The winter months offer an opportunity for many of us to look inward, and for some, this season of life brings challenges in the form of mental and emotional health. Perhaps you’ve been feeling sluggish or in a rut or exhausted with worries. Fortunately, knowing your blood type can guide you on how to best support your body and mind — and we'll make some helpful D'Adamo Personalized Nutrition supplement suggestions too.
Stress and blood type
Stress manifests differently in every individual. There are, however, stress management strategies best suited for each blood type. Besides eating right and getting enough sleep, a great way to offset stress is with physical activity. (You can find out how to exercise Right for Your Type here.) But sometimes you may need more support.
In moments of stress, the body goes into “fight or flight” mode. The brain activates the sympathetic nervous system to increase heart rate and alertness and dampen non-essential activities, such as digestion, via chemicals called catecholamines (the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine) and cortisol. When the cause for alarm is resolved, the parasympathetic system takes over, bringing the body back to stasis, ordinary operating mode.
Support healthy catecholamine pathways
Type Os and ABs tend to be slow to clear out the stress-signaling catecholamines. When these neurotransmitters are not removed, they may back up or “bottleneck,” causing you to feel agitated, stressed and nervous. It may also disrupt your sleep. Dr. Peter D’Adamo formulated Catechol specifically to aid Os and ABs with occasional stress.
Catechol has a three-step design, blending nutritional cofactors and herbs known to support stress pathways:
- Layer 1 consists of the vitamin and mineral cofactors involved in catecholamine pathways. Methylcobalamin, the active form of B12, is required for the methylation of neurotransmitters. This addition of a methyl group renders them inactivated. Additional inclusion of Selenium offers further mood support.
- Layer 2 features amino acids tyrosine, methionine and trimethylglycine. These three serve as the building blocks for important stress signaling molecules.
- Lastly, in Layer 3, Dr. D’Adamo drew from his Materia Medica to include botanicals Rhodiola rosea and Magnolia officinalis. These particular herbs are well-researched for their effects on occasional stress.
For As and Bs, a healthy stress response lies not in catecholamines, but in cortisol management. Cortisol is one of our primary stress hormones, and is released by the adrenal glands during sympathetic, or “fight or flight” responses. Cortisol signals for physiologic processes which support the body during acute stress – temporarily increasing blood sugar, pausing digestion and hindering sexual arousal. But when stress is frequent or long-term, chronic elevations of cortisol have been linked to blood sugar dysregulation, digestive complaints and sexual disfunction.
Compared to Type Os and ABs, Type As and Bs have a much more difficult time lowering cortisol levels. To support healthy cortisol response, Dr. D’Adamo formulated Cortiguard. Cortiguard also follows a three-layer format, specifically curating ingredients for Type As and Bs.
- Layer 1 begins with a base of B vitamins, including thiamine, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Alpha-lipoic acid and vitamin C are also featured.
- Layer 2 provides botanicals, Panax ginseng and Eleuthero root. These herbs are well-researched for their adaptogenic effects on stress hormones.
- Layer 3 adds to the herbal formulation with traditional Ayurvedic herbs Bacopa and Boerhaavia, which may aid in healthy cortisol levels.
Promote calm and relaxation
Occasional stress and anxiety are natural functions of life, but when balanced with appropriate amounts of relaxation, meditation and exercise, occasional stress can be taken in stride. Sometimes, however, the scale tips too far; we may not get that daily relaxation time, and we can find a bit more of an imbalance than we’re used to. Tranquility Base is designed for times like these to help provide mental and physical relaxation, while decreasing occasional stress and anxiety.
Right before we fall asleep, the brain enters an in-between phase. Brain waves measured during this period are called Alpha waves, and they appear before the onset of true, deep sleep. In those with difficulty sleeping, alpha waves may be hyperactive.
Tranquility Base was specially formulated to be for all Types and GenoTypes, and was created to calm hyperactive alpha waves so as to encourage restful and regenerative sleep. It contains the ingredients GABA, L-Theanine, Lemon Balm Leaf and Chamomile Leaf Extract.
Tranquility Base works synergistically with both Catechol and Cortiguard to promote a healthy stress response. We’ve bundled these great products in our Calm Pack (Types O & AB) and Calm Pack (Types A & B).
Vitamin D and mood
When we think of vitamin D, many of us consider its effects on facilitating absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate. However, this fat-soluble molecule has broad actions in the body.
In fact, vitamin D acts more like a hormone than it does a vitamin. This is because many of our cells express receptors for vitamin D, and the action of binding to the cell's receptor causes changes in our physiology.
Vitamin D plays an important role in the production of dopamine, the chief neurotransmitter of the reward pathways. Inadequate levels of dopamine may contribute to seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression. But in winter months, especially in areas above the equator, vitamin D is hard to come by from sunlight alone. For this reason, Dr. Peter D'Adamo formulated Phyto D 2000.
Phyto D 2000 features the active form of Vitamin D (D3, or cholecalciferol) and synergist Vitamin K, which promotes the maintenance of proper calcium levels.
Wintertime is an opportunity to make a positive impact on the seasons to come. While New Year’s resolutions often involve changing our physical bodies, why not strive for our peace and health of mind? Knowing your Blood Type and what works for you is the best first step.