|Questions About Specific Health Issues|
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.