You may know your blood type – but do you know whether or not you're a secretor or a non-secretor? Most people have no idea that this blood typing sub-system even exists, but in truth, knowing which category you fall into can help you to make the most of your health.
The concepts of secretors and non-secretors were first introduced to the public by Dr. Peter D'Adamo's book Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type. In his book, Dr. D'Adamo posits that differences in blood type make people respond differently to various diets and medical treatments, and are the reason why some people are more vulnerable to certain illnesses and maladies than others. Each blood type, he says, has a distinct chemical reaction to lectins – substances found in foods. When a person eats a food containing lectins that are incompatible with his or her blood type, those lectins target a certain area and cause blood cells in that area to clump (or agglutinate), leading to uncomfortable symptoms. Continuing to ingest the offensive food will make the person susceptible to disease in the areas where the agglutination occurs.
Whether you're a secretor or a non-secretor is completely independent of your blood type, but just as important when it comes to understanding any metabolic dysfunctions and immune susceptibilities. Simply put, a secretor is a person whose body secretes its blood type antigens into its fluids – saliva, mucus, etc. A non-secretor does not. (Approximately 80% of the general population are estimated to be secretors.) And while no one blood type is better than the others, it is thought better to be a secretor than a non-secretor. The ability to secrete blood type antigens into your bodily fluids offers enhanced protection against outside factors such as potentially harmful microorganisms and the lectins from the food you eat. Secretors also have a more accomodating intestinal environment in which beneficial probiotic bacteria can thrive, since blood type can be used as a food source for such bacteria. Non-secretors on the other hand, because their bodies don't infuse their fluids with blood type antigens, have tendencies toward:
• Higher rates of oral disease, including more cavities – and, interestingly, habitual snoring
• Digestive problems, such as inflammation and ulcers
• A more prevalent rate of autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis
• Lungs that are more susceptible to environmental factors and cigarette smoking
• A greater risk of diabetes and heart disease
• A greater risk for recurrent urinary tract and Candida (yeast) infections
• An increased association with alcoholism
• More difficulty breaking down dietary fat and properly metabolizing calcium
• An increased intolerance to carbohydrates
Your “secretor/non-secretor” status, in conjunction with your blood type, also determines the viscosity and clotting time of your blood. So you see? Since many of your bodily functions and responses are influenced by your secretor status, knowing which you are can be a valuable tool in determining how to take the best care of yourself – and how to feel better than ever.
Antigens are present in the blood and, in most individuals, in bodily fluids such as saliva. If antigens are present in your bodily fluids, you are known as a ‘secretor’. If they are not present in your bodily fluids, you are a ‘non-secretor’. This fact is important for the diet, so it is important that you find out your secretor status.
Some researchers have found a correlation between Rhesus status and Secretor status. If you are unable to determine your Secretor status, a general rule of thumb is that Rhesus + usually denotes a secretor, and Rhesus – usually denotes a non-secretor. This research has not been sufficiently documented at this stage, so if possible and if available in your country, a test for secretor status should be done at the same time as the test for your blood type.
Secretors are shown as ‘1’ and non-secretors as ‘2’, for example, A1 (secretor) or A2 (non-secretor).