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Current Celiac Enzyme Supplements Fail to Fully Break Down Gluten

Celiac.com 10/02/2015 - Many people with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance take digestive enzymes, hoping for some protection against accidental gluten-contamination.

Photo: CC--SuperfantasticPost-proline cutting enzymes have been shown to effectively degrade the immunogenic gluten peptides and have been proposed as oral supplements. Several existing digestive enzyme supplements also claim to aid in gluten degradation.

However, not all gluten proteins are the same. The gluten proteins that are particularly active in triggering an adverse immune reaction in celiac disease are known as immunogenic 33-mer from α-gliadin and a 26-mer from γ-gliadin.

So, how effective are currently available digestive enzyme supplements ineffective in breaking down these specific gliadins that triggers immune reactions in people with celiac disease? A team of researchers recently set out to determine the effectiveness of such existing enzyme supplements in comparison with a well characterized post-proline cutting enzyme, Prolyl EndoPeptidase from Aspergillus niger (AN-PEP).

The research team included G.Janssen, C. Christis, Y. Kooy-Winkelaar, L. Edens, D. Smith, P. van Veelen, and F. Koning. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion at Leiden University Medical Centre in Leiden, The Netherlands, DSM Food Specialties, Delft, The Netherlands, and DSM Food Specialties in South Bend, Indiana, USA.

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For their study, the team subjected each of the five commercially available digestive enzyme supplements along with purified digestive enzymes to 1) enzyme assays and 2) mass spectrometric identification. Gluten epitope degradation was monitored by 1) R5 ELISA, 2) mass spectrometric analysis of the degradation products and 3) T cell proliferation assays.

Their findings show that, due to the high proline content of gluten molecules, gastrointestinal proteases are unable to fully degrade them leaving large proline-rich gluten fragments intact, including an immunogenic 33-mer from α-gliadin and a 26-mer from γ-gliadin.

Basically, none of the currently available digestive enzyme supplements are effective in degrading immunogenic gluten epitopes. This means that these enzymes are not likely to be helpful to people with celiac disease.

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4 Responses:

 
Coloradosue
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said this on
12 Oct 2015 6:52:01 PM PDT
Just threw my bottle of enzymes away. Sigh.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
13 Oct 2015 9:39:39 AM PDT
I don't think you need to do that, as they do help break things down, but apparently don't do the job fully.

 
Terry Lynch
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said this on
13 Oct 2015 1:13:24 AM PDT
From your reference article:
"Finally, we have investigated a novel type of prolyl endoprotease from the food grade fungus Aspergillus niger (AN-PEP) [6,10,11]. AN-PEP efficiently degrades gluten under the conditions mimicking the gastrointestinal tract [11] and was found to be safe both in animal studies and in humans [10,12]. Thus in vitro and in vivo experiments indicate that enzymes can be identified that degrade gluten proteins efficiently"
So the glut&go proylyl endopetidase ANPEP by Bricker Labs works and withstands low PH degration in the stomach. I am going to be using this supplement regularly as my intestinal street sweeper of incidental gliadin intake while continuing the gluten free diet. A most valuable of the year supplement for Celiac persons everywhere in my opinion and study should use this tool to keep gliaden free.

 
Jefferson
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said this on
15 Oct 2015 1:37:13 PM PDT
AN-PEP has only been shown to fully break down gluten in healthy subjects, not in people with celiac disease. Is it better than nothing? Probably, but don't count on it to do the job fully. The maker is working to get AN-PEP to work effectively for celiac patients, but tests don't show success on that yet.




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I am very interested in this too. My daughter tested negative for celiac, but has terrible primarily neurological symptoms. Because she tested positive for SIBO at the time and was having some GI symptoms, I was told it was just a Fodmap issue. I knew better and we have been gluten free for 2 years. Fast forward to this February. She had a SIBO recurrence that I treated at home with diet and herbal antibiotics because I couldn't get the insurance referral. She was doing great. Then stupid me brought in gluten containing chick feed for the new baby chicks we got. Feed dust everywhere. Total mess. Really, no GI symptoms (she was SIBO free by then)...but the neurological symptoms! my daughter couldn't walk for three days. Burning down one leg, nerve pain in the foot. Also heaviness of limbs, headache and fatigue. Better after three days. But unfortunately she had a TINY gluten exposure at that three day mark and had another severe reaction: loss of balance, loss of feeling in her back and arms, couldn't see for a few seconds, and three days of hand numbness, fatigue, concentration problems. Well, I actually contacted Dr. Hadjivassilou by email and he confirmed that the symptoms are consistent with gluten ataxia but any testing would require a gluten challenge. Even with these exposures, antibodies would not be high enough. His suggestion was maintain vigilance gluten free. I just saw my daughter's GI at U of C and she really only recognizes celiac disease and neurological complications of that. But my impression is that gluten ataxia is another branch in the autoimmune side of things (with celiac and DH being the other two). At this point, I know a diagnosis is important. But I don't know how to get there. We homeschool right now so I can give her time to heal when she is accidentally glutened, I can keep my home safe for her (ugh, that I didn't think of the chicken feed!) But at some point, she is going to be in college, needing to take exams, and totally incapacitated because of an exposure. And doctors state side that are worth seeing? Who is looking at gluten ataxia in the US?

