Roger Deutsch, co-author of Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat, is no stranger to allergies.
"I grew up in the Northeast, and I suffered very extensively from serious allergy problems," says Deutsch. "I asked my doctor what caused allergies, and she said, 'No one knows' - so I felt a bit discouraged and decided to set out on my own to try and figure out how to solve my own problems."
"It didn't take too long to figure out that food and nutrition have the most to do with everything regarding health, including allergy and sensitivity. I found drastic, phenomenal improvement in my own condition when I began to control my own diet."
Since 1986, Deutsch has been working on the development of the ALCAT test, a simple blood test that measures food sensitivities. Deutsch is the founder of Cell Science Systems, the only company in the world that offers ALCAT testing. The ALCAT test is the only proven laboratory method for finding out which foods may be causing allergies, weight gain, water retention, skin problems, fatigue, arthritis, and various other problems.
Food Sensitivity vs. Food Allergy
A food sensitivity, also known as a food intolerance, delayed food allergy, or hidden food allergy, is not the same thing as a true food allergy.
"They involve different branches of the immune system," explains Deutsch.
A true food allergy causes a rapid, violent onset of symptoms. "It's meant to be that way," says Deutsch. "This is an evolutionary carryover from our defenses against parasites, so the body's reaction is to give it everything it's got... and when this occurs with food, it can actually be life-threatening."
"A food intolerance, on the other hand, is mediated by a different branch of the immune system," says Deutsch. "It's called the innate immune system as opposed to the specifc immune system, and it's the same branch of the immune system that works as a first line of defense against bacteria. The symptom onset is different. We actually see symptoms coming on a delayed and chronic basis and a more low-grade basis, so people may be reacting to a food that they're in contact with on a very regular basis but have no idea that it's the food causing their fatigue, or migraines, or chronic arthritis, or disturbance to their metabolism."
Since food allergies and food sensitivities involve different chemical pathways, they require different tests for detection. A standard allergy test cannot detect a food sensitivity.
That's where the ALCAT test comes in.
The ALCAT test has been awarded three US patents and is performed under careful control by only one U.S. Government certified laboratory. The ALCAT test has been proven to be accurate and reliable in scientific studies with an 83.4% correlation with a double-blind oral challenge (and a 96% correlation for food additives and colorings), the gold standard in food sensitivity testing.
"The ALCAT test is a medical breakthrough for the 21st century," says Deutsch.
How the ALCAT Test Works
"A small quantity of blood is exposed to each of the different foods," explains Deutsch.
The ALCAT test measures reactions of immune cells in the blood and generates sensitivity scores by relating effective volumetric changes in white blood cells to a control curve.
"Typcially, the white blood cells can actually be seen to be releasing mediators which are intended to neutralize or destroy the food," says Deutsch. "They're mistaking the food for a bacteria or virus that is potentially damaging. You can actually see, if you were to look under a microscope, these chemicals being released from the cell."
"It's only the cell itself which produces the mediators of inflammation and free radicals that cause damage to tissues, to DNA, to other cell membranes, and so forth, and if that doesn't happen, then we're not going to have any problems. And conversely, if it does, we're going to have the generation of toxic mediators that block glucose uptake."
Inflammation: Purveyor of Chronic Disease
Chronic inflammation damages tissues and can lead to chronic diseases like allergies, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
"Obviously, you can have inflammation recurring in different parts of the body," says Deutsch. "You can have asthma and other respiratory problems; you can have perennial rhinitis; you can have skin problems. Certainly gastrointestinal problems are extremely common."
"When the immune system is kicked up, it can also interfere with endocrinology," points out Deutsch.
Deutsch cites a clinician in Denmark who helped several previously infertile women become pregnant by simply altering their diets using the ALCAT test results - "because the immune system is no longer in a chronic state of activation and suppressing the hormones required for pregnancy."
"If you put the wrong food into the body, you can disrupt any real metabolic and physiological function and produce inflammation in any part of the body, and chronic inflammation is degenerative. It's harmful to tissue," stresses Deutsch.
"There's a preponderence of people with inflammatory diseases. There's an upswing in number of couples unable to conceive. People are complaing about fatigue more often. There's more concern about children's behavioral patterns and learning capabilties which are impaired. For example, color additives in foods can inhibit important enzymes which break down toxins in the gut, and if they're not broken down, they become neurotoxins."
The ALCAT Test Diet Plan
The scientific research is clear: adverse reactions to common foods prevent efficient fat-burning. In a study from Baylor Medical College, 98% of the subjects following an eating plan avoiding their own trigger food, as determined by the ALCAT test, decreased scale weight and/or improved their muscle to fat ratio. They also experienced improvement in skin, more energy, elimination of migraines, reduced sugar cravings, better mood and sleep, and other benefits. The ALCAT test diet plan is compatible with any other diet program.
The ALCAT Food Sensitivity Home Kit
Now you can take an ALCAT test in the comfort of your own home with a simple finger-stick test. The ALCAT Food Sensitivity Home Kit contains everything you need to discover your food sensitivities: an informative DVD, a finger-stick lancet and vial for collection, instructions, and a pre-paid Fed-Ex clinical pack so you can send your sample to the lab. The finger-stick test checks for sensitivity to 20 different common foods, and the lab fee is $99."We developed the home test for the convenience of people," says Deutsch. "We want them to become educated. My personal mission is to make people more aware of the importance of diet in health."
Cell Science Systems also offers larger panel tests for sensitivities to other foods, additives, chemicals, molds, and drugs.
"For eight years I have used the ALCAT test in my practice. No other test is as accurate or useful." - Fred Pescatore, MD, author of The Hamptons Diet
"I've seen the (ALCAT) technique work when absolutely no other approach has made the scale budge." - Steven Lamm, MD, author of Thinner at Last
"I have been tested and have been following the rotation diet sent to me for about two weeks. After only three days, the residual inflammation in my hands disappeared. I discontinued my arthritis medication, and the pain free condition continues. What a great relief that is! To say I am impressed would be totally inadequate." - Kathyrn Noble, MD
"Within just four weeks of taking the test and following the food plan, I lost 5 kilograms (11 pounds), my stuffy nose and throat problem has completely cleared up, and I now have tremendously more strength during training." - Christian Mayer, World Champion Skier
"After the ALCAT test I have probably 5% more strength and where I would take a rest after workouts in the afternoon, I can carry straight through the day with no need or desire to stop for a break. To think that a mundane and harmless food like black pepper could be causing my problems is incredible... but it works! I recommend it to anyone looking for that edge on the competition and for health generally." - Dave Gauder, holder of 22 Guinness World Record Strength Records
"I have been using the ALCAT test consistently for weight loss, chronic fatigue, depression, arthritis, candidiasis and a host of other diseases and find it an invaluable tool." - Dr. John Salerno, Medical Director at Cell Science Systems