Archives for: February 2004
I am a Type O 51-year-old woman, 35-40 pounds overweight. Have just devoured your book (where is that on the food lists!) I know wheat is a problem for me and have decided to eliminate. I drink a smoothie 3 or 4 mornings a week that has a green formula as its basis--lots of good sea foods in there: spirulina, dulse, kelp that are good for me. But also has powders from organically grown alfalfa. Are the harmful glutens and lectins in this form of alfalfa?
I have just begun the program and I am already feeling better after one week. My mother has also begun the program, and since she doesn't have a computer I am asking a question for her. She has been taking Alfalfa pills for regularity, and she is Type O. You list alfalfa tea as something to avoid. Should these tablets be avoided also? Thank you.
Long appreciated for its value as a food for livestock, Medicago sativa (alfalfa) has also come to be widely considered as a "health food" and may be found in a variety of forms, including: seeds, sprouts, tablets and a variety of extractions. In spite of its use as a heathful food in animals, the evidence as to its value in primates is rather more mixed.
This is principally due to one of alfalfa's constituents, the amino acid canavallin. This compound is a non-essential amino acid which competes with arginine and has been found to induce a reversible lupus-like condition in some individuals. This syndrome is characterized by anemia, antibodies to DNA, and deposition of immunoglobulins and complement in the skin. The suspected mechanism is a loss of T suppressor activity. T suppressor cells modulate the immune response by "suppressing" the T killer cells. Thus, by "suppressing the suppressors" canavallin increases immune activity. However it is non-specific and often directed against the body's own tissues. As I wrote in ER4YT, type O's have higher rates of auto-immune disease over the other ABO types. (Mourant,
1985) Alfalfa contains an additional compound with thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) activity. This TRH analog is biologically active, probably via the hypothalmus rather than the pituitary, and has the additional effect of inhibiting prolactin release. Since type O has a rather unstable thyroid metabolism to begin with, this adds yet another contra-indication against using the herb in this type.
There is considerable evidence that canavallin inhibits the actions of nitric oxide, an important control element in both the cardiovascular and immune systems. It does this principally through inhibiting the enzymes nitric oxide synthase and argininosuccinate synthetase, both of which are arginine dependant. The latter is associated genetically with ABO (both the genes literally sit on top of each other!) This might actually be helpful for type B as a very recent study shows that this blood type has difficulty breaking down inhaled nitric oxide when given as a treatment for respiratory distress syndrome.
However, in ER4YT alfalfa is listed as beneficial. The reasoning is two-fold: Alfalfa contains three major phytoestrogens coumestrol, genistein and formonetin and two less important ones, diadzein and biochanin A. Most phytoestrogens are isoflavones, while coumestrol is a coumarin derivative. The relative weakness of their estrogenic action means that these compounds will have an "alterative" or "balancing" effect. Thus, phytoestrogens may be used therapeutically in both hypoestrogenism and hyperestrogenism states.
Of additional value to type A is alfalfa's ability to lower total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoproteins, (LDL) and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) while not significantly lowering the desirable HDL subfractions. It is precisely this quality that makes them so useful therapeutically, in type A in whom alfalfa is beneficial. Alfalfa extracts can be very useful for this purpose as there is a substantial amount of literature which supports their use in cholesterol reduction.
With regard to the blood types, alfalfa goes a long way in demonstrating the maxin that "One Mans Food Is Another Main's Poison."
I have been following your diet for Type O for just about a month and it has improved my acid reflux condition immensely. However I suffer from a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which basically means that my FSH and LH are in incorrect proportion to each other and that eggs get stuck in the walls of my ovaries. I noticed it about a year ago as I had been having extremely irregular and heavy periods. I took a blood test and was diagnosed and put on the pill Dianette. My gynecologist told me that I would probably be better off staying on this for the rest of my life (unless I wanted to get pregnant) as I would reduce the risk of endometrial cancer by over 25%and I am a non-smoker thus there was no other special risk. Having followed the board for 6 weeks or so and now having read a recent question saying that the pill was quite dangerous for Type O. I am scared now that I am putting myself at some kind of greater risk by being on it. Do you think that your diet could regulate my erring hormone levels and so I could come off the pill without risk of cancer?
The basic answer to your question is that if you don't suffer or have a history of blood clotting disorders, birth control pills can be used even by type O women, especially the new, low estrogen types.
Having answered that, what else can we add to the mix which might be of value?
Follow the O diet, especially the lectin avoidance foods, such as wheat and corn. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is characterized by insulin resistance, and insulin resistance is largely the effect of consuming large amounts of food lectins improper for your blood type. Insulin resistance a common phenomena in women with poly cystic ovaries, is often a cause of heart disease, obesity and other hormonal problems later on in life.
Find a good "food-derived" carotene (sometimes called "carotenoid" preparation. By this I mean a carotene supplement not just composed of beta carotene, but rather beta carotene and its cousins, gamma carotene, lycopene and lutein. Lutein especially, has been shown to decrease the amount of cystic formation on the ovary by its anti-oxidant abilities. The female ovary is a very metabolically active organ, and the follicles must cut their way out when a woman ovulates, by secreting an enzyme to bore a hole to the exterior. Normally there is quite a bit of lutein in the ovarian tissue to snuff out the inflamation that results. If not, the tissue becomes cystic. It is interesting to note that lutein is the yellow pigment in plants (lutea is Latin for "yellow". Many tissues which are metabolically unstable, such as the retina of the eye ("macula lutea" and the ovulatory product ("corpus luteum" are yellow from the deposition of lutein. Unhealthy ovaries tend to be whitish colored at autopsy because of an inability to deposit lutein or an inadequate amount in the diet. Unlike beta carotene, which is often synthetic and only pure beta carotene, the "food derived carotenes" have a broad mixture of carotenoids, and are closer to what is found in a healthy diet.
