Key concepts

Hippocrates, who is widely regarded as the father of modern medicine said:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” 431 B.C.



As a person with an interest in health and the important role that good nutrition has to play, you will certainly have noticed that today more than ever we have a huge number of foods available to us and an equally enormous number of nutritional supplements as well as herbs from all over the world.

You also know that the quality of the foods and nutritional supplements that you buy is important, and that the quality of your foods varies greatly from which shops you buy.

You almost certainly have heard or read that many foods these days are grown in circumstances that allow for mass production, are full of pesticides and often undergo genetic manipulation.

In the hope to get more health and value for your money you might decide to buy organic. Going through the aisles of the supermarket you also notice “superfoods”, which as the advertising says will raise your level of vitality. Fair enough , you say, I’ll get some of those.

You then decide to go to the health food store to increase your health and vitality even more by adding some supplements to your diet. This is certainly recommendable.

You look at the shelf in the health food store and notice that there are truckloads of nutritional supplements. Wow! Which one do you go for?

How about some Vit.C for the flu, everyone says that really helps?

Maybe some omega 3 fish oil to counteract heart disease, to lower cholesterol and to ease depression?

Omega 6 linseed oil or evening primrose oil because omega 6 oils are “essential”, as you heard in the health food shop?

Some exotic herbs that promise you to ease the stress in your life and have been used traditionally for thousands of years?

Phytoestrogens from soy to get your hormones sorted out?

Hmmm? Has ever anybody told you that Vit.C, omega 6 oils, fish oil or phytoestrogens are very dangerous and can make you very, very sick (and even kill you)? (And in these pages you will find a lot of referenced articles that verify these claims).

And herbs? Many herbs have never been tested in strict scientific settings. Some work, some don’t. Some chemical pathways are better studied than others. Some herbal extracts are of pure quality, others are not. Some herbs are heavily hyped by the health food industry.  And it is good to keep in mind that herbs are classified as drugs.

You might go a bit further and decide you need a good diet. Great. There are tons out there to chose from. Here is the list that I have come across in my 25 years as a naturopath:

  • Dr. Pritikin’s “High Carbohydrate” diet
  • Dr. Joseph Mercola’s “No Grain Diet” diet
  • Dr. Robert Atkin’s “High Protein” diet
  • Dr. Dean Ornish’s “Heart Health” diet
  • Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s “Blood Type” diet
  • Drs. Harvey & Marylin Diamond’s “Fit for Life” diet”
  • Dr. Barry Sears “Zone Diet”
  • Dr. Robert Young’s “PH balance Diet”
  • William Wolcott’s “Metabolic Typing” Diet
  • The yogic “Vegetarian” Diet
  • The “Vegan” Diet
  • The “Paleo” Diet
  • The “Fodmap” Diet
  • Dr. Linus Pauling’s “Orthomolecular Nutrition”
  • The “Ayurvedic Dietary principles”
  • “Fruitarianism”

Which one do you chose?

Ask the expert? Every expert that has created these diets will give you a whole book full of reasons why his/her diet is the best.

Some of the diets that are mentioned above are based more on wishful thinking that scientific truth; some are very well researched while others are a blatant lie. Most diets do not ever consider biological individuality (explained shortly).

Some diets can kill you. (Our modern diets actually do!)

But yes, the simple truth is that some of these diets can really help certain people for a time, while for others they can be absolutely disastrous and even lethal.

There is a famous quote by the Roman philosopher Lucretius, 55 B.C.:

“quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum”

(what is food for one man may be bitter poison to others)

Therefore, for you, the individual, it is absolutely critical to your everyday health to know what food does have what effect in your body and also why it does have those effects.

Now let’s go one step further and say that you are suffering from one or more common health problems such intestinal difficulties, heart disease, hormonal problems, high cholesterol, sugar problems, thyroid problems, depression, etc.

Or you may simply be so stressed out by normal life circumstances that everyday living seems like a daily mountain to climb.

What then? Where do you begin? How can you possibly which foods are best for you, which supplements are worthwhile taking and how to prevent and even reverse disease?

The answer is that you need is a truly analytical system of clinical nutrition based on medical science and objective research.

