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Important advice in relation to the use of enzyme supplement GluteGuard

in News
9 Nov 2016

Recent publicity regarding the dietary supplement GluteGuard, promoted as an aid to digest gluten, has prompted a number of enquiries to the office of Coeliac Australia.

The manufacturer of GluteGuard, Glutagen, advises the supplement is not a treatment or cure for coeliac disease and it is essential that people with coeliac disease maintain a strict gluten free diet. They state that GluteGuard may help reduce the effects of inadvertent ingestion of small amounts of gluten (e.g. resulting from cross contamination – such as when travelling or eating out).

Coeliac Australia and Glutagen stress that the only treatment for coeliac disease is a strict gluten free diet. However, Glutagen has data from published clinical trials on the use of GluteGuard finding that GluteGuard may assist in digesting gluten and in protecting coeliacs from the effects of small amounts of inadvertent gluten contamination of their diets. 

A serious concern of Coeliac Australia is that some coeliac patients will eat gluten containing foods with the misguided belief that the GluteGuard tablet will protect them. Coeliac Australia and Glutagen stress that GluteGuard is NOT a treatment for coeliac disease. People with coeliac disease should maintain a strict gluten free diet.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune illness caused by dietary gluten. The only treatment for coeliac disease is the life-long avoidance of foods containing gluten. Non-adherence to a strict gluten free diet is associated with potentially serious medical complications such as osteoporosis, autoimmune disease, cancer and infections.

GluteGuard has been assessed and approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia as safe to consume. The safety of GluteGuard itself is not in dispute, provided those with coeliac disease who choose to use it also maintain a strict gluten free diet.

Accordingly, if you choose to use GluteGuard as a safeguard, or other enzyme supplements, you should not relax your strict gluten free diet and never deliberately ingest gluten. 

For further information see the Australian Coeliac Magazine article - Can dietary enzyme supplements aid people with coeliac disease? by H.J. Cornell, June 2016, page 27.


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