Last week you may have noticed headlines such as:
- Ever heard about eating according to your blood type? Well, scientists say it’s bunk
- ‘Blood Type’ Diets Don’t Work: Study
- No science behind blood-type diets.
These headlines were the result of a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The researchers involved did not actually test the Blood Type Diet, they sought to review previous research on this diet system. Not unlike most other diet systems, there are no experiments using the Blood Type Diet. However, this does not mean the Blood Type Diet is ineffective, it simply means there is no proof that it does work.
A summary of his key points:
- “There is a big difference between an absence of evidence and evidence of absence.” There are many research studies that demonstrate fascinating connections between blood type and digestive and immune health that form the basis for the development of the Blood Type Diet system. For example, “ABO blood type is a significant influence on the digestive tract, from stomach acid levels to intestinal enzymes to the particular strains of bacteria that grow inside of us.”
- Most lay-people would be surprised to find out that most medical interventions lack a strong evidence base proving their effectiveness. I wrote about this in my blog Mythology of science-based medicine.
- It is incredibly expensive and logistically difficult to actually study diet systems. This is why so few of them have much research evidence behind them, but it doesn’t negate the value of seeking to improve one’s health via dietary changes.
So how do you know what is the best diet?
There is no one-size-fits all diet (as is self-evident considering healthy vegans and vegetarians coexist in this world with healthy paleo and Atkins enthusiasts!). If you are eating what you consider to be a “healthy diet” but can’t seem to reach your goals, start experimenting. See a naturopathic doctor, who will work with you, the individual, on your health concerns.
Want to learn more about the Blood Type Diet?
Read some of my past blogs here.