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Does Glutenzyme Actually Work?

Glutenzyme is a relatively new product being marketed by BioCare, a high-quality UK supplements company from whom I buy quite a few vitamins and food supplements. As the name suggests, Glutenzyme is supposed to digest gluten in the stomach before it reaches the gut where the damage is caused.

I should say at this stage that the packaging does state, “In individuals with coeliac disease other factors must be considered and avoidance of cereals containing gluten is advisable”.

When I first heard about Glutenzyme, I was very excited, and then a little sceptical. It just sounded a little too good to be true. I thought that if it were truly effective the buzz in the coeliac community would have been unmissable.

I am a human gluten detector

Spotting when you have been glutened can be tricky, especially if it is low level and you suffer from other food allergies like I do. Tricky, that is, unless your right hand acts like a gluten litmus paper, like mine!

Whenever I am glutened, I get dermatitis herpatiformis (DH) on my right hand. DH is known to be associated with coeliac disease. When my diet is perfectly gluten-free, there’s no DH.

How I tested Glutenzyme

I figured the only way I was going to test glutenzyme was when eating out. There was no way I was going to deliberately eat gluten to see if it worked. As luck would have it, my sister’s wedding was coming up which meant a weekend away eating out most of the time.

So off I went, Glutenzye in one hand, gluten free restaurant cards in the other. We ate at understanding restaurants and in our rather posh hotel - well it was my sister’s wedding. I took a Glutenzyme capsule before every meal.

The Results

I really, really wish Glutenzyme had worked for me. I can’t imagine how freeing it would be to be able to relax more about eating out and at friends. But sadly, on the Monday after our weekend away there was the telltale DH on my right hand. And more than a light smattering as well. Who knows, without the Glutenzyme it might have been worse, but I would recommend against coeliacs relying on it.

Oh well, maybe the folk at Stanford will come up with something soon.

Glutenzyme review update

Some time after writing this review of Glutenzyme, I was chatting over at Foodreactions.org where it became clear that people with gluten intolerance have benefited from using Glutenzyme. So this is worth bearing in mind if you’re eating out, even if you are coeliac.

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