Things That Your Blood Type Reveals About You, According To Science

Knowing your blood type helps with more than just blood transfusions. Researchers have discovered that blood type corresponds with a host of health conditions, such as fertility, heart disease, and dementia.

It’s a good idea to find out whether you are type A, B, AB, or O. It may determine whether mosquitoes are attracted to your blood or whether you have a higher chance of certain cancers. If you’re ready to learn some interesting facts about the different blood types, read on.

Certain Blood Types Are In More Danger Of Dementia

In 2014, research in the journal Neurology discovered that certain blood types have a higher risk of cognitive impairment. AB blood types were 82% more likely to have cognitive impairment, which can lead to dementia. O types have a lower chance.

A woman with Alzheimer's looks through old photos.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Researchers suggest that this could have to do with heart disease. AB types also have a greater chance of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Dr. Mary Cushman says that these conditions are closely related, and people with diabetes or stroke are more likely to develop dementia.

Blood Can Affect Your Chances Of Getting The Stomach Flu

Norovirus, better known as the stomach flu, infects 200 million people every year. Surprisingly, your blood type might influence your chances of getting it. According to Science Times, the norovirus needs to attach to H1, a type of blood antigen. If your blood doesn’t produce the H1-antigen, you may have some immunity to the stomach flu.

A woman on the couch clutches her stomach while looking at medication.
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images

AB blood types tend to be more susceptible to norovirus than O blood types. However, this can vary among individuals. The norovirus consistently changes, and immunity only lasts for around six months. Even if you are less susceptible, you could still get the stomach flu once in a blue moon.

All Non-O Bloods Risk Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal cancers. A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that non-O blood types–A, B, and AB–have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

FRANCE-HEALTH-MEDECINE-CANCER
XAVIER LEOTY/AFP via Getty Images
XAVIER LEOTY/AFP via Getty Images

Of these, B blood types have a greater risk. A has a 32% chance, B has a 51% risk, and AB has a 72% chance. The study’s lead author, Dr. Brian Wolpin, says that scientists don’t yet understand what heightens the pancreatic cancer risk.

Some Blood Types Are More Prone To Food Allergies

Studies have found that food allergies might be influenced by blood. In 2007, research in the Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine compared the likelihood of specific food allergies to blood type. Overall, people with negative blood types are more susceptible to food allergies.

A girl eats from a jar of peanut butter.
Tamir Kalifa for The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Tamir Kalifa for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

According to the study, people with type O blood are more likely to react to gluten, nightshades, eggs, and dairy. Those with AB blood are susceptible to nuts, seafood, eggs, dairy, and gluten allergies. Of course, allergies are also genetic just as blood types are. There is no guarantee that you will have an allergy solely because of your blood type.

Mosquitoes Favor Certain Types Of Blood

Some people need more bug spray than others. Research has found that mosquitoes favor certain blood types. In 2004, research in the Journal of Medical Entomology concluded that people with blood type O receive the most mosquito bites. Blood type A is the next favorite.

Several mosquitoes cling to a window.
Getty Images
Getty Images

Why do mosquitoes prefer certain blood types? According to Dr. Baumann-Blackmore, they’re attracted to chemicals in sweat. Certain blood types produce more substances such as ammonia and lactic acid, which mosquitoes like. If you have blood types A or O, don’t leave the house without some bug spray.

AB Blood Clots More Often

Depending on your blood type, you could have a higher risk of blood clotting or hemorrhage. The American Heart Association reports that AB blood types are more likely to clot. Chances of deep vein thrombosis, or clotting in the leg, raise by 47%. Pulmonary embolism, or clotting near the lungs, raises by 51%.

A doctor tests a donor's blood.
200degrees/Pixabay
FRED DUFOUR/AFP via Getty Images

AB bloods have a protein that slightly increases the risks of clotting. On the other hand, O blood types are more likely to hemorrhage. A Japanese study in Critical Care found that O bloods have a 28% higher risk of hemorrhaging.

