Written by Michael Klaper, M.D.

Also see related article: Blood type diet

 How do we explain the experience of people who say, “A practitioner of ‘live cell’ analysis stuck my finger and I saw my blood agglutinate! He said I must have eaten foods wrong for my blood type!” Does this validate Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s “blood type theory” which he presents in his book, Eat Right for your Type?

I have attended many “health expos” and meetings on “alternative” medicine, where I have seen this demonstration performed. A subject’s finger is punctured and a drop of their blood is placed under the microscope with the image projected on a large screen or television monitor. The results can appear quite dramatic as a person often sees their red blood cells, platelets, and other cellular elements apparently misshapen and clumped together.

The unsuspecting subject is probably unaware that they may have just witnessed a biological parlor trick. The “live cell analyst” has probably failed to inform them that the “agglutinating” effect seen on the screen can be produced by a number of factors, most having nothing to do with lectins, blood type, or any other forces beyond the physics and chemistry of a drop of blood on a slide.

Remember, that a drop of blood on the microscope slide is very different than a drop of blood flowing through your bloodstream.  In the body, blood moves rapidly through the blood vessels, in darkness, at a constant temperature of 98.6°F., and under much higher pressure than room air. These factors profoundly affect the characteristics of the red blood cells, making them less likely to stick together. When a drop of blood is squeezed onto a slide, all these factors are changed or eliminated in ways that may make it much more likely that the cells may begin to clump together.

In addition to the above, unseen chemical agents in the blood may contribute to the appearance of clumping, such as recently consumed fats or oils, antibody proteins left over from a recent viral infection or allergic reaction, food colorings, preservatives, birth control pills, aspirin, cold remedies, the acidity (pH) of the blood, the levels of calcium, sodium, and other circulating minerals – even the concentration of salt in the saline solution used by the analyst. All these factors – and others, like exercise, dehydration, prescription medications, vitamin supplements – can dramatically affect the blood’s behavior and appearance on the microscope slide.

This is not to imply that all people performing “live cell analysisî are unscrupulous. Rather, the public should be aware that the technology is easy to mishandle and many demonstrators are unqualified to make diagnoses and other health assessments based on the appearance of the blood cell images they see. If more people realized this, fewer would be unduly frightened by what they see on the monitor screen or by what they hear from the “analyst.”

Also see external article: Live Cell Analysis: High-Tech Hokum

From the January / February 1999 issue of Lifelines.