QUESTION: I admire your hard work on this subject. I do question your "in vitro" tests of food lectins directly with blood. The work of Weston A. Price in the 30's completely invalidates your blood type theories. The key is to eat all foods raw. Lectins are easily dealt with when fruit, veggies, grains(soaked, fermented) dairy(raw), meat and eggs are all eaten raw as intended by nature. Enzymes and digestion is swift. Lectins do not absorb in bloodstream intact.
ANSWER: 1. On the subject of lectins directly reaching the blood intact, you might want to do some basic research, since you are arguing with the majority of researchers who work with them, not just myself.
2. If you want to get your information from the 1930's, that's fine, but for my money the only thing Weston Price proved was that cats probably shouldn't eat a diet exclusively comprised of milk.
3. I would think twice about eating raw eggs or meat and I would think three times about it if I were sick, a child or elderly. That's just foolishly suicidal.
Do you think soy can cause colon polyps?
The evidence suggests that soy lectin may in fact help lower incidence of colon polyps, aminly because many lectins lower levels of polyamines, a class of chemicals which are used to provide growth stimulus to mutating colon cells.
However to see if any reports exist in the literature, I did electronically scan the 9,000,000 citations listed in MEDLINE, searching under 'soy', 'soya', 'polyps' 'intestinal' and 'colon.'
The only result was 'No Items Found' again and again.
I and my wife have a small shop for food supplements, etc. and we would like to promote the ERFYT-diet. Can we freely promote it, quoting from your books as well, or are there restrictions? Which? Please let me know, as I really would like to get on with it.
There is no hard-or-fast rule with regard to the use of my work. If you are making the information available free of charge and not linking the work to any non officially endorsed products or services, then you have my best wishes. Thank you for helping to get the word out.
I ask you not the photocopy or otherwise make available the diets, nor violate the publisher's copyright. However if you use the book as a reference work (or even keep a few to lend out) for use by your clients, then by all means feel free to do so.
Although also protected by copyright, anything available on this website is available for use by you for your clients if the can either read English (since your E-mail address indicates you are from Denmark!) or you are willing to translate it for them.
Dr. Dadamo, I just recently purchased your book "Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type". I must say that since I changed my eating habits, I feel great. I have not lost any weight, but I am breathing much better. I am an African American female who has Sarcoidosis, a condition that manifest itself in my lungs. Are you familiar with this desease and in addition to eating according to my blood type which is A+, are there some herbs that I can take to enhance my immune system? Please let me hear from you. Sarcoidosis is a rare desease and not many people know that much about it.
Sarcoidosis is a chronic, multisystem disorder of an unknown cause characterized by the accumulation of T-lymphocytes and mononuclear phagocytes, nonsecreting epithelial granulomas and derangements of the normal tissue architecture in affected organs. All parts of the body can be affected, but the organ most affected is the lung. Involvement of the skin, eye and lymph nodes is also common. A variety of infectious and noninfectious agents have been implicated, but there is no proof that any specific agent is responsible. However, available evidence is consistent with the concept that the disease results from an exaggerated cellular immune response (acquired, inherited or both) to a limited class of antigens or self antigens.
Cases of sarcoid have been described in both sexes, almost all ages, races and geographic locations. Females appear to be slightly more susceptible than males. There is remarkable diversity of the prevalence of sarcoidosis among certain ethnic and racial groups. In the United States, the majority of patients are black 10:1 to 17:1. Blacks are often younger than whites with the disease. I know of no specific association with ABO blood type, but have observed that following the correct diet for your type has almost always resulted in improvement in the cases I have seen in my clinic. Perhaps this is through the avoidance of blood type food lectins and the subsequent improvement in immune function. Whereas you are type A and obviously should follow the A plan, the rest of the information given below can be employed by any ABO type:
Chinese herbal treatment: A traditional Chinese remedy, Qing-Fei-Tang (Seihai-to, T90), has been used for treatment of chronic respiratory diseases, including sarcoid, with long-lasting cough and sputum, e.g. chronic bronchitis. We examined the effect of T90 and its main component flavonoid, baicalein, on the lucigenin-dependent chemiluminescence
(CL) and leukotriene B4 (LTB4) synthesis of human alveolar macrophages (AM). These results suggest that T90 exerts its effect on inflammatory lung diseases through the anti-inflammatory action, i.e. inhibiting the oxidative and arachidonate metabolism of local inflammatory lung cells. (1)
Boswellia serrata: Used largely as an arthritis remedy, Boswellia is a moderate to large branching tree found in India, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. Strips of bark are peeled away, yielding a gummy oleo-resin which contains oils, terpenoids, and gum. Up to 16 percent of the resin is essential oil, the majority being alpha thujene and p-cymene. Four pentacyclic triterpene acids are also present, with beta-Boswellic acid being the major constituent. Extracts of this gummy exudate have been traditionally used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine as an anti-arthritic. In vitro testing revealed Boswellia specifically, and in a dose-dependent manner, blocks the synthesis of pro-inflammatory 5-lipoxygenase products, including 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE) and leukotriene B4 (LTB4), which cause bronchoconstriction, chemotaxis, and increased vascular permeability. Other anti-inflammatory plant constituents, such as quercetin, also block this enzyme, but they do so in a more general fashion, as an antioxidant; whereas, Boswellia seems to be a specific inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase. Human clinical studies are woefully lacking for this substance, and need to be conducted to better elucidate its effects in humans, as well as to determine optimal dosing. Animal and in vitro studies suggest it is useful for many inflammatory and bronchoconstrictive conditions. (2)
Melatonin: Matteo L. Cagnoni at the Dept of Dermatology University of Siena, Italy, writes: "We are presently studying the effects of Melatonin in the treatment of chronic refractary sarcoidosis. We have treated with Melatonin two cases of chronic refractary sarcoidosis unresponsive to long-term steroidal therapy. A more detailed report on this research has appeared in The Lancet November 4, Vol 346, pp 1229-1230, 1995."
