YOUR BLOOD TYPE, LECTINS & YOUR HEALTH
by Lynn Hinderliter CN, LDN
True health can only be achieved when the actual basic reasons for disease and important factors in achieving homeostasis, or perfect balance, in the body are understood. After all, Dr. Pasteur, the acclaimed discoverer of the link between germs and disease, is said to have exclaimed on his death bed “the microbe is nothing – the terrain is everything”. By this he meant that fundamentally the germ’s ability to attack is less important than the body’s ability to defend. Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo’s books Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type and Live Right for your Blood Type, throw much light on the subject of body defenses, and I want to share some of his insights with you. The information that follows is paraphrased from his book. Any errors of interpretation are, of course, all mine!
For detailed information and answers to specific questions, please visit my affiliate d’Adamo website http://www.northamericanpharmacal.com/affiliates/vtmnldy.php
Dr. d’Adamo writes about individuality as defined by a person’s blood type: in other words, it is a source of information about the ways in which all individuals sharing the same blood type are alike, and how they differ from people with other blood types. It offers an explanation for why some diets cause some people to lose weight and do nothing for others, why under exactly the same circumstances some people get sick and others don’t . why some people do all the right things and die young, while others offend all natural laws and live to be 100.
|It also explains why some seemingly healthy foods may be pro-inflammatory for some, and anti-inflammatory for others.|
His explanation is that each blood type reacts to a different list of food in ways deleterious to their health. Why would these distinctions exist? Dr. D’Adamo explains that each of the 4 blood types reacts chemically to a group of substances called lectins , which are present in foods and which, in individuals susceptible to that certain food, agglutinate selected cells.
Type O is the oldest blood type, and people with this type blood have digestive systems that hark back to prehistoric times, when the diet was largely composed of extreme protein sources (mastodon, deer, sturgeon, to give a few far-out examples), insects, roots – in other words, hunter/gatherer food. They tend to hyperacidity, thrive when in mild ketosis (brought about by limited carbohydrates in the diet) and do not handle dairy products well.
Dr. D’Adamo gives some fascinating examples of type O patients whose cholesterol levels were unacceptably high and who came to him after all attempts to regulate them through diet and medication had failed: on identifying their blood types, he reintroduced lean red meats into their diet and instead limited carbohydrates, with the result that in one case he mentions, intractable cholesterol levels of 350 went to 187, and stabilized there. I need hardly add he doesn’t advocate this approach unless under medical guidance! Their major digestive need is for pancreatic enzymes.
Type A developed after type O, a more agrarian and settled group. Type A blood types do better on a more vegetarian diet. He states that this blood type is extremely sensitive to stress, more susceptible to heart disease, cancer and diabetes if their dietary idiosyncrasies are not respected. It seems that this group tends to lack hydrochloric acid (possibly because there is also an inherent problem with the way their bodies handle stress) leading to problems digesting heavy proteins and absorbing B12. Type A blood group people tend to have problems with gastritis, and need to balance their acid/alkaline food choices very carefully.
Type B is described as “Balanced”, Dr. D’Adamo calls them sturdy and alert and, while able to resist most of the modern scourges, curiously susceptible to auto-immune problems such as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Chronic fatigue and others. Interestingly, Type B blood types have a problem with chicken, and should avoid it because it contains a type B agglutinating lectin (see below) in its muscle tissue.
Type AB is the most modern blood type, having been in existence for only a 1000 years, and quite rare. People of this blood type function best with a knowledge of the dietary parameters of both the A and B groups, since they share characteristics of both – but then have idiosyncrasies of their own as well!
We lay people would probably like to call this an allergic reaction, but he insists it is a form of food intolerance. To quote Dr. D’Adamo “when you eat a food containing protein lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen, the lectins target an organ or bodily system (kidneys, liver, brain, stomach, etc.) and begin to agglutinate blood cells in that area.” Agglutinate is a large word which simply means causes things to clump together, as though with glue.
