INOVATIVE

food intolerance test method

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INOVATIVE
food intolerance test method
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The reasons
of food intolerance?

The mechanisms of IgG-mediated food intolerance
are immune-complex based. Partially digested food
components pass into the bloodstream, inducing
the production of IgG antibodies and the formation of
antigenantibody complexes. If the immune complexes
are not sufficiently cleared, they are deposited
in tissues, causing inflammation.

The reasons of food intolerance?

The mechanisms of IgG-mediated food intolerance are immune-complex based. Partially digested food components pass into the bloodstream, inducing the production of IgG antibodies and the formation of antigenantibody complexes. If the immune complexes are not sufficiently cleared, they are deposited in tissues, causing inflammation.

Gastrointestinal tract
Diarrhea, constipation,
stomach upset, abdominal distension,
nausea, irritable bowel syndrome.

Skin
Itching, rash, eczema,
urticaria, acne, psoriasis.

Movement system
Joint pain, arthritis,
muscle spasms.

Symptoms
of food intolerance?

Neuro system
Headache, migraine, anxiety,
depression, chronic fatigue.

Respiratory system
Asthma, chronic runny nose, sinusitis.

Weight problems
Overweight, loss of weight.

ATTENTION!

Symptoms are not life-threatening and can be cured
eliminating the intolerable food from the diet – find out what food!

Symptoms of food intolerance?

Gastrointestinal tract
Diarrhea, constipation,
stomach upset, abdominal distension,
nausea, irritable bowel syndrome.

Skin
Itching, rash, eczema,
urticaria, acne, psoriasis.

Movement system
Joint pain, arthritis,
muscle spasms.

Neuro system
Headache, migraine, anxiety,
depression, chronic fatigue.

Respiratory system
Asthma, chronic runny nose, sinusitis.

Weight problems
Overweight, loss of weight.

ATTENTION!

Symptoms are not life-threatening and can be cured eliminating the intolerable food from the diet – find out what food!

About the test

About the test

Chronic unspecifc symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, nausea, migraine, asthma, eczema, arthritis or fatigue can have many different causes, including reactions to ingested food. It is often difcult to pinpoint the trigger of such symptoms and applying a routine exclusion diet is not always useful due to widely differing patient responses. Testing for antibodies of class IgG against different foods and food additives may help to establish if an immune-mediated food intolerance is behind the health problems. If high concentrations of IgG antibodies against a particular food are identifed, elimination of the offending substance from the diet may help to relieve symptoms. Thus, a comprehensive IgG analysis can help to tailor an individualised approach to diet management.

Food Intolerance

Food intolerance or food hypersensitivity is a detrimental reaction to a food or food additive. It may be caused by enzyme defects (e.g. lactose or histamine intolerance), food pharmacologicals (e.g. glutamate, sulphites, vasoactive amines, additives), toxins (e.g. aflatoxins) or IgG-mediated immune reactions.

Food intolerance differs from immediatetype, IgE-mediated food allergy (type 1 allergy) in that reactions are typically delayed and symptoms tend to be more generalised and chronic. In a classic IgE-mediated allergic reaction, consumption of an offending food results in a rapid release of histamine and immediate symptoms of tingling mouth, hives and swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) can lead to acute breathing problems and low blood pressure and can be life-threatening. In IgG-mediated food intolerance, on the other hand, onset of symptoms ranges from several hours to days after intake of the food. The most frequent symptoms are diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, nausea, upset stomach, irritable colon, migraine, asthma, joint disorders, lack of concentration, skin disorders and weight gain or loss.

The mechanisms of IgG-mediated food intolerance are immune-complex based. Partially digested food components pass into the bloodstream, inducing the production of IgG antibodies and the formation of antigenantibody complexes. If the immune complexes are not sufciently cleared, they are deposited in tissues, causing inflammation. Patients with a compromised immune system or an increased permeability of the intestinal wall, so-called leaky gut syndrome, are particularly susceptible to these inflammatory reactions. A leaky gut can be caused by diet-related hyperacidity of the gut flora, medication, infections, preservatives, alcohol, nicotine or stress or further factors. The immune
complexes are preferentially deposited in tissue that is already damaged or inflamed due to e.g. disease, infection or environmental toxins, resulting in augmentation of the inflammation and chronic symptoms.

