What Is Inflammation?
Most people think inflammation is a bad thing, and rightfully so.
Chronic inflammation, often occurring in the joints or the gut, can be a serious problem. But did you know that the body’s initial inflammatory response is actually beneficial? It is how the body responds to an acute disruption in the status quo – whether it’s a broken bone, an infectious pathogen, or a simple splinter.
Take a splinter, for example. When the body recognizes a foreign object has become lodged in the skin, it sends blood to the area with nutrients and immune cells to mount the repair process. This increase in blood flow is what causes some of the cardinal signs of inflammation: swelling, redness and heat. Additionally, chemical messengers begin relaying signals which tell the brain that this splinter is painful. Other messengers may even tell your body to mount a fever.
This inflammatory response in the body serves a healthy purpose until the splinter is removed and the skin heals. But what happens when the splinter isn’t removed?
Inflammation can become chronic in the body when the causal agent is more difficult to remove or resolve than a simple splinter. Inflammation may plague the joints, the gut, the brain or the whole system.
Inflammation and Blood Type
Your blood type plays a major role in how your body responds to inflammation. Blood Type Os have the highest risk of inflammatory and auto-immune diseases, as they are the only type which carries two opposing blood type antigens (one against Blood Type A, and one against B). This confers a great amount of protection against many diseases that plagued our ancestors, but these antigens can become misdirected, and begin to point their attention towards food-based lectins and self-tissues.
Inflammation and Secretor Status
Secretor status is determined by a gene called FUT2, which encodes for an enzyme called Fucosyltransferase 2. This gene affects your ability to ‘secrete’ your blood type antigen in your bodily fluids, such as saliva, the mucus of your digestive tract and breast milk, serving as an additional defense system. However, about 20% of the population has a mutation in FUT2 which renders them unable to secrete their antigens. Functionally, non-secretors tend to carry higher risks of chronic infections, inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmunity.
What Can Be Done?
Start by improving your baseline. One of the best ways to help ensure your body is in a baseline anti-inflammatory state is to Eat Right for Your Blood Type. By minimizing the amount of adverse dietary lectins that would be ingested in Blood Type Diet Avoid foods, we assist the body in lowering the amount of agglutinating reactivity that occurs at baseline. Our website has many helpful tools to start, re-start and sustain a healthy lifestyle that is personalized to your body’s specific needs.
Additionally, supporting the body’s natural omega-3 to omega-6 ratio may be effective in minimizing inflammatory risk. D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition and Dr. Peter D’Adamo have some supplements to help.
- Deflect provides a biologically similar molecule to your blood type antigen, granting you a first line of defense against lectins in Avoid foods, and allowing your body to take a break from reacting to things you encounter on a daily basis. This is especially helpful to non-secretors.
- We recommend our Fish Oil Blend (must log in to view), which contains EPA and DHA — two Omega 3 fatty acids which have been shown to affect the composition of cell membranes and decrease the production of inflammatory molecules.
- Membrosia Fluidizer (must login to view) contains Flaxseed and Cod Liver Oils, both of which are rich in Omega 3 and 6, as well as Black Cumin and Walnut Oil, which are known to enhance detoxification in the nervous system.
When inflammation has already taken hold, in addition to The Blood Type Diet, we can turn to natural agents which help address the origin.
- If there is inflammation in the joints, Scienca may be for you. Scienca contains curcumin, the active constituent in turmeric, one of the main spices in curry. Curcumin has become well known for its possible role in lowering inflammatory levels and providing temporary joint discomfort relief.
- If inflammation is coming from the gut, D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition’s Intrinsa (must login to view) may be helpful. Intrinsa contains Butyric and Caprylic acids, two short-chain fatty acids which have been shown to play a role in inflammatory regulation in the gastrointestinal system. An additional ingredient, Larch Arabinogalactan, may provide further immune-modulating support.
With any medical condition, including inflammation, consultation with your doctor is recommended. This article is for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice. As always, we recommend you consult a licensed healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.