food allergy
testing food intolerance & promoting allergy care

Launch October 2022

Food Allergy Test

Food allergy is a rising pandemic. Food allergies are at an all-time global high with 10.8% of Americans and 3% of British people having a food allergy of some form. In the UK, 6-8% of under-15s have an allergy, critically in the early stages of life.

Allergy is however very complicated in its is cause, diagnosis and treatment. The simpler allergies to understand are those mediated by IgE in the blood. If you have a high IgE to a particular allergen in food you will be given a RAST score: RAST 3 or above means you show clinical symptoms; and RAST 5 means you are carrying a EpiPen with risk of anaphylactic shock. The Attomarker Food Allergy Test measures the top eight food allergies (shown below) but there are many different components that trigger the response. In peanuts for example there are 13 Ara proteins of which h8, h9 and h2 are the most important.

Allergy

Allergen Proteins

Milk

Bos d 4, Bos d 5, Bos d 6, Bos d 8

Eggs

Gal d 1, Gal d 2, Gal d 4

Peanuts

Ara h 8, Ara h 9, Ara h 2

Tree nuts

(such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)

Cor a 9, Cor a 8, Cor a 1, Cor a 14 (Hazelnut) Ana o 3 (Cashew)

Fish

(such as bass, cod, flounder)

Gad c 1

Shellfish

(such as crab, lobster, shrimp)

STM-1

Soy

Gly m 4, Gly m 5, (Gly m 6 in Jan 2018?)

Wheat

Tri a 19, Tri a 14, Gliadin

Uniquely, the Attomarker test measures IgE quantitatively to all 20 of the components in mg/L that are mapped onto the RAST scale from 0-5. Importantly, we can add up the concentrations because they are all in the same standard unit. This is critical. We can add the IgE concentrations to egg, fish and milk will give a combined IgE for say a fish omelette. The Attomarker result to give a meal allergy risk profile.

But there is another effect in Allergy – protection. IgG specific to the allergens provides a way of trapping the allergens before they react with IgE and prevent the allergic reaction. IgG rises as desensitization occurs finally reducing the risk of the allergy. The Attomarker test can be used as a companion to a desensitisation diet or a vaccine jab under the guidance of your clinician. Allergy is complex – and one strange result is that as protection through IgG rises, the IgE levels fall but it is not known why.

Allergy has many mysteries and there is also a set of allergies that are not mediated by IgE at all and there is no easy test for these – the same problem for intolerance – all of which will require specialist clinical advice.

The output of the Food Allergy Tests needs to be interpreted carefully by your allergy immunologist.

Uses of the Food Allergy Test:

  • Generating a personal risk profile for food combinations pointing towards food combinations that might be troublesome maybe leading to an irritable bowel rather than an anaphylactic shock.
  • Testing mother during pregnancy and then baby at birth to see if mother has passed any allergies to the baby or whether the baby has acquired allergy any before their first cow’s milk. The test will take 20 mL from a heal prick of the baby or some umbilical cord blood to make the measurement and provide peace of mind
  • Monitoring desensitization diets which should show an increase in the IgG protective antibodies.
  • Companion to allergy vaccines – does the vaccine generate the IgG needed and does the IgE fall?
  • Testing during early life, up to the age of 15, to follow the onset of allergies.