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by Geraldo Fuentes for viewzone (2012)

What Blood Type Are You?

If you ever need a transfusion, knowing your specific Blood Type could be a matter of life and death. But many people believe that knowing which Blood Type you are can determine your personality and seriously effect the way your body reacts to disease and processes food.

In this article, I'll explore the history and significance of different blood types, their possible evolutionary origins and purpose, as well as their significance when it comes to diet and disease. Our interest is mainly in exploring the social and medical considerations of your blood type and how you can use this information to improve your health.

Asian cultures, most notably Japanese, put much weight on the acquisition of personality traits through an individual's Blood Type. Type A is considered petty, selfish, bearing grudges and suppressing anger yet romantic; Type B are considered carefree but prone to random anger and nervousness; Type O are athletic, inquisitive, goal oriented and like to talk to vent their feelings.

This humorous video [below] describes the belief, in Japan, that blood types have distinct personality traits.

 

In some reports on-line I've read where candidates who otherwise were qualified for a particular job were refused because the employer was looking for a "different blood type".

Because certain blood types are concentrated in different geographic regions of the world, these personality traits could more likely represent varied cultures and adaptations to different environments. This is an area of research which has not been seriously explored.

Where is your blood type from?

We have learned a good deal about how common each of the ABO blood types is around the world. The patterns can thus be traced to specific regions, migrations and intermingling of various civilizations in human history.

This can be seen with the global frequency patterns of the type B blood allele (shown in the map below). Note that it is highest in Central Asia and lowest among the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australia. However, there are relatively high frequency pockets in Africa as well. Overall in the world, B is the rarest ABO blood allele. Only 16% of humanity have it.

Distribution of the B type blood allele in native populations of the world

The A blood allele is somewhat more common around the world than B. About 21% of all people share the A allele. The highest frequencies of A are found in small, unrelated populations, especially the Blackfoot Indians of Montana (30-35%), the Australian Aborigines (many groups are 40-53%), and the Lapps, or Saami people, of Northern Scandinavia (50-90%). The A allele apparently was absent among Central and South American Indians.

Distribution of the A type blood allele in native populations of the world

The O blood type (usually resulting from the absence of both A and B alleles) is very common around the world. About 63% of humans share it. Type O is particularly high in frequency among the indigenous populations of Central and South America, where it approaches 100%. It also is relatively high among Australian Aborigines and in Western Europe (especially in populations with Celtic ancestors). The lowest frequency of O is found in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where B is common.

As we'll see later, type O is considered the original blood flowing in both Neandertal and Cro-Magnon primates.

Distribution of the O type blood allele in native populations of the world

[source Wikipedia]

 

A great deal of peer reviewed literature exists on the correlation between blood types and specific diseases. Knowing your blood type and the type of illnesses associated with it could potentially be beneficial when considering the last claim: that certain foods are either good or bad. We'll come back to this diet theory, but first lets look at a brief history of blood types and examine the reports of various illnesses.

The History of Blood

Early medicine realized the life-giving properties of the red liquid that was inside our flesh. Before the concept of circulation was understood, the maladies of blood related illness were attributed to whether there was too little or too much blood in the patient. Applying leaches to the skin was thought to be a remedy for excess blood, but a treatment for too little blood remained unsolved.

The earliest recorded attempt to increase the blood volume in an ill patient happened in the same year that Columbus discovered America, 1492. Historian and writer, Stefano Infessura, describes how the ailing Pope Innocent VIII was diagnosed with too little blood when he became comatose. Desperate to save his life, the fresh blood of three preteen boys was collected by bleeding them. Because the concept of arteries, veins and circulation was unknown, the donated blood was administered orally, through a tube down the Pope's throat. The experiment was a total failure and somehow all four people died.

Less than two hundred years passed before the second series of documented transfusions were performed. In 1667 the blood of sheep and cattle was transfused into a variety of patients by the French physician, Jean-Baptiste Denys. A little animal blood seemed to do no harm, but repeated and larger doses were deadly. Many people died and the procedure was banned in 1670.

