Vibrant Additives is an array of 57 commonly consumed food additives, and which offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food additives, which can aid in differentiation of food additive sensitivity from food sensitivities.
Being able to test IgA antibodies alongside IgG antibodies provides additional information on food additives that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods or food additives.
Using an antibody-based food additives test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate, avoid, or rotate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs.
Food additives can be added to a food at any point in the process of growth to consumption, and many are considered generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.
Why Test Food Additives?
Food Additives testing can be very useful to help prioritize an elimination or rotation diet. Usually removing foods containing additives that the body has produced antibodies to will alleviate symptoms, because the source of inflammation is removed.
Symptoms that appear when consuming a food with multiple ingredients can be due to a sensitivity to the food, or to the ingredients or additives in the food.
Food Additive testing can be very useful to help determine the true cause of the sensitivity and prioritize an elimination or rotation diet to reduce symptoms related to food additive sensitivities
The ideal time course for elimination is not established. Consider magnitude of antibody response, ½ life of antibodies, patient’s current dietary intake, level of motivation, status of mucosal integrity, and remission and/or progression of symptoms.
Testing for food additive sensitivities can provide the most complete picture of total problematic foods and ingredients when run alongside a Vibrant 96, 84, or 180 Food Sensitivity panel.
- Food Dyes and Pigments
- Acid Blue #3 (Patent Blue V)
- Acid Red #14 (Carmoisine)
- Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue)
- Blue #2 (Indigo Carmine)
- Brilliant Black
- Cochineal Extract
- Green #3 (Fast Green)
- Red #2 (Amaranth Red)
- Red #3 (Erythrosine)
- Red #4 (Carmine)
- Red #40 (Allura Red)
- Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)
- Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow)
- Acesulfame K
- Monk fruit
- Sucralose (Splenda)
- Nickel Sulfate
- Titanium dioxide
- Preservatives and Antioxidants
- Benzoic Acid
- Butylated Hydroxyansiole (BHA)
- Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Citric Acid
- Sodium Sulfite
- Sorbic Acid
- Sodium Benzoate
- Sodium Nitrate
- Emulsifiers and Surfactants
- Lecithin (Soy)
- Lecithin (Egg yolk)
- Polysorbate 80
- Flavor Enhancers
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Ammonium Chloride
- Sodium Citrate
- Gums and Thickening Agents
- Gum Arabic
- Guar Gum
- Gum Tragacanth
- Locust Bean Gum
- Mastic Gum
- Xanthan Gum
- Fibrous Additives
- Ispaghula or Psyllium Husk
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
- Gas and bloating
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Brain fog
- Rashes, such as eczema
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin itchiness and redness
- Bronchitis and asthma-like symptoms
- Musculoskeletal joint pain
- Muscle or joint stiffness and swelling
- Neurological symptoms such as tingling or numbness
What medications can interfere with the Vibrant Additives test results?
As with all antibody testing, immunosuppressant and corticosteroid drugs can reduce antibody production and cause false negative results. A patient should ask their pharmacist or healthcare provider if their prescribed medications are immunosuppressant or steroid-class medications. If so, it is recommended to wait 30-60 days (immune-response is individually variable) after completing the prescription for it to clear the system and allow the normal production of antibodies. This is required for accurate antibody measuring. Do not stop these medications without instructions from your prescribing doctor. A list of immunosuppressive drugs can also be found here:
Inhalers can affect test results. Wait two weeks after completion of the inhalant dosage before collecting the specimen. Do not stop these medications without instructions from your prescribing doctor.
Certain infections can interfere with test results.
For best assessment, it is important for a physician to evaluate total immunoglobulins (total IgG and total IgA) to determine a patient’s baseline immunoglobulin production and thus accuracy of a patient’s antibody response. Total IgG and total IgA are available to add to any antibody testing from Vibrant if selected upon ordering on the lab requisition form.
Does the patient need to be actively eating the additives tested (food dyes, carageenan, glyphosate, etc) to run the Vibrant Additives?
