The Fallacy of the Metabolic Type Questionnaire

This post is part of an on-going review of the recommendations of Joseph Mercola, M.D. D.O. For an overview, see yesterday's post.

On his website, Dr. Joseph Mercola advocates people fill in a detailed questionnaire to help him determine which of three types they fall into. (Of course you must buy this questionnaire from him, a few pages of information at a price of 59 dollars before the software can add up your score, determine how much you love your meat and then he can know the right diet for you.)

This supposedly will help you decide what type of diet is best for your health. Instead of using blood type, eye color, shoe size, or date of birth of your first born, Dr. Mercola has determined a better way. His questions have a lot to do with how you feel when you eat meat. He divides the types into three categories. The indented section below is cut and pasted from Dr. Mercola's website.

PROTEIN TYPES do better on a low-carbohydrate, high-protein and relatively high-fat diet. Depending on your Metabolic Typing profile, these ratios are then perfected to help you make wise food choices.

CARBO TYPES normally feel best when the majority of their food is carbohydrate. Yet, there are major differences between classes of carbs such as vegetables and grains. Learning which types of carbs are best for your unique physiology is just one way in which Metabolic Typing excels.

MIXED TYPES require a combination of foods somewhere between the carbo and protein type groups. This is actually the most challenging type to have and requires a great deal of fine-tuning while "listening" to your own body with the help of Metabolic Typing.

Changing your dietary habits is indeed a good thing, but avoiding meat and animal protein just isn't the healthiest choice for most people, based on their body's unique metabolic type. Each type benefits from varying ratios of macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) to feel great and avoid chronic degenerative diseases, like those associated with obesity.

Dr. Mercola says avoiding meat is not a good idea for most people because their metabolic type indicates that red meat is needed and good for them. He also explains that the Atkins diet is good, because of its critical recognition of the glycemic index of food, but it is not as good as Dr. Mercola's because he (Dr. Mercola) takes into account the metabolic typing of the individual thus adjusts the diet for that person's particular need.

Dr. Mercola's viewpoints on nutrition and health would fail nutrition 101; too much science contradicts him. He may not be as dangerous as Atkins, but he is a very poor choice to be offering nutritional information to the masses because his advice is not just an unscientific gimmick, it can promote an earlier death or a life-ending cardiac event, especially in his high-protein type.

Dr. Mercola does make some good points as do most nutritional gurus, but the problem is the overall advice that may not be lifespan-favorable because of his faulty logic and misinterpretation of the data.

Vegetarian vs. Meat-Eating is Misleading. High Nutrition vs. Low Nutrition is What Counts.
Dr. Mercola correctly points out that most vegetarians may not have excellent health because of their overdependence on grains. I agree. Not that my agreement determines truth, but clearly the literature is abundant with evidence that demonstrate that the foods with the best correlation with longer life and resistance against later life diseases are vegetables, beans, raw seeds, fruit and raw nuts; not grains. Eliminating animal products and continuing the consumption of processed grain foods is not a longevity diet. The bottom line here is most vegetarians are unhealthy for the same reason most non-vegetarians are unhealthy, and that is they eat too much processed foods. Whole grains are not nutrient-rich food and may form a minor part of the diet, but when consumed as baked, fried, toasted and shot out of canons, they are low-nutrient junk foods that are powerfully disease-promoting.

Also there is no disagreement here that some people are not going to get all their nutritional needs met on a vegan diet and will need to add supplements to make the diet complete or add a small amount of animal products. Rather, the most critical disagreements involve two issues. The first issue is that if you add the (large) amount of animal products Dr. Mercola allows or recommends (including red meat and butter) especially the large amounts recommended in his protein-type, you will be powerfully promoting heart disease and cancer.

A Diet Safe for No One.
The scientific literature is clear; there is no genetic type that has immunity from such a disease-causing, high saturated fat diet-style. All Americans, not just some, develop atherosclerosis on a diet so rich in animal products. Over ninety percent of Americans eventually develop atherosclerosis and hypertension from the low intake of unprocessed vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds. Our high intake of animal products AND processed foods and our low intake of unrefined plant food is the dietary pattern undeniably associated with these avoidable illnesses and a premature death from heart attacks or stroke.

And the second issue is that his metabolic typing questionnaire is not an accurate way to determine a person's nutritional needs. When he advises his "protein type" to eat a diet where most calories are supplied by animal products, he is appealing to that person's food preferences and addiction and not only deviating from scientific integrity here, but promoting dietary suicide to his uneducated entourage to make a buck. His opinion is without scientific foundation in both these areas, and unquestionably can lead people to a shorter lifespan.

