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Supporters of the diet claim that some blood types are more at risk for arthritis than others due to genetic factors relating to blood types. They also claim that certain blood types should avoid specific foods that are not suitable for them. These foods can increase the amount of fat in their bodies, which triggers an unnecessary immune response that causes inflammation and increases their risk of arthritis.
On the other hand, opponents of the diet claim that there’s no scientific evidence to support the blood type diet hypothesis. Research has found that there is no link between the blood type diet or and the decreased risk of arthritis or any other disease. In addition, there’s no research conducted on the blood type diet and its effects on arthritis to be able to conclude that. Thus, scientists do not know whether or not the blood type diet is an effective dietary regimen for arthritis.
Opponents of the diet believe that the blood type diet might improve a person’s health, but this is because it encourages people to eat healthy, organic foods, and exercise regularly. They also argue that all of the blood types metabolize foods in the same way. Thus, eating different food for each blood type does not make any difference.
Opinion in favor of following the blood type diet to treat arthritis:
Supporters of the blood type diet for arthritis claim that there is a link between blood type and diseases like arthritis. According to them, each blood type can develop arthritis if they eat foods that they cannot metabolize. Also, specific blood types are more at risk for arthritis if they eat foods that contain toxic lectins. Both of these factors trigger the immune system and provoke an unnecessary response that would cause inflammation.
Accordingly, certain blood types need to eliminate high-fat foods and harmful lectins from their diet to prevent arthritis. For instance, blood type A and AB individuals need to avoid eating red meats because they cannot metabolize them properly. Meanwhile, blood type O and B individuals cannot metabolize carbohydrates properly.
If a certain blood type consumes inappropriate foods that cannot be processed correctly, each of these high-fat foods will release fat into the body. This triggers an immune response and causes inflammation, eventually leading to arthritis.
Research shows that red meat consumption is a risk factor for developing arthritis. In the study, “Dietary risk factors for the development of inflammatory polyarthritis: Evidence for a role of high level of red meat consumption,” scientists found that red meat contains fatty acids that “have potent proinflammatory activity.”
The study found that the consumption of high saturated fats increased the risk of arthritis because it increases the level of fats in the blood. Furthermore, the consumption of red meat increased the risk of developing the disease. However, the study did not test for meat consumption and risk of arthritis according to blood type. It concludes that all blood types are at risk of arthritis if they consume red meat. Therefore, the blood type diet hypothesis is not completely supported by scientific evidence.
Opinion against following the blood type diet to treat arthritis:
Many medical experts believe that, although there is a link between an individual’s blood type and arthritis risk, there is insufficient scientific evidence to support the hypothesis that the blood type diet, or eating particular foods according to our blood type, treats or reduces the risk of arthritis.
Opponents of the diet argue that the blood type diet does not prescribe foods that affect each blood type differently. This is because lectins in food react with all blood types in the same manner.
A 1980 study, “Lectins in the United States diet: a survey of lectins in commonly consumed foods and a review of the literature,” conducted by Nachbar and Oppenheim shows that lectins have agglutination properties, and lectins in legumes can be harmful to the human body. However, all blood types react to lectins in a similar manner. Therefore, experts believe that the main theory behind the blood type diet is false.
Experts also claim that the blood type diet is not supported by scientific evidence. In 2013, a study by Cusack et al. titled, “Blood type diets lack supporting evidence: a systematic review,” analyzed studies presenting data about blood type diets.
They found that these studies were poorly designed because the experiments lacked a control group of people following a standard diet. This works against the diet because it was difficult for researchers to compare the responses of people following the blood type diet to those following the standard calorie restriction diet. Therefore, researchers could not tell if people’s diseases improved because they followed the blood type diet or because of other factors.
In addition, there are no studies that specifically examine the effect of the blood type diet on arthritis. While there are plenty of studies that show that plant lectins may exacerbate inflammation and arthritis, blood type was not a determining factor. As a result, opponents of the diet cannot validate the blood type diet hypothesis.
The diet’s opponents attribute the blood type diet’s success in treating arthritis to healthy eating habits, such as eating organic fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed meats, high sugar foods, and refined carbohydrates.
The 2018 study, “The role of diet in rheumatoid arthritis,” found that diet played a significant role in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It even lists plant lectins as one of the factors that “promote rheumatoid arthritis.” However, the study concludes that everyone is equally at risk for increased inflammation caused by plant lectins. This contradicts the blood type diet’s premise that different lectins affect each blood type differently.
In addition to plant lectins, medical experts recognize that eating anti-inflammatory foods help reduce arthritic pain. For example, if a person incorporates fruits and vegetables with anti-inflammatory properties like oranges, pineapples, and spinach, that person may experience less pain and joint damage. Everyone can eat those fruits and vegetables without needing to pay attention to blood type.
Also, if people avoid processed meats, high sugar foods, and refined carbohydrates, which contain added sugars, they can prevent arthritis because sugar increases the levels of inflammatory markers in the body, leading to inflammation and possibly arthritis. Processed meats also trigger the release of cytokines or signaling proteins that trigger an immune response, which may cause the body to attack the joints.
That being said, these foods all cause inflammation, no matter what a person’s blood type is. Thus, opponents argue that specific foods do not affect particular blood types in different ways. Everyone, regardless of blood type, reacts to specific foods in the same way.