Mindful Quote(s) of the Day 07APR 2014 – Suffering

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.” 
? Thích Nh?t H?nh

Ding Dong The Witch is Dead – Fred Phelps

You know… you’ll never catch me praying…

A chimpanzee brain at the Science Museum London

A chimpanzee brain at the Science Museum London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope AND pray, that this man, Fred Phelps… should not go to hell (if you believe). He was the manifestation of hell on earth. He was satan.

His punishment… and I am fully qualified to dish out this particular punishment if you take note of my position and my employer… PUNISHMENT… an eternity of humbly service those he spewed so much hatred at. AND… his brain.

Jael Phelps picketing Trinity Episcopal Church...

Jael Phelps picketing Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may be able to learn a lot about him from his brain. We must get the brain… because he bred multiple generations of beliebers who are more repulsive than the man himself… the founder of the church. His church does not die with him.

In the end, he was excommunicated by the one and only church he founded. The werstboro baptist church… They said he was too soft, and in the end… he had no church.

An eternity of humble service to others. Make it so. Say I.

Mindful Quotes for the Present Moment Wed 05 March 2014

Thich Nhat Hanh

Cover of Thich Nhat Hanh

“In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, the will invent one in order to mobilize us.”

 

When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.

(nl: IJssla krop)Iceberg lettuce

(nl: IJssla krop)Iceberg lettuce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change”

Thich Nhat Hanh

William Shakespaere Poetry Tuesday ~ Venus and Adonis

from Venus and Adonis

But, lo! from forth a copse that neighbours by,
A breeding jennet, lusty, young, and proud,
Adonis’ trampling courser doth espy,
And forth she rushes, snorts and neighs aloud;
The strong-neck’d steed, being tied unto a tree,
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he.Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
And now his woven girths he breaks asunder;
The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds,
Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven’s thunder;
The iron bit he crushes ‘tween his teeth
Controlling what he was controlled with.His ears up-prick’d; his braided hanging mane,

Upon his compass’d crest now stand on end;
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send:
His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,
Shows his hot courage and his high desire.Sometime her trots, as if he told the steps,
With gentle majesty and modest pride;
Anon he rears upright, curvets and leaps,
As who should say, ‘Lo! thus my strength is tried;
And this I do to captivate the eye
Of the fair breeder that is standing by.’What recketh he his rider’s angry stir,
His flattering ‘Holla,’ or his ‘Stand, I say?’
What cares he now for curb of pricking spur?
For rich caparisons or trapping gay?
He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
Nor nothing else with his proud sight agrees.

Look, when a painter would surpass the life,
In limning out a well-proportion’d steed,
His art with nature’s workmanship at strife,
As if the dead the living should exceed;
So did this horse excel a common one,
In shape, in courage, colour, pace and bone

Round-hoof’d, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong,
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide:
Look, what a horse should have he did not lack,
Save a proud rider on so proud a back.

Sometimes he scuds far off, and there he stares;
Anon he starts at stirring of a feather;
To bid the wind a race he now prepares,
And whe’r he run or fly they know not whether;
For through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feather’d wings.

He looks upon his love, and neighs unto her;
She answers him as if she knew his mind;
Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her,
She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind,
Spurns at his love and scorns the heat he feels,
Beating his kind embracements with her heels.

Then, like a melancholy malcontent,
He vails his tail that, like a falling plume
Cool shadow to his melting buttock lent:
He stamps, and bites the poor flies in his fume.
His love, perceiving how he is enrag’d,
Grew kinder, and his fury was assuag’d.

His testy master goeth about to take him;
When lo! the unback’d breeder, full of fear,
Jealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him,
With her the horse, and left Adonis there.
As they were mad, unto the wood they hie them,
Out-stripping crows that strive to over-fly them.

I prophesy they death, my living sorrow,
If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow.

“But if thou needs wilt hunt, be rul’d by me;
Uncouple at the timorous flying hare,
Or at the fox which lives by subtlety,
Or at the roe which no encounter dare:
Pursue these fearful creatures o’er the downs,
And on they well-breath’d horse keep with they hounds.

“And when thou hast on food the purblind hare,
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles
How he outruns with winds, and with what care
He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles:
The many musits through the which he goes
Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.

“Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep,
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell,
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep,
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell,
And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer;
Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear:

“For there his smell with other being mingled,
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt,
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out;
Then do they spend their mouths: Echo replies,
As if another chase were in the skies.

“By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear,
To hearken if his foes pursue him still:
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;
And now his grief may be compared well
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell.

“Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
Turn, and return, indenting with the way;
Each envious briar his weary legs doth scratch,
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay:
For misery is trodden on by many,
And being low never reliev’d by any.