A 34-year-old woman with sarcoidosis since 1990 had steroid treatment for 16 month from diagnosis with no improvement of her chest radiograph. Dyspnoea was present and FVC was reduced. High-resolution computed tomography (CT) of the lung showed swelling of hilar lymphonodes and a diffuse fibrosis characterised by interstitial reticular parenchymal infiltrates and thickening of bronchial walls. Serum angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) values were increased (180 U/l). A 20 mg Melatonin daily therapy was started. 4 months later, dyspnoea had disappeared and the chest radiograph showed reduction of the reticular nodulation. Melatonin was continued and a year later a chest radiograph showed no interstitial involvement. In September 1993 Melatonin was tapered to 10 mg daily and discontinued in June, 1994. In January 1995, CT confirmed disappearence of the interstitial involvement and reduction of hilar lymphonodes.
In 1992 Sarcoidosis was diagnosed after a skin biopsy in a 45-year-old woman with reddish nodular papules on her right knee, which spread to her right cheekbone, left ear, and right elbow. Chest radiograph showed interstitial nodules; exertional dyspnoea was present; after a nine months steroidal therapy the patient did not improve: lung CT showed swelling of hilar lymponodes and micronodular and nodular interstitial images. ACE concentrations were increased. After treatment with 20 mg Melatonin daily for 5 months, the skin lesions were almost completely cleared, and dyspnoea reduced.CT scan showed disappearence of lymphonodes swelling and interstitial thickening. Resolutions of symptoms and radiological findings of these two cases of chronic sarcoidosis, previously unresponsive to steroid treatment, suggests that Melatonin might be a useful treatment. There were no side-effects. Further studies on acute sarcoidosis and on more patients with chronic sarcoidosis are needed to validate our observations.
1. Tanno Y, Kakuta Y, Aikawa T, Shindoh Y, Ohno I, Takishima T. Effects of qing-fei-tang (seihai-to) and baicalein, its main component flavonoid, on lucigenin-dependent chemiluminescence and leukotriene B4 synthesis of human alveolar macrophages. Am J Chin Med 1988;16(3-4):145-154
2. Monograph:Boswellia serrata. Altern Med Rev 1998 Aug;3(4):306-307
QUESTION: I am Type AB. In ER4YT coffee is listed as Highly Beneficial. In LY4YT it is listed as Avoid. This is a significant difference! Please let me know which is correct.
ANSWER: Both values are 'correct' although the LR4YT value is perhaps 'more correct.'
In ER4YT coffee was rated beneficial because it contains a few enzymes which can help de-antigenate 'A-like' molecules so as to make the type A (and A immune systems function a bit more efficiently.
Whereas this continues to be true for type A, newer evidence suggests that this function is not as important for type AB as it is for type A. Rather, as we saw in a recent ASK DR. D'ADAMO, type AB's need to optimize their Natural Killer Cell (NK cell) activity in preference to their ability to discriminate blood type antigens. With this respect, high levels of caffeine are known to depress NK cells cytotoxicity, so value was adjusted in light of LR4YT's newer Tier system (Coffee Avoidance is a Tier II avoid, which is not as NASA might say 'mission critical.'
In essence, if you are not powering your life by caffeine, to the point where your stress levels are eroding you NK cell activity, a bit of coffee will not be fatal.
STUDY: Increased inflammatory responses of persons of blood group O to Helicobacter pylori.
JOURNAL: J Infect Dis 2000 Apr;181(4):1364-9
AUTHORS: Alkout AM, Blackwell CC, Weir DM
ABSTRACT: Persons of blood group O are at increased risk of peptic ulcers. Enhanced binding of Helicobacter pylori to epithelial cells of persons of blood group O has been demonstrated. Isolates from a patient with a duodenal ulcer), from a patient with gastric cancer and from a patient with normal endoscopic findings bound in significantly higher numbers to group O leukocytes. Bacterial binding correlated with release of immune modulators and interleukins. Group O cells released significantly more interleukin 6 and the cells released more Tumor Necrosis Factor. Increased density of colonization of epithelial cells and higher inflammatory responses to H. pylori of persons of blood group O might contribute to increased susceptibility to peptic ulceration.
COMMENTARY: This is a connundrum seen repeatedly in clinical medicine, where a simple notion of pathology is confounded by polymorphic differences such as ABO blood type. In this study the evidence cearly shows that the most common mediators of inflammation, immune response hormones such as Interleukin and Tumor Necrosis Factor, are elevated in type O individuals with H. pylori ulcers over the other ABO blood groups.
Thus, a symptom (stomach ulcers) which can have multiple causes (bacteria, hyperacidity) has individual variations in severity and other characteristics which can be predicted by ABO blood type. Until these characteristics are more widely recognized and factored into clinical considerations, modern medicine will remain behind the other 'pure' sciences, such as physics and chemistry.
What does the term "non secretor" mean? I did a search on all the boards, but could not determine what it means.
A "Non-secretor" is someone, who through their own genetics, carries a gene which inhibits them from secreting their ABO blood type in their secretions. By secretions we mean saliva, semen, etc. Eighty-five percent of the population are secretors, so non-secretors are in a minority. If you are a secretor, you express more of your blood type in your body. In the case of type A, where many things can mimick this blood type, being a secretor means that the "grass is taller" so bad guys can sometimes hide better. Being a non-secretor implies that some design elements of their immune system are evolutionarily older. Secretors tend to wall out bad guys and kill them outside the body. Non-secretors prefer to let them in and kill them within the blood stream. This is not always a wise way of doing things, and non-secretors do suffer from a variety of conditions known to result from the systemic spread of an infection, including mitral valve problems and kidney disease. Non-secretors should probably get antibiotic therapy prior to bloody or invasive dental work. I usually don't make this recommendation to secretorss. Perhaps what is most interesting about being a non-secretor, is that apparently the gene is cross-linked to otherwise unrelated genes, such as the yet undiscovered gene for alcoholism. We know this because in two very large, well done studies, there is a distinct link between non-secretors and family histories of alcoholism. What makes the association even more bizarre is that non-secretors have also been shown to be the subset of people who get the cardiovascular benefits of wine consumption!
