Biochemical Individuality

“Aberrant genes do not, in and of themselves, cause disease. By and large their impact on an individual’s health is minimal until the person is plunged into a harmful environment.  The first major breakthrough that resulted in this revolutionary change in thinking about the origin of disease was the recognition that we are much more different biochemically than was previously acknowledged.”

– Jeffrey Bland Ph.D., Introduction to 1988 reissue Biochemical Individuality by Dr. Roger Williams (1956)

I was first introduced to the concept of biochemical individuality by my Nutrition professor, Dr. Paul Goldberg.  It struck me as the missing piece that wasn’t taken into account in most of the popular diet and nutrition books on the market. The concept means that humans are like snowflakes with no two being alike. We differ biochemically from each other fundamentally and the expression of those differences is influenced by how nutritional status influences the expression of genetics. This understanding of epigenetics serves as the basis for using nutrients to optimize your health.  Today, this concept is embraced among Functional Nutrition/Medicine professionals like me and often referred to as Nutrient Therapy.

Every single person has a different nutritional and dietary need. What works for one person may be completely inappropriate for another. People require different nutrients and at varying concentrations depending upon lifestyle, environment, genetics, race and ethnic backgrounds.

This is a fundamental principle driving every clinical decision in the office. You are not like anyone else. And you deserve to be treated as such. This is where clinical experience is most evident. The fact that Biochemical Individuality exists requires us to look at any quantitative laboratory test with a keen eye. These tests provide valuable information, but are only reflective of comparing you to a “normal” range of other individuals. Understanding that one individual may need 10 fold the amount of a nutrient compared to another is critical to optimizing health in each person.

I am often asked, “What supplements do you take?” The specific supplements that I take are determined by my biochemical individuality which is determined by my epigenetics (how the environment influences my genetic code including all my 10,000 DNA mutations). My supplements change seasonally and by the demands placed upon my mind-body system at any point in my life. Knowing what I take isn’t going to help determine what YOU need to express vibrant health, unless we share very similar biochemistry.  But, it is possible to help determine what you need by looking at signs, symptoms, history, family history, genetics, traditional and functional blood, urine, stool, and hair tests.

Dr. Rimka offers 30, 60, and 90 minute private consultations by appointment to help customize a plan based on your genetics, lab results, and personal goals/challenges for yourself and your children. Education and training is based from a variety of influences including the work of Abram Hoffer, MD, (orthomolecular psychiatry); William Walsh, PhD, (orthomolecular medicine); Ben Lynch, ND; David Perlmutter, MD; Jeff Volek, PhD, RD; and Stephen Finney, MD, PhD.