Archives for: April 2008
As I've been tinkering with this new blog software, I've become acutely aware of the importance of skins and themes. For the uninitiated, a theme (the more 'proper' wording) or skin (what everyone calls them) are a set of variables that a programmer often adds into a program that allows people to change the appearance of the program in ways that make it more personalized. For example this blog uses a variation of a skin called 'Nautica', which give it a rather pleasing blue palette. To get a better idea, you can browse the various skins for the blogging program Wordpress.
As I went along I began to see the GenoType characterizations as skins of a sort. If blood groups, secretor status an whatnot are the body, then the GenoTypes would be the choice of wardrobe.
For example, look at this graphic:
If we compare the basic type A characterizations and diet, we would see that type A has problems from a mostly tolerant immune system, a greater risk of heart and artery problems, and a greater risk of cancer. Reasonable enough, since that is what the research literature suggests. Type A's have less p53 tumor suppressor activity and their arteries are more prone to inflammation.
However, under simple blood type association, there is really no prioritization of this information.
If we look at the GT3 Teacher program we would see that the diet is skewed more towards cancer protection. It is in the GT3 Teacher that the p53 tumor suppression susceptibility winds up. GT5 Warrior on the other hand, seems to carry the arterial risk; probably because of the two, they are the more thrifty type. Thus if you GenoType as a blood group A Teacher, you will be wearing the 'cancer prevention skin.'
Technically if you are type A you could wear several skins, however if you GenoType as a Teacher, the Teacher skin will be the most therapeutic for you. Same with type O: You might need the 'metabolic syndrome' skin (GT2 Gatherer) more than the 'catabolic inflammatory' skin (GT1 Hunter).
Ditto for the B's and AB's.
Hopefully this will help folks see how values can change when one migrates from the BTD values to the GTD system. Somewhere in the allowable GenoTypes for people with type A blood, there will be that old BTD avoid, however, if it is not in your new GenoType values (or if it flipped to being actually beneficial!) it is because its BTD avoid status was less relevant than the benefits it provides under your new GTD skin.
One of the features that can be of most use when GenoTyping someone is actually one of the hardest to come by: Getting the ABO blood groups of your parents.
Its importance should come as no surprise, since epigenetic changes are largely influenced by the patterns of gene activation and silencing that occur as part of
- The heritable epigenetic component (you start off with the patterns of gene expression that your parents give you)
- The prenatal environment (there are two major bursts of methylation activity in the fetus: at about 8-12 weeks, then again in the last trimester)
- The immediate postnatal environment (these are mostly related to gene expression due to hormones such as growth factors)
In fact one of the studies that got me interested in the largely unrecognized effects of blood groups as a modulator of the epigenetic environment was a study that looked at childhood ear infections and blood groups. However, unlike most epidemiologic correlation type studies, this one looked at the blood group of the child’s mother.
Maternal blood group A gave a relative risk (RR) for intervention of 2.82. The noted occurrence of an attack of acute otitis media (AOM) before the first birthday gave a RR of 6.13. When these two factors were used together, the RR climbed steeply to 26.77.
Now to understand just how strong this association is we should look at exactly what a RR (relative risk) is. Basically it is just the odds (over 1) that something will occur over it being random. An RR of 2 (about the RR of elevated cholesterol causing a heart attack) means that people with elevated cholesterol are twice as likely to get a heart attack as people whose cholesterol levels are more desirable. Thus the study is saying that if you are a kid with an ear infection in the first year of life, and you mother is blood group A, you are 26 times more likely to have a recurrence.
Here is a chart I made which compares relative risks for several common problems and factors associated with that risk. Obviously, this is a very strong association.
Are the effects of having a blood group A mother and getting ear infections the result of some sort of fetal programming? We know that some studies have linked the ABO antigens to cellular differentiation (the process where developing cells move from general embryonic 'germ' types to cells with more specific functions, like a pancreatic or epidermis cell.)
ABH antigen expression was considered as suggestive evidence for the assumption that blood group antigens could serve as early immunomorphologic markers of endothelial differentiation of mesenchymal cells, thus specifying the location of future blood vessels. Extending the conceptual framework of blood group antigens' significance we consider them as being possibly involved in the process of fetal morphogenesis.
In epigenetic terms, we may wind up being more interested in your parent's blood types are that perhaps we need be with yours.
Every once in a while, amid the junk mail, bills and catalogs, I receive a letter which surpasses all prior. In a wonderfully sycophantic endeavor this gentleman writes to ask me for a complete set of my works so he can continue on his mission to educate the Indian public about healthy living. Apparently the gentleman does it free of charge.
Sir, your books are on their way.
On my main site I've finally bit the bullet and begun to migrate all the blogs from the arcane and unsupported 'Greymatter' blogging software to a very nice package called 'B2evolution.' The difference between the two is astonishing. The new format, much like this blog, is a modern platform that supports moderated comments, allows bloggers to tag their entries, and organize blogs by category. Plus these new programs and much easier to style, so they just look better. B2evolution also supports multiple blogs, so administration looks to be a snap.
Here is a link that will take you to the new blogging platform, in this case Susan Graham's page. Other blogs are accessible from the tabs at the top. The 'Retired' blog features all the great blogs written by folks who are no longer active. Heidi Merritt's great 'On The Diet' column has been converted to the new format as well. Once this gets reorganized by categories, newbies to the diets will have a real resource.
If anyone out there is interesting in blogging, and is willing to commit to a regular blog for at least three months, just leave a comment with your email. I'll get back to you. If you are an retired blogger and want to reactivate your blog, I can do that for you as well. If you are a current active blogger, please contact me so I can arrange a walk-thru for you.
In general, with few exceptions, such as Suzanne, Paul, Debra, Melissa and a select few others, most blogging careers don't seem to pan out over the long run. I believe many folks start out thinking that they will have all this terrific information to share, but then discover that consistent blogging is not all that easy to do. We seem to feel that we have to write some 'major' type of entry and so the first few words never get onto the page. That certainly need not be the case. Many of my best blogs start off with the most trivial of observations and evolve as I continue to write. The trick is to just write what you feel.