“Lie quietly, and hear a little more;
Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise:
To make thee hate the hunting of the boar,
Unlike myself thou hear’st me moralize,
Applying this to that, and so to so;
For love can comment upon every woe.”

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare-Venus-und-Adonis-1593

Shakespeare-Venus-und-Adonis-1593 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quote of the Week 09FEB 2014 – Healing

Sexually Abused child.

Sexually Abused child. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Survivors who have actively faced their healing are some of the  most lively, spunky, brave, fun, wonderful people I know. There’s something about diving into the deepest pain in life and coming out whole, that leads us to enjoy each precious moment in life, because we know it’s all we’ve got. Instead of responding to the pain of the past, survivors learn to appreciate the wild beauty of the present.”

Laura DavisAllies in Healing: When the Person You Love is a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse

 

 

English: Conceptual diagram showing relationsh...

English: Conceptual diagram showing relationship between adult sexual interest in children, pedophilia, and child sexual abuse. These distinct concepts overlap, but academics and clinicians consider them separate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quoted Poetry of the Day 30 January 2014 – Beside The Fire

J. R. R. Tolkien, 1916

J. R. R. Tolkien, 1916 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I SIT BESIDE THE FIRE AND THINK

“I sit beside the fire and thinkOf all that I have seen

Of meadow flowers and butterflies

In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door”
J.R.R. Tolkien

Marc’s Random Thought of the Day, 29 January 2014 – CONvictions

  • Poster advertising a meeting in support of the...

    Poster advertising a meeting in support of the Walsall Anarchists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    If you are absolute and refuse to read, learn, understand, empathize, or even speak to who or what you demonize, how will you ever learn more about you… yourself, and cultivate deeper perception, awareness, comprehension into what you believe yourself? The things that have the most value when it comes to learning and understanding are exactly the things worth exploring and are worth reading, have the most value and, more accurately, those that challenge our convictions. Before you use a simple label for anything you question or take issue with, no matter what, you must be knowledgable enough to think for yourself and come to your own conclusion. Trust no one’s voice but your own, but before you judge others, make sure you have clean hands and use a purely factual challenge without any labels. It doesn’t matter if it is political, social, cultural or religious… the same mandate applies. [Marc Gilbert-Widmann January 29, 2014]

  • education

    education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)


    question
    , disagree with, dispute, take issue with, protest against, call into, regulation ruling, directive, order, act, law, statute, edict, canon, mandate, command, dictate, decree, injunction, commandment, stipulation, requirement, guideline, direction.

     

Quote of the Day 21 January 2014 – Desolate

Brooklyn Museum - Hands Female Nude Baby - Kah...

Brooklyn Museum – Hands Female Nude Baby – Kahlil Gibran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Oftentimes we call Life bitter names, but only when we ourselves are bitter and dark. And we deem her empty and unprofitable, but only when the soul goes wandering in desolate places, and the heart is drunken with over-mindfulness of self.

Life is deep and high and distant; and though only your vast vision can reach even her feet, yet she is near; and though only the breath of your breath reaches her heart, the shadow of your shadow crosses her face, and the echo of your faintest cry becomes a spring and an autumn in her breast.

And life is veiled and hidden, even as your greater self is hidden and veiled. Yet when Life speaks, all the winds become words; and when she speaks again, the smiles upon your lips and the tears in your eyes turn also into words. When she sings, the deaf hear and are held; and when she comes walking, the sightless behold her and are amazed and follow her in wonder and astonishment.” ? Kahlil GibranThe Garden of The Prophet

Quote of the Day 20 January 2014 – empirical evidence

English: 14th Dalai Lama, Dharasmala, India

English: 14th Dalai Lama, Dharasmala, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“On the philosophical level, both Buddhism and modern science share a deep suspicion of any notion of absolutes, whether conceptualize as a transcendent being, as an eternal, unchanging principle such as soul, or as a fundamental substratum of reality. … In the Buddhist investigation of reality, at least in principle, empirical evidence should triumph over scriptural authority, no matter how deeply venerated a scripture may be. ~ 14th Dalai Lama in his talk to the Society for Neuroscience in 2005 in Washington.”
Dalai Lama XIV

Debunking Blood-Type Diet Debunkers – I’m The Proof

English: ABO Blood Group System

English: ABO Blood Group System (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FACT CHECK: My first impression of this study is that while they recognize certain factors and results as anecdotal, I find ALL results and assumptions anecdotal because of the nature and uncontrollable variables of the study.

Scientific factors and explanations aside, this study is flawed. This study (by design) does not meet the standards of scientific testing. It is not double blind. The sampling is too small and uncontrolled. There is no represented control over the test subjects and the results are based on blood testing and surveying the participants.. “Since the scoring system in the present study only assessed relative adherence to each of the four ‘Blood-Type’ diets, we could not determine the absolute number of people who strictly followed any of the diets”.True compliance by test subjects is not known.

