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Secretor Status

Secretor Status
You are probably familiar with the concept that your ABO blood type is controlled by your genetics, just as are your hair or eye colour. The gene coding for your blood type lies on chromosome 9q34. However, other separate genes on chromosome 11 and 19 actually interact with your blood type gene, determining your ability to secrete your ABO blood type antigens into your body fluids and secretions. This is called the secretor gene, and by testing for this gene we can determine whether you are a secretor or non-secretor. This makes the ABO blood group unique in that it is the only blood group that can be found in body fluids throughout your body including the lining of the digestive, biliary, respiratory, reproductive and urinary tracts, and sweat glands. Determining your secretor status allows your physician to understand just how much ‘blood type expression’ is found in your body’s tissues.

In the genetics of the secretor system two options exist. A person can be either a secretor (Se) or a non-secretor (se). This is completely independent of whether you are a blood type A, B, AB, or O. Thus a person could be an A secretor or an A non-secretor, a B secretor or a B non-secretor, etc.

Secretors: Determining your secretor status allows your physician to understand just how much ‘blood type expression’ is found in your body’s tissues. About 80% of the population has a gene that allows them to secrete their ABO blood type into their secretions in free or unbound form. In a simplified sense, a secretor is defined as a person who secretes their blood type antigens into body fluids and secretions like the saliva in your mouth, the mucus in your digestive tract and respiratory cavities, etc. In general the ability to put our blood type antigen into our tissues is an advantage, since this provides a degree of ‘insulation’ against foods that react with our blood type antigens and microbes that can latch onto our blood type antigens as part of their infection cycle. In both cases the free blood type antigen can act as a ‘decoy’, attracting the offending food or microbe to it rather than the ‘real’ blood group antigens that reside on the cells.

Non-Secretors: A non-secretor on the other hand puts little to none of their blood type into these same fluids.
As a general rule, about 15-20% of the population are non-secretors with the remaining 80-85% being secretors. Aside from the physical implications centering around whether you have blood type antigens in your body fluids or not, the secretor genetics have additional significance through the effects of gene linkage: In other words, the outcome of your secretor genetics "links" to other seemingly unrelated genes and influences their function.

Your secretor status drastically alters the carbohydrates present in your body fluids and secretions in addition to several important aspects of your metabolism and resistance. These factors include the activity of an enzyme called intestinal alkaline phosphatase, the overall composition of bacteria in your intestinal ecosystem, your propensities toward blood clotting, your level of carbohydrate tolerance, and your resistance to certain parasites and yeast.

Accordingly, due to the lack of the gene to secrete the ABO blood group into the body fluids and mucous membranes, non-secretors are more prone to suffer from inflammation, immune disease, diabetes, yeast infection prevalence in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis, Sjorgen's Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Grave's Disease, more common to develop renal scarring when they get urinary tract infections, (non-secretors have a 25% increased risk of getting UTIs; for Blood group B non-secretors the risk is 50%), are often categorized as "complex" patients, often hard to diagnose properly and slow to cure.