STUDY: A study of relationship of ABO blood groups with myocardial infarction and angina pectoris.
JOURNAL: J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2001 Oct-Dec;13(4):25-6
AUTHORS: Akhund IA, Alvi IA, Ansari AK, Mughal MA, Akhund AA.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: This is a comprehensive report that has determined the occurrence of Myocardial infarction and Angina pectoris in "ABO" blood group system among patients with coronary artery disease in some areas of Sindh province of Pakistan. METHODS: Three hundred patients with Coronary Disease (CAD) were selected from cardiology wards of LMC hospital Hyderabad, DMC hospital Karachi and PMC hospital Nawabshah. The patients were separated into two categories: myocardial infarction and angina pectoris. The patients with old myocardial infarction were also included. A careful history was taken, suggesting myocardial infarction (MI) or angina from a standard WHO (Rose) chest pain, and a electrocardiogram showing evidence of possible myocardial infarction and angina, and the patient's recall of a doctor's diagnosis of M.I or angina. ABO blood grouping of above patients was done by simple agglutination method. RESULTS: The blood group "A" was the commonest among myocardial infarction and angina pectoris patients while these diseases were least in blood group "O" patients. CONCLUSIONS: This comparison shows the existence of a direct relation between blood group antigens and coronary artery disease. It is therefore of great importance for future genetic studies, as present report and our previous studies give clear picture of excess and deficit of CAD in particular blood groups of "ABO" system. This may be due to some special genetic makeup.
COMMENTARY: Despite protestations from Dean Ornish to the contrary*, numerous studies (many harking back to the 1950's) have linked ABO type to higher levels of cholesterol and coronary artery disease. This study again demonstrates the power of defining diet by blood group: By using this system, you eat not just for today, but for tomorrow. If you are type A, you'll want to take the advice of the 'broad-band paleo-dieters' with less than a grain of salt.
* Which I find odd, since ABO blood group was linked to heart disease in the famous Framingham Heart Studies of the 60-s and 70's -the same studies which documented a link between heart diease and cholesterol, and cited so frequently by Dr. Ornish. Selective attention?
QUESTION: Could you please write me an address of a doctor who practices in your blood group method in Germany? Thanks for an answer.
ANSWER: My German publisher has developed a few contacts with physicians who are using the Blood Type Theory in Germany. I suggest you contact them. Perhaps they have a referral in your area:
R. Piper Verlag Georgenstr 4 80799 Munich, Germany 089-3381-0010
You can also check the IfHI Registry for European Practitioners I have trained in my methods.
IfHI Practitioner Link
QUESTION: I'm quite fond of Type-A beneficial pumpkin seeds and peanuts, but I do wonder what component they contain that would cause intense dreams, followed by wakefulness. This has occurred often enough to be more than mere coincidence (even with organic, additive free peanut butter!) Any thoughts?
ANSWER: A search of the USDA food composition database shows that both peanuts and pumpkin seeds contain significant amounts of the amino acids glutamic acid, glycine and arginine. Also, both peanut and pumpkin seeds are significant sources of the minerals phosphorus and potassium.
Any and all of these nutritional components could possibly effect the sleep cycle or influence the intensity of one's dreams.
I have no words of wisdom to offer you, other than to keep the peanuts and pumpkin seeds limited to mornings and afternoons, where you will at least only 'day dream'!
QUESTION: My son (A+) gets Strep throat 3-4 times per winter. We did have him secretor typed by Dr. Kruzel and he is a non-secretor. My daughter (O+) has never contracted Strep. Is there any blood type distinctions with strep throat?
ANSWER: One study looked at the saliva of 310 persons were examined for their ability to agglutinate 33 streptococcal strains. It was found that the saliva of persons with blood group O agglutinated significantly more often streptococci than the saliva of persons with blood group A. The results demonstrated that persons of the blood group O secrete more anti-Strep immunoglobulin than those with blood group A.(1) This may be worse for type A non-secretors since the elaboration of free blood type antigen in saliva and mucous is thought to inhibit the growth of Streptococcus.(2)
Some idea would include having the child take 1 Deflect A capsule (available from North American Pharmacal) and mix it with water so as to make a mouthrinse. Have the child rinse their throat 2-4 times daily (this has the effect of making the child, in essence, a 'secretor'.
Other ideas are to use the herb Golden Seal, (Hydrastis canadensis) which has mild anti-Strep effects, and/or a gentle immune tonic, like North Americans ARA6.
1. Prokop O, Kohler W, Rackwitz A, Paunova R, Barthold E. [Secretory antibodies in saliva against group G streptococci].Z Immunitatsforsch Immunobiol 1977 Dec;153(5):428-34
2. Holbrook WP, Blackwell CC. Secretor status and dental caries in Iceland.FEMS Microbiol Immunol 1989 Jun;1(6-7):397-9
QUESTION: Since finding out if you are a secretor is so important, we blood type followers will all want to find out our secretor status. Is there any other way to find out besides the at-home test from North American Pharmacal?
ANSWER: The secretor determination is not an easy test to do, unlike the ABO test which gives a visible result that is almost immediate. The only way that one can determine secretor status is via saliva (considered the gold standard) or by using the quick and dirty way through determining one's Lewis blood group. Neither of these are common tests in the world of standard, everyday clinical medicine. North American Pharmacal was lucky to develop a relationship with Great Smokies Laboratories which allowed the opportunity to do the saliva tests. So the answer to your question, unfortunately, is no.
I have AB negative blood-type and many of the grains are supposed to be all right for my diet. However, after living overseas for some years I apparently developed an allergy to wheat gluten. When the tests were done some years ago I had 3.3 IgG/ml for wheat gluten, titer of 1:5. Because of some digestive problems I was told to cut out of my diet not just wheat but rye, barley, spelt, and oats as well. Must I really go that drastic route, in your opinion?
