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Everything You Need to Know About Digestive Enzymes

What is it |

How does it work |

Deficiencies |

Health benefits

What is Digestive Enzymes?

A

re you feeling sluggish and bloated despite eating a whole food diet? Perhaps you struggle to make time for home cooking and rely on processed food and ready-made meals.

In both cases, a digestive enzyme supplement like our VitaRx Enzyme Formula may help you get the most nutrition out of your food!

Digestive enzymes are protein chains naturally produced in the body and secreted by the mouth, stomach, and pancreas. These are catalysts necessary for activating and accelerating chemical reactions that break down food in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Raw fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods also contain enzymes to support digestion.


 

How Digestive Enzymes Works


The minute you start chewing your food, enzymes are produced to break down your food and ensure optimal nutrient assimilation. They target specific macromolecules – protein, carbohydrates, fats, or fiber – and digest them into small, absorbable molecules that can enter your bloodstream. Enzymes ensure greater bioavailability of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sugars to help you produce energy efficiently and feel your best!

A variety of digestive enzymes target different nutrients:

  • Amylase, glucoamylase, lactase, maltase, invertase, and alpha-galactosidase digest carbohydrates into sugars
  • Protease enzymes like pepsin, trypsin, papain, and bromelain digest large protein molecules into usable amino acids and peptide molecules
  • Lipase breaks fats down into fatty acids for easy assimilation
  • Cellulase is responsible for breaking down indigestible fiber
  • Phytase breaks down the anti-nutrient phytic acid to ensure optimal mineral absorption

Additionally, by ensuring optimal digestion of all food, enzymes may prevent undigested particles from damaging the gut lining and passing into the bloodstream. This is great for regulating immune function and preventing a hyperactive immune response to food particles.

 

Orange Juice Vitamin C

Risk Factors for a Digestive Enzymes Deficiency (Signs of Digestive Enzyme Insufficiency)

Optimal digestive enzyme production ensures that you obtain all the nutrient building blocks needed for a healthy body and mind. However, levels decline with age and are also impacted by:

  • Eating a diet high in processed foods and low in raw fruits and vegetables
  • Digestive conditions
  • Low stomach acid
  • Stress
  • An imbalance in the gut microbiome
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Certain medications

Signs of insufficient digestive enzyme production may include food intolerances, passing undigested food, gas, bloating, frequent diarrhea, acid reflux, nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, dull skin and hair, and low mood.

At VitaRx, we believe taking a comprehensive digestive enzyme supplement with meals could alleviate some of the pressure on your digestive organs and minimize unpleasant digestive symptom
s

 


Health Benefits of Digestive Enzymes

Here are some of the proven health benefits of digestive enzyme supplements.

Supports Digestive Function

Poor digestion results in undigested food particles sitting in the digestive tract and rotting. Pathogenic bacteria feed off these particles and proliferate, burdening the immune system and causing digestive issues like bloating, cramping, gas, and constipation.

A 2014 study on people with digestive problems had them consume either the drug domperidone or a vegetarian enzyme supplement for 5 days. Both treatments reduced digestive symptoms, but the digestive enzyme complex reduced abdominal pain more effectively (1).

Reduces Food Intolerances

Consuming a comprehensive digestive enzyme supplement could help alleviate symptoms of food intolerance. Research shows supplementing with the enzymes lactase and beta-galactosidase may reduce digestive symptoms caused by an intolerance to lactose from dairy products (2). 

May Enhance Muscle Protein Synthesis

Digestive enzymes support the breakdown of dietary protein into the amino acid building blocks needed for optimal lean muscle growth or muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

A study looked at men who took 50g of whey protein along with a blend of protease enzymes. Promisingly, total serum amino acid levels were much higher in those who took the digestive enzymes, indicating improved protein absorption (3).

Reduces Inflammation

When taken away from meals, research suggests certain digestive enzymes may soothe pain and inflammation in the body by breaking down inflammatory molecules.

A 2015 study in the Arthritis Journal found that the protein-digesting enzymes bromelain and trypsin were as effective at soothing painful osteoarthritis in the knee as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (4).

Research has also found protein enzymes:

  • Reduce pain and swelling after a minor surgery (5)
  • Minimizes exercise-induced muscle soreness and damage (6)


Resources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4094108
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15674309/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18652668/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4329848/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28217537/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15161110/


Make Digestive Enzymes Part of Your Daily Diet

Okay you knew it was coming... time for a shameless plug.  Do you think the benefits of adding digestive enzymes to your daily diet could help?  Create a personalized daily vitamin pack that includes digestive enzymes and any other vitamins, minerals or supplements you think could help.  Start by adding digestive enzymes to your Kit here!


Digestive Enzymes

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