Archives for: March 2006
Dr. D'Adamo's new formula,Intrinsa, has quite an interesting history.
Intrinsa supports stomach, small intestine, and colon health.
Developed by Dr. D'Adamo for use in his Clinic, Intrinsa is the result of nearly five years of work. Dr. D’Adamo has successfully blended two synergistic dietary nutrients, Butyric Acid and Caprylic Acid, with linking nutrient components to create a superior formula to protect and support stomach, intestine and colon health.
Butyric acid is a short chain fatty acid, which supports the health and healing of cells in the small and large intestine, and serves the natural processes of aerobic energy metabolism. Short chain fatty acids can have the protective ability of impeding the proliferation of damaging cells in the colon, and have been associated with helping to maintain healthy blood lipid and sugar levels.
Caprylic acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that is absorbed from the intestines and carried by blood lipids. Caprylic acid is known to have anti-fungal properties. Mounting evidence also suggests that some of the naturally derived, medium-chain, saturated fatty acids also possess anti-microbial and anti-parasitic properties.
The Challenge—And The Solution
For all their potential health benefits, when taken alone, medium-chain fatty acids like caprylic acid can have difficulty in penetrating fatty cell wall membranes where they may be most needed. Until now, the challenge with these two essential fatty acids has been successfully blending their properties while maintaining each component’s unique abilities. With Intrinsa, Dr. D’Adamo successfully utilized precise nutrient blending so that caprylic acid works synergistically with butyric acid – a short-chain fatty acid – so that both can more easily penetrate tissues in the body such as muscles, joints, and sinuses.
Here at North American Pharmacal, we’re quite proud of this formula, and we've called this successful nutrient blending Intrinsa’s Dual Fatty Acid Complex (DFAC) to distinguish its genuinely unique properties.
The Newest Science: Fiber and Proteins
Imagine a person new to The Blood Type Diet: Type A beginning to ingest more fiber for the first time in years, or Type O introducing more high-quality protein sources into the system. Some bodies may experience quite an adjustment period.
Fascinating new research into essential fatty acids suggests that our unique Intrinsa DFAC may be supportive for both of these people.
Of greatest interest in the research are the fiber and protein facilitating properties of short chain and medium chain fatty acids. It appears that essential fatty acids such as butyric acid and caprylic acid may facilitate the transit time through the system and aid in metabolizing proteins and fiber.
The Larch Connection
Dr. D’Adamo’s pure food-grade ARA6 Larch arabinogalactan further enhances the Intrinsa formula. When combined with the fiber–transit benefits of the DFAC, Larch improves gastrointestinal health by increasing gut microflora, and offering immune enhancing properties.
Larch arabinogalactan increases gut microflora, e.g., Lactobacillus, increases short-chain fatty acid production, and minimizes ammonia production and absorption. These effects suggest it may be beneficial as a dietary fiber supplement for improving gastrointestinal health.
by Gregory Kelly
Grown and produced in Japan, we are honored and delighted to offer this exceptional product, Mr. Itaru’s Special Green Tea blend, "Gen Mai Cha". The secret to getting great health benefits from green tea comes down to a single, simple concept...use the highest quality green tea leaves in order to maximize consumption of health promoting compounds. The search to provide the finest green tea to our patients at D’Adamo Naturopathic Associates culminated with our finding this special green tea. "Gen Mai Cha" literally translates as brown rice tea. It is a traditional favorite in Japan and combines toasted brown rice with the finest premium green tea leaves.
The history of green tea in Japan begins with the introduction of tea by Zen Buddhist monks in the 9th century. Because of its relative scarcity, only monks, members of the imperial court, and eventually, wealthy landowners were able to enjoy this prized beverage. The famous Japanese "tea ceremonies" evolved as a means of sharing this exclusive beverage. In the 18th century, novel processing and growing methods resulted in the introduction of green tea and its spread into all corners of Japanese society.
Green tea is actually the same plant as its more well-known cousin black tea; however, special processing retains a far greater antioxidant profile in green tea leaves, resulting in a far and away superior beverage for supporting health. Numerous scientific studies now document the tremendous benefits of drinking green tea. Some of the numerous health benefits of green tea include:
* Green tea provides powerful antioxidant polyphenols (estimated as 25X the antioxidant activity of vitamin E and 100X that of vitamin C)
* It promotes growth of friendly intestinal bacteria
* Green Tea decreases toxic bowel metabolites (like polyamines)
* Promotes cardiovascular health, prevents blood cell aggregation and improves cholesterol metabolism
* Inhibits toxin and carcinogen producing enzymes like ornithine decarboxylase
* Epidemiological evidence suggests regular consumption of green tea reduces the risk of many cancers
Mr. Itaru's Blend is mildly caffeinated, but it is important to realize that many of the anti-cancer properties of green tea are lost if it is de-caffeinated.
MAKING GREEN TEA:
When making green tea it is not necessary or desirable to use boiling water. Moderately warm to hot water is best. Tea leaves should be placed in the water for about 30 seconds (45 seconds at the longest) and removed. Superior quality green tea should look light green when prepared in this manner.
The term "Probiotic" means "in favor of life". It was coined in 1910, by a Russian physician named Metchnikoff, who promoted a theory of longevity which associated prolonged life and improved health with decreased gastrointestinal toxicity. He suggested that aging is a process mediated by chronic exposure to putrefactive intoxication caused by imbalances in intestinal bacteria and that this process could be halted by the routine ingestion of lactic acid bacteria and their "fermented" ("cultured") food products. Almost 90 years have passed since he introduced these radical ideas; however, in many respects his ideas have been proven to be true. Consumption of lactic acid bacteria, or food cultured or fermented with these friendly microorganisms does extend life in animal experiments and does dramatically reduce a wide range of intestinal metabolites, such as indoles, polyamines, cresols, nitrates/nitrites, and carcinogens which we now know are counterproductive to good health.
What are the health benefits of consuming friendly bacteria?
Friendly bacteria restore intestinal balance, which results in
*the prevention of adherence of unwanted microorganisms
*the production of a wide array of antibacterial and antifungal compounds
*improved resistance against bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella, and H. pylori
Friendly bacteria enhance immunity by
*promoting improved anti-viral immune system function
*increasing NK cell activity
* producing nitric oxide
*modulating cell mediated immune response
*activating the reticuloendothelial system
*promoting a more balanced production of cytokines
*promoting resistance against some autoimmune processes
*evoking anti-Tn antibodies
*decreasing IgE-mediated responses
*enhancing immune system response to administered vaccines
*mediating against radiation-induced depression in white blood cells
In many respects, friendly bacteria can be thought of as having "adaptogenic" effects on your immune system. They appear to modulate the nonspecific immune response differently in healthy and hypersensitive subjects. This is seen as an immuno-stimulatory effect in healthy subjects, and as a down-regulation of immuno-inflammatory responses in hypersensitive subjects.
Friendly Bacteria Promote Detoxification by
* inactivating and eliminating carcinogens
* decreasing mutagenic compounds
* decreasing activity of nitroreductase and azoreductase
* decreasing activity of B-Glucuronidase
* decreasing activity of B-Glucosidase
* decreasing activity of ornithine decarboxylase
* decreasing activity of tryptophanase
* decreasing activity of neuraminidase and mucinase
* decreasing levels of polyamines, cresols and indoles
* decreasing ammonia
* decreasing levels of nitrates and nitrites
* enhancing liver function and promoting elimination of bile acids
* enhancing cholesterol metabolism
Friendly bacteria promote healthy digestion by
* normalizing stool volume and regularity
* producing digestive enzymes that help digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fibers
* decreasing intestinal permeability
* decreasing food sensitivities
* decreasing lactose intolerance
* decreasing intestinal inflammation
Friendly bacteria enhance bioavailability of nutrients by
* alleviating symptoms of malabsorption
* increasing the absorption of zinc, calcium, iron, copper, manganese, and phosphorous
* increasing the production of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, A, K, folic acid, biotin, and tocopherols
Cultured Fruits, Vegetables, Spices, and other food substances contain
* vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals which promote good health
* high levels of vitamin K, tocopherols and vitamin B12
* powerful antioxidant activities
* anti-mutagenic properties
* excellent growth promoting substrates (e.g. act as prebiotics) for friendly bacteria
Cultured foods also allow for
* ease of digestion and improved bioavailability of nutrients
* increased bioavailability of compounds like isoflavones and bioflavonoids
* improved amino acid and protein efficiency ratios
* improved stability and retention of vitamin C levels
* augmentation of some of the metabolic benefits of these foods
* improvement of alcohol metabolism
* promotion of improved cardiovascular health
Why should Probiotics be taken consistently?
Even using strains of friendly bacteria that have a great ability to survive digestion and colonize your digestive tract, there is a tendency for a gradual decline in the quantity of these bacteria over time. This decline is substantially worsened with stress, poor dietary choices, antibiotics and other drugs. In today's world, with all of it's modern pressures, the ability to maintain an optimal intestinal microbial balance is almost always taxed. It has also actually been estimated that we consume 1 million times LESS healthy bacteria in our diet today than are ancient ancestors consumed.
Why do we combine so many strains of good bacteria?
It is simple really, friendly bacteria work better when more of them are combined together. There are actually hundreds of strains of bacteria in your digestive system and the friendly bacteria actually operate as a team, promoting the beneficial effects of each other. The term "Synergism" best describes the interrelationship of friendly bacteria. They mutually support each other by producing bacteriocidins and organic acids that they are resistant to, but which decrease pathogenic bacteria. In fact, these bacteriocidins are up to 1000X more active when combined then when they are isolated. But even more importantly, health effects of one strain of friendly bacteria are often not duplicated by other strains. So a more complex mixture, combining more friendly strains of bacteria, translates into more profound long-term health benefits.
What does blood type have to do with friendly bacteria?
There are two things actually.
First, your blood type antigens are actually prominent in your digestive tract and, in about 80% of individuals (secretors), are also prominent in the mucus that lines your digestive tract. Because of this, many of the bacteria in your digestive tract actually use your blood type as a preferred food supply. In fact, blood group specificity is common among intestinal bacteria with almost 1/2 of strains tested showing some blood type A, B, or O specificity. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the blood type influence on intestinal microflora, it has been estimated that someone with blood type B will have up to 50,000X more of some strains of friendly bacteria than either blood type A or O individuals.
Second, some strains of beneficial bacteria actually can have lectin-like hemagglutinin activity directed against your blood type.
by Gregory Kelly
The recorded use of Fucus vesiculosus, also called "bladderwrack" or "sea wrack" dates back to at least the time period of the Eclectic Physicians of the 19th century. Historically these physicians used this seaweed for goiter (swelling of the tissue or cells of the thyroid) and for obesity. Published commentary by a turn of the century physician (Dr. J. Herbert Knapp) indicated that he had found this plant to be a specific remedy for both exophthalmic and uncomplicated goiter. In his experience bladderwrack worked best in individuals under age 30, a population for which he claimed a 100% success rate, and was less dependable for normalizing thyroid function in people beyond this age.
Fucus vesiculosus contains a wide spectrum of polysaccharides including fucoidans and fucans. In general, fucoidans are a family of high molecular weight sulfated polysaccharides, widely dispersed in the cell walls of brown seaweed. The core region (or backbone) of fucoidan is composed primarily of a repeating chain of fucose sugars. Fucose is also attached to this backbone, forming branch points at every 2-3 fucose residues within the chain. So, as you can readily deduce, bladderwrack is a rich food source of fucose.
Similar to most plants grown in the ocean, this plant is also very high in iodine and other trace minerals. While iodine is critical for proper health, like most other trace minerals, too much good can be no good. In other words more is not always better. So bladderwrack in an appropriate dose is safe to take long-term; however, you would not want to consume ridiculously large amounts of this plant for indefinate periods of time (even if you are an O).
Fucus vesiculosus and Blood Type O: Metabolic and Anti-adhesion Food
In ER4YT, Dr. D'Adamo mentions Fucus vesiculosus as being particularly beneficial for blood type O's. He states, in reference to blood type O individuals, that "bladderwrack seems to help normalize the sluggish metabolic rate and produce weight loss." He also alludes to its utility in helping to keep thyroid function normal in blood type O's, and discusses the potential usefulness of this plant for preventing the adherence of some unwanted microorganisms (H. pylori in his book's example) to the cells lining the digestive tract in blood type O's.
There is actually a good reason for his deference to this plant with regards to blood type O. As you might recall form ER4YT, blood type O is characterized by the presence of a terminal fucose sugar on its antigen. Things in nature (like lectins, bacteria, Candida, etc) with a preference for or a "sweet tooth" for fucose, will always have an affinity for and a greater impact on blood type O's. Since bladderwrack is such excellent food source of fucose and fucose containing sugar chains, it can actually bind many of the more problematic blood type O lectins, bacteria, and microorganisms.
One of the emerging fields of research with regards to microorganisms (and lectins) centers about an idea of adherence and anti-adherence. Basically, an unwanted organism can only produce a problem for you to the degree it can attach to or anchor itself to your cells. Lectin damage follows a similar pattern. Recognizing this simple concept of adhesion, you will readily recognize the usefulness of the concept of anti-adhesion, or blocking strategies. The question then becomes what foods might provide an anti-adhesion advantage for your blood type. One of the answers for blood type O is bladderwrack (Note: kelp also has a high amount of fucose sugars so is another answer). Basically, the fucose in bladderwrack can act as a false decoy, binding the unwanted blood type O environmental debris and sweeping it away before it can bind to or irritate the tissue.
Because A's, B's and AB's also usually contain some anchoring sites (but proportionately substantially less than an O) for fucose specific lectins and microorganisms, bladderwrack can also act as a form of anti-adhesion food for these blood types as well. However, they also have additional specific blocking sugars they can place at their disposal.
Fucus vesiculosus: Anti-adhesion Food with Anti-metastatic and Anti-tumor activity
We have already discussed the concept of adhesion and anti-adhesion, but you might not know that this is also an area of great interest in cancer research. In essence, cancer can only spread or metastasize if it can attach to a new target, so substances that can block its adhesion are more routinely being investigated. While this concept is difficult to grasp, I have repeatedly heard Dr. D'Adamo aptly describe this process in simple terms, "where cancer wants to stick, we want to make it slide". It should come as no surprise then that bladderwrack, because of its fucose content, is a potent inhibitor of tumor cell invasion, with modest anti-tumor activity. As such, consumption of bladderwrack might offer a potential health advantage, especially for blood type O's.
Fucus vesiculosus: Anti-microbial Activity
The fucoidan found in bladderwrack inhibits the growth of many unfriendly bacteria and viruses. Some of the viruses this compound is antagonistic to include herpes simplex virus, human cytomegalovirus, and human immunodeficiency virus. Bladderwrack has been found to agglutinate the cells of several strains of Candida. Bladderwrack also has a toxic effect on some strains of E. coli and all strains tested of Neisseria meningitidis.
Let's look at a few specific examples of bladderwrack research in the microbial world. The complex sugar structures and other compounds found in bladderwrack have anti-HIV activity. Some of the mechanisms of its activity fall back into the world of our new friend "anti-adhesion". Researchers have suggested that, since adhesion is the initial step in HIV infection, blocking adhesion might prevent HIV-1 transmission. In vitro evidence supports this suggestion with the complex fucose structures found in bladderwrack showing a capability to block HIV adhesion to cells. These same blocking strategies with fucose sugars have also been used in studies of malaria to prevent its spread to additional red blood cells. In essence these sugars inhibit invasion of your red blood cells by the malaria parasite. Dr. D'Adamo has written that Fucus vesiculosus is a specific for blocking attachment of H. pylori---an organism responsible for inducing ulcers and gastritis---in individuals with blood group O.
While no one is suggesting that bladderwrack should be thought of as a solution for HIV or other infectious diseases, one might ponder the question of how the shape of medicine might change if we could use blood type strategies to block HIV and other microorganism from attaching to your cells in the first place. Or, ponder the question of how could we employ blood type anti-adhesion strategies in support of conventional use of antibacerial and anti-microbial drugs. If you are a blood type O, the preliminary answer to these questions begins with pondering what health benefits might accrue with the consumption of this common edible seaweed.
Fucus vesiculosus: Immunomodulating Activity and Anti-inflammatory Activity
The fucose sugars in bladderwrack can beneficially impact immune system health by stimulating immunoreactions of the humoral and cellular types, and by enhancing the phagocytosis (or consumption of invaders) by your macrophages. These same complex fucose sugars also offer several advantages that counter the blood type O tendency to inflammation. Essentially they block the recruitment or inhibit an overly aggressive inflammatory immune response at sites of inflammation.
Fucus vesiculosus: Normalizing Metabolism and Thyroid Function
The historical uses of Fucus vesiculosus were primarily as an agent to enhance thyroid function in cases of goiter and as an aid in weight loss for obesity. This remains the primary use of this plant today in natural medicine.
Typically, the credit for its activity in thyroid conditions has been given to its high content of iodine; however, the high fucose content of this plant, because of its immune and inflammatory balancing effects, appears to be responsible for some of the observed benefits on optimizing thyroid function in blood type O's.
If you are a blood type O and plan on consuming bladderwrack as an aid to metabolism and thyroid health, this plant generally works very slowly. A minimum of 3 months is probably warranted, but in many instances best results are produced when bladderwrack is consumed regularly at a low dose for about 1 year.
* 1. Nishino T, Nishioka C, Ura H, Nagumo T. Isolation and partial characterization of a novel amino sugar-containing fucan sulfate from commercial Fucus vesiculosus fucoidan. Carbohydr Res 1994;255:213-224.
* 2. Patankar MS, Oehninger S, Barnett T, et al. A revised structure for fucoidan may explain some of its biological activities. J Biol Chem 1993;268:21770-21776.
* 3. Nishino T, Nishioka C, Ura H, Nagumo T. Isolation and partial characterization of a novel amino sugar-containing fucan sulfate from commercial Fucus vesiculosus fucoidan. Carbohydr Res 1994;255:213-224.
* 4. Wagner M, Wagner B. [Agglutinins in marine brown algae. Dedicated to Professor Dr. H. Knoll on his 65th birthday]. Z Allg Mikrobiol 1978;18:355-360. [Article in German]
* 5. Ferreiros CM, Criado MT. Purification and partial characterization of a Fucus Vesiculosus agglutinin. Rev Esp Fisiol 1983;39:51-59.
* 6. Rozkin MIa, Levina MN, Efimov VS, Usov AI. Comparative study of the anticoagulant activity of sulfated polysaccharides from marine brown algae. Farmakol Toksikol 1988;51:63-68. [Article in Russian]
* 7. Durig J, Bruhn T, Zurborn KH, et al. Anticoagulant fucoidan fractions from Fucus vesiculosus induce platelet activation in vitro. Thromb Res 1997;85:479-491.
* 8. Soeda S, Sakaguchi S, Shimeno H, Nagamatsu A. Fibrinolytic and anticoagulant activities of highly sulfated fucoidan. Biochem Pharmacol 1992;43:1853-1858.
