The “blood type diet”

This diet is based on ‘research’ by American naturopath Peter D’Adamo.
The blood type diet first appeared in his book “Eat right 4 your type” in 1996. It has sold 5 million copies, and fooled as many if not more people around the world.

The basics.
The ‘science’ behind the blood type diet is so complex, that even in its simplest form, it’s hard to make much sense of it. Basically he is suggesting that each blood group has its own unique characteristics, which react negatively to the different elements found in the various food types. D’Adamo claims that the blood groups evolved at different stages during human evolution, and as a result, we are prone to different diseases. In his opinion, we should find the right combination of foods for each blood group to prevent disease.

Examples:
TYPE 0
Eat a low carb diet of meat and unprocessed food and avoid wheat, dairy and nuts. According to the book, this blood type is more likely to suffer from over-secretion of the thyroid gland, stomach ulcers and thinner blood.
TYPE A
Eat a high carb diet and a lots of fruit and vegetables. Avoid red meat. If you have this blood type, the author suggests that you are likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
TYPE B
Consume a diet of fruit, vegetables, grains, fish and meat.
The book claims that this blood type has the highest chance in overcoming heart disease and cancer.
TYPE AB
A predominantly vegetarian diet is suggested, with some fish on very rare occasions.

The biggest problem with the blood type diet is that in 15 years, not a single clinical study conducted has ever supported these ridiculous claims. At this point, let me give a quick run-down about what blood type refers to. Dotted on the membranes of our red blood cells, are small proteins called ‘antigens’. They are different for each blood group, and are inherited in a specific way from your parents. They serve many function related to recognition of the blood cells by the immune system, as well as blood clotting. Transfusion of an incompatible blood type can be fatal, as it can cause an acute reaction resulting in extensive clot formation around the body. These antigens have nothing to do with nutrient absorption, metabolism or predisposition to any disease. Thus, this whole concept is based on a metaphysical theory, completely detached from modern science and medicine, not on facts.
Experts agree that this diet is nonsense, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone recommending it other than a ‘homeopath’ or ‘naturopath’, who have no formal scientific education.
However, the diet mostly recommends healthy eating, although the imbalances in food groups it suggests is just not beneficial! So if anything can be taken from this diet, it is aiming to eliminate processed food, alcohol and caffeine (though recent work shows caffeine can be extremely beneficial, expect an article regarding the topic soon).

-K&S

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