What are Polyamines? How do they affect your Health?
The polyamines are proteins called biogenic amines and are present in low concentrations in all human, animal and plant cells. Your body’s organs require polyamines for their growth, renewal, and metabolism. Proper cell development depends on polyamines, which have a profound stabilizing effect on a cell DNA. They are also critical to the healthy function of the nervous system. Young children need polyamines for growth—far more than adults.
Many dietary lectins, in addition to being blood type specific have also been shown to be potent inducers of polyamine productions in the gut. This is probably the result of the intestinal cells synthesizing large amounts of polyamines in an effort to repair the damage to the microvilli caused by the lectins.
Paradoxically, lectins can actually lower the total levels of polyamines in the body, producing enough disturbances to the gut wall to cause the cells of the intestinal line to begin sequestering any and all polyamines they can find, to speed repair, thereby lowing the total level of polyamines available for use by other tissues in the body. This is one possible reason b why vegan-raised children tend to be smaller on average than comparable omnivores. The high lectin content of a typical rain based vegan diet can cause the intestinal cells to sequester enough polyamines to actually deprive other tissues of needed polyamines, thereby stunting growth of tissues like the childs’ bones and muscles.
Many lectins cause unhealthy growth in the size of certain organs including the liver, pancreas, and spleen. These organ enlargements are the result of a huge influx of polyamines into the organs. For example, wheat germ lectin into the diet of lab animals reduced the digestibility and utilization of dietary proteins and significantly slowed the growth of the test animals. It also induced extensive poloamine-dependent growth in the pancreas and the small bowel tissue. These same effects have been shown to occur with several bean and legume lectins as well. It is not unrealistic to assume that the stimulatory effects of wheat germ lectin on polyamine synthesis, coupled with the lectins ability to mimic the actions of insulin, account for the undesirable weight gain in many Type Os and Type Bs who over-consume it.
Polyamine control through diet is one more issue of balance in nature: We need enough polyamines to help growth and healing, but not so much as to slow down our immune systems and change the metabolism of our tissues. Following the Blood Type Diet allows you to control the intake of food lectins that would otherwise increase levels of polyamines in your intestines.
Biochemistry textbooks often refer to polyamines as “dead flesh” proteins. When living tissue is shocked, or dies it protein structure cracks open. Bacteria or enzymes contained in the food itself subsequently convert many of the protein fragments in polyamines. This is why polyamines are found in very high amounts in the tissues of severely injured trauma patients and in food product wow texture and taste has been permanently altered—shocked by excessive processing such as rapid freezing. Though some advocates of universal vegetarianism use polyamines as a justification for avoiding meat and seafood, polyamines are found as abundantly in vegetables, grains, fruits, and sprouts as they are in animal foods. And often, if they’re not found in plant foods per se, they are produced by the body in response to the lectins contained in many plants, grains and legumes.
Polyamines are typically found in fermented foods like cheese, beer, sauerkraut and yeast extracts. The polyamines are thought to be produced from amino acids by fermentation by enzymes formed by the micro-organisms. They are also found in processed foods where quick freezing or canning has ‘shocked’ the structural integrity of their tissues.
Most ‘aged’ or ‘sharp’ cheeses are very high in putrescine. Vegetables such as potatoes, canned/frozen vegetables (other than green vegetables) or certain fruit products, such as oranges and tangerines, can have very high concentrations of putrescine. Fermented soy sauce (containing wheat) is also a rich source of polyamines, particularly putrescine. Shrimp, especially the packaged and frozen types have also been shown to have high levels of putrescine. Mature cheeses, fermented soybeans, fermented tea, Japanese Sake, domestic mushrooms, potatoes and fresh bread are high sources of spermidine. Cereals (other than bread), canned or frozen vegetables, meat products, red meat and poultry are high sources of spermine. The polyamines putrescine, spermidine and spermine are essential for cell renewal and, therefore, are needed to keep the body healthy.
Are your polyamine levels too high? The liver manufactures albumin, an important protein used to rapidly transport other nutrients; it decreases production in times of environmental, nutritional, toxic and trauma stress. Polyamine synthesis has a positive effect on albumin levels. Albumin is used to assess the long term nutritional status of patients since it reflect body protein stores for the last month. The reference range: 3.5 – 5-2 G/dL. Levels above 4.8 probably indicate higher polyamine levels, levels below 4 are safe levels. A few symptoms are bad breath, headaches from fermented foods such as wine, bear, or sauerkraut.
There are many more blood type specific symptoms. For that list you can come into the store to purchase Live Right for you Blood type book by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo.
If you just want to do a preventative maintenance program following is a list of foods that lower polyamines: Larch Arabinogalactan (ARA6), walnuts, green tea, dark blue, purple or red pigmented fruits, pomegranates, plantains, and guava. Onions, dill, tarragon, broccoli leaves, and garlic. Make sure you are blood type specific with these foods as they may be avoids for your blood type.
Much of this information was taken from Live right for your type By Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo.