Small Angry People II

Small Angry People II

I have to admit, I was tempted to call this post “B***h Right 4 Your Type,” in honor of the review (”Eat Right 4 Your Type“) – and subsequent comment by “Elizabeth Victoria” – that inspired it. But since I already have a post titled “Small, Angry People,” I figured I’d turn this one into a sequel. It’s not as clevah, perhaps, but the shoe (definitely) fits.

So what’s the deal?

Here’s the background:  Like most sensible people, Paul found D’Adamo’s blood type/diet “theory” to be based on pseudoscientific BS…. so he said so in his review. And, like most sensible people who write sensible things, he drew the ire of several “true believers” confused about “cause and effect.”

No surprises there. On the forums I mod, I’ve been dealing with people attracted to this goofy program for years. My responses on the topic have ranged from flippant…

I’m O+ and have no problems with either wheat or dairy foods. Never have, and I’ve been around long enough to say it’s not likely that I ever will.

And please don’t say that if I removed these foods from my diet, I might do even better. If I were doing any better, I’d have to get myself a set of breast implants, a patriotic leotard, and start fighting crime as a super hero.

to serious…

As noted above, I reviewed this as part of a booklet on popular diets for FLR. D’Adamo simply has a ton of the science wrong. As I wrote:

“D’Adamo contends that blood type O represents the oldest blood type and people with this type are best suited to a diet that parallels what ancient hunter-gatherers ate. He also proposes that the evolution of other blood types occurred relatively recently, in response to the changes in diet and environment brought about by agriculture and other changes in lifestyle. People with blood type A are supposed to do best on vegetarian diets, as did the ancestral farmers who were allegedly the first to express this allele between 25,000 and 15,000 years ago. On the other hand, people with blood type B do better on mixed diets, like their nomadic, often warlike Asian ancestors did. D’Adamo writes that type AB arose barely 1000 years ago, and represents, in his words, ‘the perfect metaphor for modern life: complex and unsettled.’

Scientists studying the molecular evolution of the ABO blood group antigens tell a very different story, however. ABO blood types also occur in primates, and D’Adamo does not explain how the A and B antigens – which are supposed to have developed in response to civilization-driven dietary alterations – could have arisen independently in these species in the absence of such lifestyle changes.

More importantly, D’Adamo ignores current scientific evidence that: a) the ‘A’ antigen – not ‘O’ evolved first; b) the selection pressures favoring variation are thought to be protection from disease and/or infection (2) – not diet; and c) all of the ABO blood group divisions evolved millions – not thousands – of years ago. (3,4) Even worse for D’Adamo’s case, there are a large number of ABO variants that have been identified* – 40 for the O antigen alone, (3) which makes a dietary system based on only 4 divisions childishly simplistic.

D’Adamo also loses it on his explanation between diet and blood type. D’Adamo claims that proteins in foods known as ‘lectins’ cause ‘agglutination’ reactions in blood cells, with largely detrimental consequences to your digestion and health. He’s correct that lectins are ubiquitous, and that they can agglutinate blood cells (at least under laboratory conditions using cell cultures) – but he misses the fact that most food lectins are not ABO blood group-specific. The majority of lectins derived from food will react with cells from all blood group antigens, or with none. (5)”

If that isn’t convincing, consider the fact that I’m O+ myself, and – according to my most recent pics – appear to be doing ok, despite my daily consumption of eggs and whey. Admittedly, wheat isn’t a major presence in my diet, but it isn’t because I have any problems with it – quite the contrary (I’ve eaten wheat for years and still consume some every now and then)…it’s just that I prefer my carb calories to come from more nutrient-dense sources (veggies/fruit, legumes, dairy)…I don’t eat a lot of grains these days at all.

So, naturally, Paul has my complete sympathy. It’s not easy to explain the difference between pseudoscience and real science to people who don’t understand – and often don’t WANT to understand – the distinction.

So where does “Elizabeth Victoria” fit into all this?

It’s simple: Paul, naturally enough, responded to most of the negative/confused commenters in the thread. And “Elizabeth Victoria” found Paul’s responses objectionable… to put it mildly.