* 9. Roberts DD, Ginsburg V. Sulfated glycolipids and cell adhesion. Arch Biochem Biophys 1988;267:405-415.
* 10. Soeda S, Ishida S, Shimeno H, Nagamatsu A. Inhibitory effect of oversulfated fucoidan on invasion through reconstituted basement membrane by murine Lewis lung carcinoma. Jpn J Cancer Res 1994;85:1144-1150.
* 11. Zhuang C, Itoh H, Mizuno T, Ito H. Antitumor active fucoidan from the brown seaweed, umitoranoo (Sargassum thunbergii). Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 1995;59:563-567.
* 12. Zapopozhets TS, Besednova NN, Loenko IuN. Antibacterial and immunomodulating activity of fucoidan. Antibiot Khimioter 1995;40:9-13. [Article in Russian]
* 13. Baba M, Snoeck R, Pauwels R, de Clercq E. Sulfated polysaccharides are potent and selective inhibitors of various enveloped viruses, including herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, vesicular stomatitis virus, and human immunodeficiency virus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 1988;32:1742-1745.
* 14. Criado MT, Ferreiros CM. Selective interaction of a Fucus vesiculosus lectin-like mucopolysaccharide with several Candida species. Ann Microbiol (Paris) 1983;134A:149-154.
* 15. Criado MT, Ferreiros CM. Toxicity of an algal mucopolysaccharide for Escherichia coli and Neisseria meningitidis strains. Rev Esp Fisiol 1984;40:227-230.
* 16. Zapopozhets TS, Besednova NN, Loenko IuN. Antibacterial and immunomodulating activity of fucoidan. Antibiot Khimioter 1995;40:9-13. [Article in Russian]
* 17. Itoh H, Noda H, Amano H, et al. Antitumor activity and immunological properties of marine algal polysaccharides, especially fucoidan, prepared from Sargassum thunbergii of Phaeophyceae. Anticancer Res 1993;13:2045-2052.
* 18. Teixeira MM, Hellewell PG. The effect of the selectin binding polysaccharide fucoidin on eosinophil recruitment in vivo. Br J Pharmacol 1997;120:1059-1066.
* 19. Patankar MS, Oehninger S, Barnett T, et al. A revised structure for fucoidan may explain some of its biological activities. J Biol Chem 1993;268:21770-21776.
* 20. Hajela K, Kayestha R, Sumati. Carbohydrate induced modulation of cell membrane. IV: Interaction with mucin and fucoidan totally immobilizes the human platelet membrane. Indian J Biochem Biophys 1996;33:308-310.
* 21. Lynch G, Low L, Li S, et al. Sulfated polyanions prevent HIV infection of lymphocytes by disruption of the CD4-gp120 interaction, but do not inhibit monocyte infection. J Leukoc Biol 1994;56:266-272.
* 22. Beress A, Wassermann O, Tahhan S, et al. A new procedure for the isolation of anti-HIV compounds (polysaccharides and polyphenols) from the marine alga Fucus vesiculosus. J Nat Prod 1993;56:478-488. [published erratum appears in J Nat Prod 1996 May;59(5):552]
* 23. Pearce-Pratt R, Phillips DM. Sulfated polysaccharides inhibit lymphocyte-to-epithelial transmission of human immunodeficiency virus-1. Biol Reprod 1996;54:173-182.
* 24. Zaretzky FR, Pearce-Pratt R, Phillips DM Sulfated polyanions block Chlamydia trachomatis infection of cervix-derived human epithelia. Infect Immun 1995;63:3520-3526.
* 25. D'Adamo P. Eat Right 4 Your Type. Putnam: 1997.
* 26. Boren T, Falk P, Roth KA, et al. Attachment of Helicobacter pylori to human gastric epithelium mediated by blood group antigens. Science 1993;262:1892-1895.
* 27. Stromqvist M, Falk P, Bergstrom S, et al. Human milk kappa-casein and inhibition of Helicobacter pylori adhesion to human gastric mucosa. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1995;21:288-296.
* 28. Magner JA, Kane J, Chou ET. Intravenous thyrotropin (TSH)-releasing hormone releases human TSH that is structurally different from basal TSH. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1992;74:1306-1311.
* 29. Overton K, Serif GS. Synthesis of L-fucose in thyroid tissue. Biochim Biophys Acta 1981;675:281-284.
* 30. Hotta T, Ishii I, Ishihara H, et al. Comparative study of the oligosaccharides of human thyroglobulins obtained from normal subjects and patients with various diseases. J Appl Biochem 1985;7:98-103.
* 31. Rowe A, Berendt AR, Marsh K, Newbold CI. Plasmodium falciparum: a family of sulphated glycoconjugates disrupts erythrocyte rosettes. Exp Parasitol 1994;79:506-516.
* 32. Clark DL, Su S, Davidson EA. Saccharide anions as inhibitors of the malaria parasite. Glycoconj J 1997;14:473-479.
* 33. Granert C, Raud J, Xie X, et al. Inhibition of leukocyte rolling with polysaccharide fucoidin prevents pleocytosis in experimental meningitis in the rabbit. J Clin Invest 1994;93:929-936.
* 34. Angstwurm K, Weber JR, Segert A, et al. Fucoidin, a polysaccharide inhibiting leukocyte rolling, attenuates inflammatory responses in experimental pneumococcal meningitis in rats. Neurosci Lett 1995;191:1-4.
by Gregory Kelly
Eat Right 4 Your Type brought attention to dietary lectins; however, the primary emphasis of the book was on negative effects of lectins, with a recommendation, in general, for their avoidance. But in the Seinfeldian world we live in, where sometimes good is bad, and bad can be good, itshould come as no surprise that some lectins actually have beneficial activities under specific circumstances. In fact, some lectins or lectin containing substances have been used in medicine (traditional and conventional) for a variety of purposes, but primarily for their impact on the immune system. One of the largest uses of lectins by medical research is to convince certain immune cells to proliferate (a process called mitosis). It should be obvious that under some circumstances, this could be a huge health advantage. The other large use of lectins is as a probe or tool to identify cancer cells. This is the area where the Helix pomatia snail overlaps the gray area between food and medicine. Coincidentally, snail has a historic reputation as an anti-cancer food. So, lets look for a moment at what the research shows. This will be a bit technical, but I will use a metaphor at the end to attempt to illustrate the utility of this food.
Surface glycosylation (the expression of the glycoprotein (sugar/amino-sugar) antennae that project off of healthy cells such as the ABO antigens, or blood group MN antigens), which in normal cells is very precisely controlled, in cancer cells is often defective. This results in the elaboration of tremendous amounts of incomplete or altered glycoproteins, many of which (including tumor markers like CA-125, CA15-3, CA 19-9, T, and Tn) have clinical and diagnostic relevance. Before we get lost in terms like "surface glycosylation" or "glycoproteins", let's make sure we put this into a framework of something with which you might be a bit more familiar. In fact, in a sense you probably already are very intimately familiar with real world examples of these terms. "Surface glycosylation" simply means the fine architecture of antigenic structures that project off of your cells. The most readily recognized example of a "surface glycosylation" product is your blood type. "Glycoprotein", in a simple sense, means a molecule or chain made of protein-sugar (or amino sugar) and sugars. Again, your blood type antigen (A, B, O, or AB marker) is a real world example of a glycoprotein. So in effect, your blood type is an example of one "surface glycosylation" product and it is built from "glycoproteins".
Nature employs these specialized glycoprotein chains to create structures that act as carriers of biological information. The few monosaccharides (or simple sugars like galactose, mannose, fucose, etc.) and amino sugars (like glucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine (terminal sugar on the A antigen), etc.) act almost like letters in an alphabet. Different combinations and lengths act to create a vocabulary of biological information. This biological information is then built onto the surface of your cells with things like your blood type. In effect this creates our cell's vocabulary and allows our cell's to communicate and interact with their environment.
On a healthy cell ABO antigens are clearly visible, but in diseased cells (like cancer cells), ABO antigens often disappear. Since your body has a disinclination to attack cells with your blood type marker, this disappearance of ABO antigens in cancer is a good strategy. So, the concept to understand is that cancer cells differ radically from their parental
healthy cells in the fine architecture of their "cell surfaces". Again if we thought in simple terms, a healthy cell looks like a well maintained yard (bushes and trees). A cancerous cell would look like a field overgrown with grass after all of the bushes and trees have been cut down to barely visible stumps. This basically results from a cancer cell being unable to
completely assemble a normal, healthy cell membrane structure like a blood type ABO antigen. In an ideal world, your immune system would be naturally predisposed to fight against cells with these incomplete or abnormal structures (just as it would against an invading virus).
Getting more technical again, in 1987 and 1991 Brooks and co-workers1, 2 reported that it is possible to predict lymph node involvement in women with breast cancer by the detection of altered surface glycosylation. Their 1991 study was performed on sections of 373 primary breast cancers, in a 24-year retrospective study. They found that the lectin, found in Helix pomatia, is extremely specific for attaching to or identifying cells with these improperly assembled (compared with a healthy cell) glycoproteins. So in effect, the less like a well-groomed yard, and the more like an overgrown field of grass a cell looks like, the more readily it can be identified by the lectin in Helix pomatia.
It appears that as breast cells become malignant and more prone to metastasis, their surface glycosylation products alter in a predictable manner, resulting in elaboration of markers characterized by the presence of a terminal sugar which can make the cell appear very A-like to your immune system.3 This can make the cell much more difficult for the immune system to recognize, especially for blood types A and AB. The key then is to capitalize somehow on these differences between healthy and cancerous. The lectin in Helix pomatia is one way to capitalize on these differences and interestingly, it would appear that the lectin in Helix pomatia becomes even more active as cell becomes more prone to metastasis.
Let's put this into a metaphorical picture to wrap up our discussion. Because cancer cells need to escape detection by your immune system in order to spread through your lymphatic system to distant parts of your body, anything that can be done to make cancer cells more visible to your immune system offers a potential advantage. Looking at this process in terms of a very generalized metaphor from Star Trek (I apologize to the non-Trekkies out their but this is a great visual example), cancer cells would be like a Klingon vessel trying to pass through federation space without being detected by the Enterprise or other federation starships. In the original series, the Klingon Empire, through their ingenuity, created a "cloaking device" which allowed them just such a means of escaping detection. In a sense, these altered glycosylation products on cancer cells may act very similar to the "cloaking device", allowing the cancer cells to travel through your space frontier (lymphatic system) without detection by your starships (your immune system). Continuing with this metaphor, in order to defeat the "cloaking device", crewmembers from the enterprise beamed aboard the Klingon vessel and stole the device, making the Klingon vessel now visible to their sensors. The lectin in Helix pomatia through its ability to recognize the altered glycosylation products on metastatic cells, appears to act in a similar way, turning off the cancer cells "cloaking device" and allowing it to be more visible to your immune system. As such, this food looks to be a good food to include in the diet, especially for A's and AB's.
1. Brooks SA. Lancet May 9, 1987: 1054-56
2. Brooks SA and Leathem AJC. Lancet, 8759, 338 (1991): 71-74
3. Springer G. J. Nat. Cancer Inst. 54,2 (1975):335-39
4. Schumacher DU. et al. Eur. J. Surgical Oncology; 22(6) 1996:618-620
by Gregory Kelly
What are allergies? Well, in a simplified sense, an allergic reaction is an adverse or inappropriately amplified immune system response to something that many other people find harmless. The most common manner this response expresses itself is with headaches, fatigue, sneezing, watery eyes, and congestion.
A useful way to think of allergies is by way of a metaphor of "total load". What do I mean by "total load"? Well, in a simple sense, we are all like camels. We can carry a certain burden without our backs giving way and collapsing. Thinking in these terms is often quite useful in terms of dealing with seasonal allergies. What are the burdens we carry? Well, they include shared burdens like environmental pollution and toxins. They might also include individual burdens like poor diet, stressful relationships or jobs, lack of sleep, over or under exercise, or our current health status. What happens if the total load we are supporting is well below our ability to endure and we add some seasonal pollen onto the camel's back? Actually not too much happens. The camel keeps on going along on its merry way, still able to continue effortlessly since its burden is within its capability of enduring. But on the other hand, what happens when we are already carrying a load that puts us close to our limits and we add some seasonal pollen onto our camel's back? That's right; it collapses.
While physiologically allergies are quite complex, from a real world perspective the model above is actually quite useful in dealing with this challenge. Did you know that many allergy sufferers notice significant and sustained improvement in symptoms when they switch to the appropriate blood type diet? This is because they have, in effect, removed a great deal of the burden they were carrying. With the removal of this burden, they are now able to support the added weight the environment adds much more readily. So, step one is to be extra careful about the foods you eat during allergy season.
I mentioned that diet plays an important role in allergies. Some researchers have indicated that as much as 55% of your immune system is actually located in your digestive system. All of the same types of factors that impact respiratory allergies like IgE, mast cell degranulation, cytokine imbalances, histamine release, and prostaglandin imbalances (its okay if you don't know what these terms mean) can be acted out in the digestive system. One of the simplest and most profound manners to moderate against these imbalances is consistent exposure to a range of probiotic bacteria (either in supplements or cultured/fermented foods). These types of friendly bacteria (including Lactobaccilus sp. and Bifidus sp.) tend to make the immune system in the digestive tract respond in a much more balanced and appropriate manner. Similarly foods that promote the growth of these bacteria (as appropriate for your blood type) like cumin, larch arabinogalactan, green tea, dandelion root, and ginger, to name a few, are useful additions to the diet.
A second strategy for immune balancing is to add some stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) leaf into your diet as a tea or as a nutritional supplement. This herb tends to promote a more balanced immune system so can often be quite helpful.
Another tea that is both a wonderful addition to the diet and quite useful is "rose hips". In our practice we advise our clients to have a container of the solid extract of rose hips on hand. At the first sign of allergies we advise taking a teaspoon of this food concentrate. They can continue to take a teaspoon of the rose hips every 30 minutes or as needed. Since the solid extract is virtually impossible to locate, drinking a nice strong tea made from rose hips several times daily is an adequate replacement.
The last tea worth mentioning is green tea. Many of my patients have reported substantial benefits from consuming green tea; however, not all green teas are created equal, and most do not seem to exert any influence on allergic symptoms. In practice we have actually only found two brands to date that have produced satisfactory results. One of these is by a company called Scientific Botanicals; however, it is only sold to the professional market. Dr. D'Adamo has made the other green tea brand (the one he uses in his office) available through NAP. When you make green tea it is important to use hot but not boiling water. It is also important to only steep the leaves for about 30-45 seconds. This should result in a deep lime-green colored tea. For best results, use those two simple guidelines and then enjoy several cups per day.
A last "hygienic" note to mention is to get an old-style soap with olive oil or other natural oils as the base. Run your fingernails through the soap twice daily, and then rinse the soap away. Most of the pollen and bacterial debris on the fingers actually accumulates under the nails. Touching any mucus membrane with your fingers can then increase your environmental burden substantially, resulting in....you guessed it, worsening of allergies. This simple technique can substantially reduce the accumulation of this type of debris. (These old-style natural oil based soaps are high in saponins so seem to work while the brand name soaps do not work well in my experience).
It is important to always seek to remove some of the burden from the camel's back. It is also important to make the camel stronger. While most of these suggestions actually do contribute in both of these areas, additional factors that make the camel stronger can generally be addressed by many natural medicine practitioners (most Naturopaths are experts in this area). Make the commitment to begin strengthening your camel today.
by Gregory Kelly
Ear infections (otitis media) are a childhood medical problem accounting for almost 50% of all pediatric medical visits. It has been estimated that about two-thirds of the infants in the U.S. will have an ear infection prior to age two.
The most well recognized risk factors for ear infections include: · day care attendance · wood-burning stoves · parental smoking and/or exposure to second hand smoke · food allergies · formula feeding (as opposed to breast-feeding)
The Blood Type Connection
An often-unrecognized risk factor is blood type. While any blood type can have an ear infection (or recurrent ear infections), blood type A children (or even children who have a blood type A mother) are much more routinely affected. In general, type A children have about a 50% higher rate of infection. This appears to be a case of adhesion/anti-adhesion factors predisposing blood type A to far greater ease of bacterial attachment. Certain strains of bacteria most likely to cause ear infections have very strong preferences to anchor to the blood type A antigen (N-acetylgalactosamine), hence creating a strong predisposition to infection.
In addition to this likelihood of infection, blood type A children are the most susceptible to more severe and repeated bouts of ear infections. In fact, blood type A has such a strong tie to severity of ear infections that just knowing the mother's blood type allows for an ability to predict the child's relative risk for having an ear infection requiring treatment. If you are a mother with blood type A, your child has a 282 percent increase in risk of developing an ear infection requiring medical treatment. While this increase in risk is dramatic, it pales in comparison with what occurs if your child has an ear infection prior to his/her first birthday. The combination of being a child with a blood type A mother and having an ear infection prior to your first birthday increases your relative risk of having recurrent ear infections by 2677 percent.
The Standard Approach
The first step of the standard medical approach to deal with ear infections is administration of antibiotics. These are sometimes accompanied by pain-killing medicines (like aspirin or Tylenol) and antihistamines. If an infant continues to have problems with ear infections, surgery to promote normal drainage of fluid from the ear into the throat is often recommended.
Although these treatments are the standard of care within medicine, several studies have indicated that these interventions might not be any more effective than doing absolutely nothing. In fact, when it comes to antibiotic treatment, in 1997 an article in the prestigious British Medical Journal stated the following:
"We conclude that the benefits of routine antimicrobial use for otitis media, judged by either short-term or long-term outcomes, is unproven." And; "We conclude that existing research offers no compelling evidence that children with acute otitis media routinely given antimicrobials have a shorter duration of symptoms, fewer recurrences, or better long-term outcomes than those who do not receive them."
Certainly an underwhelming statement about the most likely intervention most children encounter. To make matters worse, not only is the evidence demonstrating any benefit to this approach weak (or non-existent), some evidence actually suggests that children receiving antibiotics might have a higher probability of having future ear infections.
The Blood Type Approach
The best approach to any problem is to attempt to prevent it rather than to try and manage its consequences. This is the case with ear infections. For mothers with blood type A, or mothers with a blood type A infant, this information is particularly important and should be put to use in an attempt to reduce your child's risk for ear infections.
For mothers, this means you should take measures to ensure you are healthy prior to giving birth. The current prenatal advice provided by the medical establishment is quite rational as a foundation. These recommendations include following a healthy diet (though there is wide spread disagreement as to what a healthy diet might actually entail), supplementing with appropriate nutrients, and abstaining from cigarette smoking and alcohol intake.
The single biggest factor to consider is the decision to breast-feed. Breast-feeding for a minimum of 4 months has shown a protective effect. Conversely, formula feeding is associated with a greater risk for ear infections. Under all circumstances, bottle feeding while your child is lying on his/her back should be avoided, since this will greatly increase the likelihood of regurgitation of the bottle's contents into the middle ear.