Diagram of ABO blood groups and the IgM antibo...

Diagram of ABO blood groups and the IgM antibodies present in each. Created by me on Adobe Illustrator on 8/25/06 and released into the public domain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is readily and repeatedly stated with different language that residual confounding is: “the observed associations between ‘Blood-Type’ diet scores and cardiometabolic disease risk factors could be due to residual confounding. However, residual confounding is not likely to explain why there would be no differential association among ABO genotypes.” I disagree. For your convenience to understand word phrases, I present a high levelsummary of residual confounding:

Diagram of ABO blood antigen system

Diagram of ABO blood antigen system (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Residual Confounding

Residual confounding is the distortion that remains after controlling for confounding in the design and/or analysis of a study. There are three causes of residual confounding:

There were additional confounding factors that were not considered, or there was no attempt to adjust for them, because data on these factors was not collected.
Control of confounding was not tight enough. For example, a study of the association between physical activity and age might control for confounding by age by a) restricting the study population to subject between the ages of 30-80 or b) matching subjects by age within 20 year categories. In either event there might be persistent differences in age among the groups being compared. Residual differences in confounding might also occur in a randomized clinical trial if the sample size was small. In a stratified analysis or in a regression analysis there could be residual confounding because data on confounding variable was not precise enough, e.g., age was simply classified as “young” or “old”.

There were many errors in the classification of subjects with respect to confounding variables.” (*Confounding and Effect Measure Modification, http://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/Boston University of Public Health). The sampling and length of the study is insignificant, There is not enough data (from this study) to make the declaration of “no differential association among ABO genotypes”. To state of (the blood type diet): “its recommendations do not specify any actual amount of consumption.” is materially incorrect and the statement is deceptive.

Dadamo and his book do not make a claim without scientific facts and complete references. This study does not reflect enough of the lectin factor… and a complete dismissal of Dadamo’s (among other) research with regard to specific lectin effect on aglutenation ofeach of the ABO blood types. It is stated: “In summary, the present study is the first to test the validity of the ‘Blood-Type’ diet and we showed that adherence to certain diets is associated with some favorable cardiometabolic disease risk profiles.

This may explain anecdotal evidence supporting these diets, which are generally prudent diets that reflect healthy eating habits. However, the findings showed that the observed associations were independent of ABO blood group and, therefore, the findings do not support the ‘Blood-Type’ diet hypothesis.” this statement corresponds to the preferred result of nutrigenomics who appear to focus less on the blood type and more on genetic factors. They say there is no corresponding conflict and the fact a grant from nutrigenomics helped pay for this “OPINION PAPER”.

Peer review is a mis-used phrase and implies real science where it is generally evaluation of meta-data and not real science.

MY INDIVIDUAL CASE STUDY: I started the blood type diet, not to lose weight… my weight was already dropping from me via an eating disorder called… “I don’t feel like eating get that food away from me.” Or more commonly referred to as PTSD. I had to go about the task of finding a “DIETary” lifestyle that allowed me to eat without wanting to vomit or the smell of food that would would make me nauseated. I actually selected the blood-type diet because of the foods, which made food preparation easier with more raw foods and vegetables.

The first meal of the day is still difficult for me… and if I don’t have reminders, I will usually forget to eat all day long and around supper time say… humm… I haven’t eaten anything all day. As far as my health. At the start, I was in the middle of a cardiac intervention… pulmonary intervention… and anemia that followed me my entire life… no matter what treatment was tried. In 2009/2010, my carotid and femoral arteries had significant plaque. I had a leaky heart valve. I had an aFib issue and was told I would be on heart medication the rest of my life. I had peptic ulcers, edema of the transverse colon… I can’t remember what I have forgotten to list I was at the door of death and passed through it when as a man, I waited beyond the point of no return before I went to the ER… where I coded on Oct 17, 2009 when two of four heart chambers were crushed by fluid. I was conscious and watched the flatline that lasted about 15 seconds. This all came to a head after eating SUSHI… where I got a food borne bacteria… not e.coli, or any other type of food poisoning… In fact, after a two week hospitalization it was another three weeks before they were able to determine what had made me accumulate fluids. Three liters in the right lung (pleural effusion) and 550cc’s in my pericardia (pericardial effusion).

