Have you ever wondered why some diets and so-called “superfoods” work so well for some people and not at all – or even cause problems – for others? Have you ever noticed that certain foods always make you feel great while others make you feel tired, sluggish, bloated, or even in pain? Or that those same foods might have no effect or even a very different effect on members of your own family? I’m here today to tell you at least part of the probable reasons why.
More than 5000 years ago, Ayurvedic medicine – the first known system of medicine – acknowledged that different types of people need different kinds of foods. The same has been true throughout the many centuries since and in cultures around the globe. The explanations have varied but often are related to temperaments and to blood and energy flow throughout the body in question.
Fast forward to 1900 and the discovery of blood types by Karl Landsteiner (who also discovered the Rh factor and the polio virus). He observed agglutinins in blood samples (substances in the blood that caused clumping of blood cells). Blood testing is still done by observing whether the blood sample clumps or not when exposed to a known other blood sample. Landsteiner is regarded as the father of blood transfusion and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his work in 1930.
The study of the effect of foods on the human body based on blood type (including optimal types and amounts of exercise and susceptibility to inflammation, illness, disease, and more) began with experiments by an American naturopathic physician known as the ”Father of Naturopathy”, Dr. James L. D’Adamo, more than 50 years ago. These findings were first published in 1980 in a book called, “One Man’s Food… is Someone Else’s Poison”. Dr. James D’Adamo subsequently went on to discover blood sub-types and the effects of genotypes and environmental factors on the diet-health connection in individuals. His work was carried on jointly with his son, Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo (named Physician of the Year in 1990 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians) until the elder’s death in 2013. Dr. Peter D’Adamo continues to research, to write books and many types of analytical software, and to spread the word about blood- and DNA-based nutrition. This is our topic today.
BLOOD TYPE and FOOD
We know that there are 3 basic blood types – O, A, and B – and a fourth relatively modern type called AB. Although there is a belief that the original blood type was A, it disappeared and was replaced by O as the common blood type of humans in very ancient times. O is still the most common blood type, though the other types have geographical and people group strongholds.
Blood Group Antigens:
A has only A antigens on red cells (and B antibodies in the plasma)
B has only B antigens on red cells (and A antibodies in the plasma)
AB has both A and B antigens on red cells (but neither A nor B antibodies in the plasma)
O has neither A nor B antigens on red cells (but both A and B antibodies are in the plasma)
In addition to the A and B antigens, there is a third antigen called the Rh factor, which can be either present (+) or absent (-). The Rh factor does not seem to influence food processing.
BASIS for BLOOD TYPE DIET food lists:
The simple explanation is that foods contain lectins (specialized proteins) which may be interpreted by your blood’s antigens as their same blood type or a different blood type. When a food’s lectins are interpreted as the same type as the body’s blood, that food is processed easily by your body and may even support increased microbiome diversity and optimal weight. When the food’s lectins appear to be a different blood type, the antigens treat them as foreign. The cells can agglutinate (clump together), causing sluggishness, inflammation, and eventually disease. When the bacteria in your gut are out of balance, both your body systems and your emotions are also out of balance. Just as you would not want to receive a foreign blood type in a transfusion, you probably would not want to cause problems to your own body and emotions by eating incompatible foods.
Type O (50-55% of the overall population) can be broadly described as a caveman or Paleo blood type, and type O individuals retain the high levels of digestive acid that would be most helpful for eating raw meat and greens. Best diet balance would be: about 40% from animal protein (meat and fish); 40% from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains; 20% fat.
Type A (35-40%) reappeared as humans began to settle down, live in fixed communities, and raise grains and smaller animals. Their digestive acid levels are very low because meat was a much less significant part of their original diet. The most suitable A diet is, therefore, primarily vegetarian or even vegan. Best diet balance would be: about 70% from fruits, vegetables and grains; 21% from protein-rich foods such as nuts and seeds, tofu, certain dairy products and fish; and about 9% from fat.
Type B (9%): As humans moved further away from warmer climates to the northern mountainous regions of Eastern Europe and Asia, the B blood type developed. Bs were, by necessity, nomadic herders whose best diet was of the northern animals they could herd or catch and fermented dairy together with various greens and some grains: their digestive acid levels are elevated but less than those of type Os. The optimal B diet can be described as relatively balanced across food groups. Best diet balance would be: about 54% from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains; 33% from protein from animals, fish and dairy; and 13% from fat.