Dr. Mercola's position on saturated fat (high in cheese, butter and red meat) runs counter to thousands of medical research studies showing that saturated fat is the food factor most promoting high cholesterol levels and heart disease. Though Dr. Mercola (like Atkins) denies the saturated fat--> high cholesterol--> heart disease link. Dr. Mercola's topsy-turvy advice actually promotes the consumption of high saturated fat foods and makes ridiculous health claims for coconut oil (ninety percent saturated fat) including weight loss, detoxification, viral killing, heart disease reversing and other unsubstantiated silliness'. Good health comes from nutritional excellence, not from a jar of oil. See the comments of this post for more of my thoughts on coconut oil.

Nevertheless, filling out a questionnaire that tells you whether you digest meat better or worse or feel better after you eat it, or whether you like dark meat better than light meat is like asking a smoker if they feel better after they smoke to determine whether smoking is healthy or not. In fact, the more you crave something and the worse you feel when you stop consuming it is a good sign that you are addicted to it and it is harming you, not helping. For example, most people with hypoglycemic symptoms feel better when they eat a mostly animal-based diet, yet these same people get completely well once they are off the high-protein diet they have been using to lessen their symptoms. and their body is no longer nitrogen toxic. In other words, they no longer feel ill when their withdrawal symptoms have been allowed to come to completion, and they are off the high nitrogen diet.

For many of you that are familiar with my voice on these issues you will know that I advocate a diet rich in nutrients, especially antioxidants and phytochemicals and the large percentage of everybody's diet must be from unrefined plant foods no matter what your genetic type is. I teach there is not one perfect ratio of fat, carbohydrate and protein that are right, there is a broad range of acceptable intakes here, based on body weight, exercise habits and legitimate medical tests. However, Americans generally eat too much carbohydrate, too much protein and too much fat. We need to eat a diet lower in all three sources of calories and much, much richer in nutrients. In order to do this you must understand the nutrient density of all foods and eat more foods higher on the nutrient density ladder, and less low nutrient foods and this is what my book Eat To Live is about.

Furthermore, of course there are genetic differences, and adjusting nutritional advice to fit individual needs is accurately done with blood work, and other accepted medical tests. For example a heightened intake of Vitamin D or B12 or taurine might be indicated for someone who tests deficient in these substances, and some people might require a higher amount of long-chain omega-3 fats because of lower genetically-mediated conversion, indicating an individual with a more fish-dependent genetics. Nevertheless, these issues are best addressed with blood work (facts) not with some flakey secretive questionnaire that is sold for a high price on a website. Those individuals who may need extra long-chain fatty acids or additional protein should achieve this without a diet rich in red meat and saturated fat.

Luckily nutritional science has advanced to the point where we can chose a diet-style that enables us to dramatically lower our cholesterol, maintain a normal blood pressure into later years and not have heart disease or strokes. I continually inform people of the risks in following bad nutritional advice.

Over the next few days, we will investigate:

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Comments (34) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Gerry Pugliese - March 20, 2007 12:48 PM

Check out this post for Dr. Fuhrman's thoughts on many of these comments:

Dr. Fuhrman on Dietary Misinformation

Donald Cunningham - March 24, 2007 2:02 AM

As a Certified Healthexcel Metabolic Typing Advisor in training, i would just like to say that metabolic typing is a lot more scientific than a simple questionnaire.

The real leaders in the field are the Healthexel organization and the authors of the book (W.Wolcott & Trish Fahey).

At first it may seem to be another fad diet but it is far from a diet. MT teaches you how to supply your body with the right foods and supplements based on 4-10 fundamental homeostatic control systems (fhc).

I have visited Dr. Mercola's sight many times and I wouldn't say he's a Doctor that should be spoken of like that, i mean for aguements sake, the program he offers is a basic mt program.

At mtec there are advanced and comprehensive programs that test your
Autonomic Type
Oxidative Type
Endocrine Type
Catabolic/Anabolic Type
Electrolyte / Fluid Balance
6 Acid / Alkaline Imbalances
ABO Blood Type
Prostaglandin Balance
Hair Mineral Analysis
Circadian Rhythm
Lifestyle Factors
Candida albicans overgrowth screening results

So before you trash MT, go to Healthexel's website and read, read, read the facts.

By the way i'm a mixed type :)

Jackie - April 23, 2007 12:27 PM

Dr. Mercola does not advocate eating just any meat. He advocates eating grass-fed beef organic beef. This has not been feed of grains, given hormones, antibiotics or other crap that regular store bought meat has. I wonder if any of the doctors who are bashing Mercola have actually tried the diet for awhile. I would think they would want to find out for themselves by actually doing it!

Angela Ferreira - May 1, 2007 10:04 PM

Well said Jackie!
I was sick most of my life and during menopause my digestive problems got worse. Then I found Dr. Mercola and did the test. I am a protein type that spent the whole life trying to eat healthy (lots of vegetables and fresh fruits). The healthier I ate the sickier I felt. When I started my protein type diet I never felt indegestion or bloated again. God Bless Dr. Mercola for the information he shares with those who look for the truth.

