Hi, friends! Happy Wednesday! Today I wanted to share with you the results of Mr. Hungry’s MRT test! But, first, let’s review what food sensitivities are and how they develop.
You may remember that Mr. Hungry did the Alletess when I was at Life Time. (Here is a link to his results.) First, the Alletess is an IgG test, which research is showing doesn’t correlate with actual food sensitivity reactions as well as MRT tests. As I explained in his results posts, IgG antibodies are a triggering mechanism for white blood cells to release chemicals known as mediators. These mediators are what cause painful symptoms. Research has related these mediators to symptoms such as migraines, IBS, and fibromyalgia. They may be present in other inflammatory conditions, but the research isn’t clear on it yet. As the video below explains, IgG is not the only triggering mechanism for mediator release which causes symptoms, so when completing an IgG test, you may miss other triggering pathways, therefore not identifying all your food sensitivities. The other problem is the presences of IgG antibodies does not necessarily mean that you are triggering mediator release. So, what is the best course of action? Measure the mediators, the chemicals that cause symptoms! IgG is a good test, but the developer went onto developing MRT testing which is what the majority of Dietitians who use food sensitivity testing use.
The other problem with IgG testing or any food sensitivity testing is the food avoidance protocol. When Mr. Hungry was tested, we just avoided the foods that were highly reactive for 90 days. He got pretty good results and felt a ton better, so we considered it a win. Especially, after having a colonoscopy and getting zero help from the GI doctor, his migraines and IBS almost entirely dissipated. However, it was frustrating because we weren’t sure how to reincorporate those foods into his diet and how healthy they were for him. I wrote an update about a year after his test in this post.
However, I now know the results could have been much better, even with just IgG testing. The food avoidance protocol has one massive flaw; it doesn’t control for untested foods. So, if you just avoid the high-level foods what about the other billion untested foods and chemicals you are exposed to through your food, you have no idea whether you are reactive to them. Likely you are reactive to some of them, so you can never actually heal your GI track enough to bring down the inflammation fully.
So, let’s review:
- IgG testing misses other mediator triggering pathways (IgM, complement, sensitized T-cells)
- IgG antibodies don’t necessarily mean mediator release in all occasions
- IgG testing is only for food, can not measure response to common food chemicals or additives
- Food avoidance misses an abundant amount of untested foods that could be making you sick
Because of these factors, I have retested several clients with MRT testing, and they have gotten phenomenal results, so I thought it was time to restest Mr. Hungry.
What is an MRT Test?
MRT stands for Mediator Release Testing; its goal is to quantify the mediator response (there are over 100 different mediators) to an antigen. Measuring the mediators takes care of the first three problems, and the forth will be addressed with the LEAP (Lifestyle Eating and Performance) protocol. So, let’s take a look at his results!
You will notice a few similarities and a few differences from his past IgG testing.
- Similarities: cheese and dairy, gluten containing grains, sesame, and eggs
- more reactive to soybean, cantaloupe, cauliflower, cinnamon, corn, scallop, shrimp, tuna, turkey
- less reactive to bakers yeast, brewers yeast, hops/malt
- Untested differences – a few foods weren’t tested on his IgG test but were on this one that came back highly reactive: amaranth, black pepper, cherry, cranberry, cumin, garbanzo, leek, lentil, lettuce, millet, peanut, turmeric, sodium sulfite and SMB sulfite.
When you avoid foods, they may not show up as reactive. The thought is that it takes your system a while to respond. Mr. Hungry avoids yeast pretty well, so it’s unclear whether or not he needs to continue that. The beautiful part is, because of the strict protocol, he will be able to figure it out for sure.
When I have clients that do this test, the first thing I do is look at food groupings to determine problem areas. For Mr. Hungry it appears to be dairy, gluten containing grains, legumes (peanuts are a type of legumes), sulfites and shellfish. I find this fascinating because his cousin did this test with me and she was sensitive to just about all beans/legumes known to man. I find commonalities among family members all the time.
Phase 1 of the LEAP program
This is where I designed Mr. Hungry as meal plan based off of the foods that tested safe. So for the next 7-11 days, he will only eat the safest 20-25 foods, excluding those that he doesn’t typically consume or that he thinks bothers him. For example, he is pretty sure onions upset his stomach (common for IBS clients), so we will avoid that. He also doesn’t consume spelt on a regular basis, so we will avoid adding that to his diet, even though it is considered “safe.” So here is what is on his menu:
Breakfast: pecan oatmeal cookies (I will be sharing the recipe soon) or oatmeal with honey, vanilla, and pecans
Lunch: salmon, yellow squash, and brown rice – seasonings of basil and salt
Dinner: 2 100% grass fed beef burgers with cherry tomatoes, salt for a seasoning –> well this was the plan, so far he has had oatmeal for dinner and no appetite for breakfast due to his man cold he caught last weekend. In theory, getting sick should have delayed his start to the process but he didn’t want to delay. Family members make the WORSE clients. I’ll talk more about how this will affect his results when I post an update.
Snacks: walnuts and plums or mangoes (no skin)
All organic, prepared at home. If needed I will use avocado oil. So incorporated all the lowest foods he eats on the list on a regular basis. Although the MRT test comes with a printout, I always alter it for my clients. The computer doesn’t understand what he does and does not eat on a regular basis, so it needs to be modified.
I’ll be sharing how the first week to week and a half went, as well as a phase 2 update in a week or two. In the meantime, if you have any questions I’m happy to answer them! You can also check out my nutrition services food sensitivity page here.
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