GlutenAid – does it work?

I got glutened last night. And it was entirely my fault (hate when that happens).

What was it this time? A double chocolatey chip frappuccino from Starbucks. I’d never gotten one before (usually I stick to the “light” mocha or coffee ones since I know they are gluten free) – but my boyfriend said it was delicious so we decided to split one. I don’t know why I didn’t think to check before I started sipping, I guess I just assumed that because all of the other ones were this one would be too. *Kicks self in the butt*

After about five sips I knew something was up (we’ll call it my glutuition) and I quickly did a Google search on my phone. Of course – the chocolate chips contain gluten.

Then I moved into damage control mode, bracing for my stomach to start churning. After about 30 minutes I was dead tired and my stomach was getting bloated – but nothing too horrible. My boyfriend, wanting to help, started looking up all kinds of “what to do if you get glutened” information and said that a lot of people take Benadryl to reduce hives/rashes (which I’ve gotten before). I’d never tried it so I figured it couldn’t hurt, and we headed to CVS to pick some up. (Check out my usual post-glutening routine here).

CVS was out of Benadryl (must be allergy season), but he spotted something else in the same aisle… Glutenaid?!

There is zero information online about this stuff, but I figured that $14 is worth doing an experiment (plus the placebo effect can be pretty powerful).  The active ingredients are: protease, DPP-IV and amylase. The usage instructions say to “Take 1 capsule with the first bite of any meal containing gluten, or when food preparation is unknown.”

Hmm…I’m skeptical. Let’s see what they say it does:

“CVS/pharmacy GlutenAid is specially formulated for individuals who feel unwell after eating wheat or grain and thus may have an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein that most often is found in grains such as barley, rye, wheat, and spelt. The enzyme DPP-IV is well known for its ability to break down gluten proteins, which may reduce the onset of symptoms associated with gluten intolerance. CVS/pharmacy GlutenAid is also formulated to assist in the digestion of the carbohydrate portion of grains (such as wheat) by means of the enzyme amylase. CVS/pharmacy GlutenAid works well in conjunction with restrictive diets such as gluten free/casein free and others. This product is not intended to replace a gluten free diet for those with Celiac Disease.

So, basically it will break down the gluten faster.

After looking into the ingredients and figuring that it couldn’t hurt me, I took one GlutenAid and three B-12 vitamins. Surprisingly, I didn’t find myself rushing to the bathroom 30 minutes – 1 hour after I had the drink like I expected to. I slept through the night with very minor symptoms.

Then this morning I woke up and it hit. Although not as bad as it has been. It seems like the GlutenAid might have actually done what it said it did, which was “reduce the onset of symptoms”.

Now, I’m in no way going to ever take this and intentionally ingest gluten. And I’m also in no way endorsing this product – all celiacs know that there is no cure and there is no way to find a loophole around a strict gluten free diet.

After this incident, and after every time I slip up and get glutened I will end up becoming super obsessively strict with my diet afterwards. But – if I do ever have a similar situation, I will take a GlutenAid again. Even if it was just the placebo effect, or if it only delayed/reduced my usual symptoms by a few hours, it certainly didn’t hurt. Next time I see my doctor I’m going to talk it over with him and see if he thinks there’s any validity to the formula.

Any one else try this stuff? Or anyone have any other home remedies after getting glutened? 


21 responses to “GlutenAid – does it work?

  1. Wow, I’ve never heard of this before. I completely agree that being careful and gluten free is the way to go but it’s good to know there is something that I can try the next time I end up accidentally glutened! THANKS for Sharing! I hope you’re feeling better!

    • Thanks! This time really wasn’t that bad, which is weird because this time I knew for SURE that I had eaten gluten and sometimes it’s just because of cross contamination or something I didn’t see coming. I can’t say if the pill actually helped, but I’m feeling pretty darn good! Thanks!

  2. At least when you get glutened, you go all out. A double chocolatey chip frappuccino…yowsa! Very interesting about the Gluten Aid. My syptoms don’t come on for a day or so, so not sure what kind of relief it would offer me.

    • Let me tell you – those few sips I had were pretty fantastic. Not that I’d do it again. Yeah, it honestly baffled me that it seemed to do anything at all – usually my symptoms hit within the hour every time. I wouldn’t tell you to rush out and buy it, but I don’t think it can hurt either. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed you don’t get glutened any time soon where you’d have a chance to try!

