Something I generally don’t talk about is the fact that I’m gluten sensitive.
Most people never know I have a problem unless they’ve been to a restaurant with me and see how I scour the menu and ask the server lots of questions to determine whether the food is going to cause a reaction.
Even in small amounts, gluten can make me bloated, cause my stomach to cramp and even send me running for the nearest restroom. It can also ruin a great mood and peak my anxiety out of the blue.
It’s not surprising considering that research has shown gluten affects the brain causing neurological symptoms and contributing to major mental health issues like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.
When the colon is damaged by gluten, it makes sense that the important gut-brain connection would also suffer.
Now, thanks to a study by researchers at the School of Medical Sciences at University of Örebro, Sweden, there’s something those of us who are sensitive to gluten can do to help prevent the protein’s effects…
Breaking down gluten
Previous studies had shown that an enzyme known as aspergillus niger-derived prolyl endoprotease or AN-PEP could break down gluten when given through a feeding tube.
But who wants to be hooked up to a feeding tube?
So, the Swedish scientists decided to test it out in patients who simply swallowed it when they consumed gluten.
The patients either took a high dose or a low dose of the enzyme or a placebo with their gluten meal. The researchers then measured gluten levels in their stomach and small intestine over the course of three hours.
The study showed the enzyme was successful at breaking down gluten.
In fact, the researchers found that gluten levels in both dosage groups were 85 percent lower than in the placebo group. Once the food reached the duodenum, the results were even better; gluten levels reduced by 81 percent in the high dose group and 87 percent in the low dose group versus placebo.
“This substance allows gluten-sensitive patients to feel safer, for example, when they are out with friends at a restaurant and can’t be sure whether something is 100 percent gluten-free,” said Julia König, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and postdoctoral research fellow at the School of Medical Sciences at University of Örebro, Sweden. “Since even small amounts of gluten can affect gluten-sensitive patients, this supplement can play an important role in addressing the residual gluten that is often the cause of uncomfortable symptoms.”
This could be a game-changer for gluten-sensitive patients… allowing us to worry less and have small amounts of gluten without suffering!
More enzymatic help for gluten sensitivities
In addition to AN-PEP, there are other enzymes shown to help people sensitive to gluten. These include:
- Glutalytic® — A powerful proteolytic enzyme that breaks down 10mg of gluten per capsule before it enters your digestive tract. The average three-meal-a-day American diet contains 10-40 grams of gluten.
- Bromelain — A protein-digesting enzyme that helps to support digestive comfort after consumption of common food irritants like gluten. It’s also been shown to calm inflammation that can cause your stomach to cramp and ache.
- Papain — A protein-devouring enzyme, it helps digest gluten peptides to protect you from unwanted after-meal side effects like cramping, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas.
Gluten sensitivity has been tied to all sorts of annoying health issues, thanks to even the smallest amount in the food you eat. It’s time to take control back of your body and mind without worry!