To relieve symptoms, an elimination diet for a set period of time is usually recommended. The foods for which high IgG antibody concentrations were measured are excluded from the patient’s diet. Improving the gut flora by therapeutic measures can also be considered to reduce or prevent the permeability of the intestinal wall to food antigens.

IgG Subclasses

IgG antibodies have various functions, such as neutralisation of antigens, activation of the complement cascade, flagging of antigens for destruction (oponisation) and phagocyte binding. However, the four different subclasses of IgG play different roles (Table 1). Due to their strong oponisation and complement activation properties, IgG1 and IgG3 and to a lesser extent IgG2 are pro-inflammatory. IgG4 on the other hand has protective, anti-inflammatory properties. IgG4 plays a defensive role in type I allergy, acting as an antagonist of IgE. It induces the release of histamine, although to a much lesser extent than IgE. Therefore, IgG4 antibodies may lead to allergy symptoms particularly in histamine-intolerant patients. However, in chronic inflammatory processes, only the subclasses IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3 are relevant. Since IgG4 antibodies make up only a small proportion of all IgG, testing for total IgG is sufcient to detect clinical relevant titers of proinflammatory IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 antibodies..

Headaches and Migraine

Migraines have a complex etiology, but it is known that food can play a role in inducing or aggravating attacks. Already in the 1930s the benefts of an elimination diet were demonstrated. In recent studies, elimination diets based on IgG levels have been shown to have signifcant positive effects, such as reduction of the number of headache days, attack count or duration and severity of migraines. A further study revealed signifcant differences in the number of positive results for IgG to foods between 56 migraine sufferers and 56 controls, and elimination diets successfully controlled the migraines of these patients without the need for medication.

Arthritis

Food intolerance has been known for many decades to be a causative factor for developing arthritis. In a study of 22 patients with rheumatoid arthritis undertaking an elimination diet, 91% experienced an improvement of symptoms. All but one of these patients suffered a deterioration of their health status when the reactive foods were reintroduced into their diet.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder with a reported prevalence in the general population of 12 to 22%. The disease is poorly understood, but food intolerance is a major factor in its pathogenesis. Specifc foods can provoke symptoms of IBS, while patients treated with dietary exclusion frequently show symptomatic improvement. In a study on 150 IBS patients, an elimination diet based on raised IgG antibodies resulted in a 26% improvement in the symptom score compared to a sham diet, while relaxation of the diet led to a 24% deterioration. In a further study, 20 IBS patients showed signifcant improvement after food elimination and rotation diet based on serum IgG measurements.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

A retrospective study on 112 patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) (79 with Crohn’s disease and 33 with ulcerative colitis) and 266 healthy individuals showed that patients with inflammatory bowel diseases exhibit a high prevalence of antibodies of class IgG against certain foods and that qFIGURE 1: Examples of test parameters in EUROLINE food profles this can be used to establish an elimination diet. Further studies have similarly shown higher levels of food IgG antibodies (e.g. against yeast and processed cheese) in Crohn’s patients than in healthy controls, and demonstrated that nutritional intervention based on circulating IgG antibodies against food antigens can improve symptoms.

Asthma and Atopic Dermatitis

Increased levels of IgG antibodies against foods or food additives have also been observed in asthma and atopic dermatitis. For example, in 125 patients with beef allergy manifesting with asthma, dermatitis or gastrointestinal disorders, beef-specifc IgG and also IgA were signifcantly detected alongside and sometimes in the absence of specifc IgE. An elimination diet ameliorated the symptoms in all of the allergic patients. In another study, signifcantly elevated levels of IgE and IgG were found in a relatively high proportion of patients with atopic dermatitis compared to controls.

Autism

The etiology of autism is not well understood, but dietary restrictions are benefcial and a prerequisite to beneft from other interventions. The main foods for exclusion are milk and dairy products, wheat and other gluten sources, sugar, chocolate, preservatives and food colouring. Individualised IgG and IgE testing can identify other troublesome foods. In a study of 36 infantile autistic patients, high levels of antibodies including IgG against milk proteins were found compared to control children. Behavioural symptoms improved on an elimination diet, indicating a possible relationship between food allergy and autism.

