Your blood type and its origins

31 May 2016, 17:37

It’s less than 100 years since we have been able to confirm the various types of blood groups; you may think this is something we don’t need to pay much attention to.

Its only 100 years ago people were dying as a result of blood transfusions when non compatible blood types were transfused.  The immune system of the recipient triggers a series of immune responses that maybe fatal. One of these responses was blood clotting when incompatible bloods were transfused, you can imagine the results of this within our cardiovascular system.

So the research that resulted in the table of blood types was a major step forward. The resulting knowledge gained in respect of blood group compatibility for transfusions to replace blood loss due to trauma, was a significant step forward for the treatment of patients resulting in significantly better outcomes and higher survival rates.

Karl Landsteiner received the Noble Prize for his work on blood types; prior to this there was much experimentation with blood transfusions including animal blood with disastrous results.

Peter D–Adamo published a book ‘Eat Right 4 your blood type’, according to D-Adamo type O blood was developed through the African hunter gatherer phase of human development so those of us with type O blood should tend towards a carnivore type diet to promote body health. He claims that type B evolved in the Himalayan highlands10-15000 years ago and type A evolved through the agriculture phase of human evolution. He believes the AB is a modern evolution; from this supposition he believes that diet should take into account blood type to promote health and minimise disease. Interesting to note this book has sold approaching 10 million copies since 1996 and has been translated into many languages.

Blood genetics are an interesting path through man's evolution, 27% of Asians have type A blood but 40% of Caucasians are also type A blood group. Type O is the most common blood type with the absence of A and B components. Type O is particularly common in Central and South America also Australian Aboriginals, western Europe especially areas of Celtic ancestry, type O is less common amongst eastern Europeans and populations in central Asia. B type blood groups are quite
common north of India through into the Arctic regions of Russia. Type A blood group are more common in areas with links to a Viking and Scandinavian history, including Scandinavia, western Europe through to Turkey, Greenland, Australia, New Zealand and through northern Canada and Alaska.

Human DNA and blood types are an interesting window into the evolution of man and our history, we mentioned in a previous newsletter how there were significant changes in DNA as a result of bubonic plague. In areas that were not affected the populations were less affected by arthritis conditions, areas where a large percentage of the population were decimated (30-50% fatalities) those that survived and procreated were genetically different to those that perished and more susceptible to arthritis conditions.