The potato. A common intolerance identified with the Carroll method.

The potato. A common intolerance identified with the Carroll method.


The Carroll food intolerance evaluation is a traditional naturopathic method of assessing what foods are contributing to illness and toxemia of the body. This method was invented by Dr. O.G. Carroll, ND as a means to determine what foods are not well digested.

Poorly digested food is a problem because it undergoes putrefaction and fermentation in the intestines, releasing inflammatory products into the bloodstream that lead to disease and dysfunction in the body. This is known as "toxemia". This incomplete digestion is also associated with reduced nutrition, leading to inadequate cellular function, energy production, healing and toxin removal.

Inflammation is the body's response to an irritant, which may be toxemia, trauma, infection, etc. This is a signal that the body is attempting to heal itself. Short-term inflammation can be uncomfortable but is a normal part of the body's healing response. Long-term inflammation leads to chronic illness and degeneration of the body. This can be represented through arthritis, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, eczema, etc. Chronic illness is a sign that inflammation is not being controlled and is an ongoing, unchecked process. 

Through identifying intolerant foods that cannot be digested, the Carroll evaluation addresses and removes the cause of toxemia. When the cause of toxemia is removed, inflammation is reduced and the natural healing response of the body is restored. To aid in this restoration of health, naturopathic treatments including herbs, homeopathics, vitamins and minerals are used in a specific order to address the vitality of the body and regeneration of normal cellular function.

As illustrated by the elders in the naturopathic community:

The Carroll method is a method of discerning whether a particular food will contribute to the health of the body or whether it will disturb digestion, create a toxic burden and contribute to the development of inflammation and disease. This is why even a slight amount of the wrong food can cause a big problem. It literally poisons the digestive process so that nothing digests properly and all the problems follow.  We see that in most cases of chronic disease there is also digestive disturbance.  Really, this has preceded the disease process, reduced cellular nutrition and lowered vitality, and created a load of inflammatory toxins from which the disease process develops.

Many supplemental routines are undertaken in an attempt to make the digestive process work properly. However, no supplements can replicate properly functioning digestion nor can they detoxify, which can only reliably be done with the removal of intolerant foods.

According to information from the Windrose Naturopathic Clinic:

The food intolerance evaluation utilizes a person’s blood to determine enzyme compatibility with particular food groups or combinations of foods. This is very different than allergy testing, which determines antigen/antibody immune responses. Allergy test results can change rapidly from day to day in a patient and also very greatly from one lab analysis procedure to another. The Carroll Food Intolerance Method bypasses this vague allergy testing, getting to the root of the problem, which stems from improper digestion of a specific food type or combination of foods.

Do you have Carroll results and would like to know more about foods you can tolerate? Check here for specific foods and here for custom food lists.

More information on the Carroll evaluation can be found at the following links:

Application of the Carroll evaluation in practice - Naturopathic Doctor News and Review

Comparison of food sensitivity tests (Altern Med Rev 2004;9(2):198-207)

More information on Dr. O.G. Carroll can be found at Song of Health.