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Questions of A More Technical Nature

Rare Bird Indeed!


QUESTION

Dear Dr D'Adamo, I am a B+ and have been "eating right" for about 5 weeks and loving it. I am trying to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and this diet has become an extremely significant part of my "recovery plan". But I write today with a different issue. I have just received results as to secretor status (yes I am one!) and also Lewis blood type. I am Lewis a+b+. I am intrigued and want to know more about this apparently rare type, but cannot find any further information.


ANSWER

The synthesis of the Lewis antigens is dependent on the interaction of two different enzymes (fucosyltransferases) that are the products of two different genes:

1. The FUT2 or the secretor (Se) gene locus (part of the synthesis of the H blood group antigen) that encodes FUT2 enzyme

2. The FUT3 gene locus which encodes an additional fucosyltransferase enzyme called FUT3.

Your final Lewis status is the result of the sequential action of these two enzymes. A simplified description would be that FUT3 codes precursor substance into the 'Lewis a' antigen. This is then acted on by the FUT2 enzyme which converts all the 'Lewis a' antigen into to 'Lewis b'. Thus the genetic basis for secretor STATUS



The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.



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