The foods with the strongest association to ear infections are cow's milk, wheat, egg whites, peanuts, soy, corn, tomato, chicken, and apples. The appropriate blood type diet for the mother is of importance, with particular emphasis placed on avoiding the above foods that are challenging for your blood type. Similarly, when introducing solid foods to your infant, begin with easy to digest fruits and vegetables from those that are "highly beneficial" for your infant. Emphasize the avoidance of the foods listed above (if they are an "avoid" for the child's blood type), and delay the introduction of grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds until the infant's digestive tract has developed stronger barrier mechanisms (at least 3 months but preferably 6-9 months).
Lifestyle factors such as eliminating exposure by a child to cigarette smoke, and limiting or eliminating the mother's intake of alcohol when pregnant should also be considered as critical.
There are also several additional factors to consider. Frequent exposure to friendly probiotic bacteria by both the mother and the infant is a critical aspect of resistance and immune system health. This exposure might come in the form of foods such as cultured dairy products (like yogurt or kefir) and/or cultured soy products (such as miso and tempeh). An easy method to increase the exposure to these forms of cultured foods is to utilize the appropriate blood type specific probiotic product. These are encapsulated beneficial foods cultured with 10 strains of friendly probiotic bacteria. Bifidobacteria are possibly the type of friendly bacteria of greatest importance to the infant digestive tract, so if you are utilizing some other form of probiotic, it might be prudent to ensure that Bifidobacteria are included.
Dr. D'Adamo is also quite fond of larch arabinogalactan as a dietary supplement for infants. This fiber acts to preferentially promote the growth of Bifidobacteria and acts to promote a balanced and healthy immune system. Since it dissolves readily in juice or water, and since it can be easily mixed into foods, it is (unlike many supplements) relatively easy to give to children.
If your child develops an acute ear infection, medical advice is advisable. Although, about 80% of acute ear infections will respond to placebo and resolve within 48 hours irrespective of treatment, it is best to have your child monitored by a physician to ensure no complicating factors exist.
Steuer MK, Hofstadter F, Probster L, et al. Are ABH antigenic determinants on human outer ear canal epithelium responsible for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections? ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec 1995;57:148-152
Mortensen EH, Lildholdt T, Gammelgard NP, Christensen PH. Distribution of ABO blood groups in secretory otitis media and cholesteatoma. Clin Otolaryngol 1983;8:263-265
Gannon MM, Jagger C, Haggard MP. Maternal blood group in otitis media with effusion. Clin Otolaryngol 1994;19:327-331
Froom J, et al. Antimicrobials for acute otitis media? A review from the International Primary Care Network. Br Med J 1997;315:98-102
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Metal + Oxygen = Rust
Have you ever seen rust? Have you been around the ocean or on a boat and observed what occurs to brass when it is exposed to the elements? These are visible examples of processes that are occurring in your body all of the time. We depend on oxygen for our survival, so thankfully we live in an oxygen-rich environment. But oxygen is a powerful molecule, capable of reacting with other molecules. Rust is a great visual example of oxidative damage that occurs as a result of an oxygen-metal reaction.
Oxygen is also a powerful reactant inside your body. While it is essential for health, it is also capable of disrupting cellular function and impairing efforts towards health by generating excessive amounts of oxygen radicals resulting in oxidative damage. Under ideal circumstances, your body would regulate the impact of oxygen; ensuring you receive maximum benefits without generating excessive amounts of unregulated oxygen free radicals.
Ultimately health has a great deal to do with balance. One of these points of balance is the relative activity of free radicals and antioxidants.
Free-Radicals and Antioxidants
Free radicals are highly reactive molecules. Because of their electron configuration (they are missing at least one electron), these molecules are unstable, and in effect, are in search of other substances from which they can literally steal an electron. Before you jump to the wrong conclusions and assume free radicals are bad (they are not necessarily) it is important to realize that your body actually depends of free radicals for some of its critical activities. As mentioned, it is more a question of balance and your body has many redundant methods for establishing an appropriate balance of free radical activity. Substances that fuel your body's capability of keeping free radical activity in check are called antioxidants.
A key element of health is the relative balance in your free radical (attacking forces) activity and your antioxidant (defending forces) capability. When these forces become unbalanced and free radical troops outnumber your antioxidant forces, health invariably suffers. Currently over 100 conditions have been identified that have associations with excessive free radical activity. In effect, the chronic and cumulative assault by excessive free radical troops, when antioxidant defenses are sub-optimal leads to degeneration and dysfunction. Some of the degenerative conditions associated with oxidative damage by free radicals include cancer, arteriosclerosis, viral infections, autoimmune disorders, lung disease, and neurological diseases. Even aging and death have been associated with the oxidative damage resulting from unchecked and cumulative over exposure to free radicals.
Antioxidant Defense Measures
Antioxidants are enzymes or substances that are capable of inhibiting the oxidation of target molecules. In other words, they act as an anti-rust mechanism. In general, antioxidants are divided into two categories: 1) those that have activity in water (like vitamin C), and 2) those that have activity in fat (like vitamin E and beta-carotene). Lipoic acid is an unusual nutrient because it has both water- and fat-soluble activity.
While this list is not intended to be all inclusive, some of the most well known substances with antioxidant activities include:
* Vitamins: C, E, and Beta-Carotene
* Minerals: Zinc, Selenium, Copper, and Manganese (these function as cofactors in antioxidant enzymes)
* Accessory Nutrients: CoQ10 and Lipoic Acid
* Herbs: Ginkgo biloba, Milk Thistle, Ginger, and Turmeric
* Foods: Blueberries, Cherries, and Yellow/Orange Vegetables.
* Beverages: Green Tea, Red Wine, and Coffee (depending upon brewing methods).
A good rule of thumb is that the more color a fruit, vegetable, or spice contains, the more likely it will have higher antioxidant activity. This is because the compounds that give color to fruits and vegetables (flavonoid and carotenoid compounds primarily) are excellent antioxidants.
A second important point is that culturing food with probiotic bacteria invariably increases and stabilizes its antioxidant activity. Because of this a food like miso would have greater antioxidant potential than would soybeans. Similarly culturing a fruit or vegetable acts to increase its antioxidant potential. This was part of the rationale for the design of the Probiotic products (consisting of selected cultured fruits, vegetables, and spices), and is an important extra benefit derived from the bio-grown, food-cultured nutrients utilized in the A, AB, and O Multiples.
A last important point is that antioxidants work synergistically. This means that if you double the amount of something like vitamin C you might not get double the antioxidant activity. In fact you might actually now run the risk of throwing something out of balance. It is important to understand that most antioxidants can themselves be prooxidant (or capable of generating oxidative damage) if they are not recycled or rejuvenated. It is a bit like taking trash to a Dumpster. If you just keep dumping trash, you run the risk of overflowing the Dumpster. However, if you recycle what can be recycled and ensure the dumpsters are emptied appropriately, your ability to handle the garbage you generate is substantially higher and incredibly more efficient.
The recycling of these antioxidant substances depends on other antioxidant substance. So rather than doubling the amount of vitamin C, if you add some vitamin E, blueberries, green tea, etc, you will have a much higher degree of antioxidant activity and you will be creating a better antioxidant recycling system. As an example of this synergy, research has shown that the combination of green tea and turmeric offer 8.5X the antioxidant activity when combined as compared to when they are used individually. Because of this inherent synergy of antioxidants, it is essential to consume a diet rich in antioxidant fruits, vegetables, and cultured foods. It also makes more sense to then appropriately supplement with levels of the other antioxidant compounds to round out a good diet, rather than simply taking high amounts of one to several of these antioxidant compounds.
Factors Influencing Antioxidant Defenses
Your ability to respond to free radical assault is determined by many factors. Age, genetic background, medical history, degree of exposure to pollution, cigarette smoking, level of stress, and diet are among the most important of these factors. Even a beneficial lifestyle habit like exercise can influence your need for increased antioxidant defenses. Exercise tends to generate free radicals and so an increase in activity level mandates closer attention to the balance of your antioxidant defenses.
Monitoring the Balance between Free Radical Forces and Antioxidant Troops
While a variety of lab tests can provide an indication of the relative balance between these opposing forces, the simplest and most cost-effective test currently available utilizes a urine sample. By placing several drops of urine in a specially designed ampoule and watching the change (if any) of color, you can receive a rapid estimate of the balance between these forces.
This test can be run as often as desired and is a great tool to assist you in determining the effectiveness of your diet, lifestyle, and supplementation choices at maintaining an adequate balance between free radical attack and antioxidant defenses.
Note: Blood type specific suggestions for improving your antioxidant defense mechanisms (as well as lessening the free radical attack) are provided within the test kit.
by Gregory Kelly
What is Cyanocobalamin?
Cyanocobalamin is the most commonly supplemented form of vitamin B12, but you might be surprised to discover that this form of vitamin B12 does not actually occur in plants or animal tissues. In other words, outside of the chemically synthesized cyanocobalamin that you encounter as B12 in most vitamin supplements, you would be extremely hard pressed to find this compound in nature (in fact you would not be able to find it). As the name implies, cyanocobalamin contains a cyanide molecule. Most people are familiar with cyanide as a poisonous substance. Although the amount of cyanide in a normal B12 supplement is small and from a toxicology point, viewed as insignificant, your body will still need to remove and eliminate this compound. This removal is accomplished through your detoxification systems with substances like glutathione being very important for the elimination of the cyanide.
The Coenzyme Forms of B12
Another available form of B12 that offers significant advantages over cyanocobalamin is called methylcobalamin This form of B12 is called a coenzyme form of B12 and is believed to be a much more active form of the vitamin. In addition to the methylcobalamin coenzyme form, B12 is also available in another coenzyme form, which is most commonly called "adenosylcobalamin". The adenosylcobalamin form of B12 is also occasionally called cobamamide or dibencozide. Although methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are both considered to be active forms of B12, they do appear to offer slightly different health advantages. We will discuss those; however, before beginning this discussion it is important to make a distinction between an enzyme and a vitamin, so that you will be able to appreciate the advantage that coenzyme forms of vitamins can offer.
What's the Difference between a Vitamin and an Enzyme?
Most people assume that a vitamin has some type of special activity or unique and important function in the body. In essence, there is a degree of correctness and a degree of incorrectness to this basic assumption. The truth is that a vitamin is nothing more than a component of one or several enzymes. And, enzymes are what are important for generating the chemical reactions you need for good health. To the degree a vitamin that you consume in a supplement can be converted into or plugged into an enzyme, the basic assumption will be correct and a vitamin will be able to fulfill its actions in support of your health.
Let's use a metaphor here to try and make this clear. We will resort to a car metaphor since most of you will have a great degree of familiarity with the car and its various parts. Let's pretend that one of the enzymes needed for function of this car is the ignition system. Without the ignition system catalyzing the reaction we call "starting the car", the car has much less usefulness. Enzymes in your body are similar; they are needed to jump-start the various reactions you need to allow for good usefulness of all of your various capabilities and systems.
Now in our car model, if this particular enzyme were the ignition system, what would the vitamin part be? Probably the best way to think of the vitamin would be as the key to the ignition system. Obviously the key is a very important part of the ignition system. However, how valuable is the key without an ignition system? Not very useful actually. In fact, you can have a surplus of keys, but if there is no ignition system, or if part of the ignition system is missing, or if the key is not placed correctly into the ignition system, these keys are in effect utterly useless. Vitamins are very similar to this. If they are not plugged into the enzyme correctly, you can have an abundance or surplus of the vitamin, and you still will not have appropriate function.
There is another level of complexity with respect to vitamins that is also never discussed. Did you know that the common forms of vitamins used in the majority of supplements are actually a far cry from the compound that will eventually be plugged into the enzyme? In other words, the vitamins that you take in a pill have to be processed inside your body (usually in many different steps) to turn the vitamin into something your body recognizes and can then plug into the enzyme. Another way to state this is that your body has to do a bunch of work on most vitamins in order to get any benefit from them. And just as in any other type of work, more different steps from start to finish of a process will create many more opportunities for mistakes to occur.
Let's return to our car metaphor for a moment. In this example, the vitamins that you consume as supplements can best be thought of as a blank key that has not been cut to fit the ignition system. Granted it is the building block for what you will need, but until someone cuts the appropriate grooves and indentations so that it will fit your ignition, it will be unable to catalyze the reaction called "starting the car". Having blank keys available is important, but having a key that fits and is inserted correctly into your ignition system is what is really important. In the automobile world, a locksmith can cut the appropriate grooves and indentations into the key so that it will fit your cars ignition system. In your body, the absorption and transformation processes that occur in your intestines and liver, act as this locksmith.
Some of the many factors that can limit the ability to take a vitamin and turn it into an enzyme include genetic metabolic errors, aging, nutritional inadequacies of other important vitamins and minerals, enzyme defects, disease states (especially of the liver, kidneys or with digestion and absorption), and pathological changes to tissues. In all of these circumstances you can have many blank keys available, but the locksmith just cannot perform the job of cutting the keys and putting them into the ignition correctly.
You might be wondering about food.... what does food have in it? Well, in this metaphor, food contains the complete ignition system with the perfectly fitted key already inserted in the ignition system. In other words food contains vitamins already in the form needed for the enzyme to work and already appropriately placed into the enzyme. Obviously this is an advantage when compared to just having a blank key.
The other option for vitamin supplementation is to supplement with coenzyme forms of vitamins. A coenzyme form of the vitamin means the key (or vitamin) has already been cut to fit the ignition perfectly, so it bypasses the need for the locksmith. Vitamin B12 offers two such coenzyme forms, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.
Methylcobalamin and Adenosylcobalamin: Active B12's
Compared with cyanocobalamin, it appears that both methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are better absorbed and retained in higher amounts within your tissues. In simple terms, they are used much more effectively. In general, methylcobalamin is used primarily in your liver, brain and nervous system, while adenosylcobalamin is used mostly in the liver and for hemoglobin (blood cell) production
One of the classic indications of B12 deficiency is a specialized form of anemia called macrocytic anemia. This usually shows up on a lab test as an increased mean corpuscular volume (in other words your blood cells are a bit larger than they should be). While iron is often the only thing given for anemia, this form of anemia usually has nothing to do with a lack of iron. B12 and folic acid are the nutrients you would need, but you need them to be plugged into enzymes. Because of this, the active forms of B12 are often much more effective. Even with other forms of anemia, it is usually much more effective to combine iron supplementation with folic acid + either or both of the active forms of vitamin B12.
In animals, a significant body of experimental evidence suggests that a deficiency of vitamin B12 can enhance the activity of various carcinogens. Animal experiments have also demonstrated that both methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin increase survival time and reduce tumor growth in some forms of cancer. Amazingly, methylcobalamin has also been shown to enhance the effectiveness of methotrexate, a drug sometimes used in the treatment of cancer. The active forms of B12 also appear to be very important in supporting proper immune system health. While this information should not be presumed to apply to human cancer, and their is currently no available evidence indicating that any form of vitamin B12 has any benefit in preventing or treating cancer, it certainly seems that this nutrient would be worthy of some future research.
Methylcobalamin is the specific form of B12 needed for nervous system health. Because of this it should be the first form of this vitamin thought of when interested in attempting to optimize the health of the nervous system with vitamin supplementation. Indications of a potential deficiency of B12 in the nervous system might include numbness, tingling, loss of feeling sensation, burning sensations, muscle cramps, nerve pain and slowness of reflexes.
The relative balance of the nervous system is also of critical importance in your overall sense of health and well being. In essence we have a fight or flight nervous system and a relaxation nervous system. Methylcobalamin has been shown to be an important vitamin in helping to establish and maintain an appropriate balance between these two opposing nervous systems.
Because of methylcobalamin's importance in nervous system health, it is also an important nutrient for vision. In fact, continued visual work (like work on a computer) often leads to a reduction in something called "visual accommodation". Methylcobalamin can significantly improve visual accommodation, while cyanocobalamin appears to be ineffective.
An elevated level of homocysteine is a metabolic indication of decreased levels of the coenzyme forms of vitamin B12, especially methylcobalamin. Homocysteine has received a tremendous amount of emphasis in the scientific literature because of its associations with heart disease and a variety of other specific health conditions. I have even seen advertisements on television promoting folic acid, as a vitamin needed to lower homocysteine. While this is true, and folic acid does lower homocysteine levels, the combination of methylcobalamin and folic acid appears to work much better.
In people with liver disease, although high blood levels of vitamin B12 are common, it is not unusual to actually have a correspondingly low liver tissue concentration of vitamin B12 and its enzymes. In effect your locksmith can't make keys anymore so the functions that depend on a complete and working B12 enzymes often suffer. Because of this, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin should be the forms of B12 used under these circumstances. In fact, even under normal circumstances, the active forms of B12 help the liver function much more efficiently. Liver detoxification and antioxidant systems work much more effectively when methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are supplied (as opposed to cyanocobalamin). Since our livers tend to be over worked due to the varieties of pollution and other environmental factors we are exposed to, these active forms of B12 can be valuable forms of additional nutritional support for the liver.
The most well studied use of methylcobalamin has to do with sleep. Although the exact mechanism of action is not yet clear, it is possible that methylcobalamin is needed for the synthesis of melatonin. Available information indicates that methylcobalamin can modulate melatonin secretion, enhance light-sensitivity, and normalize circadian rhythm (your 24-hour clock). Because of this, individuals supplementing this form of B12 often have improved quality of sleep, often will require slightly less sleep, and will not uncommonly report that they feel a bit more refreshed when waking in the morning. Methylcobalamin is particularly effective when your 24-hour clock is not running smoothly. This may be indicated by a need for excessive sleep, changing sleep-wake cycles, or a tendency to have altered sleep wake patterns. As examples, you might require 10-12 hours of sleep, or you might not feel tired until 2-3 am and you might wake at noon, or you might find that you wake a bit later every day and go to be a bit later every night. Under all of these circumstances the combination of methylcobalamin (about 3000 mcg daily) and exposure to bright light in the morning can help reestablish your 24-hour clock.
Because of methylcobalamin's impact on 24-hour clock and the cycles that feed of this, it is also an important vitamin to regulate your 24-hour release of the stress hormone cortisol. This seems to be particularly important for blood types A and AB. Methylcobalamin also seems to result in a better 24-hour maintenance of body temperature. Typically individuals supplementing this coenzyme form of B12 have higher temperatures in the later hours of the daytime. This usually corresponds with improved alertness at the same time of the day. While this can be of importance to all blood types, low body temperatures seems to be an area of greater challenge for A's and B's.
The appropriate dose of the coenzyme forms can vary, but a dose of between 1000-2000 mcg daily is usually adequate. If attempting to influence sleep cycles or your 24-hour clock a higher dose of methylcobalamin (3000 mcg daily) is usually a more prudent starting point. Both of these forms of B12 are considered to be exceptionally safe and can be used by all blood types.
