Your immune system is designed to protect the body from invaders. At the forefront is your gut, the largest immune organ in the body!
Immune cells along the digestive tract prevent bacteria and viruses from entering your body. But, how can your immune cells tell the difference between a harmless apple and harmful E. coli?
Like you, your immune cells are smart. With practice over time, these cells learn to attack invading pathogens and ignore delicious nutrients.
But, in certain situations, your immune cells can confuse foods in your diet for bacteria or viruses. In a frenzy of overactivation, these immune cells can produce antibodies against particular grains, fruits, vegetables, meats, legumes or nuts in your diet.
The result? A range of symptoms both in and out of your gut. Some people may experience intestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea; while others may endure extra-intestinal symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, joint pain and acne.
This is know as food sensitivity.
A food sensitivity should not be confused with a food allergy. A food allergy is a potentially life threatening event that happens seconds to minutes after encountering a particular food. An example would be a child whose throat begins to swell shut after eating a peanut. Anyone with a food allergy should carry an Epi pen in the event of anaphylaxis.
Food sensitivities are not life threatening. However, food sensitivities can produce bothersome symptoms that detract from your quality of life. Symptoms may appear hours or even days after consuming the food. For this reason, it can be quite difficult to pinpoint which foods are impairing your concentration or making you tired.
Even seemingly healthy foods like egg whites or almonds can overactivate your immune cells and unleash frustrating symptoms. The only way to know for certain is to get tested.
The Food Safe test is a simple blood test that checks for sensitivities against 95 common foods in the diet.
Of note, an antibody would only be positive if you have consumed the food in the past few months. For example, if you've never consumed shrimp in your life, your shrimp antibody will not be positive. Why? If your immune cells have never been exposed to shrimp, they haven't had the opportunity to produce shrimp antibodies.
Let's take a different common scenario: gluten sensitivity. Six months ago, believing you have a gluten sensitivity, you removed gluten from your diet. Would the gluten antibodies come back positive? No. Over a period of months, once the offending food is removed from the diet, the antibody level decreases. Thus, if you wanted to actually confirm that you have a gluten sensitivity, you would need to reintroduce gluten into your diet for a few weeks before taking the test to see if your immune cells are actually generating antibodies against gluten.
Ready to test for food sensitivities?
The cost is $400
How It Works
1. Prick Your Finger
Prick! A lancet is used to prick your finger.
Drops of blood are then placed in five circles on the test card.
The process is nearly painless and takes only a few minutes.
2. Send To Lab
Your test card is mailed directly to the laboratory.
Which foods is your immune system attacking? The lab uses technology to measure antibody levels against 95 different common foods, such as: cow's milk, pineapple, gluten, shrimp and peanuts.
Results typically take 7-10 days.
3. Get Your Report
Your report card will identify which foods are safe to eat, which should be limited and which should be avoided.
Low antibody levels (in blue) mean the food is safe to eat.
Moderate antibody levels (in yellow) mean the food should be limited.
High antibody levels (in red) mean the food should be avoided.
Brandtzaeg, Per. "Food allergy: separating the science from the mythology" Nat. Rev. Gastroenterol. Heptaol. 7, 380-400.