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Chapter Main subjectivity

Returning to the discussion surrounding the theme of diet, obviously, as stated earlier, closely related to diseases of varying severity with which we can come into contact, we continue this paper to focus on maintaining an objective difference between every person and the reason; a general framework that can increasingly lead to a greater subjectivity and individuality, understood as the matter which, together with everything, characterizes a person, and each one of us specifically.

Our blood, in addition to being identified with the ABO system, is also grouped based on other factors, such as the one that indicates its positivity or negativity: the Rhesus factor, commonly called Rh, the name originating from the discovery of this antigen in the red blood cells of the Rhesus macaque. This antigen is like a subgroup of the ABO system; imagine you have six people with three different blood types, therefore two A, two B, and two O, each person has different red blood cells from one another because they represent antigen A, B or no antigen (in the case of type O, respectively; of these six different red blood cells, independent of the ABO system, and without distinction between the six people, you can highlight another group of antigen, therefore another “antenna” that has the potential to bind itself to another substance, for example, another different food lectin. Some blood types possess this antigen, antigen D, while others don’t; those who have it will be identified as positive, while those who don’t, negative. Therefore, the six initial people would potentially be one A negative, one B positive, one B negative, AB positive, AB negative, and O positive and negative. As mentioned above, the blood types produce antibodies against different blood types. For example type A will have anti-B antibodies, therefore it will tend to destroy the red blood cells with the B antigen; the same thing happens with the D antigen; i.e. those without this antigen, therefore, A, B, or O negative, not recognizing this D antigen as their own, produce anti-D antibodies. This antigen is similar to another antigen in food, like the milk in the previous example. Having an antigen similar to the B antigen, if a person with type A ingests this substance it produces antibodies against this food. In the case of the D antigen, the reaction will be the same. For example, we examine red wine, white wine, and beer, rather than rosemary, potato, vegetable stock, or meat stock and many others among all the existing foods; all of these common foods mentioned here, for example, have a lectin similar to the D antigen. Therefore, people with blood type A, B or O, positive to the D antigen that has this type of “antenna” in their red blood cells, will not have digestion or agglutination problems ingesting the above-mentioned foods. While people with type A, B or O negative, that do not possess this antigen, produce anti-D antibodies, and therefore have difficulty digesting these foods, putting the immune system into motion and moving towards the process of agglutination.

Dr. Peter D’Adamo says in his book that this factor could be an important point of reference to personalize one’s diet program, but what is fundamental, is knowing whether one is type A, B, or O. The research done for this thesis, however, tends to want to highlight the positive Rh factor or lack thereof, substantially modifying the sensibility to a given food and to inform on the existence of this additional subjectivity, even among the more commonly used foods, since the logical and biological process in the chemical-molecular reaction is the same. Food examined by Dr. D’Adamo, such as chicken, apricots, chocolate, and potatoes, which result for blood type A respectively, chicken and apricots are beneficial, chocolate is indifferent, and potatoes should be avoided, taking the Rh factor into consideration, the scenario changes significantly. That is, chicken should be avoided for those who are ARh negative, and easily digestible for those who are ARh positive; apricots are neutral for those with type A negative but should be avoided by those who are type A positive; cacao is neutral for those type A negative but should be avoided by those who are type A positive and lastly, potatoes are easily digestible by those who are ARh positive and should be avoided by those who are ARh negative. This example applies to every food, every blood type, and for the presence or lack of presence of the D antigen, or Rhesus factor.

There are two other important blood groupings: secretory and non-secretory, and the MN system; but these will not be analyzed here, because they are more useful in areas not concerning diet. That which emerges from this research, with the scientific-technical help of Dr. Maria Romana Allegranza, Nutritional Specialist at the University of Besançon in Diet Therapy and Nutritherapy applied to Pharmacotherapy and Homeopathy, and specialist in Herbal Medicine (phitotherapy) at the College of Urbino, is how much the D antigen should also influence our nutritional choices in order to avoid the accumulation of lectins that we cannot manage to digest and that could cause problems not related to chance, but to science.

Furthermore, if we also approach the research itself from this point of view, it would be good to perform an intolerance test to food allergies, helping your nutritionist understand which substances would be good detoxes for a variable period of time, depending on the degree of intolerance and the degree of toxicity present in the body, periodically repeating above analyses. And verifying whether it is allergies or intolerances, one could have a slight allergy, underestimating symptoms such as rashes or itching, or a temporary intolerance, which could disappear after restoring back to normal, or discover a permanent allergy, as can happen with gluten. Probably anyone who now does an intolerance test could turn out to be intolerant to something, this is unquestionable; it simply highlights the foods that in that given period of our life, we could have assumed too frequently, thus causing an intolerance. It also highlights foods which, according to the A, B, O system, and following also the grouping of the Rh factor, could not be harmful.

