Professor’s research shows link between food intolerance, inflammation

Judith Lukaszuk conducts a webinar on her research.
Judith Lukaszuk conducts a webinar on her research.

NIU nutrition and dietetics professor Judith Lukaszuk wanted to find out if eliminating certain foods from a diet could affect chronic inflammation – the kind related to diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

So she embarked on a study to prove it.

The results were dramatic. At the study’s beginning, one participant reported his whole body ached, and he also had lung nodules. After following the study’s list of foods he should avoid, he began to feel better. He soon learned from his surgeon that his lung nodules were reduced by 50 percent, Lukaszuk said.

“The surgeon told him told to keep doing what he was doing,” Lukaszuk said.

That he did. He had a list of the more than 25 foods to avoid. He laminated the list and carried it everywhere – to grocery stores and restaurants. With 100 percent compliance, his disease symptom score, taken before the study began, went from 156 to 11, Lukaszuk said.

“At the end of the study, people felt better. They had less joint pain. Stomach aches and rashes went away,” Lukaszuk reported.

Her study was funded by Cell Science Systems Corp., makers of the Alcat Test that measures cellular reactions to more than 450 substances. The test could help uncover which foods and other substances trigger chronic inflammation and its relation to health issues such diabetes, heart disease, obesity and more.

Lukaszuk’s research shows the correlation.

“In this double-blind study, we found that those individuals avoiding foods they had intolerances to had less inflammation at the end of the study,” Lukaszuk said.

Her study involved 150 test subjects who scored high on a questionnaire asking about symptoms such as fatigue after eating, skin rashes, lethargy and stomach aches after eating – symptoms indicative of food intolerances. (A food intolerance differs from a food allergy: Allergies produce an immediate reaction after ingesting. With an intolerance, a reaction can take days to show.)

alcatParticipants also answered a disease symptom inventory, reporting ear, nose and throat issues, overall well-being, energy level and joint pain. These symptoms can indicate inflammation. The subjects took the Alcat Test to determine food sensitivities.

There were 200 foods on the test list, including foods containing gluten, casein and dairy, and more specific items such as corn, duck, chicken and fish.

The test group was split in half, with one group getting a correct list of foods to avoid for one month, and the other half a placebo group who received a sham list of foods to avoid for a month. Blood samples, body composition measurements and medical symptom questionnaires (MSQ) were taken at the beginning and the end of the study.

The results revealed individuals who avoided foods they tested sensitive to did have less inflammation. Their body mass index (BMI) and MSQ scores decreased, and a decrease in serum amyloid A levels – a test marker for inflammation.

Plus, participants felt better overall after staying away from the offending foods.

The food intolerance and inflammation research will be used by Cell Science Systems to educate its patients about the importance of using the Alcat Test for food intolerance.

“Her research demonstrates a direct link between cellular responses measured by the test and inflammation, body composition and well-being,” said Roger Deutsch, founder and CEO of Cell Science Systems Corp.

Lukaszuk presented her research in a webinar at Cell Science Systems in April.

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