Alpha-gal by Alletess Medical Laboratory Vs MRT (Mediator Release Test)

Alpha-gal and MRT are two different tests used to identify and diagnose certain allergies. While they serve a similar purpose, there are notable differences between the two. In this article, we will explore the concepts of Alpha-gal and MRT, understand their methodologies, compare their similarities and differences, and weigh their pros and cons.

Understanding Alpha-gal and MRT

Alpha-gal, short for alpha-galactose, is a carbohydrate that can trigger an immune response in some individuals. This immune response often leads to allergic reactions, particularly red meat allergy or delayed anaphylaxis. It is primarily caused by tick bites, as ticks can transmit a molecule known as alpha-gal to their human hosts.

When a tick bites a person, it injects its saliva into the skin. Within the tick's saliva, the alpha-gal molecule can be present. Once it enters the human body, the immune system recognizes alpha-gal as a foreign substance and produces antibodies against it. These antibodies, known as IgE antibodies, bind to the alpha-gal molecule and trigger an immune response.

The immune response to alpha-gal can cause various symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Some individuals may experience hives, itching, or gastrointestinal discomfort, while others may develop more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling, or even anaphylaxis. The severity of the reaction can vary depending on the individual's sensitivity to alpha-gal and the amount of exposure to it.

Diagnosing alpha-gal allergy is crucial for managing and avoiding potential triggers. One way to diagnose this allergy is through a blood test that measures the levels of alpha-gal-specific IgE antibodies. If these antibodies are present in the blood, it indicates an immune response to alpha-gal and confirms the diagnosis of alpha-gal allergy.

Another method used to identify food and chemical sensitivities is the Mediator Release Test (MRT). Unlike traditional allergy tests that measure IgE antibodies, MRT examines the release of chemical mediators from white blood cells when exposed to potential triggers.

White blood cells are an essential part of the immune system and play a crucial role in defending the body against harmful substances. When a person with sensitivities is exposed to a trigger, such as certain foods or chemicals, their white blood cells release chemical mediators, including histamine and cytokines.

Histamine is a well-known mediator involved in allergic reactions. It can cause symptoms such as itching, swelling, and redness. Cytokines, on the other hand, are small proteins that regulate the immune response and inflammation. Elevated levels of these chemical mediators indicate an immune reaction to specific triggers.

MRT analyzes the levels of these chemical mediators in the blood to identify which foods or substances are causing adverse reactions in an individual. By understanding the specific triggers, individuals can make informed dietary and lifestyle choices to manage their sensitivities and minimize the risk of allergic reactions.

Alletess Medical Laboratory's Approach to Alpha-gal

The Science Behind Alletess's Alpha-gal Test

Alletess Medical Laboratory has developed a specialized test to detect alpha-gal allergies. Their test works by detecting specific IgE antibodies against alpha-gal in a person's blood. Alpha-gal is a carbohydrate found in the cell membranes of non-primate mammals, such as cows, pigs, and sheep. When a person with alpha-gal allergy consumes meat from these animals, their immune system produces IgE antibodies as a response to the alpha-gal molecule.

Through a series of precise laboratory procedures, Alletess analyzes the blood sample to determine whether there is an immune response to alpha-gal. The test involves a combination of techniques, including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblotting, to accurately identify and quantify the IgE antibodies specific to alpha-gal. This meticulous approach ensures reliable and reproducible results, providing healthcare professionals with valuable information for diagnosis and management of alpha-gal allergies.

Furthermore, Alletess's alpha-gal test is backed by extensive scientific research and validation. The laboratory collaborates with leading experts in the field of allergen testing to continuously improve the accuracy and reliability of their assays. This commitment to scientific excellence enables Alletess to provide healthcare professionals and patients with the most advanced and reliable testing methods available.

How Alletess's Alpha-gal Test Works

To perform the Alletess Alpha-gal test, a blood sample is collected from the individual being tested. The sample is then sent to Alletess Medical Laboratory, where it undergoes a meticulous and accurate analysis. The laboratory follows strict quality control measures to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the test results.

