Digestive enzyme supplements are gaining attention for their claims of relieving gut irritation, heartburn, indigestion, and other issues. Read on to understand the function of digestive enzymes, the types of enzymes, and why might you need to increase them in your diet.
We all know we need to eat a well balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. But if your digestive system is not functioning optimally, it doesn’t matter how well you eat – you will not be able to give your body what it needs. The key to it all is a healthy gut! Why is gut health so important? Not only is serotonin produced in the gut, but 80% of our immune system is in the gut which means the gut is our first line of defence.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Researchers have shown that 50 million Americans have Autoimmune issues that may all stem from a faulty gut. Leaks in the gut lining seep into the bloodstream, triggering an autoimmune response. This can take the form of a common thyroid issue, or be as complicated as Crohn’s disease. The list of ailments is endless. We need our gut to be at its best so we can enjoy a healthy life.
Function of Digestive Enzymes
Enzymes are the key to optimal digestion which in turn fosters good gut health. Enzymes are proteins that break down food so it can be absorbed and used to fuel the body with goodness. Your stomach, small intestine and pancreas all make different types of digestive enzymes. The pancreas is paramount to digestion. It produces the most important digestive enzymes, which are those that break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
A perfectly healthy person will produce the correct amount of digestive enzymes that the body needs. However, researchers are finding that there are an alarming number of people who are enzyme deficient. If your body isn’t making enough enzymes, it can lead to a range of health issues even if you’re eating a balanced healthy diet.
Types of Enzymes and Their Function
There are many different types of digestive enzymes. The main digestive enzymes include:
Lipase are enzymes that break down fats. They are produced in the pancreas and the mouth. If you don’t have enough lipase, you’ll be deficient in vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.
Amylases or amylolytic enzymes break down complex carbs into glucose and other simple sugars. The body produces two types of amylase: one in saliva and the other in the pancreas. Low levels of amylase can lead to chronic diarrhea or may mean you have pancreatitis (ongoing inflammation of the pancreas) or liver disease.
Proteases break down proteins into amino acids. They also play a role in numerous body processes, including blood clotting and immune function. A shortage of protease can lead to allergies or toxic intestines.
Are You Low In Digestive Enzymes?
One of the first signs that your digestive enzymes may be low is if you experience chronic digestive issues such as gas, bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea. Other signs are being unable to handle stress, feeling fatigued, or having weight issues. If this is you, be sure to talk to your doctor. These could be signs of gut irritation or could indicate a more serious condition. To help, you may want to consider taking a digestive enzyme supplement or add more enzyme rich food to your diet. Supplementing your diet with some of these foods may help:
But Why Are You Low In Digestive Enzymes?
Some enzyme insufficiencies are due to conditions such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis or any condition related to the pancreas. Other insufficiencies are due to age. By the age of 40, we have lost 30% of our enzymes. This means we do not have the enzymes necessary to properly digest our food. Have you ever wondered why you feel so tired after a big meal? It’s because your digestive enzymes are working in overdrive, trying to break your food down. Do you suffer from heartburn? That’s your body making extra acid, sending help to the depleted enzymes in order to digest your food. Instead of reaching for an antacid, regularly taking a digestive enzyme supplement may help by getting your enzymes back to their optimal performance levels to efficiently digest the food.
Not only chronic conditions and age but if you’re drinking alcohol regularly it can impact your digestion. Alcohol, and other drugs, may not only relax you but also relax the release of digestive enzymes. More bad news if you’re a smoker – smoking impacts the pancreas and interrupts its production of the enzymes.
To add to that, diet plays a huge role in the release and function of digestive enzymes. Not eating enough fruits and vegetables, filling up on processed foods and foods high in sugar all negatively impact the production and release of enzymes.
Digestive enzymes in supplemental form can also be an effective way to help your body break down food, increase nutrient absorption and reduce symptoms like gas or bloating. Sometimes people confuse enzymes and probiotics. Both affect your digestion, but in different ways. Probiotics are live organisms that make up the good bacteria in your gut. While probiotics do not have the ability to break down food, they do help in keeping your digestive track healthy.
Prebiotics also play a role in a healthy gut. Prebiotics are the food for the probiotics to help them thrive.
Dr. Tobias has formulated an amazing 4 in 1 supplement to help optimize gut health. Dr. Tobias Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics and Prebiotics Plus Postbiotics helps process difficult-to-digest food and offers relief from bloating, post-meal gas, and digestive discomfort while providing prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. Postbiotics are a fairly new notion in the health world, yet tend to show the promise of increased health benefits. This combination of enzymes, pro, pre, and postbiotics supports nutrient absorption while reducing digestive inflammation and irritation. This in turn help boost the body’s defence, recovery, and immune system functions.
Healthier Version of You Tip: Healthier Version of You Tip: Dr. Tobias Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics and Prebiotics Plus Postbiotics offers relief from post-meal gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and digestive discomfort and promotes regularity of bowel movements. Take 2 capsules daily, preferably with a meal, or as directed by your healthcare professional.
The function of digestive enzymes to the human body is key to digestion and good health. Even the best, most careful eating plan will not serve you well if you, like millions, are enzyme deficient. If you are suffering from digestive issues, you are encouraged to increase your digestive enzymes. You can add enzymes to your diet by increasing your natural intake with enzyme rich food or you may want to consider taking an enzyme supplement. Digestive enzymes are the little heroes of the gut and may very well put you on a path to a healthier version of you.