Only then is it possible to cover all your nutritional needs and stay healthy.


One of the great contributions of NUTRI-SPEC is that it has shown that every single disease on the planet has a nutritional component to it.  In other words, what you eat contributes to making you sick.

But how can you know which foods and nutritional substances will help you and which ones will make you feel worse? Ask your doctor. Great idea, if only doctors would learn about nutrition in medical school. They don’t, unfortunately. And the little they do know has been told to them by the food industry who makes up fairly ridiculous rules of what is currently healthy or not.

So, how do you effectively bring the imbalances that you know you have in your body together with the many and varied combinations of macro-nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils) and micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace-minerals) that are available to you?

The answer is again that you need an analytical system of clinical nutrition which is based on medical science and objective research.

From its very beginnings in the 1980’s, Dr. Guy Schenker and his team at NUTRI-SPEC have developed an analytical, systematic approach to nutrition. The criteria have been and still are, that the research into nutrition and disease has to be unbiased, objective and based on true scientific research that has been documented in respected medical journals (such as medline/pubMed).

And unfortunately, unbiased research like this has brought up time and time again unpleasant surprises, insofar that much of the nutritional information you receive from both doctors and even the health food industry is false and misleading (there are many referenced articles on this site that you can check to that end).

Luckily, however, the physical body is very logical and has clearly defined metabolic pathways that are both recognizable and testable in a clinical setting.

Knowing this, for nearly 40 years NUTRI-SPEC has developed and refined a scientific testing system that is able to pinpoint with great accuracy how any individual person alive can benefit from the full potential of clinical nutrition; in theory, in science, and in clinical practice.

With the help of simple metabolic tests (which are all unobtrusive and last no longer than 20 minutes), a skilled practitioner is able to find and categorize very specific metabolic imbalances in your body, and is then able to recommend very specific dietary advice as well as nutritional supplements that help to correct those imbalances.

Why is it so important to recognize and correct these metabolic imbalances? Because these imbalances are preceding or are involved in almost every degenerative disease on the planet.

Which is exactly why NUTRI-SPEC is so important as far as nutritional knowledge and preventative health care  is concerned.


Below you find a list of 5 fundamental metabolic control mechanisms.

Imbalances within these metabolic control mechanisms will be the only criteria upon which foods and supplements are chosen, regardless of what the symptoms or health conditions there may be in the individual body.

This approach makes NUTRI-SPEC client specific rather than disease specific.

The 5 fundamental metabolic control mechanisms are:

  • Water/electrolyte balance
  • Anaerobic/dysaerobic balance
  • Glucogenic/Ketogenic balance
  • Sympathetic/parasympathetic balance
  • Acid/alkaline balance

In case you have never heard about these metabolic control systems, please know that they are all absolutely fundamental to your health, both for your physical well-being as well as your mental well-being.

What happens when one or more of these imbalances are in your body?  The answer is that your body will function below optimal levels and over time become sick.

In terms of NUTRI-SPEC, diseases in the body are nothing else but symptoms of specific metabolic imbalances.

What happens when metabolic imbalances are corrected?

Once the specific metabolic imbalance is corrected the body will reverse back to health, simply because the body is a survival mechanism that is self healing (if given the right nutrients and the right life circumstances).

NUTRI-SPEC research has observed in countless clients that, regardless of the ultimate cause of the health condition, pain or disease, once the condition has become symptomatic (meaning once you start feeling sick), the symptoms you experience will always respond to some degree to nutritional therapeutic intervention, if that intervention is able to pinpoint and target the metabolic imbalances that cause the symptoms.

The degree of this type of nutritional therapeutic intervention is dependent on how long the imbalance has gone unnoticed in the body and how well the client is complying with the recommended dietary changes.

This of course means that nutrition is a clinical tool with universal application and almost unlimited potential, once we move away from treating specific diseases and instead focus on metabolic balancing by nutritional means.

Please read this last sentence again: Nutrition is a clinical tool with universal application and almost unlimited potential. This simply means that you have now a means to truly take care of your own health.

All it needed was an analytical objective testing method combined with true and honest research into the power of nutrients. NUTRI-SPEC is that system.