Rhodiola rosea (Russian Rhodiola) This is a perennial plant with red, pink, or yellowish flowers. It is no biological relation to the "common" rose, but due to its similar fragrance it has been used as a substitute for Attar of Roses. One of the greatest things Rhodiola does is enhance mental and physical performance. It has been widely used by Russian athletes and cosmonauts to increase energy. Rhodiola is cardio-protective, normalising the heart rate immediately after intense exercise. It improves nervous system and mental functions such as memory by increasing blood-supply to the muscles and brain, and also increases protein synthesis, (1,2,3).
Rhodiola rosea has extraordinary pharmacological properties as an anti-mutagen and anti-depressive agent. In this respect Rhodiola rosea is much more powerful than other adaptogens. In one study done by O.M. Duhan and colleagues (4), the anti-mutagenic activities of Panax Ginseng and of Rhodiola rosea were compared It appeared that the extracts of Rhodiola rosea had the higher capacity to counteract gene mutations induced by various mutagens (up to about 90% inhibition in some cases). The anti-depressive and anti-stress activity of Golden root is higher than that of St. John's Wort, Ginkgo biloba and Panax Ginseng. Furthermore, Rhodiola rosea is five times less toxic than Panax ginseng. In experiment on rats with Pliss lymphosarcoma (PLS) it was shown (5) that partial hepatectomy, a course application of Rhodiola rosea extract or combined effects inhibit the growth of tumours by 37%, 39% and 59%, respectively, and that of metastases by 42%, 50% and 75%.
In one human study (6) oral administration of Rhodiola rosea extract to 12 patents with superficial bladder carcinoma (T1G1-2) improved the characteristics of the urothelial tissue integration, parameters of leukocyte integrins and T-cell immunity. The average frequency of relapses for these patients was found to fall twice. In another clinical trial 150 individuals suffering from depression took Rhodiola rosea extracts for a period of one month. At the end of that period two-thirds of them had full remission of clinical manifestations of depression, and had become more active and more sociable. Daytime weakness and general weakness disappeared.
Rhodiola rosea extracts reduce significantly the yield of cells with the chromosome aberrations in vivo and inhibit unscheduled DNA synthesis induced by N-nitroso-N-methylurea in vitro (7). It is emphasised that Rhodiola rosea extracts have rejuvenative properties due to their ability to raise the efficiency of the intracell DNA repair mechanisms.
Probably the best reason to use Rhodiola (an a real Achille's heel for group O individuals) is the ability of the plant to help clear excess catecholamines, such as adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. From Live Right 4 Your Type, you may remember that group O blood is associated with tendencies to over accumulate adrenaline by excess conversion of their dopamine. In addition to the excess levels, group O is associated with a lowered ability to clear catecholamines once made. (1) Upon my advice NAP has added 100mg per capsule of pure Russian Rhodiola to their already very effective Catechol formula. If you thought Catechol was already pretty effective, I'm sure you will be delighted with the results of the added Rhodiola.
1 Maslova L.V. et al. (1994) "The cardioprotective and antiadrenergic activity of an extract of Rhodiola rosea in stress" Eksp Klin Farmakol 57(6): 61-6
2. Germano, C. et al. (1999) "Arctic root. The powerful new ginseng alternative" Kensington Publ.Corp.
3. Petkov, V.D. et. al. (1986) "Effects of alcohol aqueous extract from Rhodiola rosea L. roots on learning and memory" Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg 12(1): 3-16
4. Duhan, O.M. et al. (1999) "The antimutagenic activity of biomass extracts from the cultured cells of medicinal plants in the Ames test" Tsitol Genet Nov-Dec 33(6): 19-25
5. Udintsev SN; et.al. (1991) "The role of humoral factors of regenerating liver in the development of experimental tumours and the effect of Rhodiola rosea extract on this process" Neoplasma;38(3): 323-31
6. Bocharova OA et.al. (1995) "The effect of a Rhodiola rosea extract on the incidence of recurrences of a superficial bladder cancer (experimental clinical research)" Urol Nefrol (Mosk) Mar-Apr (2): 46-7
7. Salikhova RA et.al. (1997) "Effect of Rhodiola rosea on the yield of mutation alteration and DNA repair in bone marrow cells". Patol Fiziol Exsp Ter Oct-Dec (4) : 22-4
8. Linh PT et.al. (2000) "Quantitative determination of salidroside and thyrosol from the underground part of Rhodiola rosea by high performance liquid chromatography" Arch Pharm Res Aug 23(4): 349-52
by Gregory Kelly
"I have found Collinsonia (stoneroot) to be of great reliability in assisting to stabilize the lining on the sinus cavities and to minimize the build-up of excess mucus in the sinus cavities, throat, and stomach." --- Peter J. D'Adamo, N.D.
"Remember it in any wrong of the venous capillary system". --- Lloyd's Bulletin
Collinsonia or "stone root" (other common names have included knob root, horse balm, and richweed) has traditionally been employed for passive venous congestion or engorgement. It was historically described as astringent, alterative, diuretic, tonic, etc., none of which give a very clear idea of its effects. A more apt description of its actions in old herbal texts often emphasizes its ability to overcome undue congestion with accompanying pain, irritation, and a sense of stagnation, whether it is within the rectum, pharynx (throat), or other vascular area. In the Merck Index its active principles are listed as resins, saponins, tannins, and mucilage.
Collinsonia was also used historically as a tonic and as an antispasmodic (essentially something to relax smooth muscle tissue). Comments in old herbal texts refer to its ability to relax painful constrictions and spasms of the rectum. As such it was often used in the past for fistulas, ulcers, and fissures. It had a similar reputation for relaxing activity on urinary organs, where it was thought to relax the ureter, and therefore increasing urination, reducing irritability of the bladder, and assisting with the passage of kidney stones.
Another often mentioned use of collinsonia is its ability to counteract the build-up gastric catarrh. This word has fallen out of common use, even within the medical profession, but implies inflammation of a mucus membrane resulting in an increased production of mucus.
Collinsonia's two most common historical applications were for "preacher's throat" and hemorrhoids. Preacher's throat is best thought of as the irritation, dryness, or scratchiness to the throat that develops as a result of overuse. Hence the idea of the preacher who was constantly delivering a sermon and had chronic problems with sore throat or an irritated sensation from overuse of his voice box. I think its reputation in this area is well deserved.
I routinely give presentations and occasionally have been on marathon speaking engagements. Last spring, for example, I gave a 3 hour presentation for the Learning Annex in New York City on a Thursday night. On Friday morning I flew to San Diego and gave 2 presentations at health food stores on Friday, and 2 more on Saturday; all sandwiched around a presentation on herbs at a local botanical garden. Collinsonia has repeatedly helped me when my throat has become irritated from this type of overuse. Whether this is a placebo effect or not, I honestly could not tell you. However, it has been quite reliable in this area for me, and for patients who have tried it for similar situations.
Its use in hemorrhoids seems to also be well worth a try. This has without question been its primary use among herbalists and naturopaths. Hemorrhoids can be a result of several different factors. Generally, we hear that they are a result of straining too hard to defecate, constipation or from low fiber diets and the subsequently harder stools. Other explanations for hemorrhoids include a weakness and irritation in venous tissue and liver congestion (causing increased pressure through the portal veins). In Boericke’s Materia Medica, collinsonia is listed as having an ability quite specific to all of these functional derangements. Do not expect this plant to cure you of hemorrhoids overnight; it won't. However, it does offer the possibility of relief if used regularly for a prolonged period of time.
The first mention of collinsonia's use for some functional problems of the sinus that I ran across was in Eat Right 4 Your Type, which gives some idea of the depth of Dr. D'Adamo's herbal knowledge. However, in old herbal Materia Medica’s, collinsonia is invariably mentioned as being useful for nasal catarrh and dull frontal headaches (especially in people who have or have had hemorrhoids). These common complaints are now invariably lumped into a category called sinusitis (or inflammation of the sinus cavities).
Before we discuss under what circumstances you might want to try this herb for sinus health, let's discuss when it is not going to be of much help. When you have an acute sinus infection, collinsonia should not be regarded as a reliable option to replace either conventional medicines (such as antibiotics) or more aggressive alternative remedies. This plant simply does not have any known anti-microbial or anti-bacterial activity. This is not to say that it has no activity against these organisms; but this area has never been studied and is not part of the plant's historical use. If collinsonia does have any anti-bacterial activity it is likely to be too weak to be of adequate help for an acute infection.
So when might it be useful. Dr. D'Adamo frequently refers to some forms of chronic sinus discomfort as "hemorrhoids of the head". What he is implying is that the lining of the sinus cavities is made from similar material as the lining of your venous system, and just like with a hemorrhoid, this tissue has become inflamed or irritated. So this gives one possible clue to its use. When there is a sense of pressure, congestion, or a generalized inflammation in the area of your sinuses (with or without excess mucus production), collinsonia used regularly will often bring about a subjective sense of improvement.
Even if your sinus concerns just center around a chronic complaint of post-nasal drip, or excess mucus production (without pressure or dull headaches), collinsonia will often be quite useful. Another factor to consider and to place attention on for this type of sinus complaint would certainly be your diet; with strict avoidance of the foods mentioned in ER4YT being a great strategy.
There is one other hygienic practice you might want to consider for this type of recurring problem with sinus congestion or mucus build-up. This is the use of shea butter (a wax-like fat from a seed of an African tree) applied topically in the lining of your nasal cavity. This will often also be helpful to sooth irritated tissue, and reduce build-up of mucus or congestion.
Boericke W. Materia Medica with Repertory. 9th ed. (originally published in 1927) Boericke and Tafel, Inc., Santa Rosa, CA.
D’Adamo P, Whitney C. Eat Right 4 Your Type. 1996 G. P. Putnam and Sons, New York, NY.
Ellingwood F. American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy. 1919 Ellingwood’s Therapeutist, Evanston, IL.
Budavari S, ed. Merck Index. 1989 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ.
copyright 1999 North American Pharmacal. All Rights Reserved.
by Gregory Kelly
I went to lunch yesterday at a local health food store (they make great soup) and while I was walking through the supplement section I noticed an attractive floor display. But what really grabbed my attention about this particular display was that it contained a "new" immune-boosting product called "Larch Arabinogalactan." It makes me smile to see this product getting attention in the natural foods industry, because this product is far from new to Naturopathic Physicians. Ultimately the reason Naturopaths are so familiar with this compound, and probably the lion's share of the reason it now graces the shelves of health food stores can be traced to one individual—Peter D'Adamo, N.D.
The historical story of "Larch Arabinogalactan," as I have heard it, is actually quite interesting, so I will share parts of it with you. Arabinogalactan is a specific polysaccharide, and polysaccharides interact with blood type. So, it is not surprising to discover that Dr. D'Adamo has had a passionate interest in polysaccharide research for more than a decade. Because of this interest, years ago now, Dr. D'Adamo was scanning research articles and came across a Japanese study (written in Japanese) which just happened to have several words written in English..."Echinacea" and "Arabinogalactan." This ignited the spark that would eventually lead to his use of this product.
While information on the health benefits of Arabinogalactan were non-existent to scarce at this point in time, the connection with Echinacea led Dr. D'Adamo to ponder whether it might have immune benefiting effects. However, a source of concentrated arabinogalactans was not as easy to find 8-10 years ago as it is today. His search for a source of Arabinogalactan eventually led him to the lumber industry. The larch tree, as it turns out, is a rich source of this polysaccharide. But up until this point in time, it had been regarded solely as a fiber. Before long, 50-100 pound bags of bulk "Larch Arabinogalactan" began to show up at the D'Adamo Clinic in Greenwich, CT. Dr. D’Adamo’s research of this natural product now moved into full swing. In fact, patients will still tell you stories about the plastic baggies filled with a "fluffy, white powder" and how this product helped them.
By the time I was in naturopathic school, Dr. D'Adamo had introduced the use of this product into Naturopathic Medicine. Before I had graduated, he had published his first review article on the health benefits of Larch Arabinogalactan. The rest, as they say, is history.
So, from its rather inauspicious beginnings—as an underutilized leftover from the logging industry—to one man's curiosity—Larch Arabinogalactan has now arrived as an emerging new darling of the natural foods industry.
So let's learn a bit more about this natural product. As I have said, arabinogalactans are a class of polysaccharides found in a wide range of plants; however, they are most abundant in plants of the genus Larix (larch tree is Larix occidentalis). High-grade or nutraceutical-grade Larch Arabinogalactan (the grade typically utilized for supplements) is composed of greater than 98% arabinogalactan. As produced, Larch Arabinogalactan is a dry, free-flowing powder, with a very slight pine-like odor and sweetish taste. It is 100% water-soluble and produces low viscosity solutions. Because of its excellent solubility and mild taste, the powder mixes readily in water and juices and is easily administered (even to children).
The longest recognized use of Larch Arabinogalactan is probably as a source of dietary fiber. It has been shown to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA's), principally butyrate and proprionate. These special fatty acids are critically important for the health of the colon. In fact, having an adequate supply of SCFA's is thought to make colon cells more resistant to both tumor promotion and a variety of intestinal disease.
Larch Arabinogalactan also acts as a food supply for friendly bacteria. The term used to describe this action is "prebiotic." The most well known prebiotic substance is "fructooligosaccharides" or "FOS." Larch Arabinogalactan acts in the same manner as FOS in humans. In effect, when we consume Larch Arabinogalactan, we are rewarded by this significant positive effect on our gut microfloral balance. Specifically, this fiber acts to increase good bacteria like bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, while decreasing bad bacteria. Since these friendly bacteria are critically important for the health of our digestive and immune systems, detoxification and hormone regulating capabilities, and nutrient formation and absorption; the growth promoting effects of Larch Arabinogalactan on these organisms alone makes it a valuable addition to our diet.
While Larch Arabinogalactan has a huge impact on digestive health, it has received even more attention for its ability to promote the health of our immune system. It was this possibility that first drew Dr. D'Adamo's curiosity.
The immune system is a very complex system. A healthy immune system is, in many respects, the core of prevention or resistance against disease. While it might be easy to assume that, with respect to immune system function or response, "more is better"...this is not always the case. In fact, like most things in life, your immune system's performance is more about an "appropriate" response, than it is about simply an "increased" response. Many chronic health challenges are predictably associated with some parts of your immune system "under-achieving"; however, it is just as common in these same circumstances to have other parts of the immune system "over-achieving." So, in simple terms, immune system health is all about "balance."
Substances, which promote a balanced response to stress, are called "adaptogens." Larch Arabinogalactan appears to act as an "adaptogenic" agent on your immune system...lifting up weak aspects and balancing down over-achieving aspects. So, while this supplement is currently primarily thought of as something to improve or stimulate immune system activity, it would be more appropriately described as a substance with an ability to build a more responsive immune system...or in effect, an immune system that is better able to function in a balanced and appropriate manner in the face of the challenges we face today.
Safety and dosage
Larch Arabinogalactan is FDA approved for use in food applications. Toxicity tests in animals indicates that Larch Arabinogalactan is significantly less toxic than methylcellulose (one of the most commonly supplemented fibers). Clinical feedback suggests an occasional reaction of bloating and flatulence in less than 3 percent of individuals (most often women). This side effect is probably secondary to the effect Larch Arabinogalactan has on beneficially altering gut microflora and will often disappear after several days to 1 week.
As an addition to the diet, the usual dose is 1-3 grams daily (1000-3000 mg). However, much larger amounts can be taken if desired (up to 2-3 tablespoons daily). Larch Arabinogalactan is available in powder, capsules, and tablets from various supplement companies. Since it mixes very well with juice or water, and is more cost-effective as a powder as compared to capsules or tablets, I usually use the powder form. However, its effectiveness is similar whether taken as powder, capsule or tablet.
ARA6 available from the ABO Friendly Products Page.
by Gregory Kelly
We all know too much of this can have a detrimental impact on our health, but did you know that your blood type is a large determinant of your stress response? In pigs blood type is an accurate predictor of susceptibility or resistance against something called porcine stress syndrome. Certainly no one would argue that a pig's susceptibility to stress can be extrapolated to humans, but if blood type can impact a pigs susceptibility to stress...could blood type influence our stress response?
Several researchers have actually looked at the connection between blood type and the response to stress in (non-pig), human subjects. The findings have been quite consistent; the evidence quite clear. Just like pigs, our response to stress is influenced by and linked to blood type. Blood type plays a significant role in the basal levels of stress hormones we produce, the way people respond to stress, and how quickly they recover from stress.
While a full explanation of the blood type response to stress will have to wait for the publication of Live Right 4 Your Type (there is an excellent chapter in the upcoming book on this subject). The "Reader's Digest" version is that blood type A tends to be the most affected by the type of stress we encounter everyday. As always, blood type O's are at the opposite side of the spectrum from A's and so are the most stress resistant. Blood type B's and AB's are in between (with B's being much more A-like in their stress response and AB's being more O-like) these extremes with their stress responses.
When discussing stress, it is useful to look at the model created by the noted stress researcher Hans Selye. He provided the classic model for the progression of our adaptation to stress. He observed that given any source of external biological stress, an organism would respond with a predictable biological pattern in an attempt to restore its internal balance. He termed this the General Adaptation Syndrome or Biological Stress Syndrome and divided the response into 4 categories. the "alarm reaction" characterized by an immediate activation of the nervous system and adrenal gland a "resistance phase" characterized by hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) activation a "pre-exhaustion" stage characterized by adrenal enlargement, ulcers, and immune system under-activity an "exhaustion phase"
Alarm would be the "fight or flight" or initial responses. In an ideal world, once the stressful event has passed we would then shift away from "alarm" and reestablish our internal balance. Unfortunately real life situations do not always allow for this recovery. This is especially the case for blood type A's, who seem to internally switch into "fight or flight" with even minor stress and live in the "resistance" stage of the stress response.
Because of this, from a health perspective, the importance of calming the nervous system or reducing stress is paramount for all blood type A's. When it comes to reducing stress levels...blood type A has to do more, for less return. Strategies to move them out of the "resistance" stage (to sensitize their ability to regulate cortisol levels) are imperative, as are strategies to prevent an arrival at "exhaustion". Herbal adaptogens and extra nutritional support can help buffer against excessive elevation of cortisol, to resensitize the body to regulate the cortisol stress response, and to protect the adrenal gland from functional exhaustion.
The term "adaptogen" has been used to categorize plants, which improve the non-specific response to and promote recovery from stress. Soviet researchers, beginning in the 1950's were the first to determine that many plants, especially belonging to the Araliaceae family, have adaptogenic properties. Perhaps the two best known adaptogens are Panax ginseng (Korean or Chinese ginseng) and Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng). In humans, extracts from these plants increase the ability to accommodate to adverse physical conditions, improve mental performance, and enhance the quality of work under stressful conditions. Other adaptogens important for the stress response include Boerhaavia and licorice.
