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Food Allergies and Food Intolerances Reveal The True Human Diet
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September 28, 2013
11:13 am
Mina
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All this allergens are manufacture and put in on most foods on purpose to create allergy reactions to the public, since pharma companies make billions of dollars. I know this because I am very allergic to almost every food ittem in North America. Every time I travel to Europe, at times I stay up to a year. All my food allergies are gone, and I eat whatever I want. How is that possible? Is all about money and nothing else. They will keep doing it as long as people live in fear.

October 3, 2013
9:32 pm
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Mina:

I'm not sure it's done on purpose -- I tend to think the allergies are an accidental synergy -- but the US allows many food modifications that are illegal or otherwise proscribed in Europe.  (GMO crops are the most obvious example, but AFAIK there are also pesticides and herbicides legal here but not there, and tolerance for detectable residue is often lower AFAIK.)

JS

December 13, 2013
3:37 pm
issa
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how do you test for food allergies? i found websites that test hair samples but i believe they are fake. how did you guys test for food allergies the cheapest way?

December 14, 2013
10:18 am
Madison, WI, USA
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Issa,

 

The cheapest way to test for food allergies is an elimination diet.  The most common foods allergies are gluten, dairy, nuts, eggs, and soy.  Try eliminating them for two weeks to 30 days and then re-introduce them one by one and see if you feel like crap or not.

"Often we forget . . . the sky reaches to the ground . . . with each step . . . we fly."  ~We Fly, The House Jacks

December 16, 2013
5:13 pm
Roy
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Funny my cholesterol levels have always been high. I have been on medication, diet, and exercise for the last twenty years now. Never been able to bring it down to normal levels.
Whenever I go to visit my son in Spain my cholesterol goes to normal levels for the first time with no medication, no exercise, nor diet!!
I do have to agree that there is something toxic on the food supply in North America that keeps cholesterol levels even in children high, having to take medication to help lower it.

December 17, 2013
1:23 am
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issa:

What Jen said.  There is a lot of quack "allergy testing" around, and the cheapest way is to do an elimination diet.  Pare yourself down to the foods I list above -- red meat, vegetables, root starches, and fruits -- for thirty days, and see if that helps.  If so, then you can start slowly adding foods back in (perhaps one every 4-5 days) and see if you can find where your problems lie.

Roy:

That's fascinating!  What levels do you mean by "high"?

JS

January 4, 2014
12:45 pm
Helen
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Allergies, I have huge food allergy problems, which change with time. I try hard to "resist" the foods that I am hooked on. It takes a few days to change ones habits and vices (sugar, chocolate and dairy products). My cytotoxic tests show I am allergic to tomatoes, oranges, beef, chicken, pork, sardines, milk, eggs, beans, lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and some more. This doesn't seem to back what you wrote. I really would like it to, but it doesn't seem to fit your explanation. desperately,
Helen

January 4, 2014
9:15 pm
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Helen:

AFAIK cytotoxic tests are among the many "allergy tests" that are useless and/or quackery.  They're subjectively interpreted (a technician looks for "altered morphology" of white blood cells, which can mean anything at all depending on the interpreter), and they don't measure any sort of actual immunologic reaction, which happens at a much deeper biochemical level.

Add to that the fact that allergic reactions must be to proteins (which is why all the common allergens are very high in protein), so being allergic to things like lettuce is nearly impossible; pile on the fact that allergies tend not to change over time; and I'm pretty sure that you're not actually allergic to most of the substances you mentioned.

That being said, the medical profession tends to label anything but skin-prick tests for Type I hypersensitivity as quackery, despite the awkward fact that every one of them learned about Type II, II, and IV hypersensitivity in their undergraduate microbiology class.  However, IgG tests are more difficult to interpret (agglutination can indicate that you're allergic, or just that you've eaten a lot of that food lately -- I'm not going to get into the details of Fc sialylation here), and I'm sure there are quack versions of them too.

Also, it's certainly possible to have problems consuming certain foods that aren't strictly allergic in nature -- but as Jen and I said above, the best and cheapest way to test for all the different possible allergies, intolerances, dysbioses, and so on is simply to do an elimination diet.  Basically limit yourself to red meat (lamb is purportedly even better than beef for this), non-nightshade vegetables (no potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, or peppers -- sweet potatoes are a good starch source, and the least allergenic fruits (e.g. apples, apricots, pears, grapes, dates).

Many intolerances are, in reality, caused by a leaky gut due to gluten ingestion, so going gluten-free is usually the first step towards fixing these sorts of problems.  I also recommend the other steps from this article.

JS

March 19, 2014
6:27 am
William Thompson
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Interesting you part on meat allergies. Chimps that eat a lot of meat die early of clogged arteries as they did like the early humans before they got the genes to absorb meat. Unfortunately it seems the genes might vary in different people because some eat meat voraciously until they a 100 years old and others croak at 35. I suspect the humans with clogged arteries at 35 likely didn't get the genes passed on to them.
Even more interesting is all the studies on meat and milk that say it is bad or good for you are total rubbish until the people being surveyed are analysed to see if they have the goodies (genes or chemicals) in their system to absorb it. If the surveyed people were first checked genetically they could tell in advance how many meat eating people will die of a heart attack before the age of 50 without following their lives for the next 20 years.

