You have probably heard of digestive enzymes and the fact that they have incredible health benefits. However, many of us aren’t sure about whether or not we should actually be taking these enzymes as a supplement. It is always a good thing to question things, because you shouldn’t just randomly take a digestive enzymes supplement or any other supplement without knowing if it will actually make you healthier. Let’s take a look and see what digestive enzymes and their advantages.
Digestive Enzymes Definition and Why They Matter
Our digestive system isn’t responsible for the absorption of the food we eat. Rather, it absorbs the nutrients found in the food. Common nutrients come from proteins (amino acids), fats (cholesterol and fatty acids) and carbohydrates (simple sugars). Then, there are minerals, vitamins and various other compounds. The pancreas and the small intestine actually produce digestive enzymes. These are responsible for breaking down the food into the nutrients that we need, and our body then absorbs these nutrients.
Many people actually don’t have enough digestive enzymes. As a result, they can’t properly break their food down and absorb the nutrition they need, even if they eat a healthy diet.
Why Natural Digestive Enzymes May Not Work
There are a number of reasons why digestive enzymes may not work in the body. The number one reason is the presence of a disease, particularly pancreatic problems and brush border dysfunction. In addition, there are also other reasons that may be causing it, including things such as inflammation in the digestive tract, aging, low levels of stomach acid, and chronic stress. Whatever the underlying reason may be, improperly functioning natural digestive enzymes can cause all sorts of problems.
Solutions for Digestive Enzymes Deficiency
First of all, you could decide to follow a digestive enzymes diet plan. Certain diets, like the Paleo Diet and Whole30, are designed to restore the natural digestive function, which makes use of enzymes. These types of diets reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, in particular, as they remove certain ingredients that inhibit the proper functioning of enzymes. These include such things as legumes and grains. Additionally, these diets fix the bacteria in your gut.
However, eating healthy foods does not automatically mean you have a healthy digestion. One of the problems is that you may not have the right balance of gut bacteria. In that case, you will need to focus on both digestive enzymes and probiotics, which will help you restore the natural flora in your gut. Diets like the Paleo diet do not address this issue, nor do they look at improper digestion, which could be causing your problems.
Something that is hugely important if you do have reason to believe that there is something not right with your natural enzymes, is that you reduce your levels of stress. Stressed people, which are most of us, tend to no longer take our time when it comes to eating. People tend to eat on the go, as quickly as possible, and this doesn’t help with the digestion either. Instead, you should take your time when eating and, if at all possible, rest after a meal. This is why so many Mediterranean people, who are known to be the healthiest in the world, take a siesta after their lunch meal.
Finally, you may need to take digestive enzymes capsules, or even digestive enzymes with probiotics to continually support a healthy digestion. By taking supplements, you may be able to address more specific issues in your body, either for the long term or as a quick solution. However, you have to be able to find the best digestive enzymes supplements in order to maximize the health benefits that you can get.
How to Find Out If You Need Supplements
First of all, you need to compare digestive enzymes vs probiotics. As previously stated, they are two very different things. If your issue is simply that the flora in your gut is out of balance, you will probably only need probiotics. It is generally recommended to take those, for instance, through yogurt drinks with added probiotics, and see whether or not you notice any benefit.
Next, you should ask your family doctor to test your stool. This will tell them whether or not you are digesting properly and whether your pancreas actually produces sufficient natural enzymes. Unfortunately, this test is generally not covered by insurance providers. As a result, people choose to self-medicate as much as possible. This is also true because many doctors who encounter patients who state that they are worried about their enzymes will often tell them that it is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), because that is now used as an umbrella term for all things about digestion that are not quite understood.
There are a few specific problems to look out for that could be indicative of the presence of these disorders. The first is the link between enzymes and bloating/gas. In fact, many people take digestive enzymes for gas and bloating and if you do experience those types of symptoms after a meal, you may indeed need supplementation. Sometimes, digestive enzymes cause a lump in the throat as well. While you should always have a lump checked out by a medical professional, it could be a sign of an improperly functioning digestive tract. Finally, look at your stools. Undigested food, floating stools and oil slicks can all point to digestive enzyme problems.
Luckily, digestive enzyme supplements are safe and affordable. This means you can generally take digestive enzymes for IBS or any other condition and simply find out whether or not they benefit you. There are very few digestive enzymes side effects, so trial and error may be a good option.
Digest Enzymes Reviews
Now that you have a better understanding of digestive enzymes and the digestive process, you should start looking for those digestive enzymes that work. A good digestive enzymes review will tell you a lot of what you need to know. There are a few things to look for specifically, however.
First, there is price. If you want to experience digestive enzymes benefits, you will need to pay for it. Get something cheap, and the results will be negligible.
Second, there is the manufacturer’s reputation. If you find a product where people consistently say they have experienced digestive enzymes health benefits, you have probably found a good one. Hence, make sure you look for reviews.
Third, there is the source of the enzymes. Fruit sourced enzymes are the weakest of all and you can’t really see the effect between digestive enzymes and weight loss when taking these, for instance. However, they are the best digestive enzymes for kids, as they aren’t strong. Those that are animal sourced (you will usually see them marketed as ‘pancreatin,’ often claiming to be both digestive enzymes and hormones), tend to be stronger but less stable. They are also not suitable for vegetarians or vegans. Generally seen to be the best ones, therefore, are plant based.
Fourth, you may want to look for multiple enzymes. If you get a multi-enzyme product, you are more likely to experience more benefits, including digestive enzymes weight loss. This is why you should always check the label and look at the different ingredients and what their individual benefits are. Usually, they will work in synergy with one another.
Next, check that the strength and potency are listed. There are various scales used to describe enzymes. On the ingredient list, you should see a number next to each of the enzyme, which shows the strength. If the strengths aren’t listed, it is likely to be either weak or a proprietary formula that doesn’t work at all.
Finally, you should look at the actual ingredients. Check for things like gluten, dairy, salt, sugar and so on. Unless it is specifically listed that the product doesn’t contain something, you should assume that it does. For instance, if a product does not say it is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, it is likely that it will contain both animal products and dairy.
When and How Should You Take Supplements?
If you do decide to take digestive enzymes, you should take them with your meal. Some people believe timing is very important, but it has been shown that what matters is that they are taken on an empty stomach. The supplement manufacturer is likely to give more details. Generally, one to two capsules per meal are enough, particularly with high quality products. If you find a product that says you need to take four or more per meal, it is highly likely that the product is of inferior quality and you shouldn’t waste your money.
Generally speaking, you will need to test the dose a little bit. You may only need one tablet, or you may need three. You will notice that you have found the right dosage when you have healthy stools, no more feeling as though there is a stone in your gut, and no more gas and bloating. If you find, after three days, that there are no noticeable improvements, you should increase your dosage by an extra pill per meal, and give it at least three days to test it again.