Can you get a fungal infection from enzymes?
Can you get a fungal infection from enzymes? I recently addressed this question with a parent who had concerns about giving their child fungal-derived enzymes. Aspergillus allergies come in all sizes. We are constantly exposed to many strains of aspergillus in the environment. But the strains of Aspergillus used to make enzymes are not pathogenic. They don't cause primary infections. The enzyme supplements on the market, regardless of which company is selling them, contain only enzyme proteins secreted by the fungi. All the other fungal components have been removed by about a dozen purification methods. No fungal spores are present so no one can get an Aspergillus infection from taking enzymes. The only problem is when a person is specifically allergic to one or more of the enzyme proteins. This can occur but is no more frequent than any other food protein allergy, such as egg protein, soy, latex, etc. Sometimes one can find a product that they tolerate because the particular enzyme protein causing the allergy is not present. Animal-derived enzymes have their place. Creon, pancreatin, and viokase are all prescription enzymes made from pig or cow pancreas extract and are standardized on protease, amylase and lipase activities. They are enteric-coated to protect them from the stomach acid as they are not acid-stable like the fungal enzymes are. The enteric coating may be comprised of a methyl acrylamide base (this may have changed in the last few years so be sure and ask) which I consider a problem. But one has to weigh the pros and cons of any treatment, so I would not let that sway you if it works for you.