Archives for: December 2005
Researchers writing in the journal Lancet (1) report that drinking is unlikely to be good for you. The popular notion that one or two units of alcohol a day can be protective from heart disease had been well supported by observational data, although there had been no clinical trials to confirm the theory [but then, so was the equally popular notion that hormone replacement therapy protected women from heart disease—until proper clinical trials showed that observational data cannot always be trusted]. It now seems likely that complete tee-totallers are simply too different from people who drink in moderation to be able to quantify the impact of alcohol on heart disease.
In a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2) 27 out of 30 cardiovascular risk factors were more common among abstainers than moderate drinkers. The study was carried out in the U.S. by telephone survey, and found that non-drinkers were more likely to have characteristics associated with increased cardiovascular disease mortality in terms of demographic factors, social factors, behavioural factors, access to health care, and health-related conditions. This makes moderate drinkers look good, even though their lower cardiovascular risk is nothing to do with the occasional glass of wine.
The study concludes: "Given their limitations, nonrandomized studies about the health effects of moderate drinking should be interpreted with caution, particularly since excessive alcohol consumption is a leading health hazard in the United States." If anything, heavy drinking is more likely to be protective of heart disease than light drinking, say the researchers. Unfortunately, there's little point in cleaning out your coronary arteries with a cellular poison that will simply kill you in some other way.
It would appear that moderate drinkers live longer in spite of their occasional glass of wine, not because of it. Season's Greetings.
1) Lancet 2005;366: 1911-2
Alcohol and ischaemic heart disease: probably no free lunch.
Jackson R, Broad J, Connor J, Wells S
2) Am J Prev Med. 2005 May;28(4):369-73.
Cardiovascular risk factors and confounders among nondrinking and moderate-drinking U.S. adults.
Naimi TS, Brown DW, Brewer RD, et. al.
Big Babies Become Obese Adults
Starting off as a big baby may not be so good for you when you grow up: a new study (1) has found that the largest babies, or those who grow fastest are more likely to become overweight adults. The British Medical Journal carried out a review of the association between infant growth during the first two years of life and obesity in adulthood, and all studies were found to be consistent. Prevention of obesity may therefore need to start very early.
Diet and Alzheimer's Disease
Another recent dietary study (2) links a 'high fat' diet with the amyloid-beta (Abeta) deposits that cause Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the brains of mice. Previous studies have linked the consumption of cholesterol and saturated fats with Abeta deposition. The difference with this new study is the low carbohydrate content of the diet that the mice were given.
The principle that dietary fat might play a relatively passive role in metabolism and that the distribution of fat is regulated by the hormonal state stimulated by carbohydrate is standard basic biochemistry knowledge, but remains an under-appreciated factor in many studies, possibly due to the emphasis on low-fat recommendations of nutritional agencies. Because of the requirement of brain cells for glucose (or ketones) for energy metabolism and, in particular, because of the involvement of insulin in regulating a proteolytic enzyme in Abeta production, it is relevant to inquire about the role of macronutrient composition in the diet in AD. In doing so, the medical research world seems to be gradually getting closer to the fact that many people eating according to their blood group have known for a long time: sometimes dietary carbohydrate restriction can be part of a collection of factors that reduce inflammation. What doesn't seem to be appreciated in most diet studies is how other research shows that individuals of blood groups A and B are more prone to Alzheimer's disease than O and AB due to a different reason: a higher stress response to cortisol (3).
The authors of the study conclude: "a diet rich in saturated fats and low in carbohydrates can actually reduce levels of Abeta. Therefore, dietary strategies aimed at reducing Abeta levels should take into account interactions of dietary components and the metabolic outcomes, in particular, levels of carbohydrates, total calories, and presence of ketone bodies should be considered." The description 'high fat diet' is thus an inadequate way to characterize a diet: one must also specify the level of carbohydrate.
Looking for a reason for this, the article postulates: "evidence suggests that the primary genetic risk factor for late onset AD, the epsilon4 allele of apolipoprotein E, may have been selected against in populations with long historical exposure to agriculture." Individuals with this genotype are more prone to AD. The gene that did better with exposure to agriculture was the blood group A gene, which expressed in people who survived on a lower fat diet. Reduced levels of intestinal alkaline phosphatase in individuals of blood group A and AB means that they cannot digest fat well in their diet, but they may be able to better tolerate complex carbohydrate. Conversely individuals of blood group O and B may be able to tolerate more dietary fat, and less carbohydrate - the diet which gave less Abeta deposition in the study (on mice).
The study also says: "foods rich in carbohydrates are relatively recent additions to the human diet and are likely to be more evolutionarily discordant than high fat diets. Therefore, the recent evolutionary switch to high carbohydrate diets may play an important role in development of AD". In terms of blood groups, this is more likely to be true with individuals of blood groups O and B, but those with blood groups A and AB may not benefit from the high fat levels seen in this study.
Perhaps we should get away from the principle that “you are what you eat,” and replace it with the idea that “you are what you do with what you eat.”
Reduce That Sweet Tooth With Weight Loss
Losing weight sensibly can reduce sugar cravings: In a recently published study (4) ten women were tested to see how quickly they found repeated eating or drinking of a sweet substance to be unpalatable after fasting overnight. They were then put on a weight loss diet (composed of 50% carbohydrate, 25% protein and 25% fat). After 3 months they had all lost weight, most had reduced their BMI by over 5%, but also all felt satiated earlier and withdrew from ingesting the sweet substance more quickly than before they started dieting.
The authors conclude: "Maintaining a lowered set-point, by consuming a sensible diet that promotes satiety and gradual weight loss, may be the key for long-term success, as the body strives to maintain a body weight close to that set-point by reducing food intake and enhancing energy expenditure."
This study shows that a standard calorie-controlled weight loss programme will eventually reduce the amount of sweets that the dieter craves before feeling satiated.
(1) Baird J, Fisher D, Lucas P, et. al:
Being big or growing fast: systematic review of size and growth in infancy and later obesity
BMJ 2005 331: 929
(2) Van der Auwera I, Wera S, Van Leuven F, Henderson ST:
A ketogenic diet reduces amyloid beta 40 and 42 in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease
2005 Nutr Metab (Lond) 2005. 2:28
(3) Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia
(4) Frankham P, Gosselin C, Cabanac M:
Diet induced weight loss accelerates onset of negative alliesthesia in obese women
BMC Public Health 2005, 5:112
The second conference of the Institute for Human Individuality The Four Masters: Nutrigenomics in Practice heralded the start of a new era in medicine. It took place in Tempe, Arizona, between April 15-17, and this year the event lasted two and a half days, packed with new information for clinicians and the public alike.
On arrival delegates were fingerprinted, and asked to put two pieces of paper in their mouth to assess a bitter taste, but were not told why. The reason for this became apparent later.
Dr. Bland - FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE/NUTRIGENOMICS
The first master to speak after the opening ceremonies on Friday Morning was the widely venerated Dr. Jeffrey Bland PhD. Dr. Bland is author of the book Genetic Nutritioneering, - a Functional Approach (which contains a chapter on blood groups), and also wrote the preface for 'Live Right for Your Type'. He set a lively pace to the start of the conference, introducing the connection between genetics and inflammatory conditions, pharmacogenomics and the "trilogy of omics": functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics.
The latest definition of nutrigenomics includes: "The study of how different foods may interact with specific genes to modify the risk of common chronic diseases... seeks to identify the bioactive molecules in the diet that affect health by altering the expression of genes... the influence of diet on health is related to an individual's genetic makeup."
Genetics is closely linked with evolution, and Dr. Bland expounded the two different theories relating to evolution: natural selection and adaptation. He said that if human evolution happened by natural selection, it took hundreds of millions of years. The subsequent transition from the 'average' human less than a hundred years ago to the typically unwell obese junk-food eating subfertile American could not have happened by the same method, but by the modulation of gene and protein expression and function that controls our phenotype (how we look and feel) by food and the presence of absence of nutrients. This situation is unsustainable, and according to Dr. Bland it is based on a false set of assumptions which are eventually guaranteed to bankrupt the medical healthcare system while opening the door for the development of 'personalised medicine' through the diet/chronic disease connection. Numerous scientific references demonstrated how the revolution in nutrigenomics is taking medicine away from "Taylorism", or standardisation of the client, towards an age of investigation and respect for individuality. The implication throughout was that nutrigenomics is not a fad, but is here to stay. Dr Bland’s message is to encourage people to "exercise their central nervous systems" to find out what is behind the media manipulation, and ''get on the bus or be left behind at the bus stop".
The ability of folate to modify gene expression was discussed extensively during the lecture. Using folate in preconceptual care can be extended beyond the traditional role in prevention of neural tube defects according to recent research: maternal folate supplementation decreases incidence of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in offspring; coronary heart disease may be considered a long latency disease, beginning in utero; nutritional reduction of breast cancer risk may be folate-dependent; the effects of lowering homocysteine relies on folate; a specific post-methotrexate folate rescue protocol helps counteract the side-effects of methotrexate; epilepsy is sometimes related to folate.
The aetiology of Parkinson's disease, including genetic factors, environmental factors, and the interaction between them is modifiable at many levels: oxidative stress; mitochondrial dysfunction; excitotoxicity; inflammation; Dr. Bland explained how all these may respond to appropriate specific nutritional intervention.
Nutrigenomic intervention to balance immunity may be targeted at either division of the immune system, TH1, the innate (primitive, or cellular), or TH2, the acquired (adaptive, or humoral) division. Individual differences in secretory IgA and glycosylated polypeptides (ABO blood group) influence the genetic uniqueness of the GALT system (Gut-Associated Lymphatic Tissue) and enteric colon bacteria. ABO secretor status is significant in childhood asthma, allergy and atopy (TH2-dominant disorders), susceptibility to systemic inflammation (TH1-dominant). Conditions such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and arterial disease depend on the the neuroendocrine immune system functioning as a whole, which is tightly controlled by genetic uniqueness (as in a polymorphism of the COX-2 gene, for example). There was much more information that Dr. Bland did not have time to present...
Dr. D'Adamo - POLYMORPHISMS
In his first lecture Dr. D'Adamo encouraged people to move away from the idea that blood type medicine is a perfect unchangeable monolithic structure. Rather it is a working system; the innovations in nutrigenomics presented at this conference along with further discoveries relating to ABO blood group and other polymorphisms can all be incorporated into the concept of treating patients as individuals.
The lecture gave an overview of the ABO blood group system and the influence of salivary secretor status: Dr. D'Adamo reviewed how gene linkage with an individual's blood group decides activity of both dopamine beta-hydroxylase (an enzyme affecting monoamine oxidase activity, which governs metabolism of noradrenaline and serotonin) and arginine succinate synthase (affecting nitric oxide synthesis, having many effects throughout the body), as they all overlap on the same gene location (at 9q34). Clinical tools such as the connection with blood group B and BUN (urea) blood values, and the haemaglutinin titer were introduced.
On Friday evening North American Pharmacal hosted a poolside reception with a blood group compatible buffet, live music suitable for all blood groups, and a chance for conference attendees to mingle.
Martha D'Adamo - MOO PAL DAN KHUM
Saturday and Sunday mornings started at 7am with meditation and breathing. Martha D'Adamo, a black belt in karate, took early risers through the Moo Pal Dan Khum exercise sequence. This is a qi gong-style series of ancient breathing exercises designed to help tone and move energy through the body.
Dr. Pizzorno - THE SALUGENETICIST
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, originally a student of Dr. Bland, and subsequently a tutor of Drs. D'Adamo and Crinnion, presented a more detailed analysis of the crisis in healthcare. The US system has spiraling costs, and yet ranked 72nd in health of the population in a survey of 191 countries in 2002. Like Dr. Bland, Dr. Pizzorno also suggested that the solution is to move away from symptomatic treatment, whether conventional of using 'green drugs', to a new personalised curative medicine promoting health, disease resistance and reversal. An example was given of a post-menopausal woman with progressive bone loss and low sunlight exposure due to family history of skin cancers, who was unresponsive to standard natural interventions. She was found to have a polymorphic deficit in vitamin D receptors, and increasing her dosage of calcium and vitamin D to above the normal range stabilised her bone density.
Evaluation of all variables in a situation such as migraine needs assessment of 27 possible physiological dysfunctions, 25 possible environmental/drug toxins, 40 possible natural medicine therapies and evaluation of 900 research citations. This is too much for any physician to keep in their head. The increasing amount of possible causes and interventions for any given situation lead Dr. Pizzorno to investigate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in natural medicine. The result is a tool using a Bayesian inference system called the Salugenicist (meaning health promotion, as opposed to pathogenesis). As one would expect from the author of so many naturopathic textbooks, the report generated by his software contains recommendations for dietary, nutritional, lifestyle and exercise, herbal adjustments and even healthy recipes based on the patient's individualised analysis.
Although fully functioning and demonstrated live at the conference, the program was estimated to be about a quarter of what will be in the final version. Impressive drill down options allowed exploration of every answer, including abstracts of referenced articles. The system is rapidly expanding, but does not yet contain blood type specific information or secretor status (one of the first questions asked by the audience). The program is designed to reduce the time spent by the doctor looking into his computer screen and give more quality time with the patient, with fewer adverse reactions of interactions and improved efficacy of intervention. With the advent of AI, natural medicine is truly coming of age. Further details can be seen at www.salugenecist.com<br />
Dr. D'Adamo - DERMATOGLYPHICS, BIOMETRICS AND SYMMETRIES
Dr. D'Adamo's second lecture introduced this surprise topic. The scientific study of fingerprints has entered the repertoire of naturopathic practitioners using genetic markers: the shape of the epidermal ridge patterns are determined between four weeks and 5 months in utero. These patterns may represent developmental pathways underlying multi-organ syndromes. Further, the height of the fingerprint ridges are a sign of gut glycosylation; ridge atrophy gives an indication of the health of the gut mucosa, and many other associations - finger length, angle of palmar creases. Also under genetic control is the ability to taste phenylthiocarbamide, which has an association with thyroid overactivity, and ear wax type, which correlates with breast cancer. The audience duly assessed their own susceptibility to disease by inspecting their fingerprint cards received at the start of the conference, relieved that it was not a plot by the Institute for Human Individuality to register people following subversive alternative medical approaches.
Dr. Crinnion - BORN IN THE WRONG CENTURY: POLYMORPHISMS AND THE TOXIC ENVIRONMENT
As a specialist in environmental medicine, Dr. crinnion started his lecture by reviewing phase I and II detoxification systems and cytochrome P450. He then developed the subject of toxicogenomics with reference to the connection between toxin exposure and cancer risk. A survey carried out specifically for the lecture showed higher self-reporting of caffeine and drug sensitivity in ABO non-secretors than in secretors. Environmental illness may also be the result of polymorphisms, and testing is now widely available.
Always the naturopath at heart, Dr. Crinnion made reference to the 12 most pesticide-contaminated foods, encouraging people to buy organic. He concluded "Genetics points the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger".
