What gluten enzyme pills are not: a get-out-of-jail free card.
Given that most Celiac patients show no gastro symptoms or immediate reaction, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The false confidence these pills create makes people with Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, or Wheat Allergies:
- Take risks they would normally not take
- Skip questions they should ask
- Go to restaurants they would never go to
I’ve even had someone tell me “I was told to not use it to eat gluten, but it could break down up to one piece of bread, so I occasionally splurge on a cookie or donut.” (…to which I had a small heart attack.)
The Truth About These Magic Pills
- NONE of them take the place of a gluten free diet, which they ALL state in their itty bitty teeny tiny need-a-telescope-to-read fine print.
- NONE of them are approved by any major government as far as their ability to break down gluten. They are all registered as supplements and self-govern.
- NONE have had major, peer-reviewed studies, nor do they know the long-term effects of symptom suppression.
If they worked as their clever names and marketing labels unofficially suggest, big pharma would have million-dollar patents on them and every doctor in the world with Celiac patients would be prescribing them. You didn’t honestly think the trillion-dollar people were ignoring billions of dollars in sales, did you?
Are they useless?
No, because many of them have vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, which are great things the body needs, particularly for newly diagnosed patients who are usually in damage control mode.
Some brands are focused specifically on Celiac Disease, which means they’ve taken the care to target the nutrients we know the majority of newly diagnosed patients will be deficient in, such as Vitamins D, K, B12, Iron, Folic Acid.
My advice every time, is to get blood work done to find out the particular deficiencies in each case, then target those specific nutrients with a combination of food and supplement sources.
I don’t suggest blindly taking a multi-vitamin because certain deficiencies can be dangerous, causing irreparable damage, so you don’t want anything to go unchecked.
Deficiencies can also be good indicators of another health issue that may have developed and needs to be addressed. The data says that someone with an autoimmune disorder is generally likely to have 2-3 other issues brewing or already developed.
- Treat these pills like a multi-faceted supplement, not as a get out of jail free card.
- Keep practicing the extreme caution you should be practicing.
- Don’t cheat. Ever. Accidental contaminations are bad enough, don’t knowingly self-poison.
- Don’t think “a little won’t hurt,” because it will. The long-term effects are just not worth it and there are plenty of fantastic gluten free options to everything these days.
Jaqui Karr, CGP, CSN, CVD, is a best-selling author, speaker, and corporate consultant who specializes in educating about gluten, celiac disease, specialty diets, and health through nutrition. Her popular “NakedFood” brand has helped thousands include more power raw and healing greens in their diet. Ms. Karr is a certified gluten practitioner, certified sports nutritionist, and certified vegan/vegetarian educator to dietitians. http://jaquikarr.com
Note: The statements presented in this column should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before altering your daily dietary regimen. The opinions presented here are those of the writer, not necessarily those of the publisher.
Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 10/4/2017