Sunday, March 15, 2009

Diet: GenoType Diet

The GenoType Diet was designed to help you take control of your body and your life. The creator of the diet, naturopathic physician Dr. Peter D'Adamo, has been helping patients discover a health, vitality and joy in life that they'd never thought possible, simply by having them alter what they ate, which supplements they took and how they exercised. Yet he always assumed the genetic part of our story had already been written. Like most of us, he believed the genes we inherited were the cards we were dealt.

But recently, Dr. D'Adamo began to discover that we have an enormous power to improve our lives, even when it comes to our genes. True, we can't do anything about which chromosomes we got from our parents; we can't add new genes to the mix or eradicate old ones. But the genes we get at conception are only the beginning of the story. Dr. D'Adamo belives that from our time in the womb through our childhood, youth, and adulthood, we have the capacity to turn up the volume on some genes and silence others, vastly improving our capacity for health and happiness.

By following the GenoType Diet, you can gain an understanding of the diet and exercise plan that's right for your particular body and genetic makeup. The online program will provide you with a customized Meal Planner and Fitness Plan to guide you every step of the way until you meet your goals.

The Science

You can change your genetic makeup. Sound far-fetched? Dr. D'Adamo doesn't think so. Based on his scientific research, data collection, and emerging information on epigentics, Dr. D'Adamo believes that we have the power to turn up the volume on good genes and turn down the volume on bad genes.

Dieting Online

Studies show that people who diet online have 80% more weight-loss success in the first three months than those who diet on their own. That's why Dr. D'Adamo has turned his popular GenoType Diet into a customized online program.

Blood Type Diet Evolution

Dr. D'Adamo's blood-type theories contributed to his ongoing research on genetics and nutrition and led to the publication of The GenoType Diet in 2007. Based on the powerful conclusion that individuals have the ability to alter their genes' behavior, The GenoType Diet takes the science behind the Blood Type Diet a significant step further.

I admit it: I was suspicious of this diet. Before examining this book, I thought the diet sounded very "fad-like" (and I remain wholly unconvinced by the personality-trait correspondences which are NOT essential to the scientific basis of the diet, just a curiosity). I read negative reviews and their justifications. What I noticed was that most of these reviews sounded a lot like the criticisms leveled at the Atkins diet, a diet that does work for a lot of people (though not all--this book makes clear why) that have since been disproven by double-blind studies. A number noted that d'Adamo's theories weren't backed up by scientific research. Fair enough; this book cites double-blind studies and peer-reviewed research extensively, far more so than the Eat Right and Cook Right books. It also fine-tunes some of the earlier findings. This is ongoing research, something you just don't see in proponents of "fad" diets. D'Adamo has clearly been listing to his critics, and makes every attempt to clarify, fine-tune, and explain how all of this works.

I picked this book--and the diet--up when I browsed it in the store and noted that the medical problems in my family charted almost exactly with the risk factors for blood type. (Blood type correlations with disease have actually been established in peer-reviewed medical journals for a long time, although they aren't much talked about.) I tried the diet. I'm about three weeks in. I've lost 10 pounds, my digestive problems are much improved, I feel more energetic, I don't crave sweets, and -- the most convincing thing for me, because I wasn't looking for it and therefore can't attribute it to the placebo effect -- the morning stiffness I've had for 30 years is gone. It takes at least a week for things to kick in--especially if one has increased intestinal permeability due to intestinal damage--but it does, and for many, myself included, the results are quite profound.

I am not a scientist, nor am I claiming that d'Adamo has everything right. There are some typos in the book, although most misprints are corrected on the website ( to find, but worth looking. This is ongoing research, however. D'Adamo also uses that site to update new findings on food compatibility. I think this diet could easily be used in conjunction with others appropriate to type. For instance, type O people will do well with Atkins as long as they cut out the wheat gluten and dairy; people with food allergies may have to limit intake of more foods than he lists. He suggests 70-80% compliance works for most people.

Even the critics suggest that this diet isn't likely to harm anyone. I fully expect some version of this to be exonerated as fully as, if not more than, Atkins. In the meantime, this is a great resource, it's interesting reading even for the healthy, and it is more likely to engage a reader like myself who likes to see detailed scientific justification before jumping into a health plan.