It is interesting, that many times, an intolerance to a food lectin will develop after a bout of intestinal flu or some other form of gastroenteritis. This has been speculated to be the result of the intestinal inflamation "stripping away" the lining of the intestinal tract, uncovering the base tissue. Normally the gut lining is protected by mucous (the quality of which is determined in large part by your ABO blood type).
It points to the old naturopathic wisdom of fasting during acute cases of gastro-intestinal disease. What you might be able to do is to try taking an amino-sugar called "NAG" or NAP's "eflect" products. NAG stands for "N-acetyl glucosamine" This is not glucosamine sulphate, but many Health Food Stores and catalogs carry it. NAG bings to the agglutinin in wheat (predictably enough, called WGA "Wheat Germ Agglutinin" so that it cannot react with your digestive lining.
In other words, the NAG (or Deflect product for your type) is sort of like a "duck decoy"; the wheat lectin binds to it instead of you! Interestingly, glucosamine sulphate ("The Arthritis Cure" has some of the same effects, in the sense that many of the aspects of arthritis (both Rheumatoid and Osteo)require "assistance" from some of these lectins to become active. In the case of Rheumatoid, the antibody requires assistance from wheat lectin to become effective. This perhaps explains why many people with arthritis get better after 30-60 days on a wheat free diet.
One interesting observation concerning grain intolerance and auto-immune disorders was recently discussed in the literature. Apparently, in many auto-immune illneses, the antibodies that an individual produces against their own tissues have a structural difference from normal antibodies that are produced against microbes. Normal antibodies have as part of their 'constant' region long chains of the sugar galactose. In many auto-immune disorders, including rhuematoid arthritis, these antibodies are defective; the galactose chains being replaced with long chains of the amino sugar n-acetyl glucosamine. These antibodies are called 'galactose deficient antibodies' (GDA). It has been hypothesized that in circumstances of auto-immune disease with the presence of (GDA), a low-wheat diet may help neutralize or disarm these antibodies, as it is thought that GDA antibodies may not be effective at attacking body tissue without activation by lectins found in wheat (remember, wheat lectin binds to n-acetyl glucosamine.)
1. Tsuchiya N, Endo T, Matsuta K, Yoshinoya S, Takeuchi F, Nagano Y, Shiota M, Furukawa K, Kochibe N, Ito K. Detection of glycosylation abnormality in rheumatoid IgG using N-acetylglucosamine-specific Psathyrella velutina lectin. J Immunol. 1993 Jul 15;151(2):1137-46.
2. Soltys AJ, Hay FC, Bond A, Axford JS, Jones MG, Randen I, Thompson KM, Natvig JB. The binding of synovial tissue-derived human monoclonal immunoglobulin M rheumatoid factor to immunoglobulin G preparations of differing galactose content. Scand J Immunol. 1994 Aug;40(2):135-43.
QUESTION: I've been reading you material on stinging nettle. I'm familiar with its use in allergy, but was surprised to see so many other possible health effects. I'm interested in possibly using the herb in my GP practice. Any additional info?
ANSWER: Urica dioica rhizome (root) is a well-accepted remedy in Europe for prostatic enlargement. It has even been compared to the drug Proscar and found to be more effective, with less side effects. Lignans ((+)-neoolivil, (-)-secoisolariciresinol, dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol, isolariciresinol, pinoresinol, and 3,4-divanillyltetrahydrofuran) from the roots of Urtica dioica and their metabolites bind to human sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). The net effect of this anti SHBG activity is a positive influence on testosterone metabolism. Testosterone is also metabolized by enzymes called aromatase and 5-alpha-reductase. Prostate enlargement is characterized by elevated testosterone levels (specifically elevated levels of the enzymes involved in testosterone metabolism), and stinging nettle is thought to lower the activity of one or both of these enzymes. This probably plays a key role in the traditional use of the plant to control prostatic enlargement.
Stinging nettle (both the leaf and root) also appears to prevent the over stimulation of proinflammatory cytokines like tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta. Cytokines can be thought of in simple terms as immune system messengers. And while a discussion of these proinflammatory cytokines and immune system balance is beyond the scope of this column, cytokine balance is a growing area of interest in medicine. In fact, virtually all immune disorders (from HIV, to cancer, to autoimmune diseases), allergic conditions (like asthma and allergies) and even obesity/insulin resistance have characteristic imbalances in cytokine levels as part of the functional derangement occurring at a metabolic level.
Urtica dioica has a lectin with many unique characteristics. Urtica dioica agglutinin (UDA), a V beta 8.3-specific superantigen, prevents the development of the systemic lupus erythematosus-like pathology in mice. Stinging nettle lectin is actually a "super lectin" called UDA superantigen (UDA for short). For those interested, UDA appears to be an N-acetylglucosamine specific lectin. Evidence indicates that this super lectin can inhibit a range of viruses including those responsible for HIV, colds, and influenza.
For prostate and immune health, Urtica dioica, the humble nettle plant, is hard to beat.
STUDY: Case-control study of ovarian cancer in Japan.
JOURNAL: Cancer 1984 Jun 15;53(12):2746-52
AUTHORS: Mori M, Kiyosawa H, Miyake H.
ABSTRACT: A case-control study of 80 women with ovarian epithelial carcinoma and 160 individually age-matched controls were conducted to assess various factors associated with the incidence of ovarian cancer in Hokkaido, Japan. Among the characteristics studied, the following factors were significantly greater in the cases than in the controls: (1) blood group A; (2) never married or married late in life; (3) more frequent surgery for retroflexion of the uterus; (4) less use of contraceptive appliances; and (5) less daily use of cosmetics. It was inferred from these observations that ovarian cancer patients had a genetic predisposition and dysfunctional ovaries. Gonadal dysfunction among ovarian cancer patients presumably explained not only altered personality and behavior patterns, but also facilitated the pituitary gonadotropin activity which has been suggested as increasing the incidence of the disease experimentally.
