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What Is The Blood Type Diet?

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD
September 16, 2023
September 18, 2023

In the quest for optimal health and well-being, various diets have emerged over the years, each claiming unique benefits. One such dietary approach is the Blood Type Diet, which suggests that an individual's blood type should determine their food choices. In this article, we will delve into the origins of the Blood Type Diet, its development, and the current state of scientific research surrounding its claims.


The concept of the Blood Type Diet was introduced by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo, a naturopathic physician, in his book "Eat Right 4 Your Type," published in 1996. Dr. D'Adamo proposed that an individual's blood type is a key factor in determining the ideal diet for that person. He argued that each blood type (A, B, AB, and O) has unique genetic characteristics that evolved over time due to varying dietary needs.

According to Dr. D'Adamo's theory:

  • Blood type A came out during the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture, and individuals with this blood type are said to thrive on a vegetarian-based diet.
  • Blood type B allegedly developed later, coinciding with the emergence of nomadic lifestyles and the consumption of a more diverse diet, including dairy products and meat.
  • Blood type AB are said to have a blend of A and B characteristics and may benefit from a varied diet.
  • Blood type O, considered the oldest blood type, is thought to have evolved during the hunter-gatherer era, and those with this blood type are advised to follow a high-protein, meat-based diet

Scientific Research and Criticisms

The Blood Type Diet suggests that following specific diets based on your blood type can improve your health. However, scientific evidence does not strongly support this claim. One study found that certain diets, like Type-A and Type-AB diets, were associated with lower BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides. The Type-O diet was linked to lower triglyceride levels. However, these associations were independent of an individual's blood type, so the findings do not support the Blood Type Diet hypothesis.

A systematic review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also concluded that there is currently no solid scientific evidence supporting the Blood Type Diet. The review found no significant relationship between blood type-based diets and health outcomes like cardiovascular disease, body weight, or immune function.

Critics of the Blood Type Diet point out two main concerns. 

  1. They question the lack of biological plausibility behind the diet's claims. The diet's recommendations are not based on solid physiological or genetic evidence. Blood types are determined by specific antigens on red blood cells, which do not directly influence nutritional requirements.
  2. Regardless of your blood type, following a healthy diet, such as a vegetarian diet for Type A, can still reduce the risk of inflammation and heart disease. In other words, a healthy diet can benefit individuals regardless of their blood type.


The Blood Type Diet can be challenging to follow due to its restrictions, especially if your current eating habits don't align with the recommended foods for your blood type. Instead, following theMy Plate Diet, which is widely recognized as the gold standard for a comprehensive healthy eating guide. If you have specific health conditions, consult your Care Team for a scientifically supported diet plan, such as the DASH diet for hypertension. Professional guidance and evidence-based approaches are key to making informed choices for better health.

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