Thursday, July 7, 2011

Are You Your Blood Type?

Your body knows best.
Quick, what’s your blood type? Are you an O, A, B, or AB?
I think that your blood type could be the missing link to why you are not losing weight and are vulnerable to certain diseases. Since I wrote my book Your Body Knows Best over fifteen years ago, I’ve come to believe that blood types have just as much to do with what not to eat as with what should be eaten. The answer lies in the lectin connection.

Blood types are part of the immune system, you see. They react to foreign substances like lectins, which are protein antigens that—similar to little strips of Velcro—also bind to the surface of blood cells. Left to their own devices, lectins wreak havoc on your unsuspecting body. They can cause intestinal damage, disrupt digestion and absorption, cause nutrient deficiencies, food allergies, gas, mucus, fatigue, achiness, headaches, anemia and fatigue, and clump, then destroy blood cells. There are 65 lectins that are known to bind specifically to the ABO blood types. As a result, foods containing blood type specific lectins should be avoided in those blood types.

Here is a run-down of the key facets of the blood type science:

Type O – The original “caveman blood type,” 44% of the population is Type O. A high protein, low carbohydrate diet suits Type O people the best. They do not do well with dairy products, grains, and legumes, which came about in the later agricultural stage of human development. Because they tend to be overly acidic, they also need to stay away from coffee and black teas. More so than any other blood type, Type Os have a greater predisposition to have gluten intolerance or full-fledged celiac disease. This is caused by a genetically inherited metabolic inability to digest foods that contain gluten—the protein fraction of the grain that gives it its resilient quality—found specifically in wheat, rye, barley, and kamut.

Coincidentally, these grains are the “new” foods that were introduced into the human diet only 10,000 years ago—long after the first appearance of the Type O individual. Symptoms of severe gluten intolerance include osteoporosis, alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Another side effect is malabsorption of vitamins, resulting in chronic deficiencies that can be the cause of depression, fatigue, and a lack of motivation, as well as more serious diseases like cancer. Gluten sensitivity has been implicated in chronic canker sores, and a myriad of digestive disorders from intermittent constipation to diarrhea.

I always prescribe high intensity and vigorous exercise to my Type Os, which can help ward off depression (a common occurrence among this type). I also suggest that the anti-inflammatory Inf-Zyme Forte be taken between meals to reduce inflammation from dietary discretions.

For the Type Os that tend to be sugarholics (or anyone else, for that matter), I recommend Y-C Cleanse. This homeopathic formula balances intestinal yeast to help reduce sugar cravings and relieve signs of Candida overgrowth, such as bloating, gas, headaches, moodiness, and mental fog.

Type A – The second most common blood type is Type A (occurring in 42% of the population). While the typical Type O is a meat eater, a typical Type A thrives on a more vegetarian diet. However, these veggie lovers should keep in mind that tomatoes and other night-shades (like eggplant) are “no-nos.” Type As need to ensure that their diet is balanced and they are ingesting enough protein—especially because they innately veer away from animal foods. This is why I always suggest at least two Fat Flush Body Protein smoothies (made from GMO-free rice and yellow peas) per day with my Type A clients.

One of the reasons I found the research on blood types to be so fascinating is that while I was working on my book about intestinal parasites, Guess What Came to Dinner, I learned that type As are at a higher risk for giardia, a common waterborne microscopic invader. It may be the genetic lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach of Type As that makes them so susceptible. This is why I also typically recommend at least 1-2 HCL+2 tablets for Type As after a heavier animal protein meal (like fish or poultry). Their digestive problems, as well as their rosacea, really seem to decrease with the addition of HCL.

This blood type can also benefit from adding Y-C Cleanse to their daily regimen as they seem to have a particularly sensitive immune system and often suffer from systemic Candidiasis.

Type Bs are just 10% of the population. People with this kind of blood type digest almost all kinds of foods pretty well, including fermented dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese. They do not do well with chicken, lentils, corn, peanuts and sesame seeds. They also seem to be major cortisol secretors and do not cope as well as the other blood types when it comes to stress. This is why I suggest an adrenal supplement to all of my Type Bs. They were the motivation behind the formulation of Adrenal Formula, which I take myself (I am a B).

Type ABs are just 4% of the population. They are rarest blood type of all and resemble type As in many respects, except that they can often digest dairy products. This blood type seems best suited for a semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diet routine and should take HCL+2 (like their type A counterparts) when consuming heavier protein foods.

In Japan the study of blood types and its impact on personality is serious business. In general, the Japanese researchers have found that Type Os are goal oriented and enthusiastic, while Type As are more detail oriented and fastidious. Type Bs tend to be creative and unconventional, whereas Type ABs have a great spiritual sensitivity.

Tell me, does your blood type accurately represent you?

-Edge On Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman