Food sensitivity tests: Science or scam? (Marketplace)

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

[ ♪♪ ] I’m doing something
many of us have done before. But this time, it’s
for some special tests. Blood, sweat, and tears
for Marketplace. Will they reveal all the foods
that could make me sick? I’m about to find out. [ ♪♪ ] These days, many of us
are wondering if we might be sensitive to some
of the foods we eat. I feel sick a lot so I’m
trying to figure out if there’s certain things that I’m eating
that I need to cut out. But pinning down which foods
to eliminate could take months. I was sent for a
food sensitivity test. It’s why these tests sold
with a promise of quick results are so popular. I’m going to send it out to
a lab and in seven to ten days, I’m going to get
my results back. They handed me this big
sheet of paper that has all the foods listed on here. I am going to actively
eliminate them from my diet for a while and see what happens
to my sports performance. All right.
So look– Why are you showing
them your blood? Lots of different brands,
all the same type of blood test. But it’s not cheap. Anywhere from 100 to over $300. So does it work? [ ♪♪ ] One of my tests is
back from the lab. I ordered it through
a local naturopath. Who’s ready to
reveal my results. Okay. She reads off the foods that
show elevated or border line for me, all 52 of them. You’ve got barley, obviously
wheat bran, rye. Rice and corn. Cabbage and potatoes. Celery, that’s interesting. Squash as well. Shrimp. So what does she suggest
I do with all these foods? [ ♪♪ ] Stop eating 52 foods,
some I eat every day? Time for a second opinion. How are you today?
-Good. -Great.
Can I take– Dr. Douglas Mack is
a pediatric allergy, asthma and
immunology specialist. I had a food
sensitivity test done. Brought my results for you.
-Awesome. Let’s take a look. You have scallops
and squids, nuts, yeast, this is very similar
to just about every other patient that
comes in here. What it’s doing, it’s
measuring an antibody we all make and it’s a marker
of exposure or tolerance more than an intolerance. And what it is basically
saying is that you have probably at some point in the
last few weeks had exposure to any of these foods. The antibody is called
immunoglobulin G or IGG for short. What does that
mean for someone who– I don’t have any problems
when I drink milk. You don’t have a problem,
you have a tolerance and that’s why the antibody,
the IGG level is increased because you are
tolerant to this. You can take this
with no difficulty. That’s like literally
the complete opposite– It is exactly the opposite,
and we spend a ton of time with families to explain
that this is exactly opposite what they
have been told. Dr. Mack’s not alone. Over 25 Canadian and
international organizations agree, calling
these tests irrelevant… We show Dr. Mack some
of my consultation. So you and milk are not–
like you guys don’t agree. I’m getting advice on how
to change my diet and what to eat and not to eat. It’s something we run into
all the time and I have to tell you we have a lot of
patients that are desperate for something, they’re
desperate for improvement of their eczema or improvement
of asthma or medical condition. And they’re being told that this
is something that will fix them. Can’t eat breads,
can’t eat bagels. Laura Chapnick
is also desperate, hoping the test will fix her. Almonds I couldn’t have,
sunflower seeds I couldn’t have. After getting the results. Apparently plums were
off the list as well. Shopping for
food gets complicated. Oh, and potatoes. Potatoes were off the list. Laura’s food intolerance
report tells her to eliminate or reduce 26 different foods. These tests scared the crap
out of me to put anything in my mouth whatsoever. So how did she
first hear about the test? It was here on the screen. Laura was at a Dynacare
clinic like this one, one of Canada’s biggest labs. While waiting to get other
blood tests and an ultrasound, something catches her eye. Estimate that 45% of people
may be affected by some kind of food intolerance. That’s like half the population. So she forks
over the 325 bucks. I thought, oh, my gosh,
she’s pretty unwell. She has a complicated
medical history and this is the last thing she needs. Elke Sengmueller is
a registered dietician. Laura turns to her for help. Because she drastically cut
down her foods already because of her symptoms and her pain
and not getting any answers, she was afraid to eat. If she were to continue this for
