Oct 18 2010

Fats, Blood Groups and the Intestines

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o single diet theory can address all aspects of our individuality, and only a fool would claim that soy, red meat, grains, coconut oil or anything else is universally good or universally bad for everyone.

For example, people who are blood group O appear to derive significant benefit from a diet including lean animal proteins, including hormone and antibiotic free meats and poultry. There is a very basic physiologic reason for this: those with type O blood have almost three times the levels of an enzyme in their intestines known as intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) [link]. This enzyme performs two very important functions in the body. First, IAP splits dietary cholesterol into smaller fragments, allowing for their proper breakdown. Second, IAP enhances the absorption of calcium from the diet.

When it comes to fats, one man's food may well be another man's poision.

The researchers looked at IAP and a second factor: apolipoprotein B-48 (APOB-48). Apolipoprotein B (APOB) is the primary apolipoprotein of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad cholesterol”), which is responsible for carrying cholesterol to tissues. Both IAP and APOB-48 are exclusive to intestine, although only APOB-48 is found in chylomicrons, large lipoprotein particles that consist of triglycerides (85-92%), phospholipids (6-12%) and small amounts of cholesterol and proteins that transport dietary lipids from the intestines to other locations in the body. After most of the lipids in the chylomicron have been digested, APOB-48 returns to the liver as part of the chylomicron remnant, where it is endocytosed and degraded.

Levels in serum samples from 40 healthy subjects obtained after overnight fast and 3 hours after a high-fat meal. Both APOB-48 and IAP were greater in subjects without blood antigen A (blood groups B and O) than in those with this antigen (blood groups A and AB). The non-A group had 2.4 greater levels of IAP before the meal and a 4.7-fold greater level of for IAP after the meal. The non-A group had 1.5- and 2.0-fold level of apoB-48 over the A-group before and after the meal, respectively.

Moreover, IAP and apoB-48 levels were strongly correlated in the subjects with the secretor phenotype (r > 0.81). These results indicate that IAP is strongly involved in chylomicron formation and fatty acid metabolism might change among ABO blood type.

ABO blood type classification in apoB-48 measurement would improve the diagnostic value in the evaluation of metabolic syndrome.

Now you’d think this was cutting-edge, late-breaking news since it is obviously of tremendous interest in these nutrigenomic times. However, the first observations were made over four decades ago.[link]

In addition to these two critical functions IAP is an important influence on the ability of the digestive tract to heal. Thus in most of our type O patients (44% of the population) we see a marked improvement in their IBS, colitis and Crohn’s disease when they increase their protein and cut back on their carbohydrates. [link]

Blood group B makes considerable amounts of IAP as well, but blood group A and AB make very little. This probably explains why most studies that have looked at heart disease and blood type show a significantly higher rate of problems with blood group A individuals. These folks really should follow a Mediterranean-type diet.

Later studies showed that blood group A not only secreted almost no alkaline phosphatase in their intestines, but whatever little they did secrete was in and of itself inactivated by the presence of their own blood group A antigen. [link]

The significant variations in APO-B48 and IAP as seen between the ABO blood groups are some of the strongest indications for the long term benefit of a low-fat diet in blood group A, both with regard to the susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, and (although not mentioned here) their additional susceptibility to cancer. An emphasis on a healthy fats, low animal protein and the avoidance of foods high in phenylalanine, is the best method to maximize digestive efficiency in individuals who are blood type A, lower their level of intestinal dysfunction, and to influence their susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Fats, Blood Groups and the Intestines”

  1. Lisa Wynne says:

    A great piece of information once again with obvious distinction that one size fits all diets cannot work.Working with these parameters has lead to far better success with helping my patients achieve their goals for individual health and wellness.

    Simply put it takes the guess work out of the equation once one knows and understands the “bioindividuality” of a persons blood and geno type.
    Thanks Doc!

  2. Jerome says:

    Wonderful, so concise and informative.

  3. Susan says:

    With an AB blood type (and most likely ‘teacher’ genotype) I am still waiting for some good news. Increased risk of cancer and heart disease is ominous. If there are any metabolic advantages to an A or AB blood type please share in future posts. The A antigen sounds like a downer.

    I am assuming that our genotype trumps our blood type in terms of do’s and don’ts. So if I am a ‘teacher’ should I be taking the supplements for A or AB?

    And whining aside–thank you for this article. I find all of your research fascinating and extremely enlightening.

    Thanks much.

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