Draining the lung was simple enough and I was amused when the fluid was coming out of the tube inserted between a few ribs in my back… saying… “wow, all that is coming out of me?”… The pericardiocentesis (spelling) was a bit more complicated. I had no blood pressure when laying flat so they could not sedate me for the procedure to insert the chest tube to drain my pericardia… so… I had to man up and take the needle and tube going snap crackle pop through my chest wall and into the pericardia and wrapped around the heart with NO SEDATION… I suppose the training I received as a child getting dental care done all the way to exposed nerves with no Novocain (as a form of punishment) was helpful. It was NOT comfortable and was made tolerable by watching the ultra-sound guided tour of the needle and tube in my chest. Remarkably… the initial insertion of the needle was surprisingly painless, but for the look on the cardiologist’s face as he was trying to shove the needle into my chest and asking the ultra sound tech… “Is that the right ventricle?.

I was the walking dead getting five different antibiotics (IV) and was walking around with a fifty foot oxygen hose and a pole with seven infusers on it. They didn’t know what they were treating so they treated everything. At this time I normally had high blood pressure (but not during the intervention). Total cholesterol almost 300. Triglycerides over 400. Low RBC (<4.1), low WBC(<3.8), low hemoglobin(<12.9), low platelets (<135), high MCV (>106) causing macrocytosis (spelling). A wild range of glucose (fasting). Along came the choice of the blood-type diet.

I have a good relationship with my primary care physician and I went to him to tell him what I was going to do… He was a bit indifferent at first… but after a full year he finally said… “I’m not really sure exactly what you are doing, but it is working”… so keep doing it and don’t worry about being too skinny, because you are not… you do have low % of bdy fat but normal BMI”… Thank you Dr Dino Gonzalez.

English: Donation pathway for ABO blood groups.

English: Donation pathway for ABO blood groups. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All of my blood markers are NOW within normal range. A lifetime of anemia has been for all practical purposes completely resolved. There is no cure, but I am as close as it comes. Total cholesterol is now hovering between 140-150, Triglycerides 93. The only blood marker out of range at last blood testing (12/18/2k13) is creatinine (0.7). I no longer take blood pressure medication. I no longer take a statin and before that tricor. I no longer need iron supplementation, which never really helped the anemia but kept me out of crisis. I have not had to have a blood transfusion in three years. My blood pressure is 110/70 (+/-). My resting heart rate is 63 with no aFib or heart medication.

At the start of this in 2009 I weighed 205. After the hospitalization I was down to 170 and went back up to 185 after discharge when resuming (ab)normal carnivorous diet. Those blood markers have to be combined with the fact I now hover between 140-145lbs and have been there for two years now. % of body fat about 11%, BMI 22, bone density 66. I am released from cardiac care. The plaque that WAS in my carotid and femoral (among other places I’m sure) is COMPLETELY GONE. I have no aFib. I don’t have a six pack stomach… I have an eight pack stomach. My peptic ulcers are gone. The edema of my transverse colon (IBS) is gone. There are other resolved minor issues.

I am the picture of health… other than a pulmonary embolism in September which there as of yet is no explanation for. I do not fit the profile of sedentary lifestyle… so it may end up being a little chunk of the big “C” somewhere. Nothing invasive to explore can be done because i’m on rat poison… coumaden/warfarin, which took me from the blood type diet to the warfarin diet.

English: Codominant inheritance of the ABO blo...

English: Codominant inheritance of the ABO blood groups. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The latest lab results were after three months of NOT eating the vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, legumes, seafood and all other foods high in vitamin K that resolved so many of my medical issues… including completely reversing cardiovascular disease but for that pesky right lung. I haven’t been an angel my whole life and the 2009 crisis uncovered, stage 1 emphysema, asthma, severely reduced lung capacity just n the right lung and a lot of scar tissue. I did not start the blood type diet to lose weight but rather gain health. I am the poster boy BUT… according to this “peer-reviewed” piece it doesn’t count because I am blood type A+. ANY QUESTIONS???

http://boingboing.net/2011/04/22/meet-science-what-is.html

When the science you learned in school and the science you read in the newspaper don’t quite match up, the Meet Science series is here to help, providing quick run-downs of oft-referenced concepts, controversies, and tools that aren’t always well-explained by the media.]

ABO Genotype, ‘Blood-Type’ Diet and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors

  • Jingzhou Wang, Bibiana García-Bailo, Daiva E. Nielsen, Ahmed El-Sohemy
  • Published: January 15, 2014

Abstract

The ‘Blood-Type’ diet advises individuals to eat according to their ABO blood group to improve their health and decrease risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. However, the association between blood type-based dietary patterns and health outcomes has not been examined. The objective of this study was to determine the association between ‘blood-type’ diets and biomarkers of cardiometabolic health and whether an individual’s ABO genotype modifies any associations.

Methods

Subjects (n = 1,455) were participants of the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health study. Dietary intake was assessed using a one-month, 196-item food frequency questionnaire and a diet score was calculated to determine relative adherence to each of the four ‘Blood-Type’ diets. ABO blood group was determined by genotyping rs8176719 and rs8176746 in the ABO gene. ANCOVA, with age, sex, ethnicity, and energy intake as covariates, was used to compare cardiometabolic biomarkers across tertiles of each ‘Blood-Type’ diet score.

