What’s your blood type? If you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t know off the top of your head. Blood type is a genetic trait that is determined by your parents, just like eye color or ear shape. There are four main blood types (A, B, O, and AB), and they are determined by the absence or presence of antigens on the surface of red blood cells.
It is important to know your blood type, as it not only determines who can receive your blood, but it also dictates how much you can help and which donations are ideal for you. For example, as the universal donor, O- is encouraged to give red cell or whole blood donations, while AB+ donors make the most impact with platelets and plasma donations. Blood type determines a lot about us, but there are many misconceptions as to what role it plays in our bodies and ability to donate.
My Blood Type Isn’t Needed
If you ever hear anyone say this, you have our permission to call them out. EVERY blood type is needed, and EVERY blood type makes a difference. Although we advise O- donors to give often because they can give to all blood types, the need for all types of blood on the shelves is constant. There is much more beyond blood type that determines matches for blood, and matching blood types makes it easier to find a compatible donor for each patient.
Blood Type Determines Personality (Similar to Zodiac Signs)
In Japan, each blood type is given a corresponding “personality type,” similar to those associated with zodiac signs. However, despite the claim, your blood type has no determination over your personality. While it would be fun to compare a B+ to an A-, blood type has no effect on who you are as a person.
Certain Blood Types Should Eat Certain Diets
We encourage all donors to eat diets that are rich in iron, drink plenty of water, and to look after their overall health. Despite various articles, there is no specific food that one blood type should eat over another. Diet has no effect on the antigens of your blood, just the overall health and iron density. That being said, we did hear a rumor that your blood type was encouraged to eat cupcakes!
My Blood Type Is Prone to Certain Illnesses
No one blood type is more prone to any disease or illness over another. Blood type has little to no effect on bodily health. However, there are plenty of blood-related illnesses that your blood type can help. Each blood component serves a different purpose in our bodies, and therefore can be used to treat different types of complications in a recipient. As we stated earlier, certain blood types are encouraged to donate certain types of products, and those donations can make a huge impact.
Mosquitoes Prefer Type O Blood
Your diet or blood types have little effect on mosquitoes. The Centers for Disease Control’s chief research entomologist said carbon dioxide and heat are the biggest draws for mosquitoes, and eating certain foods will not attract or repel them.
For more information on blood types, please click here.