Ask Dr. D'Adamo

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Questions About The Diets

ABO Types and Beneficial Bacteria


As a chemist and immunologist familiar with lectins, I immediately saw the potential relevance of your blood type diet. I started the type B diet a couple weeks ago. It has occured to me that some beneficial bacteria may be more beneficial than others for type B. Have you been able to sort this out? Which species should I favor? Thanks for your work!


ABO blood type antigens are quite prominent in the digestive tract. Also, in about 80% of individuals (secretors) they are distributed in the mucus that lines your digestive tract. Because of this, many of the bacteria in the digestive tract actually use ABO blood type antigens as a preferred food supply.

In fact, blood group specificity is common among intestinal bacteria with almost 1/2 of strains tested showing some blood type A, B, or O specificity. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the blood type influence on intestinal microflora, it has been estimated that someone with blood type B will have up to 50,000 times more of some strains of friendly bacteria than either blood type A or O individuals.

Some strains of unbeneficial bacteria actually can have lectin-like hemagglutinin activity directed against your blood type. There is good evidence that our intestinal flora can have very positive effects on the immune capabilities of bone marrow.

With this information, it is possible to design probiotic formulas that utilize blood type friendly prebiotics (substances needed to encourage the growth of helathy bacterial flora). These considerations are behind the design of the NAP Polyflora compounds.

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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