Mind/Body Connection to Blood Type

Many people wonder whether blood type makes a difference for anything else besides transfusions. Absolutely! Today, I want to share some information that is available from an excellent lifestyle book called “Live Right 4 Your Type” by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo (2001). Much research has been done in the almost 20 years since this book was published, but the basics haven’t changed. If you know your blood type (or the blood type of someone else whose health and well-being you wonder about), take a look at these points and let me know if they resonate with you. I can tell you that they ring just as true for me and others I know now as they did a dozen years ago when I first read this book. When I mention “disciplines”, I am referring to specific protocols outlined in the book that deal with the optimal lifestyle for each blood type. They are too lengthy for this blog post, but I would be happy to discuss them with you if you want to learn more. There is a glossary at the end of the post of terms that might not be familiar to some readers.

BLOOD TYPE O

Those with blood type O should emphasize animal protein in their diets. Os do best when they focus on anger management, engage in aerobic exercise to reduce stress, and use specific disciplines to help control impulsive behavior. As type Os age, vigorous exercise is crucial to maintaining optimal health.

Blood type Os have a tendency to build up higher levels of catecholamines (noradrenaline and adrenaline) during stress due to low levels of the elimination enzyme MAO.

Manifestations:

  • Imbalance of the neurochemical dopamine
  • Avoidance of monotony leads to risky behavior
  • Tendency to express anger and aggression during times of stress
  • Overly emotional and hyperactive
  • Tendency to be “moody” – up one minute and down the next
  • Extroverted and controlling

Increased Risks:

  • Bipolar (manic-depressive) disease
  • Depression
  • Heart disease (if Type A behavior pattern)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse

Children:

  • High catecholamine levels and dopamine imbalance are associated with hyperactivity

BLOOD TYPE A

Those with blood type A should emphasize vegetables in their daily diet. They do best by concentrating on stress management by engaging in yoga or gentle exercise to reduce stress and taking naps or frequent breaks to stay focused. A regular sleep cycle is crucial to keeping the health of type As in balance.

Blood type As have naturally high basal cortisol levels and a tendency to overproduce cortisol in response to stress.

Manifestations:

  • Overreaction to stress
  • Difficulty recovering from stress
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Daytime brain fog
  • Repressed anxiety, hysteria, introversion
  • Increased blood viscosity
  • Easy to overtrain with excessive exercise
  • Disruptive to GI-friendly bacteria (gastrointestinal tract – digestion)
  • Suppresses immune function
  • Promotes muscle loss and fat gain

Increased Risks:

  • Obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCD)
  • Heart disease
  • Insulin Resistance Syndrome X/type 2 diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cancer
  • High stress can further exacerbate virtually all health challenges

Elderly:

  • High cortisol levels are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia
  • Disruptions in stress hormones may lead to age-related loss of muscle tissue

BLOOD TYPE B

Blood type Bs have naturally high cortisol levels and a tendency to overproduce cortisol in response to stress. For optimal health, they should vary their diet, focus on creative outlets, and engage in walking and meditation (I love the complete solitude of a float pod) to reduce stress. Special disciplines can help in avoiding emotional overreactions. A critical consideration is to commit to a lifetime of mental activities to retain memory while aging.

Blood Type Bs tend to clear nitric oxide (NO) rapidly through the B gene allele’s influence on enzymatic production of NO.***

Manifestations:

  • Overreaction to stress
  • Difficulty recovering from stress
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Daytime brain fog
  • Disruptive to GI-friendly bacteria
  • Suppresses immune function
  • When NO level is out of balance:
    • Overly emotional reaction to stressful situations
    • Lethargy, lack of motion
    • Broad systemic effects

Increased Risks:

  • Depression
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hypothyroidism
  • High stress can further exacerbate virtually all health challenges
  • When NO level is out of balance:
    • Chronic viral infections
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease
    • Excessively high or low blood pressure

Children:

  • High cortisol levels may be a factor in autism

Elderly:

  • High cortisol levels are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia
  • Disruptions in stress hormones may lead to age-related loss of muscle tissue

BLOOD TYPE AB

Blood type ABs tend to build up higher levels of catecholamines (noradrenaline and adrenaline) during stress due to low levels of the enzyme MAO. They do best when eating smaller, more frequent meals. Best lifestyle hints are focusing on their natural spiritual tendencies, breaking up the day with physical activity to feel more energized, and using special disciplines to avoid feeling isolated. As blood type ABs age, they should pay careful attention to their environment to avoid susceptibility to bacterial infections.

