Ask Dr. D'Adamo

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Questions About Specific Health Issues

Type O and Bi-Polar Disease


QUESTION

I have found your observations/ recommendations for my blood type (O) to be very accurate. After a lifetime of unsuccessful treatment for depression and anxiety, I have just been diagnosed as bipolar II, proving yet another of your theories. Any ideas?


ANSWER

There is some evidence that type O blood is associated with higher a higher incidence of bi-polar problems, sometimes also referred to a 'manic depressive disease.' (1)

This may be related to a genetic linkage between the allele for type O blood on the ABO chromosome, and the proper functioning of a gene which controls dopamine synthesis, called DBH. (2) DBH controls the proper conversion of the amino acid tyrosine into dopamine, catecholamines or thyroid hormone. Because of this it appears that type O's may not be as efficient as the other blood types in processing catecholamines (the most famous catecholamine being adrenaline). Thus, they can oscillate between high and low levels of catecholamines, consequently also having high and low levels of dopamine.

Best strategies for using blood type to help manage bi-polar illness:

1. The type O diet (low wheat, higher protein) is very beneficial for enhancing catecholamine metabolism. many O's will use wheat to manipulate their dopamine levels. Better to use protein instead.

2. Aerobic exercise increases the efficiency of the body's handling of both dopamine and adrenaline.

3. Catechol (from North American Pharmacal)

4. Lithium seems to work well in most type O's, However, it works even better if taken with 50mg zinc.

(1) Ertas M, Vahip S, Tuglular I, Saygili R. Lewis and ABO-Rh blood group systems in patients with bipolar affective disorder. Encephale. 1990 May-Jun;16(3):203-4.

(2) Sherrington R, Curtis D, Brynjolfsson J, Moloney E, Rifkin L, Petursson H, Gurling H. A linkage study of affective disorder with DNA markers for the ABO-AK1-ORM linkage group near the dopamine beta hydroxylase gene. Biol Psychiatry. 1994 Oct 1;36(7):434-42.




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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