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The “Fad Diet” That Might Just Save Your Life


Believe it or not, there may be one “fad diet” that can actually stand its ground.

When I was studying to receive my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport, diet and nutrition were a large part of our curriculum.

We studied the biochemistry of many different foods and diets, and looked at their efficacy for optimal health, prevention of disease and weight loss. During my clinical rotations, I implemented many of these diets into patients’ treatment plans, but there was one diet that I saw consistently change people’s lives: The Blood Type Diet .

I remember the first time I read about it: A diet based on the type of blood flowing through my veins? What could that have to do with anything? Well, in actuality the type of blood your heart has been pumping all your life could dictate which foods will decrease your risk for heart disease. In fact, your blood type and its relationship with your body could also be responsible for those extra pounds you can’t seem to lose.

While some criticize the blood type diet, calling it a “fad diet” with little foundation in nutritional history, researchers have actually revealed impressive scientific evidence to support Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s blood type diet. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing the various elements of the blood type diet so that you can decide if making these dietary adjustments stand to improve your health.

Let’s start with the basics behind the ABO blood grouping system. This system separates blood into four different categories based on specific chemical structures on the surface of each our red blood cells. These structures are called antigens, markers found on the cells of the body that play a large role in the functionality of the immune system. So, blood group A has an “A” antigen, blood group B has a “B” antigen, blood group AB has both “A” and “B” antigens and blood group O has no antigens.

How blood type and immune response go hand in hand

Because of each blood type’s ability to modulate a different set of specific antibodies, the Y-shaped proteins that work to identify foreign bacteria and viruses in the body, someone who is blood type A is born with the ability to recognize that this type A antigen is “an approved” part of his system. Likewise, this person is also born with the ability to recognize that a type B antigen is not part of his system, therefore, the body will view a type B antigen as a potential threat that could be dangerous.

Once the foreigner is known, antibodies attach to the antigens and a reaction called agglutination occurs. Agglutination is a fancy term for cells clumping together and, in the case of a blood transfusion with the wrong blood type, agglutination can be deadly!

Scientifically speaking, it would seem that these factoids about blood type and how it relates to immunity would be unrelated to dietary recommendations. But as scientists started to examine the various chemical structures in our food, they discovered lectin, a sugar-binding protein molecule with a structure similar to some antibodies.

A lectin is a type of molecule present in different types of plants, grains and animals. Essentially, lectins are present in most of the foods that we consume. Because lectins are similar in shape to certain antibodies, they can behave in a similar way, causing potentially dangerous reactions with our blood type antigens — depending on one’s blood type.

Remember the agglutination reaction? When you eat a food containing lectins that are not compatible with your blood type, that same agglutination reaction occurs on a much smaller scale. Now, this does not mean that eating the wrong food could cause an immediate deadly reaction, but eating foods with the wrong lectins over a life time can increase your risk for different diseases, cause premature aging and simply make you feel bad! On the flip side, eating the right foods for your blood type can actually lower your risk for disease, slow down the aging process and make you feel like a million dollars!

Want more specifics about what to eat for your blood type? Everything you wanted to know about Blood Type O is coming next week!


Goldstein, Irwin J and Hayes, Colleen E. The Lectins; Carbohydrate-Binding Proteins of Plants and Animals. Advances in Carbohydrate Chemisty and Biochemistry. 1978. Vol. 35. 127-340.

Dr. Kinney, owner of KinnCare Inc. is a practicing Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in caring for patients suffering from anxiety, depression, gastro-intestinal disorders, hormonal imbalances and adrenal fatigue. Using personalized diet, lifestyle modification, genetic testing and counseling, homeopathic remedies, and herbal medicine, she is able to balance and boost the body’s natural regenerative capacity and help her patients overcome disease. She received a bachelor of arts from Vanderbilt University and is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine (UBCNM).

Dr. Kinney is currently vice president of the Maryland Naturopathic Doctors Association and an active member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. She enjoys running, yoga, reading, and spending time with her husband and 2 little girls. For more information about her practice visit or follow her on facebook.

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8 responses to “The “Fad Diet” That Might Just Save Your Life”

  1. Policychecker says:

    Dr D is great, used Swami for several years now. It is astounding. nice article by the way.

  2. Paul says:

    After seeing this article, i have unsubscribed from this site. Anyone who does any actual scientific digging into the BTD soon finds out that it is not based on any real facts at all. Bye now!!

    • Pat S says:

      your loss Paul! I am a 56 yr. old female who has suffered with stomach, gastric issues my entire life and has been to the top Drs. in the NY metro area throughout my life starting in early childhood. I have been misdiagnosed with more diseases than most people will ever have in 1 life time. At 26 I was finally diagnosed with celiac and thought that would be the end of my problems. I adhered to the diet 100%, 100% of the time and even raised 3 children on a complete gluten free diet but still continued to have prroblems and more emergency room visits than I care to remember. My last emergency room visit I thought we be my last since I honestly thought I was dying and so did everyone at the hospital when I was wheeled in. I had a severe very serious intestinal obstruction and they were going to do emergency surgery and remove 3/4’s of my lg. intestine and restructure my intestines since it seems I was born w/ abnormal intestines that none of the radiologists or top specialists they consulted with had ever seen anything like it, ever! All the Drs. I had gone to over the previous 55yrs. of my life to that point had never done a cat scan of my abdomen. I refused the surgery and signed myself out of the hospital a couple of days later once I had enough strength to stand. I was told that my problems would continue and w/o the surgery I would never be able to have normal bowel movements which is 1 thing that landed me there, and the next time I might nit be so lucky as to walk out. That is when I made an appt. with Dr. D’Adamo to try just 1 more thing before doing this surgery because my entire family was totally against my decision to decline the surgery after finally finding out what was causing all my problems my entire life. I 1st went to his office 22 months ago and have been on the genotype diet since and have never felt better and have not had 1 complication, stomach issue, or bowel problems since. Issues that have plagued me my entire life just completely vanished after starting to eat for my genotype and I was already eating a diet very similar to it but had to tweak it and remove several things and add others but the combination was genius! I will be on this for life and have started others on it with just as dramatic health changes so I am truly sorry for you that you will be missing out on something that could save your life!

  3. curlyq says:

    Paul’s response is very typical of the myopia you see regarding this diet. This doctor writes an entire article detailing the scientific basis of the system and the respose is that ‘check around and you will find that it is not scientific.’ Check what? Websites of authors with competing diet books? Paleodiet sites where everyone gets THAT diet? Or what about raw food sites where everyone gets THAT diet? Unplug yer ears dude, this diet may well be the most scientific thing you read about on this site.

    • John Coffey says:

      Obviously Paul does not understand the very essence of the science behing this ‘life style’ of eating! Very common response that I hear often; subject is not even willing to try for 30 days to make the most important discovery in his life…. like it was said, HIS LOSS!! I am not paranoid, but his ignorant response is like a ‘plant’ to muddy the waters and discourage others….Paul, if you are reading, WISH YOU WELL; let me know what you discover and the science behind it…..always willing to listen to research.

  4. Anna says:

    Why is it when you eat too many Dr. Atkins bars it gives you very bad gass?

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