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QUESTION: Great results from following the "O" diet. Ulcers are better, weight is down, and I'm feeling 20 years younger! Is there anything I can take when the ulcer pops up every now and again? Thanks for a great book and website!
ANSWER: It's a known medical fact that type O's get more peptic ulcer disease than the other blood types. This was traditionally thought due to an overproduction of stomach acid (a phenomena linked to type O since the 1950's), excess proteolytic enzyme secretions (known since the 1960's).
A few years ago, it was observed that many chronic ulcer patients had elevated levels of antibodies to the bacteria H. pylorri, and when cultured, their stomachs yielded very high levels of this organism. This shed new light on the link between type O and ulcers, as H. pylorri possesses a lectin specific for the sugar fucose, also the group O antigen. Thus it appears that H.pylori is 'stuck on' group O -literally.
A new study (1) seems to imply that type O has a higher level of inflammation secondary to H. pylori infection. This should not be a surprise, as I wrote in ER4YT that almost all inflammatory diseases show an increase of O over other blood groups. Thus not only are type O more likely to have the bacteria in their stomach, they are more likely to have inflammation from it.
This may explain why many people are improved by taking ginger juice or supplements for stomach ulcers. Although ginger's many pungent oils are anti-bacterial, one of the herbs more unheralded functions is that of COx2 inhibition, making it act as a very potent anti-inflammatory.
1. Alkout AM, Blackwell CC, Weir DM. Increased inflammatory responses of persons of blood group O to Helicobacter pylori.J Infect Dis 2000 Apr;181(4):1364-9