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'Eat Right for your Blood Type' Diet

by June Butlin(more info)

listed in metabolic typing, originally published in issue 49 - February 2000

One of the most successful nutritional approaches to understanding health can be found in Dr Peter D'Adamo's Eat Right for your Blood Type diet. Peter's research was initially inspired by his father's theories on the importance of blood types in predicting a person's biochemistry. This led him to identify the genetic fingerprints of the four blood groups, O, A, B and AB, and link them with four optimum diets.

The significance of the blood types can be traced to the evolution of mankind, as each blood type contains the genetic information from our ancestors' diets and ways of living. Amazingly, this information still affects many of our traits today, particularly our immune systems. Our unique immune systems recognise invading substances, and one method of determining whether a substance is alien to our bodies or not involves the use of antigens (chemical markers) found in the blood. Each blood type possesses different antigens to detect foreign invaders, and once recognised, the immune system is able to eradicate them by producing the necessary chemicals, hormones, white blood cells and antibodies. The immune system also produces antibodies to other blood types. For example, type A will have antibodies to type B blood and type B will have antibodies to type A blood, which explains why types A and B cannot exchange blood.

Antibodies are also produced to certain foods, and it is the four blood types which schedule the immune system to tolerate different kinds of foods. Each blood type is programmed to accept the kinds of foods that were the major part of their ancestors' diet thousands of years ago.

Whether a blood type accepts a food or not depends on a factor called lectins, which are low carbohydrate protein molecules found in most foods. These have agglutinating (sticky) properties, which allow them to attach to other molecules and other molecules to attach to them. The power of "lectin agglutination" can be seen in the assassination of Gyorgi Markov in 1978 by a Soviet KGB agent.

Initially, the autopsy could not find an answer to his death, but a thorough search revealed a gold bead permeated with a chemical called ricin in Markov's leg. Ricin is a toxic lectin extracted from castor beans and is so potent that even the tiniest amount can cause death by agglutinating red blood cells into large clots and blocking arteries. This is an extreme case and thankfully, an uncompromised immune system generally protects us from most lectins.

Lectins in food are blood type specific and if incompatible, the lectins can agglutinate the cells and cause damage within the body. For example, the lectin protein found in milk is not beneficial to blood type A as it can not be digested. It will either result in an immune response of histamine, complement and IgA antibodies causing inflammation in the lining of the stomach, or damage to the intestinal brush borders resulting in unrestricted macromolecular permeability, or it may be absorbed into the blood stream, agglutinating cells and causing major problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, or kidney malfunction. Other lectins are gluten, causing inflammation of the villi in the intestines, and vegetables from the deadly nightshade family, exacerbating arthritic symptoms.

The key to health is to avoid the lectins that agglutinate your particular cells and Dr D'Adamo's work is based on identifying which foods are most suited to which blood types.

The diet includes 16 food groups for each blood type ranging from meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, eggs, fats, cereals and vegetables to herbal teas. Each of the groups is divided into three categories of foods that are beneficial, neutral or to be avoided. Let's take a closer look at the four blood types.

Type O – 46% of the population

The anthropologically oldest blood group is described as The Hunter. This group is associated with high levels of stomach acid and cholesterol-splitting intestinal enzymes, and can easily metabolise animal protein. It has a greater incidence of blood clotting disorders, as well as gastric ulcer and inflammatory diseases. This blood group should avoid grains, particularly wheat and corn.

Type A – 42% of the population

With the development of agricultural practices came The Cultivator. This blood group secretes smaller amounts of stomach acid and is primarily associated with vegetarian protein. A types flourish on a high-fibre, complex carbohydrate diet, with foods such as tofu, legumes and beans. They have a high rate of diabetes, heart diseases and certain cancers and should avoid wheat, dairy and meat.

Type B – 7% of the population

Next to evolve is The Nomad associated with cultures using large amounts of fermented dairy products. They are best suited to an omnivorous diet with protein sources from fish and dairy. They have a high incidence of urinary tract diseases such as kidney and bladder infections due to the absence of the alloantibody B, which protects the body from specific bacterial infections. They should avoid foods containing corn, chicken, buckwheat and peanuts.

Type AB – 4% of the population

This modern blood type is The Enigma which combines the characteristics of groups A and B and can therefore tolerate a wider range of foods. These types do well with vegetarian protein, dairy and seafood. They are prone to heart disease, cancer and anaemia, and should avoid red meat, corn, buckwheat and some beans.

The plan also includes advice on supplements, stress, exercise and personality for each of the blood types.

There are many benefits of following the diet such as avoiding common viruses, infections and toxicity, encouraging anti-ageing and natural body weight. It also aids in the fight against life-threatening diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver failure. Above all, Dr D'Adamo believes that this diet restores the body's natural genetic rhythm to achieve health and vitality.

* Next Month – Case Studies on The Eat Right for your Blood Type Diet


D'Adamo Peter. The Eat Right Diet. Century Books. ISBN 0 7126 7784 4. 1998.


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About June Butlin

June M Butlin PhD is a trained teacher, nutritionist, kinesiologist, aromatherapist, fitness trainer and sports therapist. She is a writer, health researcher and lecturer and is committed to helping people achieve their optimum level of health and runs a private practice in Wiltshire. June can be contacted on 01225 869 284;

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