a long period– for an extended period of time given
her medical history, I could see it leading to
possibly leading to death. [ ♪♪ ] Laura Chapnick is unwell
so how will the test get pitched to me? I am pretty healthy. It says here, what, 45%
of people may be affected? So that means chances are I’ve
probably got some intolerances. So my second test is Dynacare’s. A week later, I get my
results in the mail. The Dynacare test identifies
all of these problem foods. None of which are
a problem for me. Telling me to eliminate them
from my diet for three months. Dynacare’s not the only lab in
the food sensitivity business. Remember my first test,
the one the naturopath coached me through? Okay, so almond
came up, soy came up, what kind of milk am
I supposed to drink? It was done by a
company called Rocky Mountain Analytical. Turns out it’s owned by
Canada’s other big chain of blood clinics, Life Labs. These labs we send patients
to to get their blood-work done for their iron or to see
if they have cancer. People go there knowing this
is where real science happens. So the next logical step
is if this lab is doing it, well, it must be true. [ ♪♪ ] Back at my consultation,
the naturopath has a warning. So I actually could have
holes and the foods are actually– –passing through. I do have a leaky gut. Very leaky, yes. One of the things we’ve been
encountered is patients are told they have a leaky gut
caused by this IGG antibody but to my knowledge I’m
not having any literature to support that at all. Yet that’s exactly how Life
Labs pitches it to patients in the info that comes
with your test results. But all’s not lost
for my very leaky gut. And that one that you think
is the best bet is how much? Yeah. 43, okay. The challenge that I have
here is that the disease is being sold to you but
then so is the treatment. What’s wrong with that? And– there will be incentive
potentially to promote the hypothesis when the
cure can be sold. And avoid the list of foods. Thanks very much. Makes us wonder how are
naturopaths learning about this. Take a look at
these webinars from Life Labs Rocky
Mountain Analytical. This one offers an
immediate return on investment with each test. And there are
50-dollar bills on this slide. Honestly, this is taking
advantage of people. This is telling the
clinician, the naturopath, that they can make
a lot of money off of people that are curious. You can do harm by ordering
these tests and having your children remove these
foods from their diet. We have kids that are coming in
with nutritional deficiencies, with failure to
grow very, very well. If these tests result
in the harm of a child, we really got to think twice
whether or not these labs should be offering these. During weeks of
email exchanges, Dynacare says it relies
on the expertise of the ordering health professional. Life labs tells us a test
does not need to be diagnostic to be
clinically relevant. Neither Dynacare nor Life
Labs wanted to speak to us on camera so we’re going
to try one more time. We’re going to pay them a visit.
-Hello– This is Charlsie Agro,
I’m actually calling from CBC’s “Marketplace.” The reason I’m calling,
we’re actually just outside. You’re telling people to
eliminate foods from their diets when they don’t have to. And we would really like
to speak to somebody on camera about this. Isn’t it misleading? This is a food sensitivity test
and you’re telling people to eliminate food from their diets
and it doesn’t actually work. There’s nobody who wants to
come on camera to speak to us about this? It’s unfortunate. People do feel like they’re
being misled by these tests. Next, I head
over to Dynacare. They sent us some studies which
they say proves food sensitivity testing the way they’re
selling it and using it works. Well, we had an analysis
done by our reviewer. The conclusion was made that a
number of those studies actually shouldn’t have been
published at all. And that all of them
were very problematic. Hello. Hi. I have to book
an appointment? So we tried, we’ve been
exchanging emails with people at Dynacare for weeks
now, and we’ve been asking repeatedly for an on-camera
interview so we really– We’ve been sending
emails for weeks, so we’re here now and we
would really like to get some answers now. The concern is that you’re
telling people to eliminate foods from their
diet, including children, and it’s causing harm. [ ♪♪ ] In the meantime,
I’ll carry on eating all those problem foods. Pistachios. I was told to eliminate. ♪ ♪

