More allergy blood tests to avoid
Live Blood Analysis
I have been contacted by a member of a Live Blood Analysis company wondering whether I would like to sign up to a £600 12 week course on learning how to undertake Live Blood Analysis. Little did they know that I had just written an article on appropriate methods of allergy testing, alongside warning people against misleading and dangerous alternative methods of appliled kinesiology, vega testing, hair analysis and IgG/ IgG4
Live Blood Analysis, also known as live cell microscopy or nutritional blood analysis is another allergy test to warn you about. There is no scientific evidence that this is reliable or effective. It involves taking a drop of blood from the fingertip, placing it on a glass plate under a microscope and viewing it using dark field microscopy on a video screen. The practitioner will diagnose amongst other things acid in the blood if red blood cells stack up (rouleaux formation), which actually occurs when the blood starts to dry out, clump together or clot against the glass. Splinters or debris on the glass slides which haven’t been cleaned thoroughly may be reported as being uric acid crystals, cholesterol plaques or parasites.
Hoilstic practitioners include alternative medicine providers such as bogus nutritionists, herbologists, naturopaths and chiropractors. Those undertaking Live Blood Analysis claim it provides information about the state of the immune system, lack of oxygen in the blood, possible vitamin and mineral deficiencies, pH and mineral imbalance, amount of toxicity, presence of fungus and yeast, some even claim it can spot cancer and other degenerative immune system diseases.
The Live Blood Analysis company website that I was contacted by states ‘that by adopting the Blood Type Diet, it can help you avoid the foods that you are intolerant and allergic to as well as helping you achieve optimum health, eliminate digestive problems and help you lose unwanted weight for good’.
However, there are no credible scientific studies to support these claims, as highlighted by Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine in his article in the Guardian in 2005.
Dried blood analysis
The company who contacted me also offer dried blood analysis which involves taking a tiny pin prick of blood from a finger and “dabbing” the blood 8-16 times on a microscope slide. The blood is then left to dry in the open air. Once dried, it is placed under the microscope and magnified onto a live high resolution TV screen so that you can see how well your blood has coagulated.
In this test, a test tube of blood is obtained from the client and centrifuged to separate the white blood cells. These are mixed with plasma and sterile water and applied to a large number of microscope slides, each coated with a dried food extract. They are then examined under a microscope at intervals over a two hour period to see if the cells have changed shape or disintegrated, which are supposedly signs of allergy to that food.
The practitioner may point out that your T cells are not shaped like a T (which is normal), or there are bacteria in your blood (which in fact are the platelets important in clotting). A personalised diet program will then be provided, usually including the need to avoid certain foods, purchase vitamins and minerals and / or some special drops for treatment.
Changes to the appearance of cells upon exposure to allergens however, cannot be viewed with a microscope and studies have shown that cytotoxic tests do not correlate with food allergies in individuals.
Who should you trust to diagnose food allergies?
For further information on dubious diagnostic tests for a whole range of conditions, see the Quackwatch website: www.quackwatch.com