Nutritious Bytes

Dr. Debé's blog on metabolically tailored nutrition and wellness

Are "Health" Foods & Supplements Destroying Your Health?

One man's food is another man's poison. Truer words were never spoken. It is fairly obvious that a diet of potato chips and soda will lead to health problems. What may not be as obvious is that "good" whole foods can cause unhealthy changes in any given individual. Your headaches? Those might be from a food you're eating. Your fatigue? That could be from a food you eat. Your joint pain, depression, skin rash, hair loss...just about any symptom might be the result of food.

  This is a healthy meal

This is a healthy meal

  This is an unhealthy meal

This is an unhealthy meal

It all depends on your immune system's response.  Array 10 - Food Immune Reactivity Screen™ by Cyrex Laboratories is the premier lab test for identifying delayed immune reactions to food. Salmon, flaxseeds, green tea, broccoli, turmeric and red wine are "good" for you...unless your immune system perceives them as a threat. I have had patients who were reactive to these foods. Array 10 is the test that identified these reactions...and more.

Array 10 was introduced in early 2015 - the result of 30 years of scientific development and research by renowned immunologist, Dr. Aristo Vojdani. I have used other delayed food sensitivity tests over the past twenty years. These tests helped a lot of patients. However, Array 10 is light years ahead of any other food sensitivity test. Comparing any other food test with Array 10 is like comparing a bicycle with a jet plane. In fact, Array 10 gets its name from the fact that it offers 10 new innovations over other food sensitivity tests. I will discuss a few of these.

Array 10 measures antibodies against 180 different foods. Antibodies are immune system proteins that target perceived foreign invaders for destruction. There are five main types of antibodies: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, and IgM. Think of them as different branches of the armed forces: army, navy, air force,  marines, coastguard. Different antibodies play different roles in immune response. Array 10 measures levels of the two antibodies that are most important in delayed sensitivity reactions: IgG and IgA. With few exceptions, other labs only measure IgG. By combining IgG and IgA measurement, Array 10 identifies more food immune reactions.

Array 10 is more meaningful than other food sensitivity tests because it measures foods in different forms, such as raw, cooked, and modified. When protein is heated its structure changes. The structural change in the protein alters how the immune system reacts to it. Array 10 is the only food test to measure antibodies to raw foods that are commonly eaten raw and cooked foods that are usually consumed cooked. An example of a modified food that Array 10 uses is red wine. A person may react to grapes but not wine, or vice versa.

Array 10 analyzes reactions to food components I have not seen tested from other labs (it tests for substances I never knew existed). These include herbs, spices, gums, food coloring, oil-containing proteins called oleosins, and an enzyme-containing food additive referred to as "meat glue". Array 10 measures antibodies to therapeutic substances used in natural health care, such as curcumin, cinnamon, and beta-glucan. These items have a lot of health benefits...but may actually be harmful for a given individual if they elicit a strong immune response.

Cyrex Laboratories focuses on autoimmunity and Array 10 is a special test when it comes to identifying foods that may contribute to autoimmunity. Antibodies to food components called tropomyosin, parvalbumin, latex hevien,  lectins and agglutinins are particularly important when it comes to identifying food-autoimmune triggers. Antibodies measured to food proteins called aquaporins are of great importance for the connection to neurological autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Array 10 is the most accurate food sensitivity test available for several reasons. The individual food materials tested are highly purified. Next, unlike other laboratories, Cyrex has established individual normal reference ranges for each food. This is important because less antibody is naturally produced to foods such as fruit that contain less protein. Finally, the laboratory analytical practices of Cyrex Laboratories are exceptional. When a laboratory performs the same test twice, the same exact result is not expected; there is some degree of variation. Most laboratories are  happy with a discrepancy between tests more than twice that of what Cyrex Laboratories allows. A very impressive policy of this lab is that they test every specimen twice. Actually, the blood specimen is divided in two and all the tests are performed on both specimens. If there is greater than 3% difference in the two tests then another test is performed. If results are not within the 3% variance range on the follow-up test, the test is discarded and a new specimen is requested.

As a brief example of the value of Array 10, I will describe the case of a male patient with Crohn's disease. I initiated some treatment with this gentleman while we waited for test results to come back. Part of his treatment involved nutritional supplements, including a medical food created for autoimmune conditions called Ultra InflamX Plus 360. This product contains potent natural anti-inflammatory ingredients, including curcumin from turmeric. Array 10 revealed this patient had many food reactions, including a significant response to curcumin! This illustrates the value of a personalized approach.

 

Array 10 leads to elimination of foods from the diet that are activating the immune system, causing dysfunction, inflammation, autoimmunity, and degeneration. One of the important contributors to food reactions is leaky gut syndrome.