Panax ginseng (Korean ginseng) The combination of its historical reputation and the abundance of animal research (some human research as well) have elevated Panax ginseng (often just referred to as ginseng) to being virtually synonymous with the term adaptogen. It appears fairly certain that ginseng can actually help the adrenal gland to respond to stress by actually either making the adrenal gland bigger (so more capable of a response) or decreasing cortisol when it is already too high. But, maybe even more importantly, ginseng appears to make your body more sensitive or responsive, perhaps thereby allowing your body to make more cortisol when it is required but allowing a quicker normalization of cortisol once the stress is removed. These activities lie at the very core of the definition of adaptogen, which implies a capability for a bi-directional or normalizing effect on physiological function in the face of stress.
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng) Eleutherococcus is better known by its common name, Siberian ginseng (and is occasionally seen in health food or vitamin stores as Ci Wu Jia). Although it is called ginseng, technically speaking it not a ginseng at all and is, botanically speaking, not a close relative of Panax ginseng. Russian researchers in the 1940's and 1950's did a great deal of research on plants that function as adaptogens. Eleutherococcus was arguably the plant that consistently produced the best adaptogenic effects in their research. The data gathered indicated that ingestion of extracts from this plant increased the ability to accommodate to adverse physical conditions, improved mental performance, and enhanced the quality of work under stressful conditions.
This plant also appears to have an overall normalizing effect on the stress response, allowing better performance in the face of more stressful conditions, and similar to Panax ginseng, a greater sensitivity or enhanced ability to reestablish hormonal balance after stress. This herb also has a strong reputation for preventing stress-induced exhaustion.
Boerhaavia diffusa The alkaloid fraction of the root of Boerhaavia diffusa has a dramatic effect in buffering against elevation of plasma cortisol levels under stressful conditions. Subsequent to this buffering of cortisol, Boerhaavia alkaloids also prevent a drop in immune system performance. Indicating a bi-directional adaptogenic activity, these same plant alkaloids also act to reverse the depletion of adrenal cortisol associated with adrenal exhaustion. Since blood type A (and is most impacted by the tendency to over produce cortisol, this herb is tailor made for these blood types.
Bacopa ('Brahmi') is an Ayurvedic botanical with apparent anti-anxiety, anti-fatigue, and memory-strengthening effects. Bacopa monniera, Linn. (Brahmi: Scrophulariaceae) an Ayurvedic medicine is clinically used for memory enhancing, epilepsy, insomnia and as mild sedative. The results suggested that Brahmi is a potent antioxidant. (Indian J Exp Biol 1996 Jun;34(6):523-6) Administration of extract from Bacopa monnieri, to children with mental retardation, was reported to significantly improve short-term and long-term memory. (Ann Acad Med Singapore 2000 Jan;29(1):37-41) Modern research has validated the Ayurvedic claims indicating that Bacopa monniera can improve performance in various learning situations. (J Ethnopharmacol 1982 Mar;5(2):205-14) Results suggest that Bacopa, like the anti-Parkinson drug deprenyl, exhibits a significant antioxidant effect after subchronic administration which, unlike the latter, extends to the hippocampus as well. The results suggest that the increase in oxidative free radical scavenging activity by BM may explain, at least in part, the cognition- facilitating action of Bacopa, recorded in Ayurvedic texts, and demonstrated experimentally and clinically. (Phytother Res 2000 May;14(3):174-9)
Bacopa has additional effects on both bowel disturbance and allergy. Among 169 patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), standard therapy, a compound Ayurvedic preparation containing Bacopa monniere, along with a matching placebo were given in a double blind randomised trial for 6 wk. The Ayurvedic preparation in 57 patients was found effective in 64. 9 per cent, while standard therapy (60 patients) was useful in 78.3 per cent. Patients on placebo (52 patients) showed improvement in 32.7 per cent only. Ayurvedic therapy was particularly beneficial in diarrhoea predominant form as compared to placebo. (Indian J Med Res 1989 Dec;90:496-503) Bacopa has also been shown to stabilize mast cells, an anti-allergy mnechanism of action not unlike that of many conventional anti-allergy medications. Extracts of Bacopa monnieri were tested for mast cell stabilising effect. Theyxhibited potent activity comparable to disodium cromoglycate, a known mast cell stabiliser. (Fitoterapia 2001 Mar;72(3):284-5)
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) Glycyrrhiza glabra is best known as an herb for stress-induced exhaustion, but in appropriate amounts, licorice has a harmonizing effect on the stress response.
Nutrients and Stress
When you are under a great deal of physiological or mental/emotional stress, several vitamins are of particular importance. These include antioxidants such as vitamin C and Lipoic acid, B vitamins but especially vitamin B1, B5 and B6, and lastly, the nutrient phosphatidylserine.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) Apparently, even dating back to anecdotal reports of Europeans interacting with the Native American Indians, it is reported that eating an animal's adrenal gland could reverse symptoms of scurvy. Not surprisingly, medical science has found that the adrenal glands are a place of extremely high body levels of vitamin C. and, under stress, your requirement for this vitamin goes up. Evidence also shows that vitamin C, in amounts greater than the RDA, is needed to optimally support the adrenal glands function and buffer against high cortisol when you are exposed to a lot of stress. In effect, a deficiency of this vitamin will raise cortisol levels and make it much more likely someone will remain in the "resistance" stage of the stress response.
B Vitamins (vitamins B1, B5, B6 and lipoic acid) While without question, an absolute deficiency in any of the B vitamins would be detrimental; several of these vitamins are critical for a healthy response to stress. Experimental and clinical results have shown thiamin (vitamin B1) to be an effective nutrient to protect the adrenal gland from functional exhaustion when undergoing stress.
A combination of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and vitamins B1 and B6 has been shown to improve the stress response and simultaneously normalizes the rhythmic activity of cortisol.
Pantethine is the most physiologically active form of vitamin B5. Deficiency of this nutrient or its precursor, pantothenic acid, results in a decrease in adrenal function with the most noted symptom of deficiency being fatigue; while evidence indicates supplementation normalizes the adrenal glands capacity to respond to stress.
Lipoic acid, primarily known as a superior antioxidant, has been shown to prevent the accumulation of stress hormones in heart tissue secondary to stress (very important for A's with their higher risk for heart disease). Lipoic acid also enhances the elimination of some stress hormones and can partially restore some of the immune suppression, which occur secondary to high cortisol levels.
Phosphatidylserine. Phosphatidylserine, found in trace amounts in lecithin, is a useful supplement to help regulate the stress-induced activation of the HPA axis. It appears to act primarily to make an individual more sensitive to the cortisol stress response. Current evidence suggests that it tends to help prevent large increases in cortisol and helps to return cortisol to a more normal level after stress.
All of the components have been blended into a unique NAP product called Cortiguard which can be used in all blood types requiring additional nutritional support because of stress.
by Peter D'Adamo
Although we very often hear of health problems such as female menopause being linked with low estrogen, there are many clinical and subclinical conditions that can benefit from inhibiting the excess production of estrogen and enhancing the production of testosterone.
Though we think of declining estrogen as the hallmark of menopause, it's actually common for women to experience surges of abnormally high estrogen levels during the menopausal and premenopausal periods, as well as earlier in life.
Estrogen dominance can start early on in a women's menstrual cycle. Young women who suffer from this enter menarche with tremendously difficult periods, and doctors sometimes give these teenage girls birth control pills to help regulate the frequency and severity of their periods.
Some women will develop the estrogen dominance syndrome much later in life, sometimes as a result of diet, liver impairment, or environmental factors or also as a result of anovulatory cycles before menopause -- that is, menstrual cycles in which no ovulation has occurred. Ovulation is necessary in order to produce the corpus luteum, (which means "yellow body") that is found on the surface of the ovary after ovulation. Surrounding the ripening egg, the corpus luteum remains after ovulation to produce progesterone for the last half of the menstrual cycle. Without ovulation, less progesterone is produced, which can cause estrogen imbalance in some women.
Diseases or problems that are thought to be related to or affected by excess estrogen and deficient progesterone in women are:
Fibrocystic breast disease
Certain types of PMS
Menstrual disturbances--irregular and heavy bleeding.
Endometriosis, the uterine tissue disorder, which is helped by the use of estrogen blockers.
Fibroids, a sign of excess proliferative capacity of the uterus, which may not be balanced with sufficient progesterone.
We live in an estrogenic or feminizing environment. Certain chemicals in the environment and our foods, one of which is DDT, cause estrogenic effects. Although banned in 1972, DDT, like its breakdown product DDE, is an estrogen-like substance and is still present in the environment. Chlorine and hormone residues in meats and dairy products can also have estrogenic effects. In men, the estrogenic environment may result in declining quality of sperm or fertility rates. In women, it may lead to an epidemic of female diseases, all traceable to excess estrogen/deficient progesterone.
Aromatase is an enzyme required for the conversion of androgens to estrogens. Aromatase inhibitors thus decrease the concentrations of estrogens in the body and are effective against tumors that depend on estrogen for growth. They are usually used as second-line therapy (after tamoxifen) for the treatment of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Clinically, there are a variety of reasons why doctors would prescribe an aromatase inhibitor for women. These include:
Healthy breast tissue
Proper estrogen levels
Healthy lean muscle mass
In men aromatase activity increases with age, converting what little testosterone is left into estrogen. It is perhaps this event that is most responsible for the many symptoms of “male menopause,” and possibly even enlarged prostates and prostate cancer. In women, most of the research on aromatase inhibitors addresses the treatment of clinical conditions known to be linked with excess estrogen production or sensitivity. In the general population, aromatase inhibitors are used by the bodybuilding community to increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat.
Clinically, there are a variety of reasons why doctors would prescribe an aromatase inhibitor for men. These include:
Healthy prostate tissue
Proper testosterone levels
Healthy sperm count
The long-held theory of prostate cancer, that testosterone is bad stuff, and even worse when it's converted to dihydrotestosterone, is gradually falling into disfavor. A more prevalent current opinion is that prostate cancer has more to do with estrogen than with dihydrotestosterone. It appears that many men, as they get older, convert too much testosterone to estrogen and that this excessive estrogen is the cause of prostate enlargement or prostate cancer. For men, we're just beginning to recognize that the overproduction of estrogen may be a large part of the problem. (We should remember, by the way, that in both sexes, testosterone metabolizes to estrogen by the action of aromatase. In women, of course, the great majority of the testosterone is converted, whereas in men, it's the opposite: most of the testosterone in a healthy man stays as testosterone, and only a little bit becomes estrogen.) The reasons for an excess of estrogen in some men may be genetic or are perhaps environmental - we've all heard about those environmental "estrogen-mimicking molecules."
ESTROGEN BLOCKERS AND AROMATASE INHIBITORS
Indole-3-Carbinols: These compounds, found in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards and broccoli, help to transform dangerous estrogen into more benign forms, as recognized by the National Cancer Institute. They have also been shown to stop the growth of breast-cancer cells by inhibiting the action of a specific enzyme.
Chrysin: Found in the herb Passiflora incarnata, the flavone chrysin is a potent natural aromatase inhibitor. In a study published 1993 chrysin and 10 other flavonoids were compared to an aromatase-inhibiting drug (aminoglutethimide). Chrysin was the most potent aromatase-inhibitor, and was shown to be similar in potency and effectiveness to the aromatase-inhibiting drug. The scientists conducting the study concluded by stating that the aromatase-inhibiting effects of certain flavonoids may contribute to the cancer preventive effects of plant-based diets. (1)
Apigenin: Found in most species of Chamomile, the flavone apigenin is also a safe and effective aromatase inhibitor, with an inhibitory effectiveness about equal to chrysin. (2)
Isoflavones: The isoflavones in soy, most notably genistein and diadzein were shown in studies to be potent aromatase inhibitors (4)
An advantage to using plant extracts to boost testosterone in lieu of drugs is that the plant extracts have ancillary health benefits. Chrysin, for example, is a potent antioxidant that possesses vitamin-like effects in the body. It has been shown to induce an anti-inflammatory effect, possibly through inhibition of the enzymes 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase inflammation pathways.
AROMASTAT is an all natural blend of herbs shown in clinical studies to inhibit the enzyme aromatase.* Aromatase is an enzyme found in the liver that converts testosterone into estradiol and androstenedione into estrone. Thus, its primary action is to convert steroid hormones into estrogen class hormones.
1. Pelissero C, Lenczowski MJ, Chinzi D, Davail-Cuisset B, Sumpter JP, Fostier Effects of flavonoids on aromatase activity, an in vitro study. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1996 Feb;57(3-4):215-23.
2. Jeong HJ, Shin YG, Kim IH, Pezzuto JM. Inhibition of aromatase activity by flavonoids. Arch Pharm Res. 1999 Jun;22(3):309-12.
3. Kellis JT Jr, Vickery LE. Inhibition of human estrogen synthetase (aromatase) by flavones. Science. 1984 Sep 7;225(4666):1032-4.
4. Kao YC, Zhou C, Sherman M, Laughton CA, Chen S. Molecular basis of the inhibition of human aromatase (estrogen synthetase) by flavone and isoflavone phytoestrogens: A site-directed mutagenesis study. Environ Health Perspect. 1998 Feb;106(2):85-92.
Designed by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, these products feature a unique natural source of calcium: The small red seaweed called "Maerl" found only in the isolated areas off the pristine coast of Northwest Ireland. Of all sources of calcium Maerl has one of the lowest levels of undesirable contaminants. Using Maerl calcium as a base, Dr. D’Adamo has crafted four different mineral formulas using unique cofactors and micromineral ratios specific for each blood type.
Maerl is composed of a wide variety of essential nutrients including calcium, magnesium, boron and zinc. Maerl’s unique structure gives it great versatility, and when woven into formulas tailored to the genetics of ABO blood type, insures a phenomenal rate of bioavailability and utilization.
All Phytocal® mineral formulas feature Maerl-based sea calcium, the only natural source of calcium with a broad enough buffering range to work effectively amid the widely differing digestive capabilities of each blood type. Because each blood type possesses variable assimilation capabilities and requires differing cofactor and trace mineral requirements Dr. D'Adamo designed four different formulas:
Phytocal A®: features higher levels of the important antioxidant selenium; the gastric activating cofactors betaine hydrochloride, renett and gentian root (Gentiana lutea) plus the mineral-rich herb horsetail (Equisetum arvense). Phytocal A® also features significant levels of the important calcium absorption enhancer ipriflavone and a small dose of vitamin A to enhance the activity of the calcium absorbing enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase.
Phytocal AB®: features higher levels of the important co-minerals magnesium, manganese and molybdenum; the stomach-acidifying cofactors betaine hydrochloride and renett. Phytocal AB® also features yellow dock (Rumex crispus) as a gentle source of iron.
Phytocal B®: features the highest levels of magnesium -an important nutrient for nerve and muscle function; chromium to help balance carbohydrate function and proper doses of iron and copper -two important blood-building nutrients. Phytocal B® also features higher levels of vitamin D and vitamin K -important calcium absorption cofactors.
Phytocal O®: features balanced levels of the micro and macro minerals magnesium, iron, copper and zinc; manganese to help insure proper joint and ligament function and micro-trace amounts of iodine to enhance thyroid function. Phytocal O® also features nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) an important aid to proper intestinal assimilation.
Q: What qualities make the calcium in PHYTOCAL® usable by all blood types?
A: Its superior buffering capacity allows Phytocal® Maerl-based calcium to maintain very high rates of absorption despite the variable acid and alkaline levels found in the digestive tracts of the various ABO groups.
In addition, the performance characteristics of Phytocal® exceed all of the critical requirements for effective calcium absorption:
PARTICLE SIZE: Phytocal® calcium is of highly consistent particle size with excellent dispersion qualities.
ACIDITY OF THE MEDIA: Phytocal® calcium is fully soluble below pH 5.0.
SOLUBILITY: The solubility of Phytocal® calcium can be appreciated visually: There is virtually no sedimentation after dispersion.
Introduction In the book Eat Right 4 Your Type, Dr. D'Adamo introduced readers to the concept of Secretors/Non-secretors. By now you are familiar with the concept that your ABO blood type is controlled by your genetics. The gene coding for your blood type lies on chromosome 9q34. However, a separate gene actually interacts with your blood type gene, determining your ability to secrete your blood type antigens into body fluids and secretions.
In the genetics of the secretor system two options exist. A person can be either a Secretor (Se) or a Non-secretor (se). This is completely independent of whether you are a blood type A, B, AB, or O. This means that someone can be an A Secretor or an A Non-secretor, a B Secretor or a B Non-secretor etc.
In a simplified sense, a Secretor is defined as a person who secretes their blood type antigens into body fluids and secretions like the saliva in your mouth, the mucus in your digestive tract and respiratory cavities, etc. Basically what this means is that a secretor puts their blood type into these body fluids. A Non-secretor on the other hand puts little to none of their blood type into these same fluids. As a general rule, in the U.S. about 20% of the population are Non-secretors (with the remaining 80% being Secretors).
Advantages and Disadvantages:
The Secretor Edge
With respect to the ABO blood types, it is very difficult to state that one type is more advantageous than another. Each blood type has its own strengths and characteristic weaknesses. However, this does not appear to be the case with the Secretor gene. As a generality, being a Non-secretor (based on all of the available information) does actually appear to be a potential health disadvantage. At a very basic level, being able to secrete blood type into your saliva, mucus, etc. allows for an added degree of protection against the environment, particularly with respect to microorganisms and lectins.
An additional advantage of being a Secretor might be a generalized tendency to promote a stabilized, blood-type friendly intestinal bacterial ecosystem. Many of the friendly (probiotic) bacteria in your digestive system actually use your blood type as one of their preferential foods. Since Secretors have a steady supply of blood type in the mucus that lines the digestive tract; their bacteria have a much more constant food supply.
Metabolic Differences Between Secretors and Non-Secretors
Similar to the ABO blood types, it appears additional genetic information must be linked to the Secretor gene, because predictable trends in non-blood type aspects of physiology have a close association with Secretor/Non-secretor status. Aspects of physiology such as the relative activity of an enzyme called intestinal alkaline phosphatase; propensities toward clotting, reliability of some tumor markers, and generalized performance of your immune system have predictable trends depending upon your Secretor status.
The activity of intestinal and serum alkaline phosphatase is strongly correlated with secretor phenotypes. Basically, Non-secretors, independent of their ABO blood groups (as you might remember type O's have the highest alkaline phosphatase activity and type A's the least), have lower alkaline phosphatase activity. It has been estimated that the serum alkaline phosphatase activity of Non-secretors is only about 20% of the active in the secretor groups.
As was mentioned in Eat Right 4 Your Type, blood type impacts the clotting ability to a significant degree. In fact, it has been estimated that a significant fraction (30%) of the genetically determined variance in plasma concentration of the von Willebrand factor antigen (vWf) is directly related to ABO blood type. As a rule, it is blood group O individuals who have the lowest amount of this clotting factor and the tendency for the lowest degree of clotting/platelet aggregation.
