AN-PEP (Aspergillus niger-prolyl endoprotease enzyme) is an enzyme that is unique in that it works in the stomach where the environment is acidic. In research studies, this enzyme has been shown to break down gluten in the stomach of gluten sensitive individuals who were fed a porridge with wheat containing cookies added. While these studies did not test gluten degradation in people with celiac disease, this enzyme may offer some promise in reducing symptoms caused by accidental cross-contaminations such as in a restaurant. It does not allow a celiac to eat gluten intentionally, but this early research suggests that it may degrade accidental gluten in very small amounts and therefore reduce or eliminate the problematic symptoms caused by accidental gluten contamination. I encourage anyone with celiac disease to consult with a health professional to determine if an enzyme make be helpful in maintaining their gluten free diet.
Metagenics currently offers a product called SpectaZyme Gluten Digest that contains AN-PEP similar to what was used in the studies.