History of the Dr. Carroll
Food Intolerance Evaluation Method
Dr. Otis G. Carroll is
considered one of the most significant naturopathic
physicians of the twentieth century. He practiced from 1917
- 1962, in Spokane, Washington. His clinic was
the most famous west of the Mississippi, and he
was the primary teacher of those who taught such
renowned physicians as Dr. Bastyr, Dr. Dick, and
others. His clinic was a “Mecca” of healing, drawing
people from all over the world. His work was based
upon the European nature-cure approach, which favored
a simple vegetarian diet, hydrotherapy, homeopathy,
and herbal medicine.
With all of his success, he was unable to help
his chronically ill son. This stimulated his continual
search for better methods, which led him to the
work of Stanford’s Dr. Abrams, a professor of physiology.
Abrams had been experimenting with new techniques
in diagnosis. Dr. Carroll modified Abrams’ work
to devise a method of evaluating for foods which are
not well digested or metabolized in a particular
body, and thereby become a source of mal-digestion,
intestinal toxemia, dysbiosis, and chronic irritation
to body tissues. This naturopathic concept was
not a part of standard medicine. Through this work,
Carroll discovered that his son was intolerant
to fruit, which he had always thought was a perfect
and healing food for anyone. He removed fruit from
his son’s diet, and for the first time his son
In applying this method of evaluating to all of his
patients from this point on, he determined that
there were common categories of food intolerance.
Most people evaluated intolerant to one of the following
foods or food categories: milk, egg, meat, sugar,
fruit, grain and potato. In addition, he discovered
that most people had a problem with one or more
combinations of food, similarly not well tolerated.
The most common food combinations were these: grain
with potato, grain with milk, grain with fruit,
grain with sugar, and fruit with sugar. Other,
less common intolerances, were to soy, nuts, fish
Food intolerance evaluation as devised by Dr. Carroll
is similar, in some respects, to the bioelectronics
testing of Voll, from which many biofeedback mechanisms,
which are currently in use, have evolved. In the
analysis, the patient is evaluated using specific
electric circuit and exposed to various foods in
contact with a reagent. Fluctuations in the current
are detected and thereby, the outcome of the evaluation is
determined. (For further information, consult writings
by or about Abrams, such as “The Electronic Reaction
of Abrams”, which is available from Health Research
Press of Mekuloumne Hill, California. Copies of
Abram’s books and papers can be found at the Library
of the National College of Medicine in Portland,
INTOLERANCES ARE NOT ALLERGIES
Food Intolerance Evaluation is not an allergy test.
Currently, we are aware of several different kinds
of reactivity to foods. Intolerance involves digestion
and metabolism, and is an enzymatic phenomenon,
genetically determined. Food intolerance is the
inability of a particular body to easily digest
or metabolize a particular food. As a consequence,
mal-digestion occurs, and toxic metabolites are
formed in the intestine and absorbed into the blood.
These will affect or interfere with normal function
of the body, and become part of the basis of chronic
Allergy is an immune system reaction in which
food is perceived as if it were a foreign protein
and the body inappropriately reacts, creating symptoms.
Allergy is often the result of an underlying intolerance.
There are other, less well defined reactions, which
can occur to food in a body, which are generally
referred to as food sensitivities. There are currently
several methods of food allergy testing in use.
Information furnished by Dr. Jared Zeff, N.D., L.AC.