COMMENTARY: I can understand women who are type A becoming depressed by this sort of finding, but knowing that you may be liable to a particular cancer by virtue of your blood type is better than remaining in the dark.
Hopefully the use of the type A diet (with its emphasis on soy, peanut and helix pomatia snail lectins, plant anti-oxidants, green tea, polyamine-blocking foods and overall low-fat orientation) can help to prevent this type of problem from developing in the first place.
QUESTION: Does any one blood type have a history of longevity superior to the others?
ANSWER: This question has not been looked at with any degree of exactitude, but two studies did show a slight increase in life span for those individuals who were type O (over type A). Whether this is the result of any genetic link or simply the result of the fact that the modern hi-fat diet, hi-stress lifestyle is inherently more poisonous to type A over type O has not been determined. In any case, the studies are on small numbers of people and have not been replicated.
One older study looking at different rates of longevity between different nationalities saw the rate as being influenced by the percentage of type A in the population. They stated that:
"Innumerable influences of various types can cause diseases, primarily the high incidence of certain tumors in old age, climatic influences, overeating and malnutrition, and furthermore abuse of coffee, tea, tobacco and alcohol, medicines and insufficient movement. It can be assumed that wherever blood group A is prevailing the genes of blood group A constitute a factor. The impact of the blood group genes varies as a function of the underlying disease, the effectiveness of the exogenic factors and the general constitution of the individual patient."(1)
Another study of Italian dentists showed a higher incidence of type O among those who lived beyond 75. (2)
Remember that these are populations that have done no interventions such as diet or lifestyle modification. By following ER4YT, most type A's can be expected to better the odds considerably.
1. Kinner B, Sauer I, Ries W. [Preconditions for attaining advanced old age]. ZFA 1981;36(2):111-6
2. Sturgen P, Beller S, Bates E. Related Articles Study of blood group factors in longevity. J Gerontol. 1969 Jan;24(1):90-4.
QUESTION: What is the difference between what you call the "active form" of B12 and the standard health food store/ pharmacy brand. Aren't they both "active?"
ANSWER: Cyanocobalamin is the most commonly supplemented form of vitamin B12, but you might be surprised to discover that this form of vitamin B12 does not actually occur in plants or animal tissues. In other words, outside of the chemically synthesized cyanocobalamin that you encounter as B12 in most vitamin supplements, you would be extremely hard pressed to find this compound in nature (in fact you would not be able to find it). As the name implies, cyanocobalamin contains a cyanide molecule. Most people are familiar with cyanide as a poisonous substance. Although the amount of cyanide in a normal B12 supplement is small and from a toxicology point, viewed as insignificant, your body will still need to remove and eliminate this compound. This removal is accomplished through your detoxification systems with substances like glutathione being very important for the elimination of the cyanide.
Compared with cyanocobalamin, it appears that methylcobalamin is better absorbed and retained in higher amounts within your tissues. In simple terms, they are used much more effectively. In general, methylcobalamin is used primarily in your liver, brain and nervous system.
Methylcobalamin is the specific form of B12 needed for nervous system health. Because of this it should be the first form of this vitamin thought of when interested in attempting to optimize the health of the nervous system with vitamin supplementation. Indications of a potential deficiency of B12 in the nervous system might include numbness, tingling, loss of feeling sensation, burning sensations, muscle cramps, nerve pain and slowness of reflexes.
Because of methylcobalamin's importance in nervous system health, it is also an important nutrient for vision. In fact, continued visual work (like work on a computer) often leads to a reduction in something called "visual accommodation". Methylcobalamin can significantly improve visual accommodation, while cyanocobalamin appears to be ineffective.
An elevated level of homocysteine is a metabolic indication of decreased levels of the coenzyme forms of vitamin B12, especially methylcobalamin. Homocysteine has received a tremendous amount of emphasis in the scientific literature because of its associations with heart disease and a variety of other specific health conditions. I have even seen advertisements on television promoting folic acid, as a vitamin needed to lower homocysteine. While this is true, and folic acid does lower homocysteine levels, the combination of methylcobalamin and folic acid appears to work much better.
The most well studied use of methylcobalamin has to do with sleep. Although the exact mechanism of action is not yet clear, it is possible that methylcobalamin is needed for the synthesis of melatonin. Available information indicates that methylcobalamin can modulate melatonin secretion, enhance light-sensitivity, and normalize circadian rhythm (your 24-hour clock). Because of this, individuals supplementing this form of B12 often have improved quality of sleep, often will require slightly less sleep, and will not uncommonly report that they feel a bit more refreshed when waking in the morning. Methylcobalamin is particularly effective when your 24-hour clock is not running smoothly. This may be indicated by a need for excessive sleep, changing sleep-wake cycles, or a tendency to have altered sleep wake patterns. As examples, you might require 10-12 hours of sleep, or you might not feel tired until 2-3 am and you might wake at noon, or you might find that you wake a bit later every day and go to be a bit later every night. Under all of these circumstances the combination of methylcobalamin (about 3000 mcg daily) and exposure to bright light in the morning can help reestablish your 24-hour clock.
Because of methylcobalamin's impact on 24-hour clock and the cycles that feed of this, it is also an important vitamin to regulate your 24-hour release of the stress hormone cortisol. This seems to be particularly important for blood types A and AB. Methylcobalamin also seems to result in a better 24-hour maintenance of body temperature. Typically individuals supplementing this coenzyme form of B12 have higher temperatures in the later hours of the daytime. This usually corresponds with improved alertness at the same time of the day. While this can be of importance to all blood types, low body temperatures seems to be an area of greater challenge for A's and B's.
I'm a Type A and I have been following your dietary guidelines with wonderful results. I've recently stopped using hormone replacement therapy & I wondered if you could make recommendations for type A menopausal women. In addition to following the dietary program, what should we do to relieve symptoms such as hot flashes & to protect ourselves from bone loss & cardiovascular problems? Are supplements like Dong Quai & Evening Oil of Primrose ok for type A's. Can you make other suggestions??
