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Metabolic Typing: A Highly Individualized, Fine-Tuned Nutritional Guideline

by Dr Rohsmann MD(more info)

listed in metabolic typing, originally published in issue 128 - October 2006

Why is it that you can eat high quality 'healthy' foods, take the recommended supplements, drink plenty of fluids, exercise, get plenty of sleep and yet still not feel fit?

How can a low-cholesterol diet actually RAISE cholesterol levels in some people? Why does the Atkins diet, so rich in fatty foods, lead to weight loss for my partner but makes me tired and put on weight?

Every day we hear experts telling us about the latest wonder diet. One day we read that a diet high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrate will help us shed excess weight, increase our vitality and address disease, and the next day we hear another expert saying that a low fat, high carbohydrate diet will prevent heart disease, and help us to lose weight! Just consider the proven positive results both Dr Dean Ornish and Dr Atkins achieved in reversing Coronary heart disease (CHD) using two absolutely opposite nutritional plans: Ornish with an extremely low fat/ high carbohydrate regime and Atkins with his famous high fat/low carbohydrate diet! How can that compute?

Is there such a thing as Biochemical Individuality?

When confronted with nutritional influences on illness, physicians often tend to downplay its role and limit their comments to: "Your cholesterol level is high: best to avoid eggs, reduce the amount of fat and red meat in your diet. Or: just try to eat a 'healthy balanced diet'." And that's pretty much it.

Once you know how little information concerning the correlation between nutrition and the autonomic nervous system, or the hormonal system, is absorbed into mainstream medicine, you understand why your doctor might not be the ideal person to discuss this topic with.

My Own Story

During my medical studies I was generally led to believe that the body is basically a chemical reactor. Coming from this point of view, it is only logical that once you increase the intake of e.g. cholesterol, you will also find more of it in the blood. Suffering from high cholesterol levels myself, I was following my own advice, and increased my carbohydrate intake, while drastically reducing lipoproteins such as eggs, meats and cheeses due to their cholesterol content. But this 'healthy' diet did me no good. I suffered from increasing irritability, sugar cravings, hunger attacks, bloating and chronic diarrhoea. Additionally, my cholesterol level did not drop but threatened to go through the roof.

Dr Peter D´Adamo's Blood Type Theory

At this point the work of Peter D´Adamo ND came to my attention: The Blood Type Diet, popularized by his best-selling book Eat Right For Your Type. It is based on the theory that people with different blood types respond differently to specific foods. Dr D'Adamo's ideas are rooted in evolutionary history, and specifically, the observation that different blood types (Type O, Type A, Type B, and Type AB) emerged as the environmental conditions and eating styles of our ancestors changed. Between 50,000 BC and 25,000 BC, all humans shared the same blood type – Type O. These early humans were skilled hunters, and thrived on a meat-based diet. The Type A blood type emerged between 25,000 BC and 15,000 BC, a necessary adaptation to a more agrarian lifestyle. Climatic changes in the western Himalayan mountains led to the appearance of Type B, and the blending of Type A and Type B blood types in modern civilization resulted in the appearance of the AB blood type.

Dr D'Adamo believes that our ancestors' successful adaptation to environmental changes hinged on the relationship between diet and blood type. As a result, he believes that the key to optimal health is to eat as our ancestors with the same blood type ate. For example, he recommends that people with Type O blood eat a diet rich in meat, fats and protein and people with Type A blood follow a grain-based, low-fat, even vegetarian diet.

DÀdamo´s basic blood type categories can be described as follows:
Type O: The solitary hunter and collector – should eat a 'caveman' diet;
Type B: The 'Hun' – does well with lamb and milk products;
Type A: The socially organized farmer – does well with wheat.

My First Successful Guinea Pig was Myself

According to The Blood Type Diet, being a blood type O, I was to avoid wheat and sugar at all costs and eat as much meat (including pork) as I pleased.

