for one’s metabolic requirements and then expect his doctor to make him feel better or make him well. The adverse influences in the environment will continue to increase in the years ahead. In order to live a full, productive and healthy life, it is becoming increasingly important that each individual take responsibility for his or her own health and address the requirements of biochemical individuality, for it is only in so doing that the body will maintain its defenses against the adversities of the environment. It is to this end, the unfoldment of human potential through the development of optimum health, that Health of Health is dedicated.


In the words of Louis Pasteur ” the germ is nothing – the environment is everything”.

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