Alpha-galactosidase is a glycoprotein; it hydrolyses molecules from glycolipids and glycoproteins found in polysaccharides and oligosaccharides found in foods such as peanuts, beans, lentils and cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and Brussel sprouts.

Alpha-galactosidase transform non absorbable oligosaccharides in the intestinal tract to prevent them fr0m being fermented by intestinal bacterial flora (a gas producing process); in reducing intestinal gas production, visceral distention is decreased and therefore, symptoms like distention, abdominal pain and flatulence decrease as well.

Alpha-galactosidase hydrolyses three complex carbohydrates: raffinose, stacyose and verbascose to transform them into monosaccharide: glucose, galactose and fructose and into the disaccharide; sucrose (whose hydrolysis is instantaneous during normal digestion).

Alpha-galactosidase is not normally produced by human beings, for which reason raffinose, stachyose and verbascose arrive intact at the colon, where they are fermented by bacterial flora in a chemical reaction that produce hydrogen and methane (gas).

Supplementation of Alpha-galactosidase with foods breaks up these three oligosaccharides before they arrive in the colon, preventing fermentation and gas production.

Supplementation with the food enzyme alpha-galactosidase reduces digestive discomfort by breaking down these sugars before they reach the colon & provides a source of nutrition not normally available to humans. (Di Stefano M., et al. 2007; “The effect of oral alpha-galactosidase on intestinal gas production and gas-related symptoms”. Dig Dis Sci. January. Vol. 52, No. 1:78:83)

In a double blind study of oral alpha-galactosidase to treat oligosaccharide maldigestion done at the department of Family and Preventative Medicine at the University of California, it was found that alpha-galactosidase supplements could prevent gas and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Similarly, in a preliminary double-blind controlled trial, it was found that individuals using galactosidase supplements could digest beans better.

Alpha-Galactosidase is included in Zygest, the new 13 Food Enzyme System Formulation, including a Protease with DPPIV activity, 10 Carbohydrase, Phytase and Lipase.

Philippe Thebault ND. Fellow ANTA
 0425 225 671