Archives for: June 2009
QUESTION: I'm a Type A. Have had persistent stomach problems over the past 6 years. Your blood type diet has been my only true source of relief from my symptoms. Thank-you! Have also experienced a chronic ear itch? What is your recommendation?
ANSWER: Considerable evidence has been accumulated showing that carbohydrate-containing blood group antigens represent prime candidates for the specific interaction with microbial surface lectins in infectious diseases.
It is known that the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common cause of external ear infections, has a preference for type A. Apparently, P. aeruginosa produces a LECTIN (1) specific for blood type A antigen, which they use to adhere to the inner ear canal wall. This lead the researchers to conclude "these results indicate that patients presenting with blood group A may have a genetic predisposition to this form of otitis externa."
In another study, the ABO blood groups of 610 patients with documented secretory otitis media (SOM) were compared with those of a control group. In in SOM a preponderance of group A or shortage of group O was statistically significant.(2)
The best treatment consists of a few drops of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) added to the ears before bed, and wick out in the morning (never place cotton swabs within the ear canal). Alternative treatments include using olive oil to which some fresh garlic oil has been expressed, or one of the many other formulas containing olive oil, garlic and mullein sold in many pharmacies or health food stores. As with any treatment common sense should dictate that if the ear is draining, red, swollen or painful, medical advice should be sought instead.
1.Steuer MK, Hofstadter F, Probster L, Beuth J, Strutz J. Are ABH antigenic determinants on human outer ear canal epithelium responsible for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections? ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 1995 May-Jun;57(3):148-52
2. Mortensen EH, Lildholdt T, Gammelgard NP, Christensen PH. Related Articles Distribution of ABO blood groups in secretory otitis media and cholesteatoma. Clin Otolaryngol. 1983 Aug;8(4):263-5.
QUESTION: I have been told by a well recognized colon and rectal surgeon that the continued use of cascara sagrada creates a leopard like spotting in the colon. I have never heard of this and can find nothing written on the suject. Could you explain or direct me to an information source where this side affect might be mentioned?
ANSWER: Laxatives are generally well tolerated and are generally considered safe drugs, although when taken at much higher than the recommended doses (laxative abuse) some side effects may occur (e.g. hypokalemia, metabolic alkalosis, renal tubular damage). It is controversial whether the laxatives currently used may lead to changes of the autonomous nervous system of the colon. What your GI was alluding to (Melanosis coli) is due to pigment-laden scavenger cells within the mucous lining of the colon, appearing to be the result of free-radical damage (1). It occurs after long-term intake of some laxatives, like Cascara, although even this relationship has been contested, and has no functional consequences.(2) Pigmented spots in the colon are known to be highly lectin sensitive, so it is not impossible for the relationship between laxatives and colon pigmentation to be largely dependent on the level of lectin intake in the diet(3) -a good rationale for factoring in blood type.
1. Krbavcic A, Pecar S, Schara M, Muller K, Wiegrebe W. Anthranoid free radicals found in pseudomelanosis coli. Pharmazie. 1998 May;53(5):336-8.
2. Byers RJ, Marsh P, Parkinson D, Haboubi NY. Melanosis coli is associated with an increase in colonic epithelial apoptosis and not with laxative use. Histopathology. 1997 Feb;30(2):160-4.
3. Benavides SH, Morgante PE, Monserrat AJ, Zarate J, Porta EA. The pigment of melanosis coli: a lectin histochemical study. Gastrointest Endosc. 1997 Aug;46(2):131-8.
QUESTION: My wife is type O. She suffers from migraine, to the extent that she vomits for 3 days continuously. Doctors can't help. We have removed the foods from her diet in your book, and she seems to be better. She frequently feels nausea. What else can we do? Thanks for your book, it is a godsend!
ANSWER: Your wife may want to investigate the use of the herb Feverfew, especially since its best effects have been reported for the types of migraine specifically hallmarked by nausea.
Feverfew is a common-or-garden herb which has grown unwanted in many people's gardens; but has been commercially cultivated during the past fifteen years. It is a member of the Compositae or Daisy family; and is sometimes known as Chrysanthemum Parthenium or more correctly Tanacetum Parthenium. It is a perennial plant, growing to a height of between 14 and 45 cms, with light-green feather-like leaves which are aromatic but bitter to taste. Its pretty daisy-like flowers are yellow at the center with white outer petals.
Canada's Health Protection Branch recognizes feverfew as a nonprescription drug for preventing migraines and reducing the nausea and vomiting that sometimes accompanies them. In Canada, standardized doses of dried leaves are sold over the counter. A review of the literature concluded that the herb was safe and effective, although I would not recommend its use in nursing women or children.
In a study of 24 patients (women 19-61 years old), the researchers reported significant reduction of Migraine Index in 8 patients, less significant in additional 5. Our results confirm that feverfew may be beneficial in migraine prophylaxis as an additive drug.
Many, many feverfew preparations are available, however, the best results appear to be from using the leaves as a tea, versus the concentrates or standardized forms since there is some doubt that the actual active ingredient has been identified.
QUESTION: In your book you write that blood type O may have been the more common blood type in early human history. In genetics, most early forms are eventually displaced by later forms (survival of the fittest). If this is so, why did type O not just disappear?
