Recently, I wrote a blog post on the relationship between the mind-body connection and the blood types. This blog post continues the series. The information is again taken from Live Right 4 Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. It is my hope that you will begin to see more and more-  through these two posts and more to come – how blood type affects every  aspect of how our bodies work and , therefore, that a blood type-based diet gives each of us the best possibility of reaching and maintaining optimal health.

Look at the image that heads up this blog post. Those configurations that are shown attached to the surface of red blood cells are sugar molecules that express what we call ABO blood types. They are shown here associated with red blood cells, but they can also be found throughout every human body. It is because of their broad distribution that our blood type antigens affect every system and organ in our body.

BLOOD TYPE ANTIGENS AND DIGESTION

Your blood type plays a key role in every step of the digestion process, from the moment the aroma of food hits your senses to the final absorption of nutrients and elimination of waste. There are the primary actions of blood type in the digestive process:

  • Saliva – Your blood type antigen is liberally distributed in saliva and mucus*, providing a shield against bacterial invasion.
  • Mucins – Blood type is the single most significant influence on the structure of mucins, the molecules found throughout the digestive tract* which offer protection against bacteria and food sensitivities. Mucin is the digestive gatekeeper.
  • Stomach – There is more blood type antigen expressed in the lining* of the stomach than in any other organ of the digestive tract. A considerable number of hormones and secretions are directly influenced by your blood type, including gastric juices, gastrin, pepsin, and histamine.
  • Liver – Cells lining the liver’s bile duct* express blood type antigens. Pancreatic juice and bile are heavily impregnated with blood type antigens. Blood type exerts an influence over the body’s primary filter for nutrients and waste.
  • Small Intestine – Large amounts of blood type antigen are attached to the walls* of the small intestine, interacting with nutrients and enzymes to control assimilation.
  • Large Intestine – Blood type antigens are extensively expressed in the large intestine*, influencing intestinal flora.

SECRETOR STATUS AND DIGESTION

Did you notice that there are asterisks throughout the bullet points above? That’s because all humans express their blood type antigens on their red blood cells but not all humans express these same antigens in their other bodily secretions. Those who don’t are called non-secretors, and they make up about 20% of the human population. What difference does that make?

Let’s take the example of saliva. Blood type antigens are copiously produced by the submaxillary-sublingual salivary glands and extensively distributed in human saliva in most humans. However, studies have linked certain illnesses with the inability to secrete blood type antigens into saliva. For example, there is a significantly higher number of non-secretors than secretors who suffer from Graves’ disease.

As food is chewed, enzymes in the saliva start the process of breaking down sugars and starches, and a small amount of these are eventually passed through the tissues of the mouth. The saliva of non-secretors contains substantially less diversity and total carbohydrate than that of secretors. The salivary carbohydrate structures found in mucins can clump and kill oral bacteria as well as constituents of pellicle and plaque. For this reason, the average number of cavities of secretors of each blood type is much lower than the average number for non-secretors of the same blood type, especially for locations on smooth surface areas of the teeth.

Your secretor status also influences the activity of lectins (specialized proteins in foods that are recognized by your antibodies as the same blood type as yours or another type).

If you are a secretor, you have a greater genetically endowed barrier against bacteria and “‘unfriendly” lectins. Many lectins stimulate the production of mucus. This is either a protective function of an allergic response. Normally excess mucus caused by lectins may bind to the antigen-rich saliva and be eliminated. Excess mucus production contributes to many ailments when the binding does not occur: for example, allergies, respiratory problems, and ear infections.

The differences in food processing between secretors and non-secretors are evident all the way through the digestive tract. The bottom line is that secretors generally have stronger immune protection than non-secretors because of the presence (versus absence) of blood type antigens throughout the body’s fluids that are available to fight bad bacteria, viruses, and other “enemies” that enter and pass through the body via the digestive system. On the other hand, non-secretors can sometimes digest a wider variety of foods than their secretor blood type counterparts because the antigens are absent to react as quickly and vigorously to “enemy” foods.

 

DIFFERENCES IN MANIFESTATIONS, RISKS, AND VARIATIONS ACROSS BLOOD TYPES

BLOOD TYPE O

Blood type O individuals tend to overproduce stomach acid relative to other blood types and produce pepsinogen more rapidly after meals. These individuals also secrete high levels of the enzyme IAP (intestinal alkaline phosphatase). H. pylori bacterium favors blood type O antigen sugar.

