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Other Systems Of 'Diet Typing'


QUESTION

Are you familiar with the other systems of metabolic typing? By this I mean the acid-base balance system and others (fast/slow oxidizer, etc.) Can they be used to improve the acuracy of the your own theories?


ANSWER

There are several other systems of 'biotyping' in the popular diet literature, including those that you have mentioned, the doshas of Ayurveda, and others.

Although I cannot prove that these other systems are without some value, it is a sad fact that none of these systems of 'metabolic typing' have any support in the scientific literature. Not a single study. Thus they do not possess the scientific and scholarly backbone that I feel most comfortable functioning within and recommending to others.

In contrast, we could search the medical databases, such as MedLine, OMIN or Ovid and find thousands of scientific articles on lectins, blood groups and secretor subtypes. In addition, the blood groups have had their genetic basis well determined, as well as any disease susceptibilities. In contrast, a search of the medical databases using keywords such as "fast oxidizer" or "blood acid pH" or "metabolic typing" does not yield a single scientific study, an no one has ever identified any such gene for these differences (an important distinction, since without a genetic basis for transferance to offspring, you have nothing better than a collection of random occurences.)

In addition, there are no definitive ways of determining these subtypes. Thus many of the proponents use questionaires (always of dubious value) to help determine the metabolic types. Others, such as the proponents of the blood pH theory maintain that measuring blood acidity levels can determine metabolic type. This is arguable from two perspectives. Biochemically, blood pH changes over the 24 hour period of the day, in addition to exercise levels, food intake and other factors. Technically, blood pH levels are very difficult to measure, as the samples will often change pH within minutes of their collection, causing variable results when they are eventually tested.

Blood types are much more useful, your blood type virtually never alters over your lifespan, the testing is quite easy and the determinations virtually fail-safe.

So in answer to your question- yes, I am familiar with the other systems of metabolic typing, but other than the recent inclusion of the secretor subtype system I do not feel comfortable recommending them (and certainly not as any 'refinement' of my own work!) until they demonstrate a scientific basis and the ability to function in concert with the best of bioscientific medicine.*

* An exception here may be Ayurveda, which although not well validated by bioscientific medicine, does have a very long and historical tradition. Interesting, many foods for the individual Ayurvedic 'doshas' match the blood type diets with uncanny acuracy (as high as 75% concurrance according to one authority.)




The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.



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