Rutty - June 2, 2007 7:10 AM

Hi there,
I really think these kind of debates open eyes of ours that no theory is correct. As our bodies are different,unique, we need different approach to them. We cant say, that if one thing suits me, or one food is good for me, that it will be good for my husband. Dont be so blind and fallow everything what was said. Choose your own style of living, foods, etc... And think like this: before you criticize someone, what exactly have you done for our life to become better? If someone gets money for his inventions, or comments, or advices - so what? Thats his way! Arent we the ones who pays him? If it is life saving advice, i really dont mind to put few euros for that. Be the doers, not just talkers!

Charliemac - September 16, 2007 9:41 AM

I like all the posts above but I really like the one by RUTTY.

I subscribed to Dr Mercola for about 2 years but finally got fed up with (what I thought)was his bashing of every lifestyle except his. It seemed as though every lifestyle in America was going to lead you to almost instant death and every food you ate (except what he told you to eat) would give you some disease.

Dr Mercola is doing just what all fitness gurus do. Put a new spin on the same old thing

Americans are a very seditary people compared to 50+ years ago and eat too much. Exercise and portion control at meal time (BUT EAT WHAT YOU LIKE)are simple rules to follow.

Jim - October 2, 2007 7:12 PM

All too often, a new way of thinking is quickly criticized by the "status quo".

Just a few short years ago the "experts" were saying that fish and fish oils were bad for you.

Dr. Mercola is just one of many sources of information out there. The interested reader will continue to investigate the facts and try to keep current on developing trends. For instance, Dr. Sears' Zone program provided profound information on the hormonal aspects of dietary control. Dr. Rosedale recently published a fascinating review of metabolic medical trends in weight control. And of course, many have heard "Dr. Oz" and his partner who continue to challenge our way of thinking.

It is easy to look toward "Evidence Based Medicine" as providing the best approach. The question remains, "who did the research?". There are plenty of studies out there. Many conflicting. The sad truth is that many times the "status quo" follows established trends established by the pharmaceutical companies since they were able to fund the "best" research.

lve - October 31, 2007 7:13 AM

I am amazed at the amount of people who seem to enjoy having a go at Dr Mercola and other practitioners of like mind. Why don't they have a go at the drug companies and medical professionals who regularly dish out toxic cocktails that leave their patients worse off than before. Just check out the statistics of how many people die or are worse off from the side effects of the 'Pharma' drugs. I'd rather have the snake oil. Thank you Dr Mercola and others like you who have helped millions like me to regain my health.

harlem man - November 12, 2007 7:53 AM

I like your points, but I like many of Mercola's points also.

However, our quoting the FDA is really unbelievable. THE FDA helps kill us. They destroy many respectable health corporations, while allowing the POISON that we buy in food stores!!!!

However, a mix of your views and Dr. Mercola's (and others) is fitting. Would you guys consider putting the GUNS down and coming to the same table/conference so we can all save ourselves from the big corporate killers!?!?

marc plano - November 17, 2007 8:48 PM

I agree with Donald who talks about healthexcel...I also am a metabolic typing specialist who uses more than just a written questionaire....I also perform a comprehensive test including:

Lifestyle Factors
Glucose Challenge
Electrolye stress or insufficiency
liver and kidney balance
Dynamic Ph level of blood in response to food
Blood Type

and much more....

There are lots of science and research backing up MT, Kristal and Wolcott's methods....I have helped tons of people get relief...before you bash metabolic typing do some research first!

Dr. Curtis R. Kuhn - November 26, 2007 4:55 PM

Interesting comments. I just happened upon your site and would like to give credit where credit is due. For those of you who are NOT familiar with the ORIGIN of metabolic typing let's look at the facts; Dr. William Donald Kelley discovered the science of metabolic therapy in 1963, years before all of the other so called experts got involved in this industry. As a liver cancer, diabetes and polycythemia SURVIVOR I would like to state that it is curious to see all of the hoop-la.... that people are shouting about. Check out our web site, as we only want to promote one thing.....THE SCIENTIFIC TRUTH.

Robin M - December 7, 2007 4:06 PM

Metabolic Typing is based on the works of Dr. Price who studied different culters and found healthy individuals such as the north american inuit (eskimos) who ate large amounts of high fat protein and very little carbs (protein type) and the south american natives who were nearly the opposite (carb type) and found that both culters had a very healthy population. The conclusion was that both peoples developed different metabolic types over the 1000's of years to suit the food sources of their environment. It's very interesting stuff however, I have not seen other factors written into account such as the fact that both cultures ate high quality foods and no processed foods. Both cultures got plenty of exercise. In today's society, much of the civilized world is hooked on eating a lot of processed foods and are prone to sitting in front of the boob tube. Mercola is a big proponent of natural eating which is good, he also is an advocate of being self aware of how you feel and peform after meals. But finding one's metabolic type from answering questions? I'm not sure this is a sure fire means to healthy eating or healthy living. The first thing I teach my clients about eating is: If it wasn't around 1000 years ago don't put it in your mouth. Of course it's more complex than that, but if we start eating real whole foods, we've made the first step towards a healthier life.