Dr. Debra Wollner - IfHI RESEARCH UPDATE
There are currently three projects at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SWCNM) relating to nutrigenomics. Dr. Wollner gave details of a study on the "Effect of Specific Lectins on Microbial-Epithelial Adhesion". The thinking behind this is that lectins may be able to alter the association between bacteria and red blood cells. Dr. Jami Kupperman, a SWCNM graduate and research fellow, described a pilot study on how a low carbohydrate diet may interact with genetic variability, obesity and cardiovascular disease. This type of study could be the proof that individuals may do better or worse on a low carbohydrate diet depending on their blood group.
Saturday night included a Drumming up Health session with Christine Stevens, who created a community spirit through percussion. Delegates entered a trance-like state during the session, and danced while beating their drums.
Dr. D'Adamo - USING THE SWAMI SOFTWARE
Dr. D’Adamo introduced his new software package SWAMI: ‘Serotyping With Amplification, Modification, Interpretation’ (although the choice of acronym is also "a lighthearted way of poking fun at all swamis and crystal ball gazers"). The presentation pulled together all the various aspects of the whole seminar. A freeware PC application based on MS Access, SWAMI asks for blood group and secretor status, biometric (such as head size) and dermatoglyphic (fingerprint) data and family history. Two ‘reaktors’ give a numerical value for lectin sensitivity and glycosylation index. The next version, ‘SWAMI pro’, will be available soon, and will contain a Diet Generator module that generates and prints out a clinically detailed and individualised diet for each patient, a Therapy Generator that designs supplement and treatment protocols specifically for that patient, and the ability to input lab tests and other non-biometric, yet clinically significant parameters (such as Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnostics). Further information can be found at: www.dadamo.com/SWAMI<br />
In summary, Dr. D’Adamo said that the Blood Type Diet (BTD) is now evolving into the Human Individuality Program (HIP). Overall the conference added significantly to assisting the clinical understanding of genetic and biometric uniqueness of patients, which can be put into current practice alongside blood type medicine.
A review of recent articles relating to cancer:
- Breast Cancer and Lewis Blood Group
- Genetic Links to Breast Cancer
- Breast Screening Ineffective?
- Hormone Replacement Therapy is a Carcinogen
- Obesity and Cancer
- Nanotechnology Kills Cancer Cells
- Pineapple and Cancer
Breast Cancer and Lewis Blood Group
This study in Breast Cancer Research shows a connection between the Lewis blood group and breast cancer.
It is well known that blood group antigens are often altered in the process of cells becoming cancerous. The Lewis blood group antigens (Lewis a and Lewis b) are used to determine secretor status from blood testing, and have isomers (compounds having the same molecular formula but different structures) called Lewis x and Lewis y. The Lewis y antigen is mainly expressed in the growing embryo, in adults it is mainly found in epithelium (tissue composed of a layer of cells, whose functions include secretion, absorption and protection).
Lewis y has been found to be over-expressed in most cancers originating from epithelial tissues, including breast, ovary, pancreas, prostate, colon and some lung cancers.
In the study the patients with invasive breast cancer and higher expression of Lewis y/b antigens tended to have more advanced tumours with a poorer prognosis. Of those patients with higher Lewis y/b expression, those without cancer cells in their lymph nodes were found to have significantly decreased survival.
This is significant for patients being treated for breast cancer who have been found to be lymph node negative, as in addition to their tumour size and grade those with higher Lewis y/b expression may have a poorer prognosis according to the research.
Breast cancer is already known to have a stronger association with ABH secretors (Lewis a-b+) as well as with individuals of blood group A.
High expression of Lewisy/b antigens is associated with decreased survival in lymph node negative breast carcinomas
Madjd Z, Parsons T, Watson NFS, Spendlove I, Ellis I, Durrant LG
Breast Cancer Research 2005, 7:R780-R787 (28 July 2005)
Hormone Replacement Therapy is a Carcinogen
The World Health Authority (WHO) has confirmed that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is cancer-causing. For women taking combined estrogen-progestogen HRT, after five years the risk of breast cancer is increased by four extra cases for every 1000 women.
The WHO also said that the combined estrogen-progestogen contraceptive pill slightly increases the risk of breast, cervix and liver cancer.
The British Medical Journal summarised the risks of using HRT as follows:
- Information about risk of breast cancer with hormone replacement therapy is conflicting
- Data that can be used to derive individual risk are presented to help decision making
- Cumulative absolute risk of breast cancer (to 79 years) falls with increasing age in women who do not take hormone replacement therapy
- Use of hormone replacement therapy increases a woman's cumulative risk only slightly
- The effect on the general incidence of breast cancer incidence would be greater
Incorporating biometric measurements of individuals, such as blood group, secretor status, dermatoglyphics and ear wax type could refine individual risk much further. Patients should not stop taking medication without consulting a licensed healthcare practitioner.
BBC News29th July 2005
Hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer: estimate of riskCoombs NJ, Taylor R, Wilcken N, Boyages J.BMJ 2005;331:347-349
Genetic Link to Breast Cancer
Scientists are finding more genes linked to the development and progression of breast cancer, and also when it is likely to spread to the lungs. Several genes, which are either inherited or altered during a woman's lifetime, have already been identified.
Inherited defective genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 account for fewer than 1 in 20 breast cancer cases. In addition a genetic connection links 9q34 (the ABO blood group locus) to breast cancer in individuals of blood group A.
Scientists have now pinpointed another fault which can develop - and have identified four genes which could be the culprit.
The study, in the journal Oncogene, found the fault in a quarter of breast tumours analysed. Researchers at the University of Cambridge examined the tissue of 33 breast tumours and also breast cancer cells grown in the laboratory, focusing on chromosome 8 which had previously been identified as a possible place for cancer-related gene faults. Using microarrays (DNA sequencing), they were able to narrow down which of the hundreds of genes were likely to be actively involved in tumour development.
Four candidate genes were identified on a specific area of chromosome 8. People should have two copies of the whole chromosome, but women with this genetic fault had multiple copies of this particular fragment containing the four potential culprit genes: FLJ14299, C8orf2, BRF2 and RAB11FIP. This pattern was seen in eight out of the 33 tumours studied.
Patients with multiple copies of these chromosome fragments may be at higher risk for having more aggressive tumours, and could be given more intensive treatment.
Another study published in Nature has found a genetic "signature" that could help predict when breast cancer is more likely to spread to the lungs. A "thumbprint" of genetic activity has been identified involving 54 genes that appeared to be particularly associated with lung metastasis.
More than half the patients with this "thumbprint" went on to develop lung metastases, compared with only 10% whose primary tumours did not carry the gene set.
Garcia MJ, Pole JC, Chin SF et. alA 1 Mb minimal amplicon at 8p11-12 in breast cancer identifies new candidate oncogenes.ncogene. 2005 Aug 4;24(33):5235-45.
Genes that mediate breast cancer metastasis to lungMinn AJ, Gupta GP, Siege PM, et. al.Nature 436, 518-524 (28 July 2005)
The Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia
Skin Cancer Court Claims?
Travel companies are in danger of being sued by holidaymakers who develop skin cancer.
People from the cold and cloudy UK who are suffering from skin cancer after holidaying abroad could soon start pushing claims through the courts for a failure of the industry to protect them from the effects of over-exposure to the sun.
A study from Cardiff University has warned that tourism could go the same way as the tobacco industry, who are being sued by smokers with lung cancer.
The sun is not the only influencing factor in skin cancer: research shows individuals of blood group O have a lower survival rate from melanoma than those of other blood groups. If travel companies offer warnings about the risks of the sun, they could also mention that a person's weight, sex and blood group can influence their susceptibility to and survival from melanoma, and recommend drinking green tea (see below, and previous commentary on melanoma). Some think that it is not sun exposure that increases risk of melanoma, but deficiency of antioxidants and other nutrients. Sun exposure is necessary for may people to boost levels of vitamin D.
Obesity and Cancer
Women who are obese are up to 36% more likely to develop cancer those of a healthy weight.
Research that looked at nearly 70 000 people in Sweden concludes that almost one in 14 cancers in women are due to overweight and obesity and are therefore avoidable, according to a study in the International Journal of Cancer
"In women, a positive association between BMI [Body Mass Index] and overall cancer risk emerged, mainly driven by the strong effects of elevated BMI on the incidence of endometrial, ovarian and colon cancers as well as melanoma".
This strong adverse effect of BMI on risk of uterine cancer is believed to be due to alterations in the synthesis of hormones caused by increased body fat: both obesity and uterine cancer risk have been associated with decreased synthesis of progesterone in premenopausal women and with increased circulating oestrogens after menopause.
In men no association between BMI and overall cancer risk was shown. This was probably due to the numbers of prostate and respiratory tract cancers, which accounted for more than 40% of all malignancies. Obese men were, however, at a higher risk of developing kidney cancer and colon cancer.
The authors point out that 12% of the men and women in the study were obese, a considerably lower proportion than in the general population in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States.
Body mass index and cancer: Results from the Northern Sweden Health and Disease CohortInternational Journal of Cancer Annekatrin Lukanova 1 2, Ove Björ 3, Rudolf Kaaks et. al.
Breast Screening Ineffective
Breast cancer screening in "real world" situations is not effective in preventing mortality, says a US case control study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute:
"Conclusions: In this community-based study, screening history was not associated with breast cancer mortality. However, potential limitations of this study argue for a cautious interpretation of these findings."
Randomised controlled studies have shown that breast cancer screening prevents deaths. Many organisations recommend screening by clinical examination and mammography every year or two for women aged 40 or older.
"We observed no appreciable association between breast cancer mortality and screening history, [regardless of age or risk level]... Our findings may, therefore, reflect a possible reduction in the accuracy of screening as it moves from highly controlled randomised trials to real-life clinical practice."
The study looked at the history of screening in the three years before their diagnosis of cancer in women who died of breast cancer. They compared these screening rates with those in a control group of cancer-free women. Screening rates in the two groups did not differ.
The screening was by clinical examination alone, mammography alone, or clinical examination and mammography. Mortality did not differ according to type of screening.
Despite the findings, the leader of the study Dr Joann Elmore said that she still recommended screening: "Some people say we should pay more attention to women at high risk, but the majority of women who develop breast cancer don't have risk factors."
An accompanying editorial said that breast cancer screening in the community may be less effective than in controlled trial situations because of problems implementing programmes.
Women are now more aware of the importance of checking out small lumps, and better treatment may mean that screening is less necessary than previously, because treatment of later stage cancers may still be effective.
Meanwhile in the New England Journal of Medicine a study showed how certain types of benign breast disease have a higher risk for breast cancer even if there is no family history of breast cancer. Although most non-cancerous breast lumps do not increase future risk of breast cancer, the researchers found faster growing and more abnormal types did.
Efficacy of Breast Cancer Screening in the Community According to Risk LevelJournal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 97, No. 14, 1035-1043, July 20, 2005
Benign Breast DisordersSanten RJ, Mansel R.NEJM, Volume 353:275-285
Nanotechnology Kills Cancer Cells
Carbon nanotubules half the width of a DNA molecule are being used to kill cancer cells.
Under normal circumstances near-infra red light passes through the body harmlessly. Researchers found that if they placed a solution of carbon nanotubules under a near-infra red laser beam, the solution heated up to about 70C in two minutes. They then placed the tubules inside cells, and found they were quickly destroyed by the heat generated by the laser beam.
The nanotubules were introduced into cancer cells, but not healthy cells.
The researchers did this by taking advantage of the fact that, unlike normal cells, the surface of cancer cells is covered with receptors for a vitamin known as folate. They coated the nanotubules with folate molecules, making it easy for them to pass into cancer cells, but unable to bind with healthy cells. Exposure to the laser then killed off the diseased cells, but left the healthy ones unharmed.
The researchers said: "Further research will be crucial to see whether these effects can be reproduced in the more complex environment of a tumour and, ultimately, the human body."
Pineapple and Cancer
Scientists at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) have discovered two molecules from pineapple stems that show anti-tumour activity in laboratory studies.
One molecule called CCS blocks a protein called Ras, which is defective in approximately 30% of all cancers. The other molecule called CCZ, stimulates the body's own immune system to target and kill cancer cells.
The team at QIMR discovered CCS and CCZ while investigating the properties of bromelain, a crushed pineapple stem extract. Bromelain is a rich source of enzymes and is widely used as a meat tenderiser, to clarify beer and tan leather hides. They discovered that bromelain also had some pharmacological properties and could activate specific immune cells while, simultaneously, blocking the immune function of other cells.
"CCS and CCZ are the first examples of proteases that have been shown to modulate cell signal transduction pathways and have specific immunomodulatory activities," said Dr Mynott.
"The way CCS and CCZ work is different to any other drug in clinical use today. Therefore, CCS and CCZ will represent a totally new way of treating disease and potentially a whole new class of anti-cancer agent. In general, products with novel mechanisms of action are more likely to represent real breakthroughs in the treatment or prevention of disease."
Bromelain is also known to have significant antitumour effects when injected directly into mice.
QIMRModulation of murine tumor growth and colonization by bromelaine, an extract of the pineapple plant (Ananas comosum L.).In Vivo. 2005 Mar-Apr;19(2):483-5.Beuth J, Braun JM.
TITLE: Vegetarian or Omnivore?
One of the most controversial aspects of the BTD from the point of view of a 'healthy diet' is the fact that eating meat is recommended for some blood groups, and just about compulsory for blood group O. This emotive subject has already been discussed in depth on www.dadamo.com , but still remains an issue for many people.
Although it is possible to eat only raw vegetable foods and remain perfectly healthy, the fallacy that naturopathy is based on an exclusively vegetarian or vegan diet is put forward by those looking to ban meat eating completely. Many naturopathic pioneers commented that indigenous people remained vigorously healthy on their local diets, whether it consisted mainly of meats, fish or vegetables, and some would starve without meat (1).
An acupuncturist colleague commented: "Of the patients I see in my clinic the most difficult to help are O group former vegetarians". She sees that their vitality has been worn down by what is considered an organ deficiency in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and may take a long time to build up again. One could add that current O vegetarians are sometimes even harder to help - those who know they should be eating meat, but refuse to do so. It has certainly been the case that amongst those seen in my practice who have had the greatest benefit from dietary changes alone are the blood group O vegetarians who have started eating meat and stopped eating large amounts of starch.
Can an O follow the BTD and remain healthy without eating meat, just concentrating on vegetable proteins, nuts and seeds? It has been suggested that there are some supplements and herbs that can help, but these may not always be a complete substitute for eating animal flesh. Some O vegetarians appear to remain perfectly healthy, and that's fine. We are all born with a certain level of vitality depending on how fit and well nourished our family was, and our exposure to food and environmental factors in childhood will further determine how well we cope with the stresses of life. But some just don't do well without eating meat.
The real key to this seems to be why that person is vegetarian. It seems obvious enough to say that if it is for health reasons and they are blood group O for example, then they are simply mistaken that eating meat is unhealthy for them, there is plenty of evidence to support this. If it is because they do not like the taste, then it is just a case of gradually getting used to it. But if it is for reasons of compassion for the animal, this often needs to be explored in greater depth on an individual level.