If we leave the "human" element out of it, the first successful transfusion was actually made in 1665 between two dogs. Christian Zagado had perfected a closed, airtight system with tubes that eliminated clotting and embolisms. A physician named Lower transfused the dogs in the presence of the French Royal Society using Zagado's system.

"Many of his colleagues were present. towards the end of February 1665 he selected one dog of medium size, opened its jugular vein, and drew off blood, until... its strength was nearly gone . Then, to make up for the great loss of this dog by the blood of a second, I introduced blood from the cervical artery of a fairly large mastiff, which had been fastened alongside the first, until this latter animal showed... it was overfilled... by the inflowing blood... sewed up the jugular veins... the animal recovered with no sign of discomfort or of displeasure."

Remember Denys, whose animal to human transfusions were so deadly? Denys redeemed himself by taking credit for the first successful human to human exchanges in 1667, but both he and Lower continued to dabble in interspecies experiments. Clearly, blood transfusions were not safe and most did not benefit the patient.

In 1901 the mortality rate from blood transfusions dropped with the discovery by Austrian Karl Landsteiner that blood from two different individuals can sometimes form clumps or agglutination, inducing a toxic reaction, clots and death. This led to the classification of four distinct types called type A, B, both A&B, or neither (type O), depending on the observed antibodies. Matching blood types finally made transfusions safe and earned Landsteiner the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Though it was not always terminal, reactions to some transfusions were still occurring despite matching the A-B-AB-O blood type. In 1940, Karl Landsteiner zeroed in on the so-called Rhesus factor (Rh) which, if present or not, must also be considered for a safe transfusion match.

This resulted in eight possible blood types: A-, A+, B-, B+, AB-, AB+, O-, O+.

TYPE
CAN RECEIVE FROM
CAN DONATE TO
Comments:
A-
A-, O-
A-, A+, AB-
A+
A+, A-, O-, O+
A+, AB+
B-
B-, O-
B-, B+, AB-
Rarest type
B+
B-, B+, O-, O+
B+, AB+
Rare 16%
AB-
AB-, B-, A-, O-
AB-
AB+
AB+, AB-, B+, B-, A+, A-, O+, O-
AB+
Universal recipient
O-
O-
A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+ AB-, O+, O-
Universal donar
O+
O-, O+
A+, B+, AB+, O+
Most common type

Blood Types & Different Diseases

It is theorized that the original blood type for early primates was type O. DNA retrieved from two Neandertal skeletons showed no A or B antibodies and projected the origin of type O to one million years ago.[1]

"The results however suggest the presence of the human O01 allele already in the common ancestor of Neandertals and modern humans and thereby confirming an emergence of the O01 allele more than 1 million years ago predating the divergence of the modern human and Neandertal populations." [ibid]

DNA from Cro-Magnon and chimpanzie specimens showed type O and A, a mutation that proved adventageous because of some environmental challenges or infestations. Type B is an even later adaptation which is totally absent in the ape world. Most recent is type AB which came about because of interbreeding of A and B types.

If we look at how the original type O humans are faring in today's modern world we can reliably say that they have done very well.

  • Type O has the highest rate of Peptic Ulcers and Angina Pectoris... but
  • Type O has the lowest rate of Pancreatic Cancer, Cardiac Infarctions, and Cardiac Ischemia than the other groups

So nature got it right the first time. The Peptic Ulcers are caused by stomach acid that eats away the mucus coating, mostly in the duodenim, where the stomach empties into the intestines. It's believed that some of this damage is caused by the over production of stomach acids, due to either stress or by the activity of a bacterium that thrives in such an environment, called Heliobacter Pylori.

Bacterial or viral infestation might have contributed to the mutation that produced type A blood. But while type A blood is not associated with Peptic Ulcers, it has been linked to a plethora of diseases, including:

  • Type A blood has been linked to higher cancer of the hypopharynx, larynx, pancreas, stomach, breasts and testicles.
  • Type A blood has been linked to to gall stones, Coronary Heart Disease, elevated serum cholesterol, and an overall reduction of the immune response caused by a resistance to aptosis.

It seems nature took one step forward and half a dozen back, but we may not have the whole story yet.

