Digestive Enzymes – Latest Research Included

Full Disclosure

Your body produces digestive enzymes that help digest food items and absorb nutrients. You might require replacement digestive enzymes to prevent malabsorption if you have specific medical conditions.

Naturally occurring enzymes are essential to digestion. Without them, your system won't be able to digest food and allow nutrients to be completely taken in.

The absence of digestive enzymes can cause several digestive (GI) manifestations. This can leave you hungry, even if you eat a healthy diet.

Read on to find out how digestive enzymes work, the consequences when you lack them in your diet, and how to tackle it.

Which digestive enzymes do we need?

The body produces enzymes in the digestive system, which includes the stomach, mouth, and small intestine. The pancreas performs the most significant portion of this work.

Digestive enzymes assist your body in breaking down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in foods. This is vital to facilitate digestion of the nutrients and ensure optimal health. Without enzymes, the nutrients you consume are wasted.

Certain medical conditions may hinder the production of digestive enzymes.

If the pancreas cannot produce adequate digestive enzymes, it is known as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) and could result in malnutrition and poor digestion. If this happens, you should consider adding digestive enzymes before meals to aid your body in processing food effectively.

Certain digestive enzymes require a prescription from a physician or prescription, while others are sold over-the-counter (OTC).

Different kinds of digestive enzymes

The principal kinds of enzymes are:

  • Amylase is the enzyme responsible for breaking down carbohydrates, also known as starches, into sugar molecules. A lack of amylase can cause diarrhea.
  • Lipase. It works in conjunction with liver bile to dissolve fats. If you're not getting enough lipase, you'll be deficient in fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K.
  • Protease. The enzyme is responsible for breaking down protein into amino acids. It also assists in keeping yeast, bacteria, and protozoa away from the intestinal tract. Insufficient protease levels can result in toxicity or allergies in the intestines.

Supplements and replacement enzymes are available in various forms and with different substances and amounts.

Pancreatic enzyme therapy (PERT) is only available on prescription only. The medications are typically created from the pancreas of pigs. They are subject to FDA's (FDA) approbation and regulations.

Certain prescription enzymes contain pancrelipase, which is composed of amylase, lipase, and protease. The medications are typically coated to prevent stomach acid from digesting them before they reach the digestive tract.

Dosage is different between individuals depending on body weight and dietary habits. Your doctor will begin you with the lowest dose possible and adjust as needed.

OTC enzyme supplements are readily available everywhere the market sells nutritional supplements and on the internet. They could be derived from pancreases of animals or plant material like yeasts, molds, fungi, and fruits.

OTC digestive enzymes aren't classified as medicines; therefore, they don't need FDA approval before being put on the market. The dosages and ingredients in these products could vary from batch to batch.

How do digestive enzymes function?

When the pancreas doesn't produce digestive enzymes, the body's ability to break down food and absorb nutrients can be affected. This could lead to an insufficient diet and symptoms such as gas or cramping, gassiness, and diarrhea.

The replacement digestive enzymes replace natural enzymes that help reduce the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in food. The nutrients are absorbed into the body through the wall of the small intestine and then distributed throughout the bloodstream.

Therefore, replacing digestive enzymes may assist in preventing malabsorption and digestive problems.

Since they're designed to mimic your pancreatic enzymes, the replacement digestive enzymes must be consumed just before eating. So, they can be effective when food passes through your stomach and the small intestine.

In certain situations, it is possible to break the dosage. For instance, if you're eating a substantial meal that is taking longer than normal or when you're a slow eater, your doctor might suggest having half of the dose prior to the start of your meal and the remainder halfway through your meal.

If you don't consume replacement digestive enzymes in your diet, they're not very useful.

Enzymes are found in nature.

Certain foods contain digestive enzymes, including:

  • avocados
  • bananas
  • ginger
  • Honey
  • Kefir
  • kiwi
  • mangoes
  • papayas
  • pineapples
  • sauerkraut

Enriching your diet with a few of these food items can help digestion.

Who needs digestive enzymes?

You may require digestive enzymes in the event of EPI. Other conditions that could make you deficient in digestive enzymes include:

  • chronic pancreatitis
  • benign tumors or pancreatic cysts
  • blockage or narrowing of the pancreatic or the biliary duct
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic surgery
  • cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes

If you suffer from EPI, digestion may be uncomfortable and slow. It may also leave you hungry. It can be a sign of:

  • Bloating
  • excess gas
  • cramping after meals
  • diarrhea
  • yellow-colored, greasy stools that floated
  • Staining that is foul-smelling
  • Losing weight even when eating healthy

Even if you're not suffering from EPI, you might struggle to digest certain food items. Intolerant to lactose is an excellent illustration of this. A lactase supplement that is not prescribed helps you digest food with lactose.

If you're having difficulty digesting beans, you might be able to benefit from an alpha-galactosidase supplement.

Potential side effects

The most frequent adverse effect of replacing digestive enzymes is constipation. Other symptoms that are less frequently reported include:

  • nausea
  • abdominal cramps
  • diarrhea

If you are experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek out your physician immediately.

The digestive tract needs an incredibly balanced environment. Supplemental digestive enzymes may not be effective when the small intestine's environment is overly acidic due to the absence of bicarbonate. Another reason could be that you're not taking the correct dosage or proportion of enzymes.