Manifestations

  • Overproduction of stomach acid and rapid pepsinogen production supports efficient digestion of animal protein but can trigger gastrointestinal discomfort
  • High levels of IAP promote easy breakdown of fats, offers additional protection against coronary artery disease, and strengthens bones
  • The presence of pylori bacteria leads to increased susceptibility to H. pylori infection and increased inflammation

Increased Risks

  • Ulcers
  • Gastritis
  • Duodenitis

Variations

Secretors

  • Have the highest levels of IAP of all blood types

Non-secretors

  • At addition risk, especially for ulcers

BLOOD TYPE A

Blood Type A individuals have an oversensitivity to Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidermal_growth_factor), low stomach acid production, and lack of the enzyme IAP.

Manifestations

  • Oversensitivity to EGF is protective against ulcers, creates excess mucus production, and can lead to overgrowth of tissue in the esophagus and stomach
  • Low stomach acids leads to difficulty in digesting protein, blocks the action of digestive enzymes, promotes excess bacterial growth in the stomach and upper intestine, and can impair vitamin and mineral absorption
  • Lack of IAP produces high serum cholesterol, especially LDL, and makes it difficult to break down fat

Increased Risks

  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Respiratory infections
  • Stomach cancer
  • Gallstones
  • Jaundice
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Colon cancer
  • Hypercholesterolemia

Variations

Children

  • Excess mucus production in children increases the risk of ear infections

Non-Secretors

  • Slightly higher levels of stomach acid make animal protein more digestible
  • Slightly higher levels of IAP moderate serum cholesterol levels and help to break down fat

Elderly

  • Decrease in stomach acid levels makes animal protein even harder to digest

BLOOD TYPE B

Blood Type B individuals have moderate to high levels of IAP.

Manifestations

  • Promotes easy breakdown of fats
  • Offers added protection against coronary artery disease
  • Strengthens bones

Increased Risks

  • Low risk factors for diabetes and heart disease when metabolism is in a balanced state

Variations

Secretors

  • Affect of lectins are more pronounced

BLOOD TYPE AB

Blood Type AB individuals produce low levels of stomach acid and lack the enzyme IAP.

Manifestations

  • Low stomach acid production makes it difficult to digest protein, blocks the action of digestive enzymes, promotes excess bacterial growth in the stomach and upper intestine, and can impair vitamin and mineral absorption
  • Lack of IAP produces high serum cholesterol, especially LDL, and makes it difficult to break down fat

Increased Risks

  • Stomach cancer
  • Gallstones
  • Jaundice
  • Intestinal toxicity
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Colon cancer
  • Hypercholesterolemia

Variations

Non-Secretors

  • Slightly higher levels of stomach acid make animal protein more digestible
  • Extremely low levels of IAP

FINDING YOUR SECRETOR STATUS:

As you can see from the above, your Secretor status is as important to know as your blood type. The blood type test is an in-home finger prick test. The Secretor test is a saliva swab test that is normally analyzed in a lab. If you have submitted a DNA sample via commercial test kit processors ancestry.com or 23&me, you can get a rough idea of your status by importing your raw data and looking at your FUT2 gene. It’s amazing to look at raw data markers when you know what each one means. Once you look up your secretor status as follows, you may be hooked into looking up many other things on your own!

Check your genetic data for the SNP rs601338 (available with 23&Me v4 and v5; and AncestryDNA):

  • G/G: blood type secretor
  • A/G:  blood type secretor
  • A/A:  non-secretor of blood type, lower amounts of bifidobacteria, resistant to norovirus

For more information, start here:
https://www.geneticlifehacks.com/gut-health-and-your-genes-updated/

NEXT STEPS

Are you ready to start eating the foods that your body will process most easily and that will minimize the chances that you will develop inflammation and eventual illness and disease? Are you already experiencing health issues and looking for solutions that you can incorporate into your daily life to support your body in returning to vitality and optimal functionality? Wellness Made Simple is here to provide education, resources, excellent natural products to support your lifestyle changes, and the strategies that can give you a plan and confidence to stick with it.

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