Results

Adherence to the Type-A diet was associated with lower BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, serum cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, HOMA-IR and HOMA-Beta (P<0.05). Adherence to the Type-AB diet was also associated with lower levels of these biomarkers (P<0.05), except for BMI and waist circumference. Adherence to the Type-O diet was associated with lower triglycerides (P<0.0001). Matching the ‘Blood-Type’ diets with the corresponding blood group did not change the effect size of any of these associations. No significant association was found for the Type-B diet.

Conclusions

Adherence to certain ‘Blood-Type’ diets is associated with favorable effects on some cardiometabolic risk factors, but these associations were independent of an individual’s ABO genotype, so the findings do not support the ‘Blood-Type’ diet hypothesis.

Figures

Citation: Wang J, García-Bailo B, Nielsen DE, El-Sohemy A (2014) ABO Genotype, ‘Blood-Type’ Diet and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors. PLoS ONE 9(1): e84749. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084749

Editor: Nick Ashton, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Received: August 15, 2013; Accepted: November 18, 2013; Published: January 15, 2014

Copyright: © 2014 Wang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: This work was supported by grant 305352 from the Advanced Foods and Materials Network (to AE-S). JW is a recipient of an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: AE-S holds shares in Nutrigenomix Inc., a genetic testing company for personalized nutrition. This does not alter the authors’ adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

Introduction

A link between ABO blood group and diet was proposed by P.J. D’Adamo in his book “Eat Right For Your Type” published in 1996 [1]. The ‘Blood-Type’ diets have gained widespread attention from the public with more than 7 million copies sold in over 60 languages, and making the New York Times bestseller list [2]. D’Adamo postulates that the ABO blood group reveals the dietary habits of our ancestors and adherence to a diet specific to one’s blood group can improve health and decrease risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Based on the ‘Blood-Type’ diet theory, group O is considered the ancestral blood group in humans so their optimal diet should resemble the high animal protein diets typical of the hunter-gatherer era. In contrast, those with group A should thrive on a vegetarian diet as this blood group was believed to have evolved when humans settled down into agrarian societies. Following the same rationale, individuals with blood group B are considered to benefit from consumption of dairy products because this blood group was believed to originate in nomadic tribes. Finally, individuals with an AB blood group are believed to benefit from a diet that is intermediate to those proposed for group A and group B [1]. The ‘Blood-Type’ diet also proposes that lectins, which are sugar-binding proteins found in certain foods [3], could cause agglutination if they are not compatible with an individual’s ABO blood group.

The ABO blood group is a classification of blood based on the structural variation of a certain carbohydrate antigenic substance on red blood cells. As one of the first recognizable genetic variants in humans, the ABO blood group has been studied extensively for its association with a variety of diseases including cancer [4][5][6][7], malaria [8], and cholera [9]. Regarding cardiometabolic diseases, individuals with blood group O were found to have lower levels of von Willebrand factor (VWF) [10] and had a reduced risk of venous thromboembolism compared to the other blood groups [11]. Furthermore, group B individuals were found to have lower levels of E-selectin [12] and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to group O [13]. These findings demonstrate the potential importance of the ABO blood group in altering risk of disease, including cardiometabolic disease. However, little is known about whether the ABO blood group modifies an individual’s response to diet. A recent systematic review concluded that no evidence exists to support the proposed health benefits of ‘Blood-Type’ diets [14]. Considering the lack of scientific evidence and the popularity of the ‘Blood-Type’ diet, the objective of this study was to determine the association between ‘Blood-Type’ diets and biomarkers of cardiometabolic health and whether an individual’s ABO genotype modifies any associations.

Materials and Methods

Ethics statement

The study protocol was approved by the Research Ethics Board at the University of Toronto, and all subjects provided written informed consent.

Participants

Subjects (n = 1,639) were participants of the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health (TNH) Study, which is a cross-sectional examination of young adults aged 20 to 29 years. All subjects were recruited between October 2004 and December 2010 and completed a general health and lifestyle questionnaire, which included information on age, sex, ethnocultural group and other subject characteristics. Subjects who were likely under-reporters (less than 800 kcal per day) or over-reporters (more than 3,500 kcal per day for females or 4,500 kilocalories per day for males) of energy intake were excluded from the analyses. Subjects were also excluded if they had missing data for any of the biomarkers of interest or ABO genotype (n = 184). After exclusions, 1,455 subjects (993 women and 462 men) remained. Individuals were categorized into four major ethnocultural groups: White (n = 703), East Asians (n = 491), South Asians (n = 155), and others (n = 106).

