Click below to listen to this broadcast:
Interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz, Oprah and Friends on XM Radio, February 13, 2008
Click image below to listen other interviews by Dr. Peter D'Adamo
I wrote this note as a comment on my colleague Rick Kirschner's blog:
I thought long and hard on this, especially since I've spent a lot of time dealing with misrepresentations of my own work. On one hand there is the ever-present desire to turn the other cheek and convert my response into a teaching opportunity. This works in certain circumstances --often if the skeptic is actually curious about that which they are skeptical of.
Most are not.
In most other circumstances, turning the other cheek will often get that side of your head smacked as well. As Ho Chi Minh once said in reference to Mahatma Gandhi, "Had he grown up in Vietnam, he'd have ascended into heaven long before he did."
Because these people are often prisoners of their own zealotry their tactics are not very often of the velvet-glove variety. Since they don't respect that which they are skeptical of, and anything goes and every tactic is permissible
Of course this automatically brands them as pseudo-skeptics not skeptics, since true skeptics are more than happy to amend an existing opinion with the presentation of new evidence. Most of these guys just feel that modern allopathic medicine (and hence the public) is under attack from vicious, dangerous woo-merchants and it is their anointed job to exterminate this vermin.
Thus it is unlikely that appeals to reason will ever work effectively, since dialogue is not what they are interested in -- anymore than someone would ever be interested in dialoging with a cockroach before they stepped on it. People who dialogue with cockroaches usually don't step on them.
Like Ho, Adolf Hitler also had an opinion of Gandhi, remarking once to Lloyd George: 'Why doesn't someone just shoot him and be done with it?'
Let's call a spade a spade: The more extreme of these 'anti-SCAM' pseudo-skeptics will not rest until we're completely discredited and eliminated.
Thus their tactics and criticisms are almost always of the 'gotcha' variety. This is usually performed by trying very hard to cover their opponents in manure so that they can stand back, point to them and say 'look, they are covered in manure.'
Gerhard Uhlenbruck, the worlds leading lectin researcher, and one of the few scientists who has openly acknowledged the value of my work has a nice way of reflecting on the silliness of what these people do with their time:
"Never chase a lie. Let it alone, and it will run itself to death."
Stephen Jay Gould also had a nice way of turning the tables on pseudo-skeptics. This from 'The Structure of Evolutionary Thinking' (2002):
"If none of the foregoing charges can bear scrutiny, strategists of personal denigration still hold an old and conventional tactic in reserve: they can proclaim a despised theory both trivial and devoid of content. This charge is so distasteful to any intellectual that one might wonder why detractors don't try such a tactic more often, and right up front at the outset. But I think we can identify a solution: the "triviality caper" tends to backfire and to hoist a critic with his own petard -- for if the idea you hate is so trivial, then why bother to refute it with such intensity? Leave the idea strictly alone and it will surely go away all by itself. Why fulminate against tongue piercing, goldfish swallowing, skateboarding, or any other transient fad with no possible staying power?
So, if Uhlenbruck and Gould are correct, why do so many people spend some much time making life miserable for people with new ideas?
Probably because, although we talk of ideas, it all distills back down to power and money. New ideas often threaten the exact type of person who (personality-wise) would go on to make the perfect pseudo-skeptic. The type of person who buys into the existing power structure, hook, line and sinker. Anything that takes away from the reflected light ('My son the doctor.') they have spent so much time and money on gaining. For which they so sacrificed and assiduously played the game in order to secure. This is not just a threat -- it is also a nightmare.
So what is the answer?
Like any test of will (and for a myriad of reasons) victory goes to those with the ultimate staying power.
In military terminology there is a tactic called 'the refuse.'
Back in the old days, these guys would just line up opposite each other on some level field and go at it. Typically, since most people are right-handed, the right side of an army's line would often be stronger than the left. Thus the idea of any good commander would be to 'refuse' to fight (usually by slowly pulling back) on his left side while trying to press the advantage on his right.
This is a fundamental tactic in Aikido martial art. It is called 'entering,' the idea being to enter inside the physical space of the attacker and then by turning as you enter, you align your force with his and for a brief transcendental moment, see the world as he sees it. Very hard to have a fight with someone who is trying their hardest to see your point of view. It is very hard to hit something which has as its ultimate goal to be where you are not.
I stopped writing for pseudo-critics years ago: You can't please them, they won't buy your books anyway and the people I really want to help educate don't want to read that type of stuff.
I just refused to do it.
Now, while most magazine articles critical of my theories have long-ago been relegated to the landfill, you can still buy my first book only in hardcover despite being twelve years in print.
Why? Because the theory works in many people and they go on to tell other people.
