Blood type diets lack supporting evidence: a systematic review

Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jul;98(1):99-104. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.058693. Epub 2013 May 22.


Background: Diets that are based on the ABO blood group system have been promoted over the past decade and claim to improve health and decrease risk of disease. To our knowledge, the evidence to support the effectiveness of blood type diets has not previously been assessed in the scientific literature.

Objective: In this current systematic review, published studies that presented data related to blood type diets were identified and critically appraised by using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.

Design: A systematic search was performed to answer the following question: In humans grouped according to blood type, does adherence to a specific diet improve health and/or decrease risk of disease compared with nonadherence to the diet? The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, and Embase were systematically searched by using sensitive search strategies.

Results: Sixteen articles were identified from a total of 1415 screened references, with only one article that was considered eligible according to the selection criteria. The identified article studied the variation between LDL-cholesterol responses of different MNS blood types to a low-fat diet. However, the study did not directly answer the current question. No studies that showed the health effects of ABO blood type diets were identified.

Conclusions: No evidence currently exists to validate the purported health benefits of blood type diets. To validate these claims, studies are required that compare the health outcomes between participants adhering to a particular blood type diet (experimental group) and participants continuing a standard diet (control group) within a particular blood type population.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diet / trends*
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • ABO Blood-Group System