The Nomad Epi-Genotype

Peter D'Adamo, ND

The GenoType Diet

Environmental factors can alter the way our genes are expressed, making even identical twins different. Epigenetics is the study of changes in genetic expression that are not linked to changes in the DNA sequences but related to the influence of the environment on the genes being expressed or not --basically, whether a gene is silenced or activated. In essence, certain genes carry a sign that says, 'ignore me' --these genes are silenced. Other genes carry a sign that says 'pay attention to me' --these genes are activated. What makes the whole shebang noteworthy is that the patterns of these signs, is just as inheritable as the very genes themselves. Because of this, epigenetics offers an unparalleled indirect effect on the treatment of illness.

The GenoType Diet is a further refinement of my work in personalized nutrition. It uses a variety of simple measurements, combined with blood type data, to classify individuals are one of six basic Epigenotypes: The Hunter, Gatherer, Teacher, Explorer, Warrior and Nomad types. This article describes the 'Explorer' epigenotype.

To Learn More about the GenoType Diet, read my book Change Your Genetic Destiny.

Introduction to the Nomad

A large percentage of the world's cultures have stories of a Great Flood that devastated earlier civilization. This flood is sent by God or the gods as an act of divine retribution to destroy civilization. Noah and the Ark in Genesis, Matsya in the Hindu Puranas and the Epic of Gilgamesh are among the most familiar versions of these myths, all of which divide prehistory into a pre-flood or Antediluvian and a post-flood world.

Certainly there were major changes to the planetary water table at the end of the last ice age, as melting waters for the rapidly diminishing glaciers would have caused the levels of the seas and oceans to rise about 125-150 feet, deluging and destroying many prior land bridges, such as that between Alaska and Siberia, and isolating many populations. The end of the last ice age was also accompanied by the mother of all volcanic eruptions as the movement of the African plate opened a fault-line under the Mediterranean Sea, creating a string of volcanoes that still exist, such as Vesuvius and Etna. There is some geological evidence suggesting that a massive prehistoric flood occurred around 8000 years ago as the Mediterranean Sea spilled into the present day Black Sea.

Although by this time agriculture had already reached the plains of central Europe, spread by farming people displaced by the flood. It has been suggested that the memories of these displaced survivors was the source of the Great Flood Legends.

The Nomad GenoType is the story of the people who went the other way.

Physical Profile

As on might imagine from a survivor of the Great Floods, Nomad is a very balanced ship of state. It does have a lot of extremes and opposites, especially when it comes to body measurements, but even the extremes are in balance since their ratios and symmetries remain fairly constant, despite the wide differences in height and size. For example, The Nomad torso length is usually equal to their total leg length, and their upper leg usually equals their lower. Biometrically, a large number of short people are Nomads, as are a number of quite tall people as well. This is because the maternal effects in Nomad are not that consistent. If they are epigenetically programmed in high altitude environments, the better gestational oxygen concentrations will result in greater amounts of growth factor and they will tend to be taller; at lower altitudes, or due to a history of epigenetic instability in the family, they will tend instead towards being smallish.

A large percentage of green eyed or red haired people are Nomad GenoType. The overall body proportions are towards muscularity, and even tall Nomad Genotypes look very well-built. Shorter types tend to see the inherent squarishness of the genotype enhanced a bit more in their bodies with more muscular necks and upper bodies. Most Nomads have broad, balanced facial and nose shapes.

Nomads tend to be large-boned, and their BMI and waist to hip ratios are often higher than average, but this isn't necessarily an indication of excess fat, but rather muscularity. Nomads are often mesomorphs, possessing a low to medium body fat percentage, medium to large bone size, a medium to high metabolism, and a large amount of muscle mass and muscle size.

Shorter Nomads have lankier builds, with less muscular necks and upper bodies. Most tall Nomads have broad, balanced facial and nose shapes and often have squarish jaws. Shorter Nomads tend to have more even features and rounder jaw lines. Nomad women tend to be taller than average (the original Amazons of classical mythology?) while the men appear to be somewhat shorter than the norm.

The fetal development of the Nomad seems to be heavily influenced by altitude, and this may well be the physical link between this GenoType and the effects of having a blood type with the B antigen (types B and AB). Studies have shown that type the B antigen appears to influence a person's receptivity to 'barometric' type influences, such as age of onset of menses, and body size and shape. This certainly plays out in the In high altitude environments Nomads will often be tall while at lower altitudes they will be shorter. Shorter Nomads are usually more asymmetrical while taller Nomads tend towards a more symmetrical appearance. A common sign of Nomad asymmetrically is a difference in the size of the breasts in women and the testicles in men. Almost all taller Nomads tend to be symmetrical --a sure sign that they enjoyed life in the womb!

The Nomads' fingerprint dermatoglyphics are often distinctive. They often have an abundance of ulnar loop patterns, and if the total ulnar loop count is higher that 8/10 and there is a history of Alzheimer's disease in their family line, they might very well benefit from following the suggestions found in the Supplement Section of the Nomad Diet Plan to maintain cognitive and memory skills in later life.