A decision to include or exclude meat from the diet should take blood group, Rhesus factor and secretor status into account as well as health. Practitioners need to be supportive of the inevitable moral and ethical issues faced by people who may be under pressure of their genetic inheritance to change their habits of a lifetime.
My favourite observation on this subject is by Daverick Leggett, a highly respected Qi Gong, nutrition and TCM teacher (and ex-smallholder) in the UK. Daverick comments that from the oriental point of view, which is based on thousands of years of observation, meat and dairy are both highly respected as powerful nutritious foods, and are therefore generally eaten in small quantities. Excess meat can result in the accumulation of dampness, and often heat (characteristics found in the body that are used in oriental diagnosis).
"For many people, opening their awareness to receive the pain of the animal reared for meat is unbearable and they turn to vegetarianism. Others continue to eat meat in the spirit of reverence and thanks. Many rarely give it a thought and yet remain relatively healthy. My own view is that meat eaten with awareness, from a place of informed choice, is a perfectly healthy practice and for some people a very necessary one...
"For those who choose vegetarianism as their dietary path I would like to add one or two words of advice: without the quick fix of meat it is important to give more attention to balancing the diet and including good quality vegetable protein. The system will also be more clean on a good vegetarian diet. This means that imbalance will be registered more easily. Vegetarians are therefore advised to be especially careful with sugar and caffeine which meat eaters will tolerate more easily. In fact, there is often a tendency to binge on sugar and starch to compensate for the lack of animal fats and protein...
"Lastly, vegetarianism is best supported by spiritual belief, a trust that all necessary nourishment is available through our relationship with the divine. When we investigate our beliefs as vegetarians, we often find places of denial, places in the psyche that crave meat, that repress meat-eating as part of a more deep suppression of the life force. I encourage the exploration of these places so that ultimately one might embrace a more full and life-affirming vegetarian practice. It is my experience that those whose vegetarianism is supported by positive life-affirming beliefs rather than guilt and denial, or even the retreat from pain, generally maintain full vitality. When vegetarianism is ensnared in righteous anger or suppression of instinct, it is rarely supportive of full vitality. A healthy vegetarianism is rooted in the practice of listening to the body and mediating with the realities of today's world" (2). After many years of vegetarianism, Daverick eventually came round to the idea that he needed to eat some meat.
On the spiritual issue mentioned by Daverick, many find it helpful to pray over their food. This can be simply saying Grace, but a more specific prayer is to say: "thank you for giving your body", and after eating: "now my body is fit to help others". There is scientific evidence that prayer has a perceptible effect on the subject (3).
The scientist Rudolf Steiner, founder of the Biodynamic movement in agriculture, said that when the human being eats animal protein, "the 'cosmic images' revealed to him in this process are quite different to him when he eats plants. The information carried in the plant has been absorbed by the animal. We are confronted with information about the building up of a body suitable for the manifestation of the animal soul, as expressed in behaviour and instincts. Is this information of use to us in building up our own human bodies? In so far as out bodies are the instruments of instincts and inherited behaviour, yes, it can be, but if we wish to fine-tune this instrument to become sensitive for soul/spiritual work, requiring the most subtle configuration of nervous tissue, it may be a burden. So there is a question of how flesh-eating may affect the consciousness of the human being as well as his metabolism" (4). Steiner was himself a vegetarian (although suffered from health problems), but commented that "Not everyone can become a vegetarian in one lifetime".
Irrespective of blood group, if one decides to eat meat for whatever reason it is essential to get the best quality available. The way that this food is produced on an industrial scale to provide large amounts of protein at extremely low prices involves cruelty and exploitation on a massive scale, as well as practices potentially dangerous to humans. For example, the US Government Accountability Office examined scientific evidence on the transference of antibiotic resistance from animals to humans and extent of potential harm to human health.
"Scientific evidence has shown that certain bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are transferred from animals to humans through the consumption or handling of meat that contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, researchers disagree about the extent of harm to human health from this transference" (5).
The United States and Canada allow antibiotics important in human medicine to be used for growth promotion of meat stocks, but the European Union (EU) and New Zealand (NZ) do not. This means that these antibiotics are not routinely used in food production in the EU and NZ, although they may often be used specifically to treat animal infection (found extensively in factory farming). Inevitably this leads to human infection with superbugs resistant to all known antibiotics (MRSA).
The issue of animal cruelty was never so clear to me as during my visit to Arizona in 2003 when I passed a feedlot. The conditions under which those cows were kept in a compound feeding on fermenting silage are so different to the situation of the beef cattle I can see from my window grazing on a field of grass. Although it is not entirely natural to keep cows in an open field on a monoculture of one type of grass (they prefer a mixture of different types of grasses and herbs and need shelter from the weather), it is by far preferable to the situation of their relatives in the feedlot. Compassion has been replaced by greed in the search for cheap food, and the real cost of producing meat is hidden by farming subsidies. This article cannot fully explore the global environmental benefits of eating less meat: that issue has been covered extensively elsewhere (6).
The decision to be a vegetarian or omnivore today requires being faced with many choices, not least of which involve considering how one's genetic inheritance fits within the greater scheme of the interaction between humans and animals.
1. Greenfield, T. Blood grouping in naturopathic practice. BNJ, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2003, pp.12-16.
2. Daverick Leggett, 'Recipes for Self-Healing', Meridan Press, 1999. ISBN 0952464020. pp. 279-80.
3. The Power of Prayer Made Visible http://www.spiritofmaat.com/archive/aug1/consciouswater.html
4. Wendy E. Cook, 'Foodwise', Clairview Books, 2003. ISBN 1902636392. p. 137.
5. Antibiotic Use in Animals
6. Compassion in World Farming report
Nature-cure, or the healing power of Nature, is the guiding principle behind naturopathic medicine. It is present in every living thing as the ability to restore health and balance: it keeps us alive. As inherent healing forces are not easy to measure using scientific instruments, this idea tends to be dismissed by science as a vitalistic concept, and as a result many of us have become distanced from the natural world.
For the innate therapeutic force to succeed, Nature should be free to work unhindered by the numerous barriers constructed by the human race. Depending on the vitality of the individual, Nature’s healing forces will be promoted by simple things that everyone should be able to take for granted: fresh air, pure water, sunlight, adequate exercise, rest and relaxation, correct thinking and a diet appropriate to the specific, environmental cultural and genetic needs of the individual.
These concepts sound simple enough at first, but to achieve them practically in today’s society may be virtually impossible: we breathe an atmosphere tainted by heavy metals and toxic chemicals; our water is polluted with dangerous contaminants either added by the water companies, by industrial processing or by consumers of cleaning materials, and then compressed in pipes until its vitality is destroyed; sunlight is dangerously high in radiation thanks to the destruction of the Earth’s protective ozone layer; exercise is a luxury when you have to subscribe to a gym or risk the polluted outdoor air and traffic in cities; most people’s idea of rest and relaxation is to slouch in front of a television or hunch by a computer games console. Even if our brains are not hampered by any of this, it is unusual to be able to think clearly in a materialistic Western society incessantly bombarded by media images of ‘normal’ and ‘desirable’ without being swallowed up by the tempo of the psyche of our times.
Nature has a lot to contend with these days: even from before birth, a deficiency in the diet of our grandmother during pregnancy may have influenced our nutritional makeup; the mercury in our mother’s teeth, along with the pesticides and PCBs accumulated in her body all become a part of us before we enter the world, and are accepted as normal; we may be bottle-fed from birth with pasteurised, denatured dried milk originally intended to supply the mucous production needed by calves; the multiple assaults on our immature immune systems by vaccination with toxic substances cultured on animal organs; the destruction of our sense of taste with sweet or salty foods and drinks in a culture of junk food; fruits and vegetables denatured by a forced growing environment; reliance on stimulant and relaxing drugs; the reductionistic overmedication of the population to suppress any symptoms that irritate or annoy us. There are numerous other travesties of humankind that deserve a mention here. Is it anything but a miracle that we are still alive in this jungle of modern society? I have often wondered how people maintain health in this environment without making it a full-time occupation.
If you have read this far without being distracted, disgusted or depressed, you are probably looking for the happy ending. Ultimately it is down to each individual to create his or her own future. Practitioners of natural medicine can help put people on the right path, but don’t expect a magic wand to be waved and suddenly everything will be all right. It is a full-time job keeping mind and body together in the face of all the barriers that humans encounter in daily life, and sometimes staying on the right track is not easy. Are you ready to share that journey?
Normally donors and recipients of blood transfusions need to be carefully matched to avoid a transfusion reaction - an immediate antibody-antigen reaction that can result in fever, low blood pressure, low back pain, a crushing sensation in the chest, nausea, vomiting and death. There are many different blood groups, but a transfusion reaction will only occur if an individual has acquired antibodies to a different blood group through exposure to the antigen that they don't have, and are then given blood with that antigen.
The best known blood group antigens are A, B and H (the O antigen). Exposure to these antigens occur through eating food that contains antigenic components identical to the blood group that the individual does not have. Antibodies to ABO blood groups are IgM, causing destruction of transfused red blood cells, which can then block the kidneys and cause acute tubular necrosis. In unsensitised individuals the reaction may develop over days or weeks as antibodies are produced, resulting in anaemia and jaundice. Reactions to white blood cells and platelets can occur, although the consequences are less serious.
Sensitisation to the Rhesus blood group, which includes the antigens C, c, D, d, E and e, can happen before or during birth, especially with Rhesus D, if the mother is Rhesus negative and her baby is Rhesus positive.
Individuals with blood group O Rhesus negative are considered universal donors, as their red cells do not carry antigens to A, B or D. Consequently O negative blood can generally be transfused to individuals of any blood group.
It is also possible to acquire antibodies to non-self blood groups following exposure to those antigens on some non-self tissue such as a graft or incompatible blood transfusion. Examples of other blood groups involved in transfusion reactions are Kell (K, k), Duffy (Fya, Fyb, Fy) and MN (M, N). Antibodies to Rhesus and other blood groups are IgG.
Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York have now found a way to 'hide' the ABO and Rhesus antigens on the donor's red blood cells before transfusion to make their blood suitable for any recipient. Using polyethylene glycol (PEG), a polymer of the hydrocarbon ethylene oxide, stuck together with thiols to stick the PEG to the amino acid lysine on the surface of the red cell. The blood from individuals of any blood group will behave as if it is from a donor of blood group O negative. PEGylation has been used in other areas of medicine, such as PEGylated interferon, which remains in the body longer, prolonging its effectiveness. PEG has been found to be immunogenic and can induce antibodies that shorten survival of transfused PEG-RBCs in rabbits, so PEGylation may not be the best way to transfuse blood.
This is not the only way to alter red blood cells to create universal donor blood. Studies have been carried out on group B blood to remove the sugar galactose on the end of the B antigen with the enzyme galactosidase. The red blood cells from group B donors were found to be comparable to group O blood for safety and efficacy. This does not overcome the problem of Rhesus incompatibility, and also the researchers are still looking for a way to convert group A blood to group O.
The laboratory-manufactured universally compatible blood is still some way off. For now, it looks like it is best to get the closest match possible, and the best way to do that is to receive a transfusion of your own blood that you have stored prior to a scheduled operation.
Nacharaju P, Boctor FN, Manjula BN, and Acharya SA.
Surface decoration of red blood cells with maleimidophenyl-polyethylene glycol facilitated by thiolation with iminothiolane: an approach to mask A, B, and D antigens to generate universal red blood cells.
Transfusion, March 1, 2005; 45(3): 374-83.
Progress in modulating the RBC membrane to produce transfusable universal/stealth donor RBCs.
Transfus Med Rev. 2004 Oct;18(4):245-56.
Garratty G, Telen MJ, Petz LD.
Red cell antigens as functional molecules and obstacles to transfusion.
Hematology (Am Soc Hematol Educ Program). 2002;:445-62. Review.
Kruskall MS, AuBuchon JP, Anthony KY, Herschel L, Pickard C, Biehl R, Horowitz M, Brambilla DJ, Popovsky MA.
Transfusion to blood group A and O patients of group B RBCs that have been enzymatically converted to group O.
Transfusion. 2000 Nov;40(11):1290-8.
Milk is a bovine secretion that is intended to allow rapid growth to calves following immediate consumption from their mother. It is widely consumed by humans, generally after pasteurisation and chilled storage, but may also be sterilised or further processed by heat treatment.
Research shows that one of the growth-promoting actions of this substance may be caused by the action of leptin in the body.
Leptin is a hormone secreted by body fat cells that adjusts food intake relative to energy expenditure. Leptin also plays a general role in regulating many of the physiological responses that are observed with changes in nutritional state.
Discovered by Jeffrey Friedman in 1994, Leptin has been shown to travel to the brain and other body tissues, causing fat loss and decreased appetite. In the brain, leptin affects food intake by acting on distinct classes of neurons in the hypothalamus that express the leptin receptor.
Leptin decreases both the desire to eat, and the deposit of fat in the body by acting on two classes of neurons. Leptin suppresses the activity of neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons and it enhances the activity of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons. Conversely, the absence of leptin increases both the desire to eat and the deposit of fat by exciting NPY neurons and suppressing the activity of POMC neurons.
In humans, leptin concentration in the blood correlates with body fat content and is usually higher in obese subjects, suggesting that human obesity is generally associated with insensitivity to leptin. However, 5–10 percent of obese individuals have relatively low levels of leptin, indicating a reduced rate of leptin production. The fact that some obese individuals have low leptin levels suggests that decreased production can also lead to obesity. This suggests that in most cases the cause of leptin resistance and obesity is equivalent to insulin resistance in type II diabetes.
Diet-induced weight loss in humans results in a decrease in leptin concentration. This may explain the high failure rate of dieting, as low levels of leptin appears to be a strong stimulus to weight gain.
When fasting on water only, appetite is generally suppressed after the first one to two days, when liver stores of glucose are used up and the body moves into ketosis (fat-burning). After a prolonged fast when all body fat stores are used up, starvation occurs. Starvation is the breakdown of essential body organs.
Research in the journal Diabetes shows that fat-containing milk, and of which fats are 98% triglycerides, immediately inhibits leptin transport across the blood-brain barrier. Fat-free milk does not have this effect. In this study both starvation and diet-induced obesity elevated triglycerides in the blood and decreased the transport of leptin across the BBB, whereas short-term fasting decreased triglycerides and increased leptin transport.
Triglyceride-mediated leptin resistance may have evolved as a mechanism to restore this fasting loss of appetite at the onset of starvation. Decreasing triglycerides may potentiate the effect of leptin to reduce appetite by enhancing leptin transport across the blood-brain barrier (BB.
The Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia outlines natural approaches to reducing triglycerides. ------------ References:
W.A. Banks et al., “Triglycerides induce leptin resistance at the blood–brain barrier,” Diabetes, 53:1253-1260, 2004.
A.J. Kastin, V. Akerstrom, “Fasting, but not adrenalectomy, reduces transport of leptin into the brain,” Peptides, 21:679–682, May 2000.
