The Warrior Epi-Genotype
Peter D'Adamo, ND
The GenoType Diet
Environmental factors can alter the way our genes are expressed, making even identical twins different. Epigenetics is the study of changes in genetic expression that are not linked to changes in the DNA sequences but related to the influence of the environment on the genes being expressed or not --basically, whether a gene is silenced or activated. In essence, certain genes carry a sign that says, 'ignore me' --these genes are silenced. Other genes carry a sign that says 'pay attention to me' --these genes are activated. What makes the whole shebang noteworthy is that the patterns of these signs, is just as inheritable as the very genes themselves. Because of this, epigenetics offers an unparalleled indirect effect on the treatment of illness.
The GenoType Diet is a further refinement of my work in personalized nutrition. It uses a variety of simple measurements, combined with blood type data, to classify individuals are one of six basic Epigenotypes: The Hunter, Gatherer, Teacher, Explorer, Warrior and Nomad types. This article describes the 'Explorer' epigenotype.
To Learn More about the GenoType Diet, read my book Change Your Genetic Destiny.
Introduction to the Warrior
Undoubtedly it was a farmer-warrior, possible a Celt or distant ancestor to the ancient Italics who figured out how to combine tin and copper into the much more usable bronze, gradually transitioning from campfire to kiln to a simple type of furnace called a bloomery and somehow along the way figuring out how to convert the far more available iron ore into a much harder tool or weapon, capable of taking and retaining a very sharp edge. Warrior's distant ancestors are still doing the same thing nowadays. However, now they do it now with computer motherboards and network cables.
A primarily agrarian GenoType, it almost appears ounterintuitive to me that Warrior have made some of the finest warriors in history. But then again, farming societies have traditionally made the best warrior cultures; they organize well and have tangible assets and loved ones to defend.
However, we could have named this GenoType 'War Survivor' just as easily as 'Warrior.'
Agrarian warrior societies have sustained tremendous population. For example, in the early history of Rome, the city would see 70% of its young men killed or maimed in a single battle. We would find this population pressure in virtually every Iron Age town and village. The need to replace these men was probably seen as literal civic duty by the mothers and sisters of the city. These offspring had some urgency in their maternal epigenetics; a need for fast fitness above everything else. These sons and brothers may need to again go forth, as part of a great never ending process to defend home and hearth.
The best physical evidence of this rather ruthless culling of the male population over the years is the relatively high degree of genetic 'sameness' seen in the y-chromosome (male descended line) ancestral DNA haplogroups of western men: One single haplogroup (R1b) pedominates. In southern England, the frequency of R1b is about 70%, and in parts of north and western England, Spain, Portugal, France, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, the frequency of R1b is greater than 90%. This as opposed to the Nomad GenoType who has a much higher incidence of 'eastern' haplogroup R1a.
Warrior is a GenoType of the A blood group antigen, although sometimes having blood type AB can get you into the party. Warrior usually has a negative reaction to the testing strips that determine one's taster status. They can't taste the chemical (PROP) and are hence non-tasters. However a few Warriors are super-tasters.
This GenoType has wide distribution in Europeans, principally southern and western; Mediterranean Sea; Europe north of the Alps; Northern Europe, Scandinavia; British Isles. Warriors are in common distribution in Africans, both New World and Old World and not unfrequent in New World Hispanic populations. The GenoType is uncommon in Asians, but rates appear to be climbing, as the nutritional value of the average Asian diet improves.
The arch fingerprint pattern is a hallmark of the Warrior and is often seen on the thumbs and ring fingers. Warrior has more arch patterns than the other GenoTypes, and with the exception of the Teacher, more whorls. Matching the fingerprint patterns on both hands usually shows some asymmetry; a whorl on the ring index finger, opposite an arch on left.
The most significant physical attribute of Warrior is that the shape is elongated. Warriors are 'egg-heads' in many ways, including the actual shape of their head. It's rather longer than it is wider, so that if you looked at them sideways you'd think their heads were enormous. Studies have shown that modern humans have two distinct physical traits that differ from our ancient and medieval ancestors: We are taller and our heads are more elongated. The Warrior usually has both of these traits to some degree. Warriors are often tall and long legged and because of this, can carry a surprising amount of weight on their frames without looking obese. The head will often continue to alter shape significantly from youth, though really from the effects of aging on the muscles of the scalp, neck, jaws and cheek rather than any change in the bone structure. The BMI (Basal Mass Index) tends to rise steadily over time especially if they don't work out and stay in shape.
