Lab Company: Mosaic Diagnostics
Sample Type: Blood Spot/Pin-prick of blood
Collection Location: At Home
The IgG Food MAP with Candida and Yeast analyzes a wide variety of foods common in Western, Asian, and Mediterranean diets, as well as Candida and yeast. It assists in the diagnosis of food allergies and sensitivities.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) food testing is a useful guide for structuring elimination diets for patients with many chronic conditions. Individuals with neurological, gastrointestinal, movement, and behavioral disorders often suffer from IgG food sensitivities. People may continue to eat offending foods unaware of their potential adverse effects. Symptoms associated with food sensitivities may occur hours or days after the offending food was eaten because IgG food antibodies remain for a much longer time than traditional IgE antibodies. As immunological reactions, IgE food allergy causes the release of histamine, producing an immediate hypersensitivity reaction, in which symptoms appear within minutes or hours. In contrast, food sensitivity is a non-IgE allergy characterized by the measurement of IgG antibodies specific to antigenic food proteins. This IgG food allergy is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction in which symptoms appear anywhere from hours to days after eating the offending food. Elimination of IgG-positive foods may improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, autism, AD(H)D, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy, according to numerous clinical studies.1-8 The 93 foods tested for in the IgG Food Allergy Test w/ Candida include most classes of problem foods that can be eliminated from a patient’s diet. The Great Plains Laboratory offers a comprehensive Western food panel as well as an Asian panel. The Asian panel includes specific foods common to Asian cuisine, such as certain spices and twice as many seafood items as the Western panel. Sampling requires at least 2 mL of serum or 3 dried blood spots.
What is IgG?
IgG is the major antibody found in serum. IgG’s are composed of two fragment antigen binding (Fab) regions that contain the antigen binding sites and the Fc region, which is responsible for most of the biologic activity of the antibodies(figure 1). An antigen is a substance that causes the immune system to produce an antibody that specifically reacts with it. IgG-mediated reactions to food antigens may be delayed by several hours or days, whereas IgE food antibody reactions are quite immediate. Human IgG is separated into four subclasses denoted IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4.9 Each subclass varies in abundance and biological function. IgG1 and IgG3 are predominantly responsible for antibody protection against reinfection. IgG2 antibodies are opsonic (marking a pathogen for ingestion and destruction) and develop in response to carbohydrate polysaccharide antigens. IgG4 molecules function as skin-sensitizing immunoglobulins and are thought to block antibodies produced in response to chronic exposure to antigens.
The clinical usefulness of IgG food testing was illustrated in an early article published by an otolaryngologist who reported that the majority of his patients had substantial health improvements after eliminating foods found positive by IgG food allergy testing. The study demonstrated a 71% success rate for all symptoms achieving at least a 75% relief. Of particular interest was the group of patients with chronic, disabling symptoms, unresponsive to other intensive treatments. Symptoms most commonly improved (75%-100%) on the elimination diets included asthma, coughing, ringing in the ears, chronic fatigue, headaches, gas, bloating, diarrhea, skin rash and itching, and nasal congestion. The most common IgG food allergies were to cow’s milk, garlic, mustard, egg yolk, tea, and chocolate. A recent study reported that 93% of non-celiac, gluten-sensitive patients showed anti-gliadin IgG antibody disappearance after a six-month adherence to a gluten-free diet. The IgG disappearance was closely related to a significant improvement of both gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms.
IgG and Candida Connection
The Great Plains Laboratory is the only lab that tests for Candida albicans (a microscopic fungal organism and pathogenic yeast) as part of IgG food testing. High levels of IgG antibodies to Candida have been found in patients who reported many symptoms of yeast overgrowth. Candida problems are caused when the benign yeast form of Candida albicans mutates to its fungal form and produces a buildup of toxins in the body. Candida can overgrow areas of the intestinal mucosa resulting in numerous symptoms, including creating microscopic holes in the lining of the intestines, leading to what is commonly known as “leaky gut” syndrome. If Candida albicans proteins enter the blood, an inflammatory immune system response may be triggered. A wide range of disorders have been linked to Candida overgrowth including autism, multiple sclerosis, depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome. Immunocompromised patients with cancer or AIDS can have life-threatening complications if Candida enters the bloodstream, resulting in systemic candidiasis. Use of antibiotics, oral contraceptives, chemotherapy, anti-inflammatory steroids, and diets high in sugar and starch increase susceptibility to Candida overgrowth. Research has revealed a relationship between health of the gastrointestinal tract and overall well-being. Imbalance between good and bad bacteria (dysbiosis) has been shown to worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, aggression, and cause fatigue. Evidence is mounting that dysbiosis impairs the immune system and contributes to food allergies, digestive disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and cognitive dysfunction. Using the IgG Food Allergy Test with Candida will help identify food allergies and Candida sensitivity that may be creating a variety of problems for patients. Physicians may then recommend elimination of the identified foods and supplementation with various natural products that control Candida overgrowth and assist with healing of the gut. Depending on the levels of Candida and the severity of a patient’s symptoms, further testing may be recommended, including a Comprehensive Stool Test or Organic Acids Test.
