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Over Diagnosing Food Allergies

Over Diagnosing Food Allergies… Is something we are starting to see more and more of.

By Heather Legg | May 18, 2010
“One positive allergy test result does not a food allergy make,” states Dr. Hugh Sampson, chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine regarding a paper published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Author of this paper, Dr. Marc Riedl, an allergists and immunologist a the University of California in LA says the true incidence of food allergies is far less than the number of people who believe they have one. He says “roughly half of the people who believe they have an allergy, do not.”

There are a few reasons for this, and some are self diagnosing where the cause is actually heartburn or food intolerance, or doctors who have misinterpreted allergy test results. Skin testing isn’t really a reliable method for food allergy testing, we are finding out. Both skin tests and blood tests only indicate whether the body produces enough antibodies to fight the food, but that doesn’t meant there is intolerance or allergy.

Another finding of this paper is that there is “no unified definition of what a food allergy is or how to test for it reliably.” Many people consider an intolerance an allergy, even though there are no life threatening aspects about it.

Diagnosing has increased dramatically over the past few years and though eating foods that cause allergic reactions certainly is dangerous and needs to be be avoided, avoiding foods that are not dangerous has its own health issues. Not only are nutritional deficiencies caused, for instance, poor bone growth from avoiding dairy, but also it is stressful and difficult. A lot of effort is put into avoidance, checking labels and restaurants, bringing your own food to social events. And because food plays such a large role in our society, there are the social repercussions as well – parents are more fearful for their children who have supposed allergies and it can become quite isolating for both adults and children.

Riedl also says overdiagnosis “leads to some trivialization of this condition and people start to associate a food allergy with dislike of a food or mild intolerance,” which makes people take true food allergies less seriously.

So what do you do? How do you know if you are your child is truly allergic? The “gold standard” Riedl says, is the oral food challenge. The food is actually ingested under observation and reaction is observed. Other than that, it is up to the individual to decide how he will handle his allergy.

Being a Chef I have seen an array of concerns for allergies. Some make sure that the Chef and kitchen are aware of their allergy and others just brush it off. Sometimes the most bothersome thing I hear is, “Oh we have an Epipen if she/he has a reaction” and it is said very casually. Lets just say that I have become an avid label reader for my guests. But this article does give you something to think about. What are your thoughts?

Cheers to Your Optimal Health!
Katrina van Oudheusden

Source for information:


May 28, 2010 Posted by | Allergies, Food Allergies, Health and Wellness, Nutrition | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Probiotics For Allergy Relief

I know how important probiotics are and I am glad I am part of a company that has had probiotics in its nutritional formulation long before it became popular. We are really on the cutting edge. It takes everyone else a while to catch up to what we are doing.

So here is a great article I found about why probiotics for allergy relief.

Article by

There is an increasing amount of evidence to show that it is our lifestyles modeled on largely sterile and aseptic environments that increases our susceptibility to different allergies.

While there are other factors at play, such as air pollution, smoking and family history, the fact that percentages of people with allergies are rising, gives credence to this theory that excessive cleanliness can cause sensitivities that lead to allergies.

This is true with regard to the floral bacteria that line the intestinal tract as well. As exposure to bad bacteria is reduced, so is the exposure to good or friendly bacteria.

Whereas in times when levels of hygiene were perhaps not as high as they are now, the flora that lines the gut was perhaps more diverse. The fact that intestinal flora is now not as diverse as once used to be the norm, is not so good for us, according to experts.

This is also the reason that many allergists recommend the use of probiotics to help shore up defenses against allergens.

Probiotics are the friendly bacteria found in yogurt and other probiotics foods which experts recommend consuming. Probiotics consumed by a pregnant woman are also seen to protect the unborn child from allergies.

So if you are looking for a way to take optimal nutrition with probiotics and fight allergies. Contact me.

Did you learn something new today? Would love to hear your thought on how nutrition can help fight allergies. I have seen it over an over again with friends and family. Those that have suffered for years and don’t any longer. What would it mean to you not to have to deal with allergies?

Cheers to you Optimal Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden
Optimal Nutrition

Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical condition. Our products are designed to provide optimal, balanced nutrition and to target specific wellness needs.

May 25, 2010 Posted by | Allergies, Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

More Precise Food Allergy Test

After reading this article I started to get an understanding of how some people I talk to about food allergies were actually able to put the allergy to rest. We are looking at an immune system response and when you are feeding the immune system what it needs to take care of the body…. This would explain why I can now have dairy…. I will stay with my optimal nutrition for life. It is allowing me to enjoy eating!  Here is the article! 

