Dear Heidi, I would love to see an explanation on how secretor status is inherited. Is it similar to the ABO system (but presumably simpler)? Thank you, Rose in Hungary
Yes, secretor status is determined by two genes, just like ABO type. Each parent donates one of those genes to the child.
The two genes which determine secretor status are written "Se" (secretor) and "se" (nonsecretor). The important thing to remember is that "Se" is dominant to "se," just as type A and B are dominant to type O.
So, there are three possible combinations, or genotypes: SeSe, Sese, and sese. The first genotype is a secretor who has only secretor genes to pass on. The second is a secretor who carries a recessive nonsecretor gene. The third is a nonsecretor.
It's quite clear that a mating of SeSe + SeSe = child SeSe, a secretor. That's the only possible outcome, since each parent has only secretor genes to give.
By the same mechanism, sese + sese will always produce child sese, a nonsecretor.
The wild cards come into play with the combinations Sese + sese and Sese + Sese.
In the first, everything depends upon which gene the secretor parent donates to the child. If it is the Se gene, the child is a secretor... if it is the se gene, the child will be a nonsecretor. It's a toss-up.
In the second, Mom and Dad are both unsuspecting secretors with one recessive nonsecretor gene each. Just for fun, let's give them four kids. :-> Statistically, we expect their children to be: SeSe, Sese, Sese, and sese, not necessarily in that order. My man Bryan's parents happen to be in this situation. They are both secretors, as are their two younger children. Bryan, however, is a nonsecretor. Surprise! :-D
Rhesus type heredity follows the same pattern: two genes, with Rh+ dominant to Rh-. "Rh+" folks may be ++, or +- (one of each). "Rh-" always means --. As in the Nonsecretor Surprise, two "Rh+" parents may be scratching their heads upon the arrival of an "Rh-" little one... like a type A and B couple looking askance at each other on the birth of their type O baby. Knowing how blood type genetics works can circumvent loads of potential intrafamilial trouble! :-}
It's just another interesting thing about having kids: you learn things about yourself you might never have suspected -- biochemistry, too. :-D
I feel I should supply you with more information, as my story is very important for a group of people not often heard from on the BTD columns, type O schizophrenics. My experience with the BTD could prove highly useful to someone going through the ropes, as the obstacles for O's with neurochemical imbalances coupled with digestive track malaise are tremendous, and very very painful.
I used to zonk out at noon back when I ate an O friendly carb breakfast. The only thing that helped was to eat meat in the morning instead, have the carb meal in the noon or afternoon, of Ezekiel or mana bread with a glass of ground flax, and to gorge myself the rest of the day on beneficial seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and nut butters. I don't really follow the portion guide entirely, as my economic situation pretty much limits me to ground beef, lamb or buffalo once a day, with some steak or fish on occasion. I usually have meat, 6-8 oz, eggs and a big salad in the morning. Organic eggs pack a kick that along with meat seems very satisfying.
Going back to schizophrenia, I was a diagnosed "basket case" schizophrenic. The docs said I would be medicated for life. My problems began in my late teens with marijuania use, I became chronically depressed, paranoid, and anxiety ridden. When I moved to San Francisco from Los Angeles, I left behind my best buddy and our hardcore exercise/ surfing regimen. Boy were we in shape! We rode winter swell and circuit trained to do so and survive. On a clear day, the ocean crystal still, the water an icy 38-45 degrees, we would ride waves that tubed big enough to fit two school buses one on top of the other! Sometimes we could stay in that tube for up to a 100 yards. What a thrill!
In SF, working at restaurants, I slouched into depression and non exercise, making matters worse neurochemically, especially when coupled with the amount of anti type O food I ate! Lots of wheat, coffee, milk, corn, cheese, potatos, lentils, peanuts, coupled with a deep thirst for microdraft beer, all led to weight gain. I was skin and bones in high school, could eat endless amounts of fat and not gain a pound. Boogie boarding in high surf consumed more calories than I could consume. And the medications eventually prescribed to me, at about age 25, damaged my liver and kidneys, and from then on the pounds really went on.
