Although Dr. Peter D'Adamo first wrote about the effects of blood type on the intestinal bacteria flora (the microbiome) over two decades ago, recent advances in genomic technology have thrown an entirely new light on this important relationship. New findings have associated poor regulation and balance of the gut flora (a syndrome called 'dysbiosis') with a long list of human health problems, including poor metabolism, lack of mental clarity and focus, poor adaptation to stress and many other ailments of modern living. It appears that keeping our internal flora happy, balanced and properly nourished is essential to having a high-functioning lifestyle.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
More and more, we hear and read about the importance of the microbiome, the ecological community of friendly and unfriendly microorganisms that share our body space. The human body contains over 10 times more microbial cells than human cells, and increasingly changes to the microbiome are being associated with alterations, both good and bad, to our health.
Probiotics are microorganisms that are believed to provide health benefits when consumed. The probiotic concept was first advanced by the Nobel Prize recipient Élie Metchnikoff, who in 1907 suggested "the dependence of the intestinal microbes on the food makes it possible to adopt measures to modify the flora in our bodies and to replace the harmful microbes by useful microbes." Common benefits of probiotics include the decrease of potentially problematic microorganisms, the reduction of digestive discomfort, enhancement of the immune system, improvement of the skin's function, and the improvement of bowel regularity.
In diet, prebiotics are typically non-digestible fiber compounds found in foods that can pass undigested through the gastrointestinal tract and stimulate the growth and activity of friendly bacteria that colonize the large bowel by acting as nutrients for their development. These friendly flora then contribute to the well-being of their host. Preliminary research has demonstrated potential effects on calcium and other mineral absorption, immune system effectiveness, and intestinal regularity. Evidence suggests that the effects of prebiotics result from increased production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) by the stimulated beneficial bacteria. SCFAs are known to have a multitude of beneficial effects on the digestive tract.
Friendly bacteria work better when more of them are combined together. There are actually hundreds of strains of bacteria in your digestive system and the friendly bacteria actually operate as a team, promoting the beneficial effects of each other. The term synergism best describes the interrelationship of friendly bacteria. They mutually support each other by producing chemical signals that they are resistant to, but which decrease the amount of un-friendly (problematic) bacteria. In fact, these chemical signals (known as 'bacteriocidins') are up to 1000x more active when various strains are combined than when they are used isolated. Even more importantly, the health effects of one strain of friendly bacteria are often not duplicated by other strains. Therefore, a more complex mixture, combining more friendly strains of bacteria, translates into enhanced long-term health benefits.
Blood Types and Probiotics
There is surprising evidence that many of the bacteria in your microbiome like to 'eat right for their blood type.' Our blood type antigens are actually prominent in your digestive tract and, in about 80% of individuals (secretors), are prominent in the mucus that lines your digestive tract. Because of this, many of the bacteria in your digestive tract actually use your blood type as a preferred food supply. In fact, blood group specificity is common among intestinal bacteria with almost 50% of strains tested showing some blood type A, B, or O specificity. Polyflora blood type specific probiotic formulas are unique in that they blend blood type specific prebiotics --foods which provide special growth factors for probiotic bacteria-- right into the probiotic formula, using foods rated 'beneficial' for each blood type.
Human feces contain enzymes produced by the bacteria of the microbiome that degrade (digest) the ABO blood type antigens that line your digestive tract. There is good evidence that the ABO blood type and secretor status are a major influence on the specificity of these bacterial enzymes produced the microbiome. The population of fecal bacteria that produce blood group-degrading enzymes is highly correlated with the ABO and secretor type of the host: To give you an idea of the magnitude of the blood type influence on intestinal microflora, it has been estimated that someone with blood type B will have up to 50,000 times more of some strains of friendly bacteria than either blood type A or O individuals.
So why take unnecessary chances? Maximize your friendly-flora potential by choosing a probiotic formula that right for your type.
To learn more about our Polyflora probiotic formulas, click on the Polyflora formula for your blood type:
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