I came across this article about an Rx drug being developed to relieve symptoms caused by Ceilac patients after digesting gluten.
Should we all (hypothetically) take something like this? I know I've felt better since avoiding gluten (4 months now).
Before I get to the 'everyone' bit, let me mention people with severe celiac. This article, I think, is directed at people with extreme gluten intolerance that would have severe digestive issues even from trace amounts of gluten due to cross-contamination. So, you think, as its impossible to avoid, you have to take the drug? Look at this bit:
Since gluten is so common in food processing, it's almost impossible to avoid ingesting tiny amounts of gluten, even for people with celiac disease.
The key bit is 'food processing'. If you are primal/paleo, the main point is avoiding processed food. If you eat meat, vegetables, perhaps raw nuts & seeds, even dairy, from trusted sources, you will avoid gluten. Just avoid pre-packaged, pre-processed food, and you won't need to pop pills.
Now, the 'everyone' bit. So, people can continue eating gluten-containing food, as long as they take a pill to counteract the damage? That's like saying, its fine if we drink poison, as long as we drink the antidote straight after. Of course, wheat isn't arsenic, but the point still stands.
Perhaps you'll avoid the intestinal perforation from gluten, but you're still consuming a Neolithic Agent of Disease (NAD), with plenty of other negative side-effects besides the gluten content - what about the anti-nutrients in grain? And all those carbs (if you're an athlete, go bake a sweet potato.)? To add insult to injury, you're basically adding another NAD (chemicals from the medicine). Do you really need to ingest more chemicals and drugs, what with all the pollution and chemical contamination that goes on anyhow?
I hope this didn't come across as harsh, I don't mean it to, but I just found this rather absurd - not surprising though, since Big Pharma always gets out of its way to cure the symptoms without addressing the underlying cause, and allow people to continue poisoning themselves.
And continue staying away from grains. :-)
Yes, everyone should take this pill. Thank god for modern medicine! And they should hand out statins with every burger at McDonalds.
See how "modern medicine" is so much better than "Big Pharma"?
On the one hand, the past 5 months of learning just how sensitive to gluten I am have been really informative. On the other hand, the repeated bouts of diarrhea are wearing me down, and breaking my confidence and ability to function. So I wouldn't recommend everyone with gluten-sensitivity take a pill like this right away, as I think the learning experience is important, and unless they stay on the pill forever, they'll have to go through it at some point. (Unless the extra-sensitive period is just while healing, and once healed, you're not as stupidly sensitive... in which case, the pill could be great for getting through the extra-sensitive period.)
I would love a pill I could take on occasion to get me through hard times, such as when traveling or at gluten-free dinner parties at a friend's house. It breaks my heart for loved-ones to try to cook for me, but I can't eat it because the herbs they used could have been made in a factory that also contained gluten, or they didn't thoroughly scrub their counters before making the food, or their cutting board has cut gluten-containing foods at some point in the past, or there were gluten particles in the scratched parts of their non-stick frying pan. I could bring one of those celiac restaurant cards with me when I'm traveling, but do I really trust they'll be able to avoid cross-contamination to the levels I need (below 5ppm)? I would still eat gluten free, but a pill like this would give me that extra bit of assurance, like using spermicide on a condom.
From what I gather ALV003 is an endopeptidase designed to 'break-up' those dastardly gluten epitopes: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22153524 In effect, it's action is akin to what our own peptidase system should be doing when confronted with peptide chains from proteins such as gliadin and glutenin - splitting them up hopefully into small biologically-inactive peptides or even better their constituent amino acids. Pancreatic enzymes are routinely used in conditions such as cystic fibrosis; indeed many people are using various "digestive aids" to theoretically either support their own enzymatic systems (betaine HCL -- tri- and dimethylglycine for gut pH bearing in mind some enzymes are pH dependent) or the various protease / peptidase preparations (including bromelain) suggested to break 'em up. Talk to your doc before taking any of these because there may be contraindications based on any medication regime you are following.
I appreciate this thought-provoking question.
I have to admit the idea of being able to have a sesame-seed bagel on a holiday is a big carrot dangling right in front of me.
Along with many others on PH, though, I am skeptical if not downright suspicious of processed/refined supplements and medications. I'm more comfortable with something you can get in a food, or in concentrated form as an extract.
On the other hand, as someone with a hiatal hernia and no gallbladder, I'll stoop to taking bile acids after a very-high-fat meal if it means no problems at night.
So here I am straddling the fence big time! The inner child says, "WANT THAT!" The rest of me feels cautious and wary about interfering with natural healing and underlying reasons for intolerance.
A friend of mine got something from her chiropractor/naturopath/nutritionist that supposedly somewhat counters the effect of gluten. The stated reason is like this product's: for very sensitive people to have some recourse if they accidentally ingest some gluten. But of course, my friend starts reaching for it if she's at a party and someone offers her a not-gluten-free brownie. To the extent that it works, I don't think that's what it's designed for, and she may be eating more gluten than she would if she didn't think she had this weapon against it. (She knows it doesn't counter the effects gluten completely, but she doesn't know whether it counters 1% or 99%, so in the face of a mouth-watering dessert and the social pressure of everyone else eating it, I'm sure wishful thinking kicks in.)
To me, this is like people who have severe allergy to bee stings, who carry medicine that will counter a bee sting enough that they won't die before they can get to a hospital. It's good that such medicine exists, obviously. But it doesn't mean these people should become beekeepers; they should avoid bees as much as possible and use the medicine as a last resort. And we shouldn't start putting it in the water supply for everyone just in case. Likewise, it'd be good if severely gluten-intolerant folks had something they could take in case of emergency to prevent the damage and sickness. But they shouldn't use it as an excuse to eat any gluten, and we shouldn't encourage mildly intolerant people (or everyone) to use it rather than changing their diet.
I am learning, smartly or not, to breeze right by claims made about what's good for Everybody, and what's good for Nobody. These get equally short shrift: Always and Never.
I allow exemptions, however, for lemmings.
Take a pill so I could eat a poison? Hmmm, let me think about that... Is Celiac Disease caused by a lack of this pill, or by grains?
A better question is whom does it benefit? Me? Or big pharama and big agra?
I'll skip both the pill and the wheat and spend the savings on grassfed meats. Thanks.
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