The way our bodies react to the food we eat is what determines the antigen response. Now more than ever, autoimmune diseases are on the rise. With over 53 million Americans diagnosed, scientists are looking into a “new school” way of battling these chronic health issues. Autoimmune diseases cause inflammation, swelling, joint discomfort, headaches, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Oral vs Central Tolerance
The body has two major mechanisms to protect itself against autoimmunity. The first being oral tolerance and the second being central tolerance. Oral tolerance begins in the mouth and failure of proper oral tolerance leads to enhanced intestinal permeability. Central tolerance is the expression of a single molecule. When these two mechanisms are not properly functioning, gut inflammation arrises leading to enhanced gut permeability, ultimately resulting in food intolerances.
Factors that influence or disrupt tolerance include antibiotics, a mother’s diet, infant formula, digestive enzyme population, the time solid food was introduced, genetics, and the gut microbiota.
This “new school” method of reversing autoimmune diseases is heavily revolved around diet. With the constant connection between the gut and the body, food is the main precursor to all unnecessary inflammation.
Food is not created the same today as it was years ago. The chemicals that are used to “enhance” these foods are creating havoc in the gut. The digestive enzymes we bare are not capable of digesting these newfound proteins and many peptides accumulate in our digestive tract. These penetrate the barrier of our digestive system and antigens are presented. When an antigen is present, the body creates antibodies to fight off this food resulting in an inflammatory response each time this food is ingested.
What Are Labs Really Testing
When inflammation and food sensitivities arise, to aid in the reversal of autoimmune conditions and relieve uncomfortable symptoms, a food sensitivity test should be performed. Array 10 from Cyrex Laboratories is a lab we use to test patients for food sensitivities based on its unique features for accuracy.
In order to avoid false positives and false negatives, the lab test needs to be methodically designed. First, the purity of each food antigen test is checked for reliability. Second, the test needs to check for raw and cooked food antibodies. For example, an individual who eats raw carrots may have no reaction but cooked carrots cause inflammation. Both of these factors should be measured. Third, lectins are in roughly 30% of all foods we eat. Considering most foods contain some type of purified lectin, food tests should account for this. Lastly, wheat and milk proteins are highly reactive in many individuals and have a strong connection to autoimmune diseases. There are roughly 20 different antigens that cross the gut and initiate problems.
An example of Cyrex Array 10 can be found here:
Food sensitivities are so common and many of us do not realize we have them. Some food sensitivities are delayed and do not cause symptoms for up to 72 hours! Without a lab test, it is nearly impossible to determine the exact food causing underlying inflammation in your body. Considering the way food is produced these days, I recommended everyone gets tested. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach
Vojdani , Aristo. “Food Immune Reactivity and Autoimmunity.” Functional Medicine University . 2020, www. functionalmedicineuniversity. com/members /975.cfm.
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