Most people are aware knowing your blood type is important for medical emergencies like transfusions, but did you know your blood type may also reveal several important genetic traits that influence your overall health? Research has shown that certain blood types may be predisposed to various conditions from stomach ulcers to heart disease.
Another important consideration is the rarity of blood type. If you have type AB, you are indeed a unique individual sharing your blood type with only 3% of the population. Type O negative blood is a neutral type that is most in demand by hospitals since it can be used to treat anyone. According to the American Red Cross, someone in the US needs blood every 2 seconds. If you have one of these two blood-types and are eligible to donate, your gift will, without a doubt, save lives.
So just what is blood type and why is it important? Blood types are inherited from our parents. It is determined by two factors, the ABO and Rh factor. There are four ABO blood groups: A, B, AB and O. The presence or absence of proteins called antigens tells what type the blood is. A person with A and B antigens present would be AB blood type and a person with no antigens present would be type O. Antigens are proteins formed on the surface of blood cells, for each antigen produced in the cells, the opposite antibody is formed in the plasma. This is why there is little room for errs when it comes to medical emergencies. The presence of the wrong blood will cause the body to have a negative reaction that can be potentially fatal.
Rh Factor is the other component of blood typing. Anyone who has had a child may be familiar with this aspect of typing. Rh is also an antigen that is positive or negative. If you have Type A blood and are Rh-positive, your blood type would be A positive. Rh typing is particularly important for pregnant women. A woman who is Rh negative carrying a baby who is positive can lead to a condition called Rh-incompatibility. If the baby’s blood mixes with its mothers; it can trigger the production of antibodies that can cause infant fatality in future pregnancies. Fortunately, this is preventable with treatment and all pregnant women are screened early in pregnancy. Those who are Rh negative are given an immunoglobulin shot, preventing the production of antibodies to the baby’s blood.
There are 8 primary blood types. Each of them has distinct characteristics and some experts speculate that blood type may be more influential to our body chemistry than we realize. So, what does your blood-type say about you? Here’s what we do know.
O negative is a special blood type. It can be used to treat people with any blood type due to its lack of antigens. Those with O negative blood do a great service to the community with regular donations.
Some evidence suggests that those with type O blood have higher levels of stomach acid, making them more predisposed to certain digestive disorders. Studies have shown consistently that those with this blood-type have twice the instances of ulcers. Other evidence has shown this blood-type to be predisposed to low levels of iodine, which can lead to an under-active thyroid.
For more details, read Eating for Your Blood Type O+ and O-.
According to Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, naturopathic physician, researcher and author of “Eat Right for Your Type”, those with type A blood are more likely to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood. Over time, excess amounts of this hormone can lead to stress related illnesses that can be quite dangerous. Some conditions linked to excessive cortisol include insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease and stroke.
In his book, Dr. D’Adamo presents specific dietary guidelines by blood-type, to prevent stress-related illnesses, including a diet rich in organic fresh foods and whole grains to stabilize blood sugar levels.
For additional details, read Eating for Your Blood Type A+ and A-.
According to Dr. Michael Lam, a physician specializing in Nutritional medicine, those with a B blood- type may be more susceptible to autoimmune diseases like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus, but may possibly be better able to resist other life-threatening illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
He is also a proponent of eating according to one’s blood type to maintain good health. Some of the dietary recommendations for those with Type B blood include restricting or eliminating wheat products and many nuts and seeds that contain lectins, sugar binding proteins thought to interfere with type B insulin production.
Studies of blood type and how it effects overall chemical composition in the human body is an area that remains largely unstudied, but new discoveries are being made that may open new doors when it comes to individualized treatment and disease prevention.
For additional details, read Eating for Your Blood Type B+ and B-
Type AB shows a correlation with anemia, heart disease and bronchial infections, especially in childhood. It is also common for Type AB also to show inhibited insulin production which may result in hypoglycemia and a less efficient metabolism of foods. This type inherits A and B genes, thus showing Type A’s low stomach acid and Type B’s adaptation to meats where meats get stored as fat due to the low stomach acid. The lower stomach acid may lead to stomach cancer when smoked and cured meats are a substantial part of the diet; thus, seafood is a recommended source of protein.
AB tends to have weaker immune systems and experience huge benefits from a diet full of vegetables and alkaline fruits, along with protein sources from seafood and legumes. Nuts and seeds in small amounts, is recommended.
For additional information, read Eating for Your Blood Type AB+ and AB-