Food Challenge

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-13 (EDT)

See Also Naturopathic Therapies
See Also Clinical Nutrition

A food challenge refers to administering a food to an individual to see if it elicits specific symptoms or reactions. A food challenge is typically done following the elimination of one or more foods.

The typical use of the food challenge involves the following steps:[1]

  1. Consume an oligoantigenic diet or elimination diet for a specific period of time (typically 7 to 14 days). The purpose of removing foods ahead of times is to reduce the amount of inflammation and reactivity of the body.
  2. Challenge the person by introducing one food at a time that is a suspected allergen or intolerance.
  3. Each new food that is to challenge must be preceded by at least three days of a person being symptom free, which may mean that a person returns to the oligoantigenic or elimination diet between food challenges for at least three days, especially if the previous food caused a reaction.
  4. If symptoms return when an individual is "challenged" with a food, this food is then confirmed as an allergen and eliminated from the diet.


  1. Barrie S, Bongiorno PB (2006) Pizzorno Textbook of Natural Medicine 3rd ed Chap 53 Food Reactions Elsevier.