Tuesday, 16 August 2022

A unique enzyme for gluten-sensitive patients

09 May 2017 | News

The enzyme known as aspergillus niger-derived prolyl endoprotease (AN-PEP) is currently available in the U.S. as a supplement developed by a Dutch multinational firm that provided the enzyme for the study.

Researchers at the University of Örebro, Sweden have found that taking an enzyme tablet while consuming foods containing gluten prevents a significant amount of it from entering the small intestine. This could enable gluten-sensitive patients to ingest small quantities of gluten without experiencing symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

The enzyme known as aspergillus niger-derived prolyl endoprotease (AN-PEP) is currently available in the U.S. as a supplement developed by a Dutch multinational firm that provided the enzyme for the study.

Previous studies had shown that AN-PEP could break down gluten when it was intragastrically infused in a liquid meal through a feeding tube. This is the first study involving a normal meal.

The study found that AN-PEP, in both high and low doses, broke down gluten in both the stomach and the first part of the small intestine, or duodenum. In the stomach, gluten levels in both the high- and low-dose groups were 85 percent lower than in the placebo group. Once the food reached the duodenum, gluten levels were reduced by 81 percent in the high dose group and 87 percent in the low dose group versus placebo.

The research team did not test the enzyme on celiac disease patients, because even small amounts of gluten can cause long-term harm in these individuals.

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