Blood Types - Our Constitutional Biological Imprint
Blood Type is a genetic powerhouse, the signature of our ancient ancestors from the earliest moment of life to the present day. It's the very essence of our being, ‘lifeblood’, the primal force that fuels and sustains us, a biological marker, the key defender of the body, delivery system of all nutrients and transport system of all waste.
Every life-form on earth from simple bacteria, viruses, to complex beings such as plants, animals and humans have unique antigens that form part of its chemical fingerprint, the cornerstone of its immune system, to be able to protect and preserve itself.
In humans, the 4 individual types, A, B, AB & O are signalled by their unique antigen (fucose stalk + specific sugar), with opposing antibodies, a primary influence on our stress response, metabolism, digestive process and of course, our immunity.
ABO Antigen specific sugar:
Type A - N-acetyl-galactosamine
Type B - D-galactosamine
Type AB - N-acetyl-galactosamine + D -galactosamine
Type O - none (fucose stalk only)
Blood type antibodies (IgM) are the largest and most powerful antibodies in our immune system, with a distinct multiple-point shape and do not need signals or tags from the immune system to act. Antigen - antibody system interaction is so potent in the blood, that if incompatible blood is transfused, agglutination of red blood cells, generating clots, shock and even death, occurs, which gives this class of antibody its unique name and class, the hemagglutinins.
It is this agglutination of cells that is the science behind the blood type diet as many food lectins have A & B like qualities. Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins that attach uniquely to specific sugar antigens upon contact. Consequently, a food carrying A-Type-like lectins may be problematic for a Type B. Lectins are particularly abundant in plant foods.
The most extreme example of lectin effect is ricin, from castor beans, with such potency in all humans, no matter the Blood Type, death by agglutination of cells occurs within days, if not hours and for which there is no known cure at time of writing.
A much milder illustration, peanuts being compatible with Type A, but not Type O. The Type A-like lectin in peanuts could cause uncomfortable immediate symptoms for Type O such as cramps, bloating, indigestion, headaches and over time, fatigue, problematic skin and so on. You may have no symptoms, variable factors to consider: the integrity of your gut lining, your ability to digest the food (stomach acid), how much you ate, combination of food in the same meal, inflammation status and ultimately your tolerance factor to the ‘foreign’ particle.
Minimising the interactions between incompatible foods for our Blood Type, whilst restoring all naturopathic lifestyle factors, suited to specific Type is the underpinning of the Blood Type Diet.
A broad spectrum, non-betaine HCl digestive enzyme formula with artichoke is suitable for Type O & Type A as both Types benefit from this liver supportive food, and whilst Type O can tend to sway towards high stomach acid, Type A is quite the opposite with a lower acid content, therefore an excellent choice when uncertain on acid status.
The groundwork for the Blood Type Diet was prepared many thousands of years ago, in-built to our DNA, the genetic biological nature of our ancestors. It is an historical fact that the Blood Type Diet was the first nutrigenomic diet system1, pioneering a new approach in treating people as individuals and is now widely studied across the world within many Professional Health Practices.
The distinction of Blood Types was made by Landsteiner, an Austrian physician and scientist, ranking as one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of all time, for which he received a Nobel Prize in 1930.
ABO specific antigens are produced more or less from birth, reaching almost adult levels by around 4 months of age, embedded into every single cell surface outside the blood, with free-floating antigens in mucus and watery secretions, the base of our innate immunity as part of our first-line defence immune response.
The Gene that determines our Blood Group sits on Chromosome 9, around band 34 on the Q leg, with many far-reaching influences across other genes, such as The Secretor Gene (FUT2), which sits on Chromosome 19. A SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) in this gene, disables the production of fucosyltransferase 2, therefore unable to manufacture, and subsequently secrete free-floating Blood Type antigens into mucin areas. Consequently, this lack of first line defence mechanism means higher susceptibility to infection, with pathogens able to go deeper inside the body before being recognised.
Being a non-secretor also has an impact on tolerance factor to food lectins so it is advised to adhere to a stricter approach. Approximately 80% of the population are secretors and 20% non-secretors.
In some instances, however, being a ‘non-secretor’ can be an advantage, as in the case of Norovirus. Non-secretors do not make the H1 antigen so the pathogen is unable to gain foothold by latching onto cells in the first instance, especially true for Blood Type B which is virtually resistant to this infection.2,3
The evolution of the 4 human blood groups are an accurate genetic mutation of the ABO gene to ensure that any one pathogen is unable to affect all people in the same manner. It has been since the beginning of time that we need this genetic diversity for the human race, to not only survive, but thrive and based on the simple fact that all invading pathogens need to be able to ‘lock’ onto a cell in the first instance to infect it.
Key essential nutrients to help maintain a healthy immune system such as vitamin C, vitamin D3, selenium, and zinc are suitable for all Blood Types, with quercetin particularly beneficial in Type A & AB supporting intestinal health too.
The Blood Type Diet appreciates we are all biochemically different, based on the characteristics of people, rather than characteristics of food seen as ‘good or bad’ for everybody, either enhancing health, or promoting a disease pathway.
It is not a ‘cure-all’ solution for health, lifestyle or weight issues, it is the underpinning restoration of your natural genetic rhythm, functionality of your immune system, internal metabolic clock and a way to clear your body of agglutinating lectins.
“The fate of the body is controlled by the environment, in our body, it is the blood”4
1. Dr P D’Adamo - Eat Right for your type Encyclopedia
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1112114/ J Virol. 2005 Jun; 79(11): 6714–6722.
4. Lipton, Bruce 2021
Nicola Sainty NT Dip SoN
Nicola specialises in the application of Blood Type, genotype and the science of epigenetic expression and has written and produced three online health programmes. She is also a tutor at The School of Health and continues to pursue her own studies to continually expand her knowledge. Nicola is also our Business Support Practitioner for the Midlands, North and Scotland here at Nutri Advanced.
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