Certain medications may interfere with digestive enzymes. You must inform your physician about any supplements or medications you take.

Talk to your doctor when you're on enzymes and experiencing problems.

When is the best time to visit a doctor?

If you're suffering from persistent digestive issues or experiencing symptoms of EPI, consult your physician promptly. It's possible that you're not getting the proper nutrients to stay healthy.

There are a variety of GI issues that could cause your symptoms. The challenge is figuring out what enzymes you need and what amount could cause problems. Because of this, it is essential to obtain an assessment and discuss your alternatives with your doctor.

If you require digestion enzyme replacement, you can discuss the advantages and cons of prescription and OTC products.

The takeaway

Digestive enzymes are vital to good nutrition and overall health. They aid your body in absorbing nutrients from the food you consume. Some foods could result in discomfort, food intolerances, or nutritional deficiencies in their absence.

Certain GI issues can prevent the production of enzymes; however, a treatment that replaces enzymes could be a viable option.

Consult your physician about the nature of your GI symptoms, possible reasons, and if digestive enzyme replacement is suitable for you.

Live Healthier
Advanced Living is a leading lifestyle wellness enhancement movement that highlights health awareness, provides educational research and delivers perpetual knowledge on how to live your best life in 2024 and beyond so you can master the art of aging gracefully in this lifetime. From high energy insights on trending news to truth-seeking analysis for supplement reviews, Advanced Living exists to optimize your well-being universe and act as a genuine guide for personal transformation, spiritual enlightenment and essential wholeness.

AdvancedLiving.com may receive a small reward on product purchases using links within reviews. For optimal transparency, see the full disclosure on how this process works to support our team’s mission of creating Advanced Living for you.

AdvancedLiving.com content provides generalized information only for education and entertainment. In no way is the content here a substitute for qualified medical advice. Always actively seek a professional dietitian, certified nutritionist, licensed specialist or your doctor for specific consultation before using any supplement our team reviews.

Get in touch at [email protected] with any trending news, tips or review suggestions. Disclosure: link references clickthroughed can result in referral rewards to support our team.

More Supplement Reviews and Product Research

Reviewing the Top 20 Best Wrinkle Creams That Really Work in 2024

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, getting older in age naturally brings its own set of challenges to combat as proactiveness...

Top 10 Best Garcinia Cambogia Supplements in 2024

Is Garcinia the Most Famous Weight Loss Supplement Ever? Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most well-known ingredients in the supplement market, known for its...

Top 10 Best Forskolin Brands in 2024

As scientific research supporting the efficacy of Forskolin has continued to pile up over the past decade or so, there now exists a mountain...

Top 20 Best Male Enhancement Pills in 2024

Male Enhancement in 2024 and Beyond: Growing Pains Everyone's talking about male enhancement, but let's really talk about 'enhancing a male'. It has been said a...

Top 5 Best Cocoa Flavanol Supplements in 2024

The cocoa flavanols story is quite impressive. Before we get into reviewing the top 5 best cocoa flavanol supplements in 2024, it is important...

Intermittent Fasting 2024 Guide: IF Diet Plan Types and Weight Loss Benefits

Intermittent Fasting in 2024: Beginner’s Guide to IF Diet Plans and Health Benefits Intermittent fasting is one of the hottest diet plans in 2024 and...

Top 10 Best Leaky Gut Supplements in 2024

The ultimate leaky gut syndrome guide features the top 10 best leaky gut supplements in 2024 that are designed to promote optimal gut health...

Supplements Revealed: Watch the Documentary Film Movie Trailer Now

Supplements Revealed is a 9-part documentary series launched online by Revealed Films. The series teaches anyone how to get relief from their health problems and...

Top 20 Best Hair Growth Vitamins and Hair Loss Supplements in 2024

Reviewing the Top Hair Loss and Hair Regrowth Remedies of the Year For both men and women, the ability to have a good head of...

Top 12 Best Keto Shakes to Review and Buy in 2024

In its most basic sense, a ketogenic shake can be thought of as a powdered supplement that can be mixed with either water or...

Top 10 Best Keto Diet Pills in 2024

The Ketogenic diet is one of the most popular nutritional plans in the world. With a focus on promoting a low-carb, high-fat diet with...

Top 10 Best Turmeric Supplements in 2024: Benefits and FAQ Research Guide

Several antioxidants currently on the market can provide major health benefits, but there is only one vividly golden yellow-orange spice that can do it...

Top 10 Best Vitamin D Supplements in 2024: Benefits & Deficiency FAQ

Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin that is essentially more well-known for its source than it is for its use in the body yet...

Top 10 Best Lung Health Supplements for Natural Breathing Benefits in 2024

The lungs are one of essential to keeping toxins out of our bloodstreams as we breathe, and they also ensure that the body only...

Top 5 Pycnogenol Supplements in 2024: Best French Maritime Pine Bark Extracts

In its most basic sense, Pycnogenol® is a medicinal extract that derived from the bark of French maritime pine trees. It is a highly...

Top 10 Best Aloe Vera Supplements in 2024

Aloe vera is an ancient herbal powerhouse that has been used for ages and ages for its medicinal properties. From it's collagen-boosting, silica-rich nature,...