Our blood carries the DNA blueprint of our body. Therefore, "your blood type is the key to your body's entire immune system. It controls the influence of viruses, bacteria, infections, chemicals, stress, and the entire assortment of invaders and conditions that might compromise your immune system." What exactly does the immune system do? The immune system's duties, in all simplicity, are to define what is "self" and what is "non-self". Once defined, "self" is to be protected, while "non-self" is to be destroyed. Without this basic function, our body could destroy itself or allow harmful organisms to attack us.
So, the question arises, how do we define "self" from "non-self"? Our body is well equipped to take care of this. One of the methods involves chemical markers, also known as antigens. "Every life-form, from the simplest virus to humans themselves, has unique antigens that form a part of its chemical fingerprint. One of the most powerful antigens in the human body is the one that determines your blood type. The different blood type antigens are so sensitive that when they are operating effectively, they are the immune system's greatest security system. When your immune system sizes up a suspicious character, one of the first things it looks for is your blood type antigen to tell it whether the intruder is friend or foe."
When a foe is detected, the first thing the blood does is create antibodies to that antigen. So for example, Blood Type A has A antigens. If a virus with B antigens enters a body with blood type A, the body will create antibodies to the B antigens. These antibodies are designed to identify and connect to a particular foreign antigen. The antibodies and foreign antigens engage in a battle. The antibodies attack while the foreign antigens try and mutate or change to look like a friend of the body. When this happens, the body just increases the antibodies it is creating.
When the antibodies and foreign antigen come in contact, a process called agglutination occurs. That word literally means gluing. The antibody makes the foreign guy very sticky and when these get sticky, they stick together. This is the bodies easy way of disposing of those jerks.
Not only do the good antigens in our blood recognize viruses and intruders, they also recognize and create antibodies against other blood types. Here is how it goes:
"BLOOD TYPE A carries anti-B antibodies. TYPE B would be rejected by TYPE A
BLOOD TYPE B carried anti-A antibodies. TYPE A would be rejected by TYPE B
So TYPE A and TYPE B cannot exchange blood.
BLOOD TYPE AB carries no antibodies. The universal receiver, it would accept any other blood type! But because it carries both A and B antigens, it would be rejected by all other blood types.
BLOOD TYPE O carries anti-A and anti-B antibodies. TYPE A, TYPE B, and TYPE AB would be rejected. Thus, TYPE O could not receive blood from anyone but another TYPE O. But free of A-like and B-like antigens, TYPE O could give blood to everyone else. TYPE O is the universal donor. "
Now what the heck does this have to do with what we eat? Here is the connection -
Certain foods that we eat contain those A-like or B-like antigens. When we eat them, depending on our blood type and what antigens our blood has, our body could reject the food and see it as an invader or it could see it as a friend. So some foods can be harmful to certain blood types while the same food could be beneficial to another blood type.
There is also a protein in foods called lectins. Lectins have agglutinating properties that affect your blood. So "when you eat a food containing protein lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen, the lectins target an organ or bodily system and begin to agglutinate blood cells in that area." Lectins do not get properly broken down in a body with a blood type that is incompatible with the lectin. When the still intact lectin settles somewhere in your body, it has a magnetic like effect on the cells in that area of your body. The cells get drawn together and clump and are then targeted for destruction - because the body knows that when there is a clump of cells, they are to be destroyed because they are the bad guy. This clumping is the reason for a lot of problems we have.
Thankfully, our body protects us from most lectins - 95% are rid from the body. But that 5% that is not rid from the body is absorbed into the blood stream and goes about destroying white and red blood cells. The way to stop our red and white blood cells from being destroyed is to avoid those foods with lectins in them that are harmful to your blood type. That is the basis for this whole diet. So, for the next few days when I discuss what Dr. D'Adamo recommends to avoid for your blood type, it is all based on the lectins and antigens contained in those foods.
That is about it - that is what is behind this whole thing. This was the most difficult part to explain and it took me almost an hour to do so. I took a lot of quotes from his book because he put it well. If you have any questions or things don't make sense, let me know and I will try and elaborate. Coming up next - WHAT SHOULD YOU AVOID?? I guess it would first help to know your blood type, wouldn't it? =]