Quatrase: supplement to break down FODMAPs
Quatrase forte is a supplement that you can take to help break down different FODMAP groups. I have been using this supplement for a while now and in this blog I am going to tell you how it works and what my experience is with it.
This blog is written in collaboration with Intoleran (previously called Disolut) and contains affiliate links.
What is Quatrase forte?
The quatrase supplement comes in two versions: Quatrase and Quatrase forte. Quatrase forte is a stronger version of the supplement that contains a higher dose of the different enzymes. The supplement contains 4 enzymes of which 3 enzymes help to break down different FODMAP groups:
Lactase is the enzym that breaks down lactose in the intestines. Lactose is one of the FODMAP groups, the disaccharides (the “D” in FODMAP). When you have a lactose-intolerance, your body does not create enough lactase to be able to break down the lactose in your food and that causes symptoms.
The lactase in the supplement supplements the shortage of lactase that your own body creates and helps to break down the lactose that you consume. Lactose is found in diary products.
Quatrase Forte contains 10.000 FCC lactase, whereas the normal version of the supplement contains 5.000 FCC lactase. FCC shows the strength of the supplement.
In the Netherlands, you can find lactase supplements in different strengths. The strength per capsule usually ranges from 1.500 FCC to 10.000 FCC.
Fructose is the FODMAP group monosaccharides (the “M” in FODMAP). The enzym xylose isomerase can help your body to break down fructose in the intestines. Fructose is found in for example honey, mango and asparagus.
Quatrase forte contains 7.500 units of xylose isomerase, whereas the normal version of the supplement contains 5.000 units.
Fructans and galactans
Alpha galactosidase is an enzym that can help break down the FODMAPs from the two FODMAP groups galactans and fructans.
Fructans are found in, amongst others, onion, garlic and wheat. Galactans are found in beans and pulses. Fructans and galactans belong to the FODMAP group oligosaccharides (the “O” in FODMAP).
Quatrase forte contains 1.200 units alpha galactosidase, whereas the normal version of the supplement contains 500 units.
Sucrose / Sacharose
The last enzym that the supplement contains is invertase. Invertase helps to break down sucrose (table sugar). Sucrose consists of one molecule glucose and one molecule fructose. Your intestines have to break sucrose down into glucose and fructose to be able to receive energy from it.
If the body isn’t able to break it down, the sucrose will be transported to the large intestine where it is fermented by the gut bacteria and this can lead to symptoms in some people. The same thing that happens with FODMAPs.
Because sucrose is a carbohydrate and the fermentation of it can lead to similar symptoms as the different FODMAP groups,
Intoleran has decided to add the invertase enzym to the Quatrase supplement. Invertase helps your body to break down sucrose into glucose and fructose.
Quatrase forte contains 500 units of invertase, whereas the normale version of the supplement contains 250 units.
When do you use this supplement?
This supplement is great to use when you want to eat a meal that contains one or more of the FODMAP groups above that you don’t tolerate: lactose, fructose, galactans and/or fructans.
I always take it with me when I go eat in a restaurant or at a friends place. I always try to get a meal that is as low FODMAP as possible, but sometimes you don’t have that option and then it is wonderful to have a supplement that will stop you from getting symptoms.
And sometimes I use it to enjoy a food that I really miss having to regret it later. Like a fluffy non-gluten-free bread roll or a croissant.
How many capsules do you need to take?
Finding out how many capsules you should take to avoid having symptoms is a bit trial and error. Everybody’s tolerance level is different, so different people might need a different amount of capsules to not get symptoms.
The mistake I made most often with FODMAP supplements was that I took too little of the supplement and ended up thinking it didn’t work. When I was still using the normal Quatrase variant (not the Forte), I once ate a bread roll and took one capsule and ended up having symptoms.
The next time I only ate half of the bread roll and I was fine. So now I know that I will have to take two capsules, if I want to eat one entire bread roll.
The guideline on the package says to take 1 to 3 Quatrase Forte capsules right before or when you start eating the meal. After you take the supplement, it works for 30-45 minutes.
So if you are eating in a restaurant and the main course follows the starter after an hour and you took Quatrase Forte before the starter, you would have to take a supplement again for it to continue working.
You can take a maximum of 15 capsules per day. If you find it difficult to swallow the capsules, you can also open them and sprinkle the powder over your food or add it to a glass of water.
Can using this supplement lead to any side effects?
A question I get asked often, is whether it is good for you to take these supplements often and if it leads to any side effects.
I have asked Intoleran this question and they told me that the enzymes all have only one specific function and this is breaking down the specific carbohydrate (whether it is fructose, lactose, galactans/fructans or sucrose).
Because the supplement doesn’t have any other functions, it cannot lead to any side effects. Therefore it is also safe to use on a daily basis if you want to.
You can read more answers to Frequently Asked Questions about these supplements here.
How I use Quatrase Forte
Personally, I find it a waste of the supplement if I take Quatrase Forte when I only eat something with one of the FODMAP groups in it. Therefore, I also have the separate supplements for fructose, lactose, galactans and fructans.
My personal FODMAP supplement stash currently consists of:
- One package of Fructase: supplement for fructose – You can find my review about Fructase (previously called Lutomerase) here.
- One package of Lactase: supplement for lactose
- One package of Fibractase Forte: supplement for fructans and galactans
- One package of Quatrase Forte
I know it is quite a crazy supplement stash, but I react to all of these FODMAP groups (the only groups I don’t react to are mannitol and sorbitol) and having these supplements give me so much freedom.
I don’t use them too often. Most of the time I just use them as a safety net for when I go to eat out or when I am on holidays.
I find Quatrase Forte perfect for moments when I am not entirely sure what is in a meal, so I use it a lot when I am on holidays. I am sure it has already saved me from a lot of tummy aches.
I also use it sometimes to eat something that I really miss. Such as a fluffy non-gluten-free bread or a spread or dip that contains a little bit of garlic or onion.
Ordering Quatrase Forte
You can order Quatrase forte and the other supplements that I have mentioned above on Intoleran’s website. Intoleran is a Dutch company, but they ship their products worldwide.
One package of Quatrase forte contains 36 capsules and costs €37,95.
Have you ever tried this supplement? Do you use any FODMAP supplements yourself?
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