Jump to content
  • Sign Up
  • Join Our Community!

    Get help in our celiac / gluten-free forum.

  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    A Sweet Pill For Celiacs to Swallow? Progress on Enzyme Therapy for Celiac Disease

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 02/07/2008 - Are we close to finding a way for people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease to safely break down and properly digest wheat gluten and protein? An article recently published in the medical journal Gut describes the results of laboratory experiments in which doctors duplicated a human digestive tract and isolated an enzyme that degrades wheat gluten and protein. Moreover, the results show that the enzyme also eliminated the toxic response to the wheat gluten and protein common in folks with gluten intolerance and celiac disease.

    According to the researchers, if a full-scale trial confirms the results, people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease might be able to safely stray from their strict gluten-free diets on occasion.

    The enzyme is prolyl endoprotease isolated from Aspergillus niger and shows the power to quickly and effectively break down gluten peptides and proteins in a simulated human digestive tract. The enzyme has a similar pH level to that of the stomach, and remains intact in the stomach’s strongly acidic conditions.

    The research team, led by Dr. C. Mitea from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands tested the enzyme in a controlled system built to function in way that is nearly identical with the human gastrointestinal tract.

    According to the report, the enzyme increased the digestion speed of the glutenins and gliadins that are found in white bread, and which people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease cannot properly break down. After 90 minutes, the gluten proteins treated with the enzyme were undetectable, whereas those glutens not treated with the enzyme, remained in the stomach for at least two hours.

    The research team obtained similar results when they repeated the test on a fast food meal rather than just white bread alone, and showed that the enzyme treated food samples also eliminated adverse T-cell stimulatory activity that occurred in untreated samples. The tests showed that, in the same amount of time that food normally remains in the stomach, the enzyme brought about the total elimination of T-cell stimulatory peptides of gliadins and glutenins.

    From the test results, the research team concluded that the enzyme is a solid choice for clinical trials to determine if it can eliminate 100% of gluten toxicity. They also noted that the enzyme is readily available in industrial quantities, and thus easy to tailor into a suitable treatment should trials prove fruitful.

    Gut, Jan 2008; 57: 25 - 32.

    Editor's Note: This is not a therapy that is designed to allow celiacs to eat gluten on a daily basis. At best it will allow them to not worry about cross-contamination when eating out.


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    As stated, there are enzymes already on the market for this. I have been using them successfully for years to prevent reactions from accidental ingestion. This and many other so called 'medical research' is merely an attempt by people to get rich off of uninformed Celiacs. When I first started taking my enzymes, I wanted to pass the word on, so I posted messages on forums, newsgroups, etc. However, since I was not a 'medical professional' I was blasted as being irresponsible. So now, I just live happy and let everyone else wait for a doctor to tell them to do the same thing I've been doing for years!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I am so grateful from the bottom of my heart to those researchers who are trying their very best to cure this disease. God really does answer prayers, and please keep us updated!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    FYI. The clinical trial is supposed to be completed according to clinicaltrials.gov (search for NCT00810654). Hopefully the results will be good. The study was updated on 7/14/2010

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Good article but it does not inform us that a celiac can take a chance to eat a gluten contaminated meal, however I am very grateful for your efforts in focusing your attention to this important matter.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    This is great news as I have been recently diagnosed as well. I would love to know the results and see if this pill would be safe to use proven overtime without any side effects.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I am very hopeful that this pill will hit the prescription level of the market place. I agree that it needs to be by script so those that "think" they have it cannot abuse it. An assist on med costs would defray some costs. I do believe it to be more of an "after the incident pill" Such as the morning after pill does for birth control. One would still have to monitor their diet, etc--however this emergency pill would save many from havoc! My Dad had severe celiac. I myself react to the gluten by getting terrible migraines. One endocrinologist I saw said the symptoms are not just diarrhea, tummy problems, etc--but are vast and variable. It still goes back to monitoring your life, diet, etc.

    Hope this pill will alleviate some troubles for some, but still see it as an emergency type pill for ingesting foods you know you should not have! We still need to monitor our lives and behave!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

×
×
  • Create New...