Enzymes: Supporting Digestion in Autism Spectrum Disorders
A GUT FEELING ABOUT ENZYMES... AUTISM ONE CONFERENCE CHICAGO, IL MAY 2008 Devin B. Houston, Ph.D. President Houston Nutraceuticals, Inc Devin Houston: BA, BS, PhD
PhD Biochemist - enzyme research since 1981 NIH-funded researcher at UVa and SLU med schools Director of Research for enzyme manufacturer Enzyme product formulator and inventor Started own company in 2001 Why we need digestion... Autism can disrupt digestion...
Gut inflammation (injury) from mercury, yeast, toxins, etc. Malabsorption syndromes Developmental delay Food allergies, other immune system problems Some foods are not well-tolerated in autism... Wheat (gluten) Dairy (casein) Soy protein (soymorphin)
Certain carbohydrates Polyphenolic compounds, salicylates, oxalates Others Restoring gut health is important... Restore good flora of GI tract (pre- and probiotics) Reduce inflammation (leaky gut) caused by foods Eliminate potential future allergens
Food restriction can be helpful... Gluten-free casein-Free diet Specific carbohydrate diet Low oxalate diet Body ecology diet ...but diets may not be practical or possible. Nutritional insufficiency? Family lifestyles Cost and/or availability
Enzymes may be an alternative to diets... Achieves same goal as diet: reduction of food offender Used as alternative to or with diets Targets only the offending food component: peptide, carb, etc. Faster results observed Less costly, more convenient Observed effects of enzymes:
Speech may start or improve Better focus, eye contact and attention Less stimming Improvements often noted by blinded third-parties Bowel movements improve More interest in trying other foods; increased weight gain Positive benefits noted even in those already on diet What are enzymes?
Active site Active Site Enzymes keep Amino acids working as Products are long as released substrate is
available and conditions are favorable for enzyme function. Substrate is converted to products Protein
Substrate Protease Enzyme Substrate binds to enzyme with induced fit How do plant-based enzymes help?
Break down foods more thoroughly Work in stomach before food moves into intestine Prevent formation of offending peptides Body gains more nutrition from food Better gut function, complements pancreatic function Some enzymes are anti-inflammatory Are enzymes safe? Plant-based enzymes used for centuries No record of any toxicity observed in animals or humans FDA considers these enzymes as food additives
Safest supplements on the market Which enzyme(s) do I need? Identify Problem Behavioral Protein? Carbs? High
Lactase Protease Amylase PeptidaseGlucoamylase GI related Phenols? Loose stools? Constipation?
Specific enzymes for specific problems... DPP IV peptidase for exorphin peptides Certain carbohydrases for firming stool Other carbohydrases for softening stool Some enzymes address phenols (natural food colorings, flavors, some artificial compounds) May help anti-fungal compounds work better
Exorphin peptides... Derived from food protein: casein, gluten, soy, blood Result from normal digestive process Are opiates: interact with opiate receptors, induce analgesia, etc May act differently in those with ASD compared to normal Exorphin peptides...
Reduction often produces observable positive effects in behavior May be reduced through elimination diet, OR... May be prevented by appropriate enzyme use Digestive formation of casomorphin Bovine Casein x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x -tyr-pro-phe-pro-glu- x-x-x-x-x-x-xx
pro-ile- (1) Pepsin (2) Elastase -tyr-pro-phe-pro-glupro-ileCasomorphin Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) Only known enzyme to degrade casomorphin
Found in the cells lining the interior GI tract DPP IV found in fungal enzyme blends (Houston, 1999) Very specific, but slow, enzyme DPP IV effect on casomorphin -glu-pro-ile tyr-pro -phe-pro DPP IV
Casein amino acid sequence affected by DPP IV Bovine Casein x-x-x-x- tyrpro- phepro- glu- il-x-x-x-x pro- e
(1) Pepsin DPP IV In Stomach No casomorphin formed! Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) Only known enzyme to degrade casomorphin Found in the cells lining the interior GI tract
DPP IV found in fungal enzyme blends (Houston, 1999) Very specific, but slow, enzyme Blocked peptide formation by multiple proteases.. Bovine Casein x-x-x-x-tyr-prophe- pro- -x-x-x-x ile
proglu- Protease 4.5Protease 6.0 (1) Pepsin (2) Elastase X
tyr-pro-phe-pro-glu-pro-ile X Casomorphin Enzyme dosing: Experimentation encouraged, no toxicity, safe dosing Try taking enzymes at beginning of meal Base dosing on size of meal, not body weight or age May be taken with most medications or other supplements Effective with first dose for digestive results
Reasons to try enzymes... Results often seen faster than with diets Inexpensive No special medical attention or testing required May be a better fit to familys lifestyle Contact information - Devin Houston, PhD O:
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