Does the ‘blood group diet’ work?

I first came across this diet diet almost 10 years ago, and I did think it was quite an interesting idea, and follows the idea that: Blood group O...

I first came across this diet diet almost 10 years ago, and I did think it was quite an interesting idea, and follows the idea that:

  • Blood group O represents the ‘hunter’, and so the ideal diet is high in protein.
  • Blood group A represents the ‘cultivator’ or farmer, and so require a vegetarian style diet.
  • Blood group B represents the ‘nomad’ or traveler, these people have a flexible digestive system, and thrive on dairy based foods. Nomadic people are generally from Asian decent.
  • Blood group AB is a blend of group A and B, and is refereed to as the ‘enigma’. People with blood group AB will thrive off a a mix of plant and dairy foods.

The diet quite nicely explains why different people seem to thrive of different diets, and why no one diet will work for everyone – something which is widely accepted.

When I first came across diet I did some reading on it, and quickly realized it followed a basic formula for a ‘fad’ diet. Something which will be popular for a short period of time – it is a nice idea with nice promises but nothing more. So I was quite surprised when someone told me that some of their friends were doing the diet (I assume with the aim of losing weight) – has the blood group diet come back? Does it work?

Well, to date, there is still no clinical evidence supporting any and all claims made by the author of the blood group diet. This is typical of most fad diets, but usually they don’t really stand the test of time, I mean have you heard of anyone on the Cabbage Soup Diet recently? No, because it doesn’t work, and to be honest, is just silly.
I can’t say why the diet has lasted so long, but there are other problems aside from lack of clinical evidence which suggest it doesn’t work:

  • People from Asian descent are the most genetically intolerant to dairy, this is a fact, and it the exact opposite of what the blood group diet suggests.
  • The order in which D’Adamo (author) says the various types of blood groups emerged/ evolved is wrong.
  • The age of blood groups is wrong.
  •  D’Adamo’s theory of food specific lectins being specific for certain blood groups is widely discredited.

There actually is nothing to say this diet will work for anyone, weather you are trying to lose weight or be healthier.

However, as with many fad diets, there are success stories, some may be fake, but some are true. A number of these success stories do say that they found the diet very restrictive, and lost weight because of this (especially with the vegetarian diets). This is actually very common, people rarely eat a wide variety of foods, and so when you go on a diet, especially a restrictive one, you tend to only stick to the few foods you know, which is very restrictive and often results in weight loss because you simply are not eating much.

You could say that if you got the results you wanted then the diet worked right? Well, yes, but because you didn’t get the results from the proposed method, there is no saying it will work with everyone, which is why there is so much inconsistency with the results of this diet, and all fad diets for that matter. Why not just eat less?

The only positive point of this diet is that it does advocate natural eating, so modern crap like sweets and crisps are out of window for all blood groups, this alone can help some people lose weight though!

Image courtesy of ec-jpr

I hope you enjoy the site, and like what we have worked hard to create, any feedback is very much welcome, after all this site is for you! Graduate of Nutrition & Food Science (Bsc) at Reading Uni.

The Health Cloud was created in December 2011 by Craig and Morg who have been friends since high school. Our focus is to educate our readers with unbiased health articles and on the side we run our own online health shop. This website is for you, so drop us a comment or send us a tweet, we always take the time to reply!