Young Warrior has rather high growth factor activity levels (however, not as high as the Hunter) which can give them the long leg lines often seen with the GenoType, and which can go along way to mask the gradual slowdown in metabolism. Female Warriors in particular seem long-legged. As with men it becomes gradually camouflaged by the rearranging of body parts that is going on due to their accelerating aging at midlife. Typically these women are quite fertile early on in life, but they can go on to experience fertility problems rather early in mid-life.
One common tendency of the Warrior is what we might call the 'unibrow' or what geneticists call 'concurrency.' This makes a rather handy distinction between the Nomad and Warrior which can be of some use to blood type AB individuals: The tendency of the two eyebrows to blend over the nose is found more often in type AB Warriors than in AB Nomads.
Warrior can be a quite sanguine personality, someone who is generally optimistic, rational, and analytical. Facial flushing and other bodily feelings of heat are common traits in the group, and most certainly seen in menopausal women of this GenoType.
Like Gatherer, the other 'Thrifty GenoType', Warrior generates a lot of Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs), essentially one-way burnt sugars stuck to the outside of the cell. Because of this, the GT5 diet emphasizes foods and supplements that can help control this runaway caramelizing of their body. This can have major long term therapeutic benefits for this genotype.
A cooking metaphor may well be useful here. How often do you hear a television chef claim to be 'caramelizing' onions? Well, if truth be told, they are not really making caramel out of the food, but rather performing what chemists call a 'Maillard Reaction' which is the result of a process called glycation. Glycation occurs when a sugar molecule, such as fructose or glucose, bonds to a protein or fat without the controlling action of an enzyme. Since almost all other endproducts in the body are the result of enzymes (which are in themselves the result of DNA).
AGEs molecules are just not a good thing. Glycated proteins and their end products (AGEs) produce 50-fold more toxic free radicals than proteins which are not glycated. As a result of this, AGEs exert a slew of very bad effects in the body.
They also are not easy to get rid of. If you have ever tried to remove burnt sugar from a casserole pan, you'll appreciate just how difficult it is to get rid of these AGEs. They are eliminated from the body only very slowly: The half-life of a glycation end product within the body is about double the average cell life. The results are the common disease of aging: diabetes, artery disease, Alzheimer's, joint degeneration and whatnot. Fortunately, as we'll discover, there are measures you can adopt along with The GT5 Diet to help eliminate these AGEs.
A common attribute of the Warrior is drug resistance. P-glycoprotein (PGP), the product of the multi-drug resistance (MDR-1) gene also plays an important role in the bioavailability of a wide variety of drugs, including the cardiac drug digitalis, many antibiotics, certain chemotherapy drugs, and the anti-rejection medicine cyclosporine. A mutation of at a single point in the gene, called a single nucleotide polymorphism or 'SNP' causes a significant drop in the production of P-glycoprotein in the intestines which results in higher and sustained levels of drugs in the bloodstream. Give these people a typical dose of a certain drug and it keep working in their bodies much longer. About half of all Indians and Pakistanis and between a third and a fourth of Europeans and Middle Eastern people also have the gene and many of these folks are Explorer GenoTypes.
On the other hand, Africans virtually lack it; the trait is completely absent Ghanaians, found in only 1% of African Americans and 4% of Kenyans. Blood type A is linked with higher levels of P-glycoprotein, which may help explain my observation that Warrior individuals often don't respond to conventional chemotherapy as well as other blood types.
In the 1940s doctors noticed that some people developed serious side effects from an anti-tuberculosis drug. Much later, doctors realized that these people had a mutations two versions of gene called N-acetyltransferase (NAT), which adds a small molecule, called an acetyl group, to drugs as they pass through the liver or intestine.
This small molecule does a few neat things; it helps some drugs become effective, detoxifies some cancer-causing substances, such as those found in tobacco smoke or even some of the carcinogenic amines that result from grilling meat.
There are several alternate versions of the NAT genes, polymorphisms that are typically called 'fast', 'medium', or 'slow' acetylators.
Slow acetylators (like the Explorer) respond poorly to some drugs and tend to show more side effects because the unprocessed chemical remains at high levels in the blood. It was these slow acetylators who had responded poorly to the anti-tuberculosis drug.
It was traditionally thought that the slow acetylators were the ones with the problems; they did not appear to detoxify drugs and some carcinogens, such as tobacco smoke as rapidly as their 'fast' brethren and were known to have higher rates of certain types of cancer, bladder cancer in particular.