In 1998, my surfing buddy, Blair, recommended the BTD, as it had cured him of chronic fatigue from mononucleosis. I was too blitzed on meds to see the light, that is, to start the diet. But my problems became so severe that the diet eventually came back to my attention as the way out. My blood pressure was off the chart, I weighed 285 pounds and my thyroids bulged even more than they ever had. Indigistion, constipation, terrible endless heart burns, an ulcer, back pain, insomnia, flatulence from hell (a great and endless wind) all plagued me as they always had since puberty, but with ever increasing intensity. And moreover, the meds caused me excruciating pain in my arm and knee joints, kind of like a throbbing acid burn every three seconds, without end.
I eventually quit taking the prolixin without my shrink's knowledge, and he eventually put me on a new med, zyprexa, that didn't cause but a small discomfort in the joints. But the damage had been done, my immune system had become so riled up from the various meds I took, up to 5 different ones at one point, each one to counteract the side effects of the other one, and my liver function so impaired from my diet, the meds, and the vast quantities of alcohol and cigarettes I consumed to numb the pain in the joints, that a serious thing happened. I had thusly become addicted to alcohol and cigarettes.
The day came when the allergies kicked in. My legs and arms became red itchy and scaly dry. The itchiness just got worse and worse, worse than poison oak/ivy! I couldn't sleep, and had to keep my skin laquered with lotion at all times. I tried going semi vegetarian and organic, lost about 40 pounds, but couldn't lose any more, and experienced an even greater resurgence of allergies. Moreover, the pain in my joints returned in full blossom.
I then read the book, BTD, and started implementing major dietary changes on a two week basis, that is, every two weeks I would stop eating an avoid and start eating a beneficial. From my readings about O's,I figured that my overworked liver had been depositing A and B lectins in my joints, or the cartilage thereabouts, and a great amount had built up, and whenever I ate some food with A or B lectins, my liver would make such a deposit again. Thus, my over active and over stimulated immune system eventually detected those deposits and started nuking the area, hence causing the severe rheumatoid pains in the joints. Even today, years later, if I eat so much as a potato chip, the nukes fly, my joints kill me for hours.
So then I resolved to change my diet all the way. As soon as I stopped corn, the first main avoid item I dropped, my thyroids went back to near normal shape, my skin itched about half as much, and I felt much less depressed! From that point on I was enthused. With each successive dropping of avoids, there was literally a great lessening of allergies and pain, along with depression, anxiety and insomnia! And the weight just started to melt, 10 pounds a month, coming out in large black fatty tar like stools, I mean huge, the human limit there is!
But the pain was really a great relief of near seismic proportions. And all along my mood began to lift, hope returned, the sagging eyes and sad mouth cleared up, skin became something other than death bone white, I even began to smile and be friendly. Paranoia, anxiety, melancholy, and depression steadily diminish.
In a year, I was off of meds with the grudging yet happy consent of my shrink. My shrink was open minded to a point, had even prescribed me some organic Saint John's Wort, paid for by the city! Little did he know how much that stuff made me drink alcohol! Today, I have to still be extreemly careful with my diet, as my liver and immune system are irrevocably shocked from what happened. However, I have not had so much as a cold since starting the diet, excluding food poisoning and extreemly stressful events, like my grand parents passing away.
I am still struggling with my mind, trying to get back into life as a normal person, without the past foundations of social experience to build a functioning personality with. No more alcohol or drugs, my urge to take them has all but left. I feel happiness and enthusiasm for life again, something I haven't felt since the end of puberty when life in the ghetto, poverty, drugs, and stress took me away from any vestige of inner peace. Suicide no longer haunts me, I no longer feel as if I have ALREADY committed it, the kind of hopeless helplessness that pervaded my psyche, urging me to give up, that I am a failure. It is all quiet on the western front now.