Since my 'healthy' diet did not work (as it turn ed out to be a 'Type A' diet), and I was already feeling miserable, I figured that I didn't have much to lose and decided to try the 'Type O' diet. I noticed an immediate improvement. After only a week I had lost five kilos and my bloating and irritability were almost gone. A blood test that was performed after two weeks showed a significantly lower cholesterol level, even though I ate generous portions of meat and eggs. This was such a revelation to me that I promptly ordered 100 blood-type test kits in order to lose no time in putting my patients on their 'genetically based' diet.

The results with many patients were remarkable, and I was invited to speak on German television about this new blood type diet from the USA.

…But it didn't Work for Everybody

After working with the diet for six months, I had realized that about 30% of my patients did not profit from their blood type diet. Some of them found that their 'genetically fitting diet' was actually causing more problems. This was the case particularly among women with blood Type O. They could not tolerate a diet rich in proteins and fats, even if that was what they should be eating, according to the book. But women with blood Type A, and men with blood Type O and B, were generally doing better on this diet. How can this be? Did the role that these women had to play in society change their nutritional needs? Did other unknown factors play a role?

Wolcott´s Metabolic Typing

I began researching the subject further, and came upon the work of William Wolcott and his nutritional analysis that he termed 'Metabolic Typing'. This approach was the result of many years of research focusing on biochemical individuality. His research built on the unique individual discoveries of Roger Williams PhD, Dr Frances Pottenger, William Kelley DDS, George Watson PhD and Dr Peter D'Adamo. Each of these men contributed an important aspect of the metabolic individuality that Wolcott then co-coordinated to create a clinical system that is able to identify each person's 'metabolic fingerprint'. The typing is quite complex, including such factors as body build, qualities of skin, hair and nails, certain personality traits, work habits, temperament, food preferences and their felt effects, blood type, etc.

These factors are evaluated and resulted in a programme of nutritional guidelines for each type to achieve health, reverse and prevent disease. William Kelly's story is fascinating in that he cured himself of pancreatic cancer and metastases in the liver and intestines using a similar specific nutritional methodology.

Considering the Oxidation Rate 'Slow Burners vs Fast Burners'

I convinced some of my patients who did not improve on their blood type diet to do a metabolic typing. The outcome was that most of these women with blood Type O were not supposed to eat a lot of lipoproteins (proteins and fats) at all because they were 'slow burners'. Slow burners have a low metabolic turnover rate, and therefore, foods rich in protein and fats were slowing down their metabolism even more. Adapting to their 'metabolic type' diet, most of the 'non reactors' of the blood type diet improved drastically. But why were these women 'slow burners'? How did these two types of diets correlate?

It showed that both diets correlate well when:

• A blood Type O person is typically a fast burner with a dominant parasympathetic regulation;

• A blood Type A person is typically tested as a slow burner with a dominant sympathetic regulation.

This also seems to be the case in over 60% of those I tested.

As soon as the metabolic burning rate is atypical to the blood group, the burning rate becomes the dominant factor.

Some characteristic features of a fast burner are:

• Goal oriented;

• Not fond of being instructed;
• Performs tasks quickly but sloppily;
• Prefers to work alone;
• Needs food before exercise;
• Feels great after intensive exercise;
• Sleeps better with a full stomach.

Some characteristic features of a slow burner are:

• Likes to work in a team;

• Likes clear instructions and limited responsibility;
• Can be a detail fanatic;
• Often does a job slowly but thoroughly;
• Can exercise on an empty stomach;
• Feels depleted after vigorous exercise;
• Does not sleep well on a full stomach.

So the more characteristics you have of a 'fast burner' – independent of your blood type – the more you should eat a diet rich in proteins and fats and low in carbohydrates, since carbohydrates accelerate your metabolism even more.

Considering the Autonomic Nervous System (Sympathicotonic vs Parasypathotonic)

But metabolic typing is much more complex than just that. In addition to the burning rate, the autonomic nervous system and hormonal regulation are taken into consideration. People with an imbalanced autonomic nervous system have great difficulties adapting to any sort of stress. This will lead to sluggishness, cold feet, sensitivity to weather changes, fatigue, inability to exercise on the one hand or irritability, restlessness, and high blood pressure on the other.

