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Tag: dietary therapy

The MRT vs the ALCAT: Is Food Sensitivity Testing Reliable?

People ask me all the time if food sensitivity testing is reliable. My answer is always: “Depends on which test you use.”

Food sensitivity/food allergy testing that looks for IgE or IgG antibodies can show us whether or not someone has been exposed to a food and created an antibody to it, but not necessarily if the person becomes symptomatic when exposed.

In other words, antibodies can tell us there is a gun in the room, but not whether it has been fired. The existence of these antibodies are not reliable indicators of symptoms.

The ALCAT test, invented in the early 1980s by a team led by Dr. Mark Pasula, was the first test to look at the release of inflammatory markers known as mediators rather than the slippery antibodies. Over time, Dr. Pasula wasn’t satisfied with the way the ALCAT measured the mediator release from the blood. This led to a bitter difference of opinion within ALCAT and Dr. Pasoula split to apply what he had figured out to making a more accurate and reliable test.

The state-of-the-art Mediator Release Test, or MRT, is like ALCAT 2.0.

Dr. Allen Bonilla, D.C., in Los Angeles, recently decided to see once and for all which test, the ALCAT or the MRT, would provide more accurate results with which to treat his suffering patients. In this video, he takes blood samples for three ALCAT tests and three MRT tests on the same afternoon and submitted them to the labs.

Holding the results side-by-side, it’s plain to see that the ALCAT results changed radically from sample to sample, while the MRT results were practically identical for the three submissions.

Thank you, Dr. Bonilla, for this enlightening experiment, and for sharing it on video. (Be sure to continue reading below the video for more…)

I’ve always found it hard to trust ALCAT results when working with clients, and now I can see exactly how unreliable this test is. It’s unfortunate, because ALCAT employs a sales force that convinces allergists and other doctors to order this test for their patients. When following the ALCAT results does not eliminate their symptoms, they dismiss the idea the dietary therapy could help relieve their condition.

Oxford Laboratories, on the other hand, the company Dr. Pasula founded to build the MRT, realizes that doctors do not have the time or expertise in nutrition to correctly interpret the test results and implement a therapeutic diet, so they focused their efforts on training Registered Dieticians (RDs) and other practitioners knowledgeable in nutrition and food.

Which makes the MRT a choice to go with a professional who can take the time to work with you to regain your health.

My food sensitivities clinic is open to clients nationwide. My clients receive not only the reliable results from the MRT, but also extensive analysis and customized anti-inflammatory diet plans complete with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas, recipes, and safe brands and shopping advice.

A Fight MS with Food Case Study: Cyndi C.

An update from the Fight MS with Food project:

Case study of Cyndi C.

Cyndi is a 42-year old married mother diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. When she joined the Fight MS with Food project, her main symptom was extreme pain and itchiness on her upper right arm and shoulder. The skin there was constantly red and angry, inflamed and bumpy, giving her a lot of discomfort. She also complained of acid reflux/heartburn along with bloating, though she was more concerned about the pain in the arm that the doctors had definitively linked to her MS.

7/7/2011 We started Cyndi off with a gentle herbal parasite cleanse because a hidden parasitic infection may be at the root of many chronic inflammatory disorders. Short and simple: if you have parasites, you’ll never be fully well until you kill off the parasites.

8/19/2011 With the parasites gone, Cyndi took the state-of-the-art Mediator Release Test (MRT) that looked at how her blood responds to 150 common foods and chemicals. Although Cyndi had been a “healthy” eater before, she was still experiencing irrational inflammation manifesting in symptoms of MS, indicating some hidden sensitivities. After extensive interpretation and analysis of the blood test results together with professional dietary counseling, Cyndi altered her diet to include only the foods shown to cause the least amount of inflammatory response in her blood. She was off and ready to take charge of her health!

9/1/2011 The first weeks were the hardest. Limited to about 25 foods, it was a struggle to be creative and maintain interest in her allowed foods, even though she had come up with some delicious creations like a hard corn tostada shell topped with avocado together with scallops sauteed in sesame oil. After two weeks, the pain was receding and the itching was starting to feel better. She was identifying her personal care products that contained ingredients she now knew were irritating her body and was replacing them with safe alternatives. We added more foods to her allowed list, asking her to try them one at a time so that she could see if they made her react.

10/12/11 Today Cyndi said, “I found it so hard to believe that healthy things could do this to you, but everything has changed now.”  The pain and itching in her arm are gone so long as she sticks to her safe foods. She is actively adding new foods and now knows that if she is going to react to a new food, her arm will start hurting within 1-2 days. What is really amazing is that the pain will clear up within just a few hours if she has been back on safe foods since the the new food trial.

She has noticed a marked change in her energy level. Where she used to poop out in the afternoons at work, to the point of having her head down on her desk many days, now she doesn’t even feel tired later in the day. She no longer has heartburn or bloating. She has noticed that 15 extra pounds disappeared from her body as she released inflammation. Her hands look visibly less puffy than they used to.

Conclusions: After only three months, indications of a reduction of chronic MS symptoms are visible. Since the client began the treatment protocols outlined in the Fight MS with Food project, she no longer lives with pain, has more energy, and a renewed vitality for life. There is every indication that the disease is moving into remission.

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment is in bringing Cyndi to a safe, stable state where she is able to track symptoms to their triggers, and giving her a road map to return to that safe place whenever she needs to stabilize her body. Even though she has flare-ups when she discovers a new food sensitivity, the duration and intensity have reduced to where they are gone by the following day. As time goes on, and she identifies more and more foods she can tolerate, she will be able to avoid the triggers and avoid the flare-ups completely. Since the damage done by MS is marked by inflammatory activity, her progress could indicate a pause in the progress of the disease. Regardless, she can now enjoy a happier, pain-free life.

*Additional note: As an unexpected bonus, her teenage daughter is feeling healthier, too, now that she is eating the foods that her mom does!