A hallmark of the Nomad, especially the male, is the presence of 'white lines' throughout the fingerprint area. Fingerprint patterns are pretty much fixed by the time you're born (which is why they're so useful to law enforcement!). What does change, though, is the height of your fingerprint ridges, the texture of your fingers that gives you fingerprints in the first place. Ridge height is dynamic, and it's often a very strong indicator of what's going on in your digestive system. Low ridges often indicate disruption in the lining of your intestinal tract or some other type of digestive problem. They could also indicate intolerance to gluten (found in wheat) or sensitivities to lectins (found in grains), as well as suggesting celiac disease (related to gluten intolerance) and 'leaky gut,' in which bacteria that belong in your stomach migrate into your intestinal tract as well. By contrast, good ridge height usually indicates a healthy digestive tract. If your fingerprint ridges are worn, you're likely to see a pattern of white lines among your fingerprints-- secondary creases on your fingers that become visible when your ridges are low.

Research dating back to the early 1970s shows a correlation between the appearance of white lines and the incidence of celiac disease. Typically, the number of white lines increases with age as gut integrity continues to deteriorate. In many cases, these white lines begin to vanish with the maintenance of a gluten-free diet. Some researchers even believe that white lines are a useful indicator of a person's response to diet therapy, although complete improvement of the fingerprints might take as long as two years. Celiac type sensitivity is more the domain of the Hunter GenoType; in the case of the Nomad, I suspect that the gut problems which are signaled by the white lines is probably more of a sensitivity of the Nomad to many of the type B specific lectins in the diet, such as those found in corn and chicken.

Metabolic Profile

You might say that Nomad is the 'great communicator.' This is not just a psychological characteristic, but one that infuses every aspect of their physiology. Their uncanny ability to control nitric oxide activity is at work with their ability to 'think' or visualize their way to better health. Nomads are the patients who get dramatic healing results from meditation and mental exercises. The ultimate example of a mind-body connection.

Overall, Nomads have excellent metabolic capacity and in a state of proper health and balance are not prone to obesity, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. They usually have normal hormone function, tend to have little problems with stress, and sleep restfully

Nomads present a mixed dietary picture, and it requires a little extra work to get the balance right. They tend to display certain sensitivities, especially to proteins called lectins, which are present in many foods. Some Nomads are also sensitive to gluten, as evidenced by white lines on their fingerprints. These variations make the Nomad Diet more idiosyncratic than most.

Nomads are one of the rare genotypes genetically adapted to fermented dairy products in the diet, although there are some Nomads who are lactose intolerant. This adaptation by herding and milking societies allowed people to continue consumption of abundant dairy foods throughout their lives. A sure sign that a Nomad has had herding in their genetic history is the presence of incisor shoveling, a grooving of the back surface of the upper font teeth. Another sign of adaptation to milking societies is the Nomad's tendency to have smaller teeth.

Aging Profile

Loss of proper nitric oxide control can interfere with healthy aging for Nomads. This ability must be sustained by diet and lifestyle: a breakdown of this important Nomad function is almost always accompanied by problems with the immune system, circulatory flow and brain function as they age.

Nomads have a tendency to develop slow-growing neurodegenerative diseases, triggered by viral infections in youth that don't show up until much later in life. They seem to have a higher than average rate of autoimmune diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis and ALS ('Lou Gehrig's Disease').

The liver and spleen can be problem areas for the Nomad, and therefore this GenoType has more than its fair share of inflammatory liver disease, hepatitis and cirrhosis. Because the blood type B antigen (shared by all Nomads) is in large part the sugar galactose --and galactose is one of the more common sugars lining the bile ducts of the liver-- Nomads can trap a lot of bugs and other junk in their livers.

Immune Profile

Like just about every other aspect of the Nomad, their immune system is a study in extremes. They were early herders, and this allowed for their rapid and almost continuous migration and exposed them to widely varying climates, flora and fauna. This may be the reason for the Nomad's overly tolerant immune system. Unlike the GT4 Teacher, who is more prone to bacterial overgrowth, the Nomad is more likely to struggle with low grade, chronic viral infections, many of which can linger for life. For example, the Nomad immune system usually has a tough time fending off the hepatitis virus.

If their nitric oxide production is imbalanced their immune system will be sluggish when it comes to attacking and clearing invading pathogens. A sure sign of this in the Nomad is a crushing, numbing fatigue.

Yet in some Nomads the immune scenario will be, if anything, overactive. If this is the case, the cause is almost always an excess of activity of the so-called 'killer cells' of the immune system. When this is the case the Nomad can suffer from auto-immune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and sarcoidosis. This scenario is especially common in Nomads of Asian ancestry or Nomads who have 'white lines' throughout their fingerprint patterns. There are not very many Nomad GenoTypes of African ancestry; virtually all type B Africans are Gatherers.