In the Secretor/Non-secretor world, Secretors have the slowest clotting while Non-secretors have shorter bleeding times and a tendency towards higher factor VIII and vWf. ABO and Secretor genetics actually further interact to influence blood viscosity. In essence what this means is that an A Non-secretor will be at the far end of the spectrum with the slowest bleeding times, thickest blood viscosity, and the most probability to have high platelet aggregation. On the other end on the continuum will be O Secretors, who will have the longest bleeding time, thinnest blood, and least tendency for platelet aggregation. Because of this, Non-secretors (especially the type A's) tend to be at the highest risk for future atherothrombotic and heart disease.
Disease Susceptibility among Secretors and Non-secretors:
As a general rule, a higher intensity of oral disease is found among Non-secretors. This includes dysplasia (precancerous changes to the tissue) and an increase in cavities. Statistically speaking, blood type A Secretors have the lowest number of cavities.
Non-secretors also tend to have more digestive problems. Several studies have indicated that Non-secretors have a significantly higher rate of duodenal and peptic ulcers. Non-secretors are also less resistant to infection by Helicobacter pylori (a microbe associated with ulcers). It appears that this organism can colonize more readily and generate more inflammation in individual's incapable of secreting their blood type into the digestive tract.
Non-secretors are at an increased risk for development of celiac disease (up to 48% of patients with celiac disease have been reported to be Non-secretors).
With regards to aspects of lung function, being a Non-secretor takes its usual place as a health disadvantage. Several researchers have suggested that being a Non-secretor might predispose an individual to damaging effects, while being a secretor might add a degree of protection against harmful environmental assaults to our lungs.
Among coal miners, asthma was significantly related to Non-secretor phenotype. Secretors also appear to receive a degree of protection against some of the deleterious effects of cigarette smoking. Evidence suggests that the ability to secrete ABO blood type antigens might decrease the risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Being a Non-secretor also offers a slight increase risk for having a problem with habitual snoring.
Non-secretors appear to have an increase in the prevalence of a variety of autoimmune diseases including ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthropathy, Sjogren's syndrome, multiple schlerosis, and Grave's disease.
Diabetes, Heart Disease, & Metabolic Syndrome X
Non-secretors are at a greater risk of developing diabetes (especially adult onset diabetes); and they might be at a greater risk of developing complications from diabetes. Data allows the conclusion that Non-secretors are a risk factor for myocardial infarction and heart disease (note: this is particularly true for men).
Several different researchers have noted a connection between a metabolic syndrome called "Syndrome X" and Non-secretor blood types. Syndrome X is a clustering of metabolic problems comprised of insulin resistance (your cells do not respond effectively to the insulin that you create), elevated plasma glucose (high blood sugar), lipid regulation problems (elevated triglycerides, increased small low-density lipoproteins, and decreased high-density lipoproteins), high blood pressure, a prothrombic state (tendency to clotting), and obesity (especially central obesity or a predisposition to gaining weight in the abdomen). This cluster of metabolic disorders seem to interact to promote the development of diabetes (adult onset type II), atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease. And while insulin resistance might lie at the heart of the problem, all of these metabolic disorders appear to contribute to health problems.
Alcoholism has been associated with the Non-secretor blood type. On the positive side, alcohol consumption appears to exert a protective effect on lung function and to lower the risk of heart disease more in Non-secretors than in Secretors. The key principle with the use of alcohol is for Non-secretors (and everybody actually) is moderation.
Bacteria Urinary Tract Infections
Non-secretors are at a greater risk for recurrent UTI's, have a greater tendency to increased inflammation, and are much more likely to develop renal scars. Being a blood type Secretor on the other hand offers a degree of protection; cutting your risk of recurrent UTI's by greater than 50% and dramatically decreasing the likelihood you will have renal scars develop.
Based upon this tendency of Non-secretor saliva to not only fail to prevent attachment of Candida., but maybe actually promote the binding of Candida to your tissue, we would expect that research would show higher tendency to Candida problems among Non-secretors. This is what we find to be true. Non-secretors are much more likely to be carriers of Candida and to have problems with persistent infections. Blood type O Non-secretors might be the most affected of the Non-secretor blood types, since Candida also appears to have an easier time colonizing (attaching to) the blood type O antigen.
Secretors are known to have higher levels of IgG and IgA antibodies. The lack of IgA antibodies perhaps explains the link between non-secretor status and an increased frequency of heart valve problems secondary to bacteria infection. Because IgA functions much like the way a rampart or palisade wall protects a town from invasion, most if not all non-secretors have problems with gut permiability ("leaky gut").
Determining Your Secretor Status
I hope you can begin to appreciate that having information about your Secretor/Non-secretor status might be a valuable piece of health information. While, unfortunately, the news for Non-secretors is not as rosy, it is better to have information. With information comes knowledge. And with knowledge, comes the ability to intervene.
Dr. D'Adamo has done blood testing for Secretor/Non-secretor status for years. Now, through an arrangement he has made with a lab, you can order a test kit to determine your Secretor/Non-secretor status. The test will need to be returned to the lab for results to be obtained.
Look for further information on Secretor/Non-secretor blood type in the book Live Right 4 Your Type. In addition to allowing important diet refinements, knowing your secretor status can help you use nutritional supplements more effectively and intelligently while adding to your awareness of illness and metabolic dysfunction you may be prone to because of your secretor genetics.
Previously, secretor status could only be determined by select labs using sophisticated forensic techniques. Now North American Pharmacal has made available this important test directly available to the general public using a simple saliva sample to perform the determination.
To order the NAP secretor test CLICK HERE.
The new NAP secretor test was developed in cooperation with Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories, a renowned industry leader in innovative diagnostic testing.
Dr. D'Adamo has been utilizing a device called BIM-4 to monitor the progress and efforts of his patients to build a healthier body composition. BIM-4 is the abbreviation for a tool called a Bioimpedance Machine (version 4) and it is used to gather information on several biomarkers of a healthy metabolism.
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis is not a new technology. In fact, it has been used in research since 1940. In essence, the concept of bioelectrical impedance is used to describe the measurement of electrical current changes across limbs, organs and other body sites. Without getting into the "why" or "how" of the workings of the machine, this device allows us to quickly gather extremely useful information regarding a client's body composition (amount of body fat, amount of muscle tissue and the ratio between these two) and body fluid dynamics/distribution.
Let's take a moment to discuss the difference between "weight" and "body composition". We routinely hear people refer to their weight and their desire to lose weight. Unfortunately, this is a very unspecific goal. A more appropriate goal would usually be to lose fat. What is the difference you might ask? Body weight consists of other components besides fat. These include muscle tissue, bone weight, and water primarily.
Clearly losing weight in your bones would not be a healthy goal. We are all familiar with osteoporosis and the need to sustain thick strong bones, so we are probably in agreement that this is not the type of weight we would like to lose.
Similarly, if we were to look at all of the advantageous functions muscle tissue contributes to on behalf of our health (including being the primary furnace to burn fat) we would be in agreement that losing muscle tissue would not be a good form of weight loss either. In fact, we find that health suffers not so much from too much weight, but from too much body fat and too little muscle. As such, it is much more important to know the amount of muscle mass you have rather than to solely focus on your weight.
We actually have water weight both inside and outside of our cells. In a healthy state, there is a tendency to maintain greater quantities of fluid inside your cells. The opposite of this would be edema or fluid build-up outside of your cells, which is obviously not reflective of perfect health.
So, with respect to water weight, it is fine (in fact desirable) to lose or lower the water outside of your cells (extracellular fluid) while it is not such a good thing to have the amount of fluid inside (intracellular) your cells decrease.
The BIM-4 gives an estimation of intracellular and extracellular water, as well as the ratio between the two. The best way to think of the intracellular water is as a measurement of the internal environment. A higher reading of intracellular water generally indicates a happy and healthy internal cell environment. Factors like compliance to your blood type diet, detoxification, appropriate exercise, and stress management will usually move this number in a positive direction over time.
Extracellular water is the flip side of intracellular water and is a measurement of the fluid outside of your cells. In a state of great health, this number should be less than the intracellular value. Factors like eating avoid foods, sedentary lifestyle habits, high amounts of cellular toxicity, and high stress tend to drive this number higher.
If you are seeking to improve aspects of your intracellular/extracellular water parameters, in addition to following the lifestyle activities mentioned above, you might also consider supplementing your diet with dandelion leaf (Taraxacum officinale).
Historically, Taraxacum was used in Europe to treat fevers, boils, eye problems, diarrhea, fluid retention, liver congestion, heartburn, and various skin problems. In most other parts of the world, dandelion has been used primarily as a tonic for the liver. Taraxacum has also been used historically as a food. The leaves can be added to salad greens, or utilized as a steamed vegetable or tea. The root can serve as a coffee substitute and the flowers can be used to make dandelion wine or schnapps.
Taraxacum has significantly different physiological activity depending upon which part of the plant is used. The root is classified as a liver tonic and has been shown to enhance aspects of liver performance. The leaf, on the other hand, is considered to be more specific for the kidneys.
In animals, Taraxacum leaf has been shown to have diuretic activity, stimulating the loss of excess water and promoting weight loss. Much of the weight loss activity is thought to be a result of the elimination of excess extracellular water. Taraxacum was shown to have diuretic activity comparable to furosemide (Lasix). However, since Taraxacum is also a rich source of potassium, capable of replacing potassium lost through diuresis, it is not associated with the side effects of furosemide, such as hepatic coma and circulatory collapse. In other words, Taraxacum is considered to be extremely safe.
In the experiments, the dosage of Taraxacum leaf given to the animals was 8 ml/kg of body weight daily of an aqueous fluid extract. This dose produced a 30% loss of body weight in mice and rats in a 30-day period, with much of the weight loss attributed to the loss of excess amounts of extracellular water.
To put this dose in perspective, this would be approximately equivalent to drinking about 3/4 of a quart of a dandelion leaf water extract (think of this as a very strong tea) daily. Another option for consuming dandelion leaf is supplementation with a freeze-dried extract of the leaves. Since freeze-drying preserves and stabilizes the active ingredients in the plant, and since removing all of the water weight from the plant substantially decreases the weight of the material, a little of the freeze-dried leaf goes a long way. A dose of 2 capsules daily for the first week (to make sure the dietary supplement is agreeing with you) is a good starting point for adding this nutritious plant into your diet. After this initial week, it is fine to increase the amount you consume to two capsules twice or three times daily. Dandelion (both root and leaf) is considered safe even in very high quantities and is perfect dietary additions to enhance your body's natural self-cleaning processes.
Dandelion (Taraxacum) Order Page
1. Racz-Kotilla E, Racz G, Solomon A. The action of Taraxacum officinale extracts on the body weight and diuresis of laboratory animals. Planta Med 1974;26:212-217.
by Gregory Kelly
My first encounter with stinging nettle was on a hike in San Diego County in the summer of 1989. At that point in my beginning steps of self-education (I was a newcomer to herbs and herbal medicine in 1989), I was inclined to touch and examine every new plant I encountered. For those of you familiar with stinging nettles, I am sure you have already guessed that I was in for quite a shock that day. Yes, I discovered that stinging nettle's do sting!.
For those of you who have never seen a stinging nettle plant, the stem is covered with fine hair-like protrusions. When they are touched, watch out. They release a burning fluid made of histamine and formic acid. It is believed that the histamine is responsible for the immediate stinging sensation (very much like a bee sting for those of you lucky enough to have not been as silly as I was). The sting ultimately produces a temporary inflamed and irritated welt. Ironically, the juice from the stinging nettle acts as an antidote to the sting when applied topically (I wish I had known this in 1989).
Today both the root and leaves of stinging nettle are used in the supplement industry; however, many traditional cultures used nettles topically to stimulate paralyzed muscles or to provide temporary relief from rheumatic pains.
While the leaf and root overlap a bit in their activities (especially in the area of balancing immune messenger molecules), each of these parts of the plant have some unique actions.
Stinging nettle contains formic acid, a high proportion of chlorophyll, flavonoids, plant sterols, plant enzymes, a wide range of minerals, and plant lignans. Stinging nettle also contains a small-molecular-weight lectin (Urtica dioica agglutinin (UDA)) purified from the rhizomes (roots), which exhibits antiviral activity and is capable favorably inducing a balanced immune response. This lectin is an example of a "good" lectin. It is probably a major reason for the plant's cytokine (immune messenger molecules) balancing activity. Choline acetyltransferase has been demonstrated in stinging nettle plants, as well as, choline, acetylcholine and serotonin.(1) Since these components of the plant are critical for nervous system health and neurotransmitter balance, this plant might have some usefulness as added nutrition in neurological disorders. However, to date this aspect of the plant has not been explored.
Stinging nettle demonstrates anti-inflammatory activity in experimental situations. The extract partially inhibits the activity of 5-lipoxygenase and shows a concentration dependent inhibition of the synthesis of cyclooxygenase derived reactions.(2) (Note: these are the same enzymes that aspirin inhibits). A new class of drugs (called Cox2 inhibitors) aimed specifically at modulating cyclooxygenase enzymes is one of the new darling in the pharmaceutical industry.
Stinging nettle (both the leaf and root) also appears to prevent the over stimulation of proinflammatory cytokines like tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta. Cytokines can be thought of in simple terms as immune system messengers. And while a discussion of these proinflammatory cytokines and immune system balance is beyond the scope of this column, cytokine balance is a growing area of interest in medicine. In fact, virtually all immune disorders (from HIV, to cancer, to autoimmune diseases), allergic conditions (like asthma and allergies) and even obesity/insulin resistance have characteristic imbalances in cytokine levels as part of the functional derangement occurring at a metabolic level.
Between the lipoxygenase, cyclooxygenase, and cytokine modulating activities of this plant, stinging nettle is literally a treasure chest of unexplored potential.
Anti-viral and Immune Balancing
UDA Superantigen Stinging nettle actually contains a "super lectin" called UDA superantigen (UDA for short). For those interested, UDA appears to be an N-acetylglucosamine specific lectin. Evidence indicates that this super lectin can inhibit a range of viruses including those responsible for HIV, colds, and influenza.(4)
UDA is also T-cell mitogen, distinguishable from classical T-cell lectin mitogens, by its ability to discriminate a particular population of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells, as well as its capacity to induce an original pattern of T-cell activation and cytokine production.(5) Basically, what this means is that unlike most things that stimulate the immune system only toward greater activity, the super lectin in stinging nettles appears to stimulate the immune system to be in balance.(6)
While studies in humans are lacking (and would be extremely desirable), the UDA super lectin has been shown to prevent the progression of experimentally induced systemic lupus erythematosus-like pathology in mice. In the experiment, UDA-lectin treated animals did not develop overt clinical signs of lupus and nephritis (kidney disease). UDA was also shown to alter the production of autoantibodies in a sex-dependent manner.(14)
The leaf of stinging nettle was investigated for allergies (the root is typically not used for this application). Sixty-nine individuals completed a double-blind randomized study comparing the effects of a freeze-dried preparation of stinging nettle with placebo on allergic rhinitis. Efficacy with stinging nettle was rated higher than placebo in global assessments and slightly higher than placebo when comparing diary data.(7) While the overall improvement in this study was not mind-boggling, I have had many patients who have felt benefits from taking this as a dietary supplement during allergy season.
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
Extracts of the root of stinging nettle are approved for the treatment of prostatic diseases in Germany. In the U.S., the roots are classified as a dietary supplement. Experimental evidence suggests that some constituent in the roots (maybe the UDA super lectin or the plant sterols or some combination of all the ingredients) inhibit the membrane sodium- and potassium-ATPase activity of the prostate, which may subsequently suppress prostate-cell metabolism and growth.(8) Since BPH is characterized by cells that have grown to large (the "H" in BPH stands for hyperplasia which translates in simple terms as enlarged cells), this ability to limit the growth and metabolism of prostate cells would seem to be of obvious importance.
Aqueous extracts from the root are also capable of inhibiting the binding of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) to its receptors on human prostatic membranes, in a dose-dependent manner.(9) It is believed that the lignans found in the root are responsible for inhibiting the binding of SHBG with receptors.(10) The net effect of this anti SHBG activity is a positive influence on testosterone metabolism. Testosterone is also metabolized by enzymes called aromatase and 5-alpha-reductase. Prostate enlargement is characterized by elevated testosterone levels (specifically elevated levels of the enzymes involved in testosterone metabolism), and stinging nettle is thought to lower the activity of one or both of these enzymes (probably aromatase).
In German research, the combined use of extracts of stinging nettle root and saw palmetto has shown efficacy in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. A before-and-after comparison revealed an improvement in the pathological findings and in the obstructive and irritative symptoms. For the most part, the efficacy and tolerability of the preparation was assessed as very good" or "good".(11) When an extract combining stinging nettle and saw palmetto was compared to Finasteride in patients suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia, similar improvements in measured parameters were observed; however, in terms of safety, fewer reports of diminished ejaculation volume, erectile dysfunction and headache were reported in the patients utilizing the herbal combination.(12) A combination of stinging nettle and Pygeum (an African plant) has also demonstrated efficacy in benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urine flow, residual urine, and night time urination were significantly improved by treatment.(13)
Nettle root taken orally can occasionally result in mild GI complaints and a burning sensation of the skin. Occasionally swelling of the skin (fluid retention and diminished volume of urine as compared with the amount of fluid consumed are observed subsequent to the use of root preparations. Allergic reactions to the leaf (edema and skin reactions) have been reported in rare cases. In case of any of these side effects, it is recommended that the stinging nettle product be discontinued. In both cases, reports of side effects have been exceedingly rare.
North American Pharmacal produces 2 different Urtica dioica preparations:
UDA PLUS: The rhizome (root) preparation
URTICA DIOICA: The leaf portion of the plant
1. Smallman BN, Maneckjee A. The synthesis of acetylcholine by plants. Biochem J 1981;194:361-364.
2. Obertreis B, Giller K, Teucher T, et al. Anti-inflammatory effect of Urtica dioica folia extract in comparison to caffeic malic acid. Arzneimittelforschung 1996;46:52-56. [Article in German]
3. Obertreis B, Ruttkowski T, Teucher T, et al. Ex-vivo in-vitro inhibition of lipopolysaccharide stimulated tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta secretion in human whole blood by extractum urticae dioicae foliorum. Arzneimittelforschung 1996;46:389-394.
4. Balzarini J, Neyts J, Schols D, et al. The mannose-specific plant lectins from Cymbidium hybrid and Epipactis helleborine and the (N-acetylglucosamine)n-specific plant lectin from Urtica dioica are potent and selective inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus and cytomegalovirus replication in vitro. Antiviral Res 1992;18:191-207.
5. Galelli A, Truffa-Bachi P. Urtica dioica agglutinin. A superantigenic lectin from stinging nettle rhizome. J Immunol 1993;151:1821-1831.
