Can your blood group affect your health?

by Hannah Thomas

Cheryl Cole at the 2011 Brits after-party

Understanding your blood group could lead to a deeper umderstanding of your health, according to a new study.

Dr Gustaf Edgren, who led the study at Sweden’sKarolinska Institute, says people with group A may be more susceptible to gastric cancer risks such as smoking, alcohol and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Having blood type O can lower your risk of heart attacks and of dying from malaria, but they are more vulnerable to cholera and stomach ulcers than other blood groups.

Women with blood types AB or B have a raised risk of developing ovarian cancer.

In another US study last October, scientists proved that blood type has an influence on women’s fertility and her chances of becoming pregnant.

The study of 560 women undertaking fertility treatment, found that those with blood type O were twice as likely to have a lower egg count and quality, affecting their chances of conception.

Professor Mike Murphy, of the NHS Blood and Transplant Authority, says: ‘Our colleagues in the US have become increasingly involved in this type of research, particularly in trying to harness the power of blood types to fight infectious diseases. But the interest in Britain is sparse.’

Of course, this isn't the first time that blood groups have hit the headlines. Celebrities such as Cheryl Cole and Courteney Cox, admit to being fans of the ‘blood group diet’. It purports that your body responds to certain foods in certain ways, depending on your type.

If you have blood type A you are recommended to follow a vegetarian diet to lose weight, while blood group O should eat meat and avoid dairy and wheat.

‘It has made such a difference to how I feel and my energy levels,’ says Cole. ‘Before I was like ‘energy schmenergy’ and didn’t believe it. But now I believe it 100%.’

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