Enzyme pill could help ease symptoms of gluten intolerance
Those who are gluten intolerance could find by taking an enzyme pill before meals, research has shown.
The simple pill could enable people to eat small quantities of gluten without experiencing bloating and diarrhoea. Leading scientists say the discovery could be a “game-changer” for the millions of people who cannot currently tolerate eating gluten rich food. This simple pill works primarily by breaking down the residue protein that the body of a gluten intolerant person cannot otherwise handle.
Dr Julia Konig, who is a lead researcher at the University of Orebro, said: “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.”
Eighteen volunteers ate porridge made with wheat biscuits containing gluten. They were split into three groups. One took a high dose of the enzyme pill, another a low dose of the enzyme AN-PEP, and the third group a placebo pill.
Both groups who took the enzymes were able to break down the gluten in the stomach and small intestines, so had no adverse symptoms from eating the gluten laden wheat porridge.
However, it is not being presented as a cure. It is being suggested that the pill be used by those who are gluten intolerant to help them in situations where the likelihood of accidentally eating gluten is high. For example, at a friend´s wedding or in a restaurant.
“We are not suggesting that AN-PEP will give these individuals the ability to eat pizza or pasta, sources of large amounts of gluten, but it might make them feel better if they mistakenly ingest gluten.”
She stressed that the enzyme had not been tested on coeliac disease patients. They can be seriously harmed by ingesting even a small amount of gluten. The enzyme pill may never help them, but it is thought that those who are only intolerant of gluten could find the new pill very helpful.