Is your blood type and genetics to blame for your allergies?

S-Blood Cells

Is your blood type and genetics to blame for your allergies?

Ever noticed how allergies tend to run in the family? Or that the types of allergies people have differ depending on their ethnicity? It could come down to a chemical reaction that occurs between your blood and the foods you eat. Let us explain…

The blood group diet

“Your immune and digestive systems still maintain favouritism for foods that your blood type ancestors ate.” – D’Adamo

The blood group diet is a diet and lifestyle approach, which was developed by naturopathic physician, Dr Peter D’Adamo1. It’s based on the premise that the foods we eat undergo a biochemical reaction when they interact with our blood. This reaction is thought to be genetically inherited and determined by our blood group.

D’Adamo’s research follows on from Darwin’s theory of adaptation – as our ancestors migrated, gradual genetic adaptations occurred, which allowed them to thrive on the type of foods that were the most available to them at the time.

So, for example, people with ancestors who lived in areas with plenty of farmable land (allowing them to farm and consume more grains, and keep livestock) have gradually adapted over time so that their bodies can more effectively digest foods like dairy and wheat. This is in contrast to their hunter gatherer counterparts who lived on diets higher in meat and fish.

The role of lectins

Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins which can be tricky to digest and are thought to trigger these unfavourable chemical reactions in our blood. This is because lectins can bind to cell membranes (the outside layer that protects our blood cells), which may cause blood cells to clump together, spark inflammation throughout the body and can lead to:

  • skin problems
  • joint pain and muscle pain
  • abdominal discomfort (such as bloating and flatulence after meals)
  • changes in bowel habits
  • leaky gut

Are all lectins bad?

High lectin foods include:

  • dairy
  • egg
  • soy
  • wheat
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts (including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts)
  • shellfish
  • some vegetables (including tomato, potato, capsicum, eggplant and chilli).

But not all lectins are bad for you. Each blood group is thought to digest and react to food lectins differently due to genetic influences. And, though the purpose of lectins in foods remains largely unclear, they are thought to play a role in immunity and protein metabolism.

So what food allergies is your blood group susceptible to?

The blood group diet provides specific dietary recommendations for each unique blood group to help maintain optimal health, as well as foods that each blood group may be sensitive to.

Blood group O

People who are O blood type:

  • make up around 49 per cent of the Australian population2
  • tend to breakdown and assimilate meat and fat quite well, due to naturally higher levels of gastric acid (stomach acid)
  • tend to digest milk, grains and simple carbohydrates poorly, which may result in bloating, gut problems and weight gain
  • may be particularly sensitive to foods such as wheat, soy, peanuts and kidney beans.

Blood group A

People who are A blood type:

  • make up around 38 per cent of the Australian population3
  • tend to find it difficult to breakdown meat and fat, due to lower levels of gastric acid
  • are often able to digest grains, fermented dairy and soy products well
  • may be particularly sensitive to some vegetables (such as tomato, potato, capsicum, eggplant and chilli), red meat, eggs, chickpeas, lima beans and oranges.

Blood group AB

People who are AB blood type:

  • make up around 3 per cent of the Australian population4
  • tend to tolerate fermented dairy products and eggs fairly well
  • may be particularly sensitive to chicken, corn, capsicum and fava beans.

Blood group B

People who are B blood type:

  • make up around 10 per cent of the Australian population5
  • tend to digest dairy and red meat quite well
  • may be particularly sensitive to chicken, wheat, corn, soy, lentils and nuts.

Blood group and ethnicity

While O positive is the most common blood type in Australia (and around the world), not all ethnic groups have the same mix of blood types. For instance, African-American and Hispanic people have a quite a high amount of O’s, while Asian populations have a relatively high number of B’s6. Looking at modern day diets, this may explain why, at Health & Wellness Australia & New Zealand (HWA), we treat so many patients of Asian descent who display eczema symptoms due to food allergies.

A natural alternative to the blood type diet

At HWA, we use a technique called muscle testing or kinesiology, to help identify your sensitivities to different foods (including high-lectin foods). Following testing, you can work with your practitioner to address these sensitivities using a natural allergy treatment called Positive Association Technique (PAT).

PAT is a non-invasive holistic therapy, which:

  • draws on acupressure and kinesiology techniques
  • aims to re-train your body
  • may reduce your reactions to foods that may be causing or exacerbating your symptoms.

Some cases can be complex, so our Naturopaths may also recommend supplements, herbs and lifestyle advice to help you achieve the best long-term results.

Want to know if PAT is right for you? Get in touch!

Send our practitioners a question using our Ask a practitioner service, and you’ll get a call-back or reply straight to your email inbox.

You can also request an appointment with one of our experienced PAT practitioners in one our clinic locationsNorth Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Auckland – by:

  • using our Request an appointment service
  • calling our head office on 1300 853 023 (Aust) / 09 479 5997 (NZ), Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm (EST).

This blog is intended as general information only. PAT cannot cure allergies. It is intended to decrease your reactions and help you manage allergy-related symptoms. It is not intended to raise unrealistic expectations. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.


1 Official Website Of Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. The Blood Type Diet.

2,3,4,5 Victoria State Government. Blood Groups.

6 American Red Cross. Blood Types.

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