|Questions of A More Technical Nature|
Secretors and Non-Secretors
What does the term "non secretor" mean? I did a search on all the boards, but could not determine what it means.
A "Non-secretor" is someone, who through their own genetics, carries a gene which inhibits them from secreting their ABO blood type in their secretions. By secretions we mean saliva, semen, etc. Eighty-five percent of the population are secretors, so non-secretors are in a minority. If you are a secretor, you express more of your blood type in your body. In the case of type A, where many things can mimick this blood type, being a secretor means that the "grass is taller" so bad guys can sometimes hide better. Being a non-secretor implies that some design elements of their immune system are evolutionarily older. Secretors tend to wall out bad guys and kill them outside the body. Non-secretors prefer to let them in and kill them within the blood stream. This is not always a wise way of doing things, and non-secretors do suffer from a variety of conditions known to result from the systemic spread of an infection, including mitral valve problems and kidney disease. Non-secretors should probably get antibiotic therapy prior to bloody or invasive dental work. I usually don't make this recommendation to secretorss. Perhaps what is most interesting about being a non-secretor, is that apparently the gene is cross-linked to otherwise unrelated genes, such as the yet undiscovered gene for alcoholism. We know this because in two very large, well done studies, there is a distinct link between non-secretors and family histories of alcoholism. What makes the association even more bizarre is that non-secretors have also been shown to be the subset of people who get the cardiovascular benefits of wine consumption!