Food Sensitivity testing has BOOMED over the last 5 years or so as individuals have been empowered to take their health into their own hands. I’m a HUGE fan of personal empowerment when it comes to health, but I’m not a fan of most of the at-home Food Sensitivity test kit’s I’m seeing on the market these days.
As an NTP + RWS practitioner, I’m trained to run the MRT food sensitivity test with my clients. The MRT stands for “Mediator Release Test” and is much different from the typical Immunologic (mainly IgG) food sensitivity tests we’re seeing from a lot of these over-the-counter, at-home tests on the market right now.
For example, the Everly Well at-home kit tests your sample against 96 different foods and only looks at your IgG reactivity to foods, when there’s actually 5 different immunoglobulins. According to rhcsd.org:
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is found in high concentrations in the mucous membranes, particularly those lining the respiratory passages and gastrointestinal tract, as well as in saliva and tears.
- Immunoglobulin G (IgG), the most abundant type of antibody, is found in all body fluids and protects against bacterial and viral infections.
- Immunoglobulin M (IgM), which is found mainly in the blood and lymph fluid, is the first antibody to be made by the body to fight a new infection.
- Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which is associated mainly with allergic reactions (when the immune system overreacts to environmental antigens such as pollen or pet dander). It is found in the lungs, skin, and mucous membranes.
- Immunoglobulin D (IgD), which exists in small amounts in the blood, is the least understood antibody.
These different types of immunoglobulins aren’t the most important thing to understand when it comes to food sensitivities, (and half of them may not even react to food) but I’m sharing these with you to show you that the immune system’s reactivity and functionality is incredibly complex and immunoglobulins are only scratching the surface. They’re also a poor way to determine food sensitivities + how the body responds to inflammation as a whole.
To simply test ONE type of immunoglobulin against ONLY 96 foods through a dried-blood, finger-prick test is a terrible way to determine the full picture of potential white blood cell mediation from your bio-individual inflammatory foods.
This is why I do NOT recommend over-the-counter food sensitivity tests and love the MRT test for a comprehensive view on food sensitivities. According to the MRT website:
“Despite all of the clinical and immunologic complexities associated with food sensitivities, the single common component of all diet-induced inflammatory reactions is pro-inflammatory and proalgesic mediator release from white cells. It’s the release of cytokines, histamine, leukotrienes, prostaglandins, etc., from neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils and lymphocytes that lead to all the negative clinical effects a food sensitivity sufferer endures. This is true under all of the numerous immunologic circumstances and clinical circumstances associated with food sensitivities.”
In plain terms, it is the MEDIATORS that white blood cells release to combat a foreign object in the bloodstream that cause the unsavory reactions/symptoms when it comes to food sensitivities- NOT simply IgG or immunoglobulin response.
That is precisely what the MRT test is measuring- Mediators. A much more comprehensive look at your immune systems inflammatory response to 170+ foods.
I also love the MRT shows a sliding scale response to how your white blood cells are mediating the inflammatory response to various foods. Meaning you won’t simply get results that say “yes, you have a sensitivity to this food” or “Nope, no sensitivity to that”, you’ll get results that show you what LEVEL of reactivity/sensitivity you have. This way, you can avoid turning those “high greens” that are getting close to the moderate yellow into actual yellow/moderate sensitivities as seen below.
The last thing I have to say about Food Sensitivity testing is the importance in working 1-1 with a wellness professional so you can eradicate these challenges to improve your overall health + immune function. Many people try to tackle these results on their own and end up prolonging their healing process, even if these companies send you a “how-to” for healing. Oftentimes they focus on solely removing the food sensitivities and not getting to the root cause- challenges with digestive functionality that requires healing and sealing the GI tract.
Working with a professional who can focus on you and your needs for healing in a 1-1 setting can make a world of difference and cut your healing time in half.
To learn more about food sensitivities, why they happen, how to heal from them, and how to get your hands on an MRT test, stay tuned for the podcast episode coming out this Thursday! We’re doing a deep dive on all things food sensitivities and it’s a real nerdy one.
Also keep an eye out for future group programs where we’ll incorporate MRT testing into your healing protocol.
If you’re looking for a practitioner immediately to get an MRT completed, check out the RWS “find a practitioner” tab to find someone near you!