Food Intolerance: Immune Activation Through Diet-associated Stimuli in Chronic Disease

Altern Ther Health Med. 2015 Jul-Aug;21(4):42-52.


The immune response is a very complex interplay of specific and nonspecific branches that have evolved to distinguish between nondangerous and dangerous or nontolerated factors. In the past, research has focused on the specific immune system much more than the host's innate defense. Studies have shown that a key component of the immune response involves activation of the inflammasome. A direct relationship between the presence of the inflammasome and the onset of disease has already been characterized for a variety of chronic and food-related diseases, including arthrosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and chronic bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The leukocyte activation (ALCAT test), an immunological blood test for food intolerance reactions, is ideal to identify and eliminate individual food stimuli that may act as triggers for the cellular nonspecific immune response. Although the test is not diagnostic, studies have established that it can be a useful screening tool for the identification of foreign substances that may trigger immune cell activation, particularly of neutrophils, leading to inflammatory disorders. The ALCAT test, coupled with a targeted diet that is individually tailored according to the test's results, may support immune homeostasis and provide a valuable complementary approach for therapy and overall health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Immunological
  • Nutritional Sciences