Therefore, in Hippocrate’s words: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” 431 B.C.

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In order to fully benefit from this presentation there are several key concepts you must understand.


It has often been said (and now can be objectively clinically verified using NUTRI-SPEC) that no two people are alike. Even the most casual look at the people around you reveals a diversity of sizes, shapes, personalities and levels of health.

All you are seeing is the outward manifestations of internal chemical differences.

In other words, the physical, mental and emotional qualities expressed by people are to a large degree a reflection of their individual body chemistries.

Different body chemistries of course mean different nutrition requirements – to maintain metabolic balance and to enable each individual to fully express his innate potential.

For example, someone may eat a breakfast of sausage, eggs and french fries and feel great, running in a high gear for hours. That same breakfast might make you feel like crawling back into bed, and might have someone else running for antacid medication.

NUTRI-SPEC testing reveals why.

Your nutrition needs are likely to be quite different than many people you know. Furthermore, your nutrition needs may be different today than they were six months ago or will be six months from now.

Understanding the key concept of biological individuality gives you a new way to look at nutrition.

Any time you read an article or hear a lecture promoting “the ideal diet,” whether it be a high protein diet, a complex carbohydrate diet, a vegetarian diet, or whatever, you can justifiably reject every word of it. The key concept of biological individuality is being ignored. It is high time that all of us in the field of clinical nutrition give up the search for this magical, mystical “ideal diet.” There simply is no such thing. Everybody is different!

Furthermore, anytime you encounter an article or lecture promoting a particular food as a “health food,” certain to work wonders for the health and well-being of every man, woman and child on earth, you may ignore that as well.

Or, if a particular vitamin or mineral is being promoted as good for this or that disease or condition, ignore it. Any two people are likely to have a dramatically different reaction to a food, or to a nutrition supplement.

The truth of the matter is, in both the lay and professional literature, biological individuality is rarely considered. All we are offered is vitamin B6 to cure this, zinc to cure that, vitamin C for the flu and so on. NUTRI-SPEC testing verifies the concept of biological individuality

The simple message from  NUTRI-SPEC is that different people have different nutrient requirements for their body to produce energy efficiently and to perform all other actions in life efficiently.

A good analogy would be to compare two different people to two different cars – say two Mercedes cars, one that runs on diesel and one that runs on premium fuel. They may look the same; they may perform the same function; they may have the same basic design of engine; but – give the wrong fuel and watch what happens.

It is exactly the same with people.

Some people do not do well if they eat too much red meat, but others become incredibly weak without red meat.

NUTRI-SPEC Testing can tell which is the ideal fuel for each person.

Similarly, some people thrive when eating cheese or butter, while other people have terrible trouble if they eat cheese or butter.

Again, NUTRI-SPEC can tell who is who. Some people might desperately need a calcium supplement, yet there are others who will very quickly become sick and weak if they take excess calcium, or the wrong form of calcium.

Again, NUTRI-SPEC Testing can tell you exactly what supplements, exactly how much, and in exactly what form is ideal for the individual body chemistry of each person.

Remember, since everyone is different, we need a comprehensive system of evaluating each individual’s nutrition needs. We need a scientific analysis. That is what NUTRI-SPEC is all about – making nutrition scientific. And in having made it more scientific, NUTRI-SPEC testing has simplified the practice of clinical nutrition.

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Empiricism is a fancy word. The word empiricism is often used in medical language when describing a study that has been based on the senses, experience and observation.  In medicine, you can think of it as an an educated guess resulting form a trial and error study, based on what has been observed.

Empiric study results are mostly used when prescribing natural supplements as well as medications.

Here is an example: Vitamin C has been demonstrated in scientific clinical trials to have a statistically significant effect in benefiting the common cold. Well and good, but…

… there are no objective scientific indicators by which a clinician can then apply this information about vitamin C to patients who have a common cold. Does this study mean that all people that have a cold need Vit.C?  How much Vit.C would they need? What form of Vit. C? Are there any side effects?

So, when the doctor or nutritionist then tells you that based on statistical evidence he/she is prescribing additional vitamin C for a client with a cold, it is really done on a trial and error basis. It is at best an educated guess. And it can go wrong.

