The Blood Type Diet: Is It Right for You?

Followers often say it is the only thing that worked for them, but is there any real evidence that the Blood Type diet is any better than other fad diets out there?

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Here is the theory: each blood type has a different set of characteristics. Different foods, even different exercise regimens are appropriate based on your blood type. Even your personality is thought to be affected by blood type.

According to Peter D’Adamo, the author of Eat Right For Your Type, lectins in foods react differently to each blood type. Your specific blood type antigens may be incompatible with certain foods. His theory is based largely on the evolutionary theory of blood types by William Boyd, an immuno-chemist and anthropologist.

D’Adamo believes blood type O is the earliest blood group originating 30,000 years ago. He suggests type O’s are “the hunter” and do well on a high protein diet with more meat. They are prone to thyroid issues, benefit from adding bladderwrack (an easily gathered shoreline seaweed) in the diet, and supplementing with DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) to counteract excess body acid production. According to the diet, “hunters” should avoid wheat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol.

Blood type A is considered “the cultivator” dating back 20,000 years ago. D’Adamo recommends a plant based diet with whole grains and vegetables comprising the majority of the diet. They do best with organic foods, a low stress lifestyle, plenty of rest and moderate exercise like tai chi.  It is suggested they avoid excess protein from meat and fat in the diet, and limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Note: the coauthor for this book followed the blood type diet for A’s and found it helpful.  For people who want to try it, transition into your correct blood type diet slowly over a period of weeks so as to not shock your system.

Blood type B is thought to be “the nomadic” blood type arriving 10,000 years ago with a more flexible digestive system and better immune system. They adapt well to different environments and altitude changes. They perform best with mentally challenging exercise like martial arts, hiking or golf. According to this diet, type B’s should avoid chicken because it contains an aggravating lectin that could lead to higher risk for stroke and autoimmune disease. Further, B’s are the only type that does well with dairy products.

Blood type AB, found in less than 5% of the population, is the most recently evolved type, arriving less than 1,000 years ago. It is the only blood type created by the intermingling of different blood types rather than by the environment. Type AB’s do well with a diet comprising the best elements of both diets for A and B. They should avoid smoked or cured meats, caffeine, alcohol and high stress. Instead, they should focus on fermented soy foods, seafood, and green vegetables.

What Do The Experts Say?

There is little scientific evidence that any of the Eat Right For Your Type dietary recommendations work for disease prevention. In fact, some studies suggest that lectins, which are specific for a particular ABO blood type aren’t even found in foods, other than a few exceptions like lima beans. Lectins which react differently to blood types are found more often in non-food plants or animals. Still, D’Adamo suggests that his diet is more about the foods you do eat versus what you avoid.

There are a few disease risks linked to blood type. Gastritis is somewhat more prevalent in type A’s and O’s (which incidentally make up about 80% of the world’s population). Anemia and diabetes are more prevalent in type A’s or B’s. A 2009 study suggests pancreatic cancer may be more common in type A and B’s. Research shows disease-carrying insects seem to prefer Type O blood.

I believe in a plant based diet for everyone, not just type A’s for overall health. See the diets on this website and in my book Diets for Healthy Healing.

What Do The Followers Say?

The Blood Type diet has a strong community of support. An internet survey with over 6500 respondents (conducted by D’Adamo’s website) reports that people following the Blood Type Diet for a month or more in a variety of health concerns, had improvement in 71-78% of cases. Most commonly, respondents reported weight loss. Note: Since each blood type diet eliminates specific problem groups of foods, like grains, dairy, meat and fish, the weight loss result is not surprising.

D’Adamo’s newest work is titled The Genotype Diet and expands upon his blood type diet theory to include more information on identifying your personal genotype and how it reacts with your environment to either create health or disease.

Learn a lot more about the blood type diet on www.4yourtype.com.