A paper published in the Journal 'Blood' entitled "HIV-1 incorporates ABO histo-blood group antigens that sensitise virions to complement-mediated inactivation"  suggests that transmission of HIV-1 is modified by both ABO blood group and the immune system enzyme complement. The premise is based on research showing how the ABO antigen (blood group marker) of the infected person is incorporated into the HIV virus that is replicated in their cells. Because the virus is coated in the person's blood group antigen, it then acts in the same way a red blood cell would when someone with an incompatible blood group becomes exposed to it, and the part of the immune system that would normally cause an incompatible blood transfusion reaction is activated against the virus, helping to protect the recipient against infection. This would mean that it would be harder for an individual of blood group O (the 'universal donor') to contract HIV infection from people of any other blood group apart from blood group O, as the recipient will have both anti-A and anti-B antigens in their blood. Conversely those with blood group AB (the 'universal recipient') who have no opposing blood group antibodies would contract HIV infection more easily from people of any blood group.
This paper follows previous research  on how complement is activated by anti-B IgM (the immune complex involved in incompatible transfusion reactions where the donor is blood group B or AB and the recipient is blood group A or O) and other factors, in blood from HIV-negative donors. In the research by Saarloos et. al. complement was however more easily activated against HIV by antibodies to HIV itself as a result of HIV infection than by IgM.
Later research  suggests that the immune system of some people with AIDS (PWA) who are blood group A or AB may form anti-A IgA, IgG and IgM (antibodies against their own blood group).
The HIV virus made in cells of an HIV-infected person will show their blood group antigen only when the originating cell expresses ABO antigens or is a lymphocyte (white blood cell). As ABH non-secretors have fewer cells expressing their blood group, it follows that they may produce more HIV viruses without blood group antigens than would ABH secretors. This could mean that it is as easy to become infected with HIV-1 from non-secretors of any blood group as it is from secretors of transfusion-compatible blood groups.
ABH non-secretors would be at some disadvantage in protection against HIV infection transmitted via mucous membranes, as they secrete lower levels of immune-protective substances .
HIV positive individuals and PWA should always take steps to avoid transmission of the HIV virus, whatever their blood group or secretor status. Neil and colleagues have however demonstrated a key concept in the relationship between blood groups and immunity, which is mirrored in numerous other blood group-disease connections. It also gives new meaning to the idea of universality in terms of blood group transfusion with relation to infection susceptibility.
1. Neil SJ, McKnight A , Gustafsson K, Weiss RA
HIV-1 incorporates ABO histo-blood group antigens that sensitise virions to complement-mediated inactivation.
2. Saarloos MN, Lint TF, Spear GT
Efficacy of HIV-specific and 'antibody-independent' mechanisms for complement activation by HIV-infected cells.
Clin Exp Immunol. 1995 Feb;99(2):189-95.
3. Friedli F, Rieben R, Wegmuller E et. al.
Normal levels of allo- but increased levels of potentially autoreactive antibodies against ABO histo-blood group antigens in AIDS patients.
Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1996 Jul;80(1):96-100.
4. D'Adamo PJ.
Eat Right 4 Your Type Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia. p.320.
Pub. Penguin, 2002.
Research at the University of Wisconsin (1) has found an antioxidant present in green tea to be useful against malignant melanoma, the type of skin cancer with the highest mortality rate. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the a polyphenolic antioxidant present in green tea decreased growth and proliferation of melanoma cells in vitro. The authors conclude that "EGCG, alone or in conjunction with current therapies, could be useful for the management of melanoma".
Melanoma accounts for only about 4% of all skin cancer cases, but most of skin cancer-related deaths. Although most types of cancer are more common in individuals of blood group A and AB, those of blood group O tend to have a lower survival rate from melanoma (2).
1. Nihal M, Ahmad N, Mukhtar H, Wood GS.
Anti-proliferative and proapoptotic effects of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate on human melanoma: Possible implications for the chemoprevention of melanoma.
Int J Cancer. 2005 Apr 20;114(4):513-21.
Q: I am A+ secretor and take warfarin due to incidents of spontaneous DVTs (I have the Factor V Leiden gene deficiency). As such, I've had to lay off my beloved green tea and generally be careful of other supplements. I would like to begin taking A-friendly supplements from NAP, but am wondering if there are things I should avoid or watch for? Thanks for your help, Elizabeth
Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is when a blood clot has formed in a blood vessel and then dislodges from its site of origin, blocking a vein. Blood clot formation may result from injury, or be associated with infections. In the US the incidence of VTE is more than 1 in 1000. Of these, 30% die within 30 days; one-fifth suffer sudden death due to pulmonary embolism. Independent risk factors for VTE in the US include increasing age, male gender, surgery, trauma, hospital or nursing home confinement, malignancy, neurological disease with arm or leg paralysis, prior superficial vein thrombosis and varicose veins; among women, risk factors include pregnancy, oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. About 30% of surviving cases develop recurrent VTE within ten years. Independent predictors for recurrence include increasing age, obesity, malignant neoplasm, and arm or leg paralysis (1).
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a type of VTE usually in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis, may occur in people recovering from childbirth, surgery, or other conditions requiring prolonged bedrest, or after long haul flights; the clotting mechanism is thought to be impaired when the legs are immobilised. A danger is that a clot originating in the leg vein may dislodge and travel to the lung (pulmonary embolism). Redness, warmth, pain, swelling or tenderness of the leg can all be signs of DVT, but may not all be present. Doppler ultrasound may confirm the presence of a DVT.
Factor V is a clotting factor protein, whose normal role is to help blood to clot when an appropriate trigger is present. Like all steps in the clotting cascade however, Factor V is subject to regulation to keep it under control, preventing clots from forming too easily or too quickly. Factor V Leiden (FVL) is a genetic variant form of the Factor V clotting protein, where the inactivating protein APC cannot work to prevent excessive clotting by Factor V.
FVL is the most common hereditary blood coagulation disorder, affecting 5% of Caucasians in the US, and about 2 to 4% of the Dutch population, 7% of the Swedish population and 8% of the German population. FVL increases the risk of VTE 3-8 times for heterozygous (FVL gene inherited from one parent), and substantially more, 30-140 times, for homozygous (FVL gene inherited from both parents) individuals within the population as a whole (2).
Other genetic polymorphisms can affect blood clotting, the most common being an individual's sex and ABO and Lewis blood group (secretor status) (3,4).
Being blood group A or AB (and to a lesser extent , puts that person at greater risk of blood clotting due to an increase in plasma concentration of the clotting factors von Willebrand factor antigen (vWf) and Factor VIII. An estimated 30% of the genetically determined variance in plasma concentration of vWf is directly related to ABO blood group. Also ABH non-secretors, and in particular Lewis negative individuals have a higher tendency to blood clotting. These genetic factors can multiply together, increasing risk of VTE:
"ABH non-secretors are reported to have shorter bleeding times and a tendency toward higher factor VIII and vWf. This relationship appears to be another example of blood type synergy between ABO and Secretor/Non-secretor phenotypes. In fact, secretor genetics appear to interact with ABO genetics to influence as much as 60 percent of the variance of the plasma concentration of vWf, with secretors (Le(a-b+)) having the lowest vWf concentrations" (4).
As it is expression of the H antigen that mediates the ABO effect on plasma vWF concentration, it will make a difference as to whether an individual’s blood group A phenotype consists of a genotype of A1A1, which has higher levels than in A1O genotype, which has higher levels than in A2O genotype (3). Knowing your parents’ blood groups and getting a test for the A1/A2 subgroup may give further clarification of genotype and related risk factor.
Age-related difference in ABO-relative risk of VTE decreases with advancing age (6). It has also been suggested that high plasma homocysteine (Hcy) levels may also be a significant risk factor for VTE, particularly with those under 60 (7), as Hcy tends to increase with age. For individuals high Hcy levels, a supplement such as NAP Methyl B12 Plus may help to reduce Hcy.
Hormone replacement therapy and the contraceptive pill both increase the risk of VTEs, but women heterozygous for FVL on either type of hormonal intervention the risk is increased between two and six times, and monozygotes for FVL between fifteen and thirty times (8,9).
Statin drugs, and therefore natural statin mimetic substances such as red rice yeast may also decrease the risk of VTE, but aspirin therapy alone does not significantly reduce the risk (10).
Blood groups A and AB appear to be associated with increased risk estimates for both DVT and pulmonary embolism compared with blood group O during and after pregnancy (11).
Warfarin is a standard treatment for thinning the blood to break up clots and prevent new clots from forming. Generally accepted side effects of warfarin include haemorrhage, hypersensitivity, rash, alopecia, diarrhoea, unexplained drop in haematocrit, ‘purple toes', skin necrosis, jaundice, hepatic dysfunction; also rarely reported are nausea, vomiting, and pancreatitis. Some other reported side effects include: hair thinning, hair loss, fatigue, taking longer to recover from cuts or bruises, sunburn or sensitivity to light, depression.
There are alternatives to Warfarin such as fish oils, gingko biloba and garlic tablets, but as with Warfarin, supplement intake and blood clotting time must be monitored regularly and supervised by a physician, preferably a naturopath.
Other factors that prevent DVT include the following:
Keep moving your legs, don't take sleeping pills (these cause immobility), wear loose-fitting clothing, keep the legs uncrossed, keep hydrated by drinking normally, avoid alcohol to prevent dehydration, wear graduated compression stockings.
Excess caffeine may cause dehydration, but green tea, which is traditionally brewed for less than a minute, contains relatively low levels of caffeine, and should not cause dehydration if drunk in moderation as well as water.
(1) Heit JA, Silverstein MD, Mohr DN, et. al. The epidemiology of venous thromboembolism in the community. Thromb Haemost. 2001 Jul;86(1):452-63. PMID: 11487036
(2) Folsom AR, Cushman M, Tsai MY, et. al. A prospective study of venous thromboembolism in relation to factor V Leiden and related factors. Blood. 2002 Apr 15;99(8):2720-5. PMID: 1192975
(3) Robinson WM, Roisenberg I. Venous thromboembolism and ABO blood groups in a Brazilian population. Hum Genet. 1980;55(1):129-31. PMID: 7450749
(4) D’Adamo PJ, Kelly GS. Metabolic and Immunologic Consequences of ABH Secretor and Lewis Subtype Status Altern Med Rev 2001;6(4):390-405 PMID: 11578255
(5) O’Donnell J, Boulton FE, Manning RA, Laffan MA Amount of H Antigen Expressed on Circulating von Willebrand Factor Is Modified by ABO Blood Group Genotype and Is a Major Determinant of Plasma von Willebrand Factor Antigen Levels Atherosclerosis. 1976 Jan-Feb;23(1):141-2. PMID: 11834538
(6) Allan TM. ABO blood groups and age groups in surgical venous thromboembolism. Atherosclerosis. 1976 Jan-Feb;23(1):141-2 PMID: 1078393
(7) Ray JG. Meta-analysis of hyperhomocysteinemia as a risk factor for venous thromboembolic disease. Arch Intern Med. 1998 Oct 26;158(19):2101-6. PMID: 9801176
(8) Herrington DM, Vittinghoff E, Howard TD, et. al. Factor V Leiden, hormone replacement therapy, and risk of venous thromboembolic events in women with coronary disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2002 Jun 1;22(6):1012-7 PMID: 12067913
(9) Spannagl M, Heinemann LA, Schramm W. Are factor V Leiden carriers who use oral contraceptives at extreme risk for venous thromboembolism? Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2000 Jun;5(2):105-12. PMID: 10943572
(10) Lacut K, Oger E, Le Gal G, et. al. Statins but not fibrates are associated with a reduced risk of venous thromboembolism: a hospital-based case-control study. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2004 Aug;18(4):477-82. PMID: 15312155
(11) Larsen TB, Johnsen SP, Gislum M, et. al. ABO blood groups and risk of venous thromboembolism during pregnancy and the puerperium. A population-based, nested case-control study. J Thromb Haemost. 2005 Feb;3(2):300-4. PMID: 15670036
(12) Ursavas A, Ozyardimci N. Travel and pulmonary thromboembolism Tuberk Toraks. 2004;52(1):98-102. PMID: 1514338
The consequences of severe human zinc deficiency have been known since the 1960s, but only more recently have the effects of milder degrees of zinc deficiency, which are highly prevalent, been recognized. Trials have shown that zinc supplementation results in improved growth in children, lower rates of diarrhoea, malaria, and pneumonia, and reduced child mortality. In total about 800 000 child deaths per year are attributable to zinc deficiency (1).
It has been shown that in people with zinc deficiency, activity of serum thymulin (a thymus specific hormone involved in T cell function) is decreased, an imbalance between T helper cell (Th1) and Th2 function develops, and lytic activity of natural killer cells (destructive action on enemy cells) is decreased (2).
Zinc has been used effectively to treat Wilson's disease, hepatic encephalopathy, sickle cell disease, and the common cold. Zinc is an essential part of metalloproteins and transcription factors involved in gene expression of various proteins. Zinc activates nuclear factor-kappa B in T helper cells and in zinc deficiency binding of nuclear factor-kappa B to DNA is decreased, leading to decreased gene expression of interleukin 2 and its production (2).
Zinc deficiency commonly coexists with other micronutrient deficiencies including iron, making single supplements inappropriate. Authors of a paper in the British Medical Journal now suggest: "Until the results of trials of multiple micronutrient interventions are available, zinc supplements should be given to children with infections" (3).
As zinc is essential in the activation of the enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) as demonstrated in the IAP of calves (4), it is particularly important for ABH salivary non-secretors to maintain adequate zinc levels due to their lower levels of IAP (5).
If taken in doses greater than 15 mg per day, zinc supplementation should be supervised by a physician.
1. BLACK, R.
Micronutrient deficiency: an underlying cause of morbidity and mortality.
Bull World Health Organ. [online]. 2003, vol.81, no.2, p.79-79.
Available from: . ISSN 0042-9686.
2. Prasad AS.
BMJ. 2003 Feb 22;326(7386):409-10.
3. Shrimpton R, Gross R, Darnton-Hill I, Young M
Zinc deficiency: what are the most appropriate interventions?
BMJ, Feb 2005; 330: 347 - 349.
4. Yan S, Liu Y, Tian X, Zhang Y, Zhou H.
Effect of extraneous zinc on calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase.
Protein Chem. 2003 May;22(4):371-5.
5. Matsushita M, Irino T, Stigbrand T, Nakajima T, Komoda T.
Changes in intestinal alkaline phosphatase isoforms in healthy subjects bearing the blood group secretor and non-secretor.
Clin Chim Acta. 1998 Sep 14;277(1):13-24.
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
A German health insurance company has offered all of its customers a test for a genetic disorder so that they can receive early treatment if they are affected. Four thousand customers took up the offer, and 67 were told that they were at high risk of the disease.
In cooperation with the Hanover Medical School, the Kaufmännische Krankenkasse, a health insurance company with about two million customers, offered all of its clients a test for the hereditary disease haemochromatosis, a disorder in which the body stores too much iron. The results were given exclusively to the people tested and not divulged to the company.
