Do Food Intolerance Tests Work?
YORK, England, November 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
There are now many different diagnostic tests available outside of the conventional
medical system (the NHS in the UK). These include many different tests for food
intolerance including vega testing, kinesiology, hair “body field analysis” testing,
cytotoxic and live blood testing. The growing market is driven by increasing personal
interest in health, clinical need as many chronic conditions are not being treated,
limitations of the conventional medical system and direct customer demand. Doctors and
medical practitioners can be justified in dismissing test results that originate from
services such as ‘mail order laboratory testing services’, as there is currently no way
for them to distinguish between those results which have an evidence base with clinical
data, and those that claim results without any real evidence.
How are individuals meant to tell the difference between the plethora of diagnostic
tests that are available to them? How can they tell those based on good science and those
that have no basis is science? It is a difficult task. Consumers should be able to take
more responsibility, and have access to tests that can empower them, not potentially
damage them. In order to show that results from a specific diagnostic test are meaningful,
and can be interpreted and acted upon accurately and effectively, it is absolutely
essential that food intolerance tests undergo rigorous evaluation to make sure that they
perform well enough to provide accurate and reproducible information.
For the first time, guidance has been issued to help people ask the right questions of
diagnostic test providers. The checklist has been welcomed by food intolerance test
suppliers YorkTest Laboratories. Dr Gill Hart, Scientific Director at YorkTest
Laboratories commented saying: “The food intolerance testing industry has been given a bad
name by suppliers of tests that have absolutely no basis in science. YorkTest have been
offering food intolerance testing services for over 30 years and have helped many
thousands of people over the years find relief from symptoms such as IBS, bloating,
migraines, fatigues, itchy skin
, low mood and weight gain. Our clinical data speaks for itself and we are pleased
to now see measures being put in place that can distinguish our services from those that
do not meet the criteria on the checklist.”
The checklist, originally published in the journal Nutrition Practitioner, includes
the following pointers:-
- Check whether the test supplier is audited annually by the UK Health Authority (the MHRA) or is CPA (Clinical Pathology Accredited). Also ensure that the tests and sample collection methods have been CE marked. The supplier should be able to provide their certificates. - Check that the test is accurate (what evidence exists?); has the test been referenced or calibrated against a recognised international standard? If no 'gold standard reference point' exists then clinical studies to show effectiveness must be provided. - Look out for real case studies and testimonials to show that the test works in practice, and can be interpreted correctly. Talk to other people that have used the test and find out about their experience. - Check that the supplier has evidence that the sample (for example a blood sample) is stable during transport to the laboratory. Also ask for the supplier to provide reproducibility data.
Dr Gill Hart continued: “Being able to question the suppliers of diagnostic tests will
help people to feel confident to really tackle their food intolerance symptoms, knowing
that their targeted action is based on good sound information.”
To help identify food intolerances, help is at hand from YorkTest Laboratories,
Europe’s leading provider of food and drink intolerance testing with over 30 years’
experience. The YorkTest food and drink intolerance test [http://www.yorktest.com ] called
Food&DrinkScan can uncover potential food and drink triggers, allowing people to simply
modify their diets with life changing health benefits.
Food&DrinkScan measures IgG antibody reactions to 158 foods and also ingredients found
in beverages. Food&DrinkScan is available to buy online or by phone for GBP299.
Unlike other many basic tests available, YorkTest customers will be fully supported
with their dietary changes. Food&DrinkScan offers comprehensive patient support that
- Two telephone consultations with a BANT registered nutritional therapist who will offer specific individual advice - Help on how to incorporate the recommended diet changes - A 12 week food diary with diet tips to help sufferers keep track of the changes they are making to their diet.
Food&DrinkScan can be purchased from http://www.yorktest.com or by calling free
phone 0800 074 6185.
1. British Association of Nutritional Therapists
Notes to Editors
YorkTest nutritional helpline service: 0800 074 6185 offers a free intolerance
advisory service with access to BANT registered nutritionists, available to anyone wanting
to discuss concerns, or find out more about food intolerance.
The YorkTest is a simple finger-prick home-to-laboratory service, which offers a
solution to identifying up to 158 problem ‘trigger foods’. The YorkTest also includes two
telephone consultations with a qualified nutritionist who will offer specific individual
advice and help on how to incorporate the recommended diet changes. A 12 week food diary
with diet tips will also be provided to help sufferers keep track of the changes they are
making to their diet.
A First Step Test is available for the offer price of GBP9.99 (usually GBP19.99).
Following the First Step, if your result is positive you can then progress to either the
FoodScan, which tests for intolerances to 113 trigger foods for GBP250, or the full
Food&DrinkScan for GBP299.
Dr Gill Hart PhD is a Biochemist with over twenty-five years experience in the
development and clinical evaluation of diagnostic tests.
Gill started her career as Senior Biochemist at the Hammersmith Hospital and
subsequently worked for a number of companies specialising in the development and
validation of diagnostic tests for hospital use. Gill joined the YorkTest team in 2005,
and has applied her scientific and regulatory knowledge to all YorkTest services;
including putting in measures of ‘self-regulation’ in the under-regulated ‘diagnostic
testing services’ industry.