However when it came to detoxifying carcinogens from cooked meats, slow acetylators appear to have much better luck. For example, men who were fast or medium acetylators and who consumed well-done meat had a greater increase in the risk for rectal cancer than men who were slow acetylators. And to add fat to fire, women who were slow acetylators and who used red meat drippings at least once a week had a decreased risk for rectal cancer.The combination of their thrifty epigenetics and the fast acetylator polymorphism also makes the Warrior a prime candidate for adult onset diabetes.
For this reason, red meat is not a great food choice for Warriors—they convert the byproducts found in well-cooked red meat into carcinogens which bind to DNA and cause cancers of the stomach, colon and breast. Meat also makes their arterial Venetian Blinds flap a lot—and soy helps slow it down.
Warriors begin to see more and more flesh when they look in the mirror. The neck area becomes thickened, softer and less defined. Warriors with especially wide jaw angles may find their jaw lines gradually receding. BMI and waist-hip ratio rise steadily over time, especially if they have high fat and sugar diets and don't exercise. Their previously strong, slender bodies begin to sag, and fat accumulates around the waist area. In both men and women, hair thins, and bags appear under their eyes.
The circulatory system is the Achilles' heel of the Warrior. Programmed for over activity almost from the moment of their conception, the Warrior's unique cardiovascular system is the source of their health problems; from the tendency to develop hemangioma type 'Port Wine Stains' and 'Angel Kisses' on their skin in early age, to a tendency in early middle age to flush when they are stressed out, to problems with their blood pressure and heart in later middle age. Although we tend to think of the blood vessels as solid-walled pipes, in really the walls of the blood vessels are much like Venetian Blinds; able to flap open or closed depending on whether certain types of cells need to migrate from the blood into the tissues. A problem with the Warrior circulatory system is that lots of things in the blood cause these Venetian Blinds to flap so fast and frequently that they almost burn. From there they move on to cholesterol attachment, calcium buildup and artery disease. For those die-hards who just have to know everything, the Venetian Blinds are actually lectin-like molecules called selectins.
The Warrior can also have problems controlling the viscosity, or thickness of their blood. This is especially true of Warriors when they are under intense and prolonged stress.
An unhappy trend in later life for many Warriors is a winding down of their bowel function. Stools become more compact, difficult to eliminate, and infrequent. Chronic constipation, cramps, gas and bloating are partially caused by a weakening of the abdominal muscles, and the extra pressure they place on internal organs. Fortunately, these symptoms can be relieved with the right diet and exercise program.
The Warrior is all about youth. They emerge from the womb, strong and healthy, and are beautiful children, with few health problems, and a natural fitness that is the product of enviably efficient metabolisms. Young Warriors have high growth factor activity levels, which give them long legs, with strong, visible tendons and ligaments. Female Warriors are particularly long-legged.
As teenagers, Warriors are usually quite attractive. Warriors have soft, oval faces, but do not carry extra padding under their skin. In fact, although they have ravenous appetites when young, they are often so slim that they are underweight.The men are often 'beautiful' in an almost androgynous way while the women exude an alluring quality that is hard to define. Their inquisitive minds and budding youthfulness often show up as an intense vibrancy in their facial features.
It is precisely this 'early blooming' that makes Warrior so interesting from an anti-aging perspective.
Warrior starts out in life well enough. As teenagers, they are usually quite fulsome, with the men often being quite handsome in an almost androgynous manner and the women having a great air of physical attractiveness. Much of this is the impression left by the effects of the emerging, inquisitive mind meeting the budding strength of youthfulness—a trait most noticeable in their facial features. Warrior is not typically a strong jawed individual, especially later in life, but in youth the softer, more oval aspects of their nature make a very nice combination with the great levels of metabolic energy supplied by their still youthful genes. This happy time persists throughout adolescence and young adulthood, but as Warrior approaches midlife, these metabolic genes seem to almost stop working. These changes begin imperceptibly at first, but over time, continue on inexorably.
The effects are so insidious that for a long time Warrior reach their late thirties or early forties not recognizing that a change has occurred. They persist with bad habits thought previously to be things they could get away with. The meals grabbed on the run, the late hours, the stress, the burnout; all now seem perched to take their toll. Their earlier ways of living now begin to catch up.
