These aspects of our essential design are reflected in our core anatomy divided into five cavities. The pelvic cavity containing our sexual and reproductive organs, the abdominal cavity containing the organs of digestion which liberate the sun’s energy from food, the thoracic cavity, containing our organs of circulation – the lungs, heart and kidneys; the cranial cavity of our brain relating to mind, and finally the vertebral or dorsal cavity of the spinal chord, connecting everything together. We are integral, in that each of these ‘layers’ of our design are intertwined. I have explored all this and more in The Chemistry of Connection.
Figure 1- Five cavities
As a psychologist, turned nutritional therapist, I have spent the past 37 years exploring the chemical aspect, and particularly it’s interaction with thought and emotions. This article drills down into the fundamental design of our bio-chemistry to provide a rapid tool for finding out what’s drivcing your health issues and how to solve them. I will not be addressing other aspects such as physical and psychological.
The Greeks spoke of the five elements, that is earth, air, water, fire, all happening in ether(space). They ascribed the elements to aspects of our being and thus were true system-based pioneers.
Figure 2 – The five zones of connection. Reproduced with kind permission of Malcom Stewart from Symbols of Eternity.
Thanks to the legacy of great scientists, from Mendeleyeff to Einstein we now know that energy organises into sub-atomic particles, atoms (elements), molecules and molecules exist within certain core structures. 97% of our body is made of five elements – carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N). The origin of carbon is stardust. Joni Mitchell nearly had it right – we are stardust, we are CHOSN, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Figure 3 - Macronutrients
Our basic macronutrients are protein, our essential building material; carbohydrate (CHO), and fat (CH), which contain trapped solar energy as our source of fuel; air (O&CO2) required for it’s combustion; water (H20) making up two thirds of our mass. The homeodynamics of our chemistry is orchestrated by methylation (CH3) with vitamins, minerals, essential fats including vitamin D, phospholipids and other essential and semi-essential micronutrients as catalysts. How these players of our chemical orchestra organise and adapt, or fail to do so, is one of the core causes of disease.
A ‘systems’ based approach to healthcare, since we are complex, adaptive and self-organising system, requires a fundamental understanding of core processes. Capra and Luisi’s The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision (Cambridge University Press) explores this across several sciences. One fundamental learning, called ‘resilience theory’ it that one can define the health of a system by its resilience to change, and that there are rarely more than half a dozen critical processes or factors that define the resilience of a complex adaptive system. I have come to conclude that there are seven (in the chemical domain) that define our health.
Fundamental to systems thinking is the concept of ‘resilience’, which we can think of as the amount of money we have in our health deposit account. One common finding coming out of systems-based studies of complex adaptive systems, whether applied to economies, ecologies or health (our body’s ecology), is that there are rarely more than half a dozen critical factors that keep the system healthy. Small changes in these factors can ‘tip’ a system into ill-health. (For further reading, read Resilience Thinking by Brian Walker and David Salt.) The vast majority of the health problems we suffer from are a consequence of losing our resilience in one or more of only seven core biological processes shown below.
Figure 4 – How we tip from health to disease by losing resilience
Another finding in systems-based science is that we need much more extreme changes to ‘tip’ ourselves back into health. For example, we all need about 50 micrograms (mcg) of the essential mineral chromium a day to keep blood sugar levels stable. However, diabetics require in the region of 500mcg a day – 10 times the usual amount– to help reverse it.  Simply eating a well-balanced diet may prevent it, but it won’t reverse it. The dose is critical as illustrated by two recent studies giving chromium to diabetics, one which failed to show significant effect at 200mcg , and another which did at a dose of 500mcg .
Another example is vitamin C. I eat about 200 milligrams (mg) a day and supplement an additional 900mg twice a day, giving myself a total daily intake of 2,000mg. However, if I get the first signs of a cold or flu, I take 1,000mg an hour until the symptoms are gone. Only high daily doses of vitamin C – 8g or more within 24 hours – have been shown to significantly shorten duration of colds. 
Seven Core Biological processes
The first five core biological processes are best comprehended by considering a cell. It requires fuel to function (glycation) combusted with oxygen thus generating oxidants and CO2 (oxidation), is dependent of water (hydration) and complex fats – the membrane of cells, such as neurons, is fundamentally composed of long-chain fatty acids and phospholipids (lipidation). Many of these processes, ......
MEMBERS have free access to 100's of Reports, a monthly 100% Health Newsletter, free use of the 100% Health programme with unlimited reassessments and big discounts, up to 30% off books, supplements and foods at HOLFORDirect.com.
Find out more