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"Gluten-Destroying" Pill is Not for Celiacs
A new "gluten-destroying" supplement is not intended for people with celiac disease, and it's important that they stay gluten-free.
Image: CC--mim gf
Celiac.com 02/07/2017 - There's been a great deal of excitement, and plenty of confusion, among celiac sufferers about a drug that breaks down gluten into harmless smaller molecules. The good news is that the drug, GluteGuard, has shown some early promise in treating mild gluten intolerance randomized human trials. The drug is also currently available in UK and Australia, as a "complementary medicine," a category does not require any proof that it actually works.
The bad news is that the drug is not designed for people with celiac disease, and even the company that makes the drug has concerns about exaggerated reports of how widely it can be used.
The maker, Glutagen, claims only that it can ease the discomfort of those with milder reactions to the gluten. So, basically, if you don't have celiac disease, but feel intestinal discomfort after eating gluten, then this product might be helpful for you. That's not much of a promise, and certainly not one that would work for people with celiac disease or other medical sensitivities to gluten.
The company is doing further studies, but as yet, there is no evidence to suggest it might provide anything more than a tiny hedge against accidental gluten ingestion for people without celiac disease.
GluteGuard is based on the papaya enzyme, caricain, which not only reduces gluten to smaller molecules, but further breaks down those products that negatively impact individuals affected by gluten.
The company recently sought to clarify confusion among people with celiac disease by issuing a statement that reads in part: "The manufacturer of GluteGuard, Glutagen, advises the supplement is not a treatment or cure for coeliac disease and it is essential that people with coeliac disease maintain a strict gluten free diet."
Bottom line is that if you have celiac disease, you must maintain a strict gluten-fee diet, and never willingly eat gluten, no matter what kind of supplements you take.
Celiac.com will be among the first to announce any kind of cure or change to celiac disease treatment that might change that. Until then, stay tuned, and stay informed.
Read an important notice regarding GluteGuard for people with celiac disease: Celiac.org.au
Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams