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QUESTION: I have followed the type O non-secretor diet faithfully for over a year and have recieved tremendous results. My problem, however, is that I have reaccuring cervical dysplasia. I wondered if there was any connection between non-secretors and cervical dyspasia? I have tried everything from antioxidants to large doses of folic acid. Is this a non-secretor problem and can anything be done. I dred going in for another colposcopy.
ANSWER: When abnormal cells are found on the cervix this condition is called dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia is considered to be a pre-cancerous condition. The exact cause of cervical dysplasia is not known, but a number of different factors have been identified. For example, the risk of developing cervical dysplasia appears to be slightly higher after exposure to those types of human papilloma virus (HPV) that cause genital warts. Other risk factors for the development of cervical dysplasia include unprotected sex at an early age, unprotected sex with many partners, and becoming pregnant before age 20. However, exactly how these risk factors are connected to cervical dysplasia is unknown. Smoking also increases the risk of developing cervical dysplasia.
There is evidence that ABO and secretor type have a profound effect on the secretory cells of the cervical glands. (1). In cervical neoplasia, the progressive descent of the squamous mucosa into a precancerous state is mirrored by loss of both Lewis a and Lewis b expression. (2) In oral dysplasia, one study found the occurrence of epithelial dysplasia was found exclusively in the non-secretor group.
Non-secretor status has been linked to a variety of microbial susceptibilities in the female vaginal tract, including the composition of vaginal fluid, a prime defense against many pathogens. Earlier studies done in the 1960's documented a link between non-secretor status and lower levels of mucous membrane protecting IgA antibodies. (3) Most experts feel that cervical dysplasia typically has an element of diminished resistance to either viruses, such as HPV or other microorganisms, such as Chlamydia.
A common treatment used in naturopathic medicine is the escharotic treatment, pioneered by my friend Tori Hudson. Antioxidants and high levels of folic acid and beta carotene work in some women, but not all. There is some evidence that the broader group of carotene (such as one encounters when consuming a carotenoid-rich diet) may be protective against cervical dysplasia. Isolates, such as beta carotene (often synthetic) were ineffectual. Homepaths typically might prescribe the remedies Thuja or Acidum Nitricum, though neither have been clinically documented.
1. Okamura Y. Heterogeneity of the blood group ABH antigens and variation in the expression of these antigens of secretory granules in human cervical glands. An electron microscopic observation using lectins and monoclonal antibodies. Histochemistry 1990;94(5):489-96
2. Sanders DS, Milne DM, Kerr MA. The expression of Lewis(a) and Lewis(b) antigens reflects changes in fucosylation between normal and neoplastic cervical squamous epithelium. J Pathol 1990 Sep;162(1):23-8
3. Grundbacher FJ. Immunoglobulins, secretor status, and the incidence of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Hum Hered. 1972;22(4):399-404