Friday, April 23, 2010

Paleo Diet Q & A: Blood Type and Diet

Q: Professor, I pulled my information from and attributed the statement, "Paleo is truly is the world’s healthiest diet," to you, which I doubt is a stretch.

Have you gotten into any of the information about the blood-type-related nutrition info? I've only heard snippets, but I'm curious what an expert thinks of it.


A: Hi Seth,

Thanks for your support. I am currently completing a paper on nightshades, and when it is done the very next topic in the queue is my critique of the Blood Type Diet, which I have been researching and reading about for the past couple of weeks. Although I don’t want to give away the story line, I can say that the concept of four specific types of diet for the four ABO blood groups (A, B, O & AB) is not supported by the available data. However, having said that, susceptibility to disease, and the robustness of the immune response to pathogens throughout the entire GI tract, is very much related to ABO blood groups. Our group has published at least one paper on the dietary lectin/disease concept and we believe that common dietary lectins may promote certain diseases (allergies, autoimmune disease) while simultaneously promoting chronic low level inflammation. However, little evidence in either humans, animals or tissues point in the direction that dietary lectins elicit disease symptoms exclusively via interaction with ABO antigens. Additionally, of the hundreds of plant lectins that have been identified, only a very select few have been demonstrated to bind gut tissue. Hence, most dietary lectins are benign, simply because they cannot penetrate the gut barrier.

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor

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