by Dr. Suneil Jain —
You may know your blood type — but do you know whether or not you are a secretor or a non-secretor? Most people have no idea that this blood typing subsystem even exists, but in truth, knowing which category you fall into can help you make the most of your health. Your secretor status can be determined through a specialized blood test.
The concepts of secretors and non-secretors were first introduced to the public by Dr. Peter D’Adamo in his book Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type. D’Adamo posits that differences in blood type make people respond differently to various diets and medical treatments, and are the reason why some people are more vulnerable to certain illnesses and maladies than others.
Each blood type, he says, has a distinct chemical reaction to lectins — substances found in foods. When a person eats a food containing lectins that are incompatible with his or her blood type, those lectins target a certain area and cause blood cells in that area to clump (or agglutinate), leading to uncomfortable symptoms. Continuing to ingest the offensive food will make the person susceptible to disease in the areas where the agglutination occurs.
Whether you are a secretor or a non-secretor is completely independent of your blood type, but just as important when it comes to understanding any metabolic dysfunctions and immune susceptibilities. Simply put, a secretor is a person whose body secretes its blood type antigens into its fluids — saliva, mucus, etc. A non-secretor does not. (Approximately 80 percent of the general population are estimated to be secretors.) And while no one blood type is better than the others, it is thought better to be a secretor than a non-secretor.
The ability to secrete blood-type antigens into your bodily fluids offers enhanced protection against outside factors, such as potentially harmful microorganisms and the lectins from the food you eat. Secretors also have a more accommodating intestinal environment in which beneficial probiotic bacteria can thrive, since blood type can be used as a food source for such bacteria.
Non-secretors on the other hand, because their bodies don’t infuse their fluids with blood-type antigens, have tendencies toward:
- Higher rates of oral disease, including more cavities and, interestingly, habitual snoring
- Digestive problems, such as inflammation and ulcers
- A more prevalent rate of autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis
- Lungs that are more susceptible to environmental factors and cigarette smoking
- A greater risk of diabetes and heart disease
- A greater risk for recurrent urinary tract and Candida (yeast) infections
- An increased association with alcoholism
- More difficulty breaking down dietary fat and properly metabolizing calcium
- An increased intolerance to carbohydrates
Your secretor/non-secretor status, in conjunction with your blood type, also determines the viscosity and clotting time of your blood. So you see, since many of your bodily functions and responses are influenced by your secretor status, knowing which one you are can be a valuable tool in determining how to take the best care of yourself — and how to feel better than ever.
Dr. Suneil Jain, a naturopathic physician with Scottsdale Natural Medicine and Healing Clinic, has post-graduate training in aesthetic mesotherapy, acupuncture face lifting and the medical use of ozone. 480-951-0111. www.scottsdalenaturalmed.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 3, Jun/July 2009.