Blood Can Affect Diabetes Risk

Many people know that diet and exercise habits affect the risk of diabetes. But blood type could also contribute, if only slightly. French researchers from the Gustave Roussy Institute discovered that women with B positive blood have the highest chances of developing diabetes.

A woman with diabetes measures her blood sugar.
Gideon Mendel/Corbis via Getty Images
Romulo Yanes/Conde Nast via Getty Images

According to the journal Diabetologia, people with B-positive blood have a 35% greater risk of diabetes. The percentage changes to 10% with type A blood, 17% with AB blood, and 21% with B-negative blood. People with O type blood have the lowest chance of diabetes. Remember, though, that blood type is not a diabetes-sentence.

Type A Bloods Are More Prone To Stomach Cancer

Unfortunately, people with type A blood are more likely to get gastric cancer. In 2012, a study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that A-type blood is susceptible to H. pylori. This pathogen creates inflammation and is one of the more prominent risk factors for stomach cancer.

A woman clutches her stomach in pain.
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images
BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images

Further research in BMC Cancer asserted that both type A and type AB bloods are prone to gastric cancer. The study suggested that type A genotypes are more prone to H. pylori than O or B blood types.

The Rarest And Most Common Blood Types

Since blood types are genetic, how common they depend on ethnicity. However, the rarest blood type overall is AB-negative. Less than 1% of the American population has AB-negative, while 4% has AB-positive blood.

A woman holds up a card showing her blood type, O positive.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Worldwide, the most common type of blood type is O-positive. Between 37% and 53% of the population has O-positive blood, depending on the country. O-negative blood, the universal donor, is far rarer. People with O-negative blood make up between 1% and 8% of the overall population. Blood types A and B are somewhere in the middle.

Certain Blood Types May Require Different Diets

Naturopath Peter J. D’Adamo claims that peoples’ diets may rely on their blood types. His theory, called the Blood Type Diet, suggests that certain bloods need to avoid and embrace different foods.

Students pull carrot and celery slices from a plate.
Nikos Pekiaridis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
FRED DUFOUR/AFP via Getty Images

According to D’Adamo, O blood types benefit from a high-protein diet that is light on grains and dairy. A blood types may prefer meat-free diets, and B bloods should avoid many nuts, beans, and grains. AB bloods should focus on seafood and tofu and avoid caffeine. The downside of the Blood Type Diet is that it can be restrictive and inflexible.

People With AB Blood Are More Likely To Lose Their Memory

AB is the rarest blood type, consisting of only 4% of Americans. However, research from the American Academy of Neurology found that AB blood types have a higher risk of memory problems. In fact, people with AB blood are 82% more likely to experience cognitive decline.

A businessman presses his fingers against his temple while sitting as his desk.
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

AB blood also raises the risk of heart attack and stroke, closely related to cognitive impairment. Factor VIII, a blood protein that makes blood clot, may also heighten the risk of dementia. However, researchers still need more evidence to determine why AB types suffer from memory loss.

Does Blood Type Determine Your Personality?

In Japan and South Korea, many people believe that blood influences your personality, similar to zodiac signs. This is called the blood type personality theory. According to the scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences, research has yet to support this theory, calling studies about it “scanty” and “conflicting.”

People with hands raised for We are the World ceremony
Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

People with blood type A are supposedly empathetic and good listeners. B type people are natural leaders, and AB people are independent, rational thinkers. People with the blood type O are practical and motivated. But that’s just an overview; the full theory is far more detailed.

Blood Type May Influence Fertility

In 2010, a study suggested that a woman’s blood type may affect fertility. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Yale University measured the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in blood. High FSH levels make it harder to conceive.

A woman holds a pregnancy test.
Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Women with type O blood had the most FSH levels, which meant that they often had lower egg count and quality. Women with type AB blood had fewer FSH. In short, O-type blood inhibits fertility, while AB-type blood improves it. Between types A and B, people with type A had better luck with fertility.

O Negative Is The Universal Donor

According to the San Diego Blood Bank, one blood type is a universal donor. O negative only exists in 8% of the population, but it is required for 13% of hospital blood requests. The reason is because O type does not attract antibodies from other blood types.

