J. Mercola, D.O.
Every winter I
was plagued with cold hands and feet, a phenomenon that made
me progressively annoyed with the cold temperatures and lack
of sunshine common to Chicago's winters. I would dread
driving home from work because my hat and gloves, not to mention
my seat warmer, did not do the trick in keeping me warm.
The problem became
so severe that I wound up purchasing property in Colorado
Springs, Colo. so I could move a branch of my practice into
a sunnier climate with less brutal winters. I still own the
property but it looks like I can remain in Chicago, as this
winter has been a breeze for me.
Not only have I
not worn gloves more than once or twice this entire winter,
but the ride home no longer phases me. I don't even mind
the completely cloudy days that frequently occur this time
It is difficult to know with complete accuracy what caused
this transformation, but I believe this amazing improvement
in my tolerance of winter's cold is due to the appreciation
of my own unique biochemistry that I gained through Metabolic
Typing, a process that helps you to identify your
individual nutritional needs. You can gain a full understanding
of nutritional typing, including the means to learn your own
nutritional type in my
When I was metabolically
typed I found out that I am a fast oxidizer (protein type),
which means that I burn fuel very rapidly and require that
as much as 40 percent to 50 percent of my diet be from fat.
I was consuming about half that amount for many years, which
is likely one of the reasons why I suffered with low cholesterol
levels (levels close to 100) for so many years. Raw
eggs and fish oil have been major ingredients in improving
my cholesterol levels, but they still did not have enough
punch to keep my metabolic furnace burning strongly.
Much like wood
can be thought of as fuel for a fire, food can be thought
of as fuel for the body. Burning the proper type of wood will
result in a long-lasting, hot fire. But, if you use wood that
is wet or green, or replace the wood altogether and use paper
for fuel, your fire will likely burn out.
Along these lines,
you must give your body the appropriate fuel in order for
it to run at an optimal level. I had not been giving my body
the correct fuel and as a result I was suffering from cold
hands and feet.
unsaturated good fats like fish oil and olive oil were not
sufficient to solve my cold hand dilemma. However, there are
some people who have a condition called Raynaud's, and
omega-3 fish oil works quite
well for them.
Earlier this year
I was fortunate enough to locate an Amish farmer who was able
to provide me with some raw unpasteurized cream--a significant
source of saturated fat. Most people are fearful
of saturated fat due to misinformation, but it seems the
cream has resolved my problem with cold hands.
At this time I
am not certain of the exact reasons why this occurred, but
one theory as to why the cream had this effect is that it
may have corrected my fast oxidative imbalance, thereby normalizing
my oxidation rate.
Through intra cellular
processes, your body can potentially produce 100 percent of
its needed energy from oxidation. But, the right factors must
be present for this to take place, and we each have a different
ideal "recipe" made up of different combinations
of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
can't produce energy efficiently because they burn carbohydrates
too slowly. Conversely, fast oxidizers burn carbohydrates
too quickly. The end result is the same, however--both slow
and fast oxidizers have problems with generating energy.
Some native populations
evolved as either slow or fast oxidizers as a means of survival.
For example, Eskimos are extremely fast oxidizers, which works
well with their extremely high-protein diet. However, for
the majority of people living in the United States or other
industrialized countries, slow and fast oxidation is generally
looked at as an imbalance, one that can be corrected.
tend to have higher blood sugar levels, while blood sugar
levels of fast oxidizers tend to be lower. As a fast oxidizer,
my generally low blood sugar levels combined with my insufficient
intake of proper fats may have resulted in my cold hands and
The quality of
your energy production may also impact your emotional well
being. For example, fast oxidizers who do not get enough fat
in their diets may feel hyper, nervous or irritable, or may
have trouble concentrating.
I have recently
recommended increasing raw saturated fat for a number of patients,
and many have told me that it has helped them. I don't
believe this approach will work with traditional pasteurized
cream you get at the store, however, and I would not advise
increasing your intake of this store-bought cream. But, if
you can locate a farmer with clean, healthy animals, you may
want to consider securing a supply of raw cream and trying
your own experiment.
You will need to
alter the dose according to the Metabolic
Typing guidelines. Initially, I made the mistake of going
through a pint of cream a day, but, while it tasted great,
it was clearly far more than I needed. I have since reduced
my dose to four ounces a day.
If you are unable
to locate raw cream, you can consider raw coconut. To open
a coconut, find the three "eyes" on one side and,
using a Phillips screwdriver, hammer through each eye to create
an opening that will allow you to drain all of the coconut
milk out of it. Once the coconut is drained you can hit it
with a hammer until it is in small pieces and you can easily
separate the raw coconut meat from the shell. You will need
to be cautious though about moldy coconuts. If you normally
like coconut and the coconut meat tastes funny or bad then
throw it away as it is likely moldy.
milk cheese is another option to consider. One of my fast-oxidizer
patients has reported effects similar to those that I experienced
from the raw cream by increasing her intake of raw milk cheese.
Increasing raw saturated fats, along with meats heavy in purine
type amino acids (dark meat), also eased the effects of the
DMPS mercury chelation that this patient was undergoing.
You can also try
avocados, as these are another good source of fat. However,
if you don't like the taste of avocados, coconut or raw
cream, I would not recommend using them. Many of my staff
members who can't stand the raw cream, and actively avoid
it, found that they were actually carbohydrate types, so the
cream would not be beneficial to them.
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