These issues are elegantly explored by one of the country's most respected nutritionists and biochemical researchers, Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., in his book Genetic Nutritioneering (Keats, 1999). Bland argues that genes in and of themselves do not give rise to disease; rather, disease results from a complex interaction of environmental or lifestyle factors that alter the expression of the genes in the direction of a specific disease system. Thus your genotype is modified to express the phenotype (or manifestation) of a particular disease. Stated differently, a genetic predisposition does not imply a predictable result. As Bland puts it: "In terms of your health or disease state as an adult, your phenotype is determined by the way you have treated your genes throughout your life".
Conversely, supplemental calcium would tend to further alkalize the already overly alkaline Slow Oxidizer, while further acidifying the overly acidic Sympathetic. Thus, too much supplemental calcium given to the wrong Metabolic Types can actually create or exacerbate a blood pH imbalance. Because the body draws on the minerals stored in bone tissue to buffer blood pH, this will often result in a net loss of bone tissue.
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The gut, meaning your digestive tract - is a large organ, or series of organs, housing millions of bacteria. A healthy balance of several hundred types of good bacteria helps maintain a stable pH throughout the digestive tract. The excessive intake of sugary, simple carbohydrate foods produces higher levels of alkalinity in the gut creating the perfect environment for bad bacteria to overwhelm the colonies of good, acid-forming bacteria. Many types of disease-causing bacteria thrive in a highly alkaline environment. Many of these "bad" bacteria make things worse by producing alkaline byproducts as a protective mechanism to maintain their own favored alkaline environment. If your gut "ecosystem" already contains more bad (alkaline-producing) bacterial than good (acid-producing) bacteria, excessive sugar consumption can tip the scales in favor of bad bacteria to proliferate and overwhelm the immune system leaving you open to the next cold, flu, or worse.
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It should also be said that, just as we need to be leery of genetic determinism (the simplistic assertion that genes cause disease), we also need to be leery of what we could call metabolic determinism. While our survey results show a statistical tendency for diabetes and cancer to be more prevalent among the Group II and Group I Metabolic Types respectively, we should be very careful not to assume that individuals within these groups will necessarily succumb to these diseases. Plenty of healthy people can be found in both of these groups. Jeffrey Bland went to great lengths in his book Genetic Nutritioneering to point out that genes do not, in and of themselves, cause disease; rather, disease results from a complex interplay of environmental and lifestyle factors that alter the expression of the genes in the direction of a specific disease system (i.e. the genotype is modified to express the phenotype of the disease). Similarly, diabetes and cancer are not caused by belonging to a certain Metabolic Type, but by a complex of factors. However, it can safely be assumed that individuals who fall into one or the other of our metabolic groupings (Groups I and II) do indeed have a greater tendency to develop these diseases, a tendency that can be significantly reduced by modifying the diet according to the recommendations for the relevant Metabolic Type. While a tendency does not imply a predictable result, clearly it makes sense to do whatever one reasonably can to avoid such a result. Metabolic Typing can be seen as a powerful preventative tool that points individuals towards a way of eating that will help to minimize the possibility of the development of these degenerative disease conditions while maximizing the possibility of a long and healthy life.
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But the Atkins-type approach is not effective, nor desirable, for everyone. The remaining 40% do indeed require a lower protein and fat, higher complex carbohydrate diet. For the Slow Oxidizers, too much protein and fat would tend to further slow down their already sluggish metabolisms, whereas complex carbohydrates add fuel to the fires of oxidation. For the Sympathetics, whose metabolisms tend to be already in overdrive, too many proteins and fats would tend to be overly stimulating, whereas complex carbohydrates help to activate the under-active parasympathetic branch of the ANS, thereby helping them to achieve metabolic balance. It is important to stress that it is complex, not simple (refined) carbohydrates that we are recommending to the Group I Metabolic Types. While the glycemic index suggests that there is not much difference in glycemic value between the simple and complex versions of certain carbohydrates (e.g. between white and brown rice), the reality is that the higher fiber content of the complex carbohydrates does indeed produce a slower oxidation rate. (The glycemic index measures the glycemic peak value derived from a given food over a defined period of time, but without regard for how long it takes within that time period to reach that level).