Tag Archives: food allergies

Anton Emmanuel on why IgG testing for intolerances is not a useful diagnostic tool

Dr Anton Emmanuel is a Senior Lecturer in Gastroenterology at UCL. He has also studied the use of IgG testing kits – specifically, Yorktest testing kits. His research has been referred to (very likely inappropriately) by Yorktest in defence of their products. He is also one of the experts listed as backing Food Intolerance Awareness – which refers people to Yorktest for IgG tests.

When Radio 4’s Case Notes investigated food intolerance, Emmanuel was interviewed re IgG testing. We were surprised to hear him offering a rather (in our opinion, appropriately) negative assessment of the diagnostic value of such tests for identifying food intolerances.

Emmanuel is introduced by the presenter as not being very impressed with testing kits, and describes this process of testing as “not nearly as specific as one would like it to be”. For Emmanuel, the fact that wheat, yeast etc. come up often on these tests probably reflects “as much as anything else, our exposure to these things in our diet” rather than a specific intolerance/allergy.

Emmanuel is not impressed with these tests due to, among other issues:

  • No external standard as to levels which show intolerance: the tests rely on internal standards which aren’t as robust as one might like.
  • The effects in the patients Emmanuel has seen using these tests have largely been unimpressive, period. Even where patients did appear to benefit, results have not been great in the longer term.
  • A slightly leaky gut may lead to an IgG response to various proteins. It is erroneous to tie this response to specific proteins.

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Filed under food intolerance, patrick holford, yorktest

Patrick Holford, Still Claiming IgG Levels Are Relevant to Food Intolerance and Weight Loss

Patrick Holford on ITV Lunchtime 16 April 2008
Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford Head of Science and Education at Biocare so, presumably, they believe that he has scientific credibility and they persist in this belief despite the stack of evidence that might prompt them to revise their estimation of his scholarship, his level of discourse or hyperbolic styling as a in the field of health and nutrition. Holford is particularly obdurate on the topic of IgG tests for the diagnosis of food intolerance. Dr Robert Burton would probably find Holford’s continuing enthusiasm an interesting case-study for the next edition of Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not. However, it may be understandable that Holford cleaves to this despite the explicit advice from actual immunologists and allergy researchers and clinicians because it makes up part of the platform that allows him to sell tests, pills and special diets that are guided by his books. Continue reading

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Filed under food intolerance, IgG tests, patrick holford, weight loss, yorktest

Holford’s Health Products for Life breaches ASA rules on truthfulness and substantiation

Today, the ASA have ruled against Health Products for Life (HPFL): a supplement company that Professor Patrick Holford (Head of Science and Education at Biocare) sold to Biocare, and which has a website – and sells pills – with a picture of Holford’s face on. Holford is beginning to amass a collection of ASA rulings both for his own offerings and those for products that he endorses. Continue reading

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Filed under ASA, food intolerance, health, health products for life, IgG tests, patrick holford, yorktest

Food for the Brain: Child Survey: Review Part 2

Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University (and also Head of Science and Education at Biocare) and Drew Fobbester are joint researchers and authors of the Food for the Brain Child Survey, September 2007 (pdf). This is the second of three Holford Watch posts in which we explain why the literature overview in the FFTB Child Survey is inadequate: some of the claims made in the review are not supported by relevant references or studies of sufficient quality. Part 1 discussed the claims relating to supplements and children’s diet. Part 2 examines the claims made for the benefit of a balanced glycaemic load diet for children.
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Filed under children, Food for the brain, Food for the brain foundation, food intolerance, food sensitivity, gluten intolerance, glycaemic load, glycemic load, Holford, intelligence, intolerance, nutrition, patrick holford, referenciness, truthiness

Patrick Holford Still Advocates IgG Testing for Food Allergies

Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University and Head of Science and Education at Biocare frequently upbraids professionals and researchers for what he perceives as their lack of up-to-date research.

Holford’s 100%health newsletter for November 2007 is full of the usual inexactitudes and creative interpretations of quite straightforward research. He once again conflates allergies and intolerance and discusses IgG as if it is relevant to any such discussion. Continue reading

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Filed under allergies, allergy, ASA, food intolerance, food sensitivity, Holford, home test, hometesting, IgG tests, lactose intolerance, patrick holford, Scadding, supplements, yorktest