Blood Type ABs tend to clear nitric oxide (NO) rapidly through the B gene allele’s influence on the enzymatic production of NO.***

Manifestations:

  • Tendency to feel angry and alienated from others
  • Imbalance of the neurochemical dopamine
  • Extreme introversion
  • When NO level is out of balance:
    • Overly emotional reaction to stressful situations

Increased Risks:

  • Bipolar (manic-depressive) disease
  • Depression
  • Heart disease (if Type A personality)
  • Parkinsons’ disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse
  • When NO level is out of balance:
    • Hypertension

GLOSSARY:

Adrenaline/epinephrine – synthesized from noradrenaline/norepinephrine and increases during times of stress. Epinephrine acts on almost all body tissues, but its effects are different depending on the tissue. For example, epinephrine relaxes the breathing tubes allowing easier breathing, but contracts the blood vessels (keeping blood pressure up and ensuring brain and heart are perfused with blood). Epinephrine increases the heart rate and force of contraction and blood flow to the muscles and brain and aids the conversion of glycogen (a stored form of energy) into glucose in the liver. Epinephrine has more wide-ranging effects than norepinephrine because it can bind to a higher number of types of receptors.

Catecholamines (epinephrine/adrenaline, norepinephrine, and dopamine) – exert a neurotransmitting action similar to that of the sympathetic nervous system – they excite or inhibit and can function as hormones or neurotransmitters or both.

Cortisol – your body’s main stress hormone (think, “fight or flight”). Cortisol also manages how your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; keeps inflammation down; regulates blood pressure; increases blood sugar (glucose); controls the sleep/wake cycle; and boosts energy so you can handle stress and restores balance afterward.

Dopamine – helps control include brain functions and responsibilities including behavior, mental health, and voluntary movement. Other functions of dopamine in the brain include roles involved with reward-seeking behavior, memory, and the ability to learn. Its presence decreases cortisol.

Hypothyroidism – condition that occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of the thyroid hormone called thyroxine (T4). This causes the body’s system to slow down and can lead to symptoms like fatigue, lack of focus, depression, feeling cold, weight gain due to fluid retention, dry skin, and hair loss.

Insulin Resistance – occurs when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. Over time, your blood sugar levels go up.

Insulin Resistance Syndrome X (also known as Metabolic Syndrome) – diet-caused hormonal problem that interferes with the body’s ability to efficiently burn the food one eats. Syndrome X occurs when insulin resistance is combined with high levels of blood fats (cholesterol and triglyceride), too much body fat, and high blood pressure.

MAO (monoamine oxidase) – enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of many body compounds including epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, thereby removing them from the brain.

***Nitric oxide – a free radical molecule with a life of about 5 seconds that helps all the cells in the body communicate with each other. More specifically, it helps memory and behavior by transmitting information between nerve cells in the brain; assists the immune system at fighting off bacteria and defending against tumors; regulates blood pressure by dilating arteries; reduces inflammation; improves sleep quality; increases recognition of senses (i.e., smell); increases endurance and strength; and assists in gastric motility (the stomach’s contractions and electrical signals that move materials through your GI tract). Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule involved in many physiological and pathological processes. It was proclaimed the “Molecule of the Year” in 1992. The 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for discovering nitric oxide’s role as a cardiovascular signalling molecule. Production of nitric oxide can be increased through diet and exercise. Because of its short life, it must be synthesized constantly by the conversion of its precursor amino acid arginine. It does not bind to receptor sites like other neurotransmitters but is diffused into the cell and works at the biochemical level. The ability to clear nitric acid rapidly can be highly valuable to the cardiovascular system and can also enable a faster recovery in conditions of stress. One possible explanation for this latter response is that a gene for the for the enzyme that is critically responsible for the recycling of arginine lies right next to the gene for the ABO blood type. The possession of the B antigen (Bs and ABs) many enable a certain plasticity in the in the mind-body response. Type Bs in particular have a remarkable ability to gain physiological relief and balance through the utilization of mental processes. Both Bs and ABs can do very well with simple visualization techniques.

Noradrenaline/Norepinephrine – as a neurotransmitter, it can travel down a nerve and cause a second nerve to respond; as a hormone, it is synthesized from dopamine and released into the blood to constrict blood vessels to maintain appropriate blood pressure (including heightened levels of the “fight or flight” response).

Serotonin – an inhibitory neurotransmitter produced 10% in the brain and 90% in the gut; modulates cognition, reward, learning, memory, and numerous physiological processes.

Type 2 diabetes – results from insufficient production of insulin by the pancreas, causing high blood sugar.

Type A behavior pattern – tending to be competitive, highly organized, ambitious, impatient, highly aware of time management and/or aggressive.

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