Haemochromatosis is an autosomal recessive disorder, which is characterised by excessive iron absorption in the gut and causes damage to the kidney, liver, and other organs, eventually leading to organ failure. Symptoms usually occur first after the age of 40. The disorder is treated by regular venesection (giving blood) to reduce the amount of iron.
At a press conference to announce the results of the initiative, Ingo Kailuweit, the company chairman, reported that out of almost 4000 voluntary participants, 67 people were identified as homozygous (carrying two copies of the faulty gene) and therefore at high risk of developing the disease. Not all people who carry two faulty genes develop the full blown disease, so some of the 67 people identified as being at high risk may remain healthy.
An opinion poll at the time of testing showed that almost 90% of the population supported genetic testing as part of a health insurance company’s programme if it provided benefit to the participants.
This shows how genetic testing is being used to reduce a potential financial burden on the insurance company for treating a preventable disease, without compromising the principle that insurance covers individual risk by using contributions from the whole membership without discrimination against risks about which the individual has no control. It costs more to insure a smoker, but continuing to smoke is a choice that is made by the individual.
Since the disease is often detected in its late stages, patients identified as carrying two faulty genes for the disorder at an early stage might be spared dialysis and possible kidney and liver transplantation. The estimated cost of treating someone with the disease when it is discovered late is about €100 000 (£69 000; $130 000).
The German government is passing a law on genetic testing, which will ensure that customers will not have to disclose the results of any genetic tests to life insurance companies if they are insuring their lives for less than €250 000. Nor will they ever have to disclose such results to their employers. The law will also make it compulsory to offer counselling to all people offered genetic tests.
If people were simply told their blood group and counselled on how to act according to that information, it would benefit everyone's health, and not just a tiny minority with rare genetic conditions.
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the diets of 507 hospitalised Italians recovering from their first heart attack and 478 controls, and found that the more pizza eaten, the lower their risk of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack). The authors of the study could not explain the link with pizza eating, but suggest that some of the ingredients of pizza have been shown to have a favourable influence on the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In Italy most pizza is usually consumed in traditional pizzerias, and consumption of "fast food" pizza is unusual. 100 g of a traditional Italian pizza has about 50g of carbohydrates, 20 g of tomato sauce, 20 g of mozzarella cheese, 4 g of olive oil, and 2 g of yeast. In terms of being a healthy meal, a pizza on its own is not ideal, as it contains relatively few vegetables, but combined with a fresh green salad, traditional Italian pizza could score better than a lot of other commonly available restaurant meals. In analysing the contents of a basic traditional pizza, real mozzarella cheese is one of the few cheeses that is acceptable for the diets of most blood groups; the pizza base, although made from wheat, is a relatively small part of the meal when compared with a deep pan pizza or pasta, for example, and more suited to individuals of blood groups A and AB, who have higher risk of heart disease than those with blood groups O and B; tomato is neutral or beneficial for non-secretors (who are at higher risk of heart disease than secretors); olive oil is generally beneficial; and a standard Italian pizza contains about 500-800 Calories, reducing the risk of obesity from calorie consumption. Pizza eaters were classed as occasional (one to three 200 g portions a month), regular (more than one a week), and frequent (two or more a week).
N.B. This is not a recommendation to those at risk of heart disease to eat lots of pizza: the 478 controls who ate more pizza than the 507 who had had a heart attack were also in hospital, so eating pizza does not keep you out of hospital. For specific individualised health advice consult your naturopath, and read the book 'Cardiovascular Disease: Fight It With The Blood Type Diet' by Dr. Peter D'Adamo.
Pizza and risk of acute myocardial infarction. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;58(11):1543-6. Gallus S, Tavani A, Vecchia CL. PMID: 15138460
Hi Doc! Thank you for taking my question. I've been trying
to find out why Cod Liver Oil is an avoid for type O's. I would
like to take it as it is a good source of vitamin D, but if it
is more detrimental than beneficial, I won't. Could you please
advise? Thank you again. Joe M.
The practice of giving cod liver oil (CLO) began in nineteenth-century
England when young people on a poor diet were deprived of exposure
to the sun. Without sun, their bodies couldn't make vitamin D
(known as the "sunshine vitamin"), and they developed
rickets. Because CLO contains large amounts of vitamin D, it cured
rickets and made a great contribution to public health.
On average, 20 milliliters of CLO contains1,500 IU of vitamin
D, as well as 1.8 grams EPA, 2.2 grams DHA, 15,000 IU vitamin
The omega-3 content of fish oils can lower blood triglyceride
levels, thin the blood, and also decrease inflammation in various
parts of the body.
CLO should be avoided by blood group O non-secretors,
and is generally neutral for healthy O secretors. The reason for
this difference is that Dr. D'Adamo has observed depressed saliva
levels of sIgA (secretory Immunoglobulin A) in O non-secretors
on CLO supplements.
sIgA is similar in a way to blood group antigen secretions
in that sIgA is secreted on all mucosal body surfaces as the first
line of defence against invaders. sIgA inhibits binding of micro-organisms
to mucosal surfaces, preventing entry. sIgA deficiency is associated
with increased gastrointestinal tract permeability and increased
manifestations of delayed patterns of food allergy. It is therefore
essential in ABH salivary non-secretors, who don't have their
blood group antigens on their mucosal surfaces to protect them.
CLO can have a fishy taste and might cause belching, nosebleeds,
halitosis, or heartburn in some people. Gastrointestinal side
effects can be minimized if CLO is taken with meals and if doses
are started low and gradually increased.
Any unsaturated oil, including fish oil, can become rancid
if exposed to heat, light or oxygen. Rancid oils are very unhealthy
because they contain free radical molecules that damage your cells.
Some manufacturers add vitamin E to fish oil capsules to keep
the oil from becoming rancid. Another method is to remove all
the oxygen from the capsule.
Excessive vitamin A and D is possible with too much CLO. Pregnant
women and women who want to become pregnant must be careful about
excessive intake of vitamin A due to its potential effect on the
foetus. Fish oils extracted from non-liver sources are usually
not a problem. Check the label of fish oil products for the vitamin
A and D content.
Fish oil may increase homocysteine concentrations and nitric
oxide metabolism in healthy humans. At excessive levels, these
substances can lead to inflammation and oxidant stress (free radical
damage to the cells).
Fish oil, especially in large doses over a period of time,
has a blood-thinning effect and thus affect bleeding time. Blood
group O tend to have the thinnest blood, and so this may be a
consideration when supplementing with oils. If you have a health
condition, if you are taking blood thinning medication (aspirin,
coumadin, warfarin etc.), or are pregnant always consult with
your physician before taking fish oil or EPA/DHA capsules.
Fish have no refuge from environmental pollution and most have
become contaminated to some extent with mercury, dioxins, and
other petrochemicals. When oil is extracted from fish, these oil-soluble
chemicals are included. In addition, if too much heat is used
during processing, free radical peroxides will be present in the
oil. Therefore it is wise to be very selective when purchasing
any fish oil product. Buy fish oil only from reputable companies
who have verified by independent laboratory analysis that their
product is free from chemical contamination and peroxides.
Vitamin D is known as the "sunshine vitamin" because
the body manufactures the vitamin after being exposed to sunshine.
Ten to 15 minutes of sunshine 3 times weekly is adequate to produce
the body's requirement of vitamin D.
O contains Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)
150 IU per 3 capsules
For an O non-secretor sardines and mackerel will be beneficial
foods rich in vitamin D
Cunningham-Rundles C. Analysis of the gastrointestinal
secretory immune barrier in IgA deficiency. Ann Allergy. 1986
Tanida T, et. al. Decreased excretion of antimicrobial
proteins and peptides in saliva of patients with oral candidiasis.
J Oral Pathol Med. 2003 Nov;32(10):586-94.
I would like a supportive answer to this when someone is eating a combining meal. When consuming protein, should protein be eaten first or last in a combining meal. I would say last due to a long digesting time for protein and the production of HCL acid that would denature enzymes used for carbohydrate breakdown. Or first, to allow protein to be digested in the lower portion of the stomach with carbohydrates residing in the upper part of the stomach somewhat safe from HCL acid but, with a shorter digesting time. I am concerned about the proper eating order that some people should use. I also understand about mono eating, time in between parts of the meal and the proper food types for that person. Thank You Curtis
The principle of food combining is a traditional naturopathic tool used to relieve stress on the digestive system, and thereby the rest of the body. Modern approaches to choosing combinations of food are based on the 'Hay Diet', a system of eating according to Dr. Howard Hay (1866-1940), who integrated the knowledge of contemporary nutritionists such as Lindlahr, Shelton, Kellogg and Arbuthnot Lane.
The concept is based on the idea that different types of food require different digestive processes, for example protein foods require an acid environment for digestion, such as that found in the stomach. Carbohydrates (starch, sugar) require the alkaline conditions found in the small intestine. The system recommends eating foods with different digestive requirements at separate meals. Thus protein and carbohydrates should not be eaten together; carbohydrates should not be eaten with acid fruit, as the fruit acids may impair creation of the alkaline environment required for carbohydrate digestion; vegetables may be eaten with both proteins and carbohydrates.
The food-combining concept was based on the book 'The Operation of the Digestive Organs' published in 1902 by Pavlov, the Russian nutritional anatomist, who first described the physiology of the human digestive system in scientific detail.
Dr. Hay also advocated a balance between acid-forming and alkaline-forming foods. This is based on the effect of the food on the pH (acid-alkaline balance) of body tissues after digestion and metabolism, rather than the type of environment required in the stomach or intestines for digestion. The effect on pH is due to the type of mineral content of the food.
Acid-forming foods contain mainly non-metallic mineral elements such as sulphur, phosphorous and chlorine, as follows:
Proteins: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, seeds, nuts Starches: most cereals, grains, potatoes Fruit: cranberries, plums, prunes
Alkaline-forming foods contain mainly metallic mineral elements such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron and calcium, as follows:
Most fruits, vegetables, millet, wine, some types of soya, molasses
Neutral foods have no effect on the pH of the tissues:
Fats, oils, sugar, tea
There is some dispute about the acid/alkaline-forming properties of certain foods such as tofu, coffee and milk, but these foods are also subject to various different processing methods.
In general it is suggested that the diet is composed of 80% alkaline-forming and 20% acid-forming foods, in proper combination relative to protein or carbohydrate content. Some authorities suggest that certain individuals do not tolerate a diet that is too alkaline-forming, such as Dr. W.D. Kelly, who suggested that some people may require a diet that is 60-70% acid-forming at some time.
Dr. Henry Lindlahr (1862-1924), a pioneer of natural therapeutics, suggested that eating according to his rules of natural dietetics would give a proportion of components that are similar to the chemical composition of blood or milk (mothers' milk being a natural food that sustains infants). This is obviously different to the dietary habits of most people in the modern Western world. Orthodox dietary recommendation is based on the concept that each meal should ideally be a combination of the major food groups: protein, carbohydrate and fat, with a few fruit and vegetables thrown in for good measure, based on calorific value rather than effect on pH of the body. Conventional diets have an acid-/alkaline-forming ratio of about 55:45.
Although the food combining system was recommended as a way of eating on a permanent basis, it is often used therapeutically to relieve stress on an overloaded digestive system.
Dr. Herbert Shelton (1888-1987) further researched the effect of food combinations in the 1940's, and some regard him as the true pioneer of food combining. Modern research on food combining has resulted in several changes to the Hay system. Jan Dries suggests five basic categories of nutrients that can be contained in food: protein; fat; sugar; starch and acid. He suggests that the greater the protein:starch ratio of a particular food the better its' digestibility. Cooking has a significant effect on the protein:starch ratio of some foods.
Using modern research, and with a more recent understanding of the physiology of digestion, Dries amended the basic food combining principles to the following (abbreviated) ideal combinations:
Acids: can be combined with fats or sugars Starch: can be combined with fats Sugars: can be combined with sugars only Fats: can be combined with starch or acids Protein: should not be combined Vegetables: combine with all except sugars
As a general rule, the simpler the meal the easier it may be to digest.
Bearing in mind that certain foods should not be combined, it is important to understand the way in which the stomach digests food. Filling itself from the wall towards the centre, what is eaten first on an empty stomach clings to the stomach lining; the next food to enter the stomach sits on top of that; and what is eaten last falls into the centre of the stomach, surrounded by the food eaten previously. Gastric digestive secretions mix with the food against the stomach wall, which is then passed down into the small intestine.
Biologists suggest that a typical stomach will not become distended by a meal with a volume of a quarter of a litre (half a pint), but a stomach can stretch to contain up to 1.5 litres. Eating this amount of food in one meal increases the risk of fermentation in the centre of the stomach, as it is not being digested until it reaches the stomach wall. Atypical stomach shapes exist, mainly as a result of overeating, and may have different digestive capabilities.
Fruit should not therefore be eaten at the end of a meal, as the sugar in the fruit is more likely to ferment while it sits in the centre of the stomach waiting for the other parts of the meal to pass through into the intestines. If eaten on an empty stomach, fruit on its own passes through relatively quickly.
Dries suggests that eating food rich in water reduces its volume on reaching the stomach, as water follows gravity, sinking to the bottom, and leaves the stomach faster. Consequently he suggests that drinking during meals has little or no effect on digestion, and does not dilute gastric secretions, as more is secreted. Liquid should not be drunk when starchy foods such as bread are still in the mouth, as these require predigestion by saliva.
The principles of food combining are, like most other dietary approaches, attempting to cater for everyone at once. When the blood type system is added to food combining principles, account can be taken of of individual differences in digestive capabilities: having blood groups A and AB generally results in lower levels of stomach acid than O and B, due to the phenomenon of genetic linkage. This means that people of blood groups A or AB will get greater benefit from food combining, and certain foods that are more easily assimilated by the different types of digestive system can be eaten in preference to foods that may contain lectins incompatible with the blood group antigens secreted by that individual. Intestinal alkaline phosphatase, which varies significantly between blood groups, affects the capacity to digest oils and fats, may be inactivated by the antigen of blood group A, and also varies according to secretor status.
To summarise the principles of food combining, notice should be taken of both food combinations and acid-alkaline balance when choosing meals. Other factors that can affect digestion include the following: eating too much at once; eating too fast; eating while nervous, tense or stressed; eating when not hungry. The shape and condition of the stomach and intestines may also affect digestion. Blood group and secretor status can have a significant effect on the ability to digest and metabolise food.
For a simple experiment to test the principles of food combining, just give your dog meat and biscuits at the same meal and see what happens...
D'Adamo, P. 'Live Right 4 Your Type', Penguin, 2001 Dries, J. 'The New Book of Food Combining', Element, 1995 Lindlahr H. 'Natural Therapeutics Vol. I: Philosophy', C W Daniel, 1975 Lindlahr H. 'Natural Therapeutics Vol. III: Dietetics', C W Daniel, 1983
I am a Type A-non-secretor who has been strictly adherent to the bloodtype diet for 4 years and I love it. I have the inherited familial high cholesterol and I am not overweight. My total cholesterol is 400 and my daughters' was 383 at birth. My mom had quadruple bypass at 50 y.o. and died at 53. My aunt had triple bypass at 46 y.o. and is still alive at 65. My cousin dropped dead last month at 42 of a heart attack. Males die earlier. I don't want to be another statistic as I am 48yo but I have also refused to take statin drugs because my aunt got systemic lupus & pericarditis from statins and I think they are far more dangerous than everyone makes them out to be. I have tried gugulipids but I get horrible/debilitating headaches from them. What is effective that is relatively safe and what is your opinion on the safety of the new pill on the block--Zetia? I would appreciate any advise or suggestions as I have two grown children and I would like to live to see my grandchildren with this disease.
