The blood is one of the most important part of the human system, so important it has over the years of existence on earth, garnered much significance. In the human body, the blood acts as a transporter, as it transports and also carries the human minerals, fluids, some of our cells, and is the fuel for our engine. Simply put, we cannot exist without blood.
Apart from its importance to the human body, it bears cultural and religious importance and relevance too as the blood is as old as history. Ancient people mixed it together and drank it to denote unity and fealty.
Hunters performed rituals to appease the spirits of the animals they killed by offering up the animal blood and smearing it on their faces and bodies.
The blood of the lamb was placed as a mark in the bible, on the hovels of the enslaved Jews of Egypt so that the angel of death would pass over them. People from time immemorial took blood oaths to signify their love for each other or to protect a secret.
Moses in the bible turned water into blood in quest to free his people. And the most symbolic blood of all, the blood of Jesus Christ, which is central and sacred to Christianity. This among others shows how significant the blood is to us.
Blood does not only supply delivery or defense systems necessary for our existence, it also provides a keystone for humanity. Just like humans evolved over the course of history, the human blood has also not just evolved, but has been restructured and modified.
As we know the human blood is grouped into four : O, A, B, AB. But many people do not know the meaning of the groups or even the fact that these groups evolved from one another in one way or another, which brings us to the topic of the day.
These groups all have their origins and meanings, each blood type contains the genetic message of our ancestors’ diets and behaviors, and though we’re a long way from early history, many of their traits still affect us.
As the human race moved about and was forced to adapt to its new environments and conditions, it affected our diets and what we take into our systems and these changes also reflects in the development of the blood types, which appear to have arrived at critical junctures of human development.
BLOOD TYPE O- MEANS OLD:
This is the oldest blood type, the first and original blood type, other blood types evolved from it.
The blood type is as early as the first humans on earth, probably between 50,000 and 40,000 BC. These humans were the early men or humanoid ancestors such as the Neanderthals. The type O helped to propel the human species to the top of the food chain, making them the most dangerous predators on earth.
One major characteristics of blood type O is that it had its own immune system, which is why humans survived till now, even through poor cooking, eating raw meats, contacting different germs and diseases without proper medical care or modern medicine.
One major food that aided the blood type was protein, mostly meats: early men were hunters and fed majorly on meats. Since evolution started in Africa and the early men are from Africa, blood type is found mostly in Africa. Most Africans are blood type O.
BLOOD TYPE A- MEANS AGRARIAN:
This blood type developed somewhere in Asia and middle East between 25,000 and 15,000 BC. There is a very large gap between the period the O blood type was in existence and when this blood type was formed.
This blood type was in response to new environmental conditions.
Early humans by this time were becoming over populated and the struggle for hunting ground began.
This led to the first ever migration of humans as some migrated to Asia and Middle East. It emerged at the peak of the Neolithic period, the new Stone Age, which followed the Paleolithic period or the Old Stone Age.
This was the period of agriculture and animal domestication.
The discovery of cultivation of grains and livestock changed everything.
When the migration occurred, people learnt to establish stable communities and permanent living structures.
This different lifestyle, a major change in diet and environment resulted in an entirely new mutation in the immune system that allowed humans to better tolerate and absorb cultivated grains and other agricultural products gave birth to type A blood.
Humans began to combine hunting with farming and rearing of animals. They also saw the need and importance of storing food rather than kill and eat.
Need for survival led to this blood type because type A emerged as more resistant to infections common to densely populated areas. Survivors of plague, cholera, and smallpox show a predominance of type A or Type O.
The blood eventually spread beyond Asia in Europe, carried by the Indo-Europeans. Today, type A blood is still found in its highest concentration among Western Europeans.
BLOOD TYPE B – MEANS BALANCE:
This blood type developed between 15,000 and 10,000 BC, in the area of the Himalayan highlands now part of present day Pakistan and India. Type B blood may have initially mutated in response to climatic changes.
This was the period humans were pushed from the hot, lush Savannahs of Eastern Africa to the cold, unyielding highlands of the Himalayas. This also came as a result of another form of diet, the diet of meat and cultural dairy products which was on the rise among the rural region of Asia, among a mix of Caucasian and Mongolian tribes.
Because of the rise in sea levels, the land bridge between North America and Asia is reduced making it impossible for the type B blood to get into North America at first, who are majorly type O.
One major characteristics of the type B blood is that it shows most clearly defined geographic distribution.
The first blood type to be found in all parts of the world at very high rates. There is no part of the world that type B blood group is not found in high quantity. As a general rule, regardless of their nationality or race, there is a trend toward higher-than-average rates of type B blood.
BLOOD TYPE AB- MEANS MODERN:
This blood type is quite rare, emerging from the intermingling of type A Caucasians with type B Mongolians. It is found in less than 5 percent of the human population, and it is the newest of the blood types.
Found to develop between 500 BC and 900 AD, it means that until ten or twelve centuries ago, there was no type AB blood.
It came at the period when barbarian hordes sliced through the soft underbelly of many collapsing civilizations, overrunning the length and breadth of Roman empire.
This intermingling of these Eastern invaders with the last trembling vestiges of European civilization gave birth to type AB blood. The AB blood type is mostly about intermingling, rather than migration or climatic change.
Because type ABs inherit the tolerance of both type A and type B, their immune systems have an enhanced ability to manufacture more specific antibodies to microbial infections.
There is however, a greater predisposition to certain cancers because type AB responds to anything A-like or B-like as “self”, so it manufactures no opposing antibodies.
It is the first blood type to adopt an amalgamation of immune characteristics, some of which make them stronger, and some of which make them weaker.
Perhaps type AB presents the perfect metaphor for modern life; complex and unsettled.
With the four blood group already addressed, there is this belief that in years to come, a new blood group will emerge, one that can combine the characteristics of both O, A and B which will be better and will come as humans advance.
The explanations clearly points to the fact that each new blood types was an evolutionary response to a series of changes in the human nature, diet and environment.
Also it points out that we are all in one way or another related by blood, as it is a far determinant of individuality and similarity than is tribe or race.
References and sources: ‘Eat right for your type’ by Dr. Peter J.D Adamo and Catherine Whitney. Google, Wikipedia.
Ifechukwu Ifee Uwaks.