A Gut Feeling About Enzymes

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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
•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,
•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
•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,
•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
•Positive benefits noted even in those already on diet
What are enzymes?
Active Site
Protein Substrate
Enzymes keep Amino acids working as long as substrate is available and conditions are favorable for enzyme function.
Protease Enzyme
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 GI related
Loose stools?
Lactase Amylase Glucoamylase Galactosidase
Xylanase Glucanase Cellulase?
High Lactase Protease Amylase Peptidase Glucoamylase
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
Exorphin peptides...
•Derived from food protein: casein, gluten, soy, blood •Result from normal digestive process
•Are opiates: interact with opiate receptors, induce analgesia, •May act differently in those with ASD compared to “normal”
Exorphin peptides...
•Reduction often produces observable positive effects in
•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
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-prophe-pro -
Casein amino acid sequence affected by DPP IV
Bovine Casein
x-x-x-x- tyrpro-
glu- il-x-x-x-x pro- e
(1) Pepsin
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
pro- -x-x-x-x ile
Protease 4.5Protease 6.0
(1) Pepsin
X tyr-pro-phe-pro-glu-pro-ile X
(2) Elastase
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 family’s lifestyle
Contact information -
Devin Houston, PhD
O: 866-757-8627
E: devin.houston@houstonni.com Web: www.houstonni.com