Digestive tract is the largest barrier to outside attack and only one cell thick.
Certain foods, additives and chemicals are capable of triggering immune reactions that are not due to allergies. Chemicals mediators released by the immune system are capable of producing a variety body reactions resulting in symptoms. Avoiding foods that produce such reactions significantly improve symptoms resulting from eating those foods. Mediator release (MRT) testing measures the release of chemical mediators from white blood cells and platelets in response to specific foods, additives or chemicals. Such chemical reactions presumably indicate sensitivity to these foods or additives.
Principles of mediator release testing (MRT):
Mediator release testing (MRT, Signet Diagnostic Corporation, www.nowleap.com) is based on measuring the reaction in the blood resulting from a food or chemical to which you have become sensitive or intolerant. When exposed to a foods or chemical that you are sensitive to your cells release various chemical mediators. These mediators cause an alteration of the ratio of solids (cells) to liquid (serum) in your blood that can be measured. The white blood cells and platelets shrink and the volume of the liquid increases. The degree of change can be measured. Signet tests the reactions to 150 foods and chemicals (123 foods and 27 chemicals). They report the reactions as mild or moderate to severe and this is believed to correspond with the degree of sensitivity to that particular food, additive or chemical.
Results of MRT combined with a specific elimination diet.
The foods or chemicals producing abnormal reactions are summarized in color tables provided along with a comprehensive report containing a result’s based specific elimination diet plan supplemented with several hours of personalized counseling from a dietician. Initially, I was skeptical about MRT. However, I began advocating it several months ago because many of my patients had ongoing symptoms or findings that suggested an ongoing food intolerance or sensitivity but the testing available to us could not tell us what food or foods may be a problem. After reviewing the available research data I concluded MRT testing had adequate scientific basis to recommend it as an option to those who were interested and would consider making dietary changes based on the results.
MRT testing diet interventions help patients who failed to find relief previously.
So far, my experience is that most of those who have undergone the testing and implemented dietary changes as a result have noted significant improvement in a variety of symptoms. Those who have decided to undergo MRT testing typically have already been tested for Celiac disease and food allergies and undergone both upper and lower endoscopy exams with biopsies. They also have typically already tried dietary interventions. Some have had tests that confirmed one or more food allergies, Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity or have presence of mast cell enterocolitis; eosinophilic esophagitis, gastroenteritis or colitis; or lymphocytic enteritis. Though most had some improvement with dietary interventions based on these tests, many continued to have ongoing symptoms.
How to get on-line consultation and MRT testing?
If your doctor will not order the testing Signet can help you locate a doctor in your area or you can obtain the testing as part of an on-line consultation with the Food Doc www.dr-lewey.medem.com. The testing does require a doctor’s order. If your doctor is not familiar with the testing they can learn more at www.nowleap.com. I believe MRT testing is a helpful addition to the evaluation and treatment of food intolerance.
Scot M. Lewey, D.O., FACP, FAAP, FACOP
PO Box 51460
Colorado Springs CO 80949
719 387 2110 Fax 719 302 6000
Copyright © 2007, The Food Doc, LLC, All Rights Reserved.
Kaczmarski M. et al. MRT test-New generation of tests for food hypersensitivity in children and adults. Pezeglad Pediatryczny, 1997; Supplement 1:61-65.
Frandzei, S. New lab test may help identify foods that exacerbate symptoms of IBS-D. Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News. April 2007. 53.