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Food Sensitivities: An Under-Diagnosed Source of Inflammation & Symptoms

“Food Sensitivities are an important and common part of a wide range of clinical conditions affecting virtually every organ system in the body. Unfortunately, they are also one of the most commonly under diagnosed areas of clinical medicine.”
W.T. Knicker, MD Past Chairperson Adverse Food Reactions Committee American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

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No matter what type of healthcare practitioner you are and no matter if your practice is conventional, functional, anti-aging, or complementary, you see patients every day suffering from the inflammatory effects of food and food-chemical sensitivities. Food-induced inflammation is so relevant to the health of so many patients, that its importance cannot be overstated. Food sensitivities represent an important source of inflammation in chronic inflammatory conditions such as:

  • Irritable bowel
  • Migraine
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Attention deficit
  • Hyperactivity
  • Obesity
  • And many other challenging conditions

Fully addressing sensitivities can produce a major improvement in outcomes, especially in your treatment resistant patients.

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A Recent Breakthrough in Understanding

“If you carefully look at the literature and the thousands of studies on diet induced inflammation, 99% of research articles have been on allergy and most recently celiac disease. The role of innate immunity and food sensitivity in diet-induced inflammation has been almost completely neglected from a research standpoint.”

Dr. Mark J. Pasula Past Chairperson Adverse Food Reactions Committee American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Unlike food allergies, which have a single mechanism triggering inflammation (IgE), sensitivities are much more complex, involving multiple inflammatory pathways governed by both adaptive and innate mechanisms.

Recent research proves that sensitivities often involve the innate immune system, a branch of the immune system which has been totally overlooked the past 40 years as a category of adverse food reactions.

An important 2011 study comparing 2 different types of gluten reactions– celiac disease and gluten sensitivity was the first study to confirm the role of the innate immune system in gluten reactivity.

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  1. It showed that gluten sensitivity is a distinct clinical entity entirely different than celiac disease or wheat allergy.
  2. Where celiac disease affects 1 in 133, gluten sensitivity is 6-8 times more prevalent, affecting an estimated 15-20 million Americans
  3. Where the inflammatory process in celiac disease is governed by the adaptive immune system, it showed that the innate immune system governs reactions in gluten sensitivity, a fact previously unknown. This understanding is critical because for decades, all allergy research has completely neglected the role of the innate immune system in food-induced inflammation.
  4. It showed that the commonly held belief that food sensitivities are the result of a “leaky gut” was not entirely correct. In fact, this study showed less gut permeability in the gluten sensitive patients than in the controls. This means that in order for food sensitivities to manifest, increased gut permeability doesn’t have to be involved and may not be at all. However, if leaky gut is involved, then the development of food sensitivities is practically certain.
– BMC Medicine 2011, 9:23 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-23

Reactivity to gluten is just one potential part of the inflammatory puzzle. We know through our experience with tens of thousands of food sensitive patients that even so called “anti-inflammatory” foods, such as salmon, blueberries, parsley, garlic, lettuce, even turmeric and ginger, and virtually every other “healthy” food can trigger inflammatory reactions that contribute to illness. Optimizing outcomes is only possible if you have the full picture of each patient’s individual sensitivities.

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Food-Chemical Reactions Are Clinically Significant

Inflammatory reactions to naturally occurring or artificial food-chemicals are another area of consideration. Conditions like migraine, ADD/ADHD, and others, in addition to food sensitivities, often have clinically significant reactions to food-chemicals. These reactions are not antibody mediated and thus cannot be identified with IgG, IgA or IgE testing.

These inflammation-provoking and symptom-provoking reactions are as clinically relevant as reactions to gluten, and continued consumption of offending foods and food-chemicals is a major obstacle in achieving optimal outcomes.

Certain foods and beverages, such as aged cheese, alcoholic beverages, and food additives such as nitrates (in pepperoni, hot dogs, luncheon meats) and monosodium glutamate (MSG, commonly found in Chinese food) may be responsible for triggering up to 30% of migraines.¹

[1] WebMd – Migraines and Headaches

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The Patented MRT®: The Most Effective Way to Identify Hidden Inflammatory Foods

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Despite all the immunologic and clinical complexities associated with food sensitivities, the scientific fact is that white blood cells are always involved in food-induced inflammatory reactions. It’s the cytokines, prostaglandins, leukotrienes and other mediators released from various white cells that cause every negative effect your patients suffer. This is true whether reactions involve the adaptive or innate immune system, whether reactions are cell-mediated or humorally mediated, whether symptoms are immediate or delayed, whether reactions are dose-dependent or not, and whether potential mechanisms are elevated or not.

Through Oxford, the patented Mediator Release Test (MRT®) delivers unparalleled information that no other blood test or approach provides. MRT® is a functional assessment of the inflammatory response that takes into consideration the widest range of sensitivity mechanisms. And because MRT® quantifies the inflammatory response, it is able to shed light on both clinical and sub-clinical inflammatory reactions.

Subclinical reactions often relate to the dose dependent nature of food and food-chemical reactions. When designing an anti-inflammatory eating plan for your patient that will produce the most complete outcomes in the shortest time, you need to know both. This critical information can only be provided by MRT®.

MRT® is the most reliable and clinically useful food sensitivity test that exists and forms the basis for the LEAP Anti-Inflammatory Eating Plan. Subclinical reactions often relate to the dose dependent nature of food and food-chemical reactions. When designing an anti-inflammatory eating plan for your patient that will produce the most complete outcomes in the shortest time, you need to know both. This critical information can only be provided by MRT®.

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LEAP Anti-Inflammatory Eating Plan

LEAP is so much more than just a computer generated rotation diet based on the results of a blood test. It is a complete system of developing a healthy, anti-inflammatory eating plan for each patient.

  • LEAP maximizes the value of the information MRT® provides
  • Incorporates the patient’s history
  • Includes the patient’s food preferences
  • Is easier to follow
  • And gets greater patient buy-in and adherence and consistently produces the best outcomes in the shortest time
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LEAP: The Most Complete Outcomes in the Shortest Time

The MRT®-based LEAP anti-inflammatory eating plan routinely produces the most complete outcomes in the shortest time. Common food sensitivity related conditions typically achieve rapid, lasting relief in as little as 5-7 days. In fact, in properly selected patients, it is highly uncommon to not see a noticeable change in just 2 weeks.

The benefits of LEAP and MRT® go far beyond food sensitivity related health problems; it empowers the patient to take an active part in their care, and it helps the patients realize a sense of control over their health that they otherwise wouldn’t have. They no longer feel a victim to things beyond their control.

If you’re a practitioner that wants the consistently best outcomes, the best food sensitivity blood test, and the easiest and most effective eating plan, then click here to have an Oxford Representative contact you to setup MRT® and LEAP in your practice.

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Oxford’s Preferred Provider Program

Interested in VIP access, exclusive content, and special offers and discounts on the most advanced testing for food and food-chemical sensitivities? Oxford’s Preferred Provider Program delivers all this and more. Just submit your contact information below and an Oxford Client Services Executive will contact you to discuss the details and determine if your practice qualifies as a Preferred Provider.