Blood brother: The author gives a blood sample for a Food Intolerance Test at the LifeScience Clinic.

I was poked in a pink part. But it was for my own good.

You see, my three female readers, as I grew deeper in my ashtanga yoga practice, I decided to become an ovo-lacto vegetarian for the past several years. However, one of the results of my being vegetarian is that I have consumed an inordinately large amount of beans over the years. The after-effects of my bean consumption has caused me to lose friends, to be classified as an environmental hazard by the DENR and to become an inappropriate wind chime.

So I consulted with Dr. Ben Valdecanas, medical director of LifeScience, a state-of-the-art wellness and preventive medicine center in Bonifacio Global City to find out if the diet that I crafted for myself was still appropriate for a man whose showbiz age is “mid-twenties.”

That was when Dr. Valdecanas advised me to take a food intolerance test to see if my reaction to beans (among other products) has led me to produce enough flatulence to aggravate global warming levels.

RJ LEDESMA: Hi, Doc, do I have to take off all my clothes for the food intolerance test?

DR. BEN VALDECANAS: You aren’t required to take off your clothes. We just need your blood.

Can’t the test just be multiple choice? What exactly will I learn from this test? Will I learn why I produce so much gas that the Chinese government now claims me as part of its territory?

That’s actually one of the reasons you feel bloated all the time. There’s additional gas in your gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. It’s either you burp it out or you fart it out.

That’s why I advise people not to light matches around me.

This test for your food intolerance looks for antibodies (proteins produced by the body’s immune system) against specific food groups. For example, the most common is lactose intolerance.

Ah yes, lactose and my bowels have a love-hate relationship.

Lactose intolerance means not having the enzymes to digest lactose. Our body rejects specific types of food — for example, wheat or gluten sensitivity, which is actually wheat intolerance. Gluten is the major substance in wheat or grains. Gluten is difficult to avoid if you regularly eat breads, pasta or rice.

Paano yan, doc? My wife likes to admire my glutes.

The test used is the ELISA (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay) method — a medical technology that identifies antigens (any substance which provokes an adaptive immune response) in foods. So this test looks for antibodies in the human being created against specific antigens. For example, if you have an antibody against the antigen of banana, then you’re banana-intolerant.

Bad bananas. Sounds like a good name for a movie.

There are (food) symptoms that are not world shattering, like bloatedness or diarrhea or constipation. This is when your GI tract reacts to the insult done when you eat food that you’re intolerant to.

Grabe naman gumanti ng GI tract ko. It’s like a tsismis columnist spurned.

Like I said, your antibodies are created against food groups that you are intolerant to. So when you eat, yung get (intestinal) edema (swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body’s tissues), you get bloatedness because you absorb the wrong things. Your GI tract is supposed to be discriminating against toxins and it prefers to absorb nutrients.

Discriminating? Should I teach my GI some cultural sensitivity?

When your intestines get swollen or inflamed, you don’t screen out the toxins and you can’t absorb your nutrients. That’s why people who regularly eat food they are intolerant to are — in a way — malnourished. So you have individuals from both sides of the spectrum — from obese to emaciated.

All because I’m swollen in inappropriate parts of my body. Can the recommended diet from the results of my test help me reverse the aging process? I can’t keep on offering virgin cows to lesser gods to keep me staying young. I’m running out of virgins.

What we do here is delay the degenerative process of aging. If you’ve been abusive of your body, then we can practically reverse the aging process.

(No Girlfriend Since Birth representative: Yes, I’ve been abusive, but I go to confession naman.)

For example, one of my patients had degenerative osteoarthritis of the knees that was far advanced for a man of his age — he’s only 57 but his knees were those of a 65-year-old. We had him lose weight, exercise regularly and take the food intolerance test. From there, we developed a diet where we eliminated all the food to which he was intolerant that could cause inflammation. Now, his knees are regenerating.

(Dirty Old Man DOM representative: Great! I have parts that haven’t regenerated since martial law.)

Your body can regenerate itself as long as you are living and breathing. You might be interested to know that we are genetically designed to live to 150 years old! But it’s only because of these (bad) habits that we (shorten our lifespan).

(NGSB representative: That’s what the priest told me as well.)

Remember that the basic process of aging is inflammation. Our body becomes chronically inflamed because of the food that we eat and the things that we do to our body, such as lack of exercise. So anything we do that can decrease inflammation in the body can actually delay aging. For example, vitamin D3 is a very potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory that can be found naturally in green, leafy vegetables and shellfish. Vitamin E helps our body regenerate. It can be found in vegetable oils like corn and olive oil.

