A Note About Hair Follicle Tests
Hair follicle testing is not listed among the testing methods below. We believe that they are pointless since “Hair is not involved in allergic reactions so testing hair samples cannot provide any useful information on allergic status.” Nor should people be deceived into thinking allergies are caused by an “energy blockage” which can be diagnosed by muscle testing and cured by acupuncture.
These bogus hair tests are convincing thousands of people to take unnecessary treatments and put themselves or their children on inadequate diets, sometimes resulting in malnutrition, a group of experts and charities has said.
Hair allergy and intolerance tests are considered as a SCAM in many Europe countries and banned for a long time. We only want to review the scientific methods below:
Alcat test which is a Leukocytotoxic Test, was first developed in 1956 by Black, and is the most notorious and unreliable method among others. It is a very old technology which was promoted during the early 1980s by storefront clinics, laboratories, nutrition consultants, chiropractors, and medical doctors. It was claimed by the company that it can determine sensitivity to food accurately however, controlled studies never demonstrated reliability, and some studies found it highly unreliable. [1-4]. For example, one study found that white cells from allergic patients reacted no differently when exposed to substances known to produce symptoms than when exposed to substances to which the patients were not sensitive.. Government regulatory actions [6-9] and unfavorable publicity have almost driven cytotoxic testing from the health marketplace. It was banned in some states like New York, but still few practitioners perform it nationwide.
- American Academy of Allergy: Position statements—Controversial techniques. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 67:333-338, 1980. Reaffirmed in 1984.
- Chambers VV and others. A study of the reactions of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes to various antigens. Journal of Allergy 29:93-102, 1958.
- Lieberman P and others. Controlled study of the cytotoxic food test. JAMA 231:728, 1974.
- Benson TE, Arkins JA. Cytotoxic testing for food allergy: Evaluations of reproducibility and correlation. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 58:471-476, 1976.
- Hecht A: Lab warns cow: Don’t drink your milk. FDA Consumer 19(6):31-32, 1985.
- Lehman CW. The leukocytic food allergy test: A study of its reliability and reproducibility. Effect of diet and sublingual food drops on this test. A double-blind study of sublingual provocative food testing: A study of its efficacy. Annals of Allergy 45:150-158, 1980.
- Bartola J: Cytotoxic test for allergies banned in state. Pennsylvania Medicine 88:30, October 1985.
- Proposed notice: Medicare program; Exclusion from Medicare coverage of certain food allergy tests and treatments. Federal Register 48(162):37716-37718, 1983.
- Cytotoxic testing for allergic diseases. FDA Compliance Policy Guide 7124.27, March 19, 1985, revised March 1995.
PROS AND CONS
- Good sales network around USA
- Very old technology
- Very poor reproducibility rate (the result of the test changed even in hours in the same person) Around 19%
- Needs full blood in tubes. A nurse or doctor is a must to draw blood.
- Very difficult to transfer blood samples
- Can not differentiate temporary and permanent intolerances that causes too many foods to avoid unnecessarily
- Needs fasting
- Banned in some states
- Almost impossible to follow the nutrition plan due to incredibly high number of results.
- Extremely expensive
Alcat is a very old tecnology test which was used by some practitioners in early 80s because there was no other alternative at those times.
However the technology is completely primitive.
Although most people have only 2-3 intolerances, the results that you will get from Alcat will be around 50-60 meaning you will get 10s of wrong results. It is obvious that trying to follow such a diet will cause many problems for the client.
Overall Rating …….1 over 5. Definitely Not Advised
|Overall satisfaction of clients||1/5|
|Trust and confidence by medical professionals||1/5|
|Easiness to perform the test||1/5|
Yorktest, Imupro, Everlywell
ELISA stands for ‘Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay’ and is a well-proven process used, for example, detecting HIV positivity. In this case the technology is used to detect IgG positivity and the degree of reaction. The potential allergen has to be very carefully prepared into ‘plates’, and then the patient’s serum is introduced to it. If there’s an lgG reaction to the food, the lgG antibody in the serum combines the allergen on the plate. After incubation of several hours, water plus anenzyme is added, which colors the antibody-allergen complexes. The more antibody-allergen complexes there are, the more colored the sample becomes. This is then analyzed by computer to produce a graded scale of reaction to each food. The greater the reaction, the greater the sensitivity.
PROS AND CONS
- Higher reproducibility rate compared to Alcat and MRT
- Precise results compared to Alcat and MRT
- No fasting required
- Cheaper than Alcat and MRT
- Not the highest tech test on the market
- Can not determine temporary and permanent intolerances
Elisa method is a reliable method, with a high reproducibility rate for determining food intolerances. However still requires full blood samples, which are difficult to draw and transport. Although it is much more precise than Cytotoxic, still does not have a 100% solution for determining the permanent and temporary intolerances. Half of the results that you get will be your temporary intolerances that may have been a result of a temporary overeating and health problem.
Overall Rating …….3 over 5. Poor
|Overall satisfaction of clients||3/5|
|Trust and confidence by medical professionals||3/5|
|Easiness to perform the test||2/5|
Microarray IgG Elisa Test
Cambridge Nutritional Science, Pinnertest
Although the method of Microarray-Elisa Method tests appears similar to the classic Elisa method, it has many advanced technologies. The most important is the analysis of Antigens to differentiate the temporary and permanent intolerances. The test also differs from classic Elisa, since in this latest technology, mostly computerized systems are used; rather than human power. The microarray chips have the advantage of testing with only a few drops of dry blood. Microarray testing presents blood collection kits that are similar to the collection in blood sugar tests.
PROS AND CONS
- Differentiates the active and passive intolerances
- Very high reproducibility rate
- Highly Precise results compared to Cytotoxic tests
- No fasting required
- Affordable price
- No need to draw blood from the vein. As simple as a blood sugar test.
- Very easy to understand result page.
- 1 week result time
A very advanced and precise technology. The reproducibility rate is very high.
Overall Rating …….4 over 5
|Overall satisfaction of clients||5/5|
|Trust and confidence by medical professionals||4/5|
|Easiness to perform the test||5/5|
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