As you are probably aware, blood group A non-secretor is at most risk from high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. You also have another genetic factor that increases your cholesterol, which makes it twice as difficult to bring your levels down with diet alone, but you should still continue to be very careful with your diet, as your cholesterol is high.
Blood Group A individuals have the lowest levels of intestinal alkaline phosphatase of all blood groups, and non-secretors even lower. This reduces your ability to metabolise dietary fats, and therefore increases blood cholesterol levels. A low animal fat diet is essential in your case.
The book 'Cardiovascular Disease, Fight It With The Blood Type Diet' contains a list of super beneficial foods for secretors and non-secretors, and specific recommendations for lowering cholesterol.
Pantethine (active vitamin B5) is suggested to safely help reduce cholesterol. Stress reduction techniques will also help, but remember that your non-secretor status means you will have a tendency to high catecholamines, so keep up the exercise as well as the A-type relaxation methods.
The drug Zetia (ezetimibe) belongs to a new class of lipid-lowering agents that selectively inhibit the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and phytosterols. Its mechanism of action results in a synergistic cholesterol-lowering effect together with a statin that inhibits cholesterol synthesis by the liver.
The manufacturers of Zetia say when it is prescribed with a statin it should not be taken by anyone with active liver disease, and that your doctor may do blood tests to check your liver before you start taking Zetia with a statin and during treatment. (1) This is not good news for individuals of blood group A, who often have more liver problems than other blood groups.
The natural equivalent to the pharmaceutical Zetia is beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol. Sterols and sterolins, also known as phytosterols, are fats present in all plants, including fruits and vegetables. Although they are chemically similar to the animal fat, cholesterol, they have been shown to exert significant unique biochemical effects in humans. Because they are bound to the fibres of the plant, they are difficult to absorb during the transit of digested food through the gut. (2)
Your family history and secretor status means that you are also more likely to get autoimmune disease, although this is not one of the recognised side-effects of statins, which are known to suppress the immune system along with numerous other side-effects. (3)
Statins are not that effective at lowering cholesterol, but it is claimed that they prevent death from heart disease by lowering inflammation. There are plenty of natural alternatives that will reduce inflammation without causing other problems.
One alternative to statins is red yeast rice, which has a similar action to lovastatin. Red yeast rice is a fermented rice product that has been used in Chinese cuisine and as a medicinal food to promote ‘blood circulation’ for centuries. The HMG-CoA reductase (statin) activity of the food comes from a family of naturally-occurring substances called monacolins. Monacolin K, also known as mevinolin or lovastatin, is the ingredient in red yeast rice that Merck asserted as a patent violation because it was sold in the United States as a food that promoted normal cholesterol levels. Red yeast rice contains a family of nine different monacolins, however, that all have the ability to inhibit HMG-CoA reductase. Other active ingredients in red yeast rice include sterols (beta-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, sapogenin), isoflavones, and monounsaturated fatty acids. At a daily dosage of 2.4 grams of red yeast rice, the lovastatin content is 4.8 mg. The dosages used in clinical efficacy trials with lovastatin were 20-40 mg. It is unlikely that the effects achieved with red yeast rice are solely a result of the lovastatin content of the supplement, and more likely that other monacolins, sterols, and isoflavones contribute to the cholesterol-lowering effect the studies achieved. (4)
Remember that both statins and red yeast rice lower Co Q10 in the body, and a supplement of Co Q10 should be taken at the same time as either of them (5).
It is worth looking at the financial implications of taking medication: the consumer price of statins represent about a 4,000 % markup on the cost of the generic ingredient. (6)
Cholesterol lowering guidelines were issued in July by the US National Institutes of Health. Eight of the nine authors of the guidelines had failed to disclose financial associations with the manufacturers of cholesterol lowering agents. The guidelines, devised by the national cholesterol education programme of the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, were endorsed by the American Heart Association-which also receives funding from the makers of statins. (7)
For those who still want to take statins and contribute to the profits of pharmaceutical companies, this medicine is as effective when taken in a lower dose in combination with niacin (vitamin B3) (8). The abstract admits the difference between the research and the reality of the effect of statins: “However, in spite of the dramatic success in large randomized clinical trials, two thirds of patients administered statins are not protected against cardiovascular events. This has prompted a search for additional targets for therapy.”
Niacin should only be taken under the supervision of a physician, but then so should statins. "Niacin lowers cholesterol, elevates high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and reduces the ravages of heart disease, but causes flushing when it is first taken. The flushing reaction dissipates in time and in most cases is gone or very minor within a matter of weeks. Niacinamide, which is not a vasodilator, does not produce a flush, but it has no effect on blood fats (lipids). Inositol hexaniacinate will lower cholesterol without the flushing side effect, but does not do so as well as plain niacin." (9)
Dr. Parsons Jr. points out that increase in the liver function tests, unless they are very substantial, i.e. over three fold, usually does not indicate liver pathology. There are many compounds that elevate liver enzymes, including all the statins, as well as acetaminophen (Tylenol), and ibuprofen (Advil). (10)
Choose a naturopathic physician to monitor your progress.
1. Website: Zetia
2. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2004 May;52(5):597-601.
Effect of a new beta-sitosterol analogue on plasma lipid concentrations in rats.
Song YH, Hong S, et. al.
3. Website: Statins
4. Altern Med Rev 2001;6(3):248-271
Cardiovascular Disease: C-Reactive Protein and the Inflammatory Disease Paradigm: HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, alpha-Tocopherol, Red Yeast Rice, and Olive Oil Polyphenols. A Review of the Literature.
Patrick, L, Uzick, M.
5. Website: Co Q10
6. Website: Statin Alert
7. BMJ 2004;329:759
US consumer body calls for review of cholesterol guidelines
8. Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2004 Mar;5(3):306-12.
Combination therapy for the treatment of dyslipidemia.
9. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.
Abram Hoffer, M.D.
10. Cholesterol Control Without Diet. The Niacin Solution.
Parsons WB Jr.
tom, I wonder if you could help with a question on borderline-high cholesterol. Results of a recent blood test showed; TC: 5.8 mmol/L; HDL: 1.67mmol/L; LDL: 3.86mmol/L; Triglycerides: 0.6 mmol/L. I am 95% compliant to the BTD and eat no grains. Is elevated cholesterol a warning in every case? Is this level within the bounds of acceptability for type ‘O’ Non-sec? Thanks for your time, Regards, Keith
High cholesterol has been associated with cardiovascular disease risk, and the American Heart Association is committed to increasing public awareness of the significance of cholesterol levels (1) A telephone survey of Americans over 40 found that 91% of respondents stated that it was "important to them personally to have a healthy cholesterol level", 51% did not know their own level. Only 40% were aware of national guidelines for cholesterol management, and 53% either did not know or overestimated the correct desirable total cholesterol level for a healthy adult.
The American Heart Association states that “Public awareness and understanding of risk factors for atherosclerotic vascular disease are essential for successful primary and secondary prevention”. The researchers concluded that “public understanding of cholesterol management is suboptimal. Physicians have a unique opportunity, on the basis of public attitudes and access, to improve cholesterol education”.
It is worth looking more closely at “cholesterol education”, and generally accepted risk factors for prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol is a hormone providing the basis for all steroids made in the body, including adrenal
hormones and vitamin D. It is found in the blood and in every cell, where it forms part of the cell membrane. The liver, intestines and skin usually provide about 60-80% of the body’s cholesterol, the rest comes from the diet.
Total cholesterol (TC) measurement includes HDL, LDL and Triglycerides (from which VLDL can be estimated). TC Levels are influenced by metabolic rate, and thus can be affected by changes in thyroid or adrenal function.
High cholesterol is not a disease in itself unless genetically high due to a lipoprotein disorder, such as familial hypercholesterolaemia: this is an autosomal dominant disorder of chromosome 19, the heterozygous (more common) form occurs in one in 500 people, making it the most common human genetic disorder.
Other common genetic factors that can affect cholesterol levels are polymorphisms of APO E (Apolipoprotein E), CETP (Cholesterol ester transfer protein), SELE (E-Selectin). A CardioGenomic Profile is available as a screening for these commoner genetic polymorphisms affecting cardiovascular risk, and also includes methylation, coagulation risk and redox balance.
In terms of blood group associations, it is well documented that blood groups A and AB are at higher risk of death from elevated cholesterol levels (2). Blood groups B and O are at higher risk from heart disease as a result of carbohydrate intolerance, rather than from high cholesterol. A higher protein diet will protect blood groups B and O from hypercholesterolaemia, as it increases levels of fat-digesting intestinal alkaline phosphatase enzyme (IAP). IAP may be inactivated by the blood group A antigen, hence the reduced inability of A and AB to metabolise fats. Blood group O, and especially O non-secretors are at highest risk of disease as a result of having elevated triglycerides and obesity along with poor blood lipid profiles (3). In fact non-secretors of all blood groups are likely to have higher cholesterol levels due to lower intestinal alkaline phosphatase (4).
In terms of cholesterol itself, it is therefore important to take blood group and secretor status into account to get a more meaningful idea of cardiovascular risk.
The blood group O diet is designed to be effective in improving cardiovascular parameters in blood group O, “a variance from the conventionally accepted idea that high carbohydrate, low fat diets are the only manner in which to improve cardiovascular parameters” (5). The reduction of dietary lectin ingestion allows better glucose tolerance, which improves the important triglyceride levels.
The MN subgroup can also be a factor in evaluating cholesterol and triglyceride levels: there is an association between MN group with environmentally induced (diet-linked) hyperlipidaemia, with NN more easily able to lower cholesterol levels through diet than MN (6), (7) (8).
Blood tests for cholesterol measurement should be done after a 12-hour fast.
The blood results above (SI units) convert to the following (US):
TC = 224 mg/dL (150-220)
HDL = 64 mg/dL (40-90)
LDL = 149 mg/dL (60-130)
Trigs = 53 mg/dL (30-150)
VLDL [Trigs/5] = 10.6 mg/dL (estimated)
Chol/HDL ratio: 3.5 (<4)
The figures in brackets indicate the standard laboratory reference ranges. It can be seen from these reference ranges that TC is only slightly over the recommended maximum range of 220. This TC is fine, and your HDL and Chol/HDL ratio are also OK if you are otherwise healthy and your BMI is normal, as contrary to popular belief blood group O tends to function better with a cholesterol of over 200. If one wanted to be picky your LDL is a little high, which could be reduced by substituting fish for meat, as DHA, the ‘heart-healthy’ fatty acid found in oily fish actually raises LDL (9) (This apparently contradictory fact shows how unimportant cholesterol levels are without looking at the big picture). Moderate alcohol intake will increase HDL cholesterol. Finally your triglycerides are slightly on the low side (although within the reference range), which is not normally a problem, and could in fact be a result of your high dietary compliance level, but depending on symptoms you could check your thyroid function to be certain.
Should you however still wish to reduce your cholesterol-related risk of heart disease, exercise may be useful. The link with obesity and poor blood lipid profile is well-documented (10), particularly for those with intra-abdominal fat. A 10 kg weight loss can produce a 15% decrease in LDL cholesterol levels and an 8% increase in HDL cholesterol. Apart from reducing refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated fats, the best way to improve your cholesterol score as a group O is vigorous physical exercise according to current fitness levels and individual ability (for those of blood group A it may also be worth looking out for liver/gall bladder congestion). A thyroid blood test will exclude raised cholesterol secondary to hypothyroidism.
[Note: don’t think that if your levels of cholesterol are very low that it means you are super-healthy – a sudden drop in cholesterol can be a sign of disease onset. Kidney problems, some diuretics and pregnancy can also increase cholesterol levels, and high dose vitamin C can make cholesterol appear lower.]
Other tests that can give a more complete picture of possible risk of atherosclerosis are levels of apolipoprotein A and B, plasma homocysteine, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.
Other Risk Factors
It must be remembered that many of the connections between risk factors and actual disease have multiple causes. Blood group connections for example should not be interpreted as ‘certain’. There are certainly other lifestyle issues which can erode any statistical correlation. What we should get from the information are ‘trends’ which may be useful as a preventive.
The Cardiac risk calculator (11) will estimate your risk of developing heart disease over the next 5-10 years based on your age, sex, blood group, secretor status, cholesterol levels and other relevant factors. You will find from this that although your non-secretor status puts you at higher risk than a blood group O secretor, you are still at less risk than if you were blood group A or AB if all other variables remain the same.
In terms of orthodox medicine, the preventative treatment of choice for high cholesterol is HMG CoA Reductase Inhibitor medication (statins). These have been so ‘effective’ in reducing cholesterol that they are now on sale over the counter in the UK, and the US is considering following suit. Side-effects include gastro-intestinal disturbances, e.g. abdominal pain, constipation and flatulence, headache and musculoskeletal symptoms, muscle breakdown and death. Not generally listed is the fact that statins decrease the body’s production of Co-enzyme Q10, and long-term exposure to statins may substantially increase the risk of polyneuropathy (12). Why not trade one risk for another!
Alternative Views on Cholesterol
Not everyone sees a clear connection between high cholesterol and coronary heart disease (CHD). Dr. D’Adamo shows evidence that: “there is no clear relationship between the blood cholesterol level and the degree of atherosclerosis in the vessels” (13).
Dr. Malcom Kendrick appears to have made a similar discovery. He interpreted data from an international study of cholesterol and heart disease and found the results directly contradictory to the hypothesis that high cholesterol is related to CHD:
“For myself, all I can see is a French ‘paradox’ and Swiss ‘paradox’ a Russian ‘paradox’ a Lithuanian ‘paradox…My interpretation is that there is absolutely no connection between cholesterol levels and CHD rates in these nineteen different countries” (14).
For those who still feel they may be at risk of heart disease due to long term blood lipid readings, the thickness of the carotid artery may be measured using ultrasound to estimate damage to the heart vessels. When in doubt, evidence of preclinical vascular disease can be found by non-invasive means, such as CAT scanning for coronary calcification, before resorting to potentially harmful pharmaceuticals for which there are many natural alternatives.
1. Nash I.S, Mosca L, Blumenthal RS, Davidson MH, et. al.
Contemporary Awareness and Understanding of Cholesterol as a Risk Factor
Results of an American Heart Association National Survey
Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:1597-1600.
2. Pathbase: Cardiovascular Disease.
3. Pathbase: Hypertriglyceridemia.
4. Blomstrand R, Werner B.
Alkaline phosphatase activity in human thoracic duct lymph.
Acta Chir Scand. 1965 Feb;129:177-91
In Disease Knowledge Base.
