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Questions of A More Technical Nature

Secretors and Non-Secretors


QUESTION

What does the term "non secretor" mean? I did a search on all the boards, but could not determine what it means.


ANSWER

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!




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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