Food intolerances, a 300 million euro market: but are they true or false? What the expert says

The immunologist Minelli: “Boom in useless tests, more than science it is quackery”

A population of people intolerant to all types of foods. This could be the scenario for Italy if “we were to listen to the scenarios of a catastrophic epidemic of adverse reactions which, however, smacks of fakery, a little balanced between the serious and the fake, between science and quackery. A phenomenon that of intolerance which according to official data, would affect approximately 4.5% of the adult population in our country, that is, one Italian in 500. Good, but the figure of intolerant people in our country, according to the number of tests carried out for the so-called intolerance tests, it is equal to one person in 5, practically a real epidemic, or rather, a real business valued at around 300 million euros, with an annual growth of 8-10%”. Immunologist Mauro Minelli, coordinator for the south of the Personalized Medicine Foundation and professor of dietetics and human nutrition at Lum University, explains this to Adnkronos Salute.

But what are the factors that hide behind this sort of ‘epidemic’ and how important is fake news in this sense? “It should be said that there are objective reasons for the increase in adverse reactions to foods, reasons which may refer to a poor diet possibly based on non-natural foods, to the varied composition of foods due to cultivation techniques, to the use of chemical foods, to the use of preservatives, sweeteners or other additives – replies the immunologist – However, in the face of all this it is also necessary to consider the uncontrollable, and unfortunately uncontrolled, proliferation of the so-called tests for food intolerances, a truly indecent phenomenon which includes within it a set of very alternative practices as they are unreliable, based much more on the imaginative imagination of the varied world of operators than on science. Among the various statements related to the topic, one of the most abused and mystifying, but also one of the most profitable in terms of commercial return – he warns – it is the one that associates the execution of tests for food intolerances with extra kilos, with the control of overweight and obesity”. (continued)