Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Food, Blood Types, Science and Beliefs

The Eat Right for Your Type diet, based on blood types, has been around for years, and surrounded by a lot of controversy. It's been called "unscientific" and "blood astrology" by it's detractors. Yet it has many supporters.

It's detractors claim that people get good results from the diet, because anyone who stops eating junk food and starts to eat healthy, whole foods instead (as the blood type diet instructs) is going to feel better; however, that doesn't justify ALL the ideas advocated in the BT diet.

That makes sense to me. Yet there are some scientific rebuttles to some of the criticisms of the BT diet, that also make sense to me. So what is the truth? How much of it is science, and how much is it just people's beliefs? If some of it is junk science, is ALL of it junk science?

With so many things in life, there isn't always a black and white, yes or no answer. Sometimes the true parts are mixed in with lies or errors, and you have to sort it out. I expect some of the claims of the BT diet may have merit.

I've read advice by some people who have had success with the diet, yet who also agree with some of the criticisms about it. They say, use the diet as a GENERAL guide, but don't follow it religiously; that you must also listen to your body, and what it tells you about how certain foods make you feel.

They point out that even the author of the BT diet, has moderated his opinions, and now claims that one need only follow 70-80% of the advice for one's blood type, to achieve good results.

I can only wonder if at least some of the guidelines for the BT diet are worth considering. This website had some interesting explanations:

What is the blood type diet®?

[...] Fetus germ layer development is the sole important reason that we have blood type.

The five major ways people died in the 20th century were blood type specific.

Different blood types make different enzymes in the liver and pancreas.

It’s been known since the 1950’s that blood type O is more prone to ulcers.

It’s been known since the 1960’s that blood type A is more prone to heart disease.

PubMed contains over 6,000 MEDLINE articles about blood type that are not related to blood transfusions [...]

At the source page, each of those sentences is a hyperlink to the source article making the claim. At the bottom of the page, are three links to a brief tutorial that explains the blood type diet, along with extensive footnotes to back up the claims that are made. It makes for interesting reading.

I've been reading up on the BT diet lately, because of all the trouble I've been having with Uric Acid (Gout, kidney stones). My uric acid levels are on the high side of normal, and my doctor wants me to consider taking Allopurinol for it. I don't want to.

Uric acid is produced from eating meat. Interestingly enough, the BT diet says my blood type should be a vegetarian. I resisted that idea at first, but then I remember for several years, up until 2004, I ate a mostly-vegetarian diet, and I felt pretty good (but of course, I was also YOUNGER back then!). Anyhow, I'm wondering if I should "play" with the BT diet, and see if I get any worthy results? I may do that. Good old fashioned trial and error.

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