Dietary adherence score assessment

Dietary intake was assessed by a one-month, Toronto-modified Willet 196-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) as described previously [15]. Briefly, each subject was given instructions on how to complete the FFQ by using visual aids of portion sizes to improve the measurement of self-reported food intake. Subject responses to the individual foods were converted into daily number of servings for each item. In order to quantify the adherence to each of the four ‘Blood-Type’ diets, four different diet scores were given to each subject regardless of his or her own blood group. Based on the food items listed in the ‘Blood-Type’ diets [1], subjects received one positive point for consuming one serving of each recommended food item and one negative point for consuming one serving of an item on the list of foods to avoid. Foods that are listed as “Neutral” were not included in the equation and do not contribute to the final score. The lists of recommended foods to eat or avoid for each ABO blood group are shown in the Appendix S1. Subjects were then grouped into tertiles based on their scores for each diet, with the top tertile representing those whose diet most closely resembles the corresponding ‘Blood-Type’ diet.

Cardiometabolic risk factor assessment

Anthropometric measurements including height, weight, blood pressure and waist circumference were determined as previously described [16]. Body mass index (BMI; kg/m2) was calculated and physical activity was measured by questionnaire and expressed as metabolic equivalent (MET)-hours per week, as described previously [16][17]. Overnight 12-hour fasting blood samples were collected to measure serum biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease including triglycerides, free fatty acids, C-reactive protein, glucose, insulin, and total-, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol, as described previously [15]. The homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated by using the formula: (insulin * glucose)/22.5, and the homeostasis model of beta-cell function (HOMA-Beta) was calculated by using the formula: (20 * insulin)/(glucose – 3.5).

ABO genotype identification

The Sequenom MassArray® multiplex method was used to determine the blood group of study participants by genotyping two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs8176719Del>G; rs8176746A>C) in the ABO gene. The rs8176719 SNP indicates O-allele-specific 261delG while rs8176746 determines the galactose specificity of the encoded A/B transferases and thus the expression of A and B antigens on erythrocytes [18].

Statistical analyses

Statistical analyses were performed using the Statistical Analysis Systems (SAS) Software program (version 9.2; SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina). The a error was set at 0.05 and reported p-values are 2-sided. Variables that were not normally distributed were either loge or square root transformed prior to analysis, but the mean values and standard errors are displayed without transformation to facilitate interpretation. Subject characteristics were compared across ABO blood groups by using chi-square tests for categorical variables and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) for continuous variables. ANCOVA was also used to compare means of biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease risk across tertiles of diet scores. Means compared between groups were adjusted for multiple comparisons using the Tukey-Kramer procedure. Age, sex, ethnocultural group and energy intake were used as covariates in the ANCOVA analysis. Physical activity and smoking were also considered, but not included in the final model because they did not significantly (P<0.05) alter the results. The p-values for the associations between ‘Blood-Type’ diet and cardiometabolic biomarker profile remained significant (P<0.001) regardless of whether or not these two variables were included in the model. To determine whether matching the blood group with the corresponding diet was associated with a more favorable cardiometabolic disease risk profile, we stratified the entire population into two groups; one with the matched blood group for the diet, and the other unmatched. We next examined the interaction between diet score and the matching status on levels of each cardiometabolic disease risk factor for each ‘Blood-Type’ diet by using the Tukey-Kramer correction. When a significant interaction effect was observed, we further compared the differences in the outcome between subjects with the matched blood group and the unmatched group in each of the tertiles of diet score.

Results

Subject characteristics based on the ABO blood group are summarized in Table 1. After adjusting for age, sex, and ethnocultural group, subject characteristics were similar across ABO blood groups, except for insulin, HOMA-IR and HOMA-Beta (p<0.05). Although the overall association between blood group and total cholesterol was significant (p = 0.043), no difference was observed among specific ABO blood group.

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Table 1. Subject Characteristics by ABO Genotypea.

Each ‘Blood-Type’ diet was first examined in the entire population without considering ABO blood groups. Figure 1A shows the total number of recommended items that were included in the FFQ for each diet. Briefly, the Type-A diet recommends high consumption of grains, fruits, and vegetables. The Type-B diet recommends high intakes of dairy products and moderate intakes of other food groups. The Type-AB diet is similar to the Type-B diet, but has more restrictions on specific food items. For example, only eggs and fish are recommended as sources of meat for group AB individuals (Appendix S1). The Type-O diet promotes high consumption of meats and avoidance of grain products. Figure 1B shows the diet score distribution. All four scores were normally distributed and did not require any transformation.

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Figure 1. ‘Blood-Type’ diet (A). Diet score distribution for each ‘Blood-Type’ diet (B).

