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BTD Forums  /  Eat Right 4 Your Type  /  BTD vs ALCAT – how do I reconcile differences?
Posted by: 1015 (Guest), Sunday, April 29, 2007, 11:08am
About 5 years ago I had developed serious chronic fatigue.  I was virtually vegetarian at the time, eating loads of sugar, wheat and other grains, and dairy products.  I experienced intense cravings, especially for chocolate, to which I was virtually addicted.  My symptoms became notably worse after taking a series of vaccinations prior to travelling into tropical Africa.

My recovery process was gradual and a fascinating journey.  My first breakthrough came when I realised that I needed to eat animal flesh, and lots of it!  Over time, and after much research, I came to understand that individual people are different in their dietary and lifestyle needs, and the Blood Type Diet started to make sense.  For a year I loosely followed the O-type diet assuming I was a secretor, with OK results, but then I got tested and discovered I was a nonnie.  Much as I hated to admit it that made a lot of sense to me!

So I have been following an O-nonnie diet with a fairly high level of compliance for the last two years, and it has made a huge difference in my life, but...

I still have some niggling health issues, the worst of which seem to be related to my digestive system / liver and my adrenals.  Recently I took two illuminating tests.  The first was a hair test, which showed that I have very high levels of mercury toxicity (presumably from past amalgam fillings and possibly vaccinations).  The second was an FDA-approved (for what it is worth!)  food sensitivity blood test called ALCAT, which appears to work on principles similar to those used to establish Typebase 4.

The ALCAT results have left me somewhat puzzled.  ALCAT uses a four tier approach to grade sensitivity: red (eliminate completely), orange (avoid), yellow (eat sparingly) and green (safe).  When it comes to meat, grains and dairy, there are no surprises.  Wheat comes up red, meats come up green and I show medium reactions to casein, lactose and goat's milk.  But when it comes to fruit and veg, there were lot of surprises:  Broccolli, garlic, grapefruit and lettuce all came up red!  Avocado, beetroot and pumpkin all came up orange.  Many other supposed O-non beneficials and neutrals came up yellow.  Conversely, many of the fruits and veggies that are supposed to be O-non avoids came up green: e.g. kiwi, orange, strawberry, olive, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant and soybean!

I'm somewhat dismayed by this, because it almost flips my fruit and veggie options into reverse.  What could be the explanation for this?  I should add that two weeks prior to the test, I exposed myself wantonly to classic O-non avoids such as wheat, dairy and sugar (and drank quite a lot of white and red wine), although I continued to avoid most of the supposedly bad fruit and veg options (simply out of habit).  I should also add that my list of reactive foods is excessive – about half of the 120 that were tested – and it includes many of my favourite (and supposedly beneficial or neutral) fruit, veg and protein options.  It also includes most of the foods I ate in the two weeks prior to the test!

I have been told that these results may be indicative of leaky gut syndrome.  Could this have been aggravated by my two weeks of sin?  Otherwise how does one account for the significant differences between the BTD recommendations and the ALCAT results?

Posted by: Vicki, Sunday, April 29, 2007, 12:19pm; Reply: 1
What does ALCAT actually test for?

Leaky gut can take a very long time to heal, so it is quite likely if the ALCAT allergy testing is accurate/reliable!

For those doing allergy blood tests, please read this paper from a Bastyr clinical lab director on what you are paying for:

Quoted Text

   In conclusion, food allergy testing by IgG ELISA/EIA panels is a convenient and easy way to diagnose food allergies in a patient. It is, however, a testing method that is questionable in both its theory and validity. It is also costly and may not be reliable, depending on which laboratory you use.

Posted by: Ronagon (Guest), Sunday, April 29, 2007, 2:02pm; Reply: 2

You're the only person who can validate which is right or not.  And you can only do that by actually trying each diet, one at a time.

Personally, I'd tried several major diets (Atkins, Alkaline, etc.) before finding the BTD.  I knew it was the right one for me, when it stopped my allergies completely, and stopped the IBS I'd had for 21 years.
Posted by: 1015 (Guest), Sunday, April 29, 2007, 2:09pm; Reply: 3
Vicki, thanks for the link!

