In humans there are mainly 4 types of blood groups, they are A, B, AB and O group. It is a tiny bit of protein, called the antigen which is on the surface of a red blood cell that helps determine which type of blood you have. If you have A antigen, then your type is A and B antigen means the blood type is B and so on. If you have both antigens then the blood type is AB and if there are no antigens then the blood type is O.
What is Rh Factor?
If you have the Rh factor on your red blood cells along with the antigen then you have a positive blood type. For example if you have A antigen and the Rh factor then the blood type is A positive. If the Rh factor is absent then you have a negative blood type. For example if you have no Rh factor but only B antigen then you blood type is B negative.
Lower heart disease
People having a certain type of blood group have lower risk of heart disease. Blood group ‘O’ is most common and has lower risk of heart disease. On the negative side AB blood has higher risk compared to people with other blood types.
People who have AB type of blood group are more at risk of getting dementia than people of other types. While people with type ‘O’ have the lowest risk of developing the condition.
It is best to check the correct blood type before receiving a transfusion otherwise it may cause problems. But in an emergency, O negative blood type can be used for any person. This is because it does not have any of the antigens, A, B, or Rh that can lead to immune system attack on it.
People having blood type AB positive is known as ‘universal recipients’ because their blood has all the antigens. This type of blood recognises any other blood type during transfusion in the body and will accept the blood without any sort of attack on the transfused blood cells.
There is a misconception that you can lose weight if you base your diet upon the blood type. There is no evidence to prove this. Studies show no health effects of specific foods on any blood type.
Rh Negative Danger
The blood of a pregnant mother will act upon the baby’s blood cells and destroy them if she has Rh negative blood type and the baby has Rh positive type. This is called as rhesus disease and some medications can prevent it. During pregnancy it is good to have a blood test for Rh factor done. If you are Rh negative, the doctor will recommend that you take the medications to be on the safer side.