On March 8, 2010, a gynocologist (M.D.) advised me to begin following this diet. Skeptical, even though a bonafied physician recommended it, I searched for reviews from others in the medical field and from those who tried eating for their blood type. I was shocked…flabbergasted… at the raw, insulting responses you provided to those who took the time to express their beliefs. I would postulate that all of those taking the time to write were well-intentioned; and had your responses been educational more than rude, they might have thought twice before continuing with the diet. I wonder what deep woundedness you come from to be so bitterly defensive.

I do not know whether I will try this approach, partly because I, like most people in the standard deviation of 1, take responses such as yours as unadultrated narcissism and it discredits you; even though you may be correct in your beliefs. I truly wish you the best, and hope you will consider working on your social skills.

ROFLMAO!!! And she thinks PAUL needs to work on his social skills!?

I’ve known and worked with the man for over 2 years, and lemme tell you: Paul is the most even-tempered, good-natured and fair-minded dude on the face of the planet. I combed through his review and responses twice, and saw absolutely NOTHING to warrant charges of ”raw,” “insulting;” “bitterly defensive” or “unadultrated [sic] narcissism.”

But you don’t have to take my word for it… Here’s a representative sample:

Aaron, I can see you spent a LOT of time reading the review. If you did, you’ll see that it’s not just us who disagrees with D’Adamo theories, but plenty of “doctors” as well.

…Regarding your “doctor” comment. Wow. I already addressed this in the article, but you were obviously too busy preparing to share your opinion, rather than actually reviewing our article to see what the basis for our conclusions were.

Sigh. We give up. Really, who can argue with statements like “who’s to say your facts are any more reputable than Dr.D’Adamo’s?”

The point, Lee – had you actually READ the review you would have undoubtedly noticed this – is that D’Adamo doesn’t have any evidence upon which to base his theory.

…Additionally – again had you READ the review you would have noticed this – there are numerous reasons why the diet will work, but absolutely none of them have anything to do with your blood type.

I can see why you don’t understand why we devote some time “bad mouthing this book.” After all, you haven’t taken the time to find out who we are, or what we do. Let me explain… our job is to take the claims made by the author of any diet we review, and determine whether or not there is any sound science backing them up.

…Secondly, despite your assertion, you apparently haven’t even bothered to read the review. If you had, you would have seen that we pointed that there are plenty of solid reasons why this diet may work for you.

M, thanks for sending this along. But this is not “proof” nor does it validate D’Adamo’s theory. In fact, even the author of this paper agrees. For instance, see page 14, “Can food sensitivities be predicted by blood type? Yes and No.”

To summarize your argument you are saying that even if D’Adamo’s theories are a bust, it’s of little consequence since the end result – people begin making intelligent eating choices and lifestyle changes and are losing weight – is a good one. Personally, we can see why anyone would think that, but there are issues with this line of thinking.

…Secondly, you make the statement “79% of the people who bought the book would recommend it.” That is incorrect. 79% of the people who bought the book AND who left feedback on Amazon would recommend it.

Shorter Paul: “You didn’t read/understand my review.” 

OMG –  Ah have the vapors!!! Pass the smelling salts!!!  How much lower could he possibly go!?? 😀

I hope you can tell I’m being sarcastic, here. To be honest, the only thing I found ”shocking” or “flabbergasting” about Paul’s responses, is that someone found them “shocking” or “flabbergasting” in the first place. Sure, some annoyance comes across, but this is pretty mild, under the circumstances.  Paul works his a** off to give people useful information, so I can hardly blame the guy for being irritated by accusations of  “slander” and “negative judgements“.  But he never lost his temper, told anyone off or called them  names… which is what most rational people would consider “raw” and “insulting.” In truth, the most “raw” and “insulting” comments in the thread belong to Liz herself.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more classic case of projection than this. Irony, thy name is “Elizabeth Victoria.”

Whatever other virtues Liz possesses,  self-awareness obviously isn’t one of them. But then again, she also claims to speak for “the standard deviation of 1,” so this is probably par for the course. Small, angry people like her seldom manage to achieve coherence. 😉

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.

3 Comments

  1. You can be as tactfull as possible in telling people things they don’t want to hear, but it won’t matter. They will make it sound like you personally attacked them or their belief.

    Paul did an excellant job in his review and response.

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  2. I absolutely enjoy reading Paul’s no-nonsense approach to reviewing various products. THAT’S why I’m here! Poor Liz. It’s never very effective to accuse someone of being rude and insulting by, wait… being rude and insulting? BTW, loved your “Small Angry People II.” Great article with witty sarcasm 😉

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