I walked into my local drug store last week and found not one, but TWO brands of capsules to help people with celiac or gluten intolerance digest gluten.They are Gluten Cutter, from Healthy Digestives, and, surprisingly, Glutenaid, which is the store brand (CVS). They were both the same price, $12.99 for 30 pills, to be taken 1-2 as needed when eating gluten. I am not going to get involved with the science of gluten digestion. Basically, gluten is a protein, people with celiac or gluten intolerance are missing or have deficient enzymes needed to digest it. These capsules provide the needed enzymes. These two products have slightly different active ingredients, but are very similar.Gluten Cutter also contains lactase, the enzyme needed to digest dairy products.
I asked the pharmacist what she thought or the two pruducts. She looked at the ingredients, and said, "They both have the enzymes needed to digest gluten, they should both work. Its the same idea as the lactase pills people take to help them digest milk products." I had been skeptical before, but I have been a fan of those lactase pills for years. This put the gluten capsules in a new light for me. Since they were both the same price, I decided to try the brand name, Gluten Cutter.
I don't have celiac, but I generally get a bad stomach ache about an hour after eating gluten.I left the next day for a wedding in California. On the plane, I popped a capsule, and ate a bag of Cheese Nips. NO STOMACH ACHE! During the vacation, I kind of went hog wild (how's that for a description of a good Jewish girl?) I had a hamburger on a bun, bread, and on one day, I had pasta for lunch and pizza for dinner. No stomach ache the whole time!
Now that I am home, I plan to be more sensible. I will go back to eating mostly gluten 'lite' (I eat foods made with regular soy sauce, which has some wheat in it, etc, but I otherwise avoid gluten.) I know I can have some gluten on occasion, without getting sick, as long as I take the capsule with it. Part of me wants to just go back to eating anything, and take the capsules whenever I eat gluten, but I am hesitant. I know that for people with celiac, gluten actually causes damage in their small intestine. I have gluten intolerance, I don't know if gluten causes any damage for me or not, and if it does, I don't know if the capsule stops the damage.Also, a gluten-free diet is supposed to be good for people with auto-immunity. I don't know if these capsules affect that or not.
Most of the reviews I read for these two products, and for a third product,GlutenEase, by Enzymedica, are positive. A few people said the product they tried did not work for them, but it did work for the majority. My suggestion is to give it a try if you are gluten intolerant. Talk to your doctor first if you think that would be the wise thing to do in your situation, especially if you have celiac. I don't know if these capsules control the aspect of gluten that is damaging in celiac.
For those of us who are helped by these capsules,just knowing we can have gluten sometimes makes being gluten free easier. Do a search online of recent research, and print some out to show your doctor, if you think it would help. Start small, just a snack. Good luck and good eating.