Category: Blood Type Diet
Despite numerous attempts by many people to let Dr. Andrew Weil know that his traditional criticisms of the Blood Type Diet have no basis in fact, he still insists on peddling his absurd take on my work. In a recent interview for a Canadian website, Weil repeats the same criticisms he has used for the last ten years --despite the fact that they are as inaccurate and ignorant of the basic facts now as they were a decade ago.
Among other things, Dr. Weil says:
This is nonsense. I know of no evidence suggesting that prehistoric people ate diets related to their blood types. The studies D'Adamo cites have been published only by him and not in any scientific journals. By the way, dogs and other animals have blood types similar to those of humans. It would come as unwelcome news to some dogs that they should be vegetarians.
This tone suggests to me that Dr. Weil has not actually read any of my books.
I've never suggested that prehistoric people ate diets according to their blood types. No doubt they should have, but how would they have known? The blood groups were not discovered until 1900.
I have suggested that the variations in our different digestive physiologies stem from adaptations over time to changes in diet that were in part coded by the immunology that governs the gut. And that this immunology is significantly under the influence of ABO blood type.
Dr. Weil avoids or just plain neglects the physiologic links between digestion and ABO blood types. This lets him parody my theory as some sort of 'caveman-fiction.' The effects of secretor status on immune and metabolic function; the connection between lectins and allergies; the influence of blood type on intestinal enzymes; links between stomach hydrochloric acid levels and gut bacteria; the fact that the very foods we eat have 'blood types' --all of this receives no mention.
These findings and facts are part of over 7,000 peer-reviewed studies on blood groups published in the medical literature over the last century. Now, I know that allopathic (MD) education does not teach any of this, so I don't blame Weil for being initially uninformed. Everyone has got to start somewhere. However he does not exhibit any curiosity on the subject nor a desire to investigate it any further. If he'd have contacted me, I'd have probably shared them with him. Instead we're left with the rather smug assumption that since he's never heard of any of this, it must not exist.*
Folks, that is an attitude that they usually do teach you in allopathic medical school.
I've always gotten a kick out of his "Well, animals don't eat right for their type" argument. If he knew the species genetics of ABO blood groups he might be surprised to learn that the ABO gene locus resides on different chromosomes in the various species. In hogs for example, having type O blood gives you a full coat of black hair. By Dr. Weil's account, every human who is type O blood should also have black hair. Dogs, by the way, are a very cancer prone species, and do fare much better on something other than an exclusively carnivorous diet.
The late Arthur C Clarke said it best in his First Rule of Scientific Prediction:
When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
* Dean Ornish repeats a similar mantra to audiences that he is 'unaware of any studies linking heart disease to blood types', when even the most cursory of searches on MEDLINE would show 200+ articles since 1966 (and probably over 300 from 1950).
Perhaps you are a long time Blood Type Dieter and you're thinking of moving onto The GenoType Diet. Perhaps you've just heard about The GenoType Diet, but did not know about my New York Times bestseller, Eat Right For Your Type, the book about eating according to your blood type.
So.. which one is right for you?
Although they have very great similarities, the Blood Type Diet series of books and the new GenoType Diet book are actually two distinct dietary systems, which complement each other but work through different mechanisms.
Well, I've made it easy! Just complete the little quiz below and press the 'Find Out' Button. I'll tell you which book I think will be best suited for your needs.
Last night I gave a second lecture at the Wilton Library. This was sponsored by the library and open to the general public, so I was surprised and pleased to see standing room only. Despite the fact that I wasn't exactly feeling all that terrific (exhaustion from doing 17 radio interviews the day before and perhaps a bit of food poisoning as well) I gave what I think was one of my best lectures ever. Funny how all the fatigue, aches and pains disappear in me when it's time to talk about this material. Expression really is the best medicine. Signed a lot of books, which were supplied by the local town book shoppe, who sold out their stock. This is a really good thing since Wilton is one of the few towns that still has a local bookseller, versus most towns with their B&Ns and Borders, who have taken over the industry.
