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Does digestive enzyme work for gluten?  See what science says

Does digestive enzyme work for gluten? See what science says

According to a study published in 2020, about two-thirds of people with celiac disease are exposed to gluten contamination even when they follow balanced diets without the presence of the protein. Given this large number, having a backup plan in the event of accidental exposure is essential to maintaining the health and well-being of these individuals – and this is where Gluten digestive enzyme.

Find out if your gluten digestive enzyme really works

Photo: Freepik/Disclosure/Boa Forma

Currently, a balanced, gluten-free diet is still the only way to treat celiac disease — a condition that affects 1% of the world's population, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and about 2 million people in Brazil.

The good news for this group is that a number of biopharmaceutical companies around the world have dedicated themselves to research to find nutritional supplements that can help those who cannot digest gluten or who choose to avoid it. Many products on the market claim to be digestive enzymes that break down gluten. However, on the other hand, there is still no solid research to support them.

How does the gluten digestive enzyme work?

Currently, there is not much evidence that enzyme supplements are effective, as the research is still very new. However, it has been shown that those being studied may work through complex methods that prevent the breakdown and absorption of gluten in your body, through the following actions:


  • Modifying gluten in foods so that it does not cause relationships;
  • Gluten is kept inside the intestine, in what is called the intestinal lumen, so that it cannot be completely digested and circulated.
  • Preventing intestinal absorption of digested gluten or its components;
  • Make digested gluten less inflammatory.

Finally, is this type of supplement effective?

As gastroenterologist and nutritionist Fernando Valerio explained to Não Contém Glúten, this search for products that promise to digest gluten has been going on for years, with a series of versions arriving on the market.

However, the enzymes currently sold in Brazil are unable to digest gliadin, which is one of the parts that make up gluten and is indigestible by any human.

“The problem is that gliadin is exactly the toxic and immunogenic part (that generates inflammatory responses). In other words, the enzyme does not work exactly where it is needed, and the harmful part of gluten remains intact.”

Also according to the specialist, the enzyme on the market has no effect on individuals suffering from any gluten-related disorder, nor is it necessary for those who do not suffer from these problems, as studies cannot justify the exclusion of gluten from this group. From healthy people.

Despite this, research on the topic has been promising: a drug under study, called latiglutinase, has been shown to be able to digest gliadin and neutralize gluten toxicity. However, it should be noted that precisely because it is still in the evaluation stage, it is not possible to find it for sale.

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