Wallace Brown - January 1, 2008 1:48 PM

You dont have to take dr. mercola's word for it. You dont have to take anyone's word for it, YOUR BODY DOES NOT LIE. Only eat the foods that make you feel and look great. Everyone is entitled to there own opinions about health but if you want to know the truth you need to do trial and error. Metabolic typing is the best system out there, it may not be perfect but its the closest thing to dietary perfection. Eliminate grains and sugars for a week along with eating natural foods to find what combination works best for you. If you blindly thinks fruits and veggies are healthy and eat a lot of them and you a protein type you can definetly get sick. Listen to you body meaning how you feel physcially, mentally and emotionally after eating. That will tell you whats good for you and whats not good, not some doctor.

Brooke - February 5, 2008 4:17 PM

"Hey, Dr. Mercola? How come you say milk is the worst food on the planet for everybody, except when you are selling whey protein powder?

Meadow - February 5, 2008 10:48 PM

Just to add my 2 cents' worth!

I never had a weight problem, but due to low energy and IBS, and because I was interested in good health (and had not previously done well on high-carb vegetarian or macrobitotic diets), I followed a Paleo-inspired 100% organic NO-GRAIN diet for 4 years - but I progressively developed neuropathy, followed eventually by high blood pressure, palpitations, and slight downy facial hair maybe indicating hormonal imbalances.

For breakfast I was having grapefruit, wild blueberris with coconut flakes, then wild salmon (or sometimes eggs) with steamed tomato and spinach/kale and a little butter/olive oil and herbamare. No lunch - fasted all day on green tea. Pre-dinner snacks of celery and raw nuts/seeds. Dinner was either Asian style dishes of meat and veg (but no rice), or grilled wild/organic meat/fish with a huge salad (watercress, grated pruple cabbage & carrot, red capsicum, avocado, crushed garlic, nori) dressed with olive oil and balsamic/ACV. Sometimes we had berries with organic ABC yoghurt for dessert.

Initially the results were fantastic - no IBS, no carb cravings, no post-breakfast tiredness or brain fog, very good energy levels, never got sick, generally looked very healthy. I was jogging 5km 3X/wk and doing some weights nothing excessive) 2X/wk.

The peripheral neuropathy started after about 9 months and initially seemed to be due to separate sports injuries affecting nerves in a leg and then an arm - I have to wonder in retrospect if those injuries were actually caused by a co-ordination problem or structural weakness which had developed. There was twitching occurring in the calf muscle of the affected leg, especially after exercise, and cramps were also a problem at times.

It was only when neuropathic symptoms started in other areas that I realised it wasnt caused by injuries - unfortunately it took me 3 years to even think it may be diet-related, because I had a clear brain scan for MS and no-one in my fmaily had ever had MS or similar symptoms. I suspected there must be nutrients in grains which are not available in sufficient quantities (for me at least) from other foods, no matter how high-quality.

I then added some Essene ryebread at lunchtime, and flaxseed with a banana at bedtime. This helped, but mostly held things at bay with possibly some very slow improvement in the neuropathy. I still developed high blood pressure and palpitations (despite excellent levels of LDLs and HDLs) 6 months later (6 months ago), when under a lot of stress.

The only medical explanation was migraines causing the neuropathy, and stress causing the palpitations - so I decided to see a traditional homeopath and a Chinese acupuncturist and herbalist.

I experimented with a raw food diet but I couldn't tolerate sprouted grains in sufficient quantity (spelt and quinoa very bad, buckwheat and rice bad, oats were the only grain left but I felt I needed brown rice) that I currently seem to need, and I got WORSE, and the palpitations became quite scary, so I decided to do the opposite ("if you keep doing what you've always done", etc etc) and start eating a LOT of the grains I can tolerate - organic brown rice/buckwheat/oats.

I also knew the best I ever feel is when in Japan, and eating nothing but the healthiest types of Japanese food (not white rice of course) all day, so yesterday my meals consisted of just miso soup, brown rice, some greens and poached egg, and for the first time in ages, I was able to sleep ALL night without being woken by palpitations and having to get up and eat something to calm it down. I,m optimistic that the natural therapies and right diet will get rid of the neuropathy as well.

