Published by Dr. Kate Whimster, BCom, MIFHI, ND
This is the second part of a two-part blog about blood type and the Blood Type Diet. In part one, I covered the basics of blood type and what it has to do with food. Now that you’ve got the foundation, let’s learn a bit about each blood type and how you can use this valuable information to improve your health!
Blood type profiles
A full description of each type is beyond the scope of this blog, but here is a quick summary of each type. For more info, dig into the vast resources listed below, read about Blood Groups and the History of Peoples, and check out Wikipedia for an interesting breakdown of ABO and Rh blood type distribution by nation.
Type O is the oldest blood type. This type dominated during the time of hunters, when meat (protein) was the primary food source for humans. Type O at its best is strong, active, with a feisty immune system and hardy digestive tract. However, Type O does not adapt well to change and when out of balance, suffers from an overactive immune system, inflammatory conditions, and thyroid disorders.
Type O thrives on a paleolithic-type diet of green vegetables and animal protein, while wheat, corn, potatoes, and dairy impair the Type O metabolism and encourage weight gain.
Type A emerged as humans developed agriculture and the lifestyle that came with it. Cultivated grains became a primary food source and humans settled into larger communities, necessitating adaptations in digestion and immunity. Type A enjoys an adaptable and efficient physiology that thrives on routine. However, Type A can be at risk for heart disease, due to chronic stress and difficulty digesting animal protein, and cancer, due to a vulnerable immune system.
Type A thrives on an agrarian-type diet of vegetables, vegetarian proteins, and whole grains. Red meat and dairy products impair digestion and lead to long-term illness.
Type B developed where humans lived a more nomadic existence and is more concentrated in Asia. Type B benefits from a strong immune system, balanced nervous system, and superior adaptability. However, Type B is susceptible to losing this important balance as it is highly sensitive, resulting in autoimmune disease and chronic fatigue.
Type B thrives on a balanced diet integrating some animal proteins, such as eggs, red meat, and dairy, along with lots of green vegetables. Lectins in certain foods, such as chicken, corn, wheat, and tomatoes are problematic to sensitive Type B.
Type AB is the most modern and rarest type, developing from intermingling of Type A and Type B. The strength of Type AB is a tolerant immune system designed for modern conditions. Type AB can draw on strengths from both the systematic Type A side and more creative and balanced Type B side. However, due to the rare combination of both A and B antigens, Type AB faces greater susceptibility to microbial infections and some cancers as well as the challenge of being a physiological anomaly in a Type O and Type A dominated world.
Type AB thrives on a diverse diet including seafood and sea vegetables as well as some dairy and vegetable proteins. Animal proteins, such as red meat and chicken, as well as wheat and corn are red flag foods for the Type AB metabolism.
What is secretor status?
Most people (about 85%) secrete their blood type antigens (markers) into bodily secretions such as saliva and are therefore dubbed “secretors.” The minority of those who do not are called “nonsecretors.” Secretor status is also a genetic marker, also determined by two alleles. Secretor is dominant, nonsecretor is recessive. Live Right For Your Type is the book to find out more about secretor status and its relevance to diet.
Why does secretor status matter?
The short explanation is that secretors have a lot more free blood type antigens because they secrete them in places like the intestinal tract, respiratory tract, and even the uterine cervix. These antigens interact with the environment to influence digestion, immunity, and metabolism. Knowing your secretor status gives you an additional tool to help you understand your unique needs and therefore treat and prevent disease.
There are so many great resources to learn more about the Blood Type Diet! I would suggest you start by exploring the official website, which includes a guide to getting started, message boards, research writing, and a lot more.
Dr. D’Adamo has written many books about blood type and its influence on health. The best place to start is with the classic Eat Right For Your Type and then the more in-depth Live Right For Your Type (my personal favourite). Also check out Eat Right For Your Baby, Cook Right For Your Type, and the Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia. Dr. D’Adamo has also written a series of books on specific conditions, covering Aging, Allergies, Arthritis, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Fatigue, Menopause.
His most recent book, The GenoType Diet, builds on his work with blood types by looking at how our genes and environment interact to influence health.
Finally, for the medical professionals out there, another great resource is the Textbook of Natural Medicine by Joseph Pizzorno and Michael Murray. Chapter 43 is titled “Nontransfusion Significance of ABO and ABO-associated Polymorphisms” and was written by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo.
There are people around the world who have become experts on Dr. D’Adamo’s work and been certified by the Institute for Human Individuality. You can search for practitioners in your area here. To my knowledge, I am the only IfHI-certified naturopathic doctor in Ontario and one of only a few in Canada. I use the Blood Type Diet, GenoType Diet, and SWAMI GenoType software in my practice. You can find out more about my practice locations and how to make an appointment here.
Supplements and testing
Dr. D’Adamo has formulated a line of products that started out in his own naturopathic clinic and are now available for purchase by the public. He also sells home testing kits for blood type and secretor status. In Canada, you can find them at Right For Your Type Canada.