Angela in Nova Scotia submitted three questions ~ this is the first:
The Fish/Mercury Conundrum: We’ve all heard about the benefits of including fish in our diets. The American Heart Association now recommends two-to-three servings of fish per week. Why? Lean protein, for starters. The big deal, however, is the omega-3 fatty acids abundant in fish, which aid healthy brain and vascular development in babies and confer protection against heart attacks and strokes in adults. They have also shown potent healing properties in connective tissue disorders and cholesterolemia. Omega-3s are not blood-thinners; they are blood de-sticky-fiers. Brand new word, what do you think of it? :-D In other words, type Os need not worry that their natural propensity toward more copious bleeding would be magnified by eating more fish. It is the tendency of platelets to clump or clot, rather than blood plasma-to-cell ratio, which is affected by these EFAs.
Fatty, cold-water fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and lake trout are the recommended species due to their relatively low tested mercury levels. The FDA’s cutoff point is 1 part per million, 1/10th the levels found in mercury-related disease. Tuna is considered a fence-sitter: the average reading is around .2 ppm methyl mercury. Interested parties disagree as to whether this fairly low level should place tuna in the OK category or the red-flag zone, since it (canned tuna particularly) is such a popular and frequently eaten food in the U.S. The big predators like shark and swordfish can accumulate higher levels, sometimes reaching 1 ppm, and conservative health professionals warn against eating them more than once per month.
Pregnant women in particular should choose wild fish, both freshwater and small saltwater dwellers, over the big oceangoing migrators, because the developing fetus is extremely vulnerable to nervous-system damage from mercury in the diet, air and water – and the older and larger the fish, the higher the mercury can climb. Farmed fish are usually raised under conditions you don’t want to know about, and with feed you wouldn’t even want in your compost. Try your darnedest to get wild catches, and research the environment of your freshwater choices: they pose a concern only if caught near areas of industrial pollution.
The fish recommendations in Peter's books are made with clean, low-mercury specimens in mind. They are based on biochemical properties, rather than potential environmental poisoning. So the best approach is to evaluate your seafood sources. Fish from the eastern seaboard and major rivers of the United States and parts of Central and South America are more likely to push the mercury levels than are those caught off the coasts of less industrialized areas of Canada and Alaska. :-)
Hi, Liz ~~
I’m sure your doctor has assessed your general health & fitness, so I’ll try to address things he or she may not have investigated.
First, take an overview: consider your health/medical history, your age, how long ago you had your kids, how much stress you were under during your divorce and how recently (intense stresses can set your physiology temporarily in a pre-menopause state, even if you are only in your thirties), what changes occurred between the last pregnancies and the current miscarriages, what your total environment (physical, emotional, financial, spiritual) is now compared to before. The key for you may lie in one of these aspects of your life, any one of which can have a surprisingly powerful impact on your body’s willingness to carry a pregnancy to term.
Because you've had two miscarriages, I suspect that your boyfriend may be genotype A(a), rather than A(o), meaning he has no recessive O gene to offer. If so, any child of this union can only be type A -- specifically A(o), the A from the father and the O from you. Plenty of children are born with this configuration, so it is certainly no obstacle to healthy births. As a new element introduced at a time of great change in your life, it may have played a minor role in your unexpected difficulty with carrying a child to term.
There are several columns Peter has written on the subject of pregnancy which may help. If you haven’t seen them, here are the links:
Diet and Pregnancy
Marriage and Blood Type Compatibility
BTD and Conceiving
I don’t know how long or how closely you have been following the type O diet, which for this purpose may be the most important recommendation I can make. Peter’s column on "Marriage and Blood Type Compatibility" suggests that simply following the diet for your type is the most effective general advice we can offer. Even though you could have lived on cheese fries and bacon while sailing through your first three pregnancies, you now may need focused attention on diet, exercise and/or stress relief – again, it will be your project to evaluate which link in this three-element chain may be missing or weak.
If I were in your position, I would use Live Right 4 Your Type according to my secretor status. Our online store carries the saliva secretor test. And look into maca – which has an excellent reputation for balancing hormonal health, increasing energy and improving fertility. Both you and your boyfriend should take it! It’s available through a reputable online supplier, Penn Herb Company, among many others. And my broken record is still playing: exercise is unbelievably effective in relieving stress, energizing the organs and releasing toxins. Avoid the twin evils of procrastination and overzealousness: start where you are, and get where you're going at your own pace!
Good luck, and keep us posted!
. Most of these concerns were addressed on the bulletin board in this past year ~~ but since the BB is no longer active, let me review the following items:
1) Page 348 contains instructions which conflict with the type O food lists. The second paragraph under the heading Group O-Specific Lectins should be ignored in favor of the food list values.
2) Page 349 contains instructions which conflict with the type B food lists. The paragraph under the heading Group B-Specific Lectins should be ignored in favor of the food list values.
3) Page 349, regarding type AB: The statement that "Blood group AB should avoid any of the foods that contain lectins capable of reacting with groups A or B" is only a key to understanding many of the type AB food values. It does not mean that ABs should use the A and B food lists instead of the AB food list -- which is based on more than just lectin avoidance, as are all the food lists. The AB food lists contain the specific values to be followed.
4) Page 534, under "Potato, Sweet" is missing the following entry for type A only: "Non-secretor variant: NEUTRAL."
5) Pages 469 and 582: Yucca is recommended to type O in the anti-inflammatory protocol, but is listed as an avoid in the O food list. Both entries are correct.
Yucca is to be avoided for the reasons mentioned in the food list. Concentrated yucca saponins (the supplement recommended as an anti-inflammatory) are used in the dosages indicated for inflammation. These are two separate substances with differing effects: one is the whole food, the other is an extract of specific active compounds.
6) Several people wondered why certain herbs or spices used in cooking which were listed as "avoid" for their types in Eat Right found their way into therapeutic recommendations in the Encyclopedia. Consider these new values -- fenugreek for Bs, for example -- as updates. New techniques, new discoveries and wider research have resulted in the several changes and additions in foods and herbs found in the later books. You can verify the new food values on this site in TYPEbase3® and in our change log for Live Right, here. Other than updates for secretor status noted in Live Right and usages in the Encyclopedia, the herb and spice lists in Eat Right remain substantially unchanged.
Thanks to everyone who dropped me a line with these questions, and feel free to contact me if you have others. I will update this information page if appropriate, and I appreciate your input!