Type AB (1%) is an eclectic mix, closest to A but thriving on specific best foods coming from each of the other 3 types.Best diet balance would be: about 60% from plant-based food such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains; 20% from animal protein (fish and meat); and 20% from fat.
ROUGHLY 80% OF PEOPLE ARE HAPPY WITH THEIR OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLNESS WHEN USING FOOD LISTS BASED ON BLOOD TYPE ALONE.
An individual may express blood type antigens only in the blood (non-secretor) or in all bodily fluids (secretor). The presence or absence of ABO blood antigens in body fluids was identified in 1930. O blood has no A or B antigens but does have much more of something called the H substance than the other blood types and which serves as a secretor marker for Os.
What are the main differences between secretors and non-secretors? How they respond to various foods and how their immune system responds to diseases and other medical issues. Often the non-secretors can tolerate a wider range of foods, but they are much more susceptible to diseases and medical conditions than their secretor counterparts of the same blood type. Some of the diseases that occur much more commonly in non-secretors than secretors regardless of blood type are: celiac disease, metabolic syndrome, duodenal ulcers, and cavities. Non-secretors have much thicker blood and only 20% of the levels of the IAP enzyme necessary to break down dietary fat and assimilate calcium relative to their secretor counterparts regardless of blood type.
ROUGHLY 90% OF PEOPLE ARE HAPPY USING A COMBINATION OF BLOOD TYPE + SECRETOR STATUS TO DETERMINE THEIR FOOD LISTS, EXERCISE, SUPPLEMENTATION, ETC.
NOTE: 80% OF COMPLEX, HARD TO TREAT AND CURE MEDICAL CASES INVOLVE NON-SECRETORS! (I believe that knowing your secretor status is equal in importance to knowing your blood type).
Blood type and Genotype are two different ways to approach the reasons why certain bodies prefer certain foods. Genotypes are based on genetic survival strategies that predate race and ethnicity and correspond to such external traits as body type (tall and thin, full-figured, strong and sinewy, etc.), jaw shape and angle, teeth patterns, toe and finger lengths, and more. These differences in body configuarations took place to adapt to environmental conditions present at the time each blood type was developing. Each blood type may associated with multiple genotypes. For example, most Bs are either Nomad or Explorer.
In late 2007, Dr. Peter published “The GenoType Diet” (later revised and republished as “Change Your Genetic Destiny”), with 6 categories of genotypes and directions for taking measurements and using them to identify an individual’s genotype. If you compare lists for your blood type and lists for your genotype, you might find significant differences. For that reason – and because blood type eating is so successfully so much of the time – many new to personalized nutrition start with blood type lists and then work through other refinements such as genotype.
Epigenetics describes the ways in which members of your specific family bloodline interacted with the environment over time to heighten or suppress the “volume” of each gene. The gene doesn’t change, but the ongoing experiential overlay mutes or heightens its effect. This is important when, for example, you have inherited a blood type that would normally provide protections against specific illnesses and diseases but those protections may have been reduced because of bloodline lifestyle adaptations (an ancestor who worked around lead or coal, for example). Epigenetics comes into play very intensely while you are forming in the womb and in the first months of life ( due to the diet and general health and lifestyle of your mother). Epigenetic modifications can be inherited as well as passed on.
For the 10% of people who are not satisfied with the results of food lists based on blood type + secretor status or who simply want to advance to unique individualized recommendations, there are now easily accessible software programs that provide personal food lists, recipes, meal plans, exercise recommendations, supplements, and more. These are based on blood type, secretor status, genotype, family medical history (client, siblings, parents, and grandparents), and DNA testing.
SWAMI Xpress II (Personalized Nutrition for Home Use)
SWAMI XPress II web-based software combines data related to blood type, secretor status, genotype measurements, DNA tests (optional but highly recommended)) and family medical history and performs 12,600 different calculations on the nutrient values of 800 different foods to determine the foods that will yield the healthiest results for each individual. If you are what you eat, you now have more control than ever to determine what that is. SWAMI software is meant to be installed, maintained, and used at HOME!
Do you have health and wellness issues that seem stubborn or that just aren’t being resolved with standard dietary and medical protocols? Perhaps it’s time you looked into our first and best medicine – FOOD!
If you are interested in home use tools or if you are interested in working with a medical professional who has access to Dr. D’Adamo’s analytical tools designed for clinical use, contact Wellness Made Simple to get you started.
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