What is LEAP MRT?

7 Letters that Opened Pandora's Box

LEAP MRT.  Lifestyle Eating and Performance, or the LEAP method, is a diet therapy that uses results from the patented Mediator-Release Test to create an elimination diet as the basis for healing the gut and improving systemic inflammation.  [Yeah, quite a mouthful]  I became engaged with LEAP a little over a year ago when my curiosity was piqued by reading about it.  I am a big believer in the role of inflammation in chronic disease and so I underwent the training and certification program and learned a lot about diet, food hypersensitivity, immunology and inflammation, and the immunocalm diet plan.

How LEAP MRT Helps

We know that inflammation plays a big role in driving chronic disease.  What we understood less is the role food sensitivity plays in that process of inflammation.  LEAP MRT helps to clarify that picture.

When food is ingested that we are reactive or hypersensitive to, it creates a low baseline level of systemic inflammation by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream called mediators (for my science oriented readers think cytokines, TNF, histamine, interleukens, etc).  Those inflammatory markers are released into the bloodstream and can then create a myriad of problems.  From irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, or migraines, to things such as eczema, chronic sinusitis, esophagitis and chronic reflux, LEAP has been shown to help identify those food triggers and improve the health and vitality of the inidividual through elimination of the reactive foods.

The most difficult aspect of food hypersensitivity is the fact that they are very difficult to isolate and identify on their own.  That is because the reaction relating to food hypersensitivity is often delayed (up to 96 hours), dose-dependent, and how that reaction manifests in symptom can change.  Talk about a puzzle!

The Mediator Release Test

This tool has opened up the world of immunology and food reactivity, particularly for RDs who understand and see first-hand the benefit of a properly utilized elimination diet in terms of symptom relief.  Blood samples are taken and exposed to 150 food and chemicals to determine if there is a reaction to said item.  The MRT machine then uses volume displacement from the mediators to determine reactivity level.    

Image courtesy of nutritionresolution.com - please click and check out their beautiful explanation of LEAP MRT

If you are having a lot of trouble with some of the conditions or symptoms mentioned above, consider talking to a Certified LEAP Therapist.  If you are an RD with an interest in IBS and functional gut disorders, you must invest the time to learn about the science behind this test!  I would be happy to relay info and my personal experience -- for example, having clients literally get off of 3 migraine medications over foods that were in their diet.  It's a very rewarding aspect of the counseling I do and I see the conversation growing in all of the Dietetic Practice Groups I am a part of. 

All About Fiber

Fiber is an incredibly important component of a healthy diet.  The recommendation is for females to consume at least 25 grams of fiber daily and males to consume at least 38 grams of fiber daily.  According to Healthy people 2010 data, Americans are currently not meeting this as typical intake is around 15 grams daily, with white flour and potatoes being the two largest sources of fiber in the diet (how sad is that?!).

Dietary Fiber 

Dietary fibers are found naturally in the plants that we eat. They are parts of plant that do not break down in our stomachs, and instead pass through our system undigested. All dietary fibers are either soluble or insoluble. Both types of fiber are equally important for health, digestion, and preventing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, diverticulitis, and constipation. 

Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber 

Soluble fiber dissolves in water. Insoluble fiber does not. To some degree these differences determine how each fiber functions in the body and benefits your health. 

Soluble fibers attract water and form a gel, which slows down digestion. Soluble fiber delays the emptying of your stomach and makes you feel full, which helps control weight. Slower stomach emptying may also affect blood sugar levels and have a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity, which may help control diabetes. Soluble fibers can also help lower LDL (“bad”) blood cholesterol by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol. 

Sources of soluble fiber: oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, and zucchini. 

Insoluble fibers are considered gut­healthy fiber because they have a laxative effect and add bulk to the diet, helping prevent constipation. These fibers do not dissolve in water, so they pass through the gastrointestinal tract relatively intact, and speed up the passage of food and waste through your gut. Insoluble fibers are mainly found in whole grains and vegetables. 

Sources of insoluble fiber: whole wheat, whole grains, wheat bran, corn bran, seeds, nuts, barley, couscous, brown rice, bulgur, zucchini, celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, grapes, fruit, and root vegetable skins.