I think there is quite a lot of truth in all of the Body Ecology, Paleo, Metabolic Typing and Rawfood diets (I dont know the ON diet so cant comment), and some truth in the Macrobiotic diet, but I dont believe any one of them is going to give a prescription that can be followed day in and day out. It would be nice to think the MT diet would do this, but I found, as did others, that you can give different answers to the questionnaire on different days.

I have to say people on the rawfood diet look fantastically healthy (the best of all?), and apparently live very healthily into their 80s or 90s (but not beyond - still, very few people are really healthy and energetic up to that age, even if they're alive!), so I think mostly raw is the way to go - they dont do well if they have too much fruit, though.

I think the MT diet is right when it says our needs and MT can change from day to day, macrobiotics is right when it says we should eat seasonally, the paleo diet is right in saying we should eat unprocessed wholefoods, wild foods, the right fats and protein and lots of leafy greens while minimising high-carb high-sugar fruits and vegs, the BE diet is right in saying which grains are best and we should eat plenty of good fermented foods and we will vary in whether we need building-up foods (more cooked, stronger proteins) or cleansing (raw) foods.

What does all that add up to for each individual? The only conclusion I can come to is that I think we have to ensure we choose our food only from a range of high-quality whole "nature-made" produce, to think about what is seasonal and suits the local climate, get in tune with how we feel and what we need at any point in time, and have lots of dark leafy greens every day no matter what else we're eating.

In my case, for now I'm re-balancing myself by having a lot of Asian-style cooked food and rice, and I think I'll have to plan a range of meals that include only foods I tolerate really well, and are suitable for different seasons and different needs of either cleansing or building-up. I think soon I'll be craving salads, salmon, green smoothies and blueberries, and will just have to add them in a way that makes me feel balanced. Maybe I'm lucky I have these symptoms, because they respond instantly for better or worse according to what I am eating!

It's not easy - I guess it's a shame all of us are so mixed up genetically that we cant just say we are suited to one diet and that's it!

Dr. Timothy Gallivan - February 7, 2008 3:01 PM

Dr Fuhrman,

Please consider that you are wrong.

Without getting to long-winded and tied up with a million references, generally speaking, any dietary advice that includes restricting the ingestion of white flour, simple sugars and any food sources that are tainted with growth hormones, pesticides and antibiotics while at the same time encouraging the consumption of "real organic" food sources and non synthetic whole food supplements should be looked into.

If I were a betting man, I would take that advice over the standard medical response of pills and surgery for chronic ailments. It is time for our profession to admit that all we are taught in school and by big pharma is not 100% in the best interests of the patient.

In your article, you attack Dr. Mercola's positions by using some of what he states out of context and making asumptions on what he means.
In a one on one debate with Dr. Mercola, you would end up in second place my friend.

Also, you lose credibility instantly when you utilize Dr. Stephen Barret to support your argument. He has long been proven to be nothing more than an angry, pretty much out of work psychiatrist with little credibility.
Take a look at his bio.

The FDA? Are you serious.

Please doctor, help yourself and your patients by letting go of unquestioned medical and big pharma dogma.

I wish you well.

Dr. L Shea - February 24, 2008 9:20 AM

Dr. Fuhrman,

A few lines into your article and one can easily see where your influences stem from.

Just one burning question; do you REALLY believe that the alternative to the metabolic typing philosophy has improved the health status of americans? Before you write such a ignorant article, please do some reasearch on the myths you support.

Maybe it's time to choose a new profession?

K.W. - March 19, 2008 9:50 PM

I must tell you my story.

For three whole months last year I undertook an extreme anti-candida diet, partially vegetarian diet, in hopes of treating my severe mental illness. I ate: properly prepared legumes balanced with whole grains of many varieties, and/or a small amount of fish at each meal. I also ate a large amount of vegetables with each meal. Tons and tons of those. And some extra virgin oil and coconut oil. THAT WAS IT. I ate no dairy, no butter, no sweets.

A couple times, I did "cheat" by having some red meat, and felt horrible about it after. Meat was repulsive to me at that time and I felt it would make me ugly, give me pimples, and make me gain weight, even though I was very underweight at that time (need I say my mental illness was worse?)

BUT THEN, I lost my period for three months. And I felt sick all the time, my body and mind in fog (I don't even remember all that happened during that time). It was not good. But, I was eating a very healthy diet! I was eating vegetables, I was eating legumes, I was eating some fish. What was wrong?

Finally, after the diet was over, and I started to eat more (and my Mother made me eat meat). I started to feel better. I ate lots of red meat, chicken, fruits, nuts, raw organic cheese, butter, coconut oil, olive oil and continued to eat plenty of vegetables. I realized that those were the foods my body was starved for, the truly life-giving foods I had cut out of my diet. My mental clarity improved. My periods returned, but I had much cramping, worse than I had had before the stupid starvation diet I had put myself on.

