“Tell me your blood type, and I’ll tell you what makes you tick” – Your blood type reveals more about you, your fitness preferences, your eating habits, your susceptibility to certain diseases, and your personality than you might suspect.
One thing first: No, this is not another article about the controversial blood type diet by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, which is supposed to encourage you to lose weight.
This article is about how our genes in the blood shape our needs.
Each of us has a “genetic code” through our blood group. This provides information about diseases, why we prefer certain sports and react to certain foods with increased sensitivity or intolerance.
It is therefore very useful and informative to know your blood group. Do you know it?
Why you should know your blood type
“Tell me your blood type, and I’ll tell you who you are” – a Japanese attitude that has been a virtual tradition since the 1920s. Japanese researchers at the time found that one’s personality and needs are closely linked to one’s genes. Even today in Japan, the blood group is still asked for in some job interviews. Strange? Perhaps.
Sports scientist and author Sandra Camman spoke about the blood group code at the 08th International Hamburg Sports Congress in November 2016. Which states that the genetic information contained in the blood not only influences our personality and dietary needs, but also our exercise behavior.
She found that there is a direct link between blood type and a strong immune system.
Sandra Camman herself suffered from digestive problems for years and, based on the knowledge she gained, adapted her diet and exercise program to blood group 0. Result: The digestive problems gradually improved until they disappeared completely. She has had more energy and stamina ever since.
She further says in her book that everyone suffers from at least one food intolerance and that not everything that is edible is also healthy and tolerable for everyone. Indigestion, diarrhea, bloating and pain can be symptomatic consequences.
If we consume food every day that we cannot digest due to our genetic predisposition (blood group), our body will be weakened in the long term and can fall ill – for example, in the colon, coronary arteries or pancreas.
Accordingly, the findings of the sports scientist refute the criticism of the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) that the connection between blood groups and nutrition has not been proven.
Blood groups: The AB0 system
The blood group is the description of the individual characteristics on the surface of the red blood cells. Today, there are two important systems for decoding a person’s genetic code: The AB0 system and the Rhesus system. Both systems were discovered by Karl Landsteiner.
With the discovery of the ABO system, the serologist revolutionized medicine in 1901. He realized that the immune system reacts to foreign anitgenes with antibodies, and when donating blood, a recipient’s blood sometimes clumps and breaks down. Karl Landsteiner then divided blood into four blood groups: A, B, AB and 0.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1930 for the discovery of blood groups.
The rhesus system was discovered by Landsteiner in 1941 and is the second most important blood group system in humans after the ABO system. A distinction is made between rhesus positive and rhesus negative.
The system indicates whether a certain antigen is present on the red blood cells. Persons who do not possess this antigen are rhesus negative.
According to the German Red Cross, 85 percent of Germans have a rhesus positive trait and only 15 percent are rhesus negative.
Sidefact: To mark Karl Landsteiner’s birthday, World Blood Donor Day is held annually on June 14.
The most common blood groups
The two most common blood groups found in Germany are blood group A (43 percent) and blood group 0 (41 percent). Blood group AB is the youngest blood group, possessed by only 5 percent of the population.
People with blood group 0 are universal donors. This means that they can donate blood to the other three blood types, but can only receive the blood of a 0-type donor themselves.
In contrast, blood type AB is titled a universal recipient because they could receive blood from all other blood types, but may only donate blood within their own blood type. Conversely, this means that all the other blood types must not receive the blood of the AB type transfused, otherwise it will clump together.
If you don’t know your blood type, you could buy a blood type quick test at the pharmacy or online. At the family doctor, a reliable blood group test costs about 25 euros. Health insurance companies do not cover the cost.
Blood groups: Nutrition, fitness and health risk
With the knowledge about the four different blood groups, their needs and weaknesses, the nutritional behavior, exercise level and stress management can be derived.
In addition, you may likewise recognize yourself in the course of the article, for example, blood type 0 as well as A type. This is normal. Each blood type inherits individual characteristics to its children.
Mixed blood types exist
Suppose your father has blood type 0, your mother has blood type A. Then you have the Dominate A trait on the first chromosome and none on the second. You therefore have blood group A.
However, you can of course also get traits from your father with blood group 0. Accordingly, you could be more active and characterized by a more athletic ambition than someone with a genotype-AA – where both parents have blood type A.
Note: People with blood type AB are already mixed types. They have the A trait on one chromosome and the B trait on the other.
Blood group 0 is a primordial blood group. It has more antigens to pathogens than any other blood group.
People who belong to the 0 type rarely get sick and quickly shake off cold symptoms.
Lots of animal protein, little gluten
Since the blood group already existed in the Stone Age and people mainly ate meat at that time, people of blood group 0 produce a lot of stomach acid and can utilize animal protein well.
They draw a lot of energy from it. Carbohydrate-containing foods, especially wheat, on the other hand, block the metabolic processes – flatulence and pain are the result. A gluten-free diet is recommended.
To promote metabolic processes, plenty of water should be drunk.
Since too much stomach acid is produced, people with blood type 0 are considered “too acidic” overall. Because of this, the 0 type also reacts, for example, to legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans, as these are classified as “acidic” in the alkaline diet.
In addition, blood type 0 is very sensitive to caffeine, so coffee should only be drunk in moderation. The caffeine effect of green tea is somewhat gentler, longer lasting and is better tolerated.