The emergence of type A ironically coincides with the beginning of a vegan culture, perhaps 20,000 years ago (the date is frequently pushed back) with little dependence on red meat or dairy products.

These were nomadic people who ate a variety of nuts, grains, vegetables and fruits. We have traditionally associated this type of diet with good health, and perhaps it was back then. Type A health has suffered the most from modern dietary habits and has shown less resilience to the present day environment than type O.

Type B represents a mutation that occurred about 10,000 years ago in the central mountains of Asia. This adaptation has fewer diseases associated with it than A; however it falls short of the resilience of O.

  • Type B's Achille's heel is Type 1 Diabetes and, mysteriously, esophageal and gastric cancer in a particular province in China (but nowhere else) [1].

Overall, type B is an improvement over A but not as good as O -- at least in modern times.

Lastly, type AB is the most recent adaptation. Scientists place it about 1000 years ago. As you might expect, the range of diseases falls somewhere between A and B.

Different Diets for Different Types?

Type O

Even with our relatively unhealthy diets, type O individuals seem to be doing something right -- for them. The higher incidence of ulcers and chest pains seems more stress related and that would give some credence to the psychological profiling we mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Type B

The B group is prone to Type 1 diabetes. The current theoretical models for this type of diabetes is the destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas caused by some local environmental condition. It has been shown that identical twins, who share the same genome, only share this disease 30% to 50% of the time. Also, migrating populations contract the disease at the same rate as their host country. A virus, Coxsackie of the rubella family, is suspected.

Some researchers believe the autoimmune response is influenced by antibodies against cow's milk proteins.[15] But the evidence has never been conclusive. Giving children 2000 IU of Vitamin D during their first year of life is associated with reduced risk of type 1 diabetes, though the causal relationship is obscure.[16] Children with antibodies to beta cell proteins (i.e. at early stages of an immune reaction to them) but no overt diabetes, and treated with vitamin B3 (niacin), had less than half the diabetes onset incidence in a seven-year time span than did the general population, and an even lower incidence relative to those with antibodies as above, but who received no vitamin B3.[17]

So, although there may be a genetic component linking type B blood with Type 1 Diabetes, there also appears to be a positive response to Vitamin-D and B3 (niacin). Diets rich in these vitamins, plus sunlight exposure, would appear to be beneficial as supplements to a type B diet.

Type A

You will notice that I saved type A for last. With propensities for an assortment of diseases effecting the heart, digestive and endocrine system, this blood type seems most vulnerable to modern diets. Type A people were originally vegans, or at the very least omnivors. The obvious difference is that today's food is often not fresh and is processed with preservatives and other chemicals to prolong its shelf life and increase profitability. These trace amounts of un-natural substances effect all blood types, but type As clearly demonstrate the toxicity of prolonged exposure.

Type AB

This type of blood can suffer from all of the maladies of Type A. Stastically, most research has been conducted on types O and A and it is generally assumed that the detrimental effects are similar to A but not as severe.

What About Rh (Rhesus factor?)

After the ABO blood types were understood and utilized, some fatal reactions to matched blood was still occurring. Karl Landsteiner discovered the second most important factor which he called the Rhesus Factor. The genes for this antibody have been traced all the way back to early primates. People who have this antibody are called Rh+ and make up about 85% of the modern human population. The remaining 15% who lack the antibody are Rh-.

The argument is often made that people who are Rh- are a recent mutation, well after both Cro-Magnon and Neandertals and have suggested that they are alien hybrids, descendants from Atlantis or even a totally different (albeit similar) species from another world. A more scientific theory is offered below:

All modern genetic DNA evidence points to an "out-of-Africa" origin for humanity. Hence, it is our view that Rh+ (Rh-positive) is the original Rh blood allele in humans, since black Africans in Africa who have not mixed either with white populations or with mixed-race persons have ONLY this Rh allele and no evidence of Rh- (Rh-negative).

Since Rh- (Rh-negative) is an allele which is found predominantly among white populations (ca. 40-45% in Europe), it must clearly be a mutation which followed after man's migrations from Africa to Europe.