100 thoughts on “Food sensitivity tests: Science or scam? (Marketplace)

  1. I think there needs to be a disclaimer on this video. There is a difference between having a food allergy and a food sensitively. Many people may not recognize that they are being negatively affected by the foods they are eating. I did a dietitian lead food elimination diet for 3 months slowly adding and subtracting foods to determine what foods were causing inflammation in my body. Since the elimination diet my migraines have decreased and I'm off multiple medications. So you may not break out in hives or run to the bathroom but you might be effected.

  2. Id raccomnd going to an allergist doctor if you think you have some problems. I had to get one done and it was right one what makes me sick.

  3. thank you, I took one of these from EverlyWell 2 weeks ago and what I got back was junk. A complete waste of my money. Since I got my results I have been looking for something like this investigation.

  4. journalist's ignorance "what kind of milk should i eat ?" milk= antibiotics, 40% saturated fats, potential harmful bacteria content, eventual corn residues if the animal was corn fed which means traces of Gmos, growth hormone products estrogen based causing cancers, pesticide residues. Not worth the calcium which can be found in safer sources (figs, broccoli, ground flax seeds, oranges…)

    US National Center for Biotechnology Information
    2015 study Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health
    "the great concern about dairy foods hormone content is steroid hormones especially estrogens due to current epidemiological evidence, which indicating most probable effects of them in initiating and provoking of breast and prostate cancers."

  5. FYI:
    You can get allergy testing done by an immunologist (medical doctor)… FOR FREE! You just need a referral from your family doctor.
    Why would anyone want to pay for this THEMSELVES?
    If you have a sensitivity to a food or thing, YOU'D KNOW.

  6. Okay….as anyone that pays even a small amount of attention to anything…the one thing I know for sure is medical science doesn't cure anything! So when anyone suddenly claims to be able to cure life long problems I have, I know they're lying!

  7. Food sensitivities are different than true hypersensitive allergic reactions. Food sensitivities are functional illnesses, they can't be "tested for" by objective tests. They require symptoms from patient

  8. Wow, it's almost as if supplements, complimentary- and alternative medicine are complete BS! Who woulda thunk it! There's a reason the acronym spells out SCAM.

  9. Food sensitivities are real. I actually did one of these tests and I was sensitive to whey. It was correct actually. If I eat anything with whey, my stomach hurts extremely bad.

  10. I found out I have a heavy sensitivity to gluten and since I cut back I am having less cramping, stomach pains, digestive issues in the bathroom

  11. Intolerance is caused by a lack or non-existent of a digestive enzyme. For example: Lactose intolerance is caused by a lack of or non-existence of lactaid/lactase. Your body can still break it down but it turns it into methane which causes symptoms like upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, constipation, and flatulence. Sometimes, the body can’t even do that and it causes you to vomit it up.

  12. You should specify what type of allergy testing it is , is it Igg, IGe? there is one out there that actually does a better job than all these even more than the alcat – its theMRT

  13. I had to find out through selectively removing foods from my diet, what would help reduce my anxiety and stomach aches and issues. Turned out that for me it isn't the foods, so much as the ingredients.

    As long as I don't consume anything with preservatives, added sugars, or add sodium, I feel 70% better all the time. The down side is that foods taste a bit blander. But at least I'm feeling far better then I was. 😁

  14. TLDR: This video invalidates my experience as a Hashimoto's sufferer. This test may not be "backed by science" and I do agree that the companies examined in this video have some sketchy practices. But (and this is a big BUT, no pun intended) you are basically telling everyone with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis like myself or those with Celiac that their food intolerances aren't real and aren't measurable. I spent a year with brain fog, not being able to remember anything or have a single critical thought and I felt horrible every time I would eat (along with a million other mystery symptoms). By eliminating the 48 foods on my food allergy test, I gained my mind back (yes there are 48, no I don't believe I'm allergic to all of them). But Gluten, dairy, corn and soy have a HUGE effect on me when and after I eat them. I was very lucky because many people with Hashimoto's and Celiac's can spend YEARS not knowing what is wrong with them and SUFFERING. Plus with Hashimotos, the only thing "regular" doctors will give you is the "let's wait until you have thyroid damage and put you on synthroid" spiel. I personally did not want to wait until my food intolerances killed all function in my thyroid before being able to get help, so I went to a natural doctor , took the IgG ELISA 184 Food Panel test, and I am now working toward remission with the help of a nutritionist and the elimination diet.

  15. I dunno. The test really helped me. I agree that trying to cut out a million things is bad for you. It was SUPER stressful, but then I basically cut out yeast and dairy most of the time. it helped me a lot. Yeast made me sleep for hours. I actually put bread on my arm, and it gave me little red bumps,, so I feel very confident that it does hurt me. Also helps cut down on proccesed fiods. There are always going to be 10 millions opinions. Eat grains. Don’t eat grains. Drink milk. Avoid dairy. Eggs are bad for you. Eggs are good for you. Just eat what you want to eat and feels good for your body.

