Oxford Biomedical Technologies

Mediator Release Testing (MRT) for Food Sensitivities

Lab Phone Number: 888-669-5327 

Purpose of the test:

Food sensitivities are a very challenging and common part of a wide range of chronic conditions and symptoms.  The most difficult aspect of food sensitivities is establishing a cause and effect relationship between reactive foods and food-chemicals (identifying what you’re sensitive to).  Identifying inflammatory foods is the first step towards overcoming any illness they cause.

Why Identifying Inflammatory Foods is So Difficult

From a clinical perspective, specific food sensitivities are difficult to establish because reactions are often delayed by many hours, can depend on how much of the reactive item you eat, can be cumulative, and because food sensitivities are the result of the breakdown of oral tolerance mechanisms, we lose tolerance to many food items, not just one or two like with food allergy.  Our consumption of these items varies, just as our symptoms vary.  In addition, food sensitivity reactions are on a spectrum, meaning some foods cause a strong response, where other foods may produce a response we don’t even notice.  But make no mistake about it: all food reactions that increase inflammation are a bad thing. 

From an immunologic perspective, food sensitivities are more a category of reactions than a single type, and they are the most complex of all forms of diet-induced inflammation (see diagram below).  Sensitivities involve multiple pathways, both branches of the immune system, and multiple types of white cells leading to the most event – mediator release from white cells. 

In fact, the single most important part of all diet-induced inflammatory reactions is that they ultimately cause mediator release from white blood cells. It’s the mediators that produce damaging effects on body tissues, leading to the development of symptoms and other negative physiologic effects. Released cytokines, leukotrienes, prostaglandins, histamine, etc. are the direct reason for the damaging effects of diet-induced inflammation. This is true whether reactions are immediate or delayed, whether dose dependent or not, whether governed by the innate or adaptive immune systems, whether cell-mediated or antibody-mediated, and whether inflammation remains at a sub-clinical level or becomes symptom-provoking.

Oxford Biomedical Technologies offers a simple and highly effective solution for the many challenges of identifying reactive foods – the Mediator Release Test (MRT).  It is a functional, patented endpoint blood test that offers many advantages to those with sensitivity related illness:

  1. Because it is an endpoint test MRT accounts for the widest range of innate and adaptive immune pathways.
  2. MRT is a functional assay, challenging the whole blood with individual foods and food-chemicals to determine reactivity.
  3. MRT quantifies the degree of the inflammatory response giving insight into the patient’s most reactive and also safest foods.
  4. MRT’s advanced patented technology allows for the individual measurements of different cell groups (eosinophils, neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes).

MRT is an indirect measure of mediator release and works by precisely measuring the subtle volumetric changes that occur after a reaction to an individual food or chemical.

Direct Lab Price: 

$695 for the 170 Panel: tests 140 foods / 30 chemicals

$545 for the 130 Panel: tests 123 foods / 8 chemicals

(Please put your credit card number or check on the requisition.  If the price is not on the requisition – please fill in this price). The price is subject to change if re-testing in the future. Depending on your insurance company, this may be covered as an Out-of-Network cost. To determine whether a claim may be covered please contact your insurance provider. The lab will not submit the claim to your insurance company. If you are concerned that a claim may not be covered, you can choose to prepay for your testing and we will provide you with a statement that you may then submit to your insurance provider for coverage.

Here’s a list of the most commonly asked questions and instructions regarding this lab test:

Where do I go for the blood draw sample?

Step 1 – Please take the signed Test Requisition form and the lab kit to any locations which you can find here: https://nowleap.com/draw-locator

Step 2 – Fill out the Test Requisition Form completely with your personal information. Payment type must be completed with payment included to process your sample unless you made arrangements to pay through Fortitude Functional Nutrition. 

Step 3 – The blood draw center will ship the test kit with your blood sample and requisition in the FedEx bag provided (within the kit).

My test kit did not have a Test Requisition Form?

Unless you already received the test requisition in your private portal, you should email or call our office (at info@fortitudefunctionalnutrition.com or 720-580-2078) for a Test Requisition Form. 

Do I need to stop taking any of my medications before I collect my blood sample?

No. Please continue taking all medications as directed by your doctor. But, be well hydrated before your blood draw. Immunosuppressive drugs such as oral or intranasal corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone, beclomethasone, fluticasone, triamcinolone) and topical cortisone suspensions and creams, in addition to immune modulating drugs, may affect test results for antibody assessment. 

Do I need to fast or stop eating certain foods before I collect my sample?

No fasting required. It is suggested that you maintain your usual dietary habits and consume a variety of foods when possible within a couple weeks prior to blood collection, unless advised otherwise by your healthcare practitioner. Avoid eating foods that may have potentially resulted in a previous adverse reaction and/or anaphylaxis, as secondary exposure may prove fatal.