    • Hey I’m like you. I don’t get symptoms for a day or so. I wonder how many of us are out there?

  3. Thanks for letting us know about this. I was happy to see that you have no intention of using this to intentionally ingest gluten, but like you say if it can lessen the symptoms when you realize you’ve been glutened…….that could be VERY helpful!!! I think I might have to stop by CVS on my way home and check this out…….Its been a bit since I’ve been glutened so here’s to crossing my fingers I won’t have to use it at all!

  4. Pingback: OMG! I’ve Been Glutened!! Now What? | Gluten Free We Will Be

  5. Thanks for testing for us. You take awesome photos of food.

  6. My that drink looks delicious. I glutened myself the other day, on something that recently changed its ingredients. So we have to keep checking the ingredients of trusted foods we can eat. I am in Australia so we don’t have the Gluten Aid but if we did then yes I can see if being useful for the accidental glutenings. I, like yourself, would never intentionally eat gluten. It just isn’t worth it, but if there is something available that could keep lessen the pain when it does, then I think it’s a good thing.

  7. Pingback: Gluten Free News from around the Web | Nellbe Gluten Free

  8. I found this product while looking for gas-x (my preventative measure for possible glutening at the upcoming family reunion) and found the product, too. I used it as a precaution to all the bready foods that would be out for our meals. It definitely reduced the pain, but I found by taking 3-4 pills (against their directions – not advocating) I endured less pain. 1 pill or 4, I still bloat and feel sluggish, but it sure was nice not having fam members asking if I could have this or that when it’s intended for all 30 of us. Although considerate of them, I’m not one for that kind of attention.

  9. I too recently found this after accidental gluten. I did some research on the ingredients and found you can take far higher doses then what is indicated. I have had great success with digestive enzymes so I thought a targeted enzyme product would not be a bad idea. This stuff works, I just have to take it for a few doses if I think I’ve had some gluten accidentally. I travel for work so it’s great to know I can get this at any CVS if I get glutened on the road.

  10. I’m new to having a gluten allergy but my symptoms are a little different. When I eat wheat flower of any kind (and especially breading, bread, pasta) I find my nose becoming stuffy beyond control and no decongestant seems to work, it feels like there’s a wall that just prohibits any air passing through my nostrils. Does anyone else suffering from an existing gluten allergy experience this reaction? Would love to hear how you combat it if you have this same experience as I do. thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment, Nathan. I haven’t experienced that, but this article may be helpful:

    • typical allergy reactions are normal for me. If it is occasional, just use an over the counter nasal decongestant spray like Afrin. It should do the trick. Just don’t go overboard for days with it as the rebound effect can be brutal. But that stuff will clear your nose no problem. Also rubbing the menthol ointment under your nose can help when it’s hard to sleep.

      Haven’t tried glutenaid yet, but I can definitely see it as a nice precautionary measure for cross contamination when eating out.

    • Hi Nathan- better late than never here…I get the same response and so does my 8 year old. If I have too much gluten I even have trouble breathing. Since going off of gluten I did not have any sinus or respiratory trouble this winter and my son’s runny nose (it’s been running for 8 years) went away..

  11. Coffee is an unsuspected offender for gluten intolerent people. Even though coffee does not have gluten in it, the coffee bean reacts to the gluten proteins. So it may not have been just the chips, but the combo of them both. The link below will explain it better. Good luck.

  12. Denise Richard

    I also tried this product after mistakenly ingesting gluten. It significantly reduced the usual pain and bloated. I still found myself exhausted and sluggish but the gastrointestinal symptoms were milder than expected. I would never intentionally ingest gluten but I now keep this product in my purse and take it with any meal I haven’t prepared myself.

  13. I am gluten intolerant. Gluten has been a wonderful help. I can go to weddings and other events with out stuffing my purse with foods to get me through the evening. Once a month I treat myself to a forbidden food. Last week I had a Ruben sandwich.

  14. I have taken GlutenAid once, and it did help. While I am here, I do wish to mention that I take a probiotic every morning. I never was confident it aided digestion that well. In looking closely at the ingredients I discovered it has a gluten content.!! It is Curelle or something like that. So suspecting many of you do take probiotics, you need to double check the brand content. Edie

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