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"Blood-Type" Diet May Not Promote Health

Update Date: Jan 16, 2014 08:12 PM EST

New research has debunked the theory behind the blood type diet, which claims that people's nutritional needs vary by blood type.

"Based on the data of 1,455 study participants, we found no evidence to support the 'blood-type' diet theory," senior author of the study, Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics at the University of Toronto, said in a news release.

"The way an individual responds to any one of these diets has absolutely nothing to do with their blood type and has everything to do with their ability to stick to a sensible vegetarian or low-carbohydrate diet," said El-Sohemy.

The latest study found that the associations between each of the four blood-type (A,B, AB, O)  diets and markers of health actually have nothing to do with a person's blood type.

The theory behind the blood type diet is that people with different blood types process food differently. The theory states that following a diet specific to one's blood type can improve health and decrease the risk of chronic illness like cardiovascular disease.

After looking at a group of young and health adults who provided detailed information about their usual diets, blood type and cardiometabolic risk factors, such as insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides, researchers found evidence that blood-type diets help promote health.

"There was just no evidence, one way or the other. It was an intriguing hypothesis so we felt we should put it to the test. We can now be confident in saying that the blood type diet hypothesis is false," El-Sohemy concluded.

The findings are published in the journal PLoS One.

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