The Coca Pulse Test

In 1956, immunologist Dr. Arthur Coca authored a book describing the Coca Pulse Test. This extremely effective way to identify food sensitivities utilizes a very simple physical reaction: stress causes the pulse to increase. Foods to which you are sensitive will cause stress in your body, and your pulse will increase as a result. By revealing these foods in your diet, you can quickly eliminate problem foods and speed up healing.

Although Coca’s original test involved logging foods and testing multiple times a day over the course of a week, there is now an easier way to perform this – the lingual-neuro test (LNT), or LNT Coca Pulse Test. Simply put, the LNT process stimulates the communication pathways between your central nervous system and your tongue. The taste signals from your mouth will inform your brain, and if your brain recognizes the food as a known stressor, your body immediately communicates with a quickened pulse.

Performing the Test

Step 1. Make a plan.

First, make a list of the foods you want to test. You may already have an idea of what is causing your symptoms. We recommend starting with wheat/gluten, milk, eggs, soy, corn, nuts, and caffeine. If you’re unsure, check out this list of common food sensitivities, and start there.

Each food needs to be in its simplest form – preferably only one ingredient. For instance, if you’re testing corn, you’ll want to test fresh corn (frozen kernels work great), not fried corn chips. This list will help you source single-ingredient items to test.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT test any foods that you have previously identified as causing anaphylaxis.

In addition to testing single foods, we advise people to also test foods which they eat frequently, and foods which they crave – for instance, favorite morning cereals, candy, snacks, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and beverages. If you are testing a food that you consume often, you may wish to test multiple forms of preparation (such as raw, lightly cooked, roasted, etc) – all separately. Various cooking and processing affects the composition of foods differently. This changes the way our body digests and tolerates them.

Food Sensitivity Starter Testing List

Step 2. Eat “clean” for 12-24 hours.

Avoid ALL foods with added chemicals, preservatives, colors, gums, etc. for at least 12 hours prior to testing. The easiest way to do this is to avoid all foods with bar codes – eat fresh food only, preferably organic. While this step isn’t required, it will reduce the possibility of delayed stress reactions, and increase your testing accuracy. You may find it easiest to test first thing in the morning, after a full night’s rest, and before eating anything for breakfast. You also need to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to the test. Smoking in particular will affect your heart rate and skew results.

Step 3. Schedule a time.

You need to set aside a quiet hour – when you won’t be distracted, and you can really focus on testing. It’s important to relax and allow yourself to fully LISTEN to what your body is telling you. You don’t want to be rushed, upset, or otherwise stressed when performing the test, or you may not end up with accurate results. You’ll also need to make sure that you haven’t eaten or drunk anything (except water) for 1-2 hours prior to the test.

Step 4. Gather your testing tools.

Have all of the foods you wish to test ready to go, in bite-size amounts. You will also need: a piece of paper and a pen; a full glass of clean/filtered water; and something to dispose testing foods into, such as a bowl or small trash can.

Step 5. Sit down, take a deep breath, and relax.

Rest for a few minutes to allow your pulse rate to drop.

Step 6. Establish your baseline pulse.

Find your pulse by placing two fingers on the inside of your wrist (radial artery) or on your neck (carotid artery). Use the secondhand of a watch or digital clock to count the beats for one full minute. It’s important to do a FULL minute pulse – don’t take a partial minute and then multiply (this may cause inaccurate results). Write down your result.

Step 7. Test your food.

Place a small piece of food on your tongue. Chew it slightly, then wait 30 seconds (don’t swallow). Test your pulse again for one full minute. Dispose of the food by spitting it out – do not swallow it. Write down the name of the tested food, and your pulse result. Rinse your mouth well.

Step 8. Repeat with remaining foods.

Test the remaining foods, one at a time, allowing a few minutes in between each to allow your pulse to return to your normal baseline.

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How To Score Results

When you have completed your testing, review the scores for each food.

  • If your pulse raised 6 points or higher, then the food is a likely sensitivity or allergy.
  • If your pulse raised lower than 6 points, or did not raise at all, then you likely do NOT have a sensitivity or allergy to that food.

What Now?

Once you’ve identified your problem foods, the next step is to perform an elimination challenge. This will help confirm your pulse test results, as well as reduce or eliminate your symptoms.

Learn about the Elimination Challenge
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