Then I found a source of raw milk, and I began to drink as much of it as I could. I also made raw milk kefir, and drank that too. I found that the milk helped my period pains considerably. It NOURISHED me.

After reading about Metabolic typing on Dr. Mercola's website, I became more aware of my body, and how I reacted to food. Over time, I have found that if I eat light meals, with chicken breast and salad, my symptoms of mental illness are much more pronounced than if I eat steak, sauteed mushrooms, steamed green beans with butter, raw milk and cheese, raw cultured vegetables, and a small amount of mashed potato with cream. A hearty meal makes me feel full, calm, healthy, energized, and sane. But my sister feels much better on the salad meal, SO THERE IS SOMETHING to the whole metabolic typing idea. Besides, how could one diet suit every single unique person on the planet?

You say this in your article:

"... Americans generally eat too much carbohydrate, too much protein and too much fat. We need to eat a diet lower in all three sources of calories and much, much richer in nutrients."

I say, I think we eat to many of the WRONG carbohydrates (refined sugar, corn syrup, white flour, etc.), WRONG fats (refined soy oil, corn oil, etc.) and WRONG proteins (meat with chemicals, etc.), and NOT ENOUGH OF THE GOOD ONES! Really, we are eating poisoned and damaged food instead of the proper, healthy foods that have nourished our ancestors for generations.

The foods I am talking about are REAL foods, foods packed with nutrition, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, properly prepared whole grains, meat from grass-fed cows, free-range chickens, raw organic milk from grass-fed cows, eggs from healthy chickens, cod liver oil, coconut oil, and butter!

If you are interested in reading more about the nourishing foods above, please go to:

This organization has been a wonderful help to me as I continue my healing journey. As of today my health has improved so much that I am actually able to write this post (I wouldn't have been able to in the past due to O.C.D./ Anxiety, or Depression/Non-Existent-Energy). I have also gained weight (my BMI no longer reads underweight) and my waist-to-hip ratio has improved. My symptoms of mental illness are much less frequent, and I am starting to come back into the land of the living, slowly, but surely.

This is a small re-telling of my health journey. Thank you for reading this.

rawmilklvr - June 8, 2008 10:17 AM

I am a Mercola reader and to some extent a follower. I am bothered somewhat that every article of his leads into a major sales pitch for products that are expensive. I'd love to have access to some of them and I wish he would understand the financial burden of the average family to support local farms (so we can eat grass-fed beef, drink raw milk, support the local CSA so as not to have to rely on imported organic vegetables all year). I do appreciate his free advice and information and we try to incorporate as much as possible into our lives. He's right up there with Westin A. Price and Sally Fallon.

Peace be with you all~

Mallory - June 24, 2008 3:25 PM

Dr. Mercola is a fraud. He promoted krill oil as a nonsmelly alternative to fish oil. When it arrived, one of the bottles had previously been opened - there was no paper covering it under the top as in the other bottles. The smell was strong and vile, so that it would have been impossible for me to swallow them. I called about returning them and the answering machine each time said they were too busy and to call back another time. I returned the bottles for a refund and even though I have postal receipts, he denies that I returned them. He is execrable. I would not trust him about anything.

Elsa - July 10, 2008 4:18 PM

There is a lot of truth to be found on You need to learn to separate the message from the man. We don't need to buy every product he sells and promotes and we should think for ourselves. Think about it, food is the best multi vit you can ever take and also the strongest medicine. We don't need tons of supplements. We need probiotics or kefir, digestive enzymes, clean air, clean water and sunshine.

Ori - July 16, 2008 3:18 AM

Dear Mr. Fuhrman,

Like many of the people who posted above, I am also THRIVING on a natural, high protein, high fat diet. I'm pretty much eating the way my ancestors have eaten for many generations before the industrialization of our food chain. I have researched nutrition for many years now and experimented with many different diets to help overcome my chronic digestive problems. If it wasn't for the research of people like Dr. Mercola, Weston Price and William Wolcott, I would still be very sick and confused.
If you TRULY want to help people achieve optimal health, you should be bashing the preachers of politically correct nutritional dogma, like yourself.

Konstantinos Papaconstantinou - July 25, 2008 2:08 PM

Hello all,
that's all the fuss about Metabolic Typing ?

Marlee Bisbey - July 28, 2008 4:30 PM

In a nutshell, I'm an extreme protein type who has been eating protein with every meal for 7 months now, mostly red meat, organ meat, and fatty fish. I drink two things; water and whole raw organic milk. I eat pasture butter, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. I eat no processed foods, no sugars, no grain carbohydrates. I get my limited carbs from the vegetables I steam or saute and the occasional fresh berries as a treat. My diet is exclusively organic or local. In this last 7 months I have dropped 20 lbs and reduced my cholesterol level by 60 points. You will never convince me that metabolic typing is hocus.