Medalled blood donor Vedat Gunaydin becomes hope for cancer patients
Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Lorne Laboratories explains that O negative blood lacks antigens. Usually, antigens prompt the immune system to attack new blood entering the system. Since O negative blood doesn’t get attacked, it is safe to infuse even in newborn babies. This is why the demand for O negative blood is so high.

Negative Blood Types Can Prompt Negative Mental Health

Believe it or not, blood type could influence brain health. In 2015, a study in PLoS One discovered that blood type could raise or lower your risk of mental illness. People with negative blood types have a higher risk of anxiety disorders, antisocial disorders, and attention deficits.

A woman hugs her knees in despair.
Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

According to scientists from the University of Vermont, people with type O blood were more likely to get depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit disorder (ADD). People with A-type blood have a risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder and ADD. Children with B type have a greater chance of ADD.

AB Blood Is The Universal Recipient

Most blood types can only accept certain types of donated blood. The American Society of Hematology explains that using incompatible blood types can cause allergic reactions, infections, or anemia. But one is the universal recupient: type AB positive.

A blood bank carries AB blood.
FRED DUFOUR/AFP via Getty Images
FRED DUFOUR/AFP via Getty Images

People with type AB positive blood make up only 3% of the population. They can receive red blood cells from every other blood type. However, people with AB negative blood are universal plasma donors. People who need plasma can obtain it from AB negative, regardless of their blood type.

Blood’s Rh Factor Can Complicate Pregnancy

Rh is a protein in red blood cells, and it determines whether your blood is positive or negative. Rh factors are often inherited. However, a problem arises when the mother has a negative Rh, and the fetus develops a positive Rh. The complication is called Rh incompatibility.

A pregnant woman sips from a mug while standing at a desk.
FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

When the mother’s body detects a different blood type, it may create antibodies to attack the fetus. It could cause anemia in the fetus. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are treatments for Rh incompatibility that help both the mother and fetus.

Non-O Blood Types Have A Greater Risk Of Heart Disease

According to the American Heart Association, certain blood types have a higher risk of heart conditions. A study in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology said that O bloods have a lower risk, while AB bloods have higher risks. AB types have an 8% greater risk of heart attacks and a 10% increased heart failure chance.

A man clutches his chest in pain while on a hike.
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Penn Medicine explains that non-O blood contains a protein called the von Willebrand factor. This slightly raises the risk of clotting and high cholesterol. However, the chances are still slim, and you can remain healthy with a proper diet and exercise routine.

Sugar Determines Your Blood Type

Blood type is determined by antigens, a protein that lies on top of red blood cells. According to the Stanford School of Medicine, antigens are chains of sugar. The sugars they produce are called A sugar, B, sugar, and O sugar. Oddly enough, the actual function of these antigens is not known.

An illustration shows red blood cells.
Clker-Free-Vector-Images/Pixabay
Clker-Free-Vector-Images/Pixabay

Blood Groups and Red Cell Antigens says that antigens seem to have no purpose. If you remove them from the blood, your health will not suffer. It is possible that these antigens used to have a purpose but stopped operating through evolution.

People With Type O Blood Are Less Prone To Malaria

People with type O blood have greater protection from severe or fatal malaria than other blood types. In 2015, Scandinavian scientists tried to find out why. They believe that type O blood was in countries that eventually developed immunity to malaria, such as Nigeria.

Two Asian tiger mosquitoes feed on a human.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Malaria causes a phenomenon called a rosette. Rosettes form when an infected red blood cell connects with a healthy red blood cell. According to Nature Medicine, O-type blood has antibodies that interfere with rosettes. Malaria cannot infect the body as quickly if you have type O blood.

People Who’ve Aged Gracefully Have Good Dental Hygiene Habits

We all want a bright, white smile. Not only is this a sign of good oral hygiene, but a mouth full of pearly whites can make you look younger too. People who develop tooth discoloration often don’t have very good dental hygiene habits.

GettyImages-957766440-21351
Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images
Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

Taking care of your teeth can really make you look years younger. Invest in some whitening toothpaste, floss every day (dentists recommend twice a day) and visit your dentist every six months.

