Many foods contain proteins called lectins, which makes the immune system work harder, as it creates more toxins for the liver to filter. When the liver gets overwhelmed, inflammation increases. Lectins are very blood type specific- which means they are harmful for one blood type and may not be harmless for another.
Inflammation is a natural and necessary part of the immune system. It increases blood flow to damaged tissues and increases permeability of the smallest blood vessels- letting white blood cells and platelets through so they can heal cuts, burns, and broken bones. Molecules called selectins are also let through. These are sticky and help the other parts of the immune system stick to the damaged area where they can do the work of healing. Step one is for the body to remove “non self” cells such as bacteria, and then when the inflammation dies down, healthy cells can grow back in the right places.
When white blood cells “eat” damaged cells, this produces waste products that get filtered in the liver. When these waste products are cleared, inflammation dies down. If the liver gets overworked, it filters toxins more slowly, and inflammation lasts longer.
What Happens When There Is Too Much Inflammation?
When there is too much inflammation in the body, damage can occur. The body thinks that some of its own cells are “non-self” and need to be broken down. This can cause many chronic diseases, such as arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease, and depression.
Lectins and Inflammation
Diet can play a role in reducing unhealthy inflammation. Many foods contain proteins called lectins, which act like selectins in the body. This can make cells stick together in places they shouldn’t. Some lectins cause direct damage, while others cause more subtle problems. By making the immune system work harder, more toxins are created for the liver to filter. When the liver gets overwhelmed, inflammation is increased.
Lectins and Blood Type
Lectins are very blood type specific- meaning that lectins that are harmful for one blood type may be perfectly harmless for another. For example, the lectin in chicken is very similar to the protein that clots Type B blood. This makes chicken a harmful food for Blood Types B and AB, while being safe for Blood Types A and O.
Blood Type Os react strongly to grain lectins, especially wheat and corn. Time and again I’ve seen remarkable improvements in my Blood Type O patients who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other inflammatory conditions when they eliminate wheat and corn from their diets.
People with Type A Blood tend to have lower stomach acid than people of other blood types. This makes it harder for Blood Type A’s to fully digest large amounts of fat and protein. Poorly digested meats release toxins in the digestive system that can get into the blood stream. Lectins then go into the blood stream, sticking to blood vessel walls and triggering inflammation there. Besides choosing foods low in harmful lectins, Blood Type As should avoid red meat, and keep fish and poultry to small portions.
There are some healthy eating tips that apply to all types. Elderberries, blueberries, cherries, broccoli, kale, spinach, and green tea are good for all types. Everybody should reduce or eliminate refined sugars and food additives, and eat more fruits and vegetables.
Here’s a chart that highlights the key Beneficial and Avoid foods for each blood type, which will help promote a healthy inflammatory response.
For more information, you can refer to my books Eat Right 4 Your Type, Live Right 4 Your Type, or Arthritis: Fight It With The Blood Type Diet. A complete listing of the foods for the Blood Type Diet can also be found on the TypeBase.