The fundamental concept of “metabolic individuality”, a topic still very current in the scientific world, is at the basis of the study and definition of the food type, as it represents a precious tool to better understand the functioning of the metabolism.

The study of the metabolome

The metabolome represents a highly dynamic system, capable of continuously changing, in fact it brings together all the substances and reaction intermediates that participate in each physiological reaction of the body.

This makes it a highly interesting element of study, so that in 2005 for the first time a database was created, completed in 2007 and constantly updated over the next 7 years. It brought together all the small molecules (less than 1500 Da) present in cells, tissues and biological fluids, therefore in the whole organism.

These elements can include chemical entities, such as peptides, amino acids, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, organic acids, vitamins, minerals and any other chemical substance that can be used, ingested or synthesized by a certain cell or by the body.

The metabolome can therefore change over the course of seconds or minutes and the changes can be caused by a huge number of factors: environmental changes in which the organism is found, food intake or the physical activity carried out and the levels of stress to which a body is subjected.

Correlation between metabolic individuality and food

Several factors influence the metabolic individuality, among these we can find: physical constitution, sport and work activity and the surrounding environment.

The ongoing study of the physiology of the human body in relation to what we eat represents a branch still to be completely discovered, which is leading to revolutionary conclusions.

Indeed, it seems that the mitochondria speed of breathing, which we can translate as the daily assimilative capacity of these organelles (we can also define it metabolic intensity) is related to the health condition (specifically to longevity) and it seems that it can logically depend on the power that we support.

This would determine the presence of different metabolic types, characterized by different metabolization rates, for which some foods are more recommended.

A further factor that influences the metabolic type and therefore determines the different food types is the presence in our body of a parasympathetic and sympathetic system.

In this context, in fact, the autonomic nervous system sets in motion different physiological and biochemical mechanisms depending on whether it is in sympathotonia or parasympathotonia and this means that, depending on the condition in which the organism is found, the latter may need more than some nutrients and less than others.

This would mean that the body can be more inclined to one type of food rather than another one, based on the state that characterizes it at that specific moment.

The practical application

You can now understand what is the importance of being able to determine the different types of food and therefore to correlate the metabolic state of the organism to the best food choice that we can do to optimize its functionality, or even for restoring its correct functioning where it is altered.

This line of research undertaken by  EINuM, yet to be fully discovered, aims to study the application of food types, so that it can become an accessible and applicable tool for every professional who interfaces with metabolomics.

Cura ut valeas!

Dr. Carolina Capriolo

Nutritionist and Biologist

Sources:

http://www.wishartlab.com/projects/the-human-metabolome-project
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Metabolome_Database
http://www.hmdb.ca/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17202168
https://www.nature.com/articles/446008a
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-4614-1689-0_11
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1474-9728.2004.00097.x
https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0028-1116465
Book “Metabolic typing diet” T Fahey, WL Wolcott – 2008

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