ANSWER: There are probably several good possible explanations for the continuance of the type O blood group, the first being the shear amount of O gene still found in the gene pool, and the fact that, to a certain degree, it is still self-replicating. Another example would be eye color: If brown is dominant to blue, theoretically blue eye color frequency should diminish, however it hasn't.
A recent article may explain from a more practical persepctive why the gene for type O blood persists. It appears that individuals with a rare disorder called Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency type II (characterized by recurrent infections, persistent high white blood count, and severe mental and growth retardation) are deficient in the ability of their white blood cells to 'traffic' to sites of inflammation. LAD II patients exhibit a deficiency in the expression of cell surface structures that include the blood type O (actually H) antigen.
Thus it may be that the manufacture of H antigen (the only antigen type O's manufacture, but also made to varying degrees by all the other blood types as well) may be to help the cells of our immune system get to 'where the action is.'
If so, the maintenance of genes necessary to manufacture H antigen is vitally important to our continued existence and may explain why human breast milk is so rich in fucose (the H antigen). It helps the infant's developing immune system fight off infection efficiently until it matures sufficiently to do so by itself.
Becker DJ, Lowe JB. Leukocyte adhesion deficiency type II. Biochim Biophys Acta 1999 Oct 8;1455(2-3):193-204
QUESTION: Are antioxidants taken as supplements (vitamin C, E, grapeseed, coenzyme Q10) a deterrent to the effectiveness of radiation treatments for cancer? When my husband was diagnosed with base tongue cancer (squamous carcinoma) approximately 6 weeks ago I began to study treatments. Influenced by what I had read in your books I sought out an alternative medicine physician. The physician I found recommends your books highly (I was happy to tell her I had read them). After a consultation she prescribed a large regimen of supplements for my husband to take while he underwent radiation. However, the oncologist insists antioxidants inhibit the effectiveness of radiation - actually preventing the radiation from doing its job. When I relayed this opinion to our alternative med physician she said that his opinion was nonsense. She says radiation creates free radicals and the antioxidants help to get rid of these, thus enhancing the effectiveness of the radiation and helping it to do its job. We are torn. Who do we believe?
ANSWER: It has been a matter of speculation (and nothing much more) that antioxidants block the effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, since these in essence have their therapeutic effects due in part to the disruption of genetic material in the cancer cell by the generation of free-radicals. In reality, this is about as feasible as expecting a brown bag lunch to block the Metro North New Haven Line at rush hour.
In a review of this very issue, a colleague and friend, David Lamson, ND, wrote the following:
"Reducing complicated interactions to a single sentence can be an oversimplification. In many instances the effect of an antioxidant compound with a certain therapeutic agent may be specific to a particular tumor type, or may vary with dosage of both antioxidant and chemotherapy. This guide is best used as a means of quickly identifying which antioxidants are likely to be indicated or contraindicated with a particular therapeutic agent. Please refer either to the earlier review (Altern Med Rev 1999;4(5);304-329) or the original research reports for more information on these interactions.
Many of these interactions have been studied only in vitro. While an in vitro result is often a predictor of in vivo response, this is not always the case. The interaction between the bioflavonoid tangeretin and tamoxifen is a good example of the risk in placing too much emphasis on in vitro evidence. Tangeretin was found in vitro to act synergistically with tamoxifen; but in vivo tangeretin completely reversed the inhibitory action of the drug on experimental mammary tumors.(2) The authors wish to emphasize that combinations not studied in vivo risk potential adverse reactions and should be monitored closely or avoided altogether. Similarly, it must be assumed that any antioxidant found to reduce in vivo toxicity of cancer therapy on healthy tissue has the potential to decrease effectiveness of the chemotherapy unless this was specifically studied. The studies reporting reduced toxicity to healthy tissue of a therapeutic agent with unknown effects on treatment outcomes are only reported if the reduction was noted in human studies. The following tables summarize the effect of various antioxidants when combined with specific chemotherapeutic agents or radiation. (1- 7).
There are only three presently known examples in which an agent classifiable as an antioxidant has been shown to decrease effectiveness of radiation or chemotherapy in vivo. The vast majority of both in vivo and in vitro studies have shown enhanced effectiveness of standard cancer therapies or a neutral effect on drug action.
1. Lamson DW, Brignall MS. Antioxidants in cancer therapy; their actions and interactions with oncologic therapies. Altern Med Rev 1999;4:303-328.
2. Bracke ME, Depypere HT, Boterberg T, et al. Influence of tangeretin on tamoxifen's therapeutic benefit in mammary cancer. JNCI 1999;91:354-359.
3. Duchesne GM, Hutchinson LK. Reversible changes in radiation response induced by all-trans retinoic acid. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 1995;33:875-880.
4. Park TK, Lee JP, Kim SN, et al. Interferon-alpha 2a, 13-cis-retinoic acid and radiotherapy for locally advanced carcinoma of the cervix: a pilot study. Eur J Gynaecol Oncol 1998;19:35-38.
5. Seifter E, Rettura G, Padawer J. Vitamin A and beta-carotene as adjunctive therapy to tumour excision, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In: Prasad K, ed. Vitamins Nutrition and Cancer. New York: Karger Press; 1984:2-19.
6. Mills EED. The modifying effect of beta-carotene on radiation and chemotherapy induced oral mucositis. Br J Cancer 1988;57:416-417
7. Hanck AB. Vitamin C and cancer. Prog Clin Biol Res 1988;259:307-320.