|Disease||Cardiovascular disease, General|
|Blood Group Link||There is a very distinct difference among the blood types with regard to their incidence of heart disease. Type O and Type B are less likely to generate heart disease as a result of high cholesterol. Their pathway is carbohydrate intolerance. Type A and Type AB follow a more conventional path, through high cholesterol. Each of these pathways lead to a very different lifestyle plan and diet in order to stay heart healthy. |
Type A and Type AB: The Blood Type-Cholesterol Factor
A number of studies show that Type As and Type ABs are more likely to be at risk of heart disease and death by virtue of elevated cholesterol:
The relationship between blood type and total serum cholesterol level was examined in a Japanese population to determine whether elevated cholesterol levels are associated with Type A, as has been demonstrated in many Western European populations. The results showed that cholesterol levels were very significantly elevated in the Type A group compared to other blood types.
A study examining a total of 380 marker/risk factor combinations found associations between Type A and both total serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, while a negative association was found between Type B and total serum cholesterol.
A Hungarian study measured the cholesterol of 653 patients who underwent coronary angiography between 1980 and 1985 at the Hungarian Institute of Cardiology. The results showed that Type A was more frequent and Type O was less frequent than normally seen in the Hungarian population, and that there were differences between the blood types as to the areas of the vessels where the narrowing of the coronary arteries had occurred.
Several forms of elevated lipoproteins are inherited. One of the more common forms of hyperlipoproteinemia is called Type IIB, and it is characterized by increased LDL and VLDL (really bad cholesterol). Type IIB hyperlipoproteinemia results in premature hardening of the arteries, obstruction of the carotid artery (the artery which supplies blood to the head and brain), peripheral artery disease, heart attack, and stroke. Since all of these disorders show higher rates of occurrence in Type As, it is not surprising that studies have found a significant connection between hyperlipoproteinaemia IIb and Type A in both newborns and in patients who have suffered heart attacks.
Type O and Type B: The Blood Type-Carbohydrate Intolerance Factor
For Type Os and Type Bs, the leading risk factor for heart disease is not so much the fat in the food as the fat on the person. In other words, the elevated risk factor is due to carbohydrate intolerance. When Type Os and Type Bs adopt low-fat diets rich in metabolically inactivating lectins, they gain weight. This particular kind of weight gain is a major risk factor for heart disease.
For many years, heart experts have been saying that high triglycerides are not an independent risk for heart diseaseűonly in combination with other factors. However, increasing evidence is pointing to elevated triglycerides as a risk factor on their own, and this partially explains the anomaly of the Type O and Type B pathway to heart disease. The link between obesity, triglycerides, and bad lipoproteins has been evidenced in Type Os. In a French study of blood donors, serum triglycerides and lipoproteins were shown to correlate with both obesity and Blood Type O in a study screening for cardio-or cerebro-vascular disease. There is also a connection between non-secretors and high triglyceride levels, as well as insulin resistance.
Nature has provided Type O and Type B with an additional secret weapon to allow them to benefit from those higher protein levels. That weapon is intestinal alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme manufactured in the small intestine, which has the primary function of splitting dietary cholesterol and fats. Numerous studies since the mid-1960s have shown that Type O and Type B have higher levels of this enzyme--especially Type O and Type B secretors. Conversely, Type A and Type AB have lower levels of this enzyme. Recent studies suggest that it is the inability to break down dietary fat which in part predisposed Type A and Type AB to higher cholesterol and more heart attacks; while the opposite is true for Type O and Type B, who are aided in the breakdown of dietary fat by high amounts of intestinal alkaline phosphatase.
Intestinal alkaline phosphatase activity rises following the ingestion of a fat-containing meal, especially if the triglycerides in the meal are long-chain fatty acids. In a study of volunteers given different test meals, the after-meal rise in serum intestinal alkaline phosphatase activity was significantly greater following the long-chain fatty acid meal than following the medium-chain fatty acid meal, and significantly higher in Type O and Type B over Type A and Type AB. Paradoxically, it appears that intestinal alkaline phosphatase gives Type O and Type B metabolic advantages when they eat high protein meals. Studies show that the consumption of protein further increases the levels of alkaline phosphatase in the intestines of Type Os and Type Bs. Without protein in their diets, Type Os and Type Bs do not gain the benefits of the specialized fat busting enzymes in their intestines. This explains why these blood types can lower their cholesterol by adopting high protein diets.
Recently, an intriguing study helped to cast some light on why Type As and Type ABs have such low levels of alkaline phosphatase activity. In an article entitled 'Intestinal alkaline phosphatase and the ABO blood group system--a new aspect' researchers presented evidence that the Blood Type A antigen may itself inactivate alkaline phosphatase. It may be the case that the lower levels of this enzyme, and the subsequent inability to break down dietary fats, may not be genetically linked to blood type. Instead, this reaction is to the physical expression of the A antigen. The authors found that the red cells of Type A and Type AB bind almost all intestinal alkaline phosphatase, while the red cells of Type O and Type B did so to a much lesser degree.
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