Detection of IgE, IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies against raw and processed food antigens.
Despite the first documented case of food allergy to cooked food in 1921 by Prausnitz and Kustner, all commercial food antigens are prepared from raw food. Furthermore, all IgE and IgG antibodies against dietary proteins offered by many clinical laboratories are measured against raw food antigens. We developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the measurement of IgE, IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies against raw and processed food antigens. Sera with low or high reactivity to modified food antigens were subjected to myelin basic protein, oxidized low density lipoprotein, and advanced glycation end products (AGE) such as AGE-human serum albumin and AGE-hemoglobin. Compared to raw food antigens, IgE antibodies showed a 3-8-fold increase against processed food antigens in 31% of the patients. Similarly, IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies against modified food antigens overall were found at much higher levels than antibody reactions against raw food antigens. Almost every tested serum with high levels of antibodies against modified food antigens showed very high levels of antibodies against myelin basic protein, oxidized low density lipoprotein, AGE-human serum albumin and AGE-hemoglobin. We conclude that the determination of food allergy, intolerance and sensitivity would be improved by testing IgE, IgG, IgA and IgM antibodies against both raw and processed food antigens. Antibodies against modified food antigens, by reacting with AGEs and tissue proteins, may cause perturbation in degenerative and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, inflammation, autoimmunity, neurodegeneration and neuroautoimmunity.