3 things your blood type says about your health

Posted on 5 July 2018

Your blood type can give you information about your risk for disease. We discover what your blood type says about your health.

Did you know your blood type can give you information about your health? While knowing your blood type is vital if you need a blood transfusion, understanding whether you are type O, A, B or AB has other benefits. We take a clinical look at how different blood types bring different health risks.

Blood type AB may predispose you to memory problems

People with an AB blood type have an 82% increased chance of facing challenges with memory recall and language later on in life. They are also more likely to have attention difficulties. Researchers have suggested these findings can be attributed to factor VIII, a clotting protein that might decrease blood flow to the brain. Factor VIII levels have a strong link to blood type, which is why knowing your blood type can provide insight into your health. More research needs to be done to determine what the link is between AB blood type and memory decline as the research didn’t come to a statistically significant conclusion. If you have an AB blood type, there’s no need to panic as more studies need to be carried out before we can draw any conclusions. However, you can still benefit from making an effort to preserve your cognitive function by eating healthily, exercising as well as by refraining from smoking.

Eating according to your blood type may benefit your health

The idea of eating according to your blood type has been promoted by naturopaths who believe that changing your diet can help to boost your health and lower the chances you’ll suffer from certain diseases. At the basis of these proposed dietary plans is a theory that a chemical reaction takes place between your blood and specified foods which can impact your ability to lose weight as well as your susceptibility to chronic illness.

While many people have decided to eat specific foods according to their blood type, there is no scientific proof of the efficacy of certain diets.

Dr Lelanie Pretorius, a haematologist at Mediclinic Nelspruit, adds that living a healthy lifestyle incorporating a healthy eating plan, regular exercise and refraining from damaging toxins like smoking and alcohol will benefit people of all blood types. ‘From research findings, it is clear that certain blood types have to be more aware of health risks that may influence their life. These people need to implement healthy lifestyle habits into their daily routine, undergo regular physical examinations and seek medical advice earlier rather than later.’

Non-O blood types have an increased risk of coronary heart disease

People with a non-O blood type, face an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Research revealed that the risk for coronary problems is higher for people with an AB, B or A blood type than it is for people with an O blood type. It is estimated that more than 6% of coronary disease can by linked to your blood type. The researchers suggest that increased levels of specific clotting factors are one of the reasons for the link between non-O blood types and increased coronary risks.

‘People with type O blood also have a degree of protection from the mosquito-transmitted parasite Plasmodium falciparum,’ says Dr Pretorius. ‘The parasites bind more tightly to type A red blood cells than type O.”

Published in Healthy Life

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.

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