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QUESTION: All descriptions written about type AB are true for myself except I am not prone to infections. When I was young I had trouble with tonsil and gland infections and prior to my 30's I had the occassional cold or flu. For the last 20 years I can count the number of colds, flu's and other infections on one hand. Even when my husband gets the flu, I don't. I'm not a health nut either. Why don't I fit this part of the AB profile?
ANSWER: In general, type ABs are at a disadvantage due to the fact that they lack both anti-A and anti-B antibodies. These antibodies are often used as a preliminary line of defense against many microbes (which themselves can have ABO blood type antigens; a fact which clearly illustrates the limitation of using the term 'blood type' to describe them.)
However, it appears that nature has provided ABs with a substitute method of achieving immune competency: They have the highest levels of Natural Killer (NK) cell activity of the ABO blood groups (1)
Natural Killer (NK) cells, a small subset of peripheral blood lymphocytes, mediate a variety of functions that are important in human health and disease. In addition to their role in control of metastasis and infections, NK cells participate in immunoregulation, red blood cell production, reproduction and neuroendocrine interactions. Defective or absent NK cell activity is associated with a spectrum of human diseases.
Methods of keeping your NK cells happy read like a basic textbook of naturopathic medicine: Fresh air, sunlight, exercise, light diet, low stress.
Type AB's who are prone to low resiatnce can invesitgate the Traditional Chinese herb Astragalus, which has quite a bit of research supporting its use in enhancing NK cell activity. (2)
1.) Lasek W, Jakobisiak M, Plodziszewska M, Gorecki D. The influence of ABO blood groups, Rh antigens and cigarette smoking on the level of NK activity in normal population. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 1989;37(3-4):287-94.
2.) Zee-Cheng RK. Shi-quan-da-bu-tang (ten significant tonic decoction), SQT. A potent Chinese biological response modifier in cancer immunotherapy, potentiation and detoxification of anticancer drugs. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 1992 Nov;14(9):725-36. Review.