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QUESTION: Why is peanut a poison for Type A, while peanuts and peanut butter are highly beneficial?
ANSWER: Blood group A in general has higher levels of cholesterol and significantly higher rates of heart disease. Peanut oil, while relatively unsaturated, is surprisingly atherogenic (causes atery plaque formation). This latter effect is not related to the level (6%) of long-chain saturated fatty acids (arachidic, behenic, lignoceric) present in peanut oil, but rather to its triglyceride structure.
Japanese white rabbits fed a restricted amount (100 g/head/day) of an atherogenic diet (AD) containing 6% peanut oil showed mild and persistent hypercholesterolemia (338 +/- 79 mg/dl). They developed atherosclerotic lesions at the 4th week of feeding.
Peanut oil apparently increases the amount of collagen and other proteins in atheroschlerotic lesions as well. Rates of arterial collagen and noncollagen protein synthesis were exaimined in rabbits maintained for 4 months on a control diet or the same diet supplemented with 2% peanut oil. Thoracic aortas from animals fed the atherogenic diet exhibited raised lesions covering 75% to 100% of the surface.
Cordain L. Atherogenic potential of peanut oil-based monounsaturated fatty acids diets. Lipids. 1998 Feb;33(2):229-30.
Kritchevsky D. Dietary fat and experimental atherosclerosis.Int J Tissue React 1991;13(2):59-65
Saso Y, Kitamura K, Yasoshima A, Iwasaki HO, Takashima K, Doi K, Morita T. Rapid induction of atherosclerosis in rabbits. Histol Histopathol 1992 Jul;7(3):315-20
Opsahl WP, DeLuca DJ, Ehrhart LA. Accelerated rates of collagen synthesis in atherosclerotic arteries quantified in vivo.Arteriosclerosis 1987 Sep-Oct;7(5):470-6