Upon receiving the blood sample, the laboratory technicians carefully process it to separate the serum, which contains the IgE antibodies, from other components of the blood. This step is crucial to obtain a pure and concentrated sample for analysis.

Next, the laboratory employs the ELISA technique to detect and quantify the levels of IgE antibodies specific to alpha-gal. ELISA involves binding the antibodies present in the serum to a solid surface coated with alpha-gal molecules. The bound antibodies are then detected using a secondary antibody linked to an enzyme, which produces a measurable signal. By comparing the signal intensity to a standard curve, the laboratory can determine the concentration of IgE antibodies in the sample.

In addition to ELISA, Alletess also utilizes immunoblotting to further confirm the presence of alpha-gal-specific IgE antibodies. Immunoblotting involves separating the proteins present in the serum based on their size using gel electrophoresis. The separated proteins are then transferred onto a membrane and probed with alpha-gal molecules. If alpha-gal-specific IgE antibodies are present in the serum, they will bind to the alpha-gal molecules on the membrane, producing distinct bands that can be visualized using specific detection methods.

By measuring the levels of IgE antibodies specific to alpha-gal through a combination of ELISA and immunoblotting, Alletess can ascertain the presence and severity of the allergic reaction. This comprehensive analysis assists healthcare professionals in making informed decisions regarding treatment and management of alpha-gal allergies.

The MRT Methodology

The MRT Methodology is a revolutionary approach to identifying food sensitivities and allergies. It is based on the principle that when an individual with food sensitivities consumes trigger foods, their white blood cells release specific mediators, such as histamine and cytokines.

These mediators play a crucial role in the body's immune response and can cause a range of symptoms, including digestive issues, skin problems, and even respiratory distress. By measuring these mediator levels, the MRT test can provide valuable insights into an individual's unique sensitivities.

The Principles of MRT

MRT measures these mediator levels by exposing a patient's blood sample to various potential triggers, including a wide range of foods and chemicals. The greater the release of mediators, the stronger the allergic response to the tested substances.

This comprehensive evaluation allows healthcare professionals to identify specific triggers that may be causing discomfort and inflammation in the patient's body. By understanding these triggers, individuals can make informed dietary and lifestyle choices to alleviate their symptoms and improve their overall well-being.

The Procedure of the MRT

During an MRT test, a blood sample is collected from the patient and sent to a specialized laboratory for analysis. The sample is exposed to a panel of potential triggers, including hundreds of foods and environmental chemicals.

The laboratory then measures the levels of mediators released by the white blood cells in response to each trigger. This detailed analysis provides a comprehensive profile of the patient's sensitivities, allowing healthcare professionals to develop personalized treatment plans.

By utilizing the MRT methodology, healthcare practitioners can identify sensitivities that may not have been previously recognized. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have been struggling with unexplained symptoms or have not found relief through conventional allergy testing methods.

Furthermore, the MRT test is highly accurate and reliable, providing healthcare professionals with precise information about a patient's sensitivities. This allows for targeted interventions and dietary modifications, leading to significant improvements in symptoms and overall quality of life.

In conclusion, the MRT methodology is a groundbreaking approach to identifying food sensitivities and allergies. By measuring mediator levels and analyzing a comprehensive range of triggers, this test provides valuable insights into an individual's unique sensitivities. With this information, healthcare professionals can develop personalized treatment plans that help patients alleviate symptoms and improve their overall well-being.

Comparing Alpha-gal and MRT

Similarities Between Alpha-gal and MRT

Both Alpha-gal and MRT are diagnostic tools that aim to identify specific allergies and sensitivities in individuals. They provide essential information about potential triggers that can cause adverse reactions, and both tests require a blood sample for analysis.

Alpha-gal and MRT can assist healthcare professionals in developing personalized treatment plans or avoidance strategies for patients. By understanding the specific allergens or sensitivities, healthcare providers can tailor interventions to minimize the risk of allergic reactions and improve the overall well-being of their patients.