People Who Live Longer Love Their Jobs

You spend a whole lot of your life working. You may even spend more time at work than you do at home. That’s why making sure you enjoy what you do for a living is so important. If you find yourself dreading going to work every single morning, it may be time to switch things up. No paycheck is worth that kind of unhappiness.

GettyImages-1051849982-86410
CHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images
CHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images

Working a job that you love helps reduce stress which in turn helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. More importantly, reducing your stress levels is important to your overall mental wellbeing.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is like a natural lubricant for your body. It keeps all of your internal organs in working order. If you take one tip away from this list, it should be this one. Drink more water. Even if you think you drink enough water, a little more H2O can only do your body good.

GettyImages-1087795386-95913
Michael Dodge/Getty Images
Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Staying hydrated works wonders for your skin. If you have trouble maintaining a youthful glow, try drinking an extra liter of water per day.

Love Openly and Honestly

People who are guarded when it comes to love often hold a lot of tension in their bodies. If you can’t relax with your partner, who can you relax with? If you’re in a relationship that’s making you feel more stressed than happy, it may be time to rethink what that relationship means to you.

GettyImages-925439644-46846
Emily Brickel Edelson/Chic Sketch via Getty Images
Emily Brickel Edelson/Chic Sketch via Getty Images

Be open in love, even if it means leaving yourself open for heartbreak. It will be worth it in the long run.

Don’t Pick At Your Skin

It’s tempting to pick at stubborn blemishes on your skin and it’s satisfying to pop a pimple, but if you want your skin to stay in good condition long term, you really leave the pimple popping to the professionals.

GettyImages-501411928-41393
Joel Forrest / Barcroft USA / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Joel Forrest / Barcroft USA / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Popping pimples with your fingers can lead to broken blood vessels and permanent scarring. Hands tend to be full of bacteria, which can makes its way onto your skin and into your pores if you’re constantly touching your face.

Wear Less Makeup

I love makeup as much as the next girl. It’s fun to experiment with different colors and styles (and sometimes it’s nice to cover a blemish or two), but it really is important to let your skin breathe every now and then. Try wearing a minimal makeup look one day a week, or not wearing any makeup at all on the weekends.

GettyImages-1134845452-25485
Foc Kan/WireImage
Foc Kan/WireImage

If you can’t kick your foundation habit, at least make sure to wash your face thoroughly before you go to sleep.

Wear Sunscreen

You know they saying, ‘Nothing ages you faster than stress’? Well, there may be one thing that can age you faster than stress. The sun. The sun is a great source of vitamin D and you should spend as much time as you can outside. But the sun also sends powerful UV rays down to earth that can damage our skin and cause us to age prematurely.

GettyImages-1058484454-24040
Zhe Ji/Getty Images
Zhe Ji/Getty Images

Luckily, there’s an easy solution. Just wear ample sunscreen whenever you’re outside. SPF is your best defense against aging.

Maintain Your Social Life

It can be hard to keep in touch with friends in adulthood. Everyone gets so busy with work and kids and general life stuff. It can be even harder to make new friends as an adult. People who age gracefully claim that having friends and widening their network of support has really helped them de-stress and enjoy their adult years.

GettyImages-1129315166-68835
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Who says you can’t be #SquadGoals when you’re 80?

Smile More

A lot of people think that smiling too much can give you smile lines down the road, but smiling is actually the easiest way to look and feel younger. Smile lines are the best lines to have because they mean that you’ve lived a full and happy life.

GettyImages-1135208732-66445
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

If smiling is good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s good enough for you too. Also, laughing at least once a day is a great way to de-stress and release tension.

Eat a Plant-Based Diet

Your diet doesn’t have to be entirely plant-based, but a lot of people who have maintained a youthful appearance well into their 60s claim that eating less meat and dairy helps them stay healthier and younger looking.

GettyImages-1129910461-69303
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Not only will your body feel better, but you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint. There are so many delicious meals you can make with fruit and vegetables, or you can just eat them raw.