Diagnostic Value of IgG Testing

The diagnostic value of IgG antibody detection for the diagnosis of food intolerance is controversially discussed. Nevertheless, different studies with up to several thousand patient samples have come to the conclusion that the determination of the antibody titer can be a useful tool for the identifcation of food intolerances and for targeted patient therapy. Generally, it could be shown that elimination of those foods against which strong antibody reactions were measured helped to improve symptoms or to promote complete recovery in a statistically signifcant number of patients. A large internet-based study on the diagnostic beneft and clinical relevance of IgG antibodies as a marker qTABLE 1: Properties and abundance of different IgG subclasses of food intolerance concluded that IgG determination provides a clinically useful basis for establishing an elimination diet.

IgG Determination

IgG antibodies against different food and food additives can be easily determined by immunoassay. Immunoblots are particular useful for this application as they allow multiparameter analysis of hundreds of different parameters in parallel, providing an extremely wide-ranging screening (Figure 1). This is especially important in food intolerance, as symptoms tend to be delayed or chronic and may be difcult to link with consumption of a particular food.

Total IgG against 108 or 216 foods and food additives can be analysed simultaneously with a new range of immunoblot profles based on established EUROLINE technology. The foods represented on the strips are divided into categories, encompassing gluten-containing cereals, gluten-free cereals and alternative foods, meats, dairy and egg, fruits, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds, vegetables, legumes, salads, mushrooms, fsh and seafood, and other foodstuffs such as yeasts, honey, coffee and black tea. Only small volumes of patient serum are required for the analysis, just 40 µl for 108 results. By analysing 22 patient samples in one run, 2,376 single results can be obtained in just 4.5 hours. Results are evaluated semiquantitatively using four calibrators corresponding to the WHO reference serum 1st IRP 67/86. To increase productivity further the entire procedure, from sample identifcation and incubation to evaluation and archiving of results, can be fully automated e.g. on the EUROBlotOne device with EUROLineScan software.

Perspectives

The determination of IgG antibodies against food and food additives can contribute to the diagnostic workup for patients with chronic food-related health problems. Although the link between food-specifc IgG antibodies and chronic inflammatory processes has not yet been frmly established, many studies have demonstrated an association between food IgG antibodies and different diseases, and shown that elimination diets based on IgG reactions can help to relieve symptoms. Thus, patients with unspecifc gastrointestinal and other symptoms which cannot be attributed to any known cause may beneft from a comprehensive IgG analysis and a corresponding elimination diet. As with classic IgE allergy tests, IgG results should always be interpreted in the context of clinical observations. Further studies should help to clarify the role of food-specifc IgG antibodies in poor gut health.

