Blood Type Diet: Should Celiacs Care?

Food PyramidI don’t know how you feel about horoscopes, but I tend to regard them with suspicion — even though they are sometimes eerily accurate.

I feel similarly towards the concept of a blood type diet. The idea that my blood would somehow dictate the foods that are potentially healthy/hurtful for me, well it makes me raise an eyebrow.

Mainstream science seems to scoff at the concept as well, admitting that none of the advice is potentially harmful (there is no blood type that thrives on whipped cream and corn syrup) but citing a lack of studies proving any specific benefit to the concept.

And yet…well, it’s interesting.

The concept of eating for your blood type can be traced to naturopathic Dr. James D’Adamo, whose son, also a naturopathic doctoer (Dr. Peter J D’Adamo) currently practices in Brooklyn. According to the basic overview on his website, the blood type most likely to have trouble with grains and dairy is Type O.

Going further, he says that if you are Type O you likely benefit from animal proteins and intense exercise like aerobics or running, and are harmed by grains, dairy and to some extent certain beans and corn. You’re also most likely to have allergies.

People with blood that’s Type A, conversely, are well-suited to a vegetarian lifestyle, unharmed by grains, and likely to enjoy calming and centering exercises like tai chi. They are at increased risk of diabetes and cancer.

Type B’s seem the best-off; they don’t have any “to avoid” foods on their short list and they enjoy moderate exercises. Still, they’re apparently most likely to develop autoimmune disorders (which would include celiac disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc).

Type A-B’s, predictably, have to find a balance between the recommendations for Type A and Type B.

I’ll be frank: I don’t know my blood type. I know a vegetarian A and a grain-minimizing O, but also a vegan/grain-loving O. So now I’m asking you:

If you’re gluten-avoidant, are you also Type O? If you’re vegetarian, are you Type A? Do you think this is all a load of bunk?

 


34 thoughts on “Blood Type Diet: Should Celiacs Care?”

  1. Interesting enough, I come across this when I’m seriously starting to believe I have Celiac Disease – I am Type B. Aside from a number of recently surfaced skin issues and some stomach problems, my mother has been diagnosed with Celiac disease and I also have Alopecia Areata. So, I am leaning towards there being some truth to this blood type diet. However, in my opinion, that is not to say that all vegetarians are Type O no more than all people with autoimmune disorders would be Type B. But maybe there are some predispositions…maybe we would fare better with certain dietary lifestyles…

  2. I am type O and gluten and diary intollerent. So fits me. My hubby is type A and doesn’t have to cut anything out but then again my daughter is A as well and is gluten and dairy intollerent like me. Hum.

  3. I’m going with “load of bunk”, personally. I’m a celiac who loves grains and meat alike, and who prefers intense aerobic exercise over all other forms. I have Type A blood.

  4. Just one datapoint…but I am type A, was vegetarian for nearly 20 years before I was diagnosed with gluten as well as soy and dairy intolerance. Given the amount of wheat/gluten, soy, and dairy I ate as a vegetarian, it’s very surprising it took so long to be diagnosed. Now, three years after my dx, I am no longer vegetarian, and will be embarking on an anti-inflammatory diet in January, giving up all grains, seed oils, and legumes, and seeing if it helps my gut to heal. In my opinion, the blood type diet is speculative at best. It certainly doesn’t seem to apply to me…

  5. I am type O and am sensitive to gluten, dairy, soy and corn. Those foods give me sinus infections and aggravate my asthma. I have chronic allergy symptoms and have been frequently sick most of my life. I am healthier now that I know what foods to avoid but my immune system is damaged from 30 years of abuse. I doesn’t seem very scientific, but anecdotally it appears to be true.

  6. I’m a celiac with Type O

    It’s not the blood type, but the HLA DQ-2 and DQ-8 alleles in our DNA that’s relevant to celiac (and some other autoimmune disorders.)

  7. I am type O and his book and my ND are actually how I found out I am either allergic or extremely intolerant to gluten. I have not been tested for Celiac Disease, but I had been sick( stomach, major fatigue, headaches, muscle issues, brain issues,etc.) for about 4 or 5 years before I figured it out. I am also currently not able to eat corn, soy, beets, and a few other things that destroy my intestines. I do NOT think it’s bunk. But I’m sure people will jump categories or be kind of an outlier. It happens.

  8. I am an O, was vegetarian for a time, literally lived on gluten, and never felt so crummy in my life, though I did not make the Celiac connection until much later. I’ve always been aware I felt the best on an Atkins type or low carb diet, now I know why.