Moreover, Rh-negative is found much more frequently among A and O blood groups, which are the major blood types in Western Europe, whereas Rh-negative is much rarer among persons with B and AB blood types.

Rh protein plays a significant role as a channel for CO2 gas (carbon dioxide) across cell membranes in the body: "Rh proteins act as gas channels that help speed the transfer of carbon dioxide (CO2) in and out of red blood cells. CO2 can also pass through the cell membrane unaided (above right), but not quickly enough."

Hence, it would seem to be a likely hypothesis to this observer, presented here for the first time, that Rh- (Rh-negative) developed due to a (presumably beneficial) change mandated in our human breathing of the Earth's air in the more northerly European latitudes.

This would make sense since there is in fact a global air-sea flux of CO2 (carbon dioxide) which could correspond to the mutation we see in Rh from Africa (Rh+) to Western Europe (Rh-).

Read the full article HERE.

Literature suggests that people with RH- have higher IQs, lower blood pressure, keen eyesight and hearing, hazel or blue eyes, reddish hair, psychic abilities, cannot be cloned and will reject a fetus that is Rh+. That last bit is used as an argument that Rh- individuals are actually a different species (or hybrid) since no other animal rejects its own offspring except mules, which are a hybrid donkey-horse.

Here's a brief video about Rh-negative people around the world:

 

 

A Warning...

For certain their is sound scientific evidence, undisputed, that certain diseases appear more frequently in certain blood types. Beyond that solid observation, the etherial world of special fad diets can waste time and money. YouTube has many videos claiming that certain foods should or should not be consumed by various blood types. Usually, after a brief introduction, the video transforms into a sales tool for a book or CD. You don't need that.

Knowing your blood type gives you a statistical window to how others of your type are dealing with the world today. You can learn by this and avoid foods that are known to contribute to these particular illnesses, paying attention to any family history that may predispose you to getting ill. In general, all blood types are susceptible to the environmental toxins in our food. We were not evolved to eat un-natural chemicals or processed food.

Eat wise.

 

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NOTES:

[1] World J Gastroenterol  2001; October 7(5):657-661, Relationship between ABO blood groups and carcinoma of esophagus and cardia in Chaoshan inhabitants of China, Min Su, Shan-Ming Lu, Dong-Ping Tian, Hu Zhao, Xiao-YunLi, De-Rui Li and Zhi-Chao Zheng, Department of Pathology, Tumor Hospital, Second Teaching Hospital, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou 515031, China

[2] OMIM Entry -- DIABETES MELLITUS, INSULIN-DEPENDENT; IDDM". Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 29 November 2011.

[3] ABO Blood Group and the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer, Brian M. Wolpin, MD, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St, Boston, MA 02115

[4] The Lancet, Volume 294, Issue 7621, Pages 607 - 609, 20 September 1969, ABO AND LEWIS BLOOD-GROUPS AND SERUM-CHOLESTEROL, M.J.S. Langman , J. Foote , P.C. Elwood , D.R. Ryrie

[5] Blood type and family cancer history in relation to precancerous gastric lesions, Wei-Cheng Youa,, Jun-Ling Mab, Wei-dong Liuc, Mitchell H Gaila, Yun-Sheng Changb, Lian Zhangb, Yuan-Reng Hud, Joseph F Fraumeni Jra and Guang-Wei Xub, Reprint requests to: Wei-Cheng You, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, EPS Room 8030, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

[6] Oxford Journals, Life Sciences & Medicine, Glycobiology, Volume 12, Issue 12, Pp. 851-856., Expression of histo-blood group A antigen increases resistance to apoptosis and facilitates escape from immune control of rat colon carcinoma cells, Severine Marionneau, Beatrice Le Moullac-Vaidye and Jacques Le Pendu

[7] Intestinal alkaline phosphatase and the aboblood group system -- a new aspect, Peter M. Bayer, Hedy Hotschek, Eva Knoth, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Wilhelminenspital der Stadt wine, Vienna Austria