  16. Her 'professional' experience in hogwash and fairies??? Impressive. Dunno why doctors go to med school for years to be called 'professionals'. Clearly make believe and happy thoughts work just fine.

  17. ok so if i've learned anything it is we must eliminate alcohol, caffeine, meat, gluten, dairy, sugar. that just leaves vegetables and distilled water.

  18. i know i need to eliminate junk food 😉 but it's probably just smart to actually get test run by a doctor with real credentials and even have results read by a doctor with real credentials and who are liable if they lie to you – but also man made food is usually not great for you and eat food that God made for us in nature 😛

  19. to get rid of an allergy you can only do a couple of things
    you can take medicine that may not even work
    or you can keep taking it untill you get used to is
    yes that last option can lead to really bad things but, your immune system will get used to it after a while

    PS i take no responsebility of any damage to yourself using that last method
    it is VERY risky but cna be worth it if you really want to get rid of an allergy.
    P PS. lactose intolleral isnt an allergy, your body doesnt make the chemicals required to dissolve/take in milk

  20. If youre allergic for something
    lets say peanuts. if you ate some peanuts and you get an allergic reaction then done
    you dont eat them for a year
    then you eat some again
    the reaction to that will be way worse, since your body had time to prepare

  21. now, imagine they go to food companies and say hey, if you don't "donate" x amount of cash I will list your food on this test result for everyone.

  22. I think it's important to also point out that doctors in Canada get a financial kick back for prescribing particular drugs from pharmaceutical companies, so they also profit from the sale of specific "medicines", just like the naturopath in the video, but a different business structure. I'm not saying either is right, it's all bad.

  23. if these tests are so expensive, why not put the money to making an appointment with a real doctor who specializes in this area, no all food is allergic reactions, but can cause symptoms, like gluten intolerance, is not celiac, but can become celiac if not treated correctly, and some times you can have a reaction to something that you have had before, which im told by the doctor is just at that moment you body said no and left alone for awhile you can again try it and if nothing happens you are okay, i had a reaction to nuts and left them alone for a year and then tried again and nothing

  24. People get worried about a Naturopath making a few bucks off a test like this meanwhile they are ok with their doctors making wayyyyy more getting kick backs for vaccines and the medications they prescribe LOL WOW

  25. I once interviewed for a company that specialized in products that helped people build a resistance to allergens. I went in thinking it was more of a laboratory job because I had just graduated with a degree in Microbiology.

    I found out was that "Allergen Treatment Specialists" have quotas, because in reality it's a glorified sales job. You actually don't need any type of biology degree to administer or suggest treatment. Another thing was that they worked in doctor's offices. So after you get the test back they'd send you over to the "Allergen Treatment Specialists" to get your regimen. The patient may not need anything but quotas needed to be met.

    I didn't take the job and I learned a lot.

  26. I have a tried and true test I do: if it gives me cramps and/or diarrhea, I stay the hell away from it. Saved a tone of money by switching to common sense.

  27. We need more regulation for private medical care, and we need more holistic medical clinics that incorporate different forms of alt med to encourage people to go through public with some oversight.

    (I'm in a clinic that has alt med with trad med for people with persistent health problems in order to better reach people who might fall for these out of desperation. I have a GP overviewing all of my health along with a naturopath & Chinese herbalist to deal with more of the symptom control side. The naturopath is also a trained dietician, and the Chinese herbalist also has an MD, but by combining these we can transition people into more evidence-based medicine.)

  28. I don't understand why she is so resistant to try something for a few months to see if she feels better. I know she doesn't claim to have any problems, but that does not mean that she cannot feel better than she already does. If you are really going to put something to the test, you have to follow through, not just take someone else's word for it. And even better would be to talk to people who actually did have problems and got better from the elimination diet. I'd say her sample size was too small and her bias got in the way of what could have been a truly educational piece.

  29. The way the naturopath speaks, saying 'like' in every sentence, sounding like a high school student, makes it very hard to believe anything she says

  30. My face started breaking out for the first time in my life and when I cut out all dairy and really cut back on meat it cleared up after about 3 months. When I eat dairy and meat I can immediately see a a negative change in my skin. I think every person is different and if you do have an issue going on you should mess around with your diet to figure out if you can improve it.