This is due to the fact that not only our blood itself presents a biological subjectivity, with the presence or absence of antigens, but the style of life that we have led up to this moment, the diet we have followed, the stress that we immediately have, and all the variables of the personal sphere and the subjective of a person in one’s personal daily life choices, may have generated an intolerance to a particular food.

What is the difference between an allergy and intolerance?

An allergy is a specific and strong intolerance to a particular food, which will trigger an immune response by the body of the production of antibodies; the antibodies cause the emission of organic chemical substances, such as histamine, which causes various symptoms: itching, runny nose, coughing, or wheezing. Food allergies or allergies to food components are often inherited and are usually diagnosed early in life. Food intolerance involves the metabolism, therefore, the digestive system, but not the immune system; if not in a consequential manner, the effort exerted by the digestive system. A typical example is lactose intolerance; people who are affected by this have a lactose deficiency, the digestive enzyme that breaks down the sugar in milk.

What is the effect of food allergies?

The answer comes from EUFIC, the European Food Information Council, stating that the estimated incidence of food allergies is decisively inferior to people’s perceptions; around 1-2% of the adult population. Foods which have the highest probability of allergy are proteins from cow’s milk, the various types of nuts, eggs, fruit, legumes, fish and shellfish, and some types of seeds. By cooking some of these foods, often, but not always, the allergen can be eliminated. The problem for allergic people exists in the foods that, both at home and outside the home can contain slight traces of that particular allergen.

Also according to the EUFIC, intolerance can cause allergy-like symptoms (such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps), but the reaction does not involve the immune system in the same way. Food intolerance occurs when the body cannot properly digest a food or food component. While truly allergic people must in general completely eliminate the food, people with intolerance can often tolerate small amounts of the food or food component without developing symptoms. Those sensitive to gluten or sulfite are exceptions.

Gluten intolerance is an intestinal disorder which occurs when the body no longer tolerates gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats, although the latter is the subject of controversy and research to determine its actual role). Celiac disease is a permanent dysfunction and can be diagnosed at any age. If a person who is affected consumes food containing gluten, the lining of the intestinal walls are damaged and experience a reduced ability to absorb essential nutrients such as fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Currently, the only help for celiac patients is a gluten-free diet, and symptoms will gradually disappear.

If you want to investigate the presence of possible intolerances, you should undertake various types of methodologies; many particularly invasive and recognized in the medical-scientific field, such as a subcutaneous test inserting a small portion of a given food or drug just under the skin.

One method that you could try before taking a test of this sort, or a gastroscopy in the case of gluten intolerance, is a diet of exclusion; simple and direct, which provides for the elimination of one or more foods combined, and in a period of time ranging from two weeks to a month, during which symptoms should disappear, thus avoiding in consequence poorly tolerated foods and taking into consideration a possible future re-integration. This type of method of investigating, the exclusion of foods alone, however, may still be imprecise, and could require more time to investigate the possible, various, and combined intolerances (quite common), and may be assisted by or followed by a test performed with a highly accurate and unobtrusive machinery called the GSR MEASURING INSTRUMENT, much used in naturopathic, holistic, and homeopathic medicine; it is unclear why this is not often used by allergists. This test measures the galvanic skin resistance also called GSR, an index of the activity of the sweat glands and the width of the pores, which are both controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, highlighting the effectiveness of skin resistance and of each variation in correspondence to the stimulated or spontaneous events.

After ascertaining the type of intolerance or allergy present or at least in our blood, or simply following the type of foods to make us healthier, the best defense system is to carefully read the relevant ingredient information labeled on products and know which foods trigger allergies, intolerance, or asthma. The support of a professional figure who we feel meets our needs, allows for the exclusion of some nutrients from our diet when they integrate changes and substitute foods.

Allergies and intolerances are currently recognized as major problems in the area of food safety, and the food industry must take the utmost care in helping those who suffer from allergies to confidently choose a proper diet. Manufactures must take great care in the evaluation of ingredients, the most common allergens that could cause serious reactions, warning of the actual or potential presence of these allergens in products, and preventing inadvertent cross-contamination with the allergens present in other industrial products. The European Union is considering the most correct way to indicate the labelling of allergens, and at the same time, various organizations worldwide have developed guidelines that encourage the spread of the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP AND HACCP) and of information to the consumer.