Quite a few Nomads suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the cause and cure of this, as well as most of Nomad's myriad health problems boils down to a tiny molecule called nitric oxide.

Made from only one atom each of nitrogen and oxygen, and so ephemeral that it disappears almost as fast as it is made, nitric oxide (usually abbreviated NO) had escaped the attention of medical researchers up until only a few years ago , simply because nobody knew it was there, or how to find it. Yet NO does a slew of incredibly important things in the body. It helps activate cells called macrophages, cells of the immune system that get rid of 'bad' debris during injury and illness. As the "garbage men" of the immune system, macrophages use nitric oxide to sweep up parasites, viruses and other infectious rubbish so it can be eliminated.

I hypothesize that a link between the genetic manifestations of the B blood type and an inappropriately abbreviated gene called ASS (argininosuccinate synthetase) which lies very close to the ABO location, the Nomad developed a 'Receptor Worldview' by manipulating the recirculation of NO as a quick response mechanism to geographic migration and relocation. This as distinguished from the other Receptor Type, the Teacher, who seemed to develop their tolerance of the environment by a combination of genetic luck (antigenic similarities between the A antigen and many of the microbes of the world) and the ability to tolerate higher levels of microbial overgrowth ('our barbarians can lick theirs').

Nomads can struggle with keeping their NO at healthy levels and evenly distributed in their bodies. Often they can have excessive amounts in some areas, and be lacking in others. In some cases there was is shortage of NO in the circulatory system that was what was causing the low blood pressure and perhaps the sensitivity to weather. However, other parts of the body, the immune system and nervous system, for example, clearly appeared starved of this vital nutrient. Fortunately, NO regulation can be enhanced by diet and supplementation.

One of the problems with an over tolerant immune system is called 'Horror Autotoxicus' which just means that the immune system has an inherent disinclination to attack itself. Normally this tempering effect is just what the doctor ordered; taken too far and it becomes like the theatre owner who thought he had a ticket-taker at the door, only to later discover that the job was shirked; the job and customers are just walking in and out of your theatre. However, optimizing nitric oxide and your inter-systemic communication will go along way to ameliorate the problem.

Functional Aesthetic

Many archaeologists believe that the expansion of Neolithic farming peoples from southwest Asia into Europe coincided with the introduction of Indo-European speakers, although I doubt they were one and the same. There is no doubt that ideas travel faster than feet, and the combination is pretty well unstoppable.

More likely Nomad GenoType appears to be a north central spur of the 'proto' Indo-European who first inhabited the Eurasian Steppes at some point in the very early Neolithic period. It may well be that the Warrior GenoType was a more land based variant which migrated southwards and westwards with the recession of the last glacial maximum 12-14,000 years ago, or they may have bifurcated at an earlier time, the Warrior staying put in the Middle East and the Nomad continuing to move eastwards and northwards. This fits the blood group and ancestral DNA data better.

So who were these early Indo-Europeans? We know only a few things about them.

  • They were both pastoral and nomadic, being one of the first groups to domesticate the horse, which also gave them a distinct military advantage over their neighbors. The steppes are not particularly productive from a farming standpoint. Horses also provided meat, milk, clothing and transport.

  • They had discovered the wheel, so they had carts. They worshiped a variety (pantheon) of gods, the preeminent being a 'sky father' and 'earth mother.'

  • It was a heraldic culture, with heroic poetry and song and a male-based kinship system.

Urheimat is a German word loosely translated as 'Original Homeland' and is used by linguists to denote place of origin of a language that is the common ancestor of a set of related languages. Although there is some argument as to whether the Indo-European language developed out of India or in Central Europe, the discussion is tainted with a lot of leftover rhetoric and racism.

Some archeologists believe that the westward migration of the Indo-Europeans began in the Anatolian highlands of Turkey and proceeded in peaceful fashion with the westward movement of Neolithic farming technology at about 7000 BC. others subscribe to the 'Kurgan Hypothesis', which combined archaeological study of the distinctive Kurgan burial mounds with linguistics to help account for their origin and to trace their migrations into Europe. The Kurgan hypothesis is favored among most Indo-European scholars; both the archeological and genetic data better support the Urheimat of these early Indo-Europeans as being located on the steppes along the north coast of the Black Sea.

No matter what, we are left with one rather handy distinction between the Nomad and Warrior which can be of some use, especially to blood type AB individuals: The tendency of the two eyebrows to blend over the nose, called 'concurrency' is found more often in type AB Warriors than in AB Nomads.

As a Nomad GenoType, you possess many natural gifts. And while being 'special' can sometimes feel frustrating because you don't fit neatly into prescribed patterns, if you find your own way, you can be hale, healthy and wise late into life. The GenoType Diet is all about the science of individuality, and Nomads are true individuals.

Reviewed and revised on: 01/12/2023      
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