ALCAT Food & Chemical Sensitivity Testing

What is ALCAT Food & Chemical Sensitivity Testing?

It is a blood analysis test assessing which foods, chemicals, or other substances one may be sensitive to by analyzing the inflammatory response of immune cell (i.e. white blood cells).

Please be aware that the ALCAT test does not identify food allergies and enzyme induced intolerances.

How does the test work?

When white blood cells (leukocytes) are stimulated by an offending trigger, they undergo measurable changes in cell number and volume to release inflammatory substances as defense mechanism, and such changes are being measured and analyzed.

original white blood cells

test agents introduced to blood sample

if food sensitivity is present, some white blood cells will be swollen and some will even burst

Supported by Validated Research and Study

Leukocyte activation testing (method used by ALCAT test) has a long history of clinical use and there were a number of researches on objective validation of this testing method.3-9 A recent Yale University research supports that elimination diets guided by leukocyte activation tests reduced symptoms of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).10

Committed to Quality

The ALCAT test is owned by Cell Science Systems Corp., a specialty clinical laboratory in the U.S. that develops and performs laboratory testing in immunology and cell biology. It operates a CLIA certified laboratory and is an FDA inspected and registered, cGMP medical device manufacturer meeting ISO EN13485 2012 standards.

Test Process

4 steps to be free to eat

1. Take an ALCAT food & chemical sensitivity test

Blood draw at a medical lab in Central takes only 15 min

2. Get results in 10 working days

Discover what foods / chemicals you may be sensitive to

3. Follow a customized rotational diet

Allow your body to heal by adjusting your diet based on your sensitivity levels to foods and chemicals

4. Reintroduce once sensitive foods after 3-6 months

Free to enjoy once sensitive foods if no further symptoms observed

Test Panels Available in Hong Kong

100 Food Panel

HK$2,800
Most common foods in everyday diet

150 Food Panel

HK$3,900
More comprehensive list of foods in usual diet, inclusive of 100 food panel items

50 Functional Foods & Medicinal Herbs

HK$1,850
Healthy foods, ‘superfoods’ and major ingredients of supplements

30 Food Additives, Colorings & Environmental Chemicals

HK$1,650
Commonly used food additives including MSG, food colorings, sweeteners, preservatives, stabilizers, etc.

40 Preservatives & Expanded Additives

HK$1,800
More extensive list of chemicals in processed foods, in addition to 30 food additives 

20 Molds

HK$980
Molds found in the environment,      indoor & outdoor

Sample Test Results

Sample test results for 150 food panel

Color-coded & easy to read

Customized 4-day rotational diet

Recommended food items for various categories, based on your test results

A detailed guide to understanding your test results

With detailed explanation & tips

FAQ

1. Is fasting required before taking the ALCAT Test?

No

2. Must I experience obvious symptoms as a result of food sensitivities?

It is possible to have food sensitivities without noticing symptoms. There might be inflammation as a result of white blood cell response but symptoms may not be detected.

3. I know I am allergic to a certain food, but your test says I’m not, why?

An allergic response involves an immediate IgE response which is not measured by the Alcat Test. The ALCAT food and chemical sensitivity test assesses the delayed immune response to foods instead. If you believe you may have IgE allergic reaction, it is crucial that you go to your physician for the diagnosis. If you’ve been diagnosed with food allergies, it is very important to continue to avoid these allergens to avoid a potentially life-threatening situation.

4. Does ALCAT test measures IgG (Immunoglobulin G) antibodies?

The ALCAT test is a highly sensitive, objective test for assessing food sensitivities by measuring and analyzing the immune response of white blood cells to foods, but it does not measure IgG antibodies. Some tests in the market measures total IgG antibodies (IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4) as an indication to food sensitivity. However, recent researches suggest that the presence of food-specific IgG antibodies may indicate mere exposure to a particular food (i.e. consumption of the food), and in fact IgG4 may actually help sustain tolerance to the food, instead of indicating food sensitivity.

Reference

1. Understanding Your Alcat Test Results. Retrieved from https://cellsciencesystems.com/guide/
2. Alcat Food Sensitivity Comparisons. (2018, January 12). Retrieved from https://cellsciencesystems.com/education/news/alcat-food-sensitivity-comparisons/
3. High Correlation of the Alcat Test Results with Double-blind Challenge (DBC) in Food Sensitivity Presentation at the 45th Annual Congress of the American College of Allergy and Immunology, Los Angeles, November 12-16, 1988; published in the Annals of Allergy.
4. Alcat a new test for food induced problems in medicine? Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, Washington DC, 1. October 1988.
5. Alcat® – a new cellular test for food sensitivity. Presentation at the annual meeting of the American In-Vitro Allergy & Immunology Society, August 1990, Toronto, Canada.
6. Cellular responses to food in irritable bowel syndrome – an investigation of the Alcat Test Publication of pooled study results in the Journal of Nutritional Medicine, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1991.
7. Diagnostic Value of Alcat Test in intolerance to food additives compared with double-blind placebo-controlled (DBPC) oral challenges. Presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, New Orleans, LA. March 15-20, 1996. Publication in the Congress Proceedings of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 1996;97:336.
8. Ghani, A., Mehal, W., & Ali, A. Yale School of Medicine. (2014). Food reactivity on the ALCAT leukocyte activation test is associated with upregulation of CD11b on T cells. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(5), A35-A36.
9. Garcia-Martinez, Weiss, Ali, et al. Alcat test identifies food items that result in release of inflammatory markers & activation of innate immune cells. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. June 2016, 22(6): A1-A142.
10. Ali A, Weiss TR, McKee D, Scherban A, Khan S, Fields MR, Apollo D, Mehal WZ. Efficacy of individualised diets in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep 20;4(1):e000164. doi: 10.1136/bmjgast-2017-000164. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 29018540; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5628288. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5628288/
11. Mahan, L. K., & Raymond, J. L. (2016). Krause’s food & the nutrition care process. Elsevier Health Sciences.
12. Gocki J, Bartuzi Z. Role of immunoglobulin G antibodies in diagnosis of food allergy. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2016 Aug;33(4):253-6. Doi: 10.5114/ada.2016.61600. Epub 2016 Aug 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 27605894; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5004213. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5004213/
13. Stapel SO, Asero R, Ballmer-Weber BK; EAACI Task Force. Testing for IgG4 against foods is not recommended as a diagnostic tool: EAACI Task Force Report. Allergy. 2008 Jul;63(7):793-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2008.01705.x. Epub 2008 May 16. PubMed PMID: 18489614.
14. Lavine E. Blood testing for sensitivity, allergy or intolerance to food. CMAJ. 2012 Apr 3;184(6):666-8. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.110026. Epub 2012 Mar 19. PubMed PMID: 22431905; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3314037.
15. Carr S, Chan E, Lavine E, et al. CSACI Position statement on the testing of food-specific IgG. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2012 Jul 26;8(1):12. Doi:10.1186/1710-1492-8-12. PubMed PMID: 22835332; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3443017.