Now their body turns on them. In both men and women, hair thins, bags appear under their eyes. The previously oh-so-desirable physical body now begins to sag along with an increasing waist to hip ratio. Children shown photographs of Warrior when a young adult and exclaim 'Uncle sure looks different in this picture.'
Down at the chromosome level, Warrior is frittering away, chunk by chunk. The gradual shortening of the end markers on the chromosome called the telomeres. Telomeres are like genes, but they don't code for any proteins. Actually they are much like the strip of white plastic at the beginning and end of an audio cassette; it doesn't play music, but allows the tape head to have an empty space to reside in while it sets up to play the beginning of the tape. Telomeres can fray and shorten over time, as chromosomes reproduce with each cell division, and just as if the white plastic leader on the tape cassette got shorter, the tape head begins to start reading more and more into the audio tape, rather than at its beginning.
The Warrior usually has a quick and nimble mind with a tremendous capacity for memory retention. Like the GT3 Teacher, they know how to get to the gist of an issue, the heart of the matter. In early adulthood they are not only charismatic and attractive to the opposite sex, but they are known to be among the most fertile of the GenoTypes.
This happy time for the Warrior persists throughout adolescence and young adulthood, but as they approach midlife, their formerly efficient metabolic genes seem to 'hit a wall' and almost stop working. These changes begin imperceptibly at first, but in a relatively short time, the aging process speeds up.
I rarely see Warriors in my clinic before middle age. But as they hit their late thirties, their thrifty epigenetic inheritance starts to kick in and their aging process accelerates. By midlife, Warriors are having trouble losing weight. Their waistlines gradually thicken, accumulating the more destructive belly fat. By their forties they're usually complaining, 'I don't look like myself anymore.'
Warrior usually has great immune surveillance. They don't get sick for long periods of time, and usually when they do, they have better than average rates of recovery. Their powers of assimilation become problematic, actually for some of the prosaic of reasons; their bowel functions typically tend to wind down, stool being more compact, difficult to eliminate, and infrequent. Partially because of the slacking of the abdominal musculature and its extra pressure on the internal organs, the peristaltic movement of the intestine becomes less efficient, which can produce chronic lifetime problems with cramps, gas and bloating.
Warrior metabolizes drugs and toxins fairly efficiently, and this strength does tend to accompany them into the later years of life. This is a good thing, since Warrior can use it to begin the reconquest of their body.
Warriors are often the offspring of mothers who are themselves thrifty. This thriftiness can often extend back in many generations, and pictures of distant relatives will often portray images of smaller, intense ancestors, who perhaps had scarcity and famine as their own fad diet. It's this genetic compression that fuels the blast furnace that so characterizes this GenoType's metabolism in its early years. The distant relatives may have not had it any better as perhaps just different; their levels of physical labor and scarcity managed to slow the process down enough in them. In their modern day descendant there are no such controls. This may be the result of the fetal development experiencing instability caused by changes to the ongoing acid-alkaline balance in the womb.
In 1965 Leonard Hayflick observed that cells dividing in cell culture divided about 50 times before dying. As cells approach this limit, they show more signs of old age. To me it seems like the photocopied joke that gets sent around the office; the more copies that are made, the lower the quality of the reproduction. In humans, the limit is about 52 photocopies, at about which point the DNA has just about run out of telomere space. In Warrior, it's probably substantially lower. Their body does have a way to repair telomeres, an enzyme not surprisingly called telomerase, but the amount of telomerase activity is severely regulated; high levels have been seen in almost all human tumors.
As Warrior's chromosomes fritter, it seems to turn sleepy thrifty genes, and as a consequence despite once having a ravenous appetite and struggling to maintain weight, Warrior now sees more and more flesh when they look in the mirror. The neck area becomes thickened, softer and less defined. Warrior with especially wide jaw angles may see the jaw line gradually recede. At this time the dolichocephalic head shape becomes quite prominent.
All the while this is going one Warrior is building a life. Family is raised, fulfillment in other areas of life, such as one's job or hobby loom larger as physical activity, never needed in the old blast furnace days, is avoided or ignored. The waist line gradually thickens, becoming first a not-unattractive stockiness, but then increasingly lax, flaccid, unbecoming and dangerous.
Don't fret! Thrifty GenoTypes like the Warrior and the Gatherer produces some of the most striking 'before and after shots.' With the optimal diet and lifestyle, the Warrior can overcome the quick-aging metabolic genes and experience a second 'silver' age of health.
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