Most people know what their blood type is—or at least you should.
Your blood group is determined by genes that you inherit from your parents. It depends on substances in your blood:
- antigens – proteins found on the surface of red blood cells that cause antibodies to be produced
- antibodies – infection-fighting proteins found in plasma (the liquid part of blood) that are part of your immune system and attack specific antigens if they’re found in your body
The ABO system
Under this system, your blood may belong to one of four groups:
- A – you have A antigens on your red blood cells and anti-B antibodies (antibodies that attack B antigens)
- B – you have B antigens and anti-A antibodies
- AB – you have A and B antigens and no anti-A or anti-B antibodies
- O – you have no antigens, but both anti-A and anti-B antibodies
The Rh system
Red blood cells can also have another antigen called the rhesus factor (Rh factor).
Your blood can be:
- RhD positive (also called rhesus positive) – the antigen is present
- RhD negative (also called rhesus negative) – the antigen is not present
Your Blood Type
Your blood type is determined by your ABO group and your RhD group. For example, if your blood is group O and RhD positive, your blood group is O positive. (source)
The Subtle Differences…
It is these microscopic substances on the surface of your blood cells that interact with your immune system to either elevate or decrease your risk for several common diseases.
What this means is that depending on your blood type—A, B, AB, or O—you could be more likely to get cancer, ulcers, heart disease or even have memory issues.
So, what does your blood type say about you?
- In general, people with type-A blood are 20 % more susceptible to stomach cancer (especially if they drink and smoke) than Types B and O (source)
- It has been noticed for many years that there is higher incidence of gastric cancer in blood type A population than in people with other blood types. (source)
- Some research suggests type-A is more prone to alcoholism (source)
- Women in this group have higher egg count and better egg quality in their 30s than those with blood type A, say researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. (source)