Those Who Have Type O Blood Are Uniquely Special. Read To Know Why

Discovered in 1900 by Karl Landsteiner at the University of Vienna, ABO blood types have changed the world of medicine for which Landsteiner received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1930. A few years later the Rhesus factor or what we know as positive (+) and negative (-) was identifie...
Discovered in 1900 by Karl Landsteiner at the University of Vienna, ABO blood types have changed the world of medicine for which Landsteiner received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1930. A few years later the Rhesus factor or what we know as positive (+) and negative (-) was identified. These two remarkable discoveries have allowed physicians to transfuse blood without endangering patients’ lives and they have saved and continue to save millions of lives every year.
Those Who Have Type O Blood Are Uniquely Special. Read To Know Why
What many of us don’t know is that since this initial breakthrough scientists have identified more than 20 other human blood groups, but many don’t trigger big immune or fatal reactions; although, if you watch Grey’s Anatomy or House you may know that despite being rare they can happen.

It’s surprising to think that to this day there’s still so much we don’t know about why or how these blood groups evolved. One hypothesis claims that all blood groups originated from mutations that occurred over millions of years from the most common blood group type “O” that branched out to eventually develop A, B and AB.

Blood type distribution varies by race and country, but as a whole type “O” is the most common blood type found today, and people that are type O are special for two main reasons:

O negative (-) is known as the universal donor. While only roughly 6-7% of the North American population have O- blood, this blood type is the most giving as it can be used in transfusions for any other blood type, and is often used in emergencies.
O positive (+) is the most common blood type and is therefore in high demand.

But before we learn more about what else makes type O blood uniquely special, let’s refresh our high school biology on how blood groups are defined.

HOW IS BLOOD TYPE DEFINED

Simply put, there are four major blood groups that are defined by the presence or absence of two antigens (A and B) on the surface of red blood cells.

Blood Type A: has A antigen and B antibodies. Can donate to type A and AB, but can only receive from type A or O.

Blood Type B: has B antigen and A antibodies. Can donate to type B and AB, but can only receive from type B or O.

Blood Type AB: has both A and B antigens, but neither A or B antibodies. Can only donate to AB, but can receive from any blood type.

Blood Type O: has neither A and B antigens, but both A and B antibodies. Because type O doesn’t have the A and B antigens, it can donate to anyone, but can only receive from type O. See why type O are indeed special?

In addition to the above, the Rhesus factor or Rh factor can be either present which means it’s positive (+) or absent which means it’s negative (-). If the Rh factor is present, it means that the person can only donate blood to someone with Rh+, but can accept blood from someone that is either Rh+ or Rh-.

If the wrong blood type is given, the immune system recognizes it as foreign and develops antibodies to attack it.

Still confused? Check out this fun and interactive fact sheet on blood types and transfusions by the American Red Cross here.
Those Who Have Type O Blood Are Uniquely Special. Read To Know Why

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU’RE TYPE O

Well, we have all heard of the Blood Type Diet popularized in the mid 90s by naturopath Peter J. D’Adamo, and that’s probably one of the first things many of us think about when we hear “blood type”.

In 2014, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a review on the blood type diet and concluded that there’s no evidence to support eating based on your blood type. This and other studies have suggested that any positive results tend to occur due to an overall healthier lifestyle and habits rather than blood type alone.

But, while the effectiveness of a diet based on your blood type is yet to be scientifically proven, we do have research that shows some blood types are more or less prone to develop certain conditions or diseases. For example, type O are less prone to type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but more likely to get ulcers. There’s even evidence to show that people with O blood type have higher levels of stomach acid.

There’s still a lot we don’t know when it comes to blood type and eating, and while the science is not there, here’s what Blood Type Diet recommends for those with Type O blood often considered to be hunter-gatherer type:

Focus on a paleo or low-carbohydrate type diet that’s high in good quality animal protein including meat, poultry and fish.
Eat lots of fresh vegetables, leafy greens and fruits.
Limit grains, legumes, and dairy.

WHAT ABOUT TYPE O PERSONALITY

This is where blood types get interesting. Did you know that in Japan, blood types are used to predict anything from your personality, horoscope, romantic compatibility and even whether you’re the most suitable job candidate?

Known as “ketsuekigata”, the study of personality by blood type is engrained in Japanese culture and is part of everyday life on TV, in newspapers, and cartoon characters.

What’s even more unusual is that there are whole lines of consumer products including chocolate, drinks, personal care products and even condoms catering to different blood types.

So, what does ketsuekigata have to say about O types?

Type O are known as confident, self-determined, ambitious, intuitive and strong-willed individuals, but they can become stubborn and jealous. They are known to make great leaders. Famous people with blood type O include: Queen Elizabeth II, John Lennon, Elvis Presley and Paul Newman.

What’s your blood type? Have you found a connection between your blood type, personality, and dietary habits? Let us know below.