Dong quai and primrose oil are generally fine for type As in menopause (or headed there!). If estrogen stimulation is needed (i. e if there is a history of bone loss or dementia, etc.) I advocate types A and AB talk to their physicians about using the fraction "estriol" (2-8mgs) in preference to the other more potent fractions found in the convention ERT Premarin. Though I was blasted initially in the town I practice in (Greenwich CT) for advocating this alternative, all the GYNS now prescribe it themselves! The herb "Black Cohosh," Cimicifuga racemosa, can also help with hot flashes.
STUDY: Scientific basis of the blood group diet.
JOURNAL: Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2001 Jun 10;121(15):1838-9. Norwegian.
AUTHORS: Poleszynski DV. [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
ABSTRACT: Eat Right 4 Your Type by Peter J. D’Adamo describes a strategy of adapting lifestyle and nutrition to each individual’s physiology and biochemistry. The author’s theory is based on research within, amongst others, physical anthropology, neurology, biochemistry, nutrition, lectinology, epidemiology, psychology, immunology and genetics. Going through the literature shows that Doctor D’Adamo can be mistaken on certain points, and is vague on others. Nonetheless, his general theory seems to be based on scientific studies, and reports show that it works. “Helsevesenet” - the Public Norwegian Health Institutions - should start using the parts of the theory that are based in fact, and the medicinal circles should do more testing and align the theory with basic medicinal science and clinical research.
35,000 examples of Eat Right 4 Your Type have been printed in Norway. [Btw: the country only has a population of 4 million] The book has been complimented by laypersons and ‘natural therapists’ and is rejected by others (2).
The theory is based on five elements:
- an evolutionary perspective of the human being, including a theory on how the blood types evolved, based on the ABO-system.
- Proved relationships between blood types and physical and psychological diseases, used to explain the blood types’ geographical distribution, degrees of risk factor, and strategies for reducing risk.
- Lectins in food can influence [ones] state of health. They can have positive and negative biological effects, i.e. some can be the source of illness, while others can be used therapeutically.
- Existing relationships between genes, like blood type and/or type of tissue, combined with secretor status (Lewis a/b) and other physiological and biochemical variables make it possible to identify an individual’s genetic “fingerprint”.
- Genotyping can, among other things, be used to predict what foods one tolerates and how one handles stress.
Eat Right 4 Your Type has been criticized for being categorical (2). The Literature list is sparing (1). An article of 1980 explains the background (3), an other from 1990 gives documentation on lectin activity (4), and in January 2001 a new, better documented, book came out (5).
Evolution and Blood Types: The fact that primates have the same A- and O- blood type antigens is taken to mean that we have inherited them from common ancestors (2). This can seem logical, since our earliest ancestors were vegetarian, and the hominids on a higher level of evolution were the first to become meat eaters. However, research on the genetic sequences of primates and humans tend to corroborate that ABO genetic polymorphism in primates is a result of convergent evolution, i.e. unrelated mutations, and are not the result of a common genetic origin (6).
Historically, populaces have eaten food that is perceived as adverse for their blood type, e.g. Inuits who are blood type A (meat and fat) and American Indians, blood type O (corn and potatoes). Native populations on “civilized food” usually develop a range of new chronic disorders (7). We do not know what role the blood type can play in differences in peoples state of health.
Blood Type and Illness: Links between blood type and illness have been known for over 80 years, is well documented (8), and is discussed in manuals in genetics (9). Among significant relationships show the odds ratios (OR) for cancer, shows an [over frequency???] in Type A compared to Type O of 1,11 (colon and rectum), to 1,64 (salivary gland). A large study of stomach cancer (N=55,434) shows an OR for type A = 1,22 compared to type O. Contrariwise, in Type O there is a higher rate of cancer of the small intestine (OR 1,35), ulcers (OR 1,53), or bleeding ulcers (OR 1,46) compared to type A, while type A has more eosinophilia (OR 2,38) and tromboemboli (OR 1,61). Differences in the propensity for infection (8) can explain geographical differences in the ratios of blood types. H. Pylori gives a high frequency of ulcers in Type O, who also have a high frequency of disbiosis caused by Candida Albicans (1,8)
Lectins in Illness and in Health: Lectins, in groups (glyco)proteins, bind irreversibly to carbohydrates and are used by plants as defence against being eaten by animals, and as intercellular communication signal substances. After this group of substances were characterised in 1888 (10) over 1,000 foods have been found to contain lectins with biological impact. [The various biological effects] depend on, amongst other factors, the number of binders - those with only one [binder], for example, cannot agglutinate cells. Biological effects from experiments carried out on humans and 14 different types of animals are known (12). Lectins in barley, wheat, potato, rice, rye, tomatoes, and a number of legumes can agglutinate erythrocytes in humans of all blood types. Lectins can have effects resembling those of insulin on fat cells, hinder growth of cancer cells, induce clotting of blood plates and increase the secretion of histamine.
Blood type influences biological variables: Certain people produce more digestive acids than others and are more susceptible to ulcers and heartburn. People of type O seem to produce more digestive acids than those of blood type A, and a variety of enzyme activity in the blood and the intestines vary depending on blood type (5). This is valid for alkaline phosphatase, monoaminoxidase and dopamine-beta- hydroxsylase. A probable reason for this is that the genes that code for proteins and are located near the blood type gene on chromosome 9Q34 is influenced by this.
Blood type and personality: A range of sources link blood type to personality, and the extent of risk for mental disorders (5). It has been substantiated that there is a high degree of polymorphism between receptors and transporters of dopamine and serotonin and a relationship between blood type and stress. One study shows that those of blood type O secrete less cortisone after donating blood than do those of type A (5). Since hard physical effort releases stress hormones, it is quite likely that individuals of type O can tolerate [intense, physical] exercise better than type A’s (1,5).
Conclusion: The ABO-system, secretor status and other systems (MN, Rh) sheds light on the disposition for illness. Lectins in food affect our health, and the blood type gene influences near by genes. Interactions between blood type and environment can probably explain why some get sick while others remain healthy through a long life.
