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Patrick Holford welcomes new research in the management of IBS

Patrick Holford, founder of Optimum Nutrition, welcomes new research which supports the use of food intolerance test, foodSCAN, to identify specific food intolerances in IBS patients. Patrick said: “for the first time we have some solid science which shows what we’ve suspected in clinical practice - that food intolerance is the major cause of IBS.”

Patrick has provided help and advice to many thousands of people, many of whom suffer with digestive problems such as IBS. He recognises that, in many cases, IBS is caused by food intolerances and recommends the food intolerance test foodSCAN to identify the specific foods causing the problem. However, despite many experts such as Patrick recommending foodSCAN many medical practitioners still fail to recognise the benefits it can bring those who suffer with chronic conditions such as IBS and still continue to use the traditional food elimination diet which is time consuming and often difficult to stick to.

The main concern from the medical community has been the lack of clinical evidence to support the use of food intolerance testing. In addition the whole subject of food intolerance has been tarnished by non-scientific organisations which purport medical benefits but are unable to support their claims with any scientific evidence. A recent double blind placebo controlled trial published in Gut could provide the evidence required by food intolerance sceptics and see a wider usage of food intolerance test foodSCAN. This is the first food intolerance test to be subjected to such scientific scrutiny and the results were positive. It concluded that ‘a clinically significant improvement in IBS was observed in patients eliminating foods as identified by the YORKTEST Laboratories foodSCAN’.

Patrick said: “I am really excited by this research. It provides us with solid evidence that diet is one of the major factors in IBS and also provides us with a clinically proven method of identify exactly which foods are likely to be causing the symptoms.

“IBS is a serious chronic condition which plagues the lives of many people. Even those with infrequent symptoms experience a reduced quality of life during the periods of IBS. For many, it is a condition which can quite literally rule their lives. This simple pin prick blood test can accurately and efficiently identify the problem foods; these foods can then be removed from the diet. Many people who have suffered unnecessarily for years, in some cases, could see their symptoms relieved within a couple of weeks. IBS is an incredibly frustrating condition for the sufferer and medical practitioner alike. Finally we have a clinically proven option that can provide us with information which can help the individual overcome their symptoms.“

YORKTEST’s IBS foodSCAN uses a simple pin prick method is used to collect a sample of blood. This method was pioneered by YORKTEST and means that the individual doesn’t have to visit their GP to have a venous blood sample taken. YORKTEST uses the sample to detect and measure IgG antibody response to 113 specific food allergen extracts. This data is then used to develop a patient report detailing which foods should be avoided.

The most common method of identifying ‘problem’ foods, or those to which the individual may have an intolerance to, is an exclusion diet. However, this is very time consuming, often difficult to stick to and incredibly difficult to isolate the offending foods as an ‘intolerance’ is a delayed reaction and not immediate as seen in food allergies. The British Society of Gastroenterology ‘guidelines for the management of IBS’ notes diet as a major factor but also agrees that common exclusion diets can be ‘arduous’. For the first time IBS sufferers have a scientifically valid option for identifying the cause of their ill health.

The IBS foodSCAN package from YORKTEST includes:
YORKTEST foodSCAN – a simple pin prick blood test which can be done in the comfort of your own home;
Nutritional consultation – a 30 minute telephone consultation with a qualified nutritionist designed to help develop an appropriate yet nutritious diet following the results of the foodSCAN;
Food Intolerance Guidebook which contains further information on how to manage dietary changes as well as a diary to monitor symptomatic relief as the new dietary plan progresses;
A leaflet providing further information on IBS;
Free membership to the IBS Network to help with the on-going self management of IBS.

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