Significance of Test Results
High IgG antibody levels have frequently been found in children with diabetes mellitus, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and in those considered to be obese.6,9,11 IgG food test results are often used to develop food antibody-guided exclusion/elimination diets. The implementation of such diets has been shown to alleviate symptoms associated with non-celiac gluten sensitivity,11,13 and food sensitivity-induced atopic conditions,14 reduce the frequency of migraine headaches,1,2 decrease the occurrence of diarrhea, decrease failure–to-thrive among children with cystic fibrosis,15 reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome,3-5 improve rectal compliance,3 decrease stool frequency in Crohn’s disease,6 prevent seizures and hyperkinetic behavior in children with epilepsy,7 and ameliorate kidney function in glomerulonephritis.16 Food exclusion diets also hold promise for the improvement of behaviors associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.8
■ Helps determine if food reactions are contributing to physical or mental symptoms, and much more quickly than eliminating and then reintroducing each suspect food one-by-one over a period of time.
■ Removal of highly reactive foods from the diet is a non-invasive, therapy that often mitigates a patient's symptoms.
■ Research and clinical studies suggest food allergies identified by IgG testing can be major contributing factors to many chronic health conditions.
■ Eliminating all identified food allergens after testing can reduce stress on the immune system, decrease inflammation (helping to heal “leaky gut”), resolve food cravings, and reduce the potential for eating disorders.
“I believe the Great Plains IgG Food Allergy Test is a phenomenal tool that I have implemented in my practice on a daily basis to help treat patients for a wide variety of symptoms like headaches, IBS, fatigue, abdominal pain, dermatitis, hair loss, joint pain, acne, thyroid disorders, and vitamin deficiencies. I believe I am a better physician due to this testing transforming my ability to properly diagnose and treat patients effectively.” – Bridget, M.D. 1. Alpay, K. et al.
Diet restriction in migraine, based on IgG against foods: a clinical double-blind, randomised, cross-over trial. Cephalalgia : an international journal of headache 30, 829-837, doi:10.1177/0333102410361404 (2010). 2. Mitchell, N. et al. Randomised controlled trial of food elimination diet based on IgG antibodies for the prevention of migraine like headaches. Nutrition journal 10, 85, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-85 (2011). 3. Zar, S., Mincher, L., Benson, M. J. & Kumar, D. Food-specific IgG4 antibody-guided exclusion diet improves symptoms and rectal compliance in irritable bowel syndrome. Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology 40, 800-807, doi:10.1080/00365520510015593 (2005). 4. Atkinson, W., Sheldon, T. A., Shaath, N. & Whorwell, P. J. Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Gut 53, 1459-1464, doi:10.1136/gut.2003.037697 (2004). 5. Drisko, J., Bischoff, B., Hall, M. & McCallum, R. Treating irritable bowel syndrome with a food elimination diet followed by food challenge and probiotics. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 25, 514-522 (2006). 6. Bentz, S. et al. Clinical relevance of IgG antibodies against food antigens in Crohn’s disease: a double-blind cross-over diet intervention study. Digestion 81, 252-264, doi:10.1159/000264649 (2010). 7. Egger, J., Carter, C. M., Soothill, J. F. & Wilson, J. Oligoantigenic diet treatment of children with epilepsy and migraine. The Journal of pediatrics 114, 51-58 (1989). 8. Pelsser, L. M. et al. Effects of a restricted elimination diet on the behaviour of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (INCA study): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 377, 494-503, doi:10.1016/ S0140-6736(10)62227-1 (2011). 9. Veling, M. & Trevino, R. (2002). Food allergies and hypersensitivities. Alexandria, VA: American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. 10. Dixon H, Treatment of delayed food allergy based on specific immunoglobulin G RAST testing relief. Otoloryngol Head Neck Surg 2000;123:48-54. 11. Ciao, G. et al, Effect of gluten free diet on immune response to gliadin in patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. BMC Gastroenterology 14, 26 (2014) 12. Kemeny DM, et al Sub-class of IgG in allergic disease. I. IgG sub-class antibodies in immediate and non-immediate food allergy. Clin Allergy. 1986; 16:571-81 13. Hofman, T. IgE and IgG antibodies in children with food allergy. Rocz Akad Med Bialymst 40, 468-473 (1995). 14. Jenmalm, M. C. & Bjorksten, B. Cord blood levels of immunoglobulin G subclass antibodies to food and inhalant allergens in relation to maternal atopy and the development of atopic disease during the first 8 years of life. Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology 30, 34-40 (2000). 15. Lucarelli, S. et al. Food allergy in cystic fibrosis. Minerva pediatrica 46, 543-548 (1994). 16. van der Woude, F. J. et al. Do food antigens play a role in the pathogenesis of some cases of human glomerulonephritis? Clinical and experimental immunology 51,