We know at NUTRI-SPEC, that there are specific metabolic imbalances that are indeed helped greatly by using therapeutic doses of Vitamin C.

So, in the case that a client comes down with the flu because of one of those biochemical imbalances (i.e. parasympathetic/ketogenic) that are causing a lowered immune resistance, additional Vitamin C supplementation will always help this patient to fight off the cold.

But there are other metabolic imbalances that are actually getting worse by therapeutic doses of Vitamin C…

Let’s say another client is suffering a decrease in immune resistance associated with one of those other metabolic imbalances (ie. glucogenic/sympathetic) that are getting worse by Vit.C.

Although outwardly the symptoms might present as a cold, do you think prescribing Vitamin C will help this patient?

No, it will not. It will do the opposite. It will throw this client’s body chemistry further off balance, and therefore actually prolong the battle to overcome the cold symptoms.

This failure to recognize biological individuality is the fatal flaw of most scientific studies which are referenced by your typical clinical nutritionist.

So, again, what we need is a way of testing that is able to distinguish the group that does respond well to Vit.C from the group that does not.

Scientific NUTRI-SPEC testing will reveal why one client will respond well to Vitamin C while the other will not by testing individual metabolic responses.

This is why scientific analysis to determine a person’s needs is the second KEY CONCEPT that distinguishes NUTRI-SPEC from empirical health care.

So, when nutritionists or doctors employ purely empirical methods in their therapeutic efforts they can only rely on the subjective response of the client.The outcome is at best a hit-and-miss approach to health and disease care.

NUTRI-SPEC methods employ therapeutic efforts guided by objectively measured changes in your patient’s body chemistry. This is scientific health care. A truly targeted and individual approach.

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The perfect example of empirical methods is the practice of allopathic medicine. Medicine, as we know it, is essentially a disease-specific approach to patient care.

In other words, it is known empirically that a specific disease or condition has a certain probability of responding to a particular therapy. The doctor then gives the medication according to what he/she learned in many hours of medical training and then waits.

In case the empirical trial your doctor just did with you was a success, you may then continue the medication. If it proves to be in error, he/she will try with another medication, and so on.

This empirical, disease-specific approach is the road taken by virtually all of today’s researchers in clinical nutrition (even most naturopaths).

As there are virtually thousands of diseases out there, your doctor’s goal (who spends years and years learning the names and symptoms of those diseases), is to match each of the thousands of named diseases and conditions with a treatment (be that medication, supplement or food).

There is a better approach.

Whatever merits empiricism has in the practice of medicine, it is neither the simplest nor the most effective way to practice clinical nutrition.

The third of our KEY CONCEPTS, patient-specific vs. disease-specific, truly sets the NUTRI-SPEC system apart from the standard approach to clinical nutrition.

NUTRI-SPEC offers a viable alternative to disease-specific empiricism, namely, a patient-specific scientific analysis.

This person-specific approach will allow you to do with NUTRI-SPEC what could not be achieved with other forms of clinical nutrition.

In just a few minutes you can perform and evaluate nearly 50 different tests on a client and thus determine exactly what foods make this person stronger and what foods make him/her susceptible to disease.

You will also know exactly which nutrition supplements will make him or her healthy and which supplements will actually make this person weaker.

NUTRI-SPEC testing is the one scientific way to determine the biological individuality of each person.

NUTRI-SPEC is a therefore truly holistic clinical nutrition. Most other nutrition systems that claim to be natural and holistic are trying to treat diseases with vitamins and minerals, using them in the same way that medicines are used.

The true meaning of the word holistic, however, is treating the whole person, not treating his or her disease – and that is what NUTRI-SPEC achieves.

In identifying imbalances in persons’ body chemistries you are getting to the underlying causes of their conditions. The fascinating thing about using NUTRI-SPEC is that you often find yourself treating two people having identical symptoms with entirely different nutrition programs.

For instance, two persons with apparently the same osteoarthritis might test out as having entirely different metabolic imbalances predisposing them to arthritis. Anyone who tries an “arthritis treatment” on these two individuals would necessarily fail in at least one of the cases. The reason for failure, obviously, is that no consideration is given to what might be the causative factors according to biological individuality.

