I n 1996, Peter D'Adamo, ND (Naturopathic Doctorate) (1956-) published a book entitled Eat Right 4 Your Type suggesting that people should eat certain foods based on their individual blood types. He recommends that individuals following the diet find out their blood types and then follow the diet for that blood type. There are four blood types: Type A, Type B, Type O, and Type AB. Blood type is determined by proteins on the surface of red blood cells. D'Adamo suggests that the proteins affect blood chemistry, and, therefore, that each blood type has differing nutritional requirements and specific foods which are beneficial and detrimental to the health of the individual. He states that the way to live "disease-free" is to only eat foods prescribed for one's blood type. For example, tomatoes and bananas are not recommended for Type A, whereas they are for Type O blood. He suggests reasons for the dietary requirements by blood type based on the region in the world in which each of the blood types evolved.
This concept of ethnicity influencing diet is not new. In fact, there was early work in nineteenth-century racial "pseudo-science" arguing that blood types were true racial markers and that diet was one predetermined factor (Polsky 2002). In the book, D'Adamo provides anecdotal evidence based on his father's research (he was an ND as well) that eating the proper diet will lead to improved health. Additionally he provides personal testimony from people who have attempted the diet and self-report improvements in health. Since publishing the initial book, he has published twelve supplemental books based on the same premise that blood type should determine dietary practices.
Similar to other popular diets, the blood-type diet is very restrictive, which leads to low compliance rates. To date, there have not been any studies published that support D'Adamo's claims; however, it continues to be a popular diet.
See also Alternative Medicine
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