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QUESTION: I heard a very interesting talk recently given by a well known orthopedic surgeon who cured herself of breast cancer in nine months by eating only raw fruits and vegetables, and who believes all people should be vegan. She spoke about your diet, and pointed out that horses have 16 different blood types and yet they all eat the same diet: hay and grains. Interesting point. Can you tell us what makes humans different from horses and other animals in this regard? Thank you. By the way, I am doing very well on the Type O diet.
ANSWER: The assertion of the lecturer (recently echoed by peripatetic Andrew Weil) sounds logical, but analysis proves that they not in control of their facts.
1. Horses may have 16 blood types, but they only have 2 ABO types; and although this proves nothing (as we will see) they are almost always type A.
2. Humans probably have 300+ blood types, but more importantly, they are the only species with all four ABO variations (A, B, O, A. As I have emphasized several times in the past, the only blood typing system that matters to any degree with regard to digestion and basic immunity is the ABO system, since it is the only system that controls digestive secretions, bacteria populations and interacts with dietary lectins.
3. But even more basic, why does this person assume that a gene for blood type in one species does exactly the same function in another? Blood group genes are heavily linked to many other genes, and this varies from species to species. In pigs for example, the gene for type O blood gives them black haircoats and something called 'Porcine Stress Syndrome.' I've personally seen many human type O's with blonde or red hair, so I know this function may be true for pigs but it is certainly not true for humans. Many bacteria carry genes for ABO antigens, should we be looking at what they eat also?
Her advocacy of veganism for everyone is part of her belief system, so I doubt that this answer will make a difference anyway.
Rasmusen BA, Christian LL. H blood types in pigs as predictors of stress susceptibility. Science. 1976 Mar 5;191(4230):947-8.