Enzyme shows promise for gluten sensitivity

New research into an enzyme that digests gluten was presented at the Digestive Disease Week 2017 meeting. The study, based in Sweden, found that the enzyme lowered gluten levels in the stomachs of patients with gluten sensitivity by 85% compared to those who took a placebo, according to the Telegraph. However, the study’s author, Dr. Julia Konig, warns that the enzyme is more useful in treating symptoms of an accidental gluten exposure, and wouldn’t allow a gluten sensitive person to eat “pizza or pasta”. She also warns that celiac patients should continue strictly avoiding gluten. At best, it sounds like the enzyme might be handy to take before eating at a restaurant as a little extra insurance against gluten exposure via a dirty fryer.

A new study shows promise for an enzymatic treatment for gluten sensitivity. Will I be able to eat pizza and sandwiches again? Doesn't sound like it...

photo credit: BrownGuacamole Cam Huong – Lunch via photopin (license)

The enzyme, called Tolerase G, can only be found in the United States. It’s sold under two brand names, GlutnGo™ from Bricker Labs and SpectraZyme® from Metagenics®. I only found GlutnGo on Amazon; it only has a handful of reviews and they are pretty mixed.

If this enzyme sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s been around a while. Celiac.com published an earlier story about the same enzyme when it was first tested in healthy individuals.

This is different from other gluten-reducing enzymes on the market. For example, Gluten Cutter uses something else. I’d try to explain it, but I’m puzzled by the statement on their website:

Only Gluten Cutter, contains the GCX50™ Gluten Blend which helps digest Lactose found in most Dairy Products. Now you can enjoy the dairy foods you love, without the worry of digestive upset!

This makes it sound like it’s a lactose treatment, not a gluten enzyme. I poked around on the website a bit more and it seems their enzyme claims to treat gluten, lactose and “other hard-to-digest foods.” When I looked at Gluten Cutter on Amazon, I was surprised to see that it has been reviewed pretty positively.

If I could suddenly eat pizza and banh mi again, I would probably give one of these a go. However, it sounds like that much gluten is still way too much for any enzyme to handle.

Have you tried any of the gluten-reducing enzymes on the market? How did they work for you? Tell me in the comments!


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