Todd - July 30, 2008 8:28 PM

So, trans fats are good and saturated fats are all bad?


the only trans fat that is good is CLA which occurs naturally in natural grass grazed cattle. The saturated fat in coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride, which the body uses as a source of energy, unlike the long chain griglycerides that are unhealthy and contribute to heart disease.

Fatty meats like Wild caught salmon (not farmed salmon) are increadible sources of fats, high omega 3 fats, low omega 6 fats and contribute to improved brain function as well as reduced cholesterol levels and reduced cardiovascular risks.

If Mercola was that much off base, one of his patients/clients who took his advice and had some serious complication would have surely retained an attorney and brought him to court to take everything he has

But there is more to nutrition than what the AMA, FDA and USDA have to say about it.

Palaeo lithic diets, the diets of our caveman anscestors are the way to go.

and I agreewith you on the grains/processed food crap we have so readily available in this country.

Partially hydrogenated, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup should be banned from human consumption.


Edward Parker - August 10, 2008 2:48 PM

all boobs that spout teaching that has been polluted by the FDA should be forced to eat the diet espoused by that phony administration, its nothing more than a protector for big pharma and clerks, as well as a collector of money for them by enforcing and trying to create sneaky laws to keep USA prisoners... err I mean citizens unhealthy and poor, as well as under the thumb of the government... the food in this country is created by food companies owned by pharmaceutical companies these companies load the food up with poisons people eat this cheap nasty food and go to clerks...err Doctors, who prescribe poisons...err medications which do nothing but create side effects which call for more meds and its a vicious circle that the FDA loves as its making money for this "great" country of ours and at whos expense? the health and welfare of the american public, especially the sheep who never think for themselves but just follow the herd and the propaganda and listen to big pharma and their flock of clerks

Anthony Enlow - September 23, 2008 2:35 PM

What about Dr Mercola's product placements devalues his recommendations? He has a wonderful way of introducing healthful products to the masses. Not to mention his "soft sell" approach. I mean come on, how many of you Mercola nay-sayers work for free? Dr. Mercola cares so much about improving peoples lives that his resource ( is free to the public. Do you know how much time it takes to facilitate a website as large as his? To squash the entire debate, Mercola even posts alernatives to his product recommendations for all to use freely. Ex. "If you do choose another brand, please be sure that it meets these requirements." Dr. Mercola spends large amounts of time finding the products he endorses and documenting observations/opinions for us to benefit from. He doesn't pretend that his products are the only ones that will work. Arguably, one can find and follow much of his advice and never purchase a thing from You people need to WAKE UP. Yes, he is making a living. Yes he uses business savvy to earn kickback from the products sold on his site. SO WHAT. Let him be compensated for all of his time, great advice and years of experience dedicated to our health. Those that know him will tell you he lives by the concepts (really the passion) he openly promotes to all of us. Lastly, one final question: In the US you expect your doctor to bill you after each visit to his/her office, correct? This man is a doctor and means well. Don't you dare call him a fraud b/c he has products on his website.

Stella - September 25, 2008 2:57 PM

Before condemning the Metabolic Typing Diet and Dr. Mercola's support of it, please be informed.
You would need to read "The Metabolic Typing Diet" by William Wolcott and Trish Fahey to be better informed.
Other good sources of information mentioned by others include Weston Price (see the website), Sally Fallon, Donna Gates.
I have been helped a great deal by all of these to improve and maintain my health. I have not been helped by M.D.'s I have visited to improve and maintain my health, except when I needed a broken bone set.
I learned a lot about my personal dietary needs using the Metabolic Typing Diet, and I am thankful to Dr. Mercola for bringing it and other information and products into my awareness.

Chris Davis - September 29, 2008 1:28 PM

wow, reading these posts just re-enforces that popular notion that many of the people who utilize and "study" alternative medicine are exceedingly biased against allopathic medicine to the point of being dogmatic and of a subjective constitution. This criticism cuts both ways i should add. If allopathic medicine has failed you (not a surprise) why does this necessitate a firm and unwavering endorsement of a counter view? It shouldn't AND it isn't even remotely relevant to the article and subsequent issue at hand. The issue is whether metabolic typing is a legitimate science. We are discussing if Dr. Mercola's views are either supported my scientific inquiry and study (they're not)or at least have a proof of concept (they don't). Metabolic typing is predicated on absurdity and Dr. Mercola makes astonishingly cavalier statements of causality and even formulates tacit recommendations such as "too many vegetables can be harmful to protein types." Oh I see, I can drink 4 ounces of vegetable juice if I'm a protein type, but 8 ounces may be harmful?? WTF!! Seriously, Dr. Mercola lacks objectivity and rationality. He seemingly endorses ANY theory that contravenes any tenet of Orthodox allpathic medicine. His base tends to be not only uneducated in physiology and related sciences, but also predisposed to rejecting allpathic medicine. This serves to create an army of brainwashed Mercola devotes who subjugate rationality at the expense of confirming ones preconceived bias. such behavior does not serve any functional purpose. and before I get labeled a friend of "Big Pharma" or whatever other bogeymen you have been groomed to fear, let it be known that,using rationality, objectivity, education and EVIDECE BASED MEDICINE, that I do reject, or at least admonish allopathic medicine on several issues, the most pronounced of which is the ubiquitous use of psychotropic drugs.