Characteristics of each ‘Blood-Type’ diet according to tertile of diet score are summarized inTable S1. Consistent with its recommendations, subjects in the highest tertile of the Type-A diet score consumed more fruits and vegetables and less meat (P<0.001). As for the two diets that recommend dairy consumption, high adherences to the Type-B and Type-AB diets were associated with higher intakes of dairy products (P<0.05). The dietary intake of those following the Type-O diet was also consistent with the diet’s recommendations where more meat and less grain products were consumed as individuals adhered more closely to the Type-O diet (P<0.001).

Mean levels of cardiometabolic disease risk factors based on the tertiles of each diet score are shown from Table 2 to Table 5. All associations were adjusted for age, sex, ethnocultural group and energy intake. With increasing adherence to the Type-A diet, subjects, regardless of their ABO blood group, had lower BMI, blood pressure, waist circumference, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, HOMA-IR, and HOMA-Beta (P<0.05). Adherence to the Type-AB diet was associated with lower blood pressure, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, HOMA-IR, and HOMA-Beta (P<0.05). Adherence to the Type-O diet was associated with lower serum triglycerides (P<0.001). Although the overall association between the Type-B diet adherence and the level of HDL-cholesterol was significant (p = 0.04), no difference was observed between each tertile of the diet score.

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Table 2. Cardiometabolic Risk Factors by the Tertiles of Type-A Diet Scorea.

doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084749.t002

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Table 3. Cardiometabolic Risk Factors by the Tertiles of Type-B Diet Scorea.

doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084749.t003

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Table 4. Cardiometabolic Risk Factors by the Tertiles of Type-AB Diet Scoresa.

doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084749.t004

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Table 5. Cardiometabolic Risk Factors by the Tertiles of Type-O Diet Scoresa.

doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084749.t005

Table 678 and 9 show the associations between diet scores and cardiometabolic disease risk factors according to the ABO blood group. Different ABO blood groups were equally distributed across the tertiles of each diet score. No significant interactions were observed between diet score and blood group for most of the risk factors, except for fasting glucose (P = 0.02), insulin (P = 0.02), and HOMA-IR (p = 0.01) in the Type-A diet (Table 6), and fasting glucose (P = 0.02) in the Type-AB diet (Table 8). When comparing the levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR between group A individuals and the other blood groups, a significant difference was observed in the second tertile, but not in the lowest or highest tertile of the Type-A diet score. No difference in fasting glucose was observed between the two groups in any tertile of the Type-A diet score. For fasting glucose in the Type-AB diet, no difference was observed between individuals with blood group AB and those with other blood groups in any tertile.

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Table 6. Cardiometabolic Disease Risk Factors by Matching Type-A Diet Scores and ABO Genotypea.

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Table 7. Cardiometabolic Risk Factors by Matching Type-B Diet Scores and ABO Genotypea.

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Table 8. Cardiometabolic Risk Factors by Matching Type-AB Diet Scores and ABO Genotypea.

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Table 9. Cardiometabolic Risk Factors by Matching Type-O Diet Scores and ABO Genotypea.

Discussion

Our findings show that adherence to certain ‘Blood-Type’ diets is associated with a favorable profile for certain cardiometabolic risk factors in young adults, but these associations were not related to an individual’s ABO blood group. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the association between the ‘Blood-Type’ diets and biomarkers of cardiometabolic health, and the findings do not support the ‘Blood-Type’ diet hypothesis.

The association between the Type-A diet adherence and favorable cardiometabolic risk profile is not surprising considering this diet’s emphasis on high consumption of fruits and vegetables, and low consumption of meat products, which is similar to a dietary pattern that has been recommended by various health agencies because of its association with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases [19][20][21][22][23]. Adherence to the Type-AB diet was also associated with favorable levels of several risk factors, despite its recommendation for certain dairy and meat products. Such benefits may be attributed to the list of certain food items considered healthy, which are recommended. For example, individuals with blood group AB are advised to avoid butter and to consume eggs and fish as their main animal-protein source. This is in contrast to the Type-B diet, which has fewer restrictions on many animal products as shown in the Appendix S1. These differences between the two diets may partially explain why a favorable cardiometabolic profile was associated with adherence to the Type-AB diet, but not for the Type-B diet. The Type-O diet is similar to low-carbohydrate diets [24], which may explain why adherence to this type of diet was associated with lower serum triglycerides (TG), as previously observed for other low-carbohydrate diets [25][26]. The reduction in TG may be caused by decreased TG production in the liver and/or increased cellular uptake of TG in response to low carbohydrate intake [27]. By investigating the ‘Blood-Type’ diets in a population with different ABO genotypes, we found that adhering to the Type-A, Type-AB, or Type-O diets was associated with favorable effects on levels of certain biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease risk.