List of references

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2. Arroyave Hernández CM, Echavarría Pinto M, Hernández Montiel HL. Food allergy mediated by IgG antibodies associated with migraine in adults. Rev Alerg Mex. 2007 Sep-Oct;54(5):162-8. Erratum in: Rev Alerg Mex. 2010 Mar-Apr;57(2):49. Echevarría Pinto, Mauro.
3. Awazuhara H, Kawai H, Maruchi N. Major allergens in soybean and clinical significance of IgG4 antibodies investigated by IgE- and IgG4-immunoblotting with sera from soybean-sensitive patients. Clin Exp Allergy. 1997 Mar;27(3):325-32.
4. Aydinlar EI, Dikmen PY, Tiftikci A, Saruc M, Aksu M, Gunsoy HG, Tozun N. IgG-based elimination diet in migraine plus irritable bowel syndrome. Headache. 2013 Mar;53(3):514-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2012.02296.x. Epub 2012 Dec 6.
5. Bentz S, Hausmann M, Piberger H, Kellermeier S, Paul S, Held L, Falk W, Obermeier F, Fried M, Schölmerich J, Rogler G. Digestion. Clinical relevance of IgG antibodies against food antigens in Crohn's disease: a double-blind cross-over diet intervention study. 2010;81(4):252-64. doi: 10.1159/000264649. Epub 2010 Jan 30.
6. Bernardi D, Borghesan F, Faggian D, Bianchi FC, Favero E, Billeri L, Plebani M. Time to reconsider the clinical value of immunoglobulin G4 to foods? Clin Chem Lab Med. 2008;46(5):687-90.
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9. Calderon TE, Ferrero M, Marino GM, Cordoba A, Beltramo D, Muino JC, Rabinovich GA, Romero MD. Meat-specific IgG and IgA antibodies coexist with IgE antibodies in sera from allergic patients: clinical association and modulation by exclusion diet. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2010 Jul-Sep;24(3):261-71.
10. Codina RM, Calderón E, Lockey RF, Fernández-Caldas E, Rama R. Specific immunoglobulins to soybean hull allergens in soybean asthma. Chest. 1997 Jan;111(1):75-80.
11. Drisko J, Bischoff B, Hall M, McCallum R. Treating irritable bowel syndrome with a food elimination diet followed by food challenge and probiotics. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Dec;25(6):514-22.
12. Duchateau J, Michils A, Lambert J, Gossart B, Casimir G. Anti-betalactoglobulin IgG antibodies bind to a specific profile of epitopes when patients are allergic to cow's milk proteins. Clin Exp Allergy. 1998 Jul;28(7):824-33.
13. el Rafei A, Peters SM, Harris N, Bellanti JA. Diagnostic value of IgG4 measurements in patients with food allergy. Ann Allergy. 1989 Feb;62(2):94-9.
14. Gaby AR. The role of hidden food allergy/intolerance in chronic disease. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Apr;3(2):90-100.
15. Germano P, Pezzini A, Boccagni P, Zanoni G, Tridente G. Specific humoral response to cows' milk proteins and ovalbumin in children with atopic dermatitis. Int J Clin Lab Res. 1993;23(4):206-11.
16. Haddad ZH, Vetter M, Friedmann J, Sainz C, Brunner E. Detection and kinetics of antigenspecific IgE and IgG immune complexes in food allergy. Ann Allergy. 1983 Aug;51(2 Pt 2):255.
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19. Jones VA, McLaughlan P, Shorthouse M, Workman E, Hunter JO. Food intolerance: a major factor in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome. Lancet. 1982 Nov 20;2(8308):1115-7.
20. Kawaguchi T, Mori M, Saito K, Suga Y, Hashimoto M, Sako M, Yoshimura N, Uo M, Danjo K, Ikenoue Y, Oomura K, Shinozaki J, Mitsui A, Kajiura T, Suzuki M, Takazoe M. Food antigeninduced immune responses in Crohn's disease patients and experimental colitis mice. J Gastroenterol. 2015 Apr;50(4):394-405. doi: 10.1007/s00535-014-0981-8. Epub 2014 Aug 7.
21. Kidd PM. Autism, an extreme challenge to integrative medicine. Part 2: medical management. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Dec;7(6):472-99.
22. Lindberg E, Magnusson KE, Tysk C, Järnerot G. Antibody (IgG, IgA, and IgM) to baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), yeast mannan, gliadin, ovalbumin and betalactoglobulin in monozygotic twins with inflammatory bowel disease. Gut. 1992 Jul;33(7):909-13.
23. Lucarelli S, Frediani T, Zingoni AM, Ferruzzi F, Giardini O, Quintieri F, Barbato M, D'Eufemia P, Cardi E. Food allergy and infantile autism. Panminerva Med. 1995 Sep;37(3):137-41.
24. Mitchell N, Hewitt CE, Jayakody S, Islam M, Adamson J, Watt I, Torgerson DJ. Randomised controlled trial of food elimination diet based on IgG antibodies for the prevention of migraine like headaches. Nutr J. 2011 Aug 11;10:85. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-10-85.
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26. Nanda R, James R, Smith H, Dudley CR, Jewell DP. Food intolerance and the irritable bowel syndrome. Gut. 1989 Aug;30(8):1099-104.
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Dr. Thomas Pfeiffer, Luebeck, Germany
www.medlabmagazine.com • DIAGNOSTICS / FOOD-SPECIFIC IgG TITERS

You can choose testing of 108 or 216 food products for food intolerance

You can choose testing of 108 or 216 food products for food intolerance

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Emmental cheese*
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Egg white (Chicken)
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Black tea
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Baking powder
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* product can be found only in 216 food product test palette

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For information on test costs, contact the laboratory of your choice

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