  9. I’ve read Dr. D’Adamo’s book and personally I found it interesting enough to pay attention to the foods on the Type O blood list for about a year, along with my husband who was blood type A/B, but he was very sick of eating turkey, no beef, early on and really was more of a carnivore. I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac two years ago and have a sensitivity to dairy, both foods a no-no for a type O. I also have MS. Both my parents are type O and according the the gene test, one parent gave me Celiac and the other a gluten sensitivity.

    I found myself trying to low carb, follow the blood type diet, and then deal with going gluten and dairy free. I was driving myself nuts.

    I emailed a nutritionist I trust and his take on the blood type diet is this… “I do know that there are very seasoned naturopaths who use blood type as ONE of many factors in designing individual programs, but the ones that use it successfully have taken D’Adamo’s very intensive seminars, and use 13 different blood subtypes as well as serum testing for a number of other measures, and then integrate that all into a program. The ERBT book is extremely simplified and does not seem to me to be a very good basis for designing a diet. There are tremendous exceptions to the “rules” and i have found the simplicity of it to be mostly useless- it doesn’t provide any info you couldn’t get on your own by tweaking and experimenting.” So I decided to give up focusing so much on the blood type and stick with being a low carb Celiac.

    I do recommend the book though because it’s an interesting read. I think much of what it said about type O was applicable to me.

  10. I am Celiac and type O. I enjoy all the intense exercise and do not eat grains, beans, or corn. However I eat animal proteins and dairy all the time. So I am close to this but not totally.

  11. I’m a beef-craving celiac with type A+, diagnosed nine years ago.

    I think that, similar to most naturopathic advice, the benefits really vary per person. One person may SWEAR by a certain diet (or whatever) while it does nothing for the next person who appears to be in similar circumstance.

  12. I used to think it was bunk, but I keep meeting people that swear it made them feel better in general. Like anything, I’m sure it doesn’t apply to everyone, but I’m happy that it has helped a lot of people to feel better.

  13. I am type A pos. I have been diagnosed gluten intolerant by Dr Kenneth Fine. My blood DNA is HLA DQ-1 – DQ-1 meaning I have double gluten sensitivity genes. Also dairy, soy, yeast intolerant. I think if further study is done, the blood type theory will prove out to be wrong.

  14. I got the book many years ago eaat for your blood type I thing it was a lot of hype Then I was diognosted with celiac I looked back to the book and it was right on I continued to have problems and was tested for other intolerences dairy is a big no no also peanuts the book I found now is right on about things I should avoid adn things I should est also very true for all my children

  15. I am gluten intolerant and type O negative. I eat dairy and don’t seem to have a problem with it, so that’s half right according to this theory. I also enjoy intense exercise when I do exercise, which is rarely.

  16. I have Celiac and type O+. Diagnosed 4 yrs ago @ 62, along with breast cancer. Looking back I probably had celiac for at least 20 years. I thrived on grainy bread, pasta & have a sweet tooth. My daughter has Juvenile Diabetes and is type O-. It took nearly 3 years to get my blood down to -3 from off-the-charts while being very careful not to eat gluten or cheat on my diet. The problem was cross contamination that kept my blood levels at 17 for 2 years. Prior to going gluten free, I only had vague symptoms and no diges-tive problems until I went gluten free. Those problems may have been due to chemo?? & have continued. I am now extra vigilant, but am still not absorbing all of my nutrients & food goes right through my system. I notice a slight improvement, but don’t think my blunted villa have completely healed. I drink lactose-free milk and regular hard cheeses and a little ice cream without any problems. I have considered going on rice and bananas for a month or so and taking multi-vitamins. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  17. I am type A. I do great with meat, one of my staples. Start to feel poorly without it in my diet.

    I am gluten intollerant and get very sick from even a small amount.

    I need more than mild exercise (and need to be better about it, admitted!).

    The only thing it got right is I have type 2 diatetes (see the note about more exercise).

    I do believe that there are some “alternative” medicine things that the mainstream population would not believe that work, but not this one.

  18. I think that there can be some common factors but one diagnosis doesn’t fit all. We have genetics to give us celiac disease, too, not just blood types. However, I’m type A and vegetarian and celiac. I was vegetarian for at least 8 years before I even heard about type A’s being more suited to a vegetarian diet. But its been 16 years now and I’m doing ok! Except for the celiac diagnosis 5 years ago…

  19. I tend to agree with the Blood Type book. The book has been around for
    the last 18 years. And when his book was published based on his
    father’s theories, not only did the general public read it, but so did a few
    hundred-thousands medical professional and they then produced new books based their businesses by reading the Blood Type Theory. Although many wrote other books, many of them changed the way their books were written, it still was based on his current blood type book and opinion but written and said a different way.

