Host factors shaping the microbiome - is there evidence for the blood group diet?

4 Oct, 2021

Talk of Andre Franke, head of the research group Genetics & Bioinformatics, IKMB, speaker of the DFG Research Training Group RTG 1743 Genes, Environment and Inflammation, at the Scientific Symposium of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e.V. in Bonn on 29th September, 2021.

The US-American naturopath Dr. med. D’Adamo states: “Your blood group determines your diet and your life style”. He and his followers believe that depending on the blood group people tolerate different food - for evolutionary reasons, as they say. If one follows D’Adamo’s hypotheses, one is supposed to live a healthier life.

Until now there is a no scientific proof for this theory. However, blood groups play indeed a role in several diseases, e.g. also in hemorrhoids disease1 and COVID-19 susceptibility2 as identified and presented by Andre Franke. At the Symposium, Franke also showed recent findings on the gut microbiome that is not only influenced by diet but as well as by genetic variation in the blood group genes ABO and FUT23. Further details on the results of this genome-wide microbiome association study (mGWAS) are provided in the respective manuscript and press release4.

Among others Dirk Haller (Chair of Nutrition Medicine and Biofunctionality, Technical University Munich, Germany), member of the scientific advisory board of the RTG 1743, and Jeroen Raes (Bioinformatics and (Eco)-Systems Biology, KU Leuven, Belgium), member of the scientific advisory board of the RU miTarget, also contributed to the overall topic of the symposium. Thomas Bosch (Metaorganism Research, Kiel University) chaired the vivid panel discussion with Thomas Clavel (Functional Microbiome Research, RWTH Aachen, Germany), Andre Franke and Dirk Haller. Exchange and discussions with the experts joining the conference was vivid and lead to new ideas and collaborations.

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) was established in 1953 and has since been engaged in topics on nutrition and nutritional research. From the onset, the DGE has been a non-profit organization committed to scientific facts. The DGE is an official incorporated society and is not influenced by economic or political interests.

  1. Zheng T, Ellinghaus D, Juzenas S, …, Wedel T, Kahlke V, Schafmayer C, D'Amato M, Franke A. Genome-wide analysis of 944 133 individuals provides insights into the etiology of haemorrhoidal disease. Gut. 2021 Apr 22;70(8):1538–49. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323868. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33888516; PMCID: PMC8292596.
  2. Rühlemann MC, Hermes BM, Bang C, …, Laudes M, Lieb W, Haller D, Lerch MM, Baines JF, Franke A. Genome-wide association study in 8,956 German individuals identifies influence of ABO histo-blood groups on gut microbiome. Nat Genet. 2021 Feb;53(2):147-155. doi: 10.1038/s41588-020-00747-1. Epub 2021 Jan 18. PMID: 33462482.
  3. Severe Covid-19 GWAS Group, Ellinghaus D, Degenhardt F, …, Franke A, Karlsen TH. Genomewide Association Study of Severe Covid-19 with Respiratory Failure. N Engl J Med. 2020 Oct 15;383(16):1522-1534. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2020283. Epub 2020 Jun 17. PMID: 32558485; PMCID: PMC7315890.