The blood type diet is, as you guessed, a diet based on the type of blood running through your veins. Created by Dr. Peter D’Adamo, this diet has received accolades from doctors to hollywood stars and can not only help you lose weight, but can reduce your risk for heart disease and improve your overall health.
Except for transfusions, the medical community pays little attention to blood types, but our blood reacts with everything; it is our immune system, our transportation system and it supports every organ system in our body. So it makes sense that Blood Type diet would be something worth looking into.
According to the diet, each blood type has a different metabolic profile, a different immune system profile and a different ability to adapt and react to stressful situations. Because of these differences there is really no diet, exercise or supplement regime that fits all. In fact, certain foods which may be healthy for one blood type, may actually be detrimental for another.
So what is the story behind these differences? To really understand how this diet works, you need to understand it on a cellular level. There are four different blood types O, A, B and AB. They are grouped based on specific chemical structures on the surface of each red blood cell. These structures are known as antigens. Blood type A has an “A” antigen, type B has a “B” antigen, type AB has an “AB” antigen and type O has no antigens.
Each blood type is also born with the ability to recognize its own antigen as itself and to recognize other antigens as foreign. For example, a person with type A blood is born with the ability to recognize the type B antigen and to attack it, leading to something called the agglutination reaction. Essentially, this reaction causes blood cells to clump together and to cease doing their job of delivering oxygen and nutrients to other cells in the body. This is ultimately the reason why a transfusion with the wrong blood type can be fatal and is a problem no one wants to experience.
So how does this relate to diet? The key to this important question exists in something called a lectin. A lectin is essentially an antibody-like molecule which exists on the surface of different types of food molecules. Since they are similar in shape to certain antibodies our body can treat them the same way it would treat an antibody. So when you eat a food containing a lectin incompatible with your blood type the agglutination reaction discussed earlier occurs. Don’t worry, this does not mean eating the wrong food could be fatal, but a lifetime of eating harmful lectins can contribute to chronic disease, rapid aging and weight gain. Conversely, eating “right” for your type allows the body to function optimally, leading to weight loss, reduced stress on your body and overall improved wellness.
Do you follow a blood type diet? How has it worked out for you?
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