The Importance of Secretor Status
For many people, knowing their ABO
blood type and following the basic ABO diets in Eat Right 4 Your Type
works very well. However, some individuals may not derive maximum
benefit from the Blood Type Diet until they first determine their
Secretor Status. Knowing this information then allows for the use of the
more specific diet lists included in the book Live Right 4 Your Type.
What is Secretor Status?
By now you are probably familiar with the concept that your ABO blood
type is controlled by your genetics, just as are your hair or eye color.
The gene coding for your blood type lies on chromosome 9q34. However,
other separate genes on chromosome 11 and 19 actually interact with your
blood type gene, determining your ability to secrete your ABO blood type
antigens into your body fluids and secretions. This is called the
secretor gene, and by testing for this gene we can determine whether you
are a secretor or non-secretor.
In the genetics of the
secretor system two options exist. A person can be either a secretor (S)
or a non-secretor (NS). This is completely independent of whether
you are a blood type A, B, AB, or O. Thus a person could be an A
secretor or an A non-secretor, a B secretor or a B non-secretor, etc.
Secretors and Non-secretors
Secretors: In a simplified sense, a secretor is defined as a person who secretes their blood type antigens into body fluids and secretions like the saliva in your mouth, the mucus in your digestive tract and respiratory cavities, etc.
Non-Secretors: A non-secretor on the other hand puts little to none of their blood type
into these same fluids.
As a general rule, in the US about 15-20% of the
population are non-secretors with the remaining 80-85% being secretors.
Aside from the physical implications centering around whether you have
blood type antigens in your body fluids or not, the secretor genetics
have additional significance through the effects of gene linkage: In
other words, the outcome of your secretor genetics 'links' to other
seemingly unrelated genes and influences their function.
Your secretor status
drastically alters the carbohydrates present in your body fluids and
secretions in addition to several important aspects of your metabolism
and resistance. These factors include the activity of an enzyme called
intestinal alkaline phosphatase, the overall composition of bacteria in
your intestinal ecosystem, your propensities toward blood clotting, your
level of carbohydrate tolerance, and your resistance to certain parasites
In addition to allowing important diet refinements, knowing your secretor status can help you use nutritional supplements more effectively and intelligently and add to your awareness of illness and metabolic dysfunction you may be prone to because of your secretor genetics.
Determining Secretor Status
Previously, Secretor status could only be determined by select labs using sophisticated forensic techniques. D'Adamo Personalized Nutrition has made this important test available directly to the general public.