  31. Hmm. What about the profits she and her news organization also make by commercials and such.

    I noticed she didn't check with people it may have heled. Could she not find any.?

  32. Thank you so CBC for this. I was saving my money for this lab test since in my country it costs US $200! The lab that offers it is the most well known and reliable in my country. And to think its a scam its such a shame..

  33. I recently had one of these done. I am intolerant to dairy… for sure. But it didnt show up on the test. I'm very skeptical of the test however…
    The problem with this video is I'm not sure it was very objective, and it did a very poor job of explaining why this type of testing is not reliable. It's too bad..

  34. It’s so weird to see my video in someone else’s video! This was an interesting video! GO WATCH MY VIDEO @ love Victoria ☺️💕

  35. So marketplace got ONE doctor to say that antibodies means tolerance, not intolerance. Why not get a proper science opinion from an institution? I would want more than one doctors opinion no matter how much it makes common sense.

  36. As soon as I heard "naturopath" I knew it was a scam. ND stands for NOT a Doctor, and their snake oil sorry advice should be treated as such. They're all just crooks and scammers who prey on the gullible.

  37. CBC disabled COMMENTS when they post videos about helping Muslims or non-binary teen pride or Trudope!! However, they have NO problems with comments when they bash US President Trump!! CBC = toilet 🚽

  38. This would be illegal practice in America cause any medical drug that is not already sold over the counter, must be in a pharmacy counter. If sold in a doctor lab this will be fine.
    Here an American law on it:

  39. 90% of all doctors care more about the money you pay then the time you stay in the office and talk. Always a 5min exam and tons of follow up appointments. Dont ever trust a doctor. 1 in 100 actually care about you or worse can help you. Doctors are usually apathetic and dont care at all. They only care about the paycheck they make. That's why it takes soo many years to become a doctor. That way it makes every doctor in soo much debt or rich to begin with that they could care less about you. They only care about your ability to pay. If you cant pay no doctor will even say hi to you let alone see you. Soo sad. It's all about the bejlnjamins.

  40. I dont know about this because I got mine and it was 100% true and anytime I forget and eat those foods I know right away after 20 minutes to 2 hours and the allergic reactions last for days inflammation headaches mental illness like depression extreme anger insanity literally and body stiffness and flu like symptoms for days but I didnt get these intolerances until after I had children so what's that

  41. So, you get a list of foods that are probably very safe. Applied differently, this can still be valuable info. If you dont see a food you regularly eat, then you have a suspect.

  42. I feel so sorry for these people who are not that intelligent and they get hood winked all the time. Don't they realize these people are just playing on their fears and neurosis to get their money? Bless their hearts.

  43. People who will not come on camera into the light should be people's first clue that they are doing something wrong and they KNOW it. Shame on them and the people who let this happen to themselves.

  44. I disagree. Thanks to The Wellness Way, I was able to get rid of my meds and get my asthma down to almost nothing and I have been following their food sensitivity test results for nearly a year now. It DID fix me. Why didn't my allergist suggest trying this instead of giving me steriods for NEARLY MY ENTIRE LIFE? Clearly nobody pays attention to those who actually go through with these tests. I'm almost never getting sick anymore and feel the greatest I have in my entire life. Stop with the lies.

  45. I just received a test for food intolerance. I think it's a scam.

    I ordered it because I have an assumption that I am intolerant to onions. I've been suffering of acne a long time, I even tried to eliminate onion from my diet and felt better.

    When I received the test results today from one of those internet programs, they gave me a list of 15 different items (no onion) that told me to eliminate eggs, wheat, dairy and even salad.

    I am a rational person, I like science and logical thinking. But I've only eaten eggs, wheat, dairy and salad, which is 1/3 of the intolerance list. All my symptoms are one single small pimple on my jawline that is barely hurting.

    I have been wanting this type of a test for 2 years now. But my conclusion is that I think the testing companies are tricking people. I don't like this at all actually and I feel bad for people who believe in these tests.

  46. I took the test and changed my diet for a few months and it improved my life quality tremendously for someone with a variety of autoimmune conditions

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