If you have been following my posts in the Facebook Wellness Made Simple – Education group (and if you haven’t, hop on over and join us!), you have probably noticed that my emphasis has shifted lately from essential oils, blends, and infused products to personalized nutrition. This change is intentional, and I’ll explain why I’ve decided that it is an important one to make – at least for the next few months.
The Wellness Triangle
My very first blog post back in October 22, 2018 (http://annebacher.com/begin-at-the-beginning-nutrition/) was about the Wellness Triangle, the foundational way to approach lifelong health and vitality. The levels of the triangle are proper nutrition, appropriate exercise, adequate rest and stress management/emotional control, toxin reduction, informed self-care, and proactive medical care. The next few posts went up the levels of the Wellness Triangle and described how to think about them as building blocks, each one necessary in and of itself and for the integrity of the whole. At that time, I was talking about nutrition in a general way – whole foods, lemon water – and I slipped in a quick mention of my preference for eating according to blood type and a reference to a short video I had made about the Blood Type Diet in January 2018.
Despite my firm belief that nutrition is key and that everything else works as a support, I have focused for the past couple of years on the benefits and applications of therapeutic oils because they are useful to EVERYONE regardless of diet preference, blood type, gender, age, and other potential physical and emotional differences. Many of doTERRA’s CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) essential oils are considered food supplements, so there were and are certainly opportunities to tie discussions of nutrition to essential oils, especially when considering true nutrition at the cellular level. But my blog posts were focused on oils as an additive solution (the way you would use fuel additive when wanting to improve your car’s performance), a natural therapeutic support to the body’s systems, and a wonderful solution to everything from cleaning and gardening to skin care…and more. I use doTERRA essential oils and oil-infused products as well as herbal supplements and other products just about every moment of the day and night in one way or another, and I can’t imagine living without them.
But – as with exercise – there is no oil that can outperform a bad diet. So, it’s time to get back to talking mostly about nutrition as the most basic “medicine” of all. Once you are eating a diet better suited for you, the oils act to supercharge what the food is doing and to support the body’s natural drive to restore dysfunctional cells, organs, and systems to homeostasis.
Personalized Nutrition – every cell needs it
Blood types were discovered in 1900 and refinements in understanding the types have been found and publicized ever since…and new discoveries continue. The relationship between food/diet and health (now a field called nutragenomics, a discipline that attempts to explain how nutrients, or common dietary chemicals, affect one’s health by altering gene expression) was first discussed publicly in a 1980 book called “One Man’s Food…Is Someone Else’s Poison” by Dr. James L. D’Adamo, a reknowned naturopath whose son, Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo (also a world-famous naturopathic physician), continues the work today. Rather than being a fad diet, the Blood Type Diet has continued to gain followers through the intervening decades, and the foundational book – “Eat Right 4 Your Type”, now in its second edition – has been translated into dozens of languages around the world.
Blood group antigens are either sugars or proteins, and they are attached to various components in the red blood cell membrane. The antigens of the ABO blood group are sugars. They are produced by a series of reactions in which enzymes catalyze the transfer of sugar units. A person’s DNA determines the types of enzymes the person has, and, therefore, the type of sugar antigens that end up on the person’s red blood cells. A key principle that undergirds personalized nutrition is that the sugars that determine your blood type are attached to every single cell in your body, not just to red blood cells.
In contrast, the antigens of the Rh blood group are proteins. A person’s DNA holds the information for producing the protein antigens. The RhD gene encodes the D antigen, which is a large protein on the red blood cell membrane. Some people have a version of the gene that does not produce D antigen, and therefore the RhD protein is absent from their red blood cells. (This is the + or – that is associated with your blood type).
Many other living organisms act according to types: bacteria, for example, have preferences for specific types. That is why your type has a profound influence on which bacteria are found in your microbiome/gut and whether they are “good” or “bad” in the context of your body. Here is a link to a recent study on the relationship between type and gut bacteria: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3485159/
The Blood Type Diet (including all of its refinements) is not simply an alternative in the crowded field of diets. It is a nutritional lifestyle that includes all other reputable diets – examples are Paleo or Keto (for Os), Vegetarian or Vegan (for As), Balanced (for Bs) – while providing a scientific lens through which they can be sorted and which can dig much, much deeper to provide recommendations at the individual level.
The bottom line is that – while essential oils are tremendously helpful as a support to your emotional and cell health – eating a customized variety of whole foods and beverages appropriate for your type is critical to the prevention or management of inflammation overload and potential eventual illness and disease.
Current trends in DNA analysis, epigenetics, and microbiometrics
In recent years, retail sales of DNA analysis tests by companies such as ancestry and 23 & me have gained considerable popularity. None of these commercially available tests look at all of the possible data available from your DNA but they do afford the possibility of having access to at least some of your raw data. Although ancestry is used primarily to identify lineage, it is actually the best of the commercially available DNA tests if you are looking for raw data that could help with mood, mental health, and emotional issues, most specifically the MTHFR gene (here is a link to more information on MTHFR gene function and mutation: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/MTHFR). The 23 & me test offers both lineage and health analysis and is the commercial test that offers the widest array of raw data – but does not include the MTHFR gene.
There is, however, a much more comprehensive series of tests based on software written by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo: SWAMI GenoType III (https://www.datapunk.net/swamiintro/; together with a software package available for home use called SWAMI Xpress II, the SWAMI results offer individualized food lists and recipes and are based on Dr. Peter’s years of research on biometric data and serologic markers; and Opus23 Pro (https://datapunk.net/opus23blog/about_opus23/, a broad spectrum DNA analysis tool for a wide variety of health concerns and includes supplementation recommendations). There is also a third piece, a microbiome/gut health analysis tool called (and developed by a company called) UBiome (https://ubiome.com/). Depending on the test or tests involved, the individual may be asked to provide various samples as well as some personal health information.
For those wishing to undergo testing beyond home-based solutions, Wellness Made Simple partners with Atlas Genetics, Inc. in Champaign IL. Atlas assures that client data is fully encrypted and identified in such a way that it cannot be stolen and traced back to the individual. We work directly with the owners to provide top quality results and service. SWAMI GenoType III, Opus23 Pro, and UBiome tests are analyzed by medical professionals, and the results are communicated directly to the individual along with recommendations and opportunities for followups over time to monitor results.
More and more companies are entering the consumer market place with tests, products, and dietary solutions based on DNA and gut health analysis. Personalized nutrition is the wave of the future, available to you now through Wellness Made Simple partnerships. Food is your most available and fundamental medicine or toxin, and my recommendation is that you make sure that you are getting the absolute most out of the food that you eat every day.
If you would like to know more about the clinical tests described above or about foundational information, books, home test kits, and the SWAMI Xpress II software designed for home use, please reach out to me via the Contact Us tab at http://annebacher.com
Here are some additional links to:
- a detailed interview I had with Blood Type Diet Chef Louisa Wah in 2018 about my experiences over a decade with the Diet:
- and a one-hour audio mini-course that introduces the basic concepts and data involved with the Diet (July, 2019):
You may also want to consider registering for the 6-month online course called Personalized Nutrition: Eat Right for YOU! which runs from 9/19/19 through 2/20/20. More details on this course can be found at
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