In the approximately 150 metabolic typing tests that I oversaw in my medical practice, all of those tested presented with at least one weak hormonal gland (reproductive glands, adrenals, thyroid or pituitary). A common observation was that women with a slow metabolism and a high carbohydrate intake were developing a 'weak' thyroid gland. Since the thyroid supplies us with the energy for the everyday, repeated, tedious types of work (e.g. housework), these women were showing signs of an exhausted thyroid. An increased intake of sugar and carbohydrates can boost the 'thyroid energy' on a short-term basis, but over a longer period of time the thyroid will eventually become exhausted.

The extensive questionnaire that metabolic typing is based upon will unveil this weakness, and the nutritional plan will include the recommendation to have a hard boiled egg with breakfast (together with other adaptations like avoiding caffeine and sugar) in order to strengthen the thyroid and balance total hormonal regulation.

What's in it for You?

Your evaluation will point out your individual metabolic needs, as well as any potentially unbalanced situations within these systems in your body. Your 'diet' will instruct you as to what kind of proteins, fats and carbohydrates you need, why, and what ratios you need them in. In 1983 William Wolcott discovered that each of us is dominant in one of these systems, and he called this "the dominance factor". This discovery essentially explains that any food and any nutrient can have opposite biochemical effects in different individuals, or different metabolic types. In its complete form, the metabolic typing programmes consist of nine such regulatory control systems. Wolcott also meticulously specified precise vitamins and minerals to balance each type.

You really don't need to understand all of the science behind metabolic typing in order to reap the health benefits for yourself. These include an increase in energy and mental clarity, freedom from cravings and hunger between meals, improved digestion and immunity, improved performance in sports, a decrease in fatigue, anxiety and even depression. Ideal weight can be achieved without a struggle, and you can prevent and reverse many degenerative conditions.

Diet is only Part of the Equation

I do have to stress that I have never used the metabolic typing diet as a single means of treatment in my medical practice. Following your metabolic typing evaluation plan and drinking plenty of fresh water daily, are often not sufficient to properly eliminate the toxic build up resulting from years of improper nutrition and environmental toxins. I tested my patients using EAV/Prognos testing, and created an individual detox programme for them.

Learn more about your Individual Metabolic Type?

The book The Metabolic Typing Diet by WL Wolcott and T Fahey is widely available, and can be found online at It contains a short self-test questionnaire that will tell you about your basic metabolic type. You can also refer to


D'Adamo Peter J ND. Eat Right For Your Blood Type. New York, NY. GP Putnam's Sons. 1996.
Klaper Michael MD. Challenges to the Plant-Based Diet in the 90s. The Zone and Blood-Type Diet Fads located on the web at
Gaby Alan MD. Book Review. The Blood Type Diet. Nutrition & Healing. Newsletter. Phoenix. AZ. Nutrition & Healing. Pg 7. January 1998.
D'Adamo Peter and Whitney Catherine. Eat Right 4 Your Type: A Simple Guide to Eating Right for Your Metabolism. Century. London. 2001.
Wolcott William L. The Metabolic Typing Diet. Doubleday. ISBN 0 385 496915. 2000
Butlin June. Metabolic Typing – Part 1. PH magazine. Issue 65. June 2001.


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About Dr Rohsmann MD

Dr Rohsmann MD studied medicine at the University of Antwerp, Belgium and completed his clinical training at the University of Munich in Germany. He went on to study alternative medicine at Bastyr College for Naturopathic Medicine in the USA and studied and practised acupuncture and homeopathy in Sri Lanka. After studying with several physicians and healers specializing in various alternative medical treatments, Dr Rohsmann went into private practice in Munich Germany. His practice offered Prognos and Electro Acupuncture of Dr Voll (EAV) diagnostic testing, BTA (biological terrain analysis), dark field microscopy, metabolic typing, acupuncture and homeopathy, Ardenne and ozone therapy, colon hydrotherapy, enzyme therapy, manual therapies and orthomolecular medicine. He is presently lecturing and researching energetic neutraceuticals and has begun promoting enzyme therapy in the UK. Dr Rohsmann can be reached on: Tel: 0033 493 42 17 36;

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