In order to examine whether individuals would benefit more from following their own ‘Blood-Type’ diet, the levels of cardiometabolic disease risk factors were compared between individuals with the matched blood group and the unmatched blood group while sharing similar diet adherence. However, no significant interaction effects were observed between diet adherence and blood group for most of the risk factors, suggesting that effects of following ‘Blood-Type’ diets is independent of an individual’s blood group. Although there were significant interaction effects for fasting glucose, insulin and HOMA-IR for the Type-A diet, and fasting glucose for the Type-AB diet, those interactions may be due to chance, since we did not apply the most conservative Bonferroni post-hoc test to correct for multiple comparisons. Even if the interaction effects were not due to chance, those findings would not support the claim that matching the ‘Blood-Type’ diet with the corresponding blood group results in more favorable effects. In the case of the Type-A diet, the significant interaction effects were mainly driven by higher levels of insulin and HOMA-IR in the second tertile for those with blood group A. Moving from low adherence to high adherence, group A individuals did not demonstrate more favorable changes in these biomarkers. As for fasting glucose levels with the Type-AB diet, subjects with blood group AB had slightly higher glucose concentrations as they adhered to the diet more closely, while the other blood groups showed no differences. These findings, therefore, demonstrate that matching the diet with the corresponding blood group was not associated with any additional benefits and may even be associated with some adverse effects. For those in the unmatched blood group, we also tested whether each ‘Blood-Type’ diet was associated with any of the outcomes by matching to each of the other blood groups (data not shown); however, no significant interactions were observed. Therefore, the associations observed with the ‘Blood-Type’ diets were unrelated to any individual blood group.

Several previous studies have questioned the validity of the ‘Blood-Type’ diets. Based on phylogenetic analysis of human ABO alleles, blood group A has been suggested to be the ancestral human blood group [28][29], rather than group O as postulated by D’Adamo [1]. As for the claim that certain food items contain lectins incompatible with an individual’s ABO blood group, studies to date suggest no ABO-specific agglutination [30]. The absence of scientific evidence was further supported by a recent systematic review [14], which found no study that directly investigated the effects of the ‘Blood-Type’ diet.

The present study has some limitations. The use of FFQs for dietary assessment could result in some measurement error and cannot give a precise estimate of the absolute intake of food items. However, a FFQ is considered a valid instrument for providing relative estimates of food intake in large populations [31]. Although we adjusted for age, sex, ethnocultural group and energy intake and tested physical activity and smoking as potential covariates, the observed associations between ‘Blood-Type’ diet scores and cardiometabolic disease risk factors could be due to residual confounding. However, residual confounding is not likely to explain why there would be no differential association among ABO genotypes. The study population consisted of an unequal distribution of different ethnocultural groups, which have been shown to have a different prevalence of ABO blood groups [32] and might have different dietary patterns [16]. However, the associations between diet adherence and levels of biomarkers were still evident after adjusting for ethnocultural group. Previous studies using diet scores have quantified relative adherence by deriving the score proportionally based on the recommended amount of consumption [33]. However, this approach would not be appropriate for quantifying the adherence to the ‘Blood-Type’ diet because its recommendations do not specify any actual amount of consumption. By assigning points based on quantity of consumption for each food item, our scoring system is continuously scaled and normally distributed. Since the scoring system in the present study only assessed relative adherence to each of the four ‘Blood-Type’ diets, we could not determine the absolute number of people who strictly followed any of the diets. However, the observed results showed that even relatively high adherence to Type-A, Type-AB and Type-O diets were associated with favorable levels of cardiometabolic disease risk factors, albeit in an ABO-independent manner. These associations were consistent with previous studies examining similar dietary patterns and cardiometabolic risk factors [23][24][34].

In summary, the present study is the first to test the validity of the ‘Blood-Type’ diet and we showed that adherence to certain diets is associated with some favorable cardiometabolic disease risk profiles. This may explain anecdotal evidence supporting these diets, which are generally prudent diets that reflect healthy eating habits. However, the findings showed that the observed associations were independent of ABO blood group and, therefore, the findings do not support the ‘Blood-Type’ diet hypothesis.

Supporting Information

Table_S1.docx

The ‘Blood-Type’ Diet Characteristics.

Table S1.

The ‘Blood-Type’ Diet Characteristics.

Appendix S1.

The food list was retrieved from the FFQ database of Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health Study. The “+” signs indicate the foods that are recommended for the blood group. The “-” signs indicate the food to avoid for the blood group. The “/” signs indicate the food that are neutral.

Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: AE-S. Performed the experiments: JW. Analyzed the data: JW. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: JW BG-B DN. Wrote the paper: JW. Assisted with the statistical analysis: BG-B. Assisted in data collection and study coordination: DN. Contributed to the manuscript revision for important intellectual content: BG-B DN.

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