ALCAT is a food sensitivity test - this is the blurb off their website (

"The ALCAT Test differs from other food allergy or intolerance tests as it accurately and objectively measures leukocyte cellular reactivity in whole blood, which is a final common pathway of all mechanisms. The test utilizes electronic, state of the art, hematological instrumentation. Standard allergy tests, such as skin testing or RAST are not accurate for delayed type reactions to foods and chemicals. They measure only a single mechanism, such as the effect of mast cell release of histamine or the presence of allergen specific IgE molecules. Delayed reactions to foods and chemicals are NOT IgE mediated.

The ALCAT Test also differs from standard IgG tests in that they rely exclusively on one immune pathway, serum levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG). In fact, high food specific IgG titers are indicative only of exposure, not necessarily intolerance.

The ALCAT Test reproducibly measures the final common pathway of all pathogenic mechanism; whether immune, non-immune, or toxic. It is the only test shown to correlate with clinical symptoms by double blind oral challenges, the gold standard."

That is about the most detailed info I was able to find...

Posted by: Lola, Sunday, April 29, 2007, 2:40pm; Reply: 4
have you looked into the allergies book yet?
I d follow those guidelines and protocols for starts.
you will find how certain neutrals turn into infrequent neutrals or avoids.........
Posted by: 1015 (Guest), Sunday, April 29, 2007, 6:05pm; Reply: 5
Lola, thanks!

Yes, I have both the Allergies and Fatigue books already - it's probably time to revisit them.  I have been pretty good about following the diet part; the supplements are less easy to do as many of them are not easily available here in South Africa, so I have not really been following those protocols (I should probably give it a proper go, and stock up on the missing products when I visit for the IfHI meeting).  And we won't talk about the exercise protocols now...  :B
Posted by: Lola, Sunday, April 29, 2007, 8:25pm; Reply: 6
great idea!
Posted by: italybound, Monday, April 30, 2007, 2:56am; Reply: 7
afreco, wishing you a warm welcome to the forums!!  ;D
As I understand, when you're having these allergy/intolerance blood tests done, you should consume all foods for which you will be tested the week prior to testing.  I've never had any done, tho I've been tempted. It makes sense to me to consume them so you can get a more accurate reading on any allergy or intolerance. If you are tested for a food which you have never eaten, how do you get a true reading on that? I guess there may be a way, but having a little of said food just makes sense to me, but that's JMO.  ;) ;D
Posted by: 1015 (Guest), Monday, April 30, 2007, 6:38am; Reply: 8
Hi italybound, thanks for the welcome!

My two weeks of sin happened precisely for that reason - I wanted to be sure I had been exposed to all potentially offensive foods prior to the test.  I didn't think to eat all of my fruit and veg avoids though (most of which I dislike anyway) - perhaps if I had, those would have triggered a reaction too, in which case I would not have been left with much in the green zone at all - very disconcerting!!

It seems like I do have an ongoing problem with leaky gut or something like that (despite reasonably high levels of BTD compliance in the last year or two), so I guess that is where I need to direct my attention now...  
Posted by: italybound, Monday, April 30, 2007, 12:25pm; Reply: 9
Quoted from afreco
It seems like I do have an ongoing problem with leaky gut or something like that (despite reasonably high levels of BTD compliance in the last year or two), so I guess that is where I need to direct my attention now...  

I think I have this prob too. Really don't need another, have plenty already LOL   Need to discuss this w/ my NP today.  Guess that will be my next line of research.  ;)    I'm sure the avoid foods exacerbate the problem............hmmmmmmmmmmm funny how that works.  ;)
Posted by: resting, Monday, April 30, 2007, 4:55pm; Reply: 10
hi alfreco,

extremely interesting ... From your ALCAT list, I think it divided really bad foods for you personally.  What BTD theory does is lump together rather large groups of people into blood-specific groups  ... lectin affiliation within these groups is one determinate.  However, lectins themselves can range to a whole set of different chemicals producing strong to very mild to no health consequences.  Your test has to do with avoiding an allergy reaction.  A lectin binds other cells than the leukocytes.  [there are over 200 different cell types.]

unless your ALCAT-test specifically outlaws certain fruits and veggies, I would tend to go with what it says.  However, I would strongly urge adherence to the BTD, as well ... kind of, blending the two into your personal regime.  In conclusion, instead of seeing these two as opposed to each other, try to see these as enforcing each other .... both have their own list of highly beneficial and avoid foods + there are a set of foods that have no allergy response, but a high lectin response (BTD).  So, try blending the two.  allergy=/=lectin ... the processes are different.

