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Live Lecture with Q&A

Yale Researchers Publish Novel Study on Immunological Pathomechanisms of Food Sensitivity (Alcat Test)

Wednesday, May 23, 6PM EST
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    [alt] => Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases); Director of Yale Weight Loss Program
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    [description] => Wajahat Zafar Mehal, PhD, MD
Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases); Director of Yale Weight Loss Program
    [caption] => Wajahat Zafar Mehal, MD, PhD, director of Yale Weight Loss Program
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    [date] => 2017-11-01 18:12:13
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Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases); Director of Yale Weight Loss Program

Wajahat Zafar Mehal

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After publishing a landmark paper on the efficacy of Alcat based diets on patients with IBS, researchers at Yale School of Medicine performed an in depth investigation into the mechanisms and pathways associated with Alcat test associated cellular responses and discovered some novel findings that shed light on the parthenogenesis and immunology underlying food sensitivities.  In this live webinar Prof. Wajahat Mehal, M.D., Ph.D., will explain his results and answer questions.



About This Study

(Click Here to View Study)


Leukocyte activation (LA) testing identifies food items that induce a patient specific cellular response in the immune system, and has recently been shown in a randomized double blinded prospective study to reduce symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We hypothesized that test reactivity to particular food items, and the systemic immune response initiated by these food items, is due to the release of cellular DNA from blood immune cells.


We tested this by quantifying total DNA concentration in the cellular supernatant of immune cells exposed to positive and negative foods from 20 healthy volunteers. To establish if the DNA release by positive samples is a specific phenomenon, we quantified myeloperoxidase (MPO) in cellular supernatants. We further assessed if a particular immune cell population (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils) was activated by the positive food items by flow cytometry analysis. To identify the signaling pathways that are required for DNA release we tested if specific inhibitors of key signaling pathways could block DNA release.


Foods with a positive LA test result gave a higher supernatant DNA content when compared to foods with a negative result. This was specific as MPO levels were not increased by foods with a positive LA test. Protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors resulted in inhibition of positive food stimulated DNA release. Positive foods resulted in CD63 levels greater than negative foods in eosinophils in 76.5% of tests.


LA test identifies food items that result in release of DNA and activation of peripheral blood innate immune cells in a PKC dependent manner, suggesting that this LA test identifies food items that result in release of inflammatory markers and activation of innate immune cells. This may be the basis for the improvement in symptoms in IBS patients who followed an LA test guided diet.



Dr. Wajahat Mehal is a gastroenterologist and the lead Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases) at the Yale School of Medicine and the Director of the Yale Weight Loss Program, obtained his MD and PhD (Immunology) from Oxford University Medical School, having completed his certification for AB of Internal Medicine for Gastroenterology in 2001. Dr. Mehal is involved in many departments and organizations including, Internal Medicine: Digestive Diseases; Hepatology: Viral Hepatitis Program; Metabolic Health and Weight Loss Program; Liver Center and more. He has performed extensive research into Sterile Inflammation, Liver Fibrosis, and Liver Immunology. His research is cited in almost a dozen publications.