Scientists have discovered that an enzyme ingested as a tablet could alleviate the effects of devouring gluten for those that are intolerant.
The research was carried out by scientists from the School of Medical Sciences at University of Örebro, Sweden. They analyzed the effect an enzyme called aspergillus niger-derived prolyl endoprotease( AN-PEP) has on gluten. The research was presented as part of Digestive Disease Week in Chicago, the world’s largest meeting of gastrointestinal experts.
Previous surveys demonstrate that AN-PEP can break gluten down but only when ingested in liquid kind via a feeding tube. This analysis is the first to depict the same effects with a normal meal.
In the study, 18 gluten-sensitive patients were given either a high dosage of AN-PEP, a low-pitched dosage, or a placebo. They then ate porridge that contained disintegrated wheat cookies with gluten in.
They found that the gluten was broken down by up to about 85 percentage in both the high and low dosage groups before it reached the small intestine or duodenum. This is where symptoms like seeming bloated or queasy often become apparent.
“This substance allows gluten-sensitive patients to feel safer, for example, when they are out with friends at a restaurant and can’t be sure whether something is 100% gluten-free, ” announced Dr. Julia König, the lead writer of the study.
“Since even small amounts of gluten can impact gluten-sensitive patients, this supplement can play a significant role in addressing the residual gluten that is frequently the cause of uncomfortable symptoms.”
The writers stress that this tablet is merely suitable for people who are sensitive to gluten, and not those with celiac where the symptomsand the consequences of eating gluten are much more severe.
We should also point out that the sample size of such study was fairly small, and more research will likely be needed. The amount of gluten ingested during the trials was fairly small, therefore people shouldn’t be eating a complete gluten-full meal anytime soon.
“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,” said König.
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