What You Should Know About Digestive Enzymes

If your digestive enzymes aren't functioning well, you may be missing out on the performance-boosting benefits of your supercharged diet plans.

Your digestive tract uses enzymes to break down the food you eat to fuel your body. Bloating, malabsorption or trouble transitioning to a new diet plan can all be indicators of deficient enzymes.

Enzymes are now more common in supplements, but with a lot of brand names on there, it's hard to know where to begin. Keep reading for a jump-start overview of enzymes: what they are, why they are important, and which ones are right for you.  


Enzymes are proteins your body produces that create chemical reactions your body needs. Your pancreas, tummy, salivary glands, and your small intestine all release enzymes that help you break down food into nutrients your body can take in. Enzymes additionally shield your digestive tract by breaking down inflammatory substances such as lectins, which contribute to leaky gut syndrome.

Different enzymes match with different compounds in your diet regimen, such as amino acids or sugars. The lactase enzyme is required to absorb lactose sugars. For example, grownups no longer create lactase, which is why lots of people can not drink milk.


All the healthy and balanced food in the world won't help if your body does not have the enzymes required to break down the nutrients you intake. Pancreatic problems, damage to the digestive tract, or serious inflammation to the digestive system such as Celiac or Crohn's Disease can axe your enzyme production.

This can range from leaking gut, to bacteria growth, to minor food intolerances. Worse, with reduced enzyme counts, undigested proteins can go through your gut to cause more inflammation. Low stomach acid is additionally connected to low enzyme manufacturing. Your body also generates fewer enzymes as you age. But the biggest culprit by far is stress.  


High anxiety strangles food digestion by putting your body in a "fight or flight" status, affecting how much energy goes into your digestion. If your ancestor was running from a lion, digestion is the least important task at the time. Chronic stress and anxiety can lead to reduced levels of enzymes, resulting in malnutrition and improper absorption.


  • Frequent undigested food in stool.
  • Feeling a "rock" in your belly
  • Looseness of the bowels or irregular bowel movements
  • Gas or bloating
  • Unintentional weight reduction
  • Poor nutrition symptoms

These symptoms feel and appear a bit like eating non-nutritious foods like pizza. When you notice signs and symptoms like these with nutritious foods, you might have an enzyme issue.

Enzyme shortages can be hard to diagnose, given that they frequently share signs and symptoms with various other gastrointestinal problems. These nonspecific signals commonly go misdiagnosed or unknown. While direct examinations for enzyme counts can be beneficial for identifying severe pancreatic issues, stool examinations are a great way to catch the majority of issues. These tests provide an extensive picture of your enzyme health, plus markers such as microbial or fungal overgrowth, inflammation, food digestion, or parasite infection.


Ideally, your body creates enough of any given enzyme to manage your normal diet. Radical diet plans can throw your body off its usual routine, but supplementing the appropriate enzymes may aid in the transition.

Enzymes can also prevent food eating mishaps. If you're out with your buddies and eat something you normally can't handle, a quick intake of enzymes can help you break down the food and lessen any damage.

If specific foods often irritate you, stay away from them first and foremost. Test foods to identify which foods trigger digestive issues. If you have trouble with large food groups, such as leafy veggies or meats, extra enzymes can increase your digestion and vitamin absorption.



With so many supplements out there, it can be tough to find the right one. There are no one-size-fits-all answers for enzymes. Additionally, different mixes or dosages may help different individuals. Stay clear of brand names with fillers or artificial ingredients, and determine if vegan pills are right for your way of life.

Enzyme supplements come in three categories: pet, plant, or sourced. Fungal-sourced enzymes are a powerful, cost-effective, and broad-spectrum choice. Given that these enzymes are taken from mushrooms and other fungi, they can be an issue for people with extreme fungi or nightshade digestive sensitivities. 

Animal-derived enzymes (typically pancreatic items from pigs) are broad-spectrum, potent, and a lot like our own enzymes, yet tend to be a lot more costly and also much less shelf-stable. They are also not ideal for people with immune system issues.

Plant-based enzymes, such as bromelain or papain, tend to be rare and less potent yet are budget-friendly and shelf-secure.

Supplements can assist if you are low on enzymes in general or if they target specific issues. Be sure to identify which foods you have a hard time with to limit the number and types of enzymes you require. Usually, a combination of supplements with a blend of the right enzymes is best. Here are some typical digestion enzymes and the foods they target.

Cellulase: cellulose in fiber-rich plants

Lipase: fats / oils

Protease: proteins

Peptidase: particular proteins such as gluten or casein

Alpha-galactosidase: starches in vegetables

Pectinase: pectin in fruits

Amylase: starches

Glucoamylase: maltose sugar

Invertase: sucrose sugar

Lactase: lactose sugar from dairy


When you start taking a supplement, try it out for 3-5 days to see exactly how it impacts your digestion. While dosages differ by brand, it typically works best to take them before you eat. A supplement takes 24 hours to pass through your body, so if there is no effect after a few days, start testing for other issues.

Keep in mind that stress, inflammation, and food are often at the root of enzyme deficiencies, A supplement might not always be the ideal answer. Other issues include eating too quickly, too much, and being stressed.

Enzymes are useful for instant relief on digestive issues; however, you need to accurately identify sources of swelling, anxiety, and stress to find the right match of enzyme.

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