NUTRI-SPEC has proved that nutritional balancing of body chemistry imbalances is the one way to restore and maintain health, regardless of what symptoms the individual presents.

There is not a disease in this world that you cannot help with NUTRI-SPEC, because there is not a person in this world that you cannot help with NUTRI-SPEC. In other words, while NUTRI-SPEC may not be the sole answer to an individual’s problem, every single person that come to the clinic, has metabolic imbalances that are weakening him or her and predisposing him or her to disease and/or low vitality, and/or premature aging.

By correcting his/her metabolic imbalances with NUTRI-SPEC it is possible to get directly to a major cause of his disease, his low vitality, or his premature aging.

If, however, you take the traditional empirical approach of giving a person a nutrition remedy for whatever ails him, you are going to at best give him/her a temporary symptomatic boost, while inevitably actually exacerbating the underlying body chemistry imbalances.

Thus, in the long run, the individual is always worse after the health professional takes a disease-specific approach to his symptoms.

With NUTRI-SPEC you will never again feel the need to take an empirical shot in the dark. You will have objective tests to guide your nutrition therapy.

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If a client-specific, scientific analysis is our goal, how do we achieve it?

Clearly, recommendation of a client-specific nutrition regimen must be dependent upon a comprehensive evaluation of that client. Furthermore, the client evaluation must be achieved via objective testing procedures.

NUTRI-SPEC offers an analytical system by which to achieve a comprehensive client evaluation. That system is based upon objective clinical data. The data is derived from 2 sources:

1. Tests of vital signs and neuro-endocrine reflexes.

2. Tests of urine and saliva chemistries.

During the developmental years of the NUTRI-SPEC system, much clinical experience was accumulated demonstrating the clinical extremes found for each of these different urine and saliva chemistries and each of the different vital signs and neuro-endocrine reflexes.

It became apparent that groups or patterns of abnormal test results would tend to occur simultaneously.

For example, it most often occurred that high urine pH was accompanied by low urine specific gravity. Before long these simultaneously occurring patterns of abnormal test results could be labeled. In other words, one pattern of abnormalities corresponded to an acid condition, another pattern related to cardio-renal disease, and so on. Thus, after years of clinical testing  it became possible to define clear patterns that were associated with imbalances in the 5 fundamental metabolic control systems.

The 5 fundamental control systems the NUTRI-SPEC evaluates are ubiquitous; they play a role in virtually every state of health or disease.

Thus, a comprehensive, objective means of evaluating functional metabolic control in each patient has been achieved.

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A pattern of dysfunction is defined by a collection of test results that are recurring, that are clearly defined and that are repetitive.  These test results are indicative of lost homeostasis in those body functions associated with a particular metabolic chemical control system ( described above )

As you have read, NUTRI-SPEC has identified 5 of these metabolic control systems which are continuously active in maintaining metabolic balance. Each of these five balance systems can go out of balance in two opposite ways. For example, the body can be too acid or too alkaline; it may be relying too much on the breakdown of carbohydrate as an energy source (glucogenic) or too much on the breakdown of fatty acids (ketogonic).

Thus, there are a total of ten PATTERNS OF METABOLIC IMBALANCE that it is possible to identify and treat with the NUTRI-SPEC system.

The total essence of NUTRI-SPEC philosophy can be simply stated as follows:

Every condition or disease can be defined in terms of its Patterns of Metabolic Imbalance. In other words, rather than name and treat the “disease,” we define and treat the pattern.

In so doing, you will have a person-specific approach, derived from a scientific analysis, and based upon the concept of biological individuality.

NUTRI-SPEC testing can add a whole new dimension to the practice of nutrition by giving you an objective system by which it is possible to monitor the results of therapy, rather than relying alone on the subjective response of the individual.

In other words, when your therapy is effective you will know why it is effective and know exactly which metabolic control systems have benefited ( and in the rare case that the therapy is ineffective, or perhaps even counterproductive, it is always possible to say precisely why it did not work and what the next step is in returning to optimal health.

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