Those Celebrity-Endorsed At-Home Food Intolerance Tests Are Complete Bogus; Here’s Why

Celebrities keep endorsing Pinnertest, which is supposed to identify food intolerances, but scientists aren’t buying it

We knew they sounded too good to be true.

Food intolerances (even fake ones) are everywhere nowadays, but to determine if your gut problems have anything to do with a gluten or dairy allergy, it’s best to stay away from those miraculous home tests. We’ve already warned you that food intolerance tests that you administer yourself without the aid of a doctor are a total joke, but now science backs this up.

Pinnertest claims to be able to administer an at-home blood test that can help you figure out which foods are making you feel tired, sick, and bloated, and it’s very popular with celebrities. In sponsored Instagram posts, celebs like Mario Lopez, Lindsay Lohan (who has since deleted her post), and Real Housewives of New York City star Ramona Singer have touted the test’s benefits. But the $490 blood test is not all it’s cracked up to be, according to scientists, who claim that being able to identify up to 200 food intolerances from a single at-home blood test makes no sense.

“I don’t know on which basis these people make the claim that they have something to identify people with gluten intolerance,” Alessio Fasano, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Harvard Medical School, told BuzzFeed. “There's nothing concluded so far.”

The company claims that in the tests, they look for heightened levels of antibodies associated with consumption of certain foods. According to the company, the results can even indicate whether a food intolerance is temporary or permanent.

A similar article from the Chicago Tribune in 2012 also cast doubts on the accuracy of food intolerance blood tests.

“There is no IgG (antibody) testing of value,” said Robert Wood, a professor of pediatrics and chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. "All of us make IgG to the foods we eat, and they are not related to disease, including food intolerance."

Celebrities of late have been accused of (and even sued for) dubious health claims like skinny tea, abdomen wraps, eating clay and other such questionable pseudo-science posted all over their Instagram accounts. Gwyneth Paltrow, Shailene Woodley, and Jessica Alba have all faced criticism both in and out of the courtroom for their endorsements of health practices that just are not backed up by science.


If you’re still curious about your possible food intolerances but don’t want to splurge on a blood test of dubious accuracy, check out 11 Signs That You’re Actually Gluten-Intolerant.