The Boldest of the New Books on Alternative Medicine:
How Blood Type Determines Your Health
One of the hallmarks of alternative medicine is the recognition of the biochemical uniqueness of each individual and the need to tailor treatments and prescriptions to match that individual variability. While a person's genetic code, ultimately, is the basis of this individuality, basing treatments on genetic factors is too broad an approach and not consistent with alternative medicine.
According to naturopath Peter J. D'Adamo, N.D., in his book Eat Right 4 Your Type, the missing link might be the four basic blood types: O, A, B, and AB. "There had to be a reason why there were so many paradoxes in dietary studies and disease survival," why some people lose weight and others do not on the same diet or why some people keep their vitality as they age, and others do not, says Dr. D'Adamo.
His 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."
Type O-People with type O blood fare best on intense physical exercise and animal proteins and less well on dairy products and grains, says Dr. D'Adamo. The leading reason for weight gain among Type O's is the gluten found in wheat products and, to a lesser extent, lentils, corn, kidney beans, and cabbage, Dr. D'Adamo explains. Ideal exercises for Type O's include aerobics, martial arts, contact sports, and running.
Type A-Those with blood type A, however, are more naturally suited to a vegetarian diet and foods that are fresh, pure, and organic. As Type A's are predisposed to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, "I can't emphasize how critical this dietary adjustment can be to the sensitive immune system of Type A," says Dr. D'Adamo. Type A's prefer calming, centering exercise, such as yoga and tai chi.
Type B-Type B's have a strong immune system and a tolerant digestive system and tend to resist many of the severe chronic degenerative illnesses, or at least survive them better than the other blood types. Type B's do best with moderate physical exercise requiring mental balance, such as hiking, cycling, tennis, and swimming.
Type AB-Blood type AB, the most recent, in terms of evolution, of the four groups and an amalgam of types A and B, is the most biologically complex. For this group, a combination of the exercises for types A and B works best, says Dr. D'Adamo.
Blood type, with its digestive and immune specificity, is a window on a person's probable susceptibility to or power over disease, according to Dr. D'Adamo. For example, Type O's are the most likely to suffer from asthma, hay fever, and other allergies, while Type B's have a high allergy threshold, and will react allergically only if they eat the wrong foods. Type B's are also especially susceptible to autoimmune disorders, such as chronic fatigue, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Type AB's tend to have the fewest problems with allergies, while heart disease, cancer, and anemia are medical risks for them.
With arthritis, Type O's, again, are the predominant sufferers because their immune systems are "environmentally intolerant," especially to foods such as grains and potatoes which can produce inflammatory reactions in their joints, says Dr. D'Adamo. Types A and B are the most susceptible to diabetes, while types A and AB have an overall higher rate of cancer and poorer survival odds than the other types.
While you cannot change your blood type, you can use knowledge about its nature to implement a dietary plan biologically suited to your makeup, says Dr. D'Adamo, who supplies copious details on eating plans for all four types. "Most of my patients experience some results [within two weeks of starting the diet plan]-increased energy, weight loss, a lessening of digestive complaints, and improvement of chronic conditions such as asthma, headaches, and heartburn."