Very often, we do not make a connection between the food we have eaten and the unpleasant, inconvenient but not life threatening symptoms we may suffer from, such as pain, inflammation, sinus problems, lack of energy, skin problems, digestive disturbances (bloating, flatulence) and more. While these symptoms may eventually lead to more serious health conditions, they are often ignored as being just a part of life.
Here is Carolyn Pierini, CLS (ASCP), CNC at VRP’s definition of lectins:
Lectins are a class of proteins that are found in common foods especially grains, seeds, beans, nuts, some fruits and vegetables, and seafood. They act as a sort of an immune system for plants by “sticking” themselves to the structural carbohydrates (sugars) of invaders. When we eat foods containing these proteins we risk lectin attachments to the structural carbohydrates (sugars) antigens found in the gut and immune system. Our unique genetic make-up and the state of health will determine the lectins we are sensitive to and how we will react to them. It is important to note that many people will report that they do not feel any digestive disturbances but that does not mean that lectins are not affecting them. Lectin damage may be cumulative and show up as pathology years later. Lectin attacks in the gut initiate inflammation that may be expressed in other parts of the body. The fact that as humans we possess these cell surface sugars, such as n-acetylglucosamine, fucose, and mannose, and more, means that certain lectins that bind to those sugars will affect us all (but to different degrees).
It is possible to determine which foods may be causing you problems by following Dr. d’Adamo’s recommendations, another possible course is to follow Dr. Coca’s pulse test instructions, which you will find here. A third possibility is to use VRP’s new supplement called Lectin Lock, designed to help to protect against adverse reactions caused by lectins. As Ms. Pierini points out, however, if you know that a particular food is a definite problem, using the natural agents contained in the supplement is not an invitation to indulge freely in that food.
However, if you cannot control your diet as when you are traveling, or do not know precisely what is affecting you, Lectin Lock can act as a successful shield.
Dr. d’Adamo now also considers secretor or non-secretor status to be an important factor in the determining of whether a food is beneficial or not. The following definition is taken from his website, http://www.dadamo.com.
|SecretorsIn a simplified sense, a secretor is defined as a person who secretes their blood type antigens into body fluids and secretions like the saliva in your mouth, the mucus in your digestive tract and respiratory cavities, etc. A non-secretor on the other hand puts little to none of their blood type into these same fluids. As a general rule, in the US about 20% of the population are non-secretors (with the remaining 80% being secretors).
A non-secretor on the other hand puts little to none of their blood type into these same fluids. As a general rule, in the US about 15% of the population are non-secretors (with the remaining 85% being secretors). Aside from the physical implications centering around whether you have blood type antigens in your body fluids or not, the secretor genetics have additional significance through the effects of gene linkage: In other words, the outcome of your secretor genetics ‘links’ to other seemingly unrelated genes and influences their function.
It has long been known by Doctors that certain diseases seem to be more common in one blood group than in others, though the reasons have never been understood. Dr. D’Adamo explains that because certain foods carry lectins that are blood type specific, it follows that all people of that blood type eating that food will develop a susceptibility to disease in the organs where agglutination occurs.
As an example, he points out that people with type O blood are unable to properly metabolize wheat products: he compares it to putting the wrong octane fuel in your car, and states that many type O people who have been unable to lose weight on any diet, frequently achieve success when they eliminate wheat. He also makes a connection between wheat, type O blood and stomach ulcers, which occur with far greater frequency in this blood group. In fact, he tells of one case where one of his patients who had suffered from recurring ulcers since he was a small child, was finally able to get rid of them forever by totally avoiding wheat.
It is obviously impossible for me to go into the book in full detail, but if you have tried everything to lose weight without success, have health problems that do not seem to respond to conventional medical therapy or even to nutritional approaches, then the dietary suggestions he makes for eating foods compatible with your blood type may be the missing link between sickness and health.
For detailed information and answers to specific questions, please visit my affiliate d’Adamo website – http://www.northamericanpharmacal.com/affiliates/vtmnldy.php
A rebuttal to Dr. d’Adamo’s theory – http://www.positivehealth.com/Reviews/books/robbins67.htm
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