6. Galelli A, Delcourt M, Wagner MC, et al. Selective expansion followed by profound deletion of mature V beta 8.3+ T cells in vivo after exposure to the superantigenic lectin Urtica dioica agglutinin. J Immunol 1995;154:2600-2611.
7. Mittman P. Randomized, double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica dioica in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Planta Med 1990;56:44-47.
8. Hirano T, Homma M, Oka K. Effects of stinging nettle root extracts and their steroidal components on the Na+,K(+)-ATPase of the benign prostatic hyperplasia. Planta Med 1994;60:30-33.
9. Hryb DJ, Khan MS, Romas NA, Rosner W. The effect of extracts of the roots of the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) on the interaction of SHBG with its receptor on human prostatic membranes. Planta Med 1995;61:31-32.
10. Schottner M, Gansser D, Spiteller G. Lignans from the roots of Urtica dioica and their metabolites bind to human sex hormone binding globulin. Planta Med 1997;63:529-532.
11. Schneider HJ, Honold E, Masuhr T. Treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Results of a treatment study with the phytogenic combination of Sabal extract WS 1473 and Urtica extract WS 1031 in urologic specialty practices. Fortschr Med 1995;113:37-40. [Article in German]
12. Sokeland J, Albrecht J. Combination of Sabal and Urtica extract vs. finasteride in benign prostatic hyperplasia (Aiken stages I to II). Comparison of therapeutic effectiveness in a one year double-blind study. Urologe A 1997;36:327-333. [Article in German]
13. Krzeski T, Kazon M, Borkowski A, et al. Combined extracts of Urtica dioica and Pygeum africanum in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: double-blind comparison of two doses. Clin Ther 1993;15:1011-1020.
14. Musette P, Galelli A, Chabre H, Callard P, Peumans W, et al. Urtica dioica agglutinin, a V beta 8.3-specific superantigen, prevents the development of the systemic lupus erythematosus-like pathology of MRL lpr/lpr mice. Eur J Immunol 1996;26:1707-1711.
Everyone new that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy food or by stomach acid. Well, everyone that is except a young Australian physician named Dr. Barry J. Marshall. He believed that bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) could cause peptic ulcers. Of course the medical establishment viewed this discovery as they do all new discoveries and they quickly dismissed it as "absurd".
After being ignored for years, Dr. Marshall, being so convinced that he was correct, decided to (and for those viewers at home we don't recommend that you do this) use himself as a guinea pig. Drinking the bacteria, he proved that exposure to the bacteria temporarily caused the inflammation and gastric irritation that we call an ulcer or gastritis. His ideas were eventually accepted and are now part of the dominant idea of ulcer causation (amazing how this happens).
Currently, H. pylori has been implicated in gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric cancer, gastric lymphoma and recently, this organism has also been investigated in order to establish an association with heart disease.
Pain in the stomach area is the most predominant symptom, usually characterized as burning sensation made worse by eating for gastric ulcer and relieved by eating to return in 2-3 hours for duodenal ulcer. One third of patients with duodenal ulcers wake at night with pain and the pain tends to be episodic; lasting several days to weeks and then subsiding for weeks or months. Nausea, indigestion, gas and bloating are also common symptoms of infection. Less common symptoms include repeated vomiting and weight loss.
H. pylori might be an independent risk factor for gastric carcinoma (cancer of the stomach), auto immune disease and heart disease. Most gastric adenocarcinomas are associated with H. pylori and its presence confers an approximately six-fold increase in risk. Biopsy has demonstrated that 90% of Mucosa Associated Lymphoid Tissue (MALT) lymphomas are associated with H. pylori. Odds ratio for abnormal ECG is 3.82 for men infected with H. pylori after adjustment for a range of socioeconomic and risk factors associated with coronary heart disease.
H. pylori infection is thought to be spread by fecal/oral route. Having more than one person in a bedroom of a family house during childhood, shared beds, and no hot water in the house all increase the prevalence of H. pylori infection as an adult.
In general, the following comments can be made to summarize H. pylori prevalence in Western countries:
1. H. pylori infect about 20% of persons younger than 40, and 50% of those older than 50 years.
2. It is uncommonly found in young children.
3. Low socioeconomic status predicts infection.
4. About 92% of people with duodenal ulcer and about 70% of people with gastric ulcers are positive for H. pylori.
In developing countries most adults are infected and in parts of Africa there is 100% infection.
It is important to remember that although H. pylori is now considered to be a major cause of ulcer disease, not all individuals who have the disease show evidence of infection. Everyone who is exposed to the bacterium does not get the disease, nor do all those exposed to the organism develop long-term health problems. In fact, it is interesting to note that in parts of Africa, the prevalence of H. pylori has been shown to approach 100% and yet peptic ulcer is uncommon.
A Closer Look at H. pylori
H. pylori are a gram-negative microorganism that secretes many substances, including, ammonia, mucolytic enzymes (Adhesins, Catalase, and Urease), and acid secretion inhibitory proteins. Adhesin allows the organism to adhere (or act like Velcro and stick to gastric cells (note: this is important in its preference for O blood types)). Catalase might protect the organism from the immune system.
H. pylori increase the secretion of gastrin, which stimulates intestinal tissues to grow faster, and so could result in increased cancer risk. Urease is an enzyme responsible for hydrolyzing urea to ammonia and CO2. The CO2 may be protective by buffering pH locally. The ammonia is also protective by forming an alkaline environment around the organism. This combination of ammonia, CO2, and its acid secreting inhibitory proteins allows the bacteria to set up localized pockets where it can neutralize even the acidity of blood type O stomachs.
Blood Type Connections
The genetics of the secretor/non-secretor system interact to alter an individuals risk for ulcers. In several studies, non-secretors of ABO substances have been found to have a significantly higher rate of duodenal and peptic ulcers.
Because of the increased prevalence of ulcers among non-secretors, it should come as no surprise that researchers have suggested that secretor status might influence bacterial colonization density or the ability of H. pylori to attach to gastroduodenal cells.
Because non-secretors are limited in their ability to secrete blood group antigens (this is complicated stuff but trust me this is true) into the mucous secretions of their digestive tract, it has been proposed that they be at a competitive disadvantage from preventing H. pylori attachment. In other words, a non-secretor's lack of antigens in mucosal fluids might indirectly contribute to colonization by H. pylori.
In a simplified sense, when specific antigens are free floating in the mucus, it probably acts to bind up some of the H. pylori before it can contact and attach to your tissues. In essence, being a secretor provides you with an ability to put some biological decoys or metabolic false targets (in the Navy we called these false targets "chaff" and they are part of the counter measures against incoming missiles or torpedoes) out into your secretions.
Non-secretor's, as a general rule, also show a significantly higher proportion of the H. pylori-seronegative subjects and a lower IgG (H. pylori immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody) immune response to H. pylori antigens as compared with the individuals of the secretor phenotype.
This might indicate that non-secretor's are unable to mount an aggressive immune response against this organism in comparison with their secretor brethren. Evidence does suggest that both bacterial colonization and the resultant ensuing inflammatory response are influenced, at least in part, by the ability to secrete blood group antigens. This relationship is strongest among blood type O non-secretors.
Key Point: If you are a non-secretor (especially an O non-secretor), your immune response against H. pylori appears to be lower and H. pylori appear to attach with higher aggressiveness and cause more inflammation.
Blood Type O
Like lots of other bacteria in the gut, H. pylori have a favorite blood type: Type O. I have mentioned in past columns that bacterial infection must also be thought of in terms of adhesion/anti-adhesion. Basically, in order for an infectious organism to gain a foothold it must attach to something. In simple terms think of microorganisms as if they were a piece of Velcro. Velcro will not stick to just anything (it will slide off of a smooth wood surface). In fact, Velcro is quite specific; it will only stick to special plastic with tiny projections. The microbial world of adhesion/anti-adhesion is very similar to this Velcro action. And, H. pylori is much more like molecular Velcro for the O antigen, while the A and B antigen do not give it much to stick to.
Key point: in general terms, the ability of H. pylori to attach or gain a foothold is enhanced by cells that have blood group O antigens. No wonder O's get more ulcers.
Standard Medical Strategy
The therapy recommendation for eradication of H. pylori is triple regimens comprising colloidal bismuth subcitrate (2 tablets (512mg) four times dailt with meal), either amoxicillan (2 grams/day in divided doses) or tetracycline (500 mg three times daily), and metranidazole (250 mg three times daily with meals). A minimum of two weeks seems needed for elimination of the bacteria in order to better prevent relapse within a 12-month period. Lasting remission is estimated at 84%.
Friendly probiotic bacteria should be a key (if not the key) component of your accessory strategy. Many strains of these probiotic bacteria act as natural antagonists to H. pylori. In addition, these probiotic bacteria should always be used to enhance the effectiveness of antibiotics. Remember, probiotic bacteria are also needed to prevent antibiotic-induced disruption of the friendly bacteria in your GI.
You can also use both foods and specific lectin blocking sugars to help facilitate anti-adherence as a strategy. Since the bacteria has a preference for the O antigen, fucose, is probably the most important of these anti-adhesion sugars. The primary food sources of this sugar are bladderwrack and kelp. Both of these foods make your cells much more slippery when it comes to the molecular Velcro H. pylori uses to adhere. Another option are the Deflect products.
Bismuth is a mineral with both anti-Helicobacter pylori and ulcer healing properties. The best real world example of a bismuth product is ‘Pepto-Bismol’. Bismuth is actually very effective against this organism and is relatively safe in the doses needed to eradicate H. pylori. This is the reason for the inclusion of bismuth in standard medical treatment of H. pylori. Since bismuth (like most minerals) can be toxic if consumed in large quantities, it is recommended that you consult a physician prior to starting supplementation with bismuth compounds.
An alkaloid called berberine which is found in herbs such as Golden Seal (Hydrastis canadensis) and coptis (Coptis chinensis) has been found to inhibit the growth of H. pylori.
DGL, a form of licorice with the component that can increase blood pressure removed, has a reputation for enhancing the integrity of the mucus lining of the digestive tract. This form of licorice also appears to be antagonistic to H. pylori.
Bernersen B, Johnson R, Bostad L, Straume B, Sommer AI, Berhol P. Is Helicobacter pylori the cause of dyspepsia? British Medical Journal. 1992; 304: 1276-8.
Bland J. Applying New Essentials in Nutritional Medicine-Helicobacter pylori and upper Gastrointestinal Disease. 1994. HealthCom; Seattle WA.
Desai HG, Gill HH, Shankaran K, Mehta PR, Prabhu SR. Dental plaque: a permanent reservoir of H. pylori? Scand J Gastroenter 1991; 26: 1205-1208.
Gibson GR, Cummings JH, Kelly SM, Dunn MRC. Isolation of H. pylori from patients in the UK - implications for treatment. Gastroenterology 1994; 106, 4 (2 suppl): 81.
Krajden S, Fuksa M, Anderson J, et al. Examination of Human Stomach Biopsies, saliva, and dental plaque for Campylobacter pylori. J Clin Micribiol. 1991; 27: 1397-98.
Marshal BJ. Helicobacter Pylori. Unpublished, University of Virginia health Sciences Center. 1995.
Mendall MA, Goggin PM, Mollineux N, et al. Childhood living conditions and H. pylori seropositivity in adult life. Lancet. 1992; 339: 896-7.
Mendell MA, Goggin PM, Molineux N, et al. Relation of Helicobacter pylori infection and coronary heart disease. British Heart Journal. 1994; 71:437-39.
Miragliotta G, Fumarola D, Mosca A, Francavilla A, Monno RA. Campylobacter pylori associated gastritis and procoagulant activity production. American Society for Microbiology annual meeting 1989; abstr B222.
Parsonnet J, Blaser MJ, Perez GI, Hargrett BN, Tauxe RV. Symptoms and Risk Factors of H. pylori infection in a cohort of epidemiologists. Gastroenterology. 1992; 102: 41-6.
Parsonnet J, Friedman GD, Vandersteen DP, et al. H. pylori infection and the risk of gastric carcinoma. N Engl J Med. 1991; 325: 1127-31.
Patel P, Mendall MA, Carrington D, Strachan DP, Leatham E, Molineax N, Levy J, Blakeston C, Seymour MA, Camm AJ, Northfield TC. Association of Helicobacter pylori and Chlamydia pneumoniae infections with coronary heart disease and cardiovascular risk factors. British Medical Journal. 1995; 311: 711-14.
Soll AH. Medical Treatment of Peptic Ulcer Disease. JAMA. 1996; 275: 622-29.
Odeigah PG. Influence of blood group and secretor genes on susceptibility to duodenal ulcer. East Afr Med J 1990 Jul;67(7):487-500
Suadicani P, Hein HO, Gyntelberg F. Genetic and life-style determinants of peptic ulcer. A study of 3387 men aged 54 to 74 years: The Copenhagen Male Study. Scand J Gastroenterol 1999 Jan;34(1):12-7
Dickey W, Collins JS, Watson RG, et al. Secretor status and Helicobacter pylori infection are independent risk factors for gastroduodenal disease. Gut 1993 Mar;34(3):351-3
Sumii K, Inbe A, Uemura N, et al. Multiplicative effect of hyperpepsinogenemia I and non-secretor status on the risk of duodenal ulcer in siblings. Gastroenterol Jpn 1990 Apr;25(2):157-61
Dickey W, Collins JS, Watson RG, et al. Secretor status and Helicobacter pylori infection are independent risk factors for gastroduodenal disease. Gut 1993 Mar;34(3):351-3
Oberhuber G, Kranz A, Dejaco C, et al. Blood groups Lewis(b) and ABH expression in gastric mucosa: lack of inter-relation with Helicobacter pylori colonisation and occurrence of gastric MALT lymphoma. Gut 1997 Jul;41(1):37-42
Su B, Hellstrom PM, Rubio C, et al. Type I Helicobacter pylori shows Lewis(b)-independent adherence to gastric cells requiring de novo protein synthesis in both host and bacteria. J Infect Dis 1998 Nov;178(5):1379-90
Alkout AM, Blackwell CC, Weir DM, et al. Isolation of a cell surface component of Helicobacter pylori that binds H type 2, Lewis(a), and Lewis(b) antigens. Gastroenterology 1997 Apr;112(4):1179-87
Klaamas K, Kurtenkov O, Ellamaa M, Wadstrom T. The Helicobacter pylori seroprevalence in blood donors related to Lewis (a,b) histo-blood group phenotype. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 1997 Apr;9(4):367-70
Heneghan MA, Moran AP, Feeley KM, et al. Effect of host Lewis and ABO blood group antigen expression on Helicobacter pylori colonisation density and the consequent inflammatory response. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 1998 Apr;20(4):257-66
Mentis A, Blackwell CC, Weir DM, et al. ABO blood group, secretor status and detection of Helicobacter pylori among patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers. Epidemiol Infect 1991 Apr;106(2):221-9
by Gregory Kelly
Since the publication of Eat Right 4 Your Type nearly two years ago, we have found out a great deal about elderberry fruit. In fact, Peter and I have come to increasingly rely upon a great-tasting mix of elderberry, blueberry, and cherry in our clinical practice. While the versatility of elderberry and these other berries is incredible, this article is going to limit itself primarily to a focus on elderberry's most well known use---as a remedy in the common "flu".
Many medical experts consider the influenza virus (cause of the "flu") to be the most dangerous virus in the world. Several times in past history, this virus has been responsible for killing huge numbers of people within a 1 to 2 year period. As an example, the "Spanish flu" (type A(H1N1)) of 1918-19 killed about 500,000 people in the U.S. and at least 20 million people worldwide. In 1957-58, the "Asian flu" (type A(H2N2)) resulted in 70,000 deaths in the U.S., and in 1968-69, the "Hong-Kong flu" (type (A(H3N2)) killed 34,000 in the U.S.
What is the Flu?
Let's pause here and take a moment to get a clearer picture of what the "flu" really is. Terminology and language can be fickle and non-specific masters, and so the common day-to-day use of the term "flu" has evolved to often encompass anything from a "common cold" to a true "flu". The "stomach flu" is another misleading term, often used to describe a gastrointestinal illness (the "stomach flu" is usually not even caused by a virus but by other microorganisms). So, the first critical point to understand is that a "flu" is not a common cold or a stomach infection.
When researchers, or doctors speak of the "flu", they are being very specific and mean an infection by the influenza virus. Epidemic influenza is divided into type A and type B. The most common presentation of influenza includes a fever (usually 100-103 degrees F in adults), respiratory symptoms (such as cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose), headache, muscle aches, and often extreme fatigue. So, the second key point is that public health officials and doctors mean influenza virus when they use the term "flu".
The year-in, year-out "flu" can be deadly (in an average year, influenza is associated with about 20,000 deaths), especially for the elderly, immuno-compromised, or those who have an existing condition, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease. Even for those of us who are in generally good health, the "flu" can still really "take the wind out of our sails", causing us to feel miserable for several days to a week or two.
Currently there are three main variants of the "flu" circulating (two types "A" and one type "B"). The type A variants are the "Hong Kong" type A(H3N2) virus and its relatives (responsible for about 400,000 deaths in the United States since 1968 (90% of which are among the elderly), and distant relatives of the "Spanish Flu", type A(H1N1). The "H" and "N" refer to viral proteins called haemagglutinin (H) and the neuraminidase (N) (more on this in a bit).
Some medical and public health experts believe it is only a matter of time (in fact they think we are overdue) before a new pandemic (worldwide epidemic) of the "flu" occurs, killing many, many people.
Why has the flu been able to kill such large numbers of people so quickly in the past?
I am going to oversimplify here, but follow along.
The "flu" virus is able to mutate or change over time, allowing it to reinfect you year after year. Usually this is a slow and very gradual process (both type A and B influenza virus can change in this manner). As an example, if you were exposed to last year's "flu" virus, your immune system would have created a very specific memory of how to effectively deal with the virus. A new exposure to the same virus would not now be a problem. Since the virus changes a slight amount each year, last years immune memory will partially, but not completely protect you from this year's influenza infection. Think of it in terms of not seeing a friend for a long while...they will obviously look a bit different, so it might take a moment for you to recognize them and remember their name. However, once this moment passes and you remember the name, you now have a clear idea of how to greet them However, every once in a while, the type A "flu" virus (the type B does not change in this manner) will have a dramatic and abrupt change to either its haemagglutinin (H) and/or neuraminidase (N) proteins. This results in a new strain of the virus, which is not recognized as something your immune system dealt with in the past. It would be as if a new person moved into your town; you have no information in your memory to identify them as your friend and no idea of the name. In the years that the "flu" virus became a worldwide epidemic and killed into the millions of people, the "flu" virus changed in this manner.
Blood type and the "flu"?
Quite a few different researchers have investigated blood type and influenza. The volume of research alone is almost enough to suggest strong blood type connections, but let's look at the research just to be sure.
