Gluten and digestion

Gluten is found in wheat and other grains such as rye and barley. It is basically an elastic protein that is left behind after starch is removed or washed away from the flower. It is sort of the glue that holds baked goods together and is often used as a thickener or flavor enhancer. Gluten contains several different proteins, primarily gliadin and glutenin which are difficult to digest. Undigested proteins trigger the immune system to attack the inner lining of the small intestine, resulting in conditions of intolerance.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity besides digestive disturbances, diarrhea and bloating may be skin problems such as rashes, brain fog, joint pain, depression and numbness in your extremities. If left untreated, gluten sensitivity can morph into Celiac disease which affects about one in every 133 Americans.

Many people take enzymes to help with breaking down the gluten protein. It is necessary to be specific as proline-rich peptides (main reason for gluten intolerance) must be addressed. Specific proteases that can break down prolyl-enriched peptides are required. There are many enzyme formulas that claim to help with gluten breakdown. Some may work for you, but the best “cure” is to avoid foods with gluten. Shopping for cookies, flour, frozen waffles, burritos, crackers that are all gluten free, have never been easier than it is today – even in your local supermarket.

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