Celiac Sufferers Find Relief with Active Proteolytic Enzymes | 1MD
Laugh Out Loud With 1MD & ComedyCures.org! 5% of Profits for the Month of April Will Be Donated to The ComedyCures Foundation. Learn More
Digestive

Celiac Sufferers Find Relief with Active Proteolytic Enzymes

7 minute read


Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes widespread intestinal inflammation. Additionally, sufferers experience abdominal pain, bloating, and irregular bowel movements. Recent attention has been given to the potential relief that proteolytic enzymes may have for celiac patients. These enzymes are known to help the digestive process, so what is it they can do for celiac-related inflammation?


What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a digestive illness that causes chronic inflammation throughout the intestines. While inflammation is part of our natural immune response, autoimmune disorders like celiac disease turn our cells against other healthy cells. Gluten causes the villi of our small intestines to flatten, which means the body is not able to properly absorb nutrients from food. In a case of mistaken identity, the immune systems of those with celiac disease target the intestinal lining as a foreign invader. Then, inflammation ensues.  


What are Proteolytic Enzymes?

Enzymes are responsible for helping every digestive process in our system. Proteolytic enzymes specifically break down proteins into usable amino acids. Additionally, enzymes are required for all chemical processes and for the proper function of each mineral, vitamin, and hormone. Enzymes are available in foods and as supplements, but because of the potential to be killed during cooking, our actual intake levels can turn out to be low.

There are three main classes of proteolytic enzymes within the body; trypsinogen, chymotrypsinogen, and procarboxypeptidase. Secreted in inactive forms, all three are later triggered to attach different peptide chains. What you end up with is smaller peptide chains and amino acids that the body needs. As this process occurs in the gut, there is a secretion of intestinal mucus that protects the walls from digestion.  

Proteolytic enzymes are necessary regulators and modulators in our body that respond to stress. Stress causes inflammation, such as a stressed intestinal wall reacting to gluten as found in celiac patients. Inflammation is at the root of the majority of diseases and illness, and these enzymes work against it to protect us from the inside.

The Dynamic Trio

There are three common proteolytic enzymes that our bodies rely on to fight diseases like celiac disease; pepsin, bromelain, and papain.

Pepsin: This enzyme is produced naturally in the intestines and is essential for digestion and breaking down proteins.

Bromelain: A food enzyme found in the juice and stem of pineapple, is a natural digestive aid. It also has the ability to prevent against bloating and gas, which are common symptoms of celiac disease.

Papain: Derived from the latex of papaya fruit, this enzyme is extracted to make supplements.  Papain helps to stimulate the digestion of fats and proteins, as well as to improve nutrient absorption. Studies have demonstrated this enzyme's ability to relieve the bloating and inflammation associated with celiac disease

| Related: What Are Digestive Enzymes? |


Proteolytic Enzymes vs. Celiac Disease

Proteolytic enzymes are able to reduce swelling of mucous membranes, dissolve blood clot- forming deposits, and decrease capillary permeability. They also reduce blood viscosity, therefore improving circulation. This helps improve delivery of nutrients and effectively removes waste from any traumatized tissues. The enzymes are also able to break down plasma proteins and debris on site, making it easier for them to pass through the lymphatic system and reduce swelling. Any targeted intestinal walls from the celiac attack will be relieved.

Each reaction to gluten (the culprit behind celiac disease) is different, and no two people have the same response. When the peptides from broken down food reach the small intestine, the body of a celiac patient registers them as foreign. The autoimmune defense is triggered, which leads the body to start attacking itself. These triggering peptides result from the inability of protease enzymes to fully break them down, which could indicate a low digestive enzymatic level. Supplemental proteolytic enzymes may help to correct this and to prevent the autoimmune attacks.

The symptoms of ulcerative colitis and celiac disease are similar and current research is underway to see if there is any link between the two. What is known is that inflammation is a key component of both diseases and proteolytic enzymes help to reduce the painful inflammatory responses. Whether you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, or ulcerative colitis, the daily supplements of enzymes such as bromelain can help your symptoms.

Proteolytic enzymes provide synergistic protection for your colon cells, keeping them safe from free radicals. Their ability to enhance nutrient absorption helps to protect the cell’s DNA from free radicals. The anti-inflammatory properties keep swelling down and protect the colon from irreparable damage from Crohn's disease, ulcers, and celiac disease.

Getting Help from the Inside

Because many of the symptoms of enzyme deficiency are the same as those of celiac disease, it seems there is a link between the two. Perhaps, the lack of digestive enzymes is a contributing factor to the development of celiac symptoms.

Signs to look for include gas, bloating, heartburn, lack of energy, diarrhea, constipation, and joint stiffness. Enzyme levels can easily get depleted as we age, coupled with the fact that enzymes are destroyed during the cooking process, the deficiency is understandable.  

Much of the energy our bodies get each day come from foods that are termed 'enzyme-dead' foods. Any application of heat, such as frying, boiling, or baking, as well as processes like freezing kills off the beneficial food enzymes. As a result our health can start to deteriorate and diseases like celiac disease are able to dominate our bodies. You want to increase enzyme rich foods in your diet, like fruits and vegetables as well as raw and fermented foods.  

♦ Pineapple

♦ Ginger

♦ Papaya

♦ Kiwi

♦ Yogurt

♦ Sauekraut

♦ Miso Soup

Always check with your physician before making dietary changes or taking supplements of any kind. Because every celiac patient experiences different reactions to gluten, there is no way to tell, for sure, how proteolytic enzymes will help them. Knowing the roles of these enzymes in our bodies and how celiac can tear us apart from the inside, these dynamic and powerful compounds just might be the good “inside men” to have on the job.


The Bottom Line

Always check with your physician before making dietary changes or taking supplements of any kind. Because every celiac patient experiences different reactions to gluten, there is no way to tell, for sure, how proteolytic enzymes will help them. Knowing the roles of these enzymes in our bodies and how celiac can tear us apart from the inside, these dynamic and powerful compounds just might be the good “inside men” to have on the job.

Read Next >>> The Perfect Diet to Compliment Your Probiotics Regimen



  1. http://gut.bmj.com/content/gutjnl/early/2016/04/12/gutjnl-2015-309147.full.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15936249
  3. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/celiac-disease#1

Join the 1MD Health Club

For exclusive early access to the latest research, interviews, and videos

Thank You For Joining the 1MD Health Club!

You May Also Like

FREE RECIPES

THAT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR HEALTH


Delicious Food for Your Heart, Gut, Brain, Joints, & Vision

FREE RECIPES

THAT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR HEALTH


Delicious Food for Your Heart, Gut, Brain, Joints, & Vision

Thank You

Check Your Email
To Find Your Free E-Book

Avoid These 12 Cancer-Causing Foods and Save Your Health Now

Thank you!

Avoid These 12 Cancer-Causing Foods

Avoid These 12 Cancer-Causing Foods

Thank you!