With Alpha-gal and MRT, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their body's immune response and make informed decisions about their diet and lifestyle. By identifying potential triggers, individuals can take proactive steps to avoid exposure and prevent allergic reactions, ultimately enhancing their quality of life.

Moreover, both Alpha-gal and MRT play a crucial role in research and scientific advancements. By studying the patterns and prevalence of specific allergies and sensitivities, researchers can gain insights into the underlying mechanisms of allergic reactions and develop new treatment options.

Differences Between Alpha-gal and MRT

While Alpha-gal focuses primarily on identifying the allergic response to alpha-gal carbohydrates, MRT is a comprehensive test that covers a broad range of potential triggers, including foods and chemicals. Alpha-gal is specific to red meat allergy, while MRT considers various sensitivities beyond alpha-gal.

Alpha-gal testing is particularly useful for individuals who have experienced allergic reactions after consuming red meat or products derived from mammals. This test specifically measures IgE antibodies in the blood, which are responsible for triggering allergic reactions. By detecting the presence of these antibodies, healthcare professionals can confirm a diagnosis of alpha-gal allergy.

MRT, on the other hand, provides a broader analysis of sensitivities by assessing the release of chemical mediators from white blood cells. This test can help identify sensitivities to a wide range of substances, such as certain foods, additives, preservatives, and environmental factors. By evaluating the response of white blood cells, MRT offers a comprehensive understanding of an individual's immune system reactivity.

Furthermore, MRT can assist in identifying hidden sensitivities or intolerances that may not be immediately apparent. It can provide valuable insights into underlying causes of symptoms such as digestive issues, skin problems, and respiratory difficulties. By uncovering these hidden sensitivities, healthcare professionals can develop more targeted treatment plans to address the root causes of these symptoms.

Overall, while Alpha-gal and MRT share the common goal of identifying allergies and sensitivities, they differ in their scope and methodology. Alpha-gal is specifically designed for diagnosing red meat allergy, whereas MRT offers a comprehensive analysis of various triggers. Both tests, however, play vital roles in improving patient care, enhancing quality of life, and advancing scientific understanding of allergic reactions.

The Pros and Cons of Alpha-gal and MRT

Benefits of Alpha-gal Test

One significant benefit of the Alpha-gal test is its ability to specifically identify allergies related to alpha-gal carbohydrates. This assists healthcare professionals in designing suitable treatment plans and advising patients on which triggers to avoid. The test is also relatively straightforward, involving a blood sample and a specialized laboratory analysis.

Drawbacks of Alpha-gal Test

One limitation of the Alpha-gal test is its focus on red meat allergy caused by alpha-gal carbohydrates. While it is a valuable tool for individuals experiencing this specific allergy, it does not address other potential sensitivities to foods or substances beyond alpha-gal. Therefore, it may not be comprehensive enough for individuals requiring a broader assessment.

Advantages of MRT

MRT offers a more comprehensive evaluation of an individual's allergic responses and sensitivities. It considers a wide range of potential triggers, including foods and chemicals, allowing for a more thorough understanding of an individual's specific sensitivities. By measuring the release of chemical mediators from white blood cells, MRT provides valuable insights into various allergies and sensitivities that may have previously gone undetected.

Disadvantages of MRT

One drawback of the MRT test is its complexity and the need for a specialized laboratory for analysis. Additionally, the wide array of potential triggers tested can make it challenging to pinpoint specific allergens. Despite these limitations, MRT offers a comprehensive approach for individuals seeking a detailed assessment of their sensitivities.

In conclusion, both Alpha-gal and MRT serve as valuable tools in identifying allergies and sensitivities in individuals. While Alpha-gal focuses specifically on allergies related to alpha-gal carbohydrates, MRT offers a more comprehensive evaluation of a broader range of potential triggers. Understanding the pros and cons of each test can assist healthcare professionals in determining the most appropriate diagnostic approach based on an individual's specific needs.
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