In 2017, one of our most popular podcasts was with Brent Dorval, PhD, the developer of the KBMO Diagnostics FIT test. Unique in the industry, the FIT test is an IgG food sensitivity tests that measures not only the IgG response to foods, but also a specific complement protein, C3d. Brent developed the test based on his years of researching the immune complexes and the complement cascade in kidney diseases.
In a rather brilliant epiphany, Brent had the idea that looking at both IgG and C3d, one of the primary complement products triggered by the antibody/food antigen complex, would improve reliability of the IgG test. In their blog this month, KBMO details the unique attributes of the FIT and the utility of measuring zonulin in conjunction with it. Check it out!
Understanding Food Sensitivities
DrKF Sponsored Content | Food sensitivities and related diseases affect at least 100 million people worldwide and cause a wide variety of illnesses ranging from skin rashes and headaches to chronic intestinal diseases. The commonness of food sensitivities has increased by more than 50% in adults and children in recent years. Delayed food sensitivities can occur up to 72 hours after ingestion, making it difficult for a patient to pinpoint which foods are causing reactions. It is useful to test for food sensitivities when a patient has chronic symptoms, including digestive issues, infertility, fatigue, arthritis, cancer, in addition to other lasting problems.
Any food antigen entering the bloodstream can produce symptoms associated with food sensitivities. Most food antigens enter the bloodstream through the intestinal epithelium and stimulate the production of IgG antibodies. IgG antibodies bind to food antigens that are free in the blood or that have deposited in tissues and form immune complexes (IC). The IC activates complement C3 which becomes covalently linked to the IgG forming IC-C3b. Ultimately, the C3b on the IC is cleaved forming IC-C3d. During this process, C3a (anaphylatoxin) is released which causes smooth muscle contraction and has a potent vascular effect. Under normal circumstances, circulating IC-C3b bind to the CR1 receptors on red blood cells and are cleared from the circulation in the liver and spleen. Continued production of antibody and formation of IC may result in deposition of IC in tissues which results in activation of the terminal complement pathway C5-9 on the surface of the tissue causing cell lysis and increased inflammation.
The Food Inflammation Test (FIT Test) Improves Sensitivity by Generating Two Signals
The measurement of both IgG and Immune Complex containing C3d (IC-C3d) simultaneously is the key to assessing food sensitivities. Measuring both IgG and IC-C3d simultaneously generates twice the signal which improves the sensitivity over other tests which employ a conventional conjugate that measures only IgG. (1) All other food sensitivity tests measure only IgG and ignore IC-C3d measurement and its effect on food sensitivity. The patented Food Inflammation Test (FIT Test) is the only test that simultaneously measures both IgG and Complement C3d.
The Food Inflammation Test (FIT Test) Improves the Clinical Performance
Patients who reported a variety of symptoms (Table 1; below) were screened using the FIT test to determine which foods caused sensitivities (Table 2. Graph 1 below). The foods which tested positive were removed from the diet and the patients were re-tested (Graph 2, below) and the original symptoms were reviewed to determine if the patient felt better. A significant reduction in food sensitivities was observed and in many cases the symptoms were also reduced (Graph 2 below). This study demonstrates that food elimination based on the FIT Test reduces symptoms and is an effective tool in patient care.
The FIT Test measures sensitivities to 132 foods and additives. The sample can be obtained by using a finger stick or a blood draw. When patients discover which foods they are sensitive to, they should begin an elimination diet and take out reactive foods for at least 8-12 weeks and assess if there is improvement or reduction of symptoms. If the test shows a reaction to a large amount of foods or shows a reaction to yeast, the patient should consider testing for intestinal permeability.
In addition to food sensitivities, elevated levels of zonulin can lead to a number of chronic issues and diseases. Additionally, anywhere between 50 and 100% of patients with food intolerances also have increased intestinal permeability. Some of the diseases caused by intestinal permeability, or leaky gut are autoimmune disease, Type I Diabetes and Celiac Disease. Elevated levels of zonulin can also lead to Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Asthma, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Adult Glucose Intolerance. Zonulin is a key biomarker for intestinal permeability, and is the only regulator of intestinal permeability that is reversible.
Signs of a leaky gut show that the functions of the intestinal barriers have stopped working properly. The intestinal lining is essentially a wall of tightly joined cells that open and close when necessary. zonulin remotely controls the opening of tight junctions between cells. If too much zonulin is produced, the tight junctions remain open.
Measuring Zonulin Levels
Measuring zonulin can help assess a leaky gut. The best way to test for elevated levels of zonulin is by using a blood sample, as there is evidence of tissue damage and loss of intestinal function if zonulin can be measured in a patient’s blood.
It is useful to test for food sensitivities and inflammation caused by food to reduce leaky gut in a patient. Therefore, testing for both food sensitivities and elevated levels of zonulin simultaneously allows the patient to pinpoint causes of chronic issues and symptoms. From there, the patient can make necessary changes in diet to achieve optimal health.
About KBMO Diagnostics:
KBMO Diagnostics is a fully integrated medical diagnostics company, offering Food Sensitivity Testing that measures sensitivities to up to 132 different foods, coloring and additives using the Food Inflammation Test (FIT Test), created by Brent Dorval, PhD. In addition to the FIT Test, KBMO offers a Zonulin Test. The FIT Test yields many benefits, including: uncovering which foods are causing inflammation and disease, developing a personalized nutritional guide, and improving a patient’s state of health and energy levels. The test is the most sensitive food test available using new patented technology. KBMO has an FDA Registered and ISO 13485 compliant manufacturing facility as well as a CLIA High Complexity Laboratory based in Massachusetts. Contact www.KBMOdiagnostics.com for more information.
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Should your established patients consider this? How does it compare to tests you have been using?
Jenn, I think it can be useful. Lets discuss! DrKF
I hope your blog is open to a broader discussion of functional medicine. Here is my contribution.
More tests, no more significant clinically useful information. Laboratories are replete with small studies that show us that their particular brand of food sensitivity reduce his symptoms when those foods are eliminated . The testing done by this particular laboratory is not a comparison with other test so it does not demonstrate superiority. Additionally the gold standard is an elimination, provocation diet. When properly supporting patient within a functional medicine practice with wellness coaches etc. the vast majority of patient should be able to accomplish and elimination, provocation trial. It’s my belief that functional medicine should be focused on high touch, appropriate technology interventions. We already have a gold standard for food sensitivities. This test does not approach the sensitivity or specificity of that gold standard.
Tom Sult, MD
Author: JUST BE WELL (goo.gl/jUbWIX)
Thanks, Tom. While I think there is a place for IgG testing, I would like to see more research in this arena. I appreciate the clinical trial that KBMO conducted, but another study looking specifically at its unique attributes would be great. K
How did I get tested?
If you’re working with a Functionally trained provider familiar with the KMBO test they would be able to order it for you.
If I order the test, will I get the results or will the results have to be sent to a doctor? Thanks
Hello Allen, our practitioner team orders food sensitivity tests (including from other laboratories) for clinic patients and, yes, the results are sent to your practitioner physician or nutritionist) first. – Team DrKF