June 8, 2015

Gluten-destroying EnzymeI am excited to discuss the release of a product that has just been released by Metagenics. It is a gluten-digesting enzyme that can be taken by mouth. This enzyme is produced by a fungus named Aspergillus that is growing on the white onion (see picture). This fungus naturally produces an enzyme that has been discovered to be active in acidic conditions (your stomach), and it is not broken down by the enzyme pepsin which is naturally produced by your stomach cells. This is a key consideration since multiple other gluten-digesting enzymes have been discovered. However, they are usually destroyed by acid or your naturally-produced enzyme pepsin. Another problem is many other gluten-digesting enzymes do not work until they get to the small intestine or colon. By then, the gluten molecules have already exerted their problematic effects. It is important to digest the gluten in the stomach before entering the small intestine.

Now, you can use this Gluten-digesting enzyme as a medical supplement to your already reduced gluten diet. Unfortunately, it does not replace a gluten-free diet as it is not possible for this enzyme to digest a large gluten load. At this time, I have been told that it can digest roughly 0.5mg of gluten. The problem is that most non-gluten-free foods contain much more than 0.5mg of gluten. You may be shocked to learn that:

  • one slice of whole wheat bread contains nearly 5 grams of gluten,
  • one serving of pasta contains over 6 grams of gluten.

This means that if you have Celiac’s Disase, are sensitive to gluten, or have been advised by your healthcare provider to follow a gluten-free diet, then this enzyme will not save you from avoiding gluten. It is best used on a gluten-free diet and supplemented when gluten is “sneaking” into your foods. This enzyme is best used for several instances:

  • Eating foods prepared anywhere besides your own home
  • When drinking Beer, Lagers, Ales, Malt beverages, and Malt vinegars.
  • Eating Gluten “contaminated” products (supplements, prescriptions, artisan corn-based products)
  • Eating Low gluten products like salad dressings and soups
  • Cross-Contaminated foods (Oats grown next to wheat, gluten-free pizza in same area as wheat-based doughs, toasters used for both wheat and gluten-free products).

Of course, we do not encourage drinking alcohol because alcohol worsens leaky gut. However, if you are going to drink alcohol on a gluten-free diet, then you need to know that the distillation process removes gluten. Beer, Lagers, Ales, Malt beverages, and Malt vinegars are not distilled and are produced from gluten-containing grains, so they typically contain gluten although the particular amount is still unclear.

Eating out is always risky since you do not know how foods were prepared. Even if a food is typically gluten-free, it may be prepared with the same utensils or on the same countertop as gluten-products.   Also, many restaurants contaminate gluten-free foods with gluten! For example, many restaurants put pancake batter in their scrambled eggs. If you are eating out, it is best to take the enzyme in order to reduce the likelihood of getting a reaction.

You can purchase this product at our office, or you can get it delivered to your door through Metagenics’ Online Store: SpectraZyme Gluten Digest.

Our Metagenics practitioner code is: AFMA.