|Blood Group Link||Secretors tend to have higher levels of IgE than non-secretors. Type B tends to get pollen allergies more often than the other blood types, and Type O a bit less. Type B is associated with greater severity of chronic inflammatory diseases of the lungs. Asthma from chronic lung inflammation is also more common in Type B. In a population of Georgians, 293 patients with respiratory allergies, 83 patients with bronchial asthma, and 215 healthy subjects were studied to determine the relationship between respiratory diseases and blood type, Rh status, MN status, and secretor status. Researchers found that markers for bronchial asthma and pollinosis showed that the risk for the development of severe bronchial asthma was higher in Type B patients, and mild-to-moderate in Type O patients. Type O was at greatest risk for respiratory allergies. The highest resistance to respiratory allergies was found in Type AB. In cases of house dust allergy, Type O individuals had higher levels of IgE synthesizing B-lymphocytes than the other blood types. Type A had significantly lower levels. (1) In a study of 228 coal miners asthma was significantly related to the non-secretor phenotype, especially Type O. Lower lung function was observed in Type A, and to a lesser extent in Type B. (2)|
Dietary lectins have been shown to induce the production of Interleukin-4, which in turn activates IgE. (3) This perhaps explains why one of the more common benefits reported by those who follow the blood type food plans is an improvement in allergic manifestations, sinusitis, and asthma. Many bacteria use lectins to attach to host tissue, and these lectins are some of the more highly allergenic parts of the organism. Many food lectins trigger IgE, including lectins found in bananas, chestnuts, and avocados, all implicated in what has been termed "latex fruit allergies." Kiwi fruit lectins also trigger IgE. Lectins from pea, broad bean, lentil, jack bean, soybean, peanut, and wheat germ have been shown to bind directly with IgE and initiate the release of histamine, which can produce a feeling of spaciness, a condition characterized by an inability to focus and concentrate.
|Special Note||An allergic reaction is basically the immune system losing control. In addition to attacking true enemies, such as viruses and bacteria, the immune system of an allergic person also springs to action when an allergen is present. When an allergic person is exposed to an allergen, a special class of antibodies known as Immunoglobulin E, or IgE, is produced. IgE molecules can readily bind to the allergen that caused their production. They are "specific" for the original allergen. Specific IgE molecules travel through the blood and attach to receptors on the surface of mast cells. Mast cells are specialized cells that release histamine, a chemical that produces the classic symptoms of watery eyes, sneezing, welts and hives. Different IgE antibodies are produced for each type of allergen, whether it's latex, pet dander, oak pollen, or ragweed pollen. Once on the mast cell surface, allergen-specific IgE can remain for weeks or even months, always ready to bind to the original allergen. The next time the allergen enters the body, the allergic cascade begins, and eventually results in the release of histamines from the mast cell. Different chemicals are produced and released depending on the allergen. These chemicals target certain areas of the body, producing a wide range of symptoms in just minutes or up to one hour. People seem to inherit allergies, most often from their mothers. At least three genes are believed to be responsible for allergy, but only one has been identified. This gene produces interleukin 4 (IL-4), a growth factor that is required for production of IgE. Overproduction of IL-4 leads to more IgE, which leads to allergy. One theory postulates that the allergic response is a defensive reaction of the immune system against certain innocuous substances that the body mistakes for harmful parasites. This is probably true. IgE is found to increase greatly in response to parasitic infection. The eosinophils kill parasites (mainly worms) in conjunction with IgE, and one of the classic signs of a child with parasites is an itchy nose and watery eyes--the result of the immune system trying to kill the parasite and meanwhile liberating enough IgE to mimic the symptoms of allergy. Non-Caucasians tend to have higher levels of IgE than Caucasians, and males tend to have higher levels than females. Like the anti-blood type antibodies, the levels of IgE tend to drop as we age, which perhaps explains why some people grow out of childhood allergies.|
|References||1. Khetsuriani NG, Gamkrelidze AG J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 1995 Jan-Feb;5(1):35-9|
2. Kauffmann F, Frette C, Pham QT, Nafissi S, Bertrand JP, Oriol R Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1996 Jan;153(1):76-82