The IgG and IgE Antibody Panels are blood tests that measure antibodies to commonly consumed foods and environmental allergens. The body can react to foods in many different ways. Adverse food reactions can lead to distressing symptoms and chronic health conditions. Often times it is unknown exactly which food(s) may be the cause and testing can help identify the problematic foods. Removal of the reactive foods often results in resolution of symptoms.
The key differences between IgE allergies and IgG sensitivities are summarized below:
The role of IgG food antibody testing is still being researched, however studies have shown benefit of testing in certain conditions. A study comparing methodologies showed that, “IgG ELISA testing is more reliable and consistent than cell size testing for identifying food sensitivities.” Examples of cell size testing, or cytotoxic testing include mediator release testing (MRT), antigen leukocyte antibody testing (ALCAT) and lymphocyte response assays. These and other methodologies require well-designed trials for validation.
The presence of circulating IgG antibodies to foods may be suggestive of increased intestinal permeability, also referred to as “leaky gut syndrome.” When the tight junctions forming the barrier in the gut don’t work properly, larger substances can “leak” through, causing an immune response. This immune response may result in the production of IgG antibodies to foods. There are multiple dietary and lifestyle factors that contribute to increased intestinal permeability. These factors include alcohol, stress,[14,15] chronic NSAID use, Western-type diet (high consumption of red meat, animal fat, high sugar and low fiber food), and prolonged and strenuous exercise.[18,19,20]
Classic skin testing for allergies such as skin-scratch testing only measures IgE-mediated reactions.† Assessment of relative IgG antibody levels to a multitude of foods using sensitive Enzyme-Linked-Immnosorbent Assay (ELISA) technology identifies those foods against which the patient is producing antibodies.† Measuring both relative IgE and IgG antibody levels provides an invaluable starting point for dietary intervention.