Caro..............monitoring only the TSH to gauge thyroid function is what endo's do who don' t do a good job of managing thyroid disease. They should do the full panel and check the actual thyroid hormone numbers.........T3 and T4. The importance of the TSH comes second to hormone levels. In order to track how severely the thyroid is under attack, you need to track antibody levels.......not the TSH. I did not stay with endocrinologists because I found they did not do a very good job and found much greater help and results with a functional medicine MD. You should not have a goiter if your thyroid is functioning well and your TSH is "normal". Maybe they should do a full panel? Going gluten free can have a profound affect for the better on thyroid function and that is something that is becoming more and more accepted today. Ask most people with Celiac and thyroid disease and they will tell you that. My thyroid never functioned well or was under control under after I discovered I had Celiac and went gluten free. It was the only way I got my antibody numbers back down close to normal and they were around 1200 when it was diagnosed with Celiac. I was diagnosed with Hashi's long before the Celiac diagnosis. I am not sure Vitamin D has anything to do with thyroid antibodies but who knows? Maybe it does have an affect for the better. It is really hard to get Vitmain D levels up, depending on where you live. Mine are going up, slowly, even after 12 years gluten-free but I live in the Northeast in the US and we don't have sun levels like they do in the South. I take 5,000 IU daily and that is a safe level to take, believe it or not. I get no sun on my job so the large dose it is! Having Celiac Disease should not stop you from being able to travel, especially S. America. I travel, although I do agree that some countries might be very difficult to be gluten free in. You can be a foodie and travel with Celiac so no worries on that front. You may not be able to sample from someone else's plate, unless they are eating gluten-free too but I have had awesome experiences with food when traveling so you can too!

I don't know what you drank or where.... so here are a few thoughts. - sure, a dive bar might have dirty glasses and serve a cocktail in a beer glass? But a nice reminder place, with a dishwasher, should be fine. If it's a sketchy place, Stick to wine, then it's served in wine glasses that aren't used for beer or bottled ciders in the bottle. - ciders on tap might, just a slight chance, have an issue. Because of beer on tap, mixed up lines, etc. - you may have a problem with alcohol - you may have issues with The high sugar content of the drink. I know I have similar issues if I drink serveral ciders of extra sugary brands - are you positive it was a gluten-free drink? Not this " redds Apple" pretending to be a cider - it's beer with apple flavor. Or one of those " gluten removed " beers?

Hi Stephanie, I'm also from the UK, I've found this site more helpful than anything we have! As already mentioned above, in my experience it could depend on what and where you were drinking. Gluten free food and drink isn't always (not usually) 100% gluten free as you may know, maybe you have become more sensitive to even a trace of gluten that is probably in gluten free food/drink. Is it possible you have a problem with corn, particularly high fructose corn syrup that is in a lot of alcoholic drinks? This was a big problem for me and the only alcoholic drinks I can tolerate are William Chase vodka and gin. I contacted the company last year and all their drinks are 100% gluten and corn free, made the old fashioned way with no additives, so maybe try their products if you like the occasional drink and see how you get on. If you drink out, not many pubs sell their products but I know Wetherspoons do and smaller wine bars may too. l was never a spirit drinker but I must say their products are absolutely lovely! Very easy on a compromised gut too considering it's alcohol. I second the suggestion on seeing a natural health practitioner. I've recently started seeing a medical herbalist, as I've got nowhere with my now many food intolerances since going gluten free last year and I've noticed a difference in my health already.

Sorry for the very late reply and thanks for the replies, I didn't get a notification of any. In case anyone else comes across this and has been wondering the same as I was, I did try a vegetable broth and I did react to it in the same way as if I'd eaten the vegetables. As for the candida, I've been using coconut oil and am seeing a medical herbalist for this and leaky gut. It's only been a few weeks but I've noticed an improvement all round.