Supplements and enzymes for the FODMAP diet
One of the digestive enzymes that I used first when I started the low FODMAP diet was lactase enzymes.
Even a bit before I started the FODMAP diet because I learned that I had a lactose intolerance two years before my IBS diagnosis.
I was ecstatic when I learned of the existence of lactase supplements.
With these enzymes, I am able to enjoy a cappuccino or an ice cream in a restaurant without having to search for a lactose-free option and that is amazing.
Some time ago, I was clicking around on the website of Intoleran, one of the brands of lactase supplements that I use, and I suddenly saw a new category “FODMAP” on their website.
Intoleran added several supplements to their product range that can be used to tolerate foods from several FODMAP groups better!
I could hardly believe it at first, would it be possible to eat FODMAP-rich foods again without problems?
I contacted Intoleran and they sent me their FODMAP enzymes, so I could test them for you.
This blog was written in collaboration with Intoleran. This doesn’t have any influence on my opinion about these products. I have been using Intoleran’s lactase supplements for years and I write about their products because I believe they can be valuable to people with IBS.
The links in this article are affiliate links. That means that I get a small compensation when you order the products through one of these links.
The FODMAP enzymes from Intoleran
Intolean has four different supplements that can help with tolerating FODMAPs:
Lactase enzymes (lactose)
Lactase enzymes help to break down lactose in your intestines. Most of you will probably already be familiar with this supplement, so I won’t go into depth about it in this blog.
If you want to read more about lactase supplements, you can do so in this blog.
The lactase capsules from Intoleran are available in the following strengths:
- Lactase 2.500 – 100 tablets – 34.99
- Lactase 10.000 – 36 capsules – 34.99
- Lactase 20.000 – 50 tablets – 39.99
Fructan enzyme: fibractase
The Fibractase supplement from Intoleran contains the enzyme alpha-galactosidase.
The fibractase supplement contains an enzyme that helps your body break down fructans and galactans. Two FODMAP groups that quite some people experience symptoms from.
Fructans are found in garlic, onion, wheat, and several fruits. Galactans are found in legumes, several kinds of nuts, and several vegetables.
Together they form a large group of products and the fibractase supplements can help you to break these FODMAPs down.
One capsule of Fibractase contains 1.200 units of alpha-galactosidase:
- Fibractase 1200 – 36 capsules – 44.99
Fructose enzyme – Fructase
Fructase is a supplement that can be very helpful to people with a fructose-intolerance or people who simply don’t tolerate the FODMAP-group fructose very well.
This supplement contains the enzyme xylose isomerase can help to break down fructose.
Fructose can be found in several fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, and a lot of industrially processed foods. Fructose is often added to cookies and sweets because it is a cheap sweetener.
For people with IBS, fructose usually leads to problems when the amount of fructose in a food is higher than the amount of glucose in it. Because of that reason some fruits are low in FODMAPs (because they contain more glucose than fructose) and other fruits are high in FODMAPs.
Processed foods that contain the ingredients fructose, fructose-glucose syrup, or high fructose corn syrup are also high in FODMAPs.
Fructase could be helpful to break down the FODMAP-group fructose. Note: when you have a hereditary fructose intolerance, a very rare disease, you cannot use these supplements.
Important: this product has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration yet. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Always test for yourself if the supplement works for you.
One capsule of Fructase contains 7500 units xylose isomerase.
You can buy the Fructase enzymes in Intoleran’s webshop. One package contains 36 capsules and costs 34.99.
Finally, Intoleran has a combination supplement containing all of the supplements mentioned above Quatrase 10.000. The Quatrase capsules contain the enzymes Alpha galactosidase, Xylose isomerase, Lactase, and Invertase.
Invertase is a supplement for a sucrose / sucralose intolerance and helps to split sucrose and sucralose.
Quatrase is handy when you react to several FODMAP groups because it contains several different enzymes.
One capsule Quatrase 10.000 contains:
- 1.200 units of the enzyme alpha-galactosidase (for fructans and galactans)
- 7.500 units of the enzyme xylose isomerase
- 10.000 FCC lactase (for lactose)
- 500 units invertase (for saccharose)
You can buy the Quatrase supplement in Intoleran’s webshop. One package contains 36 capsules and costs 49.49.
The use of the supplements
For all supplement counts, just as for lactase supplements, it is important to test for yourself if it works for you and how many supplements you need to not get any symptoms.
This depends on the amount that you eat and also on your level of intolerance for the FODMAP group. This differs per person.
Intoleran advises taking one to three supplements right before your meal.
The supplements work for half an hour, so if you eat several courses in a restaurant for example, you have to take new supplements with every course. You can use several capsules per day, up to 15 per day.
My experience with the FODMAP supplements
The FODMAP groups that give me the most problems are the fructans and galactans and therefore I tested these groups most extensively.
In the beginning, I was a bit too enthusiastic with the supplements. I thought “Maybe I will suddenly be able to eat everything again, so let’s just try” and I tested a few combinations that were a bit too extreme.
I ate a plateful of pasta (wheat, not gluten-free) that also had some garlic and onion in it. I can tell you, even with two capsules of fibractase, that still gave me a bad stomach ache.
I also ate a big burek, a very big phyllo dough pastry filled with white cheese. This contained both wheat and lactose and also here two pills were not enough.
Some smaller tests that I did went well. For example, I ate a gluten-free bun with filet Americain, a raw beef spread (yes I said raw) that we love in the Netherlands.
It had some garlic and onion in it, but it didn’t give me any problems! And oh man, I loved eating filet Americain again. I used to love it and I didn’t have it for four years.
My own experience is that I can tolerate small amounts of garlic, onion, wheat, etc. with these supplements. Perfect for when you go to a restaurant and you are not sure if something contains onion or garlic. If you want to put something on your gluten-free sandwich that is not entirely low FODMAP or if you feel like using ready-made pesto in your pasta.
I did notice that I still have to be very careful. My stomach is quite sensitive, if I eat too much in a restaurant, I already get stomach problems.
A supplement cannot do much against that. Having these supplements doesn’t mean that I can suddenly eat everything again without thinking about it, but I think that shouldn’t be the goal of using these supplements anyway.
I can recommend to everybody to try the FODMAP enzymes from Intoleran. And to see if they do anything for you.
If you are sensitive to one or more of the 4 FODMAP groups that these supplements are suitable for (there is no supplement for sorbitol and mannitol, the polyols) these supplements can be a lifesaver.
If they work well for you, they can make social events a lot easier.
Intoleran sells their FODMAP enzymes internationally through their website.
I am very curious if you already knew about these supplements and if you have tested them! How were the results for you?