Is This The ‘Best’ Blood Type?

This caught my eye this morning. While the author confirms that the diet book, the Blood Type Diet (telling people what to eat based on their blood types), was junk science, she also explains that blood type is likely correlated to certain diseases and causes of death — the major ones. Essentially, type O blood doesn't clot as well as blood with the A and/or B antigens, making it better for heart disease, strokes (presumably not the bleeding variety), certain infections and certain cancers.

If lower clottability is indeed the mechanism for protection against heart disease, strokes and some cancers, that would support the practice of taking low dose aspirin on a daily basis.

Is This The ‘Best’ Blood Type?

Is This The ‘Best’ Blood Type?

By Cassie Shortsleeve at Yahoo Health

A trendy diet left blood type with a hard-to-shake reputation, but respectable research suggests that being A, B, AB, or O may matter — far beyond what you’re eating. (Photo: Getty Images/Kevin Curtis)

A few years back, the Blood Type Diet — a controversial nutritional plan that suggests eating a certain way based on blood type — was all the buzz. The gist, according to the book that popularized the idea, was that doing so could maximize your performance, boost health, protect from disease, build stronger emotions, and even help you live longer. Problem is, last year, the diet was debunked by a study in the journal PLoS ONE, leaving blood type with a bad rep and most people thinking it didn’t matter much beyond the need for a transfusion or donation some day. 

But emerging research suggests that while your diet needn’t be so closely linked with your blood, your overall health may be. In fact, one blood type continues to emerge above the rest: blood type O.

Research suggests that people with type O blood are at alower risk for cardiovascular health issues like stroke and heart attack. A new study from the Karolinska Institute shows that people with type O blood are less likely to die from malaria. Science suggests that people with AB blood are at an increased risk of memory issues down the line compared to people with O blood. And other research pins people with O blood as less likely to experience certain kinds of cancer, like pancreatic and gastric cancers. 

This all begs the question: Is type O blood protective?

To answer that, we first have to understand the ABO blood group system: There are four types: A, B, AB, and O (or ABO). Your type is determined by either the presence or absence of antigens on red blood cells, which can trigger an immune response in your body, Kristine Alexander, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in medicine at the University of Vermont, tells Yahoo Health. 

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