- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 18 October 2016, 11:23AM
From gluten intolerance to coeliac disease, in recent years the market for gluten-free foods has exploded, as more and more people find themselves avoiding any wheat-based foods which might have uncomfortable side effects.
However, a new pill promises to change all of that, following successful clinical trials in Melbourne.
The tablet, GluteGuard, contains an enzyme from the papaya fruit, and it believes it will help to guard sufferers against gluten.
When taken just before a meal, the pill works to break down the gluten into tiny molecules so that it is no longer toxic to the body.
The new tablet heralds itself as a world-first remedy for those who are gluten intolerant.
In theory, this would mean that those with the irritating condition would be safe to eat whatever they wanted, provided they had taken the pill beforehand.
Trials at Royal Melbourne Hospital also showed that the tablet could protect against damage to the gut lining in coeliac patients who digested gluten.
In one of the trials, it was even found that the pill could improve chronic skin conditions - which are a common side effect of the inflammatory disease.
The Australian-made pill is predominantly aimed at the 1.8 million Australians currently suffering with gluten intolerance.
Since it was announced earlier this week, it has caused a major stir on social media, as people who avoid wheat have been quick to express their delight in being able to eat out in restaurants or at friends' houses again.
The lead researcher of the pill and biochemist, Professor Hugh Cornell, is delighted that the tablet has been successful in three trials.
Having worked towards helping those with coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity for four decades, he said that this is exciting as it will be 'helpful to a lot of people.
"Countless people worldwide struggle on a daily basis with the various symptoms of gluten intolerance," he said.
"It's going to take the worry out of people with a gluten-free diet.
"It's going to just take that worry away when people are travelling, or visiting friends, going out to restaurants - that type of thing, that's where it's going to be a big help."
Though the product has received a lot of praise since it was announced, experts have been quick to point out that gluten intolerance, coeliac disease and gluten free are all very different afflictions.
Coeliac Australia have also come out and said that this pill is not a treatment for coeliac disease, adding that those who suffer from it should still avoid gluten.
Nevertheless, for those who struggle with intolerance on a day-to-day basis, the GluteGuard pill is set to be a godsend.
Gluten intolerance and coeliac's disease
• Gluten intolerance is an inability to eat wheat-based products, because of annoying and painful symptoms the intolerance can cause.
• Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, cramps, headaches, bone or joint pain, muscle cramps, leg numbness, eczema, fatigue, general malaise and tiredness.
• Coeliac disease is a serious medical condition where the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten and causes damage to the lower bowel.