How you Can do so Many Bad Things to Yourself and Still Function: Your
Body's Metabolic Reserve and Priority Systems
Your entire body is a warehouse that stores nutrients
and other vital substances. If you miss a few meals or suffer some other stress, your tissues are not
immediately affected because your body can draw from its reserves. Now, if your metabolic reserves
aren't one hundred percent to begin with, you are at greater risk of having nothing to draw on
in case of an emergency. When your body's reserves get all the way down to
zero, then your body will either not be able to perform a given
job, or it will have to begin tearing down other tissues to get the material to carry out that
function. When the mariners' vitamin C reserves dropped to zero, their bodies broke down old scar
tissue to obtain some vitamin C for vital bodily functions.
This is why we can go on for so long without noticing the
harm we are doing to ourselves through improper diet. Our body has some reserves, which we can draw on
when we are not taking in the proper nutrients. Although we may think we are fairly normal, we may
actually be functioning at a less than optimal level. We tend to dismiss many minor symptoms that are
actually signs that tissue is deteriorating from lack of nutritional substances. We ignore our body's warning messages until finally it reaches the
breaking point, and then “suddenly” develop a serious disease. I have seen many clients who expressed
puzzlement at getting sick some time long after a very stressful period in their lives, rather than
getting sick during the stressful time. The reason, of course, is that their reserves held them during the
stressful time and they had not done what was necessary to rebuild those reserves afterwards. If their
nutrition level was marginal or deficient, then the slightest further decrease would cause some physical
problem. For any given nutrient, the nutrition level must be 100% before any reserves can be stored
Which organ system breaks down depends on which nutrients are
in short supply. For example, suppose that you have a long-standing zinc deficiency. As your
deficiency develops, you may notice increased acne, slow healing of wounds, a change in your body
odor, a decrease in your vision, or a reduced sense of smell. What you may not realize is that these
problems are all related to zinc.
Finally, if you are a man, you may notice
pain in the prostate, or have difficulty urinating. These
prostate-related problems, also perhaps due to the zinc deficiency, may finally drive you to the medical
doctor where the problem is “identified.” But all your earlier symptoms were also early warnings that your
zinc reserves had been depleted. Many chronic diseases begin during periods of nutritional deficiencies.
Arthritis, for example, is closely related to deficiencies in the metabolism of potassium (especially in
the proper organic form), among other substances.
Similarly, the prevalence of heart disease in our society
is evidence that our nutritional and metabolic needs are not being met. By the time the cardiovascular
system has begun to deteriorate, many other problems have already developed. People may ignore all
these other problems, and the end result is heart disease. By believing that “common every day aches
and pains” are normal, we more easily lull ourselves into believing that we are healthy and that
“disease” is for other people.