- There are digestive enzymes available as supplements (amylase, cellulase, alpha-glycosidase) that can help digest starch and certain types of fiber in wheat.
- There is no convincing evidence to say that taking such enzymes helps relieve symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not caused by lack of digestive enzymes but by increased sensitivity of the gut (WebMD). The sensitivity at least partly arises from psychological factors and the mechanism involved is known as the brain-gut axis (Frontiers in Pharmacology, 2012 ; Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2018). There is no exact list of foods/nutrients that would cause symptoms and different people can be sensitive to different things.
1) Over-the-Counter Enzyme Supplements: What a Clinician Needs to Know (Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2014):
Current evidence does not permit endorsement of the use of
supplemental enzymes to treat common gastrointestinal tract symptoms,
such as bloating, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome.
2) Does oral α-galactosidase relieve irritable bowel symptoms (Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 2016):
We found no evidence to support the use of AG routinely in IBS
Diet in IBS:
Various elimination diets may help to relieve symptoms in individuals with IBS:
- Avoiding foods/nutrients, which one finds as irritant from personal observation, for example, caffeine, chocolate, fried foods and margarine (Harvard.edu)
- A low-FODMAP diet with avoiding fructose, lactose, oligosaccharides and polyols (such as sorbitol) - see a detailed answer here on Medical SE. But then, a FODMAP diet alone may not be enough (study review: one, two, three, four) and one should consider discussing about personal problems with qualified professionals.
It seems to be more effective to avoid irritant foods/nutrients than trying to force-digest them with extra enzymes.