Practice Mindfulness

Meditation and being mindful of your body and your surroundings are great ways to reduce stress, release built-up tension, and reflect on the tasks you have ahead of you. You can meditate alone or with a group or a leader. You can download meditation apps on your phone or you can just sit quietly and try to empty your mind.

GettyImages-1133889087-82679
RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images
RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Just a few minutes of mindful meditation a day can really improve your life and make you feel younger.

Appreciate Your Surroundings

Although it doesn’t always feel like it, we live on a beautiful planet. It’s full of plants and flowers and animals and works of art. If you move through life too quickly, you can take all of those beautiful things for granted.

GettyImages-1129799437-86086
Ioannis Alexopoulos/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Ioannis Alexopoulos/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Take a moment each day to appreciate the beauty that the world has to offer, even if it’s just a dandelion on the side of the road or a squirrel storing away nuts for the winter.

Don’t Be Afraid to Express Yourself

Being older doesn’t mean that you have to dress like an old lady or an old man (unless you’re into that kind of style). You don’t have to stop wearing bright colors and fun patterns just because you’re over the age of 30. If bright colors make you happy, wear what makes you happy.

GettyImages-1129921459-19908
Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW
Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW

Don’t be afraid to stand out. Remember, you’re only as old as you feel.

Get a Dog

A lot of people who have stayed looking and feeling young well into their 60s and 70s say that owning a dog helped keep them on their toes.

GettyImages-1135195000-91047
Say Cheese!/GC Images
Say Cheese!/GC Images

Owning a dog means that you’re forced to go outside for regular walks and you have something to take care of other than yourself. Dogs can also be a source of comfort and can help you feel less stressed. Sure, they can be difficult to train, but all dog owners agree that having a furry companion is the best.

Get Enough Exercise

People who exercise throughout their adulthood have a much easier time looking and feeling younger as the years progress. Find a physical activity that excites you and fits into your schedule.

GettyImages-107065508-10254
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Whether it’s rock climbing, biking, hiking, or weight lifting, physical activity is great for your body and your mind. It can help you focus more on your work and it can lower your blood pressure and increase your metabolism.

Express Gratitude

It sounds simple, but just saying “thank you” is a great way to actually feel more appreciative of what you have and what other people do for you. Always express gratitude because the expression alone will change the way you feel about what you have and what you are lacking. You’ll find you actually notice what you have more when you are verbally grateful.

GettyImages-855254468-42116
Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This mindset will keep you feeling and looking your best.

Reduce Your Screen Time

Spending too much time in front of a screen can damage your eyes, and spending too much time hunched over a laptop can really damage your back. Bad posture and poor vision can make you feel and look older, so it’s a good idea to limit your time in front of screens.

GettyImages-1127719241-43430
JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images

Of course, screens are everywhere in today’s society and it’s almost impossible to avoid them entirely, but do your best to reduce your screen time, especially right before bed.

Be Charitable

Giving back to others and to your community helps you feel like you’re doing something meaningful with your time and money. It also helps you appreciate the time and money that you have that others might not.

GettyImages-1083399032-63999
Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donate some canned food to a local shelter or spend some time helping a person in need. Doing meaningful work will go a long way to help you feel more centered in your life.

Go Outside

Spend as much time as you can outdoors. If you live in a climate where it’s very cold during the winter months, make sure you take advantage of nice weather when it’s given to you. You can go on a short walk or just sit in the shade, but all of that fresh air can make you feel so much younger and happier.

GettyImages-1066714636-78404
MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP/Getty Images
MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP/Getty Images

Eating meals outside is a great way to start introducing more outdoor time into your daily routine.

Eat Less Sugar

Yes, I know sugar is delicious, but when it comes to looking good and feeling good, sugar is one of the worst things for you. Not only can sugar cause weight gain, it can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

GettyImages-1095529244-18990
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images

When it comes to your skin, sugar is linked to acne. If you want to look and feel better, reducing your sugar intake is a good place to start. Of course, do indulge in a delicious sugary treat every now and then! Just remember that moderation is key.