5. Clinical Outcomes.
6. Berg K, Borresen AL, Nance WE.
Clin Genet. 1981 Jan;19(1):67-70.
Apparent influence of marker genotypes on variation in serum cholesterol in monozygotic twins.
7. Martin NG, Rowell DM, Whitfield JB.
Clin Genet. 1983 Jul;24(1):1-14.
Do the MN and Jk systems influence environmental variability in serum lipid levels?
8. Birley AJ, MacLennan R, Wahlqvist M, Gerns L, et. al.
Clin Genet. 1997 May;51(5):291-5.
MN blood group affects response of serum LDL cholesterol level to a low fat diet.
9. Theobald HE, Chowienczyk PJ, Whittall R, Humphries SE, Sanders TA.
LDL cholesterol-raising effect of low-dose docosahexaenoic acid in middle-aged men and women.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;79(4):558-63.
10. Dattilo, A.M. and P.M. Kris-Etherton,
Effects of weight reduction on blood lipids and lipoproteins: a meta analysis.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1992. 56: p. 320-328.
11. Cardiac Risk Calculator.
12. D. Gaist, et. al.
Statins and risk of polyneuropathy.
13. Pathbase: Hypercholesterolemia.
14. Kendrick M.
Cholesterol And The French Paradox, The Swiss Paradox, The Russian Paradox, The Lithuanian Paradox...Etc...
Red Flags Weekly.
The UK government Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published advice recommending maximum consumption levels of oily fish for different groups according to age and reproductive status. Expert advisors examined the benefits of eating oily fish against the possible risks from consuming pollutants such as dioxins. The Agency's recommendation is that men and boys, and women past childbearing age can eat up to four portions of oily fish a week. Women of childbearing age, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, and girls, can eat up to two portions of oily fish a week.
The FSA report says that there is good evidence that eating oily fish reduces the risk of death from heart disease. Some oily fish contain chemicals such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which accumulate over time in the body and could have adverse health effects if consumed over long periods at high levels. The levels of dioxins in oily fish vary, and some types of fish tend to have higher levels than others. The FSA recommendations are based on people eating different types of oily fish: people should eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. A portion = 140 g (5 oz)
White fish: no limit
Girls (under 16), breastfeeding or pregnant women and those who may become pregnant: Up to 2 portions a week
Boys (under 16), men, and women who are not intending to, or can't become pregnant: Up to 4 portions a week
Marlin, shark, swordfish (heavily contaminated due to being at the top of the food chain):
Girls and boys (under 16), pregnant women and those who may become pregnant, breastfeeding women: do not eat
Men, and women who are not intending to, or can't become pregnant: Up to 1 portion a week.
Fresh tuna counts as oily fish, but tinned tuna counts as white because the oils are lost in the canning process. There is no consumption limit for tinned tuna, except for pregnant women and those who may become pregnant: Up to 4 medium-sized cans per week [presumably the canning process also destroys the PCBs and dioxins in the tuna].
The full report can be downloaded as a PDF from the FSA web site
It also lists the types of fish considered oily, and white (non-oily) fish.
The UK Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation have, not surprisingly, produced a response to the claim that eating oily fish is healthy in a report on their web site.
Plant sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs) as an alternative to those from fish are listed in the report.
The report says to ensure an adequate intake of alpha linolenic acid, good plant sources should be included in the daily diet, including green leafy vegetables, seeds, whole grains, beans and nuts, and flaxseed oil, Minimising consumption of omega-6 rich vegetable oils (especially corn oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil) and commercial oil-based processed foods will also help increase the omega 3 to omega 6 dietary ratio. The best way to buy and store nuts, seeds and their oils is in very small quantities and to keep them in the fridge for freshness. These oils are not suitable for heating as it destroys the beneficial fatty acids. They are best used as a cold salad dressing.
The report also notes that farmed salmon can contain two to three times less omega-3 fats as well as 15% less protein. Farmed fish can also contain chemical pesticide residues as well as dangerous levels of PCBs.
Of course neither of these reports take individuality into account when examining the health benefits of EFAs in oils. Those who have a genetic tendency to cardiovascular disease are people with blood group A, who will get the benefit from eating fish instead of meat.
The potential human health effects of dioxins and PCBs may also include damage to the immune system, infertility, birth defects, and altered levels of sex hormones. These are not yet known to have blood group specificity [although the next IfHI conference may enlighten us on this].
This is an example of how difficult it is to decide whether a basic food product such as fish is going to be healthy to eat. The FSA guidelines advise those who are likely to become pregnant to avoid swordfish, for example. Should restaurants therefore restrict the sale of meals containing this popular seafood to girls and young women unless they confirm that they are not intending to have children?
The only answer is to keep as healthy as possible while avoiding industrial processes that contaminate the sea, and encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives to polluting practices. It may take generations to clean up the damage that has already been done, but at the very least we should stop making it worse.
The book Eat Right for Your Baby contains detailed information on which food to avoid before and during pregnancy according to ABO blood type, including certain types of fish high in mercury.
A UK national tabloid newspaper the ‘Daily Express’ today ran the front page story with the headline: ‘THE DNA DIET MIRACLE – Greatest medical breakthrough in 100 years could save your life’.
The story follows a presentation to the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science by a UK company offering DNA testing. The newspaper reports how British nutritionists have apparently developed a groundbreaking diet programme based on detailed analysis of DNA, to set out exactly what each person as an individual should and should not eat for the rest of their life.
The company claims to be “the first in the world to offer a nutrigenomic diet”, and that “a person’s genes should effectively recommend exactly what he or she eats.”
These ‘revelations’ will come as no surprise to the millions of readers of Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s books, many of whom have been following a diet tailored to the information on their gene 9q37 (ABO blood group) for years. Some have looked into further refinement of this knowledge of how genetic inheritance affects interaction with food and the environment by finding their secretor status (gene 19q13.3).
It is good that nutrigenomics is finally reaching the mainstream, although unfortunately no mention of blood groups in connection to diet is made in the article. Perhaps it is because people can find out this information for free by becoming a blood donor and then borrowing a book from the library, rather than having to have a relatively expensive DNA test via their doctor, that the laboratory have not promoted this important element of nutrigenomics.
Genetic testing can be useful where there is a strong family history of certain diseases, or where people want to find out more information about their risks. Testing can cover frequent polymorphisms such as:
* APO E (APOLIPOPROTEIN E), where certain variations can have a role in blood lipids abnormalities and in cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis and in age-related macular degeneration. The genetic code responsible for polymorphisms of APO E is found at location 19q13.2. It is interesting how the location of this significant gene is such a close neighbour of the gene for ABH salivary secretor status mentioned above (19q13.3), and how it has been found that non-secretors tend to be more prone to many of these problems. Dr. D’Adamo has found that ABO blood group and secretor status have many genetic linkages with diseases (see Pathbase on this website for details).
The following link is for the entry in the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man™ database on the scientific background to that gene and genetic disorder: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=107741
* GSTM1 (GLUTATHIONE S-TRANSFERASE M1): people lacking this enzyme found at 1p13.3 (and related enzyme GSTP1) have reduced ability to metabolize environmental carcinogens or toxins from the liver and kidneys. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=138350
* MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase): a defect in this enzyme located at gene 1p36.3 can lead to high levels of homocysteine, which can increase the risk of heart disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=607093
A Genomic Profile can be obtained via the D’Adamo clinic in the US, or via Canterbury Osteopathic Clinic in the UK in addition to full blood grouping. This is a screening test for some of the commoner genetic polymorphisms affecting risks for specific problem areas. A consultation is required to determine which Genomic Profile is most appropriate, and a sample of blood or saliva is used for DNA analysis.
The ‘DNA Diet’ nutrigenomics story was also covered by ‘The Scotsman’, and can be read online at: http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1066652004
Research shows that non-secretor mothers are less able to protect their babies from infection with the Norwalk virus (NV) through breastfeeding than secretor mothers (1). Breast milk contains many secreted carbohydrates, including the blood group antigens, however non-secretors lack the ability to secrete their blood group antigens in their breast milk and other fluids.
It is already known (2) that secretors of their blood group antigen are more at risk of contracting gastroenteritis from NV infection, except for individuals of blood group B (3), who are at less risk of developing symptoms.
The Norwalk virus is the main cause of gastroenteritis “food poisoning” infection of a non-bacterial source. NV has a ligand that attaches to the A and H antigens in the saliva and digestive tract of blood groups O, A and AB to take hold and infect the host, but only in secretors. A ligand is a molecule that binds to another chemical entity to form a larger complex, like the agglutination of blood group antigens by lectins.
Symptoms of NV infection are: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. Infected people usually recover in 2 to 3 days without serious or long-term health effects.
The new research shows that the milk of secretor mothers inhibits the attachment of NV to the receptors in their baby, but non-secretor mothers lack this protective secretion. Therefore non-secretor mothers are less likely to contract gastroenteritis from NV, but their babies may be at higher risk than babies of breastfeeding secretor mothers.
Suggested ways to limit the spread of Norwalk virus include:
• Wash hands with soap and warm water after toilet visits and before preparing or eating food;
• Cook all shellfish thoroughly before eating;
• Wash raw vegetables before eating;
• Dispose of sewage, including soiled nappies, in a sanitary manner.
Read ‘Eat Right 4 Your Baby’ to learn about ways of looking after your child while pregnant and breastfeeding.
1. Le Pendu, J
Histo-blood group antigen and human milk oligosaccharides: genetic polymorphism and risk of infectious diseases.
Adv Exp Med Biol, January 1, 2004; 554: 135-43.
2. Marionneau S, et. al.
Norwalk virus binds to histo-blood group antigens present on gastroduodenal epithelial cells of secretor individuals.
Gastroenterology. 2002 Jun;122(7):1967-77.
3. Hutson AM, et. al.
Norwalk virus infection and disease is associated with ABO histo-blood group type.
J Infect Dis. 2002 May 1;185(9):1335-7.
Dozens of new infectious diseases are likely to emerge over the next 25 years unless humans acquire an ecological perspective on infection rather than seeing microbes as simply an invading entity that should be blindly attacked with antibiotics or used as a tool for biological warfare.
According to Professor Tony McMichael, director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at The Australian National University, Canberra, the emergence and spread of 35 new or newly diagnosed infectious diseases in the past 25 years is a product of our modern way of life.
A conference at the UK Royal Society exploring the factors influencing emerging infectious diseases was told that the rise in international travel, overcrowded cities, intensive food production, sexual practices, poverty, and global warming were some of the ingredients that had come together to form a suitable culture medium for the emergence, maintenance, and spread of new infectious diseases, as well as allowing the resurgence of older diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Hepatitis C was given as an example of a disease born from sociotechnological change. "The advent of illicit intravenous drug use and blood transfusion has allowed the wider spread, and now recognition, of this virus."
The impact of the massive increase in international travel has allowed the spread of new diseases such as HIV and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) on an unprecedented scale.
The way in which humans have changed their environment has also influenced the spread of disease. Developments in agriculture, urbanisation, and deforestation have all changed ecosystems and allowed the emergence of infections. Lyme disease, a disease spread by ticks, was first identified in 1976, in the United States. Forest fragmentation, loss of predators, and the shift of suburbia closer to woodlands are all implicated in the appearance of this disease.
Another example is the Nipah virus. In 1999 this virus killed 100 people in peninsular Malaysia. The virus was normally carried by the forest fruit bat and had not previously seemed to pass to humans. However, because of deforestation and agricultural techniques the bat’s normal habitat and food source were changed. This forced the bats to encroach into fruit plantations, which were in close proximity to pig farms. The bats infected the pigs, which in turn infected the farmers.
Professor McMichael concluded by emphasising the need to acquire an ecological perspective on infectious diseases. "In the 1970s, eminent people were saying it was the end of the infectious disease era. We now find after the experience of the 1980s and 1990s, we are sadder and wiser."
Infection is not to be feared – bacteria are an essential part of the natural life cycle of the environment. Many bacteria are essential in the gut as they manufacture vitamins. Bacterial decomposition is a way of recycling unhealthy, dead or dying material back to its constituent elements. Pathological bacteria cannot grow on a healthy ‘soil’, or ground substance. Mucous membranes are moist warm surfaces such as the lining of the nose, sinuses, lungs, genitals, and the lining of the gut, ideal breeding ground for bacteria. All of these surfaces secrete blood group antigens (in secretors), Lewis antigens and many other protective molecules. These are our first line of defence (apart from substances introduced directly into the blood stream) – keeping the mucous membranes healthy and clean is vital to overall health, and that includes health of the intestines.
Put only the correct food into the intestines to prevent congestion and decay in the mucous membranes of the body, and use your knowledge of blood group and secretor status to choose the foods that are most suitable to you. This is, after all, the reason why each food has been classified according to its interaction with the individual intestinal environment.
Bacteria and viruses are not the cause of disease, they are a sign that a diseased organism (the body, the mind, the surrounding environment, exposure to toxic pollutants and susceptibility due to inherited weaknesses) has allowed a pathological process to bring about decay and decomposition. The symptoms that go with disease (inflammation, swelling etc.) are an indication that the natural healing processes of the body are active. Rather than poison the symptoms and suppress the cleansing mechanisms, encourage the eliminative processes and allow the internal healer to do its work.
British Naturopath Roger Newman-Turner says: “It is widely believed that healthy, well-nourished cattle will develop a natural immunity to Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD), or recover without long-term harm. In this context it should be emphasised that ‘health’ is not synonymous with ‘hygiene’ or asepsis. The antibiotic-ridden cow is the antithesis of a healthy animal. It could even be argued that an obsession with sterility has weakened the immunity by removing natural challenges to inherent defence mechanisms.
“It is high time this hypothesis was put to the test with properly conducted trials. It is not a new idea. Nearly fifty years ago, during the 1952 epidemic of FMD, my father, F. Newman Turner, invited the Ministry of Agriculture and the Animal Disease Research Centre at Pirbright to allow infected animals to mix freely with his herd of pedigree Jerseys. They had been reared organically, were never vaccinated, and were treated only with herbal medicines when the need arose.
“He based this challenge on the experiences of Sir Albert Howard, who had conducted a similar experiment with his pedigree oxen in India in the nineteen-thirties. Sir Albert had allowed his naturally reared animals to rub noses with neighbouring herds infected with FMD. None of his animals contracted the disease.
“F Newman Turner’s challenge was ignored - Pirbright did not even acknowledge his letters - but at least, fifty years later, some people are acknowledging that FMD might partly be the consequence of the intensive farming practices about which he was warning people then.”
The moral of the story is: Live peacefully with nature - any change in the environment in the name of development of human society must be ecologically sound and sustainable. To cure health problems first remove the cause.
New infectious diseases will continue to emerge. BMJ 2004;328:186 (24 January 2004)
Research in the Journal of Medical Entomology (1) demonstrated a preference by a particular type of mosquito (Aedes albopictus) for secretors of blood group O over all other blood groups, and significantly more than blood group A. The study also showed that skin treated with the blood group antigen of O blood (the H antigen, containing the disaccharide fucose) was also more attractive to the mosquitoes than skin treated with the blood group A antigen, which in turn was more attractive than skin treated with the blood group B antigen.
