For many people, knowing their ABO blood type and following the basic ABO diets in Eat Right 4 Your Type works very well. However, some individuals may not derive maximum benefit from the Blood Type Diet until they first determine their Secretor Status. Knowing this information then allows for the use of the more specific diet lists included in the book Live Right 4 Your Type.
What is secretor status?
By now you are probably familiar with the concept that your ABO blood type is controlled by your genetics, just as are your hair or eye color. The gene coding for your blood type lies on chromosome 9q34. However, other separate genes on chromosome 11 and 19 actually interact with your blood type gene, determining your ability to secrete your ABO blood type antigens into your body fluids and secretions. This is called the secretor gene, and by testing for this gene we can determine whether you are a secretor or non-secretor.
In the genetics of the secretor system two options exist. A person can be either a secretor (Se) or a non-secretor (se). This is completely independent of whether you are a blood type A, B, AB, or O. Thus a person could be an A secretor or an A non-secretor, a B secretor or a B non-secretor, etc.
Secretors: In a simplified sense, a secretor is defined as a person who secretes their blood type antigens into body fluids and secretions like the saliva in your mouth, the mucus in your digestive tract and respiratory cavities, etc.
Non-Secretors: A non-secretor on the other hand puts little to none of their blood type into these same fluids.
As a general rule, in the US about 15-20% of the population are non-secretors with the remaining 80-85% being secretors. Aside from the physical implications centering around whether you have blood type antigens in your body fluids or not, the secretor genetics have additional significance through the effects of gene linkage: In other words, the outcome of your secretor genetics ?links? to other seemingly unrelated genes and influences their function.
Your secretor status drastically alters the carbohydrates present in your body fluids and secretions in addition to several important aspects of your metabolism and resistance. These factors include the activity of an enzyme called intestinal alkaline phosphatase, the overall composition of bacteria in your intestinal ecosystem, your propensities toward blood clotting, your level of carbohydrate tolerance, and your resistance to certain parasites and yeast.
In addition to allowing important diet refinements, knowing your secretor status can help you use nutritional supplements more effectively and intelligently and add to your awareness of illness and metabolic dysfunction you may be prone to because of your secretor genetics.
Previously, Secretor status could only be determined by select labs using sophisticated forensic techniques. Now North American Pharmacal (NAP) has made available this important test directly available to the general public using a simple saliva sample to perform the determination.
RESOURCE: Determining your secretor status
Key Point: North American Pharmacal now offers a saliva-based test to detmine secretor status.
RESOURCE: Live Right For Your Type
Key Point: By knowing your secretor type, you can benefit from the more refined food lists that are included in the book Live Right For Your Type (LR4YT)
RESOURCE: Health Significance of Non-Secretor Status
Key Point: In general, non-secretors have more health challenges than secretors.