1. D'Adamo PJ, Whitney C. Blodtypedietten. Spis riktig for din blodtype. Oslo: Wem 3 A/S, 1999.
2. Moen T. "Blodtypedietten" - vitenskap eller fantasi? Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen 2001; 121: 355 - 8.
3. D'Adamo PJ. Diet, disease and the ABO bloodgroups: a review of the literature. Seattle, WA: John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine, 1981. www.dadamo.com/literature/lrc.htm (3.2.1999).
4. D'Adamo PJ. Gut ecosystem dynamics III. Lectins and mitogens. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 1990; 85 - 6: 528.
5. D'Adamo PJ, Whitney C. Live right for your type. New York: G. P. Putnam's Son, 2001.
6. Kermarrec N, Roubinet F, Apoil PA, Blancher A. Comparison of allele 0 sequences of the human and non-human primate ABO system. Immunogenetics 1999; 49: 517 - 26.
7. Price WP. Nutrition and physical degeneration. 10. utg. Pasadena, CA: The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, 1979.
8. Mourant AE, Kopec AC, Domaniewska-Sobozak K. Blood groups and diseases. A study of associations of diseases with blood groups and other polymorphisms. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
9. Vogel F, Motulsky AG. Human genetics. Problems and approaches. 3. utg. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1997.
10. Pusztai A, Bardocz S, ed. Lectins. Biomedical perspectives. London: Taylor & Francis, 1995.
11. Liener IE, Sharon N, Goldstein IJ, red. The Lectins: properties, functions, and applications. Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 1986.
12. Van Damme EJM, Peumans WJ, Pusztai A, Bardocz S. Handbook of plant lectins: properties and biomedical applications. Chicester: John Wiley & Sons, 1998.
COMMENTARY: I wish to thank Katrina (a particpant on the Bulletin Board) for this translation from the original article which appeared in Norwegian.
Perhaps my only problem with the article is that it holds the simplicity of my first book, Eat Right 4 Your Type, somewhat against me, even though the author references far more technical scientific articles that I've written that actually precede its publication. One cannot do two things simultaneously: You can write simplified books for the general public or technical works for scholarly journals. They must be evaluated differently, as they have widely different aims.
Nonetheless, I am gratified that the blood group diet theory is becoming the subject of a more serious scholarly interest, although perhaps despite its success in the mass-market, rather than because of it.
STUDY: Hawthorn: pharmacology and therapeutic uses.
JOURNAL: Am J Health Syst Pharm 2002 Mar 1;59(5):417-22
AUTHORS: Rigelsky JM, Sweet BV.
ABSTRACT: The uses, pharmacology, clinical efficacy, dosage and administration, adverse effects, and drug interactions of hawthorn are discussed. Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) is a fruit-bearing shrub with a long history as a medicinal substance. Uses have included the treatment of digestive ailments, dyspnea, kidney stones, and cardiovascular disorders. Today, hawthorn is used primarily for various cardiovascular conditions. The cardiovascular effects are believed to be the result of positive inotropic activity, ability to increase the integrity of the blood vessel wall and improve coronary blood flow, and positive effects on oxygen utilization. Flavonoids are postulated to account for these effects. Hawthorn has shown promise in the treatment of New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class II congestive heart failure (CHF) in both uncontrolled and controlled clinical trials. There are also suggestions of a beneficial effect on blood lipids. Trials to establish an antiarrhythmic effect in humans have not been conducted. The limited data about hawthorn suggest that it may be useful in the treatment of NYHA functional class II CHF.
COMMENTARY: The recommended daily dose of hawthorn varies according to the preparation, since tinctures are typically stronger than teas, fluid extracts are stronger than tinctures and solid extracts are stronger than fluid extracts. It is a tradtional naturopathic remedy for cardiac weakness, though it does take some time for its effects to appear. It may we be especially useful for type A's since numerous studies link this blood group with cardiovascular disease over the other blood types.
At therapeutic dosages, hawthorn may cause a mild rash, headache, sweating, dizziness, palpitations, sleepiness, agitation, and gastrointestinal symptoms, although these are quite rare. There is some concern that hawthorn may interact with vasodilating medications and may potentiate or inhibit the actions of drugs used for heart failure, hypertension, angina, and arrhythmias, so check with your MD or naturopath before using hawthorn if you are on any heart medication.
I have been a proponent of Living Foods Veganism for 15 years and have worked at the Hippocrates Institute as well. Several experiences this past year have caused me to challenge my own "beliefs", and I have been very excited to hear about the blood type diet information. My question: My father is Type O, My mother is Type A...I tested as a Type O (using the home test kit). The genetic information contained in your book and on the website say that Type A is dominant and that I should be Type A as well. Am I missing something? Is this possible? How accurate is the Home test kit? Thank you in advance for your response.
Based upon the information you provided it is indeed possible for you to be an O. If your father is O, then you aquired an O gene from him. Your mother being A means she is either AA or AO (with the O here being recessive). If you Type as O, it would mean your mother is an A of the AO variety, and that you aquired an O gene from her. Although the O was not dominant in your mother, it would combine with the O from your father and give you a genetic blueprint of OO (the only possible combination for an O). The Home Typing Kit is extremely reliable; a similar kit is used in one country in Europe to verify blood type for patients prior to surgery.
QUESTION: Hi. I was just wondering why the O Diet guidelines suggest black cherry juice and pineapple juice as being beneficial, but suggest the black cherry and the pineapple fruit to be neutral. What is it about the juice that would make it more beneficial than the fruit itself? Aren't the juices a more concentrated source of sugar? Thanks so much for your time and thought.
ANSWER: They are also a more concentrated form of the phytonutrient (in the case of black cherry juice, the anthrocyanidins and other alkaline elements; in pineapple the proteolytic enzymes). It would take a considerably greater amount of the fruit to match the levels often found in the juice (and in the case of pineapple, perhaps a mouth sore or two.)