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Recent research (1) shows a significant difference in the prevalence of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, suggesting that bone resorption is more active in women with non-O blood types during the post-menopausal period compared to women with blood type O. Further, osteoporosis was more frequently observed in blood type AB than in other blood types, particularly osteoporosis of the hip. The proximal femurs of AB women were 2.3 times more likely to have osteoporosis than that those belonging to women with O blood type. The findings are consistent with that of previous research (2), (3) cited in the Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia,which suggests that the reason blood types O and B are less susceptible to osteoporosis is due to a lower level of intestinal alkaline phosphatase.
For consistency, all the women were rhesus positive, and none were smokers or suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and none were taking HRT (all of which factors can affect bone mineral density).
This study openly recognises the influence of ABO blood group and secretor status on disease incidence, and seeks to add to the wealth of information in this area. In this study the researchers admit that they could not measure objectively the behavioural habits, personality traits, or duration and intensity of physical exercise. This may be significant, as Physical activity, which is closely associated with personality and behavior patterns, is widely accepted as a favourable factor influencing bone mineral metabolism, and individuals with blood phenotype O show a significantly lower incidence of obsessional personality traits, compared to the blood types AB, A, and B. What the researchers failed to mention is the dietary habits of the South Korean women in the study, and whether their typical dietary intake may be more appropriate to the digestive capabilities of blood type O and less to those of blood type AB.
The researchers state that further research is needed to see if such findings are observed in elderly men or premenopausal women. Future studies might also find determination of secretor status, comparison of intestinal alkaline phosphatase levels and dietary intake useful markers in addition to ABO blood type, in determining the risk factors for osteoporosis, although at present it appears to be beyond the remit of scientists to think in these terms.
1. Choi JW, Pai SH. Associations between ABO blood groups and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Ann. Clin. Lab. Sci., March 1, 2004; 34(2): 150-3. PMID: 15228226
2. Kolodchenko VP. ABO, rhesus and MN system blood groups and spinal osteochondrosis. Tsitol Genet. 1979 Mar-Apr; 13(3):232-3.
3. Davidson BJ, MacMurray JP, Prakash V. ABO blood group differences in bone mineral density of recovering alcoholic males. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1990 Dec;14(6):906-8. PMID: 2088127
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