I volunteer at a health food coop and tell as many people about the diet as will listen, albeit not many do except those in pain without anything to lose. Volunteering gives me a way out of seclusion while helping to spread the BTD. I got this old fellow, an O diabetic, to avoid carbs, and in two months he had lower blood sugar than I do! The most needy group seems to be black females, they seem to be missing the most body parts, just thyroids, kidneys and such, ho-hum! and are very receptive to a way off of the butchers table.
Of course, everybody at the coop is either a vegetarian or vegan, including a number of overweight type O's, and I am the only one whom has any knowledge of the diet, except a few token people who have taken some interest. But the BTD books seem to sell out consistantly.
Some other things of interest: my entire family as far back as 4 generations is 100% type O,except for a few cousins and late wives, including my mother's French family! There is zero cancer incidence in my family, and my brother married a type O, and they had a type O daughter. It amazes me how a recessive gene in a pool of mostly French, Irish, Scottish, English and a little Jewish ancestors can remain intact.
I really appreciate your splendid column and read it everyday. You are a bonafide heroine to me. The greatness of your column, at least to me, an 0, is the way you put things in a layperson's perspective, and more over, one with a type 0 perspective, giving your answers a rather heart warming effect. I feel hope and connection to reality in your column. I will go get some of that yeast you suggested, and some B-12!
There is plenty more about schizophrenia I know in conjuction with the diet but will save it for another time, like how to deal with withdrawl pains for instance. There are so many people that could live a good normal life again, if they would change their diet, especially type O schizophrenics. Please let me know if there is any area you need any clarity with, more info, or a volunteer for a study. Thanks, David
David ~~ your story is a blessing and a ray of hope for people trapped in schizophrenia. I can't tell you how grateful I am for your generous offer to publish it here! Please be in touch if we can help you in any way, and I would welcome any further advice & accounts you may have for those with this terrible affliction. And ~ my most sincere congratulations to you on your spectacular accomplishment in self-healing!!
I am Type O and have found eliminating wheat and dairy to be the most important improvement in my diet so far. I am concerned, however, about my "fear" of otherwise healthy fruits and vegetables not recomended for my blood type. One example is oranges. I have always enjoyed them and have never experienced any problems, but now am afraid to consume them with any regularity. Why are they not good for me? My confusion is heightened by the knowledge that I know of people who have cured themselves of cancer and other diseases by drinking large quantities of fresh squeezed orange juice as part of a juice fasting program. Can you explain? Thank you. Nancy
What did Nero Wolfe say... "I can avoid folly without backing into fear"? Rather than being afraid to consume them, just consider them food for others -- just as my neighbor might get a headache from a big beef stew, while I can eat it and prosper. They contain polyamines which contribute to bowel toxicity and pathological growth. Oranges are not good for you ~ it's just a fact of nature, like morning and night. But fear and longing go together, do they not? While you feel torn between different strategies, it is difficult to follow any path in confidence.
People have reported miraculous cures for centuries. Sometimes it was the result of prayer. Others have used a variety of protocols that wouldn’t sit well with the type O metabolism – water fasts, one-food diets and "juice cures" among them. It is quite possible that the orange’s polyamine effects were overwhelmed by the vast amounts of other substances in the bushels of vegetables and fruits they consumed in this manner. In some cases, the beginning of a juice cure represented the first time the individual had eaten a fresh plant in years. You can see how her health might then zoom to a (comparatively) high point.
At any rate, the reasons for various foods' status in the blood type diets have been explained at length in Ask Dr. D'Adamo (try the search at the bottom of the page) and largely reside in TYPEbase3. I'm sure you know a few of the reasons already, from reading the books. These plans provide a great variety of healthy foods, and give guidelines to be used daily in order to improve the health of those who use them -- they are not the "grapefruit diet"-type of extreme measures taken at death's door, nor are they structured on a deprivation model. There's plenty to eat for everyone! I hope that reading through this website will let you build up your confidence in this way of living, and soothe your anxieties about foods you miss.