Is allergy testing scientific? Some say no.
Researchers and some regulators globally are questioning the efficacy of allergy testing. Not all tests are created equal, they say, and many have little scientific basis.
In Ireland, for example, the Irish Food Allergy Network and Irish Association of Allergy and Immunology issued a joint position paper that said there is "neither a rational scientific basis nor proven role for hair analysis, isolated IgG testing, kinesiology, Vega testing or enzyme potentiated desentisiation for diagnosis or managing food allergy intolerance."
These popular tests are available in doctor's offices and pharmacies around the world, but are often the target of questions from the scientific community.
Vega testing is likely the most controversial of the group, with a background stemming from electro-accupuncture and having had several medical groups in Western nations question or even censure its use. Current literature reviews suggest that Vega (electrodermal) testing is ineffective as a diagnosis tool.
IgG testing looks for the smallest, but most prevalent antibody in bodily fluids. These are antibodies that mainly fight bacterial and viral infections and are the only type that can cross the placenta into a fetus. Yet evidence of their role in allergic reactions is minimal, say many, making the testing for them a waste of effort.
Still proponents and practitioners of these and other controversial allergy testing methods tout their success rates. Yet until these methods can be proven conclusively, argument about their efficacy will continue.
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a free peanut-free snack guide.
Stay on top of your allergy with recipes, lifestyle tips and more.