March 21, 2014
12:16 pm
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William:

"Chimps that eat a lot of meat die early of clogged arteries as they did like the early humans before they got the genes to absorb meat."  

Citations?  Chimps regularly eat meat.  (Not saying they don't exist, just saying I'd like to see the citations!)

Also, increased meat consumption in humans generally tracks a large number of unhealthy behaviors, like smoking and heavy drinking...not to mention that the unhealthy part of a Happy Meal probably isn't the tiny scrap of "hamburger" hiding under the giant bun, the huge pile of n-6 soaked fries, and the big cup of soda.

That being said, ApoE4 exists...but the arguments against SFA consumption for them generally involve "high LDL", not an actual endpoint of CVD.  Doing well on ApoE4 generally involves being extremely sensitive to reducing n-6 load, reducing environmental toxins, and generally being protective of the fact that you're usually smarter than everyone else (and have an amazing immune system), but are very sensitive to poor diet and environment.

That being said, it is absolutely true that different people seem to do better on different diets, and that we have different tolerances for different suboptimal diets depending on our genetic and epigenetic background.  Sometimes some interesting data pops out if you look at subgroups, not just the average.

JS

May 20, 2014
9:57 pm
Maxine
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This was such an insightful article - and all the comments are insightful too. I think that meat is important to good health, but meat we eat today is not the meat our ancestors ate e.g. meat is now mass produced with growth hormones added in the feed. In addition, commercial milk reacts with me and I don't think it's healthy. Raw milk, on the other hand, doesn't cause me any problems.

May 25, 2014
1:41 pm
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Maxine:

I'm more concerned about the antibiotics and the grain-based diet, but your point is well-taken: feedlot meat is not the same as free-range meat.  I recently ran out of the grass-finished, free-range, dry-aged side I've been eating, and the difference between it and supermarket beef is remarkable.

I don't notice any difference between raw and regular milk, though many people do.  OTOH, I absolutely notice ultra-pasteurization, which makes milk taste like burnt matches.  I have no idea how anyone else can drink that stuff!

JS

July 25, 2014
1:01 pm
NAY
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I am actually sensitive to red meat (beef/pork/lamb/venison) - I can't eat more than about 1 oz. in a day without serious GI distress (but i can still eat a bit of real bacon!). I can eat as much fish as I like :) and chicken/poultry rarely bothers me. My mother is Type 1 allergic to strawberries and my great aunt is also sensitive to red meat.

July 28, 2014
3:04 pm
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NAY:

Sounds like you have some sort of digestive sensitivity to red meat, e.g. intolerance, as opposed to allergy. At least you can eat fish!

It's instructive to remember that in a world with seven billion people, there will be many people representing even the rarest conditions!

JS

December 14, 2014
7:41 pm
Elle
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Thank you so much for these informative articles!

I wanted to share about developing an intolerance to eggs late in life - I'm 37 and a year and a half ago started developing hives whenever I ate eggs. It took me about six months to narrow it down to a food intolerance (internally I've been calling it an intolerance as I consider allergy to be something a bit more drastic... though perhaps it is a Type I allergy) after maintaining a food diary and an unhelpful visit to the dermatologist. It starts as an itch, and eventually becomes raised like hives - and almost always near the joints and when serious, become symmetrical (eg start at the left elbow... spread to right elbow/ start near right ankle, repeat on left ankle). Weird, huh?

I determined on my own that I'm more sensitive to egg yolks than whites, and the more raw the protein is the larger the response - so soft-boiled eggs are a big no-no, while eating pastries is more or less ok. If I eat chicken, I get a delayed, muted reaction by about a day. Most people respond to my reluctance to eat chicken with disbelief because they believe only children get these allergies, and it's difficult to not eat chicken as I live in a country where the population is nearly 70% Muslim... it's all eggs, chicken, eggs, chicken.

If I stay away from eggs/chicken resolutely for a few weeks/a month I can eat chicken every day for up to a week with few side effects, and may even eat scrambled eggs/less-cooked eggs for a few days consecutively too. If there is a special egg occasion I take an antihistamine to pre-empt a reaction but don't do it often.

Nobody else in my family has this, so they chalked it up to stress for the six to seven months I couldn't figure out what was going on *while* eating soft-boiled eggs for breakfast every day (!)

ps I stumbled onto your site after searching for whether there's any truth to the whole "stuff stays in your gut from baby to death and we're full of toxins and must detox X times a week".

December 25, 2014
2:10 am
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Elle:

Hives definitely suggests a Type I allergy, i.e. the regular kind.

A delayed reaction, like you get to chicken, suggests an immune-mediated hypersensitivity -- especially since it slowly goes away over time if you keep strictly away from them.

Are you gluten-free? A lot of these sorts of intolerances are made worse by the tight junction-opening effect of gliadin peptides, and can often be improved by removing gluten grains from one's diet. (Give it a couple months before deciding to put your allergies to the torture test.)

I'm glad you've found out what was causing your problems! Food allergies and intolerances are extremely common -- but for some reason many doctors are loath to advise elimination diets, even though basic statistics says that a substantial number of their patients *must* have these problems!

JS

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