( — About 30 percent of Americans believe they have food allergies. However, the actual number is far smaller, closer to 5 percent, according to a recent study commissioned by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). That’s due in large part to the unreliability of the skin test that doctors commonly use to test for food allergies. 

MIT chemical engineer Christopher Love believes he has a better way to diagnose such allergies. His new technology, described in the June 7 issue of the journal , can analyze individual immune cells taken from patients, allowing for precise measurement of the cells’ response to allergens such as milk and peanuts. 

Using this technology, doctors could one day diagnose food allergies with a simple blood test that would be faster and more reliable than current tests, says Love, an assistant professor of chemical engineering. “With a large number of diagnoses, it’s ambiguous,” he says. “A lot of times it’s almost circumstantial whether you’re allergic to one thing or another.” 

Measuring single cells 

The NIAID study, published May 12 in the , found that in the United States, 6 to 8 percent of children under four, and 4 percent of people five or older, have at least one food allergy. Milk, peanuts, eggs and soy are among the most common allergens. 

Food allergies occur when the body’s immune system mistakes a protein in food for something harmful. This triggers an allergic response that can include rashes, hives, difficulty breathing or gastrointestinal distress. Some allergies can provoke life-threatening anaphylactic shock, which requires immediate treatment. 

Patients suspected of having food allergies usually undergo a skin test, which involves placing small quantities of potential allergens under the skin of the patient’s arm. If the patient’s blood has antibodies specific to that , immune cells will release histamines that cause itching and redness in the spot where the allergen was placed. 

Doctors can also perform blood tests that directly measure the presence of particular antibodies in the patients’ blood. However, one drawback to both of these tests is that the presence of antibodies to a particular allergen does not necessarily mean that the patient is allergic to that substance, leading to false positive results.

To read more on Love’s new tecnique Click Here 

I hope you found this article educational. Would love to hear your comments espcially if you have been diagnosed with food allergies. If you found this article intresting go ahead and retweet so you can share with your family and friends! 

Cheers to Your Optimal Health! 

Katrina van Oudheusden 

May 22, 2010 Posted by | Food Allergies, Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition | , , , , | 1 Comment

Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?

Found this great video about Cancer and Obesity. Can we eat to starve cancer… The first 12 minutes talk about a process to remove cancer without chemo.  The next 8 talk about how food can prevent cancer. He even mentions that “soy” can help prevent cancer. 

For those that diet all the time, I found the part where he talks about obesity to be right on mark. That is why for a weight loss I prefer to take something that is nutritionally balanced. Helps lose weight and maintain that weight loss. I personally have found only one things so far that meets this criteria.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this video. Please comment below if you found this educational? If you are looking for optimal and complete nutrition let me know.

Cheers to YOUR Optimal Health!
Katrina van Oudheusden
Optimal Nutrition Made Simple

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Diets, Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Soy | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teen Soy Intake Linked To Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Just wanted to share with you this great article I found. Hope you find this a great read.

High intakes of soy during adolescence may reduce the risk of breast cancer before the menopause by about 40 per cent, according to new data.

The risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer were also reduced by 59 per cent for adults with the highest soy protein intake, and by 56 per cent for adults with the highest average isoflavone intakes, according to findings from a study with 73,223 Chinese women participating in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study.

Population studies have shown that a diet rich in soy is associated with fewer cases of breast cancer, linked to the presence of soy isoflavones. China has the world’s lowest incidence and mortality from breast cancer – a disease that has over one million new cases every year worldwide.

“This large, population-based, prospective cohort study provides strong evidence of a protective effect of soy food intake against pre-menopausal breast cancer,” wrote the researchers, led by Wei Zheng Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. 

The findings are published in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

 Soy isoflavones are naturally occurring oestrogen-like compounds, and supplements are currently marketed as a way of reducing symptoms of the menopause and offer an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. SoyEssential is a recommended product by Katrina for these issues.

Conflicting reports however have clouded the picture about the beneficial effects of soy isoflavones, with some studies indicating that breast cancer cells in mice were stimulated by the isoflavones. Population studies have shown that women with a high-soy diet generally have lower rates of breast cancer.

Previously, studies have reported that, while the underlying mechanism is not known, it is hypothesised that the oestrogenic effects of soy isoflavones cause changes in breast tissue during childhood that may decrease sensitivity to carcinogens later in life. A similar protective effect has been found in studies of overweight girls, perhaps because fat tissue also secretes oestrogen.

To find out more about this study Click Here

Did you find this educational? Would love to hear your thought. Please post comments below.  Also feel free to retweet and share with your friends.

Cheers to Your Optimal Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Health, Nutrition, Soy, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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