Obesity – Part 2

Difficulty shedding pounds? Consider food sensitivities.

Although studies support the causal relationship between food sensitivity and obesity, food sensitivity is often overlooked as a contributing factor to obesity. Food sensitivity results from a reaction to food mediated by the antibodies immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin G (IgG). Testing the levels of IgG antibodies with blood tests such as Immuno Bloodprint® can establish the foods triggering reactions. By eliminating these foods in a person’s diet, that person may successfully achieve weight loss.

When looking at one’s diet and the challenge of losing weight, people often overlook food sensitivity. Most focus on the amount of food consumed or the nutritional value of what they eat. These considerations are a good start but one can gain additional insight into the cause of obesity by looking at food sensitivity. Even foods that are nutritious might be a contributing factor to a specific person’s obesity. 

Many people confuse food sensitivity and food intolerance with a food allergy. A food allergy involves an almost immediate reaction upon consumption of a certain food. Such an allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction mediated by the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE). Reactions to this type of allergy range from mild irritation of skin to anaphylaxis, a potentially deadly reaction. Associating food sensitivity with an immediate allergic reaction distracts people from considering the effects of food sensitivity, such as chronic conditions like obesity. 

Food sensitivity reactions are mediated by the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. IgG antibodies result in a delayed response that may take hours or days to appear after exposure to a particular food. The delay in response makes identifying the offending food more difficult. Many times people simply do not make the connection between food and the symptoms of chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and fatigue. People tend to treat the symptoms rather than looking at food that might trigger the reaction. 

Recent studies have explored the connection between food sensitivity and obesity. A 2007 study published in Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes examined the relationship between IgG antibodies, low-grade inflammation, and obesity. Low-grade inflammation is thought to play a role in obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes. Recent studies show that IgG antibodies’ reaction to certain food causes low-grade inflammation that leads to irritable bowel syndrome. In the 2007 study, the researchers measured indicators connected to inflammation in 30 obese children and 30 children of normal weight. These indicators included the C-reactive protein (CRP) that correlates to the degree of obesity and insulin resistance of people, and IgG antibodies against food antigens that have been suggested to cause low-grade inflammation. Researchers found that the overweight children had three times the level of CRP and 2.5 times the level of IgG antibodies than the children of normal weight.[1]

The close connection between food sensitivity and obesity suggests that simply eliminating certain foods from a person’s diet will help in fighting obesity. The well-established way to assess which foods trigger the immune system to overreact is through the dietary elimination process. With this diet, certain foods are eliminated from a diet for a minimum of three weeks and then reintroduced to the diet one at a time. If symptoms subside when eliminated and then reoccur once the subject reintroduces the food, that particular food must be responsible for the reaction.

Tying inflammation to obesity and food sensitivity to inflammation, research ultimately suggests that eliminating food you are sensitive to will aid in weight loss. Identifying the foods that trigger the reaction is difficult, tedious, and very time consuming through the elimination diet process. For this reason, one might look at the level of IgG antibodies to various food components utilizing a blood test like Immuno Bloodprint®. 

In a recent study conducted at the University of Miami Miller Medical School, researchers used the Immuno Bloodprint® to test sensitivity to 115 commonly eaten foods. They tested 120 subjects and then put each subject on an elimination diet based on food sensitivities discovered through the Immuno Bloodprint® test. This study aimed to establish the connection between food sensitivity, specifically those reactions due to IgG-mediated antibodies, and obesity. The test measured body composition and mental and physical quality of life. After 90 days following the elimination diet based on the results of the Immuno Bloodprint®, all subjects yielded positive results in body composition and mental and physical quality of life. Such results not only confirm the connection between food sensitivity and obesity, but also confirm the accuracy of the Immuno Bloodprint® in identifying IgG antibodies that are the source of food sensitivity.[2]

Various elements contribute to obesity including genetic predisposition as well as behavioral factors. People often overlook food sensitivity when evaluating the sources of a person’s obesity. As seen above, research suggests food sensitivity might be a contributing factor to certain people’s weight problems. Since there is difficulty identifying food sensitivity, measuring the presence of IgG antibodies might be the most effective way of assessing the sources of sensitivity; research shows the Immuno Bloodprint® accurately tests these levels. Those people who have trouble with weight loss should consider such a test and an elimination based on the results in order to achieve weight loss goals.

[1]Wilders-Trushnig M, Mangge H, Lieners C, Gruber H, Mayer C, et al. (2008) IgG antibodies against food antigens are correlated with inflammation and intima media thickness in obese juveniles. ExpClinEndocrinol Diabetes 116: 241-245.

[2]Lewis JE, Woolger JM, Melillo A, Alonso Y, Rafatjah S, et al. (21012) Eliminating Immunologically-Reactive Foods from the Diet and its Effect on Body Composition and Quality of Life in Overweight Persons. J ObesWeig los Ther 2:112.Doi: 10.4172/2165-7904.1000112


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