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Immunity, Lifestyle, Longevity
Allison Tallman, MS, RDN
April 25, 2022
Allison Tallman, MS, RDN
While many of us might take probiotics for gut health, many aren’t aware that digestive enzymes can also help to support a balanced gut by digesting the food that we eat.
Adding Digestive Enzyme Pro Blend to your daily routine can help improve digestion, reduce bloating, and assist in better absorption of nutrients.
It can also reduce instances of other gastrointestinal discomfort like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
We break down the health benefits of digestive enzymes, how to include it into your lifestyle, and much more in this article!
What Are Digestive Enzymes
Enzymes, by definition, are substances that speed up biochemical reactions, such as digestion (1).
Digestive enzymes, specifically, play a crucial role in breaking down the food that we eat (2).
They help to speed up chemical reactions in our body and turn substances into products that our digestive tract has the ability to absorb.
There are numerous ways that our body gets digestive enzymes. Our saliva, for example, has digestive enzymes in it.
Some of our organs, such as the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas, also have enzymes that assist in the role of nutrient breakdown.
There are also natural sources of digestive enzymes in foods that we ingest.
Fruits, vegetables, and honey all contain digestive enzymes that our body can use.
Not everyone can make enough digestive enzymes, however, or they might not be eating enough through food.
This results in certain gastrointestinal discomfort like gas, diarrhea, or abdominal pain (3).
Certain digestive disorders also prevent our body from making enough enzymes in the first place.
Including Digestive Enzyme Pro into your daily routine can assist with this and to promote better digestion and gut health.
Different types of enzymes
Digestive Enzyme Pro Blend contains several types of enzymes all helping to enhance nutrient absorption (4).
There are many types of enzymes that target different nutrients:
Amylase: breaks down carbs and starches into simple sugar molecules. Without adequate amylase in the body, one typically has severe diarrhea (5).
Protease: breaks down proteins into amino acids (6).
Inadequate protease leads to allergies or toxicity in the intestines. Protease also helps keep bacteria out of the intestines.
Lipase: breaks down fats together with your liver (7).
Those with inadequate lipase do not have enough fat-soluble vitamins in the body such as vitamin A, D, E, and K.
Digestive Enzyme Pro Blend also has probiotics in it, which in conjunction with the digestive enzymes, creates the perfect formulation for gut health.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a probiotic that helps to produce lactic acid (8).
Lactobacillus acidophilus, as it sounds, produces lactase which breaks down lactose.
This may help to reduce diarrhea, improve cholesterol, and improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (9).
Digestive Enzyme Pro Blend also contains Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum which are additional probiotics that promote gut health.
Now that we know a little bit more about digestive enzymes in general, let’s discuss some of its specific health benefits!
Digestive Enzymes in Gastrointestinal Diseases
Digestive enzymes have been shown to manage digestive disorders such as lactose intolerance and cystic fibrosis (10).
This is because digestive enzymes are produced and secreted by the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) to break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
While the effect of plant-based enzymes is unknown, animal-derived enzymes are well established and have been proven to manage certain digestive diseases.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI,) for example, requires pancreatic enzyme supplementation as the main therapy of choice for management (11).
The enzymes made from one’s pancreas normally help break down sugars, fat, and starches.
By failing to produce adequate digestive enzymes, these nutrients remain in the small bowel which drawS in water and results in diarrhea.
Pancreatic enzyme digestive therapy helps with this, and therefore helps one to digest food.
Functional dyspepsia is another condition that digestive enzymes can specifically help with, which will be discussed next.
Digestive Enzymes and Functional Dyspepsia
Functional dyspepsia (FD) is a disorder of indigestion with nonspecific symptoms and pathophysiology (12).
Some common symptoms that one may see include early satiety, nausea, heartburn, and regurgitation.
FD is highly prevalent around the world with the highest prevalence in India of 30%.
Deficiency of digestive enzymes is hypothesized as one potential contributing cause of FD, and therefore addition of these enzymes has been studied as a treatment.
Studies show that digestive enzymes as a dietary supplement relieve the symptoms associated with FD, therefore demonstrating another health benefit of this additive (13).
We’ll discuss how supplementation can potentially further solve common digestive problems in the next section.
Digestive Enzymes and General Gastrointestinal Discomfort
Incomplete digestion can lead to many digestive problems such as bloating, diarrhea, cramps, and stomach pains.
Gastric Prokinetics are one solution to this which is a prokinetic drug that enhances gastrointestinal mobility (14).
Gastroprokinetics help to increase frequency and strength of contractions of the GI tract, however, they may not work for everyone.
Research shows that digestive enzymes may be even more beneficial or provide an alternative therapy to gastric prokinetics (15).
In this study, individuals had reduced abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, epigastric burning, nausea, and excessive burping.
Next steps to taking Digestive Enzyme Pro Blend
As a dietary supplement, take 1 capsule of Digestive Enzyme Pro Blend twice a day.
We recommend taking 20-30 min before a meal (unless otherwise directed by your physician,) as it’s important for your body to already have the enzyme in it to digest the consumed nutrients.
If you do not take them before eating, then digestive enzymes are not much of use.
This is because they mimic natural enzymes, which are already naturally present in the body prior to food consumption.
Overall, research shows that digestive enzymes are crucial for good health.
Digestive enzymes help to manage certain disease states like chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes.
They also help to reduce gut discomfort like bloating, cramping after meals, and excessive gas.
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