Posted by: 1015 (Guest), Monday, April 30, 2007, 6:00pm; Reply: 11

Thanks very much for that illuminating post, distinguishing between food sensitivies/allergies and lectin responses.  It makes a lot of sense, and helps me understand the whole thing much better.  So, following your suggestion, if I want to be "pure", combine the two approaches and stick only to my BTD beneficials and frequent neutrals together with ALCAT "greens", here is what I am left with:

Fruit: 4 options only! (it's probably slightly more - ALCAT didn't test for blueberry, fig, plum and one or two exotic varieties)
Vegetables and legumes: 9 options (again, might be slightly more, but not much!)
Dairy/eggs: only egg yolk and ghee
Grains: only rice!
Nuts and oils: only almond, walnut and olive oil (possibly also macadamias)
Fish and seafood: almost all, except oysters, herring, mussels, salmon, sardine, tuna and squid
Meats and poultry: all except turkey and pork
Herbs and spices: a few (but not garlic!)

Fascinating!  I guess my ancestors were serious hunters, roaming the plains of northern Europe back in the "good old days".  Doesn't make life very easy for me though, unless I grab some weapons and head back out onto the savannah... :P
Posted by: mikeo, Monday, April 30, 2007, 10:31pm; Reply: 12

one's experiences with food intolerance tests
Posted by: Lola, Monday, April 30, 2007, 10:35pm; Reply: 13
Quoted Text
ALCAT does not typically correlate with ER4YT
As much as the proponents of ALCAT would like it to, as they are somewhat supportive of my work. Lectin reactions do not typically cause the manifestation of allergy, though some do. (See Below) The ALCAT test is not a typical allergy test, but rather more like a cytoxic test.
Posted by: jayney-O (Guest), Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 12:28am; Reply: 14
hmmmm, Mikeo's link was interesting....
Posted by: resting, Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 1:32am; Reply: 15
I don't know too much about either allergy nor cytotoxic responses.  But I assume true-allergens are responses that will occur at all times.  However, toxemia may be a more seasonal thing.  If you rotate food on a seasonal-basis your ALCAR-testing for favourable foods would likely expand your choice .... I use a seasonal approach to BTD, and no food is year-round /// most are in one season only ... > colostrum >> Spring >> summer >> Fall >> winter > (and the cycle repeats)  Spring is the time for generation ... so sprouts, eggs etc are ideal foods here now in the north.  But now you are in the Fall and harvesting is top priority ... maybe pumpkins, onions, rutabaga's, carrots, sweet potatoes, much meat and seal oil and Stabilium 200 at   - berries and most fruit are for the summer to very early fall out of season eating of these foods is problematic especially for their simple-sugar content.  Root veggies have much of their sugars transformed into carbs.

Posted by: 1015 (Guest), Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 8:55pm; Reply: 16
Thanks everyone for your feedback - I have really learned something!  I had previously assumed that food allergies, food sensitivities and lectin reaction problems were all one and the same thing.  Now I realise that they are not.  The seasonal rotation thing makes a lot of sense to me, and I think it is something I need to explore further.

Mikeo's link is also very interesting, and I might add that I previously also attempted a food intolerance test using an electronic method called the BEST system.  The results of this test were also inconsistent with the BTD (I must check them against ALCAT, but I suspect there will be further discrepencies).  Tricky business, this!!
Posted by: Lola, Wednesday, May 2, 2007, 3:38am; Reply: 17
join the ER4YT "frappr" group in the map of the world. You can also see where other members are....
I see only one in Africa!
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