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Non-Secretors and Vaginal Yeast Infections

Association of recurrent vaginal candidiasis and secretory ABO and Lewis phenotype.

J Infect Dis 1997 Sep;176(3):828-30

Chaim W, Foxman B, Sobel JD.

The relationship between ABO-Le secretor phenotype and susceptibility to recurrent idiopathic vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) was investigated. ABO and Lewis blood typing was done for 38 women with RVVC (case-patients) and for women in 2 control groups, consisting of 58 healthy women, who were friends identified by case-patients, and 38 race-matched, healthy hospital employees. The 3 groups were similar with regard to age and race. There was no difference in the distribution of ABO phenotype between case-patients and controls. Case-patients were more likely than members of either control group to have Le(a+ b-) (nonsecretor) rather than Le(a- b+) (secretor) blood type. With combined nonsecretor Le(a+ b-) phenotype and absence of the Lewis gene Le(a- b-), the relative risk of chronic recurring vulvovaginal candidiasis was 2.41-4.39, depending on the analysis technique and control group. In conclusion, there is an increased frequency of ABO-Le nonsecretor status among women with RVVC.

It is known that non-secretors have a higher incidence of fungal and parasitic infections when compared to secretors. This may be the result of several independent factors. First, it has been reported that non-secretors have lover levels of Secretory IgA antibodies (the antibodies which reside in our saliva, vaginal fluid, etc. and which protect our membranes). In addition, some evidence suggests that non-secretors have much more of a difficulty in dealing with simple sugars and carbohydrates, and recurrent vaginal yeast infections have been linked with a high carbohydrate content to the vaginal fluids (which has in turn been linked to a higher sugar/carbohydrate diet in some women).

The best long-term strategy if you suffer from recurrent vaginal yeast infections would be to determine your secretor status, and if necessary, refine your ABO diet by fine-tuning it with the non-secretor information in my book Live Right 4 Your Type.

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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