Who needs digestive enzymes? You do! Digestive enzymes decrease in production as we age and they have many benefits. In this article we will discuss all about digestive enzymes and what they can do for your health. Let’s get started!
What Are Digestive Enzymes?
When our bodies are functioning normally, we have naturally occurring digestive enzymes that help us to break down food, and properly absorb nutrients. Digestive enzymes are made in the mouth, stomach, small intestine, and pancreas. The pancreas makes enzymes such as lipase, amylase, protese and peptide. Lipase breaks down fats. Amylase breaks down carbohydrates. Protese and peptide break down proteins. They are broken down to small molecules and then absorbed through the small intestine. From there, they go to the bloodstream, which then distributes them throughout the body. (1)
However, sometimes our bodies don’t make enough digestive enzymes and it creates issues. For example, someone who does not make enough lactase has difficulty digesting lactose. So then the undigested lactose goes to the colon. The colon will then produce more gas from the bacteria. This will result in digestive issues such as flatulence, diarrhea, and bloating. (1)
Now that you know more about what digestive enzymes are, lets discuss why you should take them. Keep reading to learn more about digestive enzymes benefits!
Why Should You Take Digestive Enzymes?
There are several reasons for taking digestive enzymes. Here are some of the benefits you will receive from consuming digestive enzymes:
- Better Nutrient Absorption
- Leaky Gut Prevention
- Reduce IBS Symptoms
- Clearer Skin
- Less Chronic Fatigue
- Less Pain
- Combats Anxiety
- Improves Focus and Memory
- Decreases Autoimmune Disease
- Supports Methylation
Digestive enzymes provide better nutrient absorption. The reason is because if you don’t digest your food properly, then you are not absorbing proper nutrients. If you don’t absorb nutrients of the food you eat, then the food will just sit in your gut and cause digestive issues. However, if you take digestive enzymes you can avoid all of these issues.
Digestive enzymes also help to prevent leaky gut. This is important because if you don’t absorb your nutrients, they will break down cell walls and cause your immune system to attack them. This results in inflammation throughout your body. So take your digestive enzymes and avoid these issues.
They also can help reduce irritable bowel syndrome. When food isn’t broken down properly the bacteria in your gut starts feeding on it. Once the bacteria is done feeding on it, your body will react with bloating, gas, cramps, and diarrhea. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis usually begin with inflammation from your gut. However, if you take digestive enzymes you won’t have to worry about these issues as much.
When you take digestive enzymes, you will also get clearer skin. When the nutrients are unbalanced inside your body, it can show up on the outside of your body. Fatty acids are crucial to healthy skin. If you are not consuming enough, you can tell from the outside of your body. This is another reason why you should consume digestive enzymes.
Another benefit of consuming digestive enzymes is that you will experience less chronic fatigue and pain. This is because inflammation can be linked with many health problems. Issues like migraines and headaches are related to inflammation in the gut as well. This basically means that by not getting the proper nutrients absorbed, you are causing gut inflammation. The gut inflammation then shows up as migraines and headaches. However, if you take digestive enzymes, it will calm the inflammation. This will make you have less headaches and migraines.
Digestive enzymes can also benefit you by calming your anxiety. Neurotransmitters are what controls our moods, energy levels, and alertness. They need amino acids to function properly. Amino acids are created by the healthy digestion of proteins. So if you are lacking protein in your diet or don’t have adequate enzymes to break down protein into amino acids, you need to take digestive enzymes. Basically this means that having gut health is crucial to keeping anxiety at bay. It also will help decrease inflammation caused issues in your body.
Another benefit of taking digestive enzymes is that you can improve your focus and memory. This is because 90% of serotonin is actually made in your digestive system. So basically, if you are experiencing brain fog, memory loss, or lack of focus, you should try taking digestive enzymes.
When gut issues trigger autoimmune responses in the body, that can lead to even more problems. For example, celiac disease is said to begin because of poor digestion. So if you keep your gut healthy, you have less of a chance of contracting an autoimmune disease.
