Enzyme Supplements to Help With Accidental Gluten Ingestion

May 19, 2010

Why, oh why, didn´t I take the blue pill ?Accidental gluten ingestion can happen to anyone. Gluten ‘slip-ups’ can happen to any gluten-free dieter.

Avoiding gluten is challenging. You may be travelling or eating in a new restaurant and accidentally consume gluten. (read my previous article on gluten free guide to new restaurants) So now what? Are you condemned to suffer for your mistake?

Thankfully there is a solution: digestive enzymes supplements. Digestive enzymes are proteins your body uses to break down food into nutrients and waste.

Studies have shown that using digestive enzyme supplements can significantly reduce symptoms in people with celiac disease who are exposed to gluten.

Gluten intolerance varies across individuals, as does the extent of benefits the digestive enzyme supplements will provide. They may help with symptoms such as skin rashes, irritability, aggression, cognitive problems, cramping, sleep disturbances and bowel problems.

One of the most studied enzyme preparations is Wobenzym N (Mucos Pharma, GmbH & Co; Berlin, Germany). It is purchasable over the Internet and is backed by more than 25 years of extensive research.

Wobenzym N is a patented multi-enzyme product with a proprietary blend of proteolytic (protein-digested) enzymes. It is enteric- coated, which ensures the tablet will not be digested by stomach acid and the active enzymes will instead be released into your lower intestines.

Enteric-coated enzymes can help alleviate wind and bloating because they work where the gluten causes the inflammation – in the intestines. Remember that protein is digested in the intestines and not in the stomach. Since gluten is a protein, this type of enzyme can help digest it and render it less irritating.


Always carry this type of enzyme with you. Ensure that whichever enteric-coated enzyme you use provides proteolytic enzymes (the only enzymes that digest protein).

If used as a preventive measure (when you don’t have complete control over what you’re eating) it is best to take enteric-coated enzymes on an empty stomach – at least 30 minutes before a meal. If that’s not possible then take them as soon as possible after you eat.

Supplemental enzymes can improve the success of a gluten free diet. That said, don’t take enzymes thinking your invincible.  Enzymes are not a cure.

Remember to always follow the label instructions, since formulation strength varies among brands.

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Related posts:

  1. Nutritional Treatments
  2. Celiac, Coeliac and Food Allergies explained
  3. The Dangers of a Gluten Free Diet? Not so much

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