What the Heck is the ALCAT Food Sensitivity Test and Why Should I Care?

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VeggiesMasahiro Ihara

This is a universal issue that we all need to be aware of.  Sensitivities to foods and other substances cause a reaction by our immune system and over time, this can result in a host of problems.

 

Even though we sell the Alcat test, please don’t dismiss this as a sales letter… you never have to take the test to benefit from this article!  Below, I will cover:

  1. What is a food sensitivity and how can it affect me?

  2. How does the Alcat test work?

  3. What can I do today, even if I don’t take the test?

 

What is a food sensitivity and how can it affect me?

If you learn just one thing from this article, then let it be this… you can be sensitive to anything you put in or on your body.  The results of that sensitivity can be subtle and delayed, making it very tricky to figure out.  However, just being aware to the fact that you could be sensitive to the kale you eat every single day, is very powerful.

 

“Kale?  Isn’t kale great for me?”  Kale is a great food, but it may not be a great food for you.  For whatever reason, your body may not like kale and therefore attack it.  Your white blood cells will see some element of kale as foreign and take care of business.  If you have mild sensitivity to kale and eat it very infrequently, then this is not likely to cause much of an issue at all.  On the other hand, if you eat kale every day, it can add up.  When the immune system is chronically activated, it can cause a wide range of issues like headaches, inability to lose weight, joint pain, skin problems, respiratory problems, fatigue, hyperactivity and much more.  Inflammation is a major problem that many associate with swollen or sore joints.  What you may not know is that inflammation can affect other things like gene expression, free radical production, and premature aging.

 

Just as an example… a Baylor University study found that 98% of the people following the Alcat rotation diet either lost weight or improved their body composition.

 

How does the Alcat test work?

First, the Alcat is not an IgG test.  When your white blood cells detect something it sees as foreign, it reacts to it. That reaction causes the cells to increase in size in preparation to defend the body, and decrease after degranulation.  The Alcat test simply measures the size and population of your white blood cells.

They use 5 samples where nothing is added to determine your baseline.  Foods and other substances are tested separately and measured against your baseline to determine if there was a reaction.   Nonreactive samples will virtually lay overtop of the baseline control and reactive samples will show a shift.

I think it’s helpful to just have a basic understanding so it doesn’t look like hocus pocus.  Our white blood cells react and Alcat measures it… hard to do, but simple to understand.  They simplify the report by dividing them into groups: Nonreactive, mild sensitivity, moderate sensitivity, and severe sensitivity.

 

Based on the results, they design a rotational diet, that will exclude the foods you are sensitive to at first and then reintroduce them slowly.  Maybe I’ll get more into that in another article.

 

Learn more about the Alcat Test

 

Click to see a sample of the results

 

What can I do today, even if I don’t take the test?

Even without taking the test, there is a lot you can do:

  1. Be aware that you can be sensitive to anything that you eat, drink, put on your skin, or even breath.  (done)

  2. Start reading labels and become familiar with everything you eat, drink, put on your skin, or even breath.

  3. Rotate the foods you eat throughout the week.  Avoid eating anything every single day… even kale.

  4. Do an elimination diet.  Start with the big offenders.  These are the foods that are consumed a lot and often give a positive result on the test: gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, and artificial food coloring.  Eliminate one at a time for 4 weeks each and keep good notes.  How do you feel?  How much energy do you have? How are you sleeping?  Are you dropping weight? Do you have less brain fog?

  5. If you suspect anything else, eliminate it and see how it goes.

 

The fact is that we really are what we eat.  Foods are extremely complex and we’re not all built equally.  What might be healthy for one person, might literally be a poison to the next.  Even though these sensitivities are not immediately life threatening in the same way a peanut allergy is, the compounding effects can make all the difference in the long term.  Taking steps to identifying substances that your body reacts to can change your life.

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Co-Founder of NutritionGeeks, retired USAPL drug-free powerlifter, volunteer youth wrestling coach, father of 3 amazing boys and interested in all things health

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