A double-blind, placebo-controlled study appearing in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology (2005; 40(11): 1304-12) looked at the use of digestive enzymes in 21 patients with celiac disease (seen on biopsy). All of the subjects were on a gluten-free diet and their disease was in remission. They were randomly divided into two groups, with one group receiving digestive enzymes and the other receiving a placebo. Both groups were then given crackers on a daily basis (0.9 grams of gluten/day). After a 10-week washout period, the roles were reversed with the placebo group getting the supplement and vice-versa. Eight of the 21 patients (38%) had more than 5 episodes of moderate to severe symptoms during either of the gluten challenge periods, and in these, symptoms scores were ameliorated during enzyme therapy compared with the placebo period (p<0.02).
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