by Dr. Kharrazian

Gluten intolerance not as black-and-white as once thought

Testing for gluten-intolerance incomplete until now — New lab offers breakthrough

Gluten has been linked in the literature to 55 diseases so far, most of them autoimmune. The effect of gluten on brain and nervous tissue is significantly worse and more far-reaching than researchers realized. Yet thanks to poor lab testing and general misinformation many people continue to eat gluten, unaware it is harming them.

Fortunately a revolutionary breakthrough in gluten reactivity testing at Cyrex Labs, founded on years of leading immunological research, is now available to help determine whether this ubiquitous food is damaging your health.

Problems with standard tests for gluten intolerance

  • Standard blood tests for gluten intolerance have a less than 30 percent accuracy rate. Would you tolerate that accuracy rate for a cancer, heart disease, or even pregnancy test? Gluten has to have significantly destroyed the gut wall for blood testing to be effective, and for many people that isn’t the case…especially if the brain, heart, or some other part of the body is the main target of attack.
  • Current salivary tests produce false negatives due to the assessment of only one antibody of one wheat protein. Stool tests produce false negative and false positives due to specimen-interfering factors that alter the outcome of results.
  • Current tests only screen for one component of wheat. Yet people can react to a single protein in wheat, or a combination of many proteins, peptides, and enzymes associated with wheat. Cyrex Labs tests for twelve of the most antigenic (meaning most likely to provoke a reaction) pathogens associated with wheat.
  • Some people also have cross-reactivity to gluten. For instance, eating dairy can trigger a gluten-like immune response because the body sees them as one in the same.

Cyrex Labs hones in on the specifics of gluten intolerance

After many years of research and development Cyrex Labs in Arizona now offers thorough and comprehensive testing for gluten intolerance. Cyrex was founded by Aristo Vojdani, Ph.D., M.Sc., C.L.S., a leading researcher in the fields of autoimmune disease and neuroimmunology who has published more than 100 scientific papers.

Cyrex Labs offers four arrays, with a fifth to be introduced in spring of 2011:

Array 1:  Gluten Sensitivity Screen

A simple, affordable way to test for a general gluten sensitivity using saliva — great for preventative health if autoimmune issues run in the family

The saliva is the best way to detect a gluten sensitivity early, even before symptoms manifest. The gut has to be severely damaged in order for a blood test to be useful. Because it uses a saliva sample, this test is easy to use with children.

This is a great test for people who have a family history of autoimmune disease, even if they’re asymptomatic. Since so many autoimmune disease are triggered by gluten, this test shows the patient a gluten-free diet can prevent him or her from going down the same road as family members.

The Gluten Sensitivity Screen includes:

Total secretory IgA. Antibodies are used in testing to determine whether the immune system is reacting to something. Secretory IgA, a type of antibody, is manufactured in the mucosa of the gut lining. It’s job is to keep invading
pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria and food proteins from attaching to the gut lining. When the layer of mucosa that protects the lining of the digestive tract breaks down or becomes dysfunctional, total secretory IgA may be too low or too high. This means you could have too few or too many antibodies to test properly, even though you are gluten-intolerant. This marker screens for that.

Gliadin IgA + IgM antibodies. IgA antibodies are used to screen for gluten intolerance. However if IgA antibodies are low due to weak immunity, another type of antibody called IgM will be high. Screening for both gives a more accurate view of immune status and thus test results.

Transglutaminase IgA + IgM combined antibodies. Transglutaminase is an enzyme in the digestive tract targeted in an autoimmune attack triggered by gluten. If this marker comes back positive you know gluten is destroying gut tissue through an autoimmune attack.

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For more information, visit Cyrex Labs. Tests must be ordered by a licensed health care practitioner.