Your Blood Type Determines Your Susceptibility to Different Infections

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Your blood type controls what your immune system views as dangerous.

We all have a blood type, either O, A, B or AB.  The original blood type was O, and it is the most common blood type in the world.  The other types are mutations that we have carried with us through our genetics….but what does blood type really mean?  Here is a tiny bit of basic science.  Our red blood cells carry a glycoprotein “antigen “ stuck to the outside of the Red blood cell.  It is this antigen that provides the “Type” of blood.  Antigens include A antigen, B antigen.  Those people with O blood type don’t have any antigens on their RBCs, and AB people have 2 antigens.

When it comes to getting sick, we have a very complicated immune system of White blood cells that recognize foreign invaders that can make us sick, like viruses and bacteria, and mobilize special white blood cells from our thymus gland and other lymph nodes to attack and kill the virus before it makes us sick.  This is called cellular immunity.  Our white blood cells are like an army that provides a peremptory strike to kill the invaders it recognizes as foreign.  The ability of our body to recognize foreign substances or particles, from “self” is the key to preventing our WBCs from attacking and killing our own red blood cells or attacking our own joints like Rheumatoid arthritis.  All living things have the ability to discern “foreign” glycoproteins from their own tissues, to protect themselves from disease, and infection.

When people lose the ability to determine the difference between their own tissue and foreign tissue, they develop disease.  An example of diseases where the immune system attacks its own tissues include autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and MS.  An example of the immune system failing to recognize foreign or abnormal cells is cancer.  Cancer cells are not normal and have different proteins on their cell walls and they are produced  in everyone all day long, but a normal immune  system recognizes them as foreign (abnormal ) and the  WBCs attack and destroy them.  Disease occurs when a person loses the ability to recognize these cells as foreign, and the cells are left alone, and they grow and become “cancer”.  Cancer is in reality an immune problem.

Our blood type is based on antigens that are attached to our RBCs. We recognize our own Blood type as “self” and a different blood type as foreign, and our WBCs attack the “foreign” RBCs.  We do not attack our own blood type cells.

So, the antigen A is recognized as self to A blood type people and antigen B is recognized as self to blood type B people. O blood type has no ABO antigens on their cell wall.  Our own immune cells, our white blood cells,  recognize our own blood type antigens as belonging to our body and do not attack.   For example, the A antigen is recognized as “self” to a person with A blood type, and therefore the immune system does not attack our own RBCs that have A antigen. if  an A person is given B blood  then their WBCs  attack the foreign B RBCs, B blood cells are destroyed and the patient can die.  When transfusing blood doctors give blood of the same type or O blood.  O blood has no ABO antigen on the cell wall, and can be given to any blood type, because they have no antigen to trigger the  immune response.   This is why O blood type people are called “Universal Donors”.

Your blood type obviously is the detriment of how we recognize foreign tissue in our body and therefore determines whether we recognize other cells as “not ours”.  In addition, Blood type is also inherited along with other generic susceptibilities to diseases, so it can also be an inexpensive test of genetic susceptibility to diseases.

How does this Blood type work in disease and cancer?  If an A person develops a cancer that resembles the A antigen, that person will not kill these cancer cells. B people also will be blind to cancer cells that look like the B antigen.  ABs have a double problem, being blind to both A-like and B like cancer cells.  However, half the world is blood type O and they kill both the cells that look like A and B cells.

The Diseases that are more common for a particular blood type are listed at the bottom of the page, but a few examples of the association between blood type and disease is based on research from many researchers in the world.  There is a lot of research on the subject of diseases and Blood Types.  One study in Britain has found that people with the O blood Type peoples are have the highest risk of having a blood clot generally and has a stronger tie to blood clots in women on oral Birth Control Pills.  This blood type fact would help doctors especially OBGYNs decide whether to use this type of birth control or something else like an IUD.

Heart disease, and atherosclerosis are very common in the US and the O blood type has been found to be protective against this disease, even if a patient has high cholesterol and inflammation.  It does NOT mean that NO ONE with O blood type will have a heart attack, but that it is a lower risk for O blood type people.

Our last example of the relationship between blood type and disease is the risk for autoimmune diseases.  These include Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, MS, fibromyalgia, and sarcoidosis.  B Blood type puts a person at higher risk of developing this type of disease.

Knowledge is power and if you know your blood type you can protect yourself against what your blood type, through genetics, determines that you are at high risk for.



Heart Disease • Insulin Resistance and Diabetes • High Triglycerides • Thyroid Disorders (Hashimoto’s, Grave’s) • Chron’s Disease • GERD, Gastritis a • Inflammation • Stomach Ulcers, H. pylori • Respiratory Allergies • Gingivitis • Autoimmune Disorders. • Bipolar Disorder • Depression • Schizophrenia • Parkinson’s Disease • Substance Abuse


 Cancers of all typesInsulin Resistance and Diabetes • High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease/Heart Attack • Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance –Respiratory and Bacterial Ear Infections GI Cancers: esophagus, stomach, colon • Kidney Disease • Blood Clots • Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia • Osteoporosis • • Asthma • Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)


  • Autoimmune Diseases are the MOST common illness for Bs (Lupus, MS, RA, etc) • Viruses (Hepatitis, HPV, HSV, etc.) Depression • Hypothyroidism • Insulin Resistance and Diabetes • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome • High and Low Blood Pressure • Obesity • Leaky Gut • Bacterial Infections (E. coli, staph, strep)

 AB BLOOD TYPE: 2-5% of the Population

Blood Clots • Colon Cancer • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome • Viral Infections • Parasites • Cancers of all types • Bacterial Infections (E. coli, staph, strep)

  • Bipolar Disorder • Depression • Anxiety • Schizophrenia • Addiction • High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease/Heart Attack • Asthma • Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance • Leaky Gut •

 Other people who are susceptible, are those with suppressed immune systems from autoimmune drugs, cancer, chronic high cortisol, obesity, chronic liver and kidney diseases, and those who are post op.  Their immune systems aren’t strong enough to send out the WBCs to kill viruses or bacteria, of any type, no matter what their blood type. Blood diseases have the inability to fight any infections and therefore no matter what their blood type they may contract the infection in question.



This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.


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