If you know me, you probably know I’m a Red Sox fan. I’ve also dreamed of being a sports nutritionist for a professional team some day. I think it’s amazing how much what you eat can affect your performance as an athlete, not to mention how cool it would be to work with famous athletes. So when Matt told me about David Ortiz and his new diet based on ALCAT testing he had done, I knew I had to write a blog post about it (it was also the first thing he said when he read the article).
ALCAT testing, an acronym for antigen leukocyte cellular antibody test, claims to be the most effective and comprehensive sensitivity/intolerance test available. It identifies sensitivities and intolerances that do not present your typical “allergic reactions”. The ALCAT test is a blood test that measures the body’s response to various foods, food additives, environmental chemicals, antibiotics, molds, and other substances at a cellular level. Each person has different sensitivities and your test results are unlikely to be the same as anyone else’s. The cellular level reaction our bodies have to these foods, chemicals, and other substances causes inflammation in the body that is linked to chronic health problems like migraines, aching joints, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, eczema, hyperactivity/ADD, asthma and even obesity.
At Rezults by Renee we often encourage patients with chronic health problems to have this testing done, and I’m actually planning on having the test done on myself in the near future. It is recommended that you only have this testing done under the care of a dietitian so that you can best understand and interpret the results.
Once you get the testing, your individual results are shown in a color coded chart.
Foods listed indicate a severe reaction and should be avoided at all costs for a minimum of 6 months.
Foods listed indicate a moderate reaction and should be strictly avoided for a minimum of 3 to 6 months.
Foods listed indicate a mild reaction and should be avoided if possible, especially if there are few red and orange foods. If eaten, these should only be eaten on one day in four to prevent increased reactivity.
Foods listed indicate no reaction and can be eaten freely on a rotation basis, no more than every other day.
You then work with your dietitian to create a rotation diet based upon your acceptable foods being eaten every other day and the yellow foods being eaten every 4 days. Red and orange foods are eventually added in to test their reaction, and may be avoided further if a reaction occurs. It sounds more confusing than it is. The idea is that your body will become less sensitive to exposure of the reactive foods if they are not eaten as often.
“Variety in the diet is important. The human digestive system is not designed to breakdown the same foods day after day, and is more suited to coping with a seasonal diet.
Healthy bodies cope much better with variety and intermittent challenges, than with unrelenting exposure to only a very few food types. If you are vulnerable and eat the same food repeatedly, you risk becoming sensitive to it at some point. Symptoms may be masked initially because of your body’s effort to adapt and can make you subtly dependent on the offending food. After some time the adaptation will be exhausted and you begin to experience obvious symptoms” —ALCAT Results Guide
Basically, if you have any kind of chronic health problems or just feel like you could improve your current health you may want to talk to your dietitian about having the ALCAT testing done. We’ve seen someone who has spent years trying to figure out his allergies have the ALCAT testing, begin the rotation diet, and finally get relief from lifelong food reactions.
David Ortiz is the latest poster child for the ALCAT testing, bringing national attention to the testing. He claims to have seen almost immediate noticeable results since beginning his individualized diet. Some sensitivities identified for Ortiz include chicken, egg whites, shrimp, and grouper. Ortiz, who got the testing in response to dangerously high cholesterol levels, has dropped 20lbs and says he feels great.
I think it’s awesome to see professional athletes (Justin Morneau of the Twins has also had the ALCAT testing) taking natural, healthy measures to improve their performance. ALCAT is individualized to such a personal level, and backed by science that is makes sense that results are seen. Also, since there are no supplements, restrictive dieting, or other gimmicks, there are no side effects.
Stay tuned for a follow-up about my personal test results!