Blood Type Nuances May Hold the Answer

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Beneficial bacteria in the gut and throughout the body are key to a healthy immune system and a multitude of other health benefits. It would seem that probiotic supplements are a great idea for everyone. So why is it that probiotics work well for some people and not for others?
Fundamentally, one must respect that probiotic supplementation isn’t like nutritional supplementation. Probiotics are not vitamins or minerals; they’re living organisms. As such, each bacterial species demonstrates differing needs for prebiotic nourishment (the species’ preferred food supply) and differing needs regarding the pH of their host environment. Probiotic strains also differ in how they alter that host’s environment. Each strain assists with differing GI tract activities and produces varied nutrient byproducts.
This is an incredible dance between the beneficial bacteria and the host. Sometimes a specific strain is simply not a good fit for a patient. A majority may swear by your primary probiotic supplement. But a significant minority may claim it provides no noticeable benefit or only causes discomfort. This may be due to natural variations in internal chemistry—which can be influenced by blood type.
Differing Definitions of Probiotic Balance
The four major blood types appear to have different definitions of probiotic balance and healthy internal pH. These differences may stem from subtle, but significant, variations in blood chemistry. Preliminary research is finding that certain probiotic strains interact differently with the individual blood types. Careful supplementation could respect these nuances and support the health goals that are common to the individual’s blood type.*
For instance, the beneficial lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that occur naturally in Blood Type O tend to prefer a more alkaline environment. Type O benefits most from supplemented strains that can survive that environment and can assist with carbohydrate digestion—since this is a challenge for many Type O patients. Conversely, the LAB that naturally occur in types A and B tend to be carbohydrate oriented. Type A benefits more from a LAB strain that assists with protein digestion.*
As controversial as blood type nutrition can be, research is finding more and more connection between the individual blood types and specific health challenges. Maybe blood chemistry is more influential in whole health than we realize.
At the very least, it’s wise to recognize that it is possible to recommend an inappropriate probiotic for a specific blood type. It’s possible to recommend a probiotic that has little chance of surviving in a specific individual’s gut. It’s also possible to provide inappropriate prebiotics—not every prebiotic ingredient is nourishing to the supplemented strain, and not every prebiotic is well-tolerated by every blood type.
While probiotic and prebiotic combinations can produce positive symbiotic effects—that’s always the hoped for effect—a probiotic or prebiotic mismatch can result in uncomfortable results. Bacterial strain differences and blood type differences can exponentially compound the range of unpredictable outcomes. It is essential to recommend probiotic-prebiotic pairings that respect both nutritional and pH differences between the blood types.

Blood Type and Probiotic Interactions
Kinoshita H, Wakahara N, Watanabe M, Kawasaki T, Matsuo H, Kawai Y, Kitazawa H, Ohnuma S, Miura K, Horii A, Saito T. 2008. Cell surface glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) of Lactobacillus plantarum LA 318 recognizes human A and B blood group antigens. Research in Microbiology 159(9-10):685-91.
Uchida H, Kinoshita H, Kawai Y, Kitazawa H, Miura K, Shiiba K, Horii A, Kimura K, Taketomo N, Oda M, Yajima T, Saito T. 2006. Lactobacilli binding human A-antigen expressed in intestinal mucosa. Research in Microbiology 157(7):659-65.
Watanabe M, Kinoshita H, Nitta M, Yukishita R, Kawai Y, Kimura K, Taketomo N, Yamazaki Y, Tateno Y, Miura K, Horii A, Kitazawa H, Saito T. 2010. Identification of a new adhesin-like protein from Lactobacillus mucosae ME-340 with specific affinity to the human blood group A and B antigens. Journal of Applied Microbiology 109(3):927-35.
Blood Type and Health Challenges

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.**This blog was written by an outside source. This blog does not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Natural Partners.