The ALCAT Test: A New Way to Determine Inflammatory Reactions to Foods
BY: DR. JULIE MILLER
Inflammation is the protective response of the body to irritation, injury, or infection, and is appropriate when short lived. However, chronic inflammation, which can be caused by persistent infections, toxins, and even the food we eat, can accelerate the aging process and increase the risk of a wide range of degenerative diseases including arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. Furthermore, chronic activation of the immune system has also been associated with digestive disorders, migraines, obesity, chronic fatigue, skin disorders, autism, and joint pain.
Diet plays a key role in augmenting the inflammatory process in that certain foods help reduce inflammation in the body while other foods can activate the immune system and trigger chronic inflammation. The ALCAT test, a simple blood test, can be used measures the bodys inflammatory response to challenges from a wide array of substances including various foods, environmental chemicals, molds, food colourings and additives, and even antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents. Following exposure to test substance, the reactivity of the immune cells in the blood are measured and then compared to the bodys own baseline control to determine if an inflammatory reaction has occurred. Each person’s foods are then organized into mild, moderate, and severe reactions as well as those foods that are considered “safe”. Each test also includes a customized 4-day rotational diet plan to ensure a varied diet that will not overload the immune system and result in the development of more sensitivities.
ALCAT test panels range in cost from $400 to $1000 depending on the number of substances tested; the most common panel includes 100 foods and 20 foods additives and colorings. Please call our office for more information.