For the past couple years a few friends and I have tried to adhere to a concept called the blood type diet.  The rationale behind the blood type diet is quite compelling and I think for those of us that have tried to stick to it we do feel better in the end.

Here’s some background in a nutshell.  Our ABO blood types have evolved over the past 20 million years in a common ancestor to humans and other primates (Source: Science News).  The blood types differentiated under different evolutionary and environmental pressures around the world.  The O blood type is the oldest and most common blood type and occurs in about 63% of the world’s population.  It is high in frequency among indigenous people in Central and South America, Africa, Australian Aborigines and in Western Europe.  The A blood type is found in about 21% of the world’s population and has high frequence in some European populations and Australian Aborigines.  The B blood type is the rarest found in only 16% of the world’s population and is most common in people from Central Asia and some African populations (Source: Distribution of blood types).

How does this tie into diet?  I found this nice explanation on Dr. Michael Lam’s website.

According to naturopath Dr. Peter D’Adamo, author of Eat Right For Your Type, a chemical reaction occurs between your blood and the foods you eat. This reaction is part of your genetic inheritance.  This reaction is caused by a factor called Lectins. Lectins, abundant and diverse proteins found in foods, have agglutinating properties that affect your blood. So when you eat a food containing protein lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen, the lectins target an organ or bodily system and begin to agglutinate blood cells in that area causing a variety of problems.

Dr. Adamo’s website elaborates further.

[…] research into anthropology, medical history, and genetics led him to conclude that blood type is “the key that unlocks the door to the mysteries of health, disease, longevity, physical vitality, and emotional strength.” Dr. D’Adamo explains that the practical application of the blood type “key” is that it enables you to make informed choices about your dietary, exercise, supplement, and even medical treatment plans. With the blood type “road map,” these plans can now “correspond to your exact biological profile” and “the dynamic natural forces within your own body.

The result is that different blood types do better with certain foods than others.  I know for myself that I don’t absorb some foods well leading to all sorts of dietary problems, allergies, etc. These sensitivities correspond quite well to my blood type profile.  If you’re interested in learning more (and know what blood type you are) check out the following dietary charts that let you know what sorts of food you would be best to eat and best to avoid.

Type O

Type A

Type B

Type AB

Obviously eating for our blood type won’t answer all our health problems as your personal situation is often a bit more complex.  However, it does provide a starting point to education, awareness and healthier eating.  If you give it a try for a couple weeks leave a comment here and let me know if you feel any better.  I know I have certainly benefitted from trying out the blood type diet and sticking with it as best I can.