Please note: I am not recommending this product for everyone,
only sharing my own experiences. Please think about your own
circumstances and whether it's right for you!
A few months ago I was introduced to a product called Gluteguard. I went to a gluten-free day at the food truck park, and was handed a flyer for it. I had a quick glance and thought, 'hmph, one of those products which doesn't really work', and shoved it in my pocket. Months later, I found it again in a pile of papers at home, and Husband said, why don't we get some and give it a try?
Gluteguard contains Caricain, an enzyme derived from pawpaw (papaya). The enzyme is entirely natural and plant-based. The capsule is taken just before eating. When it comes into contact with gluten-containing foods in the upper intestine, it breaks the gluten down into smaller molecules. As the gluten is eliminated, so are the harmful effects on the body. It's an interesting premise, and a very attractive one for a gluten-intolerant foodie!
As the website and packaging warns, these tablets aren't a replacement for a gluten-free diet. They are meant to be used intermittantly when you're unsure if a food is truly gluten-free, or think you may have accidentally eaten something containing gluten. At many restaurants, gluten-free foods are clearly labelled, but cross-contamination can always occur, and there are always places that don't bother to label their offerings.
But does it work?
My first experiments were very cautious -- firstly planning for a day at home and eating one slice of bread. That seemed to be okay. A few weeks later, I tried eating a croissant ... I felt no symptoms after that either. I started to daydream about eating a special treat once a week -- a crusty bread roll, a pastry, Harajuku crepes. New vistas opened up to me.
I became bolder and went out for dumplings. No symptoms! No abdominal cramps, no diarrhoea. In fact, I often feel better than normal after taking a Gluteguard. Of course, it also works for those 'oops' times. Last week I organised a going-away morning tea at work. Between the anxiety of organising a get-together, and the excitement when everyone complimented my choices of foods, I accidentally ate a wheat cracker instead of a rice cracker. But no worries! I took a Gluteguard and didn't feel any ill effects.
It works for me!
Gluteguard was developed in Melbourne, Australia (my home town!), and as far as I'm aware, is only available from the Glutagen website, though they do post worldwide.*
* I purchased the product, did not receive any benefits,
and these are my honest opinions and experiences.