Powerful training until exhaustion
They are bursting with energy, self-confidence and ambition. Sometimes they are impulsive and talk before they think. People with this blood group are not satisfied with sports until they have completely exhausted themselves for an hour – preferably every day. Only in this way do they feel balanced, as adrenaline is effectively released.
High-impact sports are ideal: functional training, HIIT workouts, long runs, competitions and team sports.
In 2017, scientists from the University of Verona found in a study that runners with blood type 0 are faster than runners with blood types A, B and AB.
Their conclusion: age, weekly training and blood type 0 account for 62.2 percent of the total variance in good running performance.
Seldom suffer serious illnesses – with one exception
Due to high stomach acid production, people with blood type 0 have a particularly sensitive gastrointestinal tract. Researchers have found that this blood type in particular has an increased risk of developing chronic gastritis.
However, this is almost the only weakness of the 0 type. It is otherwise a very robust blood type. For example, people of the 0 type are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease – this was the conclusion reached by American scientists led by Prof. Lu Qi of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who followed almost 90,000 people for more than 20 years in two large studies.
As already mentioned at the beginning: blood group A is the most widespread – 43 percent of Germans belong to the A type. The blood type originated in the Neolithic Age, when people first obtained their food from agriculture.
The born vegetarian
Because of this, people of blood type A metabolize plant foods optimally. Since people ate fewer animal products at that time, stomach acid formation was also reduced. Accordingly, persons of blood group A are less able to metabolize animal protein.
The result: incomplete protein digestion in the intestine, which can clog cells and the blood. The A type may occasionally reach for easily digestible protein in the form of fish and poultry.
Caution is advised when eating dairy products, as these greatly increase the formation of mucus in the sinuses, for example. Owners of blood type A often suffer from increased LDL cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Studies have also found that blood type A as well as AB and B have an increased risk of thrombosis.
Gentle, short workout
Since the A type is a complete head person, several relaxation breaks during the day do him good to recharge the batteries and calm the hyperactive mind.
People with blood type A naturally have an increased cortisol release, consequently competitive sports would be counterproductive and produce even more stress. Recommended sports are: Cycling, slow running, Nordic walking, yoga, meditation and gentle strength training.
This is the best way to relieve tension, stress and cramped muscles.
A training session should not go longer than 30 minutes, moreover, two to three days of sports a week are sufficient.
11 percent of Germans have blood group B and are also owners of a fast-adapting immune system.
However, once people with this blood group get out of their mental balance, for example due to stress at work, their health suffers immediately. Therefore, they need a structure and a “flow” at work, in private life and in sports.
Dairy products allowed, wheat “no go
People of this blood group tolerate cow’s milk products very well, because it has similar antigens as blood group B itself. Nevertheless, there is also TOO MUCH cow’s milk, cheese, yogurt and butter. The body reacts to this with increased levels of inflammation, especially in the mucous membranes.
Corn, chicken, sesame and wheat block the metabolism. Negative stress causes excessive cortisol production in the B type, just as it does in the A type.
As a result, cortisol has a strong influence on eating behavior and makes people reach for sugary foods more often.
Balance is the key
To get into a sports routine or fitness flow, the B-type does not need strength training.
The B-type is exhausted during endurance sports such as running, swimming, aqua fitness, cycling or in cardio fitness courses.
This is followed by relaxation in the form of massages or sauna sessions. Regular training increases stress tolerance at the same time – sport is then a great balance.
To get into a flow state and not get stressed – whether in sports or at work – even small morning rituals help: a run, a walk, music or yoga exercises.
Susceptible to pancreatic disease
The German physician Prof. Dr. Markus Lerch from the University of Greifswald and his medical team proved that there is a direct connection between pancreatic disease and blood type B. The B type has a 2.5-fold higher blood pressure than the B type.
The B type has a 2.5-fold increased risk of pancreatic disease than blood group 0.
The AB blood type has only existed for 1200 years and only 5 percent of the population has it. People of the AB type have a strong immune system and can, for example, quickly fight off mutating viruses.
In addition, they are described as intelligent, energetic and head people. They combine both positive and negative characteristics of blood type A and blood type B.
Healthy mix between protein and carbohydrates
For example, individuals with blood type AB produce as little stomach acid as the A type, so they cannot metabolize meat well and it is converted to fat more quickly.
As with the B type, corn, sesame seeds, buckwheat and kidney beans cause increased insulin secretion. Accordingly, it may help if protein and carbohydrates are not consumed together in one meal. Test for yourself which dairy products and meats are good for you.
Sports competition creates stress
Happy to run, half marathon “no thanks”. People with blood group AB tend to produce more stress during sporting competitions – they find the test of strength very unpleasant.
They, on the other hand, strive for a pleasant alternation between the opposites of, for example, running and yoga or dancing and meditation. It is the perfect mix to reduce stress or prevent it from arising in the first place. Especially for the increased risk of developing dementia, preventive exercise programs are beneficial. The perfect sports for blood group AB: running, short fitness sessions, cycling, dancing, aqua fitness, yoga and meditation.
Blood type AB has an increased risk of disease
Scientists at the University of Vermont found in a study of 30,000 subjects that people with blood type AB have an 82 percent higher risk of developing dementia than other blood types.
Factor III, a protein that controls blood clotting, plays a key role here. For this reason, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure levels should be checked regularly for the AB type, as the blood group also tends to have elevated LDL cholesterol levels.
In addition, the rare AB blood type has an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Their risk is 23 percent higher than blood group 0. This was the conclusion of a study by Prof. Lu Qi of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston involving 90,000 people.