If you have a long-term gluten intolerance, or have developed one as an adult, it may be due to an enzyme deficiency. People with a gluten intolerance can have digestive symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, as well as other symptoms like depression, trouble focusing, headaches, bone or joint pain, and exhaustion. If you have a gluten intolerance, read this before heading out for that next big meal.Our bodies naturally produce both digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes. Every organ, every tissue, and each one of the 100 trillion cells in our bodies depend upon enzymes. Digestive enzymes turn the food we eat into energy, allowing foods to be absorbed into the blood stream and letting the waste be discarded. So, how do digestive enzymes factor into gluten intolerance, and is there anything that can be done to reduce the symptoms? We asked expert Amy Pereira of Enzymedica to explain, and here is what she said:
Specific digestive difficulties, like food intolerances, can be a challenging part of everyday life – but they don’t have to be, thanks to enzyme supplements! Many of you may have heard of, or even use, supplements for digestive wellbeing, but did you know that enzymes may also help those of you with food intolerances?
Before going on, let’s first take a look at what enzymes and food intolerances actually are, and how they affect the body.
Digestive enzymes are immensely important, microscopic proteins that our bodies make to allow us to breakdown our meals and convert foods into energy. Food enzymes are found in raw foods, which is why you may have heard talk of incorporating more of them into your diet. Eating raw foods can reduce stress to the digestive organs or help to conserve precious ‘enzyme energy’. Our bodies also make these enzymes, though our bodies may decline them as the decades unfold.
Enzyme deficiencies can lead to poor digestion which, in turn, can result in occasional yet common digestive complaints, such as gas, bloating, indigestion and irregularity. When we do not produce a sufficient amount of an enzyme that is necessary to digest a specific food or food group, such as dairy or gluten-rich grains, the digestive discomfort that results is often known as a food intolerance because we do not produce enough of the enzyme to properly digest and ‘tolerate’ it well. Food intolerances involve digestive system responses and are generally more common than true food allergies (which involve immune system response and antibody production).
Fortunately, digestive enzyme supplements can be used for their role in helping to support more complete digestion of certain foods, like gluten-containing grains. Enzymes may be used at mealtime to support healthy digestion and utilization of foods and the nutrients within.
For instance, di-peptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-4 for short) is an enzyme that is recognized for its ability to assist in the breakdown of specific protein/peptide bonds that make up gluten. If you have difficulty digesting wheat protein then DPP-4 may be your ticket to greater flexibility around mealtime and enhanced digestion of foods containing gluten. Those with gluten intolerance, who still ingest gluten, may serve their body by making wise choices, rotating foods, and using DPP-4 to help support digestion. Individuals with gluten intolerance who prefer to avoid gluten, as well as those with Celiac who may not ever stray from a gluten-free diet, can still use this enzyme when dining out to support the body in addressing any accidentally-ingested gluten.
Gluten Ease and Gluten Ease Extra Strength digestive enzyme supplements by Enzymedica (affiliate) contain 1,000 units of DPP-4 enzyme activity to aid in the digestion of foods containing gluten. They are both free of GMO’s, egg, corn, dairy, rice, soy, potato, gluten, wheat, casein, yeast, nuts, artificial colors, fillers, preservatives, and sugar. They are also vegan and kosher.
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