After exposure to the influenza virus, an immune process termed "seroconversion" should occur. This means that your immune system should be producing antibodies against the influenza virus. Researchers have found that after circulation of influenza A (type (H1N1) and (H3N2)) and influenza B viruses, the immune response (as measured in a rise in antihaemagglutinin antibodies against the virus) differ along blood type lines.
The following generalized immune observations apply:
Blood type A: Overall has a great ability to generate a quick and substantial antibody response against influenza type A(H1N1) and especially A(H3N2). Their antibody response against influenza B is not quite as dramatic.
Blood type AB: Relatively poor ability to generate high antibody levels against any of the influenza viruses.
Blood type B: Reasonable, but not great ability to generate an antibody response against influenza A(H1N1). Slowest (it can take them 3-5 months) and weakest ability to generate antibodies against influenza A(H3N2) of any blood type. Against influenza B virus, blood type B has a significant advantage and responds differently from either blood group A or O. The blood type B immune response happens much earlier and persists longer.
Blood type O: Relatively descent ability to generate antibody response against influenza A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) viruses. Antibody response against influenza B is not as dramatic as blood type B.
Some researchers have hypothesized that one explanation for the typical emergence of the new epidemic strains of influenza in Asia is connected to blood type (and the relatively high proportion of type B blood found in Asia). It seems that blood type B has a genetic predisposition to latent (chronic) persistence of influenza A virus (especially A(H3N2) "Hong Kong" variants). Often, the influenza virus antigen can still be found in healthy type B individuals as much as 5 months after a "flu". This means that although they might not have symptoms, they are providing a safe harbor for the virus.
With these differences in immune responses, we would expect to see differences in susceptibility to and severity of influenza infection between the different blood types...and indeed we do. What we find is that the susceptibility to influenza changes based upon your blood type and the properties of the circulating strains of influenza virus.
Looking at influenza A as a whole, the following blood type generalities exist. People with blood type B (and A are going to be much more susceptible to infection during times when new antigenic variants and serotype's of influenza virus appear. This is actually particularly bad news for B's and AB's, since this is the type of influenza A virus change that results in widespread flu pandemics. Blood type O individuals tend to be susceptible to influenza infection at the period of the circulation of virulent strains (so in years when the flu is making people feel really sick, type O will be hit the hardest). Type A's are the lucky ones when it comes to influenza A; they have a generalized susceptibility to the less virulent strains of influenza A.
Overall, influenza is probably most problematic year to year for Type AB's. In general, they are more sensitive to infection by both influenza A and B than the other blood types. They are affected by these viruses earlier and more severely than those with the other blood groups (and they need to be extra cautious regarding an abrupt change in the influenza A virus as well) . Blood type B is going to be most severely affected when the influenza A(H3N2) (this in the "Hong Kong" variety and its relatives) is in circulation, has relatively little difficulty with influenza B, and has to be very concerned about an abrupt change in the influenza A strains. Type O gets less influenza A(H1N1) and more A(H3N2). Type A blood indirectly offers relative protection against both strains of influenza A.
Will the flu shot protect me?
Does the flu shot protect the blood types differently? Well, what the research shows is that all blood types will have similar seroconversion frequencies to both the live attenuated and killed subunit vaccines after the administration of TWO doses. But after only ONE dose of the live vaccine, blood type A is much more likely than the other blood types to seroconvert. The lesson to be learned here is that blood types B, AB and O really should probably get two doses of the live vaccine for best results (most type A's can probably get away with just one dose). With the killed subunit vaccine, type O produces the greatest anti-haemagglutinin antibody response. Again two doses generally places the blood types on equal ground.
In addition to the blood type information, remember the following. This year's "flu" shot is made from the most common "flu" viruses in circulation last year. So, in most years, when the virus changes only a tiny bit from last year, the "flu" shot will offer some protection.
Note: There are many people nevertheless who benefit significantly from the "flu" shot including elderly, chronically ill, and immuno-compromised individuals. For more information on who should receive this vaccination it is advised that you contact a physician or the department of public health.
Essentially, the effectiveness of the flu shot is always going to be dependent on how closely the vaccine matches the strain of flu virus in current circulation. So, if the virus changes dramatically from last year (as it did in the pandemic years), the "flu" shot will be of little to no use, because, in essence, it is not providing you with any one who knows this new person in town. So a key point then with regards to the "flu" shot is that it offers protection in most years, but probably not from a pandemic "flu".
Antivirals and the "flu"
Amantadine and rimantadine are chemically related drugs that interfere with the replication cycle of influenza type A viruses (they are not effective against influenza type . They both offer a descent degree of protection against infection if taken daily during "flu" season; however, cost, compliance, and side-effects limit this type of use for most people.
Amantadine and rimantadine are also useful in treatment of the "flu"; able to reduce the severity and shorten the duration of influenza A if given within the first 48 hours. One huge drawback with these antiviral's is that they result in Amantadine- and rimantadine-resistant influenza A viruses when they are used for treatment (a very poor long-term strategy resulting essentially in a possible ineffectiveness of these drugs when you might need them the most for a severe or life-threatening "flu").
Zanamivir and Neuraminidase Inhibitors.
Zanamivir was the first in a new class of drugs known as selective viral neuraminidase inhibitors. And, if in fact the old saying that "imitation is the most sincere form of flattery" holds true, this type of drug must hold tremendous promise. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies (including one of the industry giants---Hoffman La Roche) have quickly jumped on the neuraminidase band-wagon and are now either planning a launch or are in the process of developing their own neuraminidase inhibitors.
The reason Zanamivir is such a promising development is that in humans it not only prevents influenza infection, but also reduces the duration and intensity of the typical symptoms if given within the first 30 hours during an influenza infection. Let's take a moment here to discuss haemagglutinins and neuraminidase in the context of influenza (remember these are the H and N in the A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) strains).
The influenza virus forms haemagglutinins (essentially protein spikes) which release an enzyme called neuraminidase in order to spread to new cells and propagate the infection. From a biochemistry perspective, neuraminidase is an enzyme that cleaves terminal sialic acid residues from glycoconjugates (Does the term glycoconjugate remind you of anything? It should, because the antigens on your cells like your ABO marker are gycoconjugates). By cleaving off the sialic acid sugar, the virus can escape from infected cells, spread to new cells, and make the mucus you produce in response to an infection less effective (yes, the runny nose and mucus you produce in response to a cold or flu are actually part of your body's defense strategy).
It was assumed that an ability to inhibit neuraminidase would be a useful medical intervention for treating (and maybe preventing) the "flu". So far in the trials on Zanamivir, this assumption appears to be true. The biggest disadvantage with Zanamivir is that it is not well absorbed orally, so must be given by inhalation. Its use might also be limited by its cost. So far, researchers claim that resistance of the virus to the drug has been only rarely observed (but remains a possible area of concern).
Elderberry and the "Flu"
So where does elderberry fit in this portrait of the "flu". I have mentioned it was used historically, but does it work? In experiments, elderberry actually does inhibit replication of all strains of human influenza (both A and viruses tested.
In an actual placebo-controlled, double blind study (the scientific gold-standard so to speak) an extract of elderberry fruit has been shown to be effective for treating influenza B. What this research showed was that people using the elderberry extract got better much quicker (more than 70% were better after 2 days and over 90% of people completely resolved the infection within 3 days). In contrast, the people given a placebo often needed as much as 6 days to feel well.
Why does elderberry work? Well, the researchers found two reasons really. People taking the elderberry were able to produce higher anti-haemagglutination titers to influenza B (meaning their immune system essentially performed better and they now have a higher level of recognition should this "flu" return). And, elderberry inhibits neuraminidase (yes, that is the same neuraminidase that scientists are spending millions of dollars designing drugs against). (Editor's note: Zanamivir to an extent duplicates this neuraminidase blocking ability of elderberry, but does not appear to have elderberry's beneficial impact on the immune system).
An important question that has not been answered yet is...will elderberry work as well against influenza A strains? I don't have a definitive answer for you on this yet, but based upon its method of action, its in vitro ability, and my clinical observations, the answer is probably yes. Our patients taking the elderberry, blueberry, cherry and apple concentrate mixture, seemed to pass easily through this past "flu" season. The one word of caution I leave you with is that when it comes to daily use of elderberry, more is not always better. Large doses will lead to nausea. If you are trying to avoid a "flu" a small amount daily might help. I recommend elderberry especially for type B's and AB's because of their general susceptibility to the virus. For treatment we use 2 tablespoons 3-4 times daily for adults and less for children depending upon their body weight.
So, the final key point is...next "flu" season remember your friendly elderberry.
You can order our PROBERRY CAPS (elderberry/larch/bioflavanoid product HERE!
You can order our PROBERRY 3 elderberry syrup product (great with kids!) HERE!
Naikhin AN, Katorgina LG, Tsaritsyna IM, et al. Indicators of collective immunity to influenza depending on the blood group and sex of the population. Vopr Virusol 1989 Jul-Aug;34(4):419-23 [Article in Russian]
Aho K, Pyhala R, Visakorpi R. ABO associated genetic determinant in H1N1 influenza. Tissue Antigens 1980 Oct;16(4):310-3
Lebiush M, Rannon L, Kark JD. The relationship between epidemic influenza (A(H1N1) and ABO blood group. J Hyg (Lond) 1981 Aug;87(1):139-46
Sominina AA, Tsubalova LM, Karpova LS, et al. Genetic predisposition to latent influenza A virus in children with blood type B(III) as a possible cause of new epidemiologic strains in the countries of South-Eastern Asia. Vestn Ross Akad Med Nauk 1994;(9):21-4 [Article in Russian]
Fedorova GI, Slepushkin AN, Popova NS, et al. Correlations of the antigenic specificity of human blood with the levels of antihemagglutinins to influenza viruses. Vopr Virusol 1983 Jan-Feb;28(1):54-7 [Article in Russian]
Mackenzie JS, Fimmel PJ. The effect of ABO blood groups on the incidence of epidemic influenza and on the response to live attenuated and detergent split influenza virus vaccines. J Hyg (Lond) 1978 Feb;80(1):21-30
Mackenzie JS, Wetherall JD, Fimmel PJ, et al. Host factors and susceptibility to influenza A infection: the effect of ABO blood groups and HL-A antigens. Dev Biol Stand 1977 Jun 1-3;39:355-62
Frolov VK, Sokhin AA, Sotnik AY, et al. Polymorphism of human blood groups and incidence of influenza A/Hong Kong (H3N2). Acta Virol 1975 Sep;19(5):406-12
Karpova LS, Popova TL, Oleinikova EV, et al. Significance of persons with different blood groups in the influenza type A epidemic process. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1982;(11):86-91 [Article in Russian]
Waghorn SL, Goa KL. Zanamivir. Drugs 1998;55:721-25
Zakay-Jones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama
By John K. Harris
First there have been some questions about the use of either apple or pear concentrate in Proberry 3, as apple juice is an “avoid” for the O nonsecretor. As of the first of the year, only pear concentrate is being used as the base.
Second, the apple pectin, a source of soluble fiber in each of the Protein Blends, is a “neutral” category for all ABO secretors and nonsecretors, and is clearly stated as such in TYPEbase® 3. Apple pectin has been of concern to some people.
Third, the Secretor Wallet Cards (one for each ABO blood type, listing all “beneficials” and “avoids”) are now available for ordering from NAP. Having done the research for them, I have just begun doing the research for the Nonsecretor Wallet Cards. Hopefully we will have these available for you in the next few months. Now, for the Protein Blends.
In the following paragraphs, I’ll give you an overview of the unique formula for each Protein Blend, then look at the value of using whole food protein sources, consider the amino acid profile – particularly the branched-chain amino acids, and then discuss the unique component called Fibersol-2. By the time you finish reading, I think you’ll see why Protein Blends, with their unique, synergistic ingredients, can provide a health-enhancing benefit for people of all ages.
To begin, you can see by looking at the information at The Blood Store, linked from www.dadamo.com, or directly at www.4yourtype.com, or in the latest ‘4 Your Type Journal linked at either site, that Protein Blends are uniquely formulated, ABO-targeted, high protein content powders – Rice Protein and Egg Whites for the O; Soybean Protein Powder, Pea Protein Powder, and Rice Protein Powder for the A; and Whey Protein Concentrate, Rice Protein Powder, and Egg Whites for the B/AB. They have no added sugar, no fillers, are neutral in taste, and contain only pure, non-genetically altered, natural whole food sources.
But what makes them even more unique is that they each have nutrient cofactors such as Larch Arabinogalactan (a prebiotic, source of soluble fiber, and an immune system modulator), Bromelain (a proteolytic digestive enzyme and an anti-inflamatory), Apple Fiber and Pectin (both sources of soluble fiber), Lipoic Acid (a potent antioxidant), and a unique ingredient called Fibersol-2, which provides an additional source of soluble fiber. Beet Juice Powder and Vitamin A Palmitate, Natural Vitamin E Acetate, and Biotin round out the formulas in the A, B/AB, and O Protein Blends respectively.
Next, all protein sources used are from whole foods with their complete matrix of nutrients. In the A Protein Blend this is particularly important, because soy is one of the protein sources. I’ve observed that most other protein powders that use soy as a base, use a soy protein isolate, a concentrated fraction of soy, which boosts the protein value, but which can have a negative effect on certain hormone balances. Also in the A Blend, the level of protein has been kept at 15 grams per serving, rather than the 20 grams in the O and B/AB. As for the whey protein concentrate in the B/AB Blend, it is not the same as an isolate. The entire nutrient matrix is included in the concentrate.
Moving on to the amino acids, here’s a primer. They are the basic building blocks of the body. They carry oxygen throughout the body and are involved in muscle activity, they form antibodies to defend against invading bacteria and viruses, build cells and repair tissue, build nucleoproteins (RNA and DNA), and are part of the hormonal and enzyme systems. When digestion breaks down protein, the result is 22 known amino acids. Eight of them are essential, which means they cannot be manufactured by the body. The rest are nonessential, which means they can be manufactured by the body with proper nutrition.
Each of our Protein Blends contains 18 of the 22 known amino acids and all eight of the essential amino acids, and the profile and level of each amino acid is phenomenal. The essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The nonessential amino acids that our Protein Blends contain are alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, cystine, glutamic acic, glycine, histidine, proline, serine, and tyrosine. It is important to keep in mind that these amino acids are what naturally occur from the whole food protein sources that form the basis for the Blends. They are not manufactured synthetically in a laboratory.
Here’s the amino acid breakdown for each Blend:
For the O Protein Blend (in milligrams): Alanine (1159), Arginine (1602), Aspartic Acid (1558), Cystine (759), Glutamic Acid (2507), Glycine (1052), Histidine (782), Isoleucine (996), Leucine (1511), Lysine (914), Methionine (784), Phenylalanine (1112), Proline (1110), Serine (1160), Threonine (924), Tryptophan (653), Tyrosine (1122), Valine (1055).
For the A Protein Blend (in milligrams): Alanine (717), Arginine (1165), Aspartic Acid (1448), Cystine (359), Glutamic Acid (2211), Glycine (693), Histidine (491), Isoleucine (700), Leucine (1163), Lysine (932), Methionine (357), Phenylalanine (839), Proline (709), Serine (818), Threonine (632), Tryptophan (326), Tyrosine (703), Valine (758).
For the B/AB Protein Blend (in milligrams): Alanine (1109), Arginine (1116), Aspartic Acid (1889), Cystine (607), Glutamic Acid (3066), Glycine (759), Histidine (602), Isoleucine (1098), Leucine (1810), Lysine (1356), Methionine (634), Phenylalanine (844), Proline (1208), Serine (1110), Threonine (1159), Tryptophan (482), Tyrosine (854), Valine (1111).
Now, let’s consider the branched-chain amino acids. Branched-chain amino acids comprise isoleucine, leucine, and valine – all part of the essential amino acid group. This group of amino acids helps to build and maintain muscle mass, and this group is needed during times of physical stress and intense exercise. As you can see from the profiles above, these amino acids are abundantly expressed in each Protein Blend.
As an aside, when I reflect on my first patient visit with Peter more than six years ago, I recall seeing a framed page of health recommendations he had in his office. One of these recommendations was for the use of branched-chain amino acids as a safe way to help build muscle mass. Considering all the sports supplements on the market today designed to help build muscle mass – many with pronounced side effects I’ve observed in a client/customer base in Maine, Protein Blends offer a safe way to help tone your muscles. And for body builders, adding in some of NAP’s Aromastat, might help even more.
Lastly, I think you should know more about the Fibersol-2 component in each of the Protein Blends. Fibersol-2 (also known as “digestive resistant maltodextrin”) is a soluble dietary fiber produced from cornstarch. It is NOT the same as the maltodextrin that is on the “avoid” list for the O secretor and nonsecretor, the A nonsecretor, the B secretor and nonsecretor, and the AB secretor and nonsecretor.
In basic terms, what makes Fibersol-2 different from maltodextrin is that the chemical bonds have been modified via a proprietary process that results in 90% soluble fiber rather than carbohydrate (regular maltodextrin).
In technical terms, Fibersol-2 is a “digestive resistant maltodextrin” produced by purposeful rearrangement of starch or hydrolyzed starch to convert a portion of the normal alpha-1,4 glucose linkages to random 1,2-,1,3-, and 1,4- alpha or beta linkages. The human digestive system effectively digests only alpha 1,4-linkages, therefore the other linkages render the molecule resistant to digestion.
About now, you’re probably wondering about the cornstarch source. Well, there are no corn lectins nor are there any corn residuals remaining from the original cornstarch source in Fibersol-2.
So why was it included in Protein Blends? In the U.S. nearly all people consume only half the recommended daily amount of fiber, which is approximately 25-35 grams. Protein Blend contains a modest amount of Fibersol-2 (as well as the other soluble fiber sources I’ve mentioned) to help fill this gap and to support overall intestinal health.
Additionally, Fibersol-2 has been shown to improve intestinal microflora, increase fecal volume and intestinal regularity, maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract, prevent intestinal mucosal atrophy due to the long term administration of enteral nutrition (direct infusion into the intestines of nutrients in liquid form), increase Bifidobacterium in the large intestine, reduce the postprandial (after a meal) rise in glucose levels, lower serum cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels while not reducing HDL-cholesterol levels, and decrease fat in internal organs.
Furthermore, Fibersol-2 has low viscosity, is quickly and completely soluble, is completely transparent, has a clean taste, and maintains its stability in varying acidic conditions. For these reasons, Dr. D’Adamo has included it in each Protein Blend.
To recap, I’ve given you an overview of the formula for each Protein Blend, discussed the value of using whole food protein sources, presented you with their phenomenal amino acid profiles, highlighted the branched-chain amino acid component and its value in helping to build and maintain muscle mass, and defined the incredible benefits of Fibersol-2.
Dr. D’Adamo, in typical fashion, has once again formulated a unique, cutting edge natural product, that, because of demand, we are having a hard time keeping on the shelf at NAP. I think you’ll agree that Protein Blends are in a class by themselves.