Random House has made available a small number of signed first editions of The GenoType Diet. You can read more about it here. They cost a bit more than the jacket price of the book, but I will be donating any of my royalties to a wonderful charity in Africa that helps women develop entrepreneurial skills. Teach an person to fish.. and all that.
Yesterday featured an interesting day of sorts. The amazon.com 'Health Bestsellers' featured 5 books that I have written as part of their top 25 bestselling health books. Cool.
Got a very nice note from Professor Gerhard Uhlenbruck, who had received his copy of The GenoType Diet. The good professor (the only scientist I have meet who has read Emil Cioran) shared these thoughts:
When I worked in the earlier sixties at the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine in London, my famous teacher, Prof. Dr. W.T.J. Morgan, who elucidated the biochemical structure of the ABH(O) and Lewis blood group antigens, used to say at various occasions: "Its all in the genes!". In fact, having experience in more than 50 years in clinical science and immunochemical research, I was so often confronted with this sentence, that it became a credo to me with the value of a proverb, which explained so many phenomena of patients and their very different reactivity to the susceptibility of illnesses, chronic diseases and early aging processes. When I first heard of Peter D'Adamo's blood group diet, of course I was very skeptical: Should we have missed in our book (Prokop/ Uhlenbruck: Human Blood and Serum Groups) such an important aspect? But years later, my interest switched to the nutritional field while working on the so-called Metabolic Syndrome, my interest increased in studying the role of genes in metabolic processes. I found out, that Peter D'Adamo's blood group orientated diet could probably be a first step in the right direction, however it could not be the whole story.
So I was not surprised at all, when now a book on The Genotype Diet by him was published as a next step in this new area. And I am sure it will not be the last one by him, as the role of genes and a subsequent personal, individual view of illness, diseases and health, including aging problems, has widened the approach of medical treatment, lifestyle change and a healthy nutrition.. We all live driven by our genes, sometimes feeling to suffer under their government,, and sometimes having the wish to change over our genetic outfit, to jump over the hurdle of genes or to influence their expression. Fat is not fate! I can confirm Peter D'Adamo in so far, as I have own experience in sport medicine, exercise immunology and in treating the Metabolic Syndrome.
According to the vision of D'Adamo, it seems also to me, that we can switch on the "good genes" and turn off the bad ones. In this context we must keep in mind that more than fifty percent of all illnesses are due to an inadequate nutrition. We know now much about anti-aging genes, which can be influenced by lifestyle (exercise) or by nutrition (as a curious example the action of red winew has been investigated). Looking on Peter D'Adamo's six Genotypes, being a medical doctor too, I must admit and I am a little bit amused, that one has so often met such types in the general medical practice. In any case, the book of D'Adamo is very stimulating, full of new ideas and creative concepts. Of course it will rise criticism and controversy, but at least I have observed, that people are very faithful to these diet suggestions, much more than to other diet programs: Who heals is right?
The sentence "Its all in the genes" has to be enlarged in that way that "its all in genes we ca influence". In this respect, Peter D'Adamo's approach is very optimistic, but this may be good in order to motivate people. To alter the genetic destiny is an old dream of mankind. What can be done in this direction, is limited but very understandably outlined in this book, written in a fascinating language and produced with many pictures and tables. It demonstrates also the profound knowledge of the author, its not a superficial "quicky", but with the aim not to become something like a dogmatic "bible", but a guidance book: Health as a creative process by activating personal thoughts and ideas about a longer healthy life, which is not permanent under the threat of disease. Life-style change means a revolution in the
personal life history.
We generally have the freedom to decide on our health. This book is showing a way, walking this way we must do alone, personally, guided by the genes we activate or suppress. Let me put it together: A person can keep healthy, fit and wise, by doing his diet and daily exercise! What motivates him maybe modified individually and in future. So I can recommend this book of my colleague as a start for a personal, individual life-style change. And
for that it is never too late.
What I so like about this guy (and surprisingly for an academic) is that he understands that there is a bigger game to be played, a greater goal to be achieved, in writing books such as the GTD than just winning some sort of nebulous intellectual argument between scholars. That is important too, but more often than not it is also irrelevant.
Who heals is right. Gotta love that.