These mosquitoes appear to prefer one blood group in particular (blood group antigens are present in large numbers on the skin of secretors), but why is this information important?
Aedes albopictus (the Asian Tiger Mosquito) is now present in more than thirty states of the US. In the Northeast, it has been reported from York County, Pennsylvania to Cumberland, Salem, and Monmouth counties in New Jersey. The Asian tiger mosquito has demonstrated the ability to survive in states as far north as Minnesota and Delaware (2).
The Asian tiger mosquito has great potential to carry diseases into a substantial portion of the United States. In the Central region of the US, this species has been linked to the transmission of LaCrosse Encephalitis and the West Nile Virus (3). There have been several documented cases of Dengue Fever and Yellow Fever in southern Texas (4) due to the increased numbers of Aedes Albopictus in that region.
Most mosquitoes feed at dawn and dusk and rest in the foliage during the day, and will generally bite during the day only if you go into their shady resting spots. The Asian tiger mosquito however will readily leave its shady resting area to feed even in the direct sun. It is an agressive day-biter and is most active from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is not a strong flyer so it does not travel far from its breeding habitat (5). It prefers to bite the foot, followed by the hand, then the face (6).
The Asian Tiger mosquito is thought to have arrived in the US in tyres (7): it is a 'container breeder', reproducing in artificial water containers such as tyres, flower pots, buckets and rain gutters, as well as natural containers such as bamboo, bromeliads, and tree holes (imported tyres are now checked for mosquitoes).
People living in certain areas of the United States may therefore be at risk of exposure to diseases not normally associated with mosquito bites, and in locations not normally associated with mosquitoes. Blood group O secretors may be at higher risk than others from bites from the Asian tiger mosquito, and should ensure that their feet, hands and face are well protected even during the day. Any recent mosquito bites should be reported to a physician when presenting with a fever.
1. Shirai Y, Funada H, Seki T, Morohashi M, Kamimura K.
J Med Entomol. 2004 Jul;41(4):796-9.
Landing preference of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) on human skin among ABO blood groups, secretors or nonsecretors, and ABH antigens. [Pubmed 15311477]
2. Moore CG, Francy DB, Eliason DA, Monath TP.
J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1988 Sep;4(3):356-61.
Aedes albopictus in the United States: rapid spread of a potential disease vector. [Pubmed 3058869]
3. Romi R, et. al.
Med Vet Entomol. 2004 Mar;18(1):14-9.
Potential vectors of West Nile virus following an equine disease outbreak in Italy. [Pubmed 15009441]
4. Mitchell CJ, Miller BR, Gubler DJ.
J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1987 Sep;3(3):460-5.
Vector competence of Aedes albopictus from Houston, Texas, for dengue serotypes 1 to 4, yellow fever and Ross River viruses. [Pubmed 2849638]
6. Shirai Y, Funada H, Kamimura K, Seki T, Morohashi M.
J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2002 Jun;18(2):97-9.
Landing sites on the human body preferred by Aedes albopictus.
7. Hawley WA, Reiter P, Copeland RS, Pumpuni CB, Craig GB Jr.
Science. 1987 May 29;236(4805):1114-6.
Aedes albopictus in North America: probable introduction in used tires from northern Asia.
Please, I need some advice on how to go about studying for a career in naturopathic medicine. I live in St. John's Wood, London, been on internet researching... any you can recommend? I am a qualified Food Technologist (trained in food science and nutrition at Wits, Johannesburg, SA), presently working as a nutritional manager in Chelsea. I've been on the BTD since 2000 and a keen follower of it! I will really appreciate your advice. Kind regards Gerda
If you are looking for a college that includes the naturopathic elements of blood grouping you might like to look at the University of Westminster complementary therapies course based in North London: I teach a practical session on blood typing there to the students doing the naturopathic module, and I believe they are going to include blood grouping at their clinic. Those on the degree course with the naturopathic module now also qualify for entry to the UK Register of Naturopaths (GCRN).
Mercury, a poisonous heavy metal and powerful neurotoxin, has long given doctors and environmentalists cause for concern. It is present in the environment, in fish, household products, medications, make-up, and vaccines where, in the form of thimerosal, it is used as a preservative for its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Recent research at Columbia University (1) found autism-like damage in the brains of mice exposed to thimerosal. The study, in Molecular Psychiatry, used animals that had been bred to be vulnerable to developing disorders of the immune system. They argued it was possible that children with similarly compromised immunity may also be at risk of autism from exposure to the neurotoxc effects of mercury.
Other US and European studies (2,3) finding no link between mercury and autism or other neurological damage, claim however that he scientific evidence is not yet sufficiently strong to provide the same level of assurance for thiomersal-containing vaccines for use in pregnant women, or premature or low birth weight infants. “It is not possible to prove that thiomersal is completely safe - epidemiology can only quantify a risk, not prove its absence” (3).
The UK Government is now replacing a vaccine containing mercury given to eight-week-old babies with a five-in-one combined vaccine. The move comes amid fears of a link with mercury and autism, leading to a decrease in compliance for infant vaccination, and has been widely welcomed by anti-mercury pressure groups. The UK Department of Health has always maintained that there is no evidence of a link, but that the new vaccine is “more effective”. According to a BMJ editorial,
“regulatory bodies have recommended its [thiomersal] removal in accordance with the precautionary principle as long as this is not to the detriment of the vaccine programme” (4).
The new vaccine will also dispense with use of the live polio vaccine, currently given by mouth, to an injectable "killed" vaccine to avoid spreading the polio virus. The five-in-one injection will contain vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, Hib and polio, and is to be introduced when current vaccine stocks are depleted.
The UK National Autistic Society said it had always "supported moves to ensure that mercury is not used" in vaccines. Thimerosal is however still used in some vaccines (5).
The Columbia University study says: “The developing brain is uniquely susceptible to the neurotoxic hazard posed by mercurials. Host differences in maturation, metabolism, nutrition, sex, and autoimmunity influence outcomes.” Mice bred to have poor immunity showed amongst other effects, “exaggerated response to novelty”. The researchers concluded that “these findings implicate genetic influences and provide a model for investigating thimerosal-related neurotoxicity”. The animals in the study had been bred to be vulnerable to developing disorders of the immune system.
Toxins should not ideally be routinely introduced into the population, but as mercury toxicity is now known to be influenced by genetics this is surely a reason to remove it from all vaccines.
High-dose probiotics have been shown to be an effective adjunct to chelation therapy when detoxifying from heavy metals, particularly in relation to autism (6). Given the widespread presence of heavy metals such as mercury it would make sense to include probiotics as part of an immunity programme, rather than the current reliance on immunisation. Paying attention to genetic differences in immunity, such as blood group and secretor status, can play a very important part in disease prevention when coupled with a naturopathic approach.
The opinion of Ian Pennell, consultant psychiatrist, responding to the claim that a lack of exposure to bacteria has created an increase in allergies, appears far more rational than using neurotoxic chemicals in preparations that artificially stimulate the immune system:
“The hypothesis… states that increasing microbiological sterility in our environment produced by constant routine dousing of our houses and ourselves with antibacterial chemicals in the name of hygiene, generates an abnormal set of immunological responses resulting in allergies.
“A better response to all this would be for children to be encouraged to play in the dirt, for us all to use soap in our homes rather than antibacterial cleanser, and to confine disinfectant to around the toilet rather than on all available surfaces. Eating live yoghurt might also help, as might encouraging frequent and regular physical contact with our pets, for both psychological and immunological reasons.
“I would much prefer to live out this sort of existence than be forever dependent on medical technology to bolster an immune system fatally weakened by a life long obsession with hygiene and a preoccupation with maintaining a sterile barrier with the natural world. (7)”
1. Hornig M, Chian D, Lipkin WI. Mol Psychiatry. 2004 Jun 8. Neurotoxic effects of postnatal thimerosal are mouse strain dependent.
2. Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism .
3. Clements CJ. The evidence for the safety of thiomersal in newborn and infant vaccines. Vaccine. 2004 May 7;22(15-16):1854-61.
4. BMJ 21 August 2004;329:411-412. Editorial: Misconceptions about the new combination vaccine.
5. Institute for Vaccine Safety. Institute for Vaccine Safety
6. Brudnak MA. Med Hypotheses. 2002 May;58(5):382-5. Probiotics as an adjuvant to detoxification protocols.
7. Pennell, I. Exposure to real life, not vaccination should be the answer. BMJ 24 May 2004.
Research: "Saliva - a pivotal player in the pathogenesis of oropharyngeal cancer. Reznick AZ, Hershkovich O, Nagler RM."
Br J Cancer. May 25th, 2004.
Cigarette smoke transforms healthy saliva into a deadly cocktail that can accelerate mouth cancer, according to research in the British Journal of Cancer.
Normally, saliva provides a protective buffer between toxins and the lining of the mouth because it contains important enzymes that fight and neutralise harmful substances.
But this research shows that the chemicals in tobacco smoke combine with saliva with devastating effect. They destroy the protective components of saliva, leaving a corrosive mix that damages cells in the mouth and can eventually turn them cancerous.
There are nearly 8,000 cases and 3,000 deaths from mouth cancer in the UK every year - the main cause being smoking. These figures refer to cancers of the head and neck, which include nose, mouth, lips, tongue, gums, tonsils, pharynx and larynx cancer.
The presumed connection between oropharyngeal cancer and cigarette smoke was based on the assumption that a constant direct attack of various carcinogens from cigarette smoke causes widespread accumulating cellular and DNA damage in the mucosal cells, in turn eventually resulting in malignancy. However, there is never a direct contact between cigarette smoke and the oral mucosa. Saliva covers the mucous membranes from the oral cavity to the larynx, and cigarette smoke must first interact with saliva before it reaches the mucosa.
The researchers in this study wanted to examine the role of saliva in the development of mouth cancer:
“A synergistic effect of Cigarette Smoke (CS) and saliva on oral cancer cells was demonstrated. This synergism is based on the reaction between redox active metals in saliva and low reactive free radicals in CS, which results in the production of highly active hydroxyl free radicals. Thus, when exposed to CS, salivary behavior is reversed and the saliva loses its antioxidant capacity and becomes a potent prooxidant milieu. The devastating role of CS-borne aldehydes was demonstrated as well.
“Based on these results and on our recent reports demonstrating that cigarette smoking destroys various salivary components, including protective ones such as peroxidase, the most important salivary antioxidant enzyme, a comprehensive view of the pivotal role of saliva in the pathogenesis of CS-induced oropharyngeal cancer is suggested.”
The research looked at the role of saliva in mouth cancer, but failed to take one important factor into account: salivary ABH secretor status.
Although salivary non-secretor status does not appear to be an associated risk marker for the development for oral cancer itself, being a non-secretor is a high risk factor for oral epithelial dysplasia.
Oral epithelial dysplasia is a disorder of differentiation of epithelial cells, and is likely to manifest as a solitary white patch. It is not possible to accurately predict the likely degree of dysplasia from the clinical features of such lesions, which may regress, remain stable, or progress to invasive carcinoma.
However there is also a strong link with non-secretor status and two other mouth conditions: chronic hyperplastic candidosis, where some degree of dysplasia may often be present, and also with potentially malignant oral lesions such as candidal leukoplakia, in which there is a risk of malignant change that may be greater than that of other leukoplakias.
It would perhaps be useful if future research into the role of cigarette smoking saliva and oropharyngeal cancer took secretor status into account.
The destruction of protective antioxidant substances in the saliva and the effect of other toxins in cigarette smoke are two more reasons to add to the many deterrents to smoking.
Tobacco addiction may be helped by the use of the herb Lobelia, which reduces cravings, but this should be taken under the supervision of a physician as it can be toxic in high doses. Eating oats regularly may also help, as they have sedative properties.
Vidas I, et. Al. Examining the secretor status in the saliva of patients with oral pre-cancerous lesions. J Oral Rehabil. 1999 Feb;26(2):177-82.
Lamey PJ, Douglas PS, Napier SS. Secretor status and oral cancer. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1994 Aug;32(4):214-7.
Lamey PJ, et. Al. Chronic hyperplastic candidosis and secretor status. J Oral Pathol Med. 1991 Feb;20(2):64-7.
Anand CL. Effect of Avena sativa on cigarette smoking. Nature. 1971 Oct 15;233(5320):496.
A diagnosis of breast cancer can be devastating, and the consequences of treatment can be lasting. To prevent the cancer from metastasizing (spreading), standard surgical treatment involves removing the axillary (armpit) lymph nodes on the affected side. This can cause permanent lymphoedema (fluid swelling) of the arm due to lack of lymphatic drainage.
The first regional lymph nodes draining a primary tumour are known as the sentinel lymph nodes. Sentinel node biopsy, used since 1999 is a surgical technique for predicting histological findings (microscopic examination) in the remaining lymph nodes. This can predict the outcome of the spread of the cancer.
A new technique uses a radioactive dye to find the sentinel node without removing at least 20 lymph nodes under the arm to check if the disease has spread. Only one lymph node is removed, and lymphoedema is avoided in those whose cancer is limited to the breast only.
It is better to take steps to prevent breast cancer rather than have to treat it. A non-radioactive way of detecting blood flow and drainage in the breasts (which can be altered in tumour development) is by using thermal imaging. It is important to make sure that the clinic uses the correct procedure to get a valid image.
Secretors of blood groups A and AB, and also people of blood group MM are statistically more likely to get breast cancer, and also of the kind that progresses more rapidly. Rhesus positive blood group possibly influences levels of natural killer cells, which help to defend against breast cancer.
The M antigen (from the MN blood grouping system) is a precursor of the Thomsen-Friedenreich (T) antigen, which is expressed in some types of breast cancer. The T antigen allows your immune system to recognise when a cell has become malignant. People who already have similar antigens to the T antigen are those with the A antigen (blood groups A and A and also those with the M antigen.
As many breast cancers are oestrogen-dependant, one simple way for women and men to prevent breast cancer is to avoid using underarm deodorants that contain chemicals that mimic oestrogen in the body.
Recent research shows that the preservative parabens (alkyl esters of p-hydroxybenzoid acid), used in many cosmetics, foods and medicines, is known to have œstrogen-like properties in human breast cancer cells. Some cosmetics also contain pthalate plasticisers, which are also known to have œstrogenic activity.
Some chemicals in underarm cosmetics may also bind with DNA and promote growth of these genetically damaged cells. For example, aluminium-zirconium salts form a major constituent of many underarm cosmetics. Both zirconium and aluminium-zirconium complexes have been linked to the development of granulomas (granular lymphatic tumours).
Certain foods have specific cancer-preventative actions. The natural medicine ‘TFA Plus’ helps stimulate the body’s defence against the T antigen. For more information on foods for cancer prevention see ‘Cancer – Fight it with the Blood Type Diet’
Dadamo, P. The Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia.
Darbre P. Underarm cosmetics and breast cancer. Journal of Applied Toxicology, Vol. 23, 2 , 89 – 95.
Goyal A et. al. Sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with multifocal breast cancer. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2004 Jun;30(5):475-9.