So you just pour it all over the parts that need regeneration?

You have to ingest it. Although I have patients who take a bath in olive oil.

Nice, so it helps them regenerate and lubricate as well. Doc, this question does not come from me, it comes from my imaginary fan club: Are there foods that will help improve libido?

There are known and proven supplements that increase libido — onions, garlic, oysters.

I thought oysters were just believed to increase libido because of their, ahem, geometry.

It really has phyto-hormones or natural hormones, which are also present in onion and garlic.

Just a reminder to the NGSBs: the proper way to use onions, garlic and, most especially, oysters for libidinous purposes is to ingest them.

Did you know that the decline in hormones in men (andropause) happens earlier than the decline in hormones in women? Among women, you expect menopause to occur around 55 to 65. In men, testosterone starts declining from around 30 to 35.

Yaya, here is a snorkel. I want a truckload of oysters by tomorrow morning.

Regular exercise is known to increase hormonal levels. So if you’re really low on hormones, we can provide hormone supplements.

I see, so watching porn might not be enough.

(DOM representative: Doc, is there any food that can increase my staying power? I can’t keep on using the defibrillator.)

Are there any side effects from being a vegetarian aside from your bowels being turned into a wind chime from eating a sackful of beans?

If your body is bean-intolerant, then you are creating more harm than good for your body. And if you’re male, you don’t want to eat a lot of soybean because it’s a phyto-estrogen.

No wonder I wear a 36B nowadays.

Or “it” will shrink.

Shrink!? Yaya, forget about the oysters. Get the ruler, pronto!

It has to do with the balance of estrogen to testosterone, which is usually higher with females or males (as the case may be). When you age, you’ll notice that your testicles shrink because your testosterone production decreases.

Yaya, please get a protractor as well.

That’s because your body is telling itself that there is no more need for that (level of) testosterone since you’re past your reproductive life period.

So I just need to tell my wife that we need to keep on reproducing to reverse our aging process. Got it.

(RJ’s wife: Yes, you are going to get it.)

What you need to know is that people age because our hormones decline, not the other way around. Hormones are nature’s timing mechanism: when you reach a certain age, it’s like nature is telling you “Tama na! Pwede ka nang mamatay.” That’s why your hormones dwindle. It’s a nature thing.

(DOM representative: It’s a good thing I’m using unnatural means to stay alive. Yaya nurse, slaughter another virgin cow for me.)

Doc, are there foods that Filipinos are generally intolerant to, like say, congressional pork?

Ever since we conducted the Food Intolerance Test, we’ve noticed that close to 60 percent of Filipinos are intolerant to rice.


The degree of intolerance differs from person to person. The most common reaction is bloatedness. They also get rhiunitis, migraine, skin problems and rashes that dermatologists can’t cure. Once they do the elimination diet (based on the results of the test), one of the most noticeable changes is that their weight improves. For those who are trying to lose weight, they lose weight even if they don’t limit the food they eat or the calories they ingest.

But what do people replace rice with? Popcorn?

You have to replace rice with the same nutrient content of rice. We usually shift them to complex starches like potatoes or sweet potato. Okay, enough delaying tactics, we need to extract 1.5cc of your blood.

1.5cc!? What’s that equivalent to, a bottle of Coke Litro!? What body part will they be getting it from? The ones that are swollen and bloated!?

They will get it from your finger.

Can’t you extract my blood from a more pleasurable body part?

From the sample, they will identify specific immunoglobins of specific food antigens. White blood cells are like your body’s soldiers while immunoglobins are the soldier’s bullets. Antibodies are the ones that identify the offending substance. For example, if you’re intolerant to rice, the antigen in rice is identified by your specific immunoglobins against rice.

Yes, Doc, please keep on talking to me so I will not notice as they pierce my virgin finger to extract blood. Aguy! Tapos na?

Yes, they’re bleeding you already.

Aguy! Aguy! Why is he squeezing my finger!?

He’s pressing the finger to express the blood.I would like to express something as well that cannot be printed in a newspaper of national circulation. Yaya! Forget about that protractor and hold my other hand, huhuhuhuhu!

We’ll find out the results of your test in seven to 10 days.

While waiting for results, I think I’ll lay off the tofu for a while. Hopefully, I’ll be down to training bra when I see you again.

Source :Bean There, Done That