Now, if I need to buy a new hammer I'd be somewhat interested in reviews that tell me which hammers 'not to buy,' but ultimately if my best friend tells me which brand of hammer he's happy with, I'm probably going to go with that advice. I would also find questionable reviewers who had nothing good to say about all hammers in general.
Let's commit to always doing the hard work. Let's accept the fact that we practice a revolutionary form of medicine and let's stop looking for approbation from the very people whose preeminence we threaten and who cannot appreciate the strides we've made and the struggles we've endured in order to put this profession back on its feet.
Let every patient see the value of what we can do. These pseudo-skeptics will always have their coffee claches; their little goldfish bowls, where naturopaths do nothing right and allopaths nothing wrong. But let's refuse to make it into something bigger than it really is, because that is not the main battlefield.
Instead, let's wake up every day determined to redouble our efforts to improve the lives of our patients.
I'll end this diatribe with two more Vietnam Era quotes, which to me seem oddly relevant since US health care is currently in a Vietnam-like quagmire.
The first is from Lyndon Johnson, a fundamentally un-quotable president. Johnson did once say something I thought was of note. In dealing with criticisms of his Great Society program, he was heard to say:
'It takes a master carpenter to build a good barn. Funny thing though, is that any fool with a match can then burn it down.'
Let's remember that we are master carpenters. The public can be trusted to see the benefit of good barns. Let's also refuse to put the matches in the hands of our opponents.
The second quote is from a meeting between a Vietnamese general and an American general in Hanoi several years after the war ended.
'You know' said the American general, 'you never beat us in a single battle.'
'Yes, that is true.' replied the Vietnamese general, 'however it is also irrelevant.'
Remember water always beats rock. That's because water can go around rock. Let's refuse to butt heads with rocks.
And as the quote goes "Medicine progresses funeral by funeral."
They were referring to the doctor's funeral, not the patient's.
Take care and good luck with the new book.
I received an interesting question from my Facebook Page.
Thanks for providing an awesome guide in the Genotype Diet. Been practicing it as best I can for about 7 months and feel powerful. (I'm also doing good vitamins which is definitely part of the reason I feel really good.)
When I talk to people about the Genotype Diet and the benefits I've achieved from it, the main question I get is: Exactly what research has determined the genotypes, and the superfoods/toxic foods in the book? I can't begin to answer that question as I don't recall seeing it addressed in the book or on the website.
I'd love to learn more about the types of tests that you did to determine which people are in what genotypes as well as which foods are in which categories, per type.
This is a great question, but given that the best 'scientific answer' would be to show you the data tables and computer source code I can only try to explain a bit of the process. The problem with mass-market books is that you can only provide the upper-most level of information and a simplified version of that to boot, so I understand.
What I term the 'genotypes' (really 'epigenotypes' or 'morphotypes' but try to get a publisher to agree to use these words) are semi-synthetic constructs involving a stepwise statistical analysis of variation. They stem from the phenotypic (real world) characterizations reported for the ABO groups, Rh, secretor and additional biometric markers (D2-D4, fingerprints, etc). The idea was to look for pleiotropic (sympathetic) relationships between the multi-dimensional genotype/ phenotype data, especially if they are known to exert their effects through transgenerational actions. Using multivariate analysis we then look to see how the data separates or groups together. Since, with the exception of secretor, taster, Rh and ABO, we're looking at phenotype, I felt very comfortable including data from other, traditional typing systems (Ayurveda, TCM) which were also based of physical traits.
The base data includes virtually all published scientific tabular data on variations in physiology and pathology associated with these parameters, in addition to our own profiles of roughly 3,000+ additional people. At that point the data was filtered according to degrees of three basic metabolic 'biases': 'thriftiness' (metabolic compromise), 'receptorism' (immune tolerance) and 'reactance' (auto-immunity).
The genotypes are not 'perfect' typologies (every Explorer does not look or act exactly as every other Explorer) because we cannot possibly encapsulate all variation in everybody. Two families using the same set of blueprints will most likely build two different houses, due to differing financial constraints, choice of land plot, etc. Most of the time and given the tools we might encapsulate 30-50 percent of the data variation (principal components) in any one person and what we encapsulate in one might be slightly different than what we get for another. In statistical terms this is called 'multiple inclusion criteria' and it is a keynote of factor analysis or 'fuzzy logic.'
What results are six basic 'types' that with considerable tweaking encapsulate an acceptable amount of variation. Crunching the system into six types and cramming them into a hard-coded 'book' is much less effective than dynamically generating one-to-one diets in software, but it is still a pretty good approximation of some basic phenotypic variation and is more helpful than not.
