Food sensitivities can play an important role in many common health conditions. Chronic health complaints such as digestive problems, headaches, joint and muscle pain, and fatigue are all symptoms which can be caused by our immune system’s “reaction” to foods, additives, or other substances in our diet. Sometimes the reactive food can be a food chemical like solanine and it’s not easy to determine without testing. And sometimes even foods which are considered “healthy,” such as chicken, broccoli, or garlic can cause symptoms.

Often, there are many reactive foods or chemicals, not just one or two. In
addition, reactions can be delayed and/or dose-dependent. This means we may not feel the effects of a reaction until many hours or days after we have eaten the reactive foods, or unless we eat enough of the reactive food. For all of these reasons, dealing with food sensitivities on your own is very difficult – unless you have Mediator Realease Testing(MRT).

If you have food sensitivities, the first thing you need to do is identify which foods and food chemicals are causing you problems. MRT is the most accurate test available to identify foods, additives, and chemicalsthat are causing sensitivity reactions. Single pathway tests such as ELISA IgG only account for one potential mechanism, which is involved in less than half of all food sensitivity reactions. In addition, IgG can not identify meaningful reactions to food-chemicals. Other testing options are also limited in the scope of pathways they can identify and none offer any insight into subclinical inflammation.

See the chart below for a comparison of similar tests:

Test name
Mechanisms covered
Published accuracy
< 40%
Not published
Split sample reproducibility
> 90%
< 50%
> 90%
Not published
Test foods and chemicals
How Does Mediator Release Testing Work?

MRT is a patented blood test that quantifies how strongly your immune cells react to the foods and food chemicals tested by measuring intracellular mediator release indirectly. When released from immune cells, chemical mediators such as histamine, cytokines, and prostaglandins produce damaging effects on body tissues, leading to the development of symptoms. Identifying harmful substances is the first step towards improving your health if you suffer from food sensitivities. The next step involves following an individualized Metabolic Typing – MRT eating plan which systematically builds a healthy diet of foods that you tolerate.

Why Is Mediator Release Testing Your Best Option For Detecting Food Sensitivities?

Advanced and Comprehensive

  • State of the art technology
  • Awarded multiple international patents
  • Accounts for the most mediator releasing pathways
  • Identifies reactions to both foods and food chemicals

Accurate and Reliable

  • The highest reported accuracy of any food sensitivity blood test
  • Sensitivity: 94.5%
  • Specificity: 92.7%
  • Consistently >90% split sample reproducibility

Functional and Physiologic

  • Correlates with proinflammatory and proalgesic mediator release better than any other food sensitivity blood test
What Is The Difference Between Food allergy, Food sensitivity, and Food intolerance?

Food allergies, food sensitivities, and food intolerance are often used interchangeably and inappropriately. In fact, there is active debate in scientific and medical circles as to how to define and use these three terms. The general consensus is that food allergy can be defined as any adverse reaction to food that involves our immune system. This further breaks down into two kinds of reactions, food allergy, and food sensitivity. Food intolerance does not involve the immune system.

Food Allergy

Perhaps the best-known example of food allergy is also its least common – and most dangerous. Anaphylactic shock is a severe hyper-reaction of the immune system caused by a massive release of histamine and other chemical mediators from certain types of white blood cells called mast cells and basophils. Not everyone with food allergies experiences anaphylaxis though. The immunological triggering mechanism that causes the mast cells (and basophils) to release their chemicals is called IgE and is a very well understood phenomenon. This underlying mechanism is considerably different from the triggering mechanisms found in food sensitivities. The most common foods implicated in food allergy are peanuts, other nuts, shellfish, or foods containing sulfites. People with anaphylaxis can die within minutes if they ingest even one molecule of their allergic food.

Food allergy affects about 1-2% of the population and accounts for only a small percentage of all adverse food reactions. Most immediate reactions are not life threatening but do produce uncomfortable symptoms. People suffering from food allergy can usually identify what foods they are allergic to without the help of a doctor or testing. This is because the reaction occurs every time and shortly after they eat their allergic food.

Food Sensitivity

Food sensitivity (also known as delayed food allergy) is quite another story. Delayed reactions manifest in many different ways as they can affect any organ system in the body and can take from 45 minutes to several days for symptoms to become apparent. The delayed onset of symptoms and complex physiological mechanisms involved in food sensitivities make them an especially difficult puzzle to try to solve either on your own or with most laboratory serum tests. In fact, food sensitivities often go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The treatments prescribed usually provide only temporary relief that mask the symptoms instead of addressing the root cause of the problem.

The differences between the two kinds of immune-mediated adverse food reactions are summarized in the table below.

Item Compared
Food Sensitivities
Food Allergies
Body organs involved
Any organ system in the body can be affected
Usually limited to airways, skin, gastrointestinal tract
Symptom onset occurs
From 45 minutes up to 3 days after ingestion
From seconds to 1 hour after ingestion
Are symptoms acute or chronic?
Usually chronic, sometimes acute
Usually acute, rarely chronic
Percentage of population affected
Est. 20 – 30%
1 – 2%
Immunologic mechanisms
White blood cellsAntibodies:IgG (and subclasses)
C3, C4
Non-immunologic mechanisms
How much food is needed to trigger the allergy?
From small amount to large amount; often dosage dependent
1 molecule of allergic food needed to trigger reaction
Food Intolerance

Food intolerance can produce some digestive symptoms that are similar to food sensitivity but it doesn’t involve the immune system. Instead, when the food in question is consumed, it is not properly digested and begins to ferment inside the gut. The best example of food intolerance is lactose intolerance. This condition is characterized by bloating, loose stools or diarrhea, and gas. Lactose intolerance is caused by an inability of the body to produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose, the primary sugar found in milk. Avoiding milk products or supplementing the diet with lactase enzyme is the best way for a person with lactose intolerance to overcome the problem.