    Food has changed very much over the last 18 years especially in this
    country. Bread is no longer a delicious way to consume any type of
    bread from the wheat to the gluten-free. All bread is either a GMO, or some other additive has been modified to taste like bread. If one is not exercising, all foods will affect ones health negatively. if one is not burning off the extra calories, by simple and cheap means of walking, or
    stretching. Eating less is better, then eating more.

    There is a direct link of why so many people are now learning they
    have a sensitivity to gluten, or learn they have Celiac. That is why
    no one can eat the same diet, and why so many people have different
    choices to their meal planning.

    The problems I see with gluten-free products is that they contain too
    much sugar, from Tapioca flour, Rice Flour, and tons of sugar, and Gum Gar. Most of the gluten-free, wheat items taste just horrible!

    Gluten-free foods not only prevent gluten-sensitivities, but with all
    the added sugar in just about every product, from cookies, to cakes,
    pancakes, bread, there is too much of SUGAR, and it can be a GMO
    and cause Diabetes.

    Just so you know McDonald’s and even Burger King is not real food.
    The fried french fries are the worst assault on ones body! The food is
    toxic in a fast food restaurant, adding nothing but high fat calories.

    What’s the solution eat less!

  20. Seems you all have just touched the surface of the Blood Type diets. I encourage you all to read more right from the source. Dr. D’Adamo wrote over 14 books dealing with blood types, lectins and genetics. Live Right for Your Type will take you a bit further and the Genotype diet a bit more. No where in his books does he say “all Celiacs are blood type O” and contary to what the blogger says A diet is not a diet filled with grains and gluten ( but rather a diet filled with loads of vegetables). His website as well as the forums are very informative. Keep curious hope to see you at http://www.dadamo.com. And to the poster who mentions genetics– read up on epigenetics and you will find that your genes are not your destiny– but that they have volume controls that get turned up or down based on how you live.

  21. First, I would like to say that I have been following Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s diet for over a year and feel so much better on the diet. I am a type O with heart disease in my family, so I have made changes such as only eating grass fed beef and eating a lot of fish, and cutting out most grains and dairy. O’s however, can eat certain grains like amaranth, oats, spelt and rice, but none are considered beneficial for O’s. He divides food into three categories – beneficial, neutral or avoid.

    Second, there is an error of omission in the article. While A’s can eat grains, wheat is an AVOID for most, if not all A’s according to Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s original book, Eat Right For Your Type. A’s can eat amaranth, oats, spelt, millet, etc., but wheat is out, which is what most people think of in terms of grains and is certainly the most commonly available grain.

  22. I have fibromyalgia, and many foods trigger my condition to flare up. Gluten and dairy are biggies, but I couldn’t identify all my food triggers on my own.

    Thanks to Dr Peter D’Adamo’s personalized diet software, I’ve identified all the foods I should avoid as well as the ones to emphasize. My health isn’t perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than it was before I stumbled upon Blood Type Diet. I’m a type O, and my plan lists almost all gluten-containing grains as “avoids” although I can have rye occasionally. I need to avoid most cheeses, but I can have small amounts of a few specific soft cheeses. I’m enjoying a broader diet, as well as better health, than I did when I was on the Paleo Diet.

    I also have my kids on the Blood Type Diet. When they eat off-plan, they’re much more prone to temper tantrums and moodiness, and they get sick more often. It’s interesting how my my type O daughter reacts badly to wheat while my type B son has a bad reaction to tomatoes.

  23. I have actually studied the diet rather than just decided what i feel about it, It works a treat for me, my family and many other i know. It is unfortunately that your interpretation of it is so blinkered and limited. there are in fact many more deciding influences that actually sub type you blood and therefore give many more possibilities than just O, A, B and AB. there is also the study of you secretor status that defines you. Dr Peter D’Adamo is a genius. Thanks God i found his work, It helped in discovering what was wrong with my daughter and many others. Try reading one of his books or actually visiting the site http://www.dadamo.com you will be glad you did, i am. Kind regards and better health to you all.

  24. Anyone “Doing Well” on Dairy and “Loving” Grains might benefit from doing some research on their history and also what Dr D’Adamo actually says about them. With respect, your interpretation of “Doing well” is hardly scientific lol, as you age i assure you will be “doing great” and “Loving” grain “A lot less”. some people “Do well” on diet soda, all be it briefly 😉 and other die hards insist cocaine is good for you, 😉 and who doesn’t “Love cake?” usually the same ones that say a little bit of what you fancy is alright, surprise surprise they are the ones with pre diabetes and small intestinal overgrowth or Candida. I think if you have a problem with Wheat you would benefit immensely by following one of Dr D’Adamo’s more individualised diets http://www.dadamo.com/media/gtd.htm

  25. I was having severe problems with beef around the time I first laid eyes on one of Dr. D’Adamo’s books. It grabbed my attention because of the issues I was having with beef and other foods. Lo, and behold, he was right on target so I started on a wonderful, life-changing journey! That was twelve years ago, and I’ve never looked back. I would like to say that I had eaten and enjoyed steaks for many years with no obvious problems, but suddenly it was causing a tremendous amount of pain in my legs in the beginning and then progressed to total inability to digest it. This was all before I saw Dr. D’s book. I love the way I feel now, and I am by no means a spring chicken! I am an A-Type. I have a friend who is also an A-Type who was diagnosed with celiac and is now completely cured of this problem because he has used Dr. D’s recommendations, and they worked!