Methylation is the process of cell division and production in our DNA. It is responsible for many responses in our bodies. This includes detoxification, controlling inflammation, and energy production. (2) Our bodies usually use vitamin B for this. However, when our gut is unhealthy, vitamin B can’t be absorbed. Therefore, methylation will be more difficult. However, if you take digestive enzymes, methylation will be an easier process.
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of digestive enzymes as a whole, we will now discuss the benefits of each digestive enzyme.
What Are the Benefits of Each Digestive Enzyme?
There are many benefits of digestive enzymes as a whole. Now we will break this down further so you can see the benefits of each digestive enzyme. Here is a list of the most common digestive enzymes:
- Alpha Galactosidase
- Beta Glucanase
- Cellulase and Hemicellulase
- Proteolytic Enzyme
- Protease and Peptidase
Amylase is a starter enzyme in digestion process. It is produced in both the saliva and pancreas, and secreted into the small intestine. This enzyme helps to digest starches in your diet. In addition, it improves digestion and increases your energy. Studies show the ability of amylase to maintain normal blood sugar levels and reverse diabetes symptoms. (3) As we get older, our bodies produce less amylase. This means that our digestion of carbohydrates gets impaired as we age. This is why we need to consume amylase.
Alpha Galactosidase helps digest sugar and fat. When we lack alpha galactosidase, sugar and fat will accumulate in the gut. Then it ends up accumulated in the rest of the body too. For example, poorly digested sugar and fat will eventually build up in the heart. It also builds up in the blood vessels, kidneys, and nervous system tissues. Alpha-galactosidase consumption also decreases gassiness. As you can see, we need alpha-galactosidase enzymes to help us break down carbohydrates. This way we will not cause other health conditions to develop. (4)
Beta Glucanase is beneficial to people who have an overgrowth of the candida fungus. Although it is a fungus, it is difficult to eliminate because it resists antimicrobial agents. Many people with these issues get treated with high dose antibiotics instead. However, if we treat with beta glucanase instead, you will have less issues.
Bromelain has a few benefits. Here are a few:
There are many studies supporting each of these benefits.
Cellulase and Hemicellulase are essential in digesting fruits and vegetables. When your body lacks the proper amount of glucoamylase, it becomes susceptible to abscess. This is because glucoamylase is responsible for dead white cell digestion. Glucoamylase is used to control psoriasis, allergies and eczema. It can also decrease herpes breakouts.
Invertase separates sucrose into fructose and glucose. It is usually combined with some other carbohydrates to increase overall carbohydrate and sugar digestion. Lactase breaks down lactose and dairy products. This helps you absorb vitamins and nutrients present in milk that helps build immunity and body strength. If you stop producing lactase, then dairy products will provide no nutritional benefit to you.(11) This is why you need invertase.
Lipase breaks down fats and has many other benefits as well. Lipase can be used to help with cystic fibrosis, celiac disease and indigestion. It is important to note, that when the body can’t break down fats, a disease called steatorrhea can occur. The symptoms of this are weight gain, a greater craving for fats and loss of important vitamins. Lipase supplements should be very useful with this disease.(12)
Phytase has the following benefits as a digestive enzyme.
- Decrease Phytic Acid In Body
- Boost Mineral Bioavailability and Absorption
- Decreases Mineral Deficiency
- Reduce Toxic Build-Up
- Increase Bone Health
Proteolytic Enzymes improve digestion, decrease inflammation, promote healing and speed recovery. In addition, they help to decrease inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel disease. Furthermore, they reduce muscle soreness and may even help prevent cancer. (8) Research suggests papain supplements may help digestion, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation. (9)
Xylanase divides sucrose into glucose and fructose. The reason this is important is that sugar on its own doesn’t provide any beneficial nutrition to the human body. Once sucrose is divided into glucose and fructose, it can be used as energy for the body. It also improves overall digestion of carbohydrates as well. Xylanase occurs naturally in our bodies but can also be found in honey. Xylanase also helps with digestion, human disease prevention, anti-aging, and physical rejuvenation.(10)
By now you know all about digestive enzymes. They have many benefits and uses in your body. In addition, they are a great way to start healing your body. Once you get yourself back on track, you will feel better and your life will improve.