In last week’s article, I said that testing for hormones and most vitamins and minerals is a waste of time. That’s because we’re all different, and often need different nutrient intakes to achieve optimum health.
In medicine, we use the term bio-chemical individuality to refer to these differences. This is a fancy term for saying we’re all different.
But it’s an extremely important concept because it shows why almost all of us are deficient in some nutrients no matter how good our diets may be.
We really see this issue take effect in the many chronic conditions people experience today.
Roger Williams, PhD is the researcher who coined the term bio-chemical individuality. Dr. Williams was no lightweight when it came to science. He graduated magna cum laude with a PhD in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1919. He taught at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and beginning in 1940, at the University of Texas at Austin. He authored several widely used textbooks of organic chemistry and biochemistry. Dr. Williams was the first man to discover the B-vitamin pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).
Dr. Williams was the genius that discovered that the same vitamins that were so important for human health were also critical for the growth of various forms of yeast. This finding opened the door for the study of the effects of vitamins on bacteria and yeasts, which greatly sped up nutritional research. It was while studying yeasts that he discovered pantothenic acid.
At the University of Texas, he founded the Clayton Foundation Biochemical Institute, now called the Biochemical Institute. Researchers have discovered more vitamins and their variants in this laboratory than in any other laboratory in the world.
When This Lab Releases a Study on Vitamins, I Pay Attention
Of all of these great accomplishments, the concept of bio-chemical individuality is Dr. Williams’ greatest achievement. His work focused on the importance of enzymes and how they work. And, boy, are enzymes important!
Every single aspect of your biological function is 100% dependent on enzymes. If you have optimal levels of enzymes, your body will function at its maximum levels. If the levels are less than optimal, your body suffers. It’s that simple.
What determines the levels of most of the enzymes in your body is a combination of your genetics and your diet. That’s because most enzymes consist of two parts. One part is the apo-enzyme. This is synthesized from your DNA. The other part, called the coenzyme, comes from your diet.
Coenzymes come from vitamins and minerals. That’s why the vitamin/mineral content of your diet is so crucial. As long as your genetics can supply enough apo-enzymes, and as long as your diet contains enough vitamins and minerals to make the coenzymes, you will be just fine.
That is what caused Dr. Williams to formulate the principle of biochemical individuality.
Here’s How It Works
About 10 years ago, I wrote about a case report in the Japanese literature of a young woman and five other people with “mild” versions of McArdle disease.
McArdle disease is a genetic disease caused by a deficiency of the enzyme myophosphorylase. Your body needs this enzyme in order to supply the muscles with enough glucose to keep them going during exercise. Because of the enzyme deficiency, people with McArdle disease have almost no capacity for exercise. They fatigue extremely easily.
Unfortunately, myophosphorylase is an apo-enzyme, so you can’t just fix their diet and cure the problem. It’s genetic. However, you can take the vitamin that forms the coenzyme for myophosphorylase. This won’t fix the problem, but it will make the limited amounts of the apo-enzyme work more effectively.
With McArdle disease, that coenzyme vitamin is B6.
In one study, researchers gave McArdle’s patients massive doses of vitamin B6. They gave one woman a dose that was a full 70 times the RDA. Two months later, the patient’s myophosphorylase functioned almost perfectly. And she was able to go on to a normal life.
The only symptom this woman had was easy fatigability. This is a symptom that doctors hear every day. It makes you wonder just how many of the patients we see with this complaint have some mild form of undiagnosed McArdle disease.
And how about all the rest of the symptoms we hear every day? Are they simply cases of other “mild” genetic disorders looking for the right nutrient in the right dose? It’s very possible!
So if you have a chronic condition, make sure you’re taking enough vitamins. This especially means the B-vitamins. Here’s why: Most of the coenzymes your body produces come from B-vitamins. And in people with apo-enzyme defects, your body uses up the B-vitamins very quickly, even in the face of a healthy diet.
I learned very early on that of all the supplements available, giving my patients B-vitamins was the single most likely way to see benefit. This is why I put such a high amount of B-vitamins in my Super Immune QuickStart formula.
I can’t begin to tell you all of the times I have had people tell me how much better they feel after taking QuickStart. There is no doubt in my mind that these stories are simply the result of treating a biochemical imbalance with a higher dose of B-vitamins than they were able to get in their diet.
So if you are not feeling as good as you want to be, maybe you should give QuickStart a try. Besides having high doses of B-vitamins, it is also loaded with antioxidants and immune detoxification supporting nutrients and herbs. Make sure that you give it long enough to work. Most chronic conditions won’t respond for at least two months. Many will take four to six months to respond.
Izumi, R., N. Suzuki, K. Kato, H. Warita, M. Tateyama, I. Nakashima, and Y. Itoyama. “A Case of McArdle Disease: Efficacy of Vitamin B6 on Fatigability and Impaired Glycogenolysis.” Intern Med. 2010;49(15):1623-5. Epub 2010 August 2.