  26. My blood DNA is HLA DQ-1 – DQ-1 (double gluten sensitivity genes); sensitive to casein/ dairy, and yeast. These sensitivities are genetic some other sensitivities to food are a result of poor gut health.
    Dr. D’Adamo continues to research and evolve the blood type diet.
    Anyone who goes on the Dadamo.com website forum will find a wealth of information. The diet does indeed help many, many people to heal.
    People looking to improve their health, who have an open mind, can adapt the diet to any allergies/sensitivies they have and over time will find their gut will heal and they’ll be able to reintroduce some of those foods they were sensitive to, but probably not true foods that are true IgE “allergies”.

  27. The snippet of dietary advice quoted on this page comes from Eat Right for Your Type. Dr. Peter D’ Adamo has gone into greater depth in individualised nutrition. Some conditions like Celiac require more than the raw ABO dietary differences to be observed.

    For some people and some conditions the relatively rare non-secretor genetic comes into play. Non-secretors do not secrete their blood type antigen into their digestive tract and this effectively masks the ABO expression. Non-secretors are more disposed to becoming celiac.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1374875/

    Type O’s who are non-secretors seem a lot more A-like in some aspects, and A’s who are non-secretors seem a lot more O-like. The books that begins to explain this is Live Right for Your Type. To get a real grip on understanding different non-secretors you should look at “The Genotype Diet” or its paperback edition “Change Your Genetic Destiny”.

    Although I am not Celiac, I am a non-secretor with extensive digestive issues and obesity with complications affecting my major organs to boot. I have lost 80 lbs with an advanced, personalised version of the Genotype diet, and hope to lose another 50 this year, so I know the science works on me.
    My advice to every celiac would be to adopt the Genotype Diet or the more individualised Swami program. A practitioner who is capable of administering the Swami program would be even better.

  28. My blood type is B+. At first, I was skeptical about the effectiveness of blood type diet. But since I have been suffering from allergic rhinitis since childhood, I’m always in constant search for a natural solution and decided to give it a try. I particularly avoided gluten foods and chicken. After 6 weeks, I felt more energetic with marked improvement on my knee strength when climbing stairs. After 12 months, I experienced a marked improvement on my rhinitis. There are occasions when I end up eating the ‘avoid’ foods – the effects would manifest in nasal congestion and some fatigue. Overall, the blood type diet worked for me. I’m actively sharing my experiences to help my relatives and friends with their respective health concerns…:-)

  29. Not sure if I agree, only because I have Celiac’s, so I am obviously gluten-free. However, I am a vegetarian as well, with no desire to eat meat. I am pretty sure I am Type B blood. With that, the only thing that lines up is that I am more likely to have an autoimmune disorder, which I have.

  30. I am O blood type and I tried to be vegetarian and got really I’ll despite having a fairly diverse diet, and around the same time developed issues with gluten. I also am prone to allergies :)

  31. I gave the Blood Type Diet at try about 13 yrs ago. It definitely made a difference for me. Then after a few years and kids it became difficult to cook consistently in-line with the Type O so I just followed a wheat free, dairy free, corn free, and white potato free diet in general, which are basically the major avoids for Type O’s. The times when I did not follow the wheat or dairy avoid guideline, I would definitely feel the difference in the following days after, but once I avoided again I would feel better overall.

    The diet got a lot of negative press, and rightfully so as I don’t think there is adequate support. For instance, after noticing that Ezekial bread would make my stomach sour a bit, I looked at the ingredients and found that there was gluten added. After much research I found that the ingredients of the most popular brand had apparently changed. Now I would think that this would be a glaring fact all over the knowledge base or the support forums as Ezekial is a recommend for O’s, but instead I had to search very deep to find the answer. This also caused me to questions the Spelt issue as well but no adequate answer has been found. So I simply avoid spelt as well and stick to Rice bread.

    All in all, avoiding wheat/gluten, dairy, corn has made a difference for me and I think there is something to this diet. Also, nowadays there are so many products available that I don’t always have to cook from scratch if I’m feeling lazy or want a sweet treat. Plenty of gluten free, dairy free products out there.

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