Rebecca - October 6, 2008 6:36 PM

If you'd like to read the actual studies on the supposed link between heart disease-cholesterol-saturated fat, pick yourself up a copy of The Great Cholesterol Con by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick. The language has been used interchangeably, when in fact, there is no scientifically agreeable evidence that saturated fats have any negative influence on heart disease.
Moreover, Metabolic Typing is a great way of customizing nutrition. I have personally experienced a number of health benefits and so have my clients. We are biochemically individual, plain and simple. We don't all have the same nutrient needs. While you may have a problem with the questionnaire on Dr. Mercola's website, I cannot argue with you because I didn't take his--I took the one through Healthexcel. I read about the science behind it and I thought the questions were great. There is a disclaimer about taking the test honestly, accurately, and testing out any food-reactions prior to submitting your test. If you do this, you are going to get results that are credible.

Cameron Ross - December 27, 2008 12:18 AM

I have been seeing a Naturopathic Doctor who was trained at Bastyr University, the leading educator in the U.S. in alternative medicine. She has always told me to ask about a doctor's training in alternative medicine, vitamins and nutrition because the MDs do not get much training in these areas, which is why she chose to go to Bastyr after pre-med. I know several medical doctors personally, and they all admit that this is true. I emailed Dr. Mercola's website several times inquiring about his training in alternative medicine. I did not get a response. In my opinion he does not have the knowledge to be giving people advice about alternative healthcare or what vitamins and diet are right for them.

Marty - December 27, 2008 2:17 AM

Just looking into this "metabolic typing" thing myself. So its a GOOD think to see Dr. Fuhrman taking the proponents to task on it. I am the ultimate skeptic. These sorts of things usually turn into "my report's more reputable than your report" fights but this seems pretty informative. My family doctor told me that Atkins DIED of a fatty liver (to many slices of bacon...).

You're Healthy - January 8, 2009 12:33 AM

The source from which the bacon comes from must also be considered! We are a product of nature. Our bodies are designed to eat plants and animals that have followed their natural intuition of food choice. For example, (This has been shown numerous times by Iowa State University) cows that have been 100% grass-fed have a "much" more suitable omega 3 to 6 ratio for human consumption than cows that were raised conventionally (feed-lots).

Another fact, is that a 6 oz steak that has come from a grass-fed cow will have on average approximately 1.7 grams of saturated fat vs the 6 oz steak that had come from the cow raised in a feedlot (corn-fed) will have on average approximately 9.3 grams of saturated fat.

As far as Metabolic Typing is concerned; after actually taken the coarse (level one & two) to become certified in Metabolic Typing, and practicing it on myself and patients for several years, I can say that disspite all the hype its received, and although difficult to comply with our culture's lifestyle, it can work quite well. It comes down to your definition of, what is "health".

Earlier (sometime in 2007 I believe) someone posted an argument against saturated-fat being healthy. It is fact that the studies conducted in the late 70's through the late 80's stating that the consumption of saturated-fats will greatly increase your risk for developing heart disease and/or cancer; The majority of the studies were actually done with the combination of saturated-fats from feedlot animals and trans-fat foods (which at that time have not yet been identified)!

It's safe to say that until non-agenda studies have been performed on saturated-fats from 100% grass-fed cows, I personally don't consider the so-called "science" from earlier postings as beneficial to anyone with a brain! "Food-science/nutrition" (whatever you wish to call it) is still a very young science.

Would you eat meat from a sick animal and truly believe to be in great health? Don't fool yourself!

Dr. Gene - January 19, 2009 3:32 PM

I love the wisdom of the medical profession and the anti-saturated fat crap. Lets put them in the wild without a grocery store and see what is available to them to eat. They will see lots of animals to eat and not alot of fruits, vegetables, or grains 9 months of the year. I bet they will eat lots of protein. Or if they lived in the tropics they would eat lots of carbs from the fruits sitting on trees and plants and not bother with hunting all day. The whole caveman thing, did our digestive systems evolve already so it is normal to live in the midwest and eat fruit from Chile in Feb. Stop depending on research from scientists with agendas on what they are trying to prove. Use your education and common sense and feed your body based on what the environment would present to you.


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