Our Vibrant Clinical Team does not recommend a specific additive challenge to a patient who is already aware they have adverse symptoms produced when eating that particular ingredient. However, with any antibody testing, if the antigen has been removed for a significant amount of time (variable amongst individuals), the body will no longer mount an IgA/IgG antibody response and will render an antibody test as a “false negative”. Such is the case with any of our antibody tests, including Additives.
Is fasting required for the Vibrant Additives test?
Fasting status will not influence antibody results and the Vibrant Additives test measures antibodies to antigens specific for the additives measured.
What is the distinction between IgG and IgA antibodies?
- A primary piece to understanding antibodies is their area of origin. IgA antibodies are produced by saliva, tears, and mucous linings in the lungs and the intestines. IgG antibodies are the most abundant in serum and are produced by almost every cell in the body. IgG antibodies can cross the placenta. These antibodies also have considerably different half-lives. IgA antibodies have a half-life of ~6 days. Elevated IgA antibodies indicate exposure 8-12 days ago. The half-life of IgG is much longer and individually variable and can indicate prolonged exposure/sensitivity.
- IgA antibodies are produced by the intestinal mucosa as a defense mechanism. If IgA antibodies are elevated to a particular protein (antigen), this can indicate an immune response to mucosal irritation or damage. Elevated IgG antibodies means that there is exposure of these foods to the bloodstream and the body is producing antibodies.
- In terms of food additive sensitivities and intestinal autoimmune disease, IgG antibodies can occur as a consequence of and can be downstream to intestinal permeability. These are likely correlated with more systemic immune responses (brain fog, fatigue, skin, migraines, etc). Vibrant Wellness does not measure IgG subclasses.
- As with all immunoglobulin testing, it is important to evaluate the patient’s baseline levels of (total) IgA and IgG. These biomarkers are included in the Vibrant Wheat Zoomer.
What is the source of Vibrant Food Additive antigens?
- The Vibrant Wellness 57 antigen Food Additives test uses FDA-approved antigen extracts only.
- Food Additive sensitivity testing should only be interpreted in conjunction with a patient’s symptoms.
How are reference ranges for the Vibrant Wellness Food Additives determined?
- Vibrant has given a numerical value to quantify the antibodies measured by chemiluminescent signal of our microchip.
- The determination of the positive cutoff is by 97.5 percentile of 192 normal healthy controls.
- If you are above 97.5 percentile, you are considered positive.
- If 5% below cutoff (92.5-97.5 percentile), it’s borderline.
- Less than 92.5 percentile, it’s negative.
What if my test shows that I have had a reaction to an additive (food dyes, pesticides, etc), but I don’t eat foods that contain that ever or often, and can’t remember the last time I have had it?
In the course of our daily lives – eating out in restaurants, buying packaged/processed foods, having dinner at someone else’s house, etc. we are constantly in contact with trace amounts of proteins from other foods.
This is especially common at a restaurant, where counters and food prep spaces might have had a host of different foods on them prior to your meal being served. You might be familiar with the terminology “this food was processed in a facility that also processes nuts, dairy, wheat…” or similar wording that is warning you that the food item might be contaminated with trace amounts of other foods that contain those additives.
It can be also that you have routinely come into contact with food that has been contaminated with other items such as food dyes, pesticides, etc.
These additives can also commonly be found in other consumable sources such as drinks, cosmetics, and personal hygiene products.
I have a known allergy, but tested negative for this food additive on Vibrant Food Additive test? How can that be?
The terms food allergy and food sensitivity are widely confused and often wrongfully used interchangeably.
A true food allergy (type I hypersensitivity or immediate reaction) is usually mediated by an IgE-specific antibody. On the Vibrant Food Additive test, we are measuring both IgG and IgA antibodies that are more indicative of a food additive sensitivity (type 2, 3, or 4 hypersensitivities or delayed reactions). For a full explanation on the difference between food immunoglobulins, please see this attached handout.