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Digestive Enzymes for Gluten and Casein Sensitivity

by Warren Cargal, L. Ac.

It’s that time of year again...holiday parties, family dinners, and office goody baskets. For those who are gluten or casein intolerant, this time can be very difficult. The most common treatment for these food sensitivities is a gluten or dairy free diet, which can be quite challenging during normal times and almost impossible during the holiday season.

Gluten is a combination of the proteins gliadin and glutenin, and is found in grass-related grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.  Gluten can also be found in processed foods such as rice mixes, cold cuts, French fries, and salad dressings.  Even the adhesive on envelopes can contain gluten.

Likewise, casein -- a protein found in milk and also used as a binding agent -- is sometimes implicated in digestive discomfort.  One of the peptides of casein, casomorphin, is similar to gliadin in chemical structure, making it difficult to digest.

Difficulty digesting casein is different from lactose intolerance.  Lactose is the sugar portion of milk.  In fact, many products developed for people who are lactose-intolerant may still contain caseins.

When the digestive system has difficulty digesting gluten or casein, it may manifest in many immediate ways, including:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Occasional loose stools or constipation
  • Occasional fatigue or discomfort

And long term ingestion of these foods for someone who is gluten or casein intolerant can lead to serious health issues including:

  • Chronic Inflammation
  • IBS
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Celiac Disease
  • Auto Immune Disorders

Enzyme Activity
Enzymes are proteins that are catalysts for chemical reactions in the body.  Enzymes are specific in their functions, working with only one chemical reaction, such as digesting food substances like protein or carbohydrates.  A variety of food protein can be hard to digest;  gliadin proteins, in particular, are resistant to breakdown in the digestive tract.  Many digestive enzymes are unable to break up proline residues that naturally occur in large amounts in the gliadin proteins in gluten, and in the casein proteins in dairy products.  The incomplete digestion of these substances causes the associated digestive discomforts.

DPP IV (dipeptidyl peptidase IV) is an enzyme activity that needs to be present for the complete breakdown of gluten and casein containing foods. Combining this enzyme with a broad base digestive enzyme will allow people with these food sensitivities to get through the holiday season with a minimal impact on their digestive tract.

Gluten-Gest by Allergy Research is a comprehensive plant enzyme supplement that specifically formulated to defend against hidden gluten.  The broad-spectrum enzyme activity provided in Gluten-Gest helps to optimize digestion, with targeted ingredients for troublesome hidden proteins such as gluten and casein.

Gluten-Gest gluten and casein digestive enzymes offers a proprietary blend of enzymes that are active across a broad pH range in the digestive tract.  As a result of the wide variety of digestive enzymes, including Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV (DPP IV), Gluten-Gest provides superior support of hidden gluten and casein digestion, as well as the digestion of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber.

Our recommendation is to use these digestive enzymes during the Holiday Season to minimize reactions for those who are casein and gluten sensitive. This way you can be more fully present with your family and friends without being vigilant about the food.

I want to thank you for your support this year and I extend my best to you and your family for a healthy new year.

This article was published on 12/11/2010 12:32.
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