Tag: myth

Blood Types and Diet

Lets take a break from the diet-heart controversies and talk about something more light shall we? So some of you dear reader have read my opinion on how people reacted differently to different food on past articles and thinks “this guy probably believes in the blood type diet!” Well, must admit that due to my own personal preference in butter and bacon, when somebody told me that due to my A+ blood type I should not eat any meat and dairy, I must see the proof! So let us begin. Note that all reference on the blood type diet will be based on the book “Eat Right 4 Your Type”.

What is Blood Type?

ABO_blood_group_diagram.svg

Basically the red blood cells in you blood is decorated with different molecules on their surface. People with type A blood type have a two stage decoration, first stage being the antigen. People with B blood type also has a two stage decoration only with a different second stage than type A. Meanwhile type O only has the first stage. Your immune system is accustomed to the your blood type’s molecular marker and should you be injected with a different blood type it doesn’t recognize will assume that its an infection that must be dealt with, hence the blood clumping I would get if I get injected with type B blood.

What is the Diet’s Underlying Premise?

The underlying premise of the blood type diet (and the book) is that human race migrates and forced to adapt their diet to changing environmental conditions, hence:

    • Type O people are from the time we are hunter gatherers, i.e. meat eaters.
    • Type A is when we first became farmers, started in Asia and Middle East, i.e. mainly vegetarians
    • Type B is when we first migrate from Africa to other continents, developed between 10,000 – 15,000 BC from the Himalaya highlands, basically nomads, dairy eater with flexible diet.
  • Type AB is from the mixing of type A and B, sensitive digestive tract.

And on and on the book sprouted some bullshit about what personality you are and what your exercise pattern you should do, including mood swings etc.

Why is it a bunch of crock?

Well, based on the short paragraph above, and the book itself (if you choose to read it), its as if blood types are something specific about humans, especially related to their migration pattern. And the Peter D’Adamo makes a pretty good story teller too about the mongolian horde etc. Except that if that is the case, then how come Gorillas, Bonobos, and chimpanzees all have blood types too? If anything, based on blood type research of over 680 great apes, all have blood type grouping similar to humans. You can click on the following link to find the NIH research publication on human and great ape blood type research in 2010. So if you are a B-type, forget about the fantasy that your great ancestors was part of the horde, it might came from before your ancestors were even humans.

Next, is the actual study itself. As they say, if you claim something, you better prove it. And in the case of bood type diet, where is the raw data? The Belgian Red Cross decided to do a study on it, published on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2013 research regarding validity of the references used by the blood type diet. After poring over 1415 references on the diet, they concluded “No evidence currently exists to validate the purported health benefits of blood type diets.”. That’s right folks, all those “scientific evidences” that was being cited by “doctor” Peter D’Adamo were all fake.

Last but not least, suppose the studies cited by the proponents does not validate the postulate at all, what happens if somebody somewhere did proper study on it with a huuge data set? Well, Professor El-Sohemy of the University of Toronto did that, with 1455 test subjects, complete with DNA analysis. You can click on the following for the study published in 2014 by National Institute of Health regarding the effects of blood type diet And even after taking into account factors ranging from age, sex, ethnicity, and energy intake, the result is a resounding No.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the “postulate” by this homeopath is simply a crock. Now I’m off to enjoy my medium rare beef burger that I pan fried with some butter!

Persistent low back pain and associated myths

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, between 75% to 85% of the population are experiencing lower back pain. According to University of Maryland, it is the leading cause of disability among male under the age of 45. So if you are one of those people that are experiencing them at the moment, of having recurring episodic pain, understand that you are not alone.

So what happened if you have tried all, and nothing works. What does it mean when the leading “experts” claimed that its all in your head? Does it mean that you are going mad? What happens if you are sure if its real? Recent studies indicate that orthotics, acupuncture, even specialized beds has been inconclusive. In fact, according to Dr. Stuart McGill, Professor of Kinesiology at University of Waterloo, most back surgery does not give long term success for patients based on his 30 years experience. Does that mean that you are doomed to live with this pain for the rest of your life?

The main problem with low back pain is that people seems to think every one has the same problem and should be treated the same. But sorry folks, low back pain is not the same with diabetes. It’s more similar to cancer. Based on Dr. McGill’s research, there’s more than 6 different pain triggers for low back pain, all of them are associated with different conditions, and all each have unique solution. There is a time and place for back surgery, and most of the time you don’t need it. Of course, since a doctor’s time is precious, it will save the doctor a lot of time to give a general prescription to all low back pain (i.e. pain killer) and some common therapy exercise (i.e. yoga, pilates or swimming) before simply giving them a nuclear option (i.e. surgery) when it doesn’t work WITHOUT even trying to find the real trigger of your pain. Sounds familiar with you?

So what should you do? Finding a good back expert that is really passionate about helping people would be one. If you are lucky. Another option would be to simply read Back Mechanics by Dr. Stuart McGill, learn how to identify your own pain triggers and how to address them yourself. Hey, its definitely cheaper than a a visit to the chiropractor.

Oh, and the myths? Well, here are some of them based on the book:

  1. Myth: Stretching will help cure my backpain. Truth: Stretching will induce the stretch reflex in your muscles, giving temporary relief on the area. But if your pain is say due to disk bulge (what I used to have), then it actually put further stress on the affected disk. the relief itself only last 20 – 40 minutes.
  2. Myth: Pilates and or yoga will help cure my back. Truth: Some of the exercises in Pilates are actually bad for your lower back. Bad yoga teachers will get you bed bound for months by encouraging bad posture.
  3. Myth: My surgeon will cut my pain away.. Truth: In most cases, surgery will cause irreversible damage making you worse off than you were in the long run
  4. Myth: They say its all in my head. Truth: They need to get sent back to school, most of the time there is a cause and effect relationship between your pain and a physical phenomenon in your back.
  5. Myth: This pain killer the doctor prescribed will take care of the pain. Truth: unless the underlying cause is being addressed, you will ended up being dependent on the pain killer, most likely with ever increasing dosage.
  6. Myth: This work hardening exercise will make me less sensitized to the pain. Truth: You will be more sensitive to the pain just like a sore thumb will not become less sensitive by continually hitting it with a hammer.

References:

  1. American Association of Neurological Surgeons, December 2011
  2. University of Maryland, January 2012
  3. Painscience.com, July 2013
  4. Rosner A. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2014
  5. Clin J Pain. 2013 Feb;29(2):172-85. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31824909f9. Acupuncture for low back pain
  6. Stuart McGill research, http://www.ahs.uwaterloo.ca/~mcgill/
  7. Stuart McGill, Back Mechanics: Step by step McGill method to fix back pain