Once we get here, the next step was to match the expected physical manifestations to a large database of foods that I've been collecting for the last two decades. For each food, this database contains about 300 individual values (gluten content, vitamin A, known allergen, etc.) At this point a second set of algorithms takes over and each food is evaluated constituent-wise based on a weighed value system much like a lawyer might argue a case in court. For example, evidence of developmental instability or constrained growth (differences between left/right sides of body, certain fingerprints, short leg length) might result in limiting foods that cause excess glycation.
If no negative attributes (for example, if the food contains a lectin or is known to encourage bacteria overgrowth, etc) is recorded, then the next step is to see if a case can be built for the food having any specialized benefit (for example, sardines might become a superfood if increasing the amount of RNA nucleotides is desirable; artichokes because they encourage probiotic growth in a strain of bacteria known to be good for a certain blood type). Lacking either of these elements, the food is simply labeled 'food' and considered more or less neutral.
In the simple case of rice versus rice milk it is most likely additional gums in the milk that are the issue. Certain gums amplify the effects of problematic proteins in other foods.
People also ask a lot about peanut oil versus peanuts or cherries versus cherry juice. Usually it is a difference between one form that contains some sort of problematic protein versus the other that doesn't. Also, occasionally in the Genotype diet (unlike the BTD) with complex foods, sometimes one nutrient influences the value of another which alters the value of the food.
Here are blogs of mine tagged as 'genotype diet.' You will see some elements of the process discussed in detail in many of these entries.
An interesting lecture on biomimicry got me thinking: With these new ways of analyzing intent by the study of naturally occurring shapes, functions and forms, we may be witnessing the 'naturopathization' of imagination in other arts and sciences.
"Now how does one know what is best? There needs to be a decent, well-developed, and endlessly exercised sense of taste for quality, of making strong choices between the excellent and the rest. An open mind but not an empty head: an intense willingness to see things and an intense willingness to make judgements about quality. "
-Edward Tufte ('Beautiful Evidence')
We need more of this 'comparative-reflective' thinking.
Someplace in the Talmud (a Jewish holy book) there is a commentary to the effect that God does not allow illness to exist until the solution or cure has first been created. What a marvelous take on time-space.
But how would we find that cure? We'd look to nature. To my way of thinking, over the course of his or her career, the good physician becomes increasingly comfortable visiting this invisible world, but only if fortified with a deep knowledge of the natural workings of things.
These excursions (really thought experiments) cannot but produce the most creative solutions to suffering, especially when guided by principles similar to those such as Tufte's (a statistician and sculptor-- not a physician-- again testifying to a certain conceptual universality.)
I'd paraphrase it as all knowing and all trusting, but also realizing that when we know very little, we should probably trust very little as well. Just contrast human intuition (usually a leap of faith) with animal intuition (genomic knowingness).
No single diet theory can address all aspects of our individuality, and only a fool would claim that soy, red meat, grains, coconut oil or anything else is universally good or universally bad for everyone.
For example, people who are blood type O appear to derive significant benefit from a diet including hormone and antibiotic free meats and poultry. There is a very basic physiologic reason for this: those with type O blood have almost three times the levels of an enzyme in their intestines called ‘intestinal alkaline phosphatase’ (IAP) . This enzyme performs two very important functions in the body. First, IAP splits dietary cholesterol into smaller fragments, allowing for their proper breakdown. Second, IAP enhances the absorption of calcium from the diet. Now you'd think this was cutting-edge, late-breaking news since it is obviously of tremendous interest in these nutrigenomic times. However, the first observations were made over four decades ago.
In addition to these two critical functions IAP is an important influence on the ability of the digestive tract to heal. Thus in most of our type O patients (44% of the population) we see a marked improvement in their IBS, colitis and Crohn’s disease when they increase their protein and cut back on their carbohydrates. 
Blood type B makes considerable amounts of IAP as well, but type A’s make very little. This probably explains why most studies that have looked at heart disease and blood type show a significantly higher rate of problems with blood type A individuals. These folks really should follow a Mediterranean-type diet.
Later studies showed that type A not only secreted almost no alkaline phosphatase in their intestines, but whatever little they did secrete was in and of itself inactivated by the presence of their own A antigen. 
Thus, we have here one of the strongest indications for the long term benefit of a low-fat diet in type A, both with regard to the susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, and (although not mentioned here) their additional susceptibility to cancer. Following the type A eating plan, with its emphasis on a healthy fats, low animal protein and the avoidance of foods high in phenylalanine, is the best method to maximize digestive efficiency in type As, lower their level of intestinal dysfunction, and to influence their susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.