04-19-2010, 01:23 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2010
Enzyme supplements

One theory I read recently about the cause of Crohn's was that its due to an inherited lack of specific enzymes for digesting certain proteins, gluten and dairy being two mentioned.

The theory is that because of lack of enough of the right enzymes, certain proteins do not get completely broken down in the digestion process and they
cause inflammation in the wall of the small bowel. The inflammation then causes mast cell activation, degranulation and release of tryptase, which is what causes the nasty allergy type symptoms, pain and more inflammation. Chronic inflammation and ulceration then cause increased permeability of the bowel wall and toxins pass through to the blood stream thus causing the various systemic symptoms typical of Crohn's.

When I told my GI doctor I was thinking of trying enzyme therapy he responded
"good luck with that", as apparently there are "hundreds" of different enzymes
and he wondered how was I going to tell which ones I was short of ?! Good point

Anyway I tried a good quality multi-enzyme supplement for about 6 mths but did not notice it made any difference. Has anyone else tried enzyme therapy ?
04-19-2010, 04:29 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York, New York
Hi Minx:

I have been taking digestive enzymes for well over a year now. Maybe even two years. I can't say that they have made a dramatic difference in my Crohn's. But I figure that my digestive system needs all the help that it can get. I take 2 broad spectrum enzymes with each meal. At one point, I was also taking proteolitic enzymes between meals as well. These are supposed to "disarm" the proteins that cause inflammation. Again I did not see spectacular results with those either, unfortunately. Hope this helps.

04-19-2010, 07:02 PM   #3
D Bergy
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
The one thing always low on my blood test is protein level. Barely in the normal range, in spite of my high protein diet.

I think I will take some digestive enzymes just to see if it brings it up any. I have a couple of jars of them, as my wife takes them once in a while, since she has no gallbladder.

It has never budged in all of the years I have had it tested, so any increase would almost have to be from the enzymes.

Digestive enzymes are also used in treating some bacterial infections. The enzymes help break up the biofilm that protects the bacteria from the immune system. You have to take them in between meals for that to work.

04-20-2010, 02:35 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2010
Thanks Phillycrohns & Dan
04-20-2010, 06:37 PM   #5
David in Seattle
Senior Member
David in Seattle's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
I don't have a firm diagnosis, been to 3 GI docs, they keep vacillating. Anyway, based on some low level steatorrhea (fat in stool) I am currently taking the prescription pancreatic enzyme preparation Pancrease MT 10. Each capsule contains 10,000 units Lipase, (breaks down fats) 30, 000 units Amylase (converts starches like potatoes and rice into sugar) and 30,000 units Protease (breaks down proteins) in enterically coated beads for controlled release in the correct area of the small bowel (duodenum). For about 2 weeks, I have been taking 4 caps with each meal, 1 with snacks. I do feel a bit better, but again, I personally have no firm IBD diagnosis. I know there are many enzyme preparations on the "health food store" market, I'm guessing a lot of these are of dubious quality. Probably hard to tell if the enzymes are going to do it for you unless you have a controlled product, like the Pancrease. Unfortunately, they are quite expensive.


05-16-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New York
Just wanted to add there is a stool test for enzymes called Fecal elastase 1. I don't know which ones it tests for but I know mine was half of whats considered normal.
10-22-2016, 08:30 AM   #7
Senior Member
xeridea's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014

My Support Groups:
Though this should go in the Research section, I thought I'd post it on a thread that introduced this topic first.

Presentation at a United European Gastroenterology Week presented finding that α-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATI) may fuel inflammatory responses in IBD and non-IBD patients. ATI are as strong activators of innate immune responses in monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells, and engage the TLR4–MD2–CD14 complex and lead to up-regulation of maturation markers and elicit release of proinflammatory cytokines in cells.

It's not saying this is a cause of CD, but it may worsen the symptoms for the subset of the population that is sensitive to them.

http://time.com/4536958/wheat-sensit.../?xid=homepage and


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