holistic wellness

Digestive Enzymes Supplements

Relieve Indigestion ~ Improve Health ~ Slow Aging

Digestive enzymes supplements are important for more than relieving symptoms of indigestion. It is estimated that 80% of the energy we use is for digesting the foods we eat.

When the body doesn't have to work extra hard to produce digestive system enzymes, that energy will be directed to manufacturing metabolic enzymes. Metabolic enzymes cannot be manufactured in a lab. They must be produced in our body. Every cell in our body depends upon the reaction of metabolic enzymes.

What Are Natural Digestive Enzymes Supplements?

Supplemental digestion enzymes are either plant-based or animal-derived. Animal-based enzymes have a somewhat weak action relative to plant-source enzymes. Studies have demonstrated that, per milligram, plant-based enzymes are 10 to 100 times more effective at digesting proteins, fats, and carbohydrates than animal-source enzymes.

Animal-sourced enzymes - such as pancreatin, trypsin, and chymotrypsin - are primarily derived from the pancreas and small intestine of pigs and cows. They must be enterically coated to protect from the acidic gastric juices until reaching the compatible alkaline environment of the small intestine.

Plant-sourced enzymes, also referred to as fungal or microbial enzymes, are extracted from the aspergillus fungus which is grown on different plants in a lab. Plant digestive enzymes are active in a wide pH range, including the environments of the acid stomach and alkaline intestines. When manufactured in a plant-based capsule such as cellulose, these vegetarian digestive enzymes are suitable for vegans.

When the pancreas is diseased or inflamed (pancreatitis), then animal-derived pancreas enzymes should be combined with the plant-based enzymes. The pancreatic enzymes will support the compromised pancreas, while the plant-source enzymes will digest the food.

Symptoms of Indigestion

heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux
  • heartburn
  • indigestion such as burps / belches
  • excessive gas and bloating
  • food allergies / food sensitivities
  • nausea
  • constipation or irregularity
  • intestinal and gastric discomfort
  • food cravings
  • acid reflux
  • fatigue after eating

Factors That Affect Enzymes

There are several factors that can deactivate or denature enzymes or reduce their production by the body:

  • lack of water or dehydration
  • incompatible acid/alkaline range or pH balance
  • incompatible temperature range
  • aging - enzyme production decreases 10-13% with each decade
  • high levels of stress
  • cooking, freezing, or processing food

The Health Benefits of Digestive Enzymes

  1. Improves nutrient bioavailability
  2. Relieves allergies and food intolerances
  3. Relieves symptoms of indigestion
  4. Regulates & balances hormones
  5. Increases energy & mental clarity
  6. Improves blood circulation
  7. Supports healthy immune functioning
  8. Promotes detoxification
  9. Slows the aging process
  10. Reduces risk for chronic health issues

What Are The Best Digestive Enzymes Supplements?

Full-spectrum plant-source digestive enzymes supplements provide the most relief from digestive discomfort and will ensure a complete digestion process. Plant digestive enzymes are more effective and can withstand a broad pH range.

Full spectrum enzymes should also contain a blend of multiple strains of each category of amylase, protease, and lipase enzymes. This blend will increase the range of pH the enzymes can work in and will be able to break down more molecular bonds during digestion.

Some people make the mistake of taking an incomplete digestive aid. For instance, those who have difficulty digesting dairy products (lactose intolerance) may take the milk enzyme, lactase. This helps to digest lactose, a milk sugar, but doesn't help with milk protein or milk fat. It's always best to take a full-spectrum digestive enzymes supplement.

The best time for taking a digestive enzyme supplement is right at the beginning of a meal or within the first couple of bites. Vegetarian (cellulose) capsules may take longer to dissolve than animal-derived (gelatin) capsules. It may be necessary to take vegetarian-capsuled digestive enzymes about 15-20 minutes before a meal.

Some Specific Recommendations

Few companies have the expertise necessary to formulate a high quality enzyme product. It's important to choose digestive enzyme supplements from a company that specializes in products that improve digestion, or has them formulated by an enzyme expert.

One very effective plant-sourced digestion supplement is ReNew Life DigestMORE. Brenda Watson, the founder of ReNew Life, is one of the leading authorities on natural digestive health.

I was previously using digestive enzymes from another company. When I compared ingredients to the DigestMORE formula, I was surprised to see that DigestMORE contained 3 times the potency, per serving, of the other brand.

The advanced plant-enzyme blend, DigestMORE Ultra, is specifically formulated for those with more difficult digestion. It will also benefit body builders, or anyone else on a high protein diet, since it contains a hefty 100,000 units of protease.

Use a digestive enzymes supplement regularly. This will not only improve digestion and save you from embarrassing gassy eruptions, but it will give your body a chance to more effectively manufacture enough metabolic enzymes to detoxify and create energy for every cell in your body.

When enzymes are taken between meals, they have a therapeutic or metabolic effect. Tom Bohager has written a very informative book titled Everything You Need to Know About Enzymes: A Simple Guide to Using Enzymes to Treat Everything from Digestive Problems and Allergies to Migraines and Arthritis

Tom is the founder of Enzymedica, a company that formulates therapeutic enzyme blends that address many health issues. Nearly every disease is the result of an enzyme imbalance.

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