A pill that will enable you to eat gluten? Reality or myth?
A new supplement has come onto the market that claims to help break down gluten. The pill, called Gluten Digest, claims to contain substances called proteases that help break down the proteins in gluten and milk.
But how likely is it that this pill contains something that will help celiacs to eat gluten?
As soon as you are diagnosed celiac you are told you will never be able to eat gluten-containing foods again. So, is one little pill going to change all that, or is it just a pipe dream?
Eating gluten-containing foods severely damages the intestines of those who are celiac or gluten sensitive. Can you really expect to just buy a supplement that will enable you to eat gluten again? And – if this pill really worked for CD – wouldn’t it be splashed all over the newspapers?
The clue is in their statement that this product “Helps digest gluten”. Either it does or it doesn’t – in this case I think we can take it that the product does not break down sufficient gluten so that it is safe for celiacs to ingest.
But, what do the experts say?
According to Dr. Stefano Guandalini, at University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, “The amount of gluten that these would be able to digest is ridiculously low. For people with celiac disease, these are something to completely avoid.”
In reality, the only likely use for a product such as this would be if gluten were ingested accidentally – orally, or in the form of make-up or toiletries.
So, these tablets may be able to break down small amounts of gluten, but for celiacs to take these products and expect them to substitute for a gluten-free diet would be extremely dangerous.
As yet, there is no drug or supplement on the market which enables celiacs to safely eat foods or use products which contain gluten.
So pills like these are not a cure for CD, neither are they a substitute for a gluten-free diet. I would strongly suggest consulting your doctor before taking this or any other products which claim to aid gluten digestion.
Nothing in this article should be construed as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet or taking supplements.
For current research on this topic, check out Promising Research in Enzyme Treatment