Vibrant Food Sensitivity is an array of 180 commonly consumed food antigens which offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Using an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs.
Why Test Food Sensitivities?
Food Sensitivity testing can be very useful to help prioritize an elimination or rotation diet. Usually removing foods that the body has produced antibodies to will alleviate symptoms, because the source of inflammation is removed. 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.
- Cow’s Milk
- Goat’s Milk
- Whey protein
- Lake Trout
- Egg white
- Egg yolk
- Kidney Bean
- Navy Bean
- Black Pepper
- Brown Rice
- Vanilla Bean
- Black Walnut
- English Walnut
- Green Pepper
- White Potato
- Green Bean
- Green Peas
- Lima Bean
- Seaweed (Kelp)
- Sweet Potato
- Buffalo milk
- Cheese, cheddar type
- Sheep’s milk
- Sea bass
- Alaska pollock
- Goose meat
- Duck meat
- Grapevine snail
- Blue mussel
- Pacific squid
- Broad bean
- Mung beans
- Common thyme
- Cayenne pepper
- Bay leaf
- Hot paprika powder
- Curry powder
- Woo-hsiang powder
- Cane sugar
- Black tea
- Tea Oolong
- Lemon grass
- Sweet chestnut
- Pine nut, pignoles
- Pistachio nut
- Poppy seed
- Flax seed
- Sunflower seeds
- Coriander seed
- Rape seeds
- Kiwi fruit
- Honeydew melon
- White radish
- Beet root
- Vine leaf
- Savoy cabbage
- Bamboo shoots
- Shiitake mushroom
- Cous Cous
- Vegan Cheese
If you have the following symptoms, you may be a good candidate for the Food Sensitivity:
- Abdominal pain
- Brain fog
- Rashes, such as eczema
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin itchiness and redness
- Bronchitis and asthma-like symptoms
- Musculoskeletal joint pain
- Muscle stiffness and swelling
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 food to the bloodstream and the body is producing antibodies.
- In terms of food 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 person’s baseline levels of (total) IgA and IgG. These biomarkers are included in the Vibrant Wheat Zoomer.
What is the source of Vibrant Food Sensitivity Antigens?
- The Vibrant Wellness 180 antigen Food Sensitivity test uses FDA-approved antigen extracts only. These antigens are sourced from organic raw foods.
- Testing raw food antigens is common and the most practical approach to identifying a patient’s response to a particular food. Cooking and processing foods can denature and change protein conformation. Different cooking methods, temperatures, and processing are extremely varied and are difficult and impractical to test in relation to an individual’s response to food.
- Food sensitivity testing should only be interpreted in conjunction with a patient’s symptoms.
Why is “wheat” not tested on Vibrant Food Sensitivity test?
- While our Food Sensitivity test is also run on our microchip platform, and has great reproducibility, it is a PROTEIN level antibody test. This is different than our Wheat Zoomer, where we have synthesized the entire wheat proteome at the PEPTIDE level. Thus, the Wheat Zoomer is such a magnified look at how our immune system can react to wheat, there’s no way looking at a single “wheat” protein antigen can offer that same view. We did not want to offer something inferior to our Wheat Zoomer test.
- Another reason why wheat and gluten sensitivity testing has been so challenging, to date, is that the gliadin protein in gluten is not water soluble. Most manufactured antigens use water as a solvent. Even though we are using FDA approved/sourced antigens on our Food Sensitivity, there is really no way to tell how much gliadin is actually contained within and making the leap of wheat antibodies to true gluten sensitivity could be erroneous. This is, again, why our Wheat Zoomer is so great, because these peptides are synthesized on the chip itself vs. being chemically extracted. For anyone trying to discover sensitivities to gluten and non-gluten wheat peptides, the Wheat Zoomer is 100% sensitive and is the test to run.
How are reference ranges for the Vibrant Wellness Food Sensitivity 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.
Descriptions/Specifics for Antigens tested
- Squash antigen specific for yellow squash
- Lettuce antigen is specific for romaine lettuce
- Egg antigen contains both ovalbumin and ovomucoid
How can I be positive for antibodies to beta-casein but not cow’s milk?
Antibodies to beta-casein require one to eliminate cow’s milk foods, even if one is not sensitive to whole cow’s milk protein. Cow’s milk protein will eventually be enzymatically broken down into peptides, one of which is beta casein.
What if my test shows that I have had a reaction to vanilla (pecan, etc), but I don’t have vanilla that 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. It can be also that you have routinely come into contact with food that has been contaminated with other items such as vanilla, nuts, etc.
My Food Sensitivity results show no reaction to wheat, but my Wheat Zoomer shows a reaction to wheat. Are my results wrong?
While our Food Sensitivity test is run on our microchip platform and has great reproducibility (the highest in the industry), it is a PROTEIN level antibody test. This is different from our Wheat Zoomer, where we have synthesized the entire wheat proteome at the PEPTIDE level. Thus, the Wheat Zoomer is such a magnified look at how our immune system can react to wheat, there’s no way looking at a single “wheat” protein antigen can offer that same view.
I have a known allergy, but tested negative for this food on Vibrant Food Sensitivity? 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 Sensitivity test, we are measuring both IgG and IgA antibodies that are more indicative of a food sensitivity (type 2, 3, or 4 hypersensitivities or delayed reaction). For a full explanation on the difference between food immunoglobulins, please see this attached handout.
Please, note, food allergy (IgE) testing is available through Vibrant America Clinical Labs, but is a separate test from Vibrant Food Sensitivity.