On their own initiative, some manufacturers and traders already declare the most hazardous allergens in their list of ingredients, even when present in very small quantities. They also carry wordings such as “may contain” on products which may accidentally contain traces of a potential allergen.

So as stated, one should always look at the list of ingredients when grocery shopping; this is true for people without particular problems as well as for those with allergies or intolerances.

Intolerances to certain medications such as antibiotics also exists, but this type of investigation, going to a doctor to eradicate a bacterium with this method, does not take place. At most, one can take an antibiogram to determine a sensibility to an antibiotic, i.e., which could perform its function and which could not; but a tolerance test to that particular medicine absolutely cannot be done. Why not? Medications and diets are not equal for and cannot be done by everyone, as you can see from high-protein diets, or the different diets used by many to lose weight. Nowadays there are even “fads” for this, but health should not be a fad.

Following a diet, for example such as the one in Vogue, like the Dukan, can be considerably damaging for one’s health. It is a high-protein diet in which 100 foods are recommended without calculating the quantity; among these meat, shellfish, fish, dairy products, a folly, according to what was previously mentioned. If a person with type A blood, therefore requiring a mostly vegetarian and grain diet, follows this diet, not only could they gain weight instead of losing weight, but it could have catastrophic poisoning effects on the body! This research does not mention known persons having had serious problems, such as inflammation of the prostate and other dynamics, however, after even after having lost weight following this diet, the amount of protein ingested caused chain reactions in the body, which caused the emergence of diseases. This type of diet depends on the case, that is, it is by chance that someone reacts well and for others it could cause problems, like other diets with the sole purpose of losing weight and not for one’s general wellbeing. As we have seen, proteins are different from one another, lectins are different from each other, and each specific to the right person. Following a diet ad hoc, one will inevitable lose the pounds because the body will know what to do with that kind of food and will more easily eliminate traces of unsuitable foods.

By now the dogma “meat is bad for all”, has generated a great deal of confusion, and the same holds true on the argument for the Dukan diet and in general, our blood type and particular intolerances; each of us is able to digest meat with more or less ease. The problem that could be taken into consideration is on the possible a priori food choice; it is the issue related to livestock and intensive battery. Intensive rearing, or industrial rearing, is a form of breeding that uses industrial and scientific techniques to achieve the maximum quantity of a product at the least amount of cost and using the least amount of space, typically with the use of specific machinery and veterinary drugs. The practice of intensive farming is extremely widespread in all developed countries; most meat, dairy products, and eggs that are sold in supermarkets are produced in this way. This method does not take into account the space and life cycle of the animals, and even man himself. Once the concentration is directed toward a product in mass quantities and other types of interests, it is certainly not linked to those with a respect for nature in general, including the living beings that are part of and in nature, human; that buying these types of items at the supermarket, and eating that egg, that cheese, and that meat, will not only be almost devoid of substantial nutrients as an unhappy and exploited animal exhausted of all energy, but it will not be healthy and it will not have the nutrients which are characterized of eggs and milk. In addition, its meat will be lacking that which could be good for the human being, adding the fact that substances like veterinary drugs, and especially hormones, that increase the productivity of the animal, are introduced to our body.

Incidentally, with this type of farming, there is a dramatic aspect, often concealed by the media, i.e. the enormous consumption of grains fed to the cattle. Already from the start of the 90s, 70% of grains produced in the United States were used as animal feed.

All this maintains a high price for grains, penalizing poor countries and contributing significantly to the problem of world hunger.

There is another type of farming, organic farming. Although its products will have a higher cost, there is a respect toward animals, nature, and man that cannot be ignored.

Organic farming is a breeding primarily outdoors; an animal, but no one, including humans, may live in a cage with another hundred specimens of the same type. Thus there is space for the animals, for sun and shade, organic food, and they do not use hormones. The “disadvantages” are a sporadic production of eggs, for example, and a greater “dirtiness” on them.

But also coming from the Earth, we should not be particularly alarmed to find fruit or vegetables coming from the same land, or chicken feces on an egg, but we should alarm ourselves more from buying apples waxed like decorative objects, and eating eggs that have a rather extinguished color once opened. A busy life and a completely unnatural lifestyle don’t work; except for those who search for quiet moments, and the time just to wash a vegetable more accurately, or to find a way to purchase these products from a farmer rather than at the supermarket.

We are always moving further aware from nature. We are always moving away from ourselves; from our animal nature.

We must return to a balance between the discoveries that have been made and where our origins come from, from the Earth.
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