DPP IV discovered! Again!?
The year 1999 doesn't seem that long ago to me. That was the year I found that some food-grade protease blends contained an unusual enzyme, DPP IV (dipeptidyl peptidase IV). This enzyme was known to researchers in the field but enzyme manufacturers were not aware that it was present as an undocumented activity in certain protease enzyme blends. The enzyme was interesting to me because it explained what was being observed by many parents of children with wheat and dairy intolerances. When taking the enzyme with meals that contained wheat, dairy, or soy, the adverse effects that had been observed previously from eating such foods were reduced or abolished. A little digging in the medical literature offered an explanation: the enzyme degraded opiate-like peptides called exorphins and did so in the rather protected environment of the stomach. I say protected because peptides and proteins are not absorbed from the stomach. This allows acid-stable enzymes a chance to "defuse" or break down proteins before they enter the small intestine where they can be absorbed into the body. The "discovery" of DPP IV was serendipitous but led to many other companies following suit and producing DPP IV-based enzyme products. It is interesting that some companies are now, 14 years later, finding out about DPP IV and announcing it as a "new" discovery. Better late than never, I guess. It is important that newcomers to enzyme products understand how enzymes work in their diet. DPP IV is a helpful enzyme but it has its downsides as well.It does not work as fast as other enzymes. It requires very strict circumstances in order to function. It also needs the presence of other proteases in order to work optimally. DPP IV should always be accompanied by other different proteases to "set the stage" for DPP IV to function correctly. While DPP IV seems to get all the publicity, remember to acknowledge and look for DPP IV's supporting staff: the other more humble proteases on the label of your high-protease enzyme product.