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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

Tolerase key visual

New study finds AN-PEP enzyme can degrade 86% of gluten in the stomach

By Maaike Bruins

During the recent 38th ESPEN conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, the results of a new study into AN-PEP enzyme were presented. Gluten protein is hard to digest because it contains many proline residues, which are poorly digested by our own enzymes. The AN-PEP enzyme specifically targets proline residues and can efficiently degrade gluten into harmless fragments. Traditional DPP-IV enzymes target only the terminal peptide bonds in gluten protein. However, the AN-PEP enzyme is much more efficient than those DPP-IV enzymes as it cleaves the entire gluten protein into small fragments, which are easier to digest.

The prevalence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity is unknown, but some studies have estimated that it affects more people than celiac disease or wheat allergies (3). Gluten-sensitive people try to eliminate gluten from their diet, which means avoiding all products from wheat, barley, and rye. This can be extremely challenging, as these grains are abundant in our diet; in bread, snacks, fillers, thickeners and in many products. As part of the new research, scientists at the Nutrition-Gut-Brain Interactions Research Centre, Örebro University, in Sweden conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study to understand how the AN-PEP enzyme would digest accidental gluten consumed by gluten-sensitive individuals.

Gluten-sensitive volunteers consumed a “gluten-free” oat porridge with low amounts of gluten. Volunteers were randomly assigned to receive a lower dose of the AN-PEP enzyme supplement, a higher dose, or a placebo. The investigators showed that the AN-PEP enzyme supplement was highly effective in degrading the gluten; AN-PEP was able to degrade 86% of the gluten in the stomach and to a similar extent in the proximal small intestine.

These data are very important in the scientific community because they show that in gluten-sensitive people the AN-PEP enzyme can help to degrade undigested gluten. AN-PEP is commercialized by DSM under the brand name Tolerase® G. Tolerase® G is available in the US only at this time.

Watch our video to find out more about how Tolerase® G works.


Julia König, Savanne Holster, Maaike J Bruins, Robert-Jan Brummer. Aspergillus niger-derived enzyme AN-PEP efficiently degrades gluten in the stomach of gluten-sensitive subjects

Mitea C et al. Gut. 2008 Jan;57(1):25-32

Czaja-Bulsa G. Clin Nutr. 2015 Apr;34(2):189-94

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