I’m an affiliate for Just Thrive Health, makers of my favorite probiotic on the market. A while back they told me that they were going to launch Gluten Away, a gluten degrading enzyme. Naturally, I was nervous. I didn’t want the company that I loved to launch something that wasn’t effective and would cause drama in the celiac community. I was afraid that the launch of the Just Thrive Gluten Away launch would rile up celiac bloggers, thinking that this brand thinks it’s okay for celiacs to continue to eat gluten and just use this pill to feel better. Thankfully, Just Thrive understands that. They never think it’s appropriate for a celiac to cheat on the diet. But they also understand that we live in a real world. The recent infamous Doggy Bag study showed that over 50% of meals out of the home might contain more than 20ppm. But we, as celiacs, can’t live at home and never leave the house. We have to be able to live life. As you know, I use digestive enzymes regularly thanks to bouts with gastroparesis and IBS triggered by random foods. And now, from here on out, I’ll also use these Just Thrive Health Gluten Away digestive enzymes as well. Let’s talk about why I’ll use this product and why I don’t think it’s a bad thing for the celiac community.
First, let’s talk about the key ingredient – Tolerase G. Tolerase G is a patented enzyme from DSM that breaks down the gluten enzyme. Tolerase G is a AN-PEP-based enzyme that I’ve heard about since Digestive Disease week years ago in 2017 and earlier. In fact, my old magazine Gluten Free & More wrote an entire article called “Gluten Buster! The AN-PEP enzyme may be great news for many with gluten sensitivity.”
When I was at Digestive Disease week and first heard about AN-PEP I was over the moon excited about its potential for those with celiac disease who live a regular life and dine out and take (reasonable) risks by leaving their house and eating packaged products. A study showed that AN-PEP showed at least 50% gluten degradation compared to placebo in the duodenum.
From Science Daily, “Researchers have found that taking an enzyme tablet while consuming foods containing gluten prevents a significant amount of it from entering the small intestine. This could enable gluten-sensitive patients to ingest small quantities of gluten without experiencing symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pain.”
“This substance allows gluten-sensitive patients to feel safer, for example, when they are out with friends at a restaurant and can’t be sure whether something is 100 percent gluten-free,” said Julia König, PhD, the study’s lead author and post-doctoral research fellow at the School of Medical Sciences at University of Örebro, Sweden. “Since even small amounts of gluten can affect gluten-sensitive patients, this supplement can play an important role in addressing the residual gluten that is often the cause of uncomfortable symptoms.”Science Daily
Also, to note from Science Daily, “Dr. König noted that her team did not test the enzyme on celiac disease patients, because even small amounts of gluten can cause long-term harm in these individuals. Because of that, she does not recommend celiac patients view this enzyme as a way to start eating any gluten.” And just in case you thought that you’d be shady and cheat on a gluten free diet, our celiac hero Peter Green noted, “While Tolerase G effectively reduced the amount of consumed gluten that was exposed to the duodenum in a clinical study… it is not an effective treatment for CD, as no safe concentration of gluten in the duodenum has been determined”
Thankfully, Just Thrive understands this. On our latest call, I asked Kiran, the microbiologist and formulator of the products about this issue. I asked, “Can you address how the team is going to assure the message that this is not a substitute for the GFD or that they cannot cheat on their strict GFD using this product? ” Kiran wisely answered, “This is not your license to be care-free about gluten, it’s your daily answer for regular unwanted gluten exposure.” They are not marketing this as a way for celiacs to be lackadaisical about their lifestyle.
But that’s the scary part, right? You and I know that I would never cheat on the gluten-free diet. For one, I’ve done this way too long, I don’t know any different way than quizzing servers at dinner or reading every label. But what about those who aren’t as good as living a strict gluten free life? What about those who want to cheat on a daily basis? I’m scared for them to see a product like this (OR ANY OTHER PRODUCT ON THE MARKET LIKE THIS) as a way to cheat and think that they’re safe. But again, that’s my thoughts for any digestive enzyme on the market that claims to help digest gluten. It’s never appropriate to cheat on a gluten free diet.
Why do I recommend this? For regular use of unintentional gluten exposure when living life. Because Just Thrive probiotic has been so great for my gut, and I absolutely love it. Because It also contains Betaine HCI which promotes the production of additional hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach to aid digestion. I took Betaine HCL for years to increase digestion after being on acid reducers that ravaged my digestion for years before going gluten free.
Also, the day after these arrived on my door step to test, I arrived home from a late flight. I picked up some take-out from my Pei Wei. I’ve talked to their management and after years, I felt like I could trust them. Well, they proved me wrong. After digging into the edamame, I found a noodle in my fingers. A noodle! I clearly didn’t mean to “cheat” on my diet, and I did my due diligence by asking the person twice about allergens, and to make sure my edamame was cooked separately. And I thought that it was the perfect sign that this is a product that is needed by even the most diligent. Because human error happens.
Since I can’t measure the gluten in my stomach or intestines, I can’t tell you that it took care of any gluten from the cross contact. But I feel better about the situation after I took it, versus me not taking any sort of digestive enzyme after the incident. And maybe that’s what I need, more peace of mind because accidents happen.
If you’re interested in having this on hand for dining out, use my code “CATBAPPROVED” for 15% off of your total purchase of Gluten Away or any other Just Thrive Health purchase. As stated earlier, I’m an affiliate for Just Thrive Health products.