[8] Risk of Gastric Cancer and Peptic Ulcers in Relation to ABO Blood Type: A Cohort Study, Gustaf Edgren, Henrik Hjalgrim, Klaus Rostgaard, Rut Norda, Agneta Wikman, Mads Melbye and Olof Nyrén, *Correspondence to Dr. Gustaf Edgren, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Box 281, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

[9] Diabetologia, Volume 27, Number 2 (1984), 235-237, DOI: 10.1007/BF00273812, European Association for the Study of Diabetes, The fast acetylator phenotype in diabetes mellitus: abnormal prevalence and association with the ABO blood groups, A. E. Pontiroli, A. Mosca, A. de Pasqua, D. Alcini and G. Pozza

[10] Relationship between ABO blood groups and skin cancers, Umit Tursen MD, E Naci Tiftik MD, Sakir Unal MD, Ozgur Gunduz MD4 Tamer Irfan Kaya MD, Handan Camdeviren PhD, Guliz Ikizoglu MD, Dermatology Online Journal 11 (3): 44

[11] Br J Cancer. 1970 June; 24(2): 226-234, PMCID: PMC2008582, Epidemiological Characteristics of Breast Cancer in Middle and Late Age, G. Hems

[12] Pyd M, Rzewnicki I, Suwayach U. ABO blood groups in patients with laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer., Otolaryngol Pol, 1995; 49:396-8.

[13] Pinkston JA, Cole P. ABO blood groups and salivary gland tumors (Alabama, United States). Cancer Causes Control, 1996; 7:572-4.

[14] Jia DX. Bone tumor and ABO blood type, Zhonghua Zhong Liu Za Zhia, 1991; 13:220-2. [15] "content.nejm.org". content.nejm.org. Retrieved 29 November 2011.

[16] Hypponen E, Laara E, Reunanen A, Jarvelin MR, Virtanen SM (November 2001). "Intake of vitamin D and risk of type 1 diabetes: a birth-cohort study". Lancet 358 (9292): 1500-3. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(01)06580-1. PMID 11705562.

[17] Elliott RB, Pilcher CC, Fergusson DM, Stewart AW (1996). "A population based strategy to prevent insulin-dependent diabetes using nicotinamide". Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism 9 (5): 501-9. doi:10.1515/JPEM.1996.9.5.501. PMID 8961125.

[18] Anderson DE, Haas C. Blood type A and familial breast cancer, Cancer, 1984; 54:1845-9. [19] Jordan GH, Lynch DF. Relationship of blood group to testicular carcinoma. Urology 1983; 22:265-7.

[20] Vioque J, Walker AM. Pancreatic cancer and ABO blood types: a study of cases and controls, Med Clin (Barc.), 1991; 96:761-4.

[21] Gut, 1997; 40:297-301, Risk for Gastric Cancer in people with CagA positive or CagA negative Heliobacter pylori infection, J Parsonnet, G D Friedman, N Orentreich, H Vogelman

[22] Gut 1966, Influence of the ABO blood group and salivary ABH secretor status on cell-removing effect of aspirin in human gastric mucosa, Leon Horwich and David A. Price Evans

[23] British Medical Journal, May 30, 1953, 1220, Cancer of the Stomach and ABO Blood Groups

[24] Ecological Studies of Intestinal Bacteria. Relation between the Specificity of Fecal ABO Blood Group Antigen -- Degrading Enzymes from Enteric Bacteria and the ABO Blood Group of the Human Host, Lansing C. Hoskins, available as jcinvest00210-0103.pdf

[25] American Journal of Epidemiology, Risk of Gastric Cancer and Peptic Ulcers in Relation to ABO Blood Type: A Cohort Study, Gustaf Edgren, Henrik Hjalgrim, Klaus Rostgaard, Rut Norda, Agneta Wikman, Mads Melbye, and Olof Nyren, Februaru 2010, Vol. 172, No. 11

[26] British Heart Journal, 1968, 30, 377, ABO Blood Groups and Ischaemic Heart Disease in Men, T. M. Allan and Audrey A. Dawson

[27] Blood Type and the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer, JNCIJ National Cancer Institute, 2009, p361, pdf available.