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Why do we need to supplement digestive enzymes?

Updated on October 21, 2014

Digestive Enzymes

Why supplement digestive enzymes?

Working as a nutritional consultant, I get asked a lot, “If our body does make our own digestive enzymes, then why do we need to supplement them?” My usual response to that question is you most likely don’t need to supplement them if and only if you are eating approximately 90% fresh raw foods which naturally contain enzymes. However, as you and I both know, this is not the case, especially with the Standard American Diet, appropriately abbreviated at SAD.

Jeff Wendland is a professional nutrition counselor who has worked in the natural health field for ten years.

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Should I Take Digestive Enzymes?

When we eat, our food sits in our stomach for about 45 minutes before making its way through the duodenum. Not enough digestion occurs in our stomachs because we lack the enzymes naturally found in foods which is killed in heating and processing. So imagine the benefit of adding a balanced broad spectrum digestive enzyme supplement to this process.

Approximately 60-80% of our energy goes to digestion. Supplementing digestive enzymes greatly reduces the burden on the pancreas and the entire digestive process by assisting in breaking down foods into smaller and smaller components that become much easier to assimilate.

This greatly increases our energy. I have had reports back from people who take digestive enzymes that after eating they used to feel full and sluggish. But after taking them, they are filled with energy and no longer slip into the "food coma" after a large meal.

It is believed by many nutritionists that our bodies have a specific "enzyme potential" that can be exhausted. Our bodies make two main kinds of enzymes, digestive, and metabolic. Digestive deals with digesting food, and metabolic deal with other processes such as tissue repair.

When we are not eating enough raw foods, or supplementing digestive enzymes, the body uses resources that should go towards metabolic enzymes and puts them towards digestion. So, in essence, supplementing digestive enzymes will help to keep the whole body younger and healthier by allowing our metabolic enzymes do their job properly.

It is my opinion that unless you are eating a very well balanced, 80-90% raw food diet, everyone should supplement a digestive enzyme.

People who supplement digestive enzymes report improvements in health problems such as heartburn, indigestion, gerd, diarrhea, constipation, diabetes, bloating, and a host of other health problems.

When looking for a good enzyme to take, make sure your product is broad spectrum, plant based, and broad ph so that it can work in both the acidic stomach, and alkaline intestines.

You can see the digestive enzyme that I recommend at EB Digestives by the company Universal Formulas.

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Flora-Zymes (Food Enzymes w/Good Flora)


Flora-ZymeTM are a complex formulation of digestive enzymes with added "good bacterium". The "good bacteria" assits the G.I. tract. Enzymes are said to rule over all other nutrients because they are responsible for nearly every facet of life and health.

Food enzymes are necessary for healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients from food and supplements. Flora-Zymes effectively replace the natural enzymes found in fresh foods which are destroyed during cooking and processing. Poor digestion is a result of enzyme deficiency and can produce a whole variety of symptoms including gas, bloating, upset stomach, heartburn, fatigue and even mood swings. Derived from cultured Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus niger, and Trichoderma viride, our Flora-Zyme formulation is completely plant-based, which allows it to function in a wider pH range than animal-based enzyme supplements.

Added to this formulation of enzymes, are the pro-biotic Acidophilus Complex and Bifidus Complex to insure proper growth of healthy bowel flora. Overgrowth of disease-producing bacteria in the bowel is largely due to insufficient amounts of acidophilus and bifidus in the lower intestine. Normally healthy bowel flora is destroyed by the use of oral contraceptives, antibiotics, stress, and excessive sugars in the diet. Our Flora-Zyme formulation is a great way to supplement the friendly bacteria in the body with a daily supply of these important digestive floras.

EB-Digestive Aid (High Potency Enzyme)

EB-Digestive Aid

EB Digestive Aid is a highly concentrated version of the Flora Zymes formula. In addition to the acidophilus and bifidus, we have added the pro-biotics bromelain and papain, which provide an enhanced superior digestive aid complex. This formulation was designed for individuals with severe cases of poor digestion and other bowel ailments, excessive gas and general health improvement. This is our highest potency enzyme complex available.

Enzymedica Digestive and Therapeutic Enzymes

Enzymedica - Digest Gold with ATPro - 120 Count
Enzymedica - Digest Gold with ATPro - 120 Count

Digest Gold represents the most potent digestive enzyme formula available. It has been formulated to assist in digesting proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber. Digest Gold is more potent than Digest. It contains 4 more enzymes and is approximately three times stronger than Digest in most categories

Enzymedica - Lypo Gold, Enzymes for Optimal Fat Digestion, 120 Capsules
Enzymedica - Lypo Gold, Enzymes for Optimal Fat Digestion, 120 Capsules

This product was formulated to aid in the proper digestion of fats. It is for the fat digestion and metabolism, as well as the health of the cardiovascular system.


Do you take enzymes?

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    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 

      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great discussion here on an important topic that many aren't aware of at all. 5*s!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 

      9 years ago

      Yes! I use Garden of Life's Digestive Enzyme.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      9 years ago

      I read Enzymes for Digestive Health a while back - great book! Thanks for a helpful lens. 5*****

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for all of the great info. Since I've read your lense, I bought the digestive enzymes you recommended. I have lost 8 pounds!!! I can't imagine not having an enzyme with every meal.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      More people need to realize the importance of what enzymes can do for your health. When food is not properly digested (and with age...that's a good possibility with the loss of "good" bacteria), and our foods are not as healthy as they used to be, supplementation with enzymes is a positive step towards regaining health.

    • KarenKnightBenn profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens! I love the layout and the info. It's amazing what taking digestive enzymes can do. It really has a made a difference in my life.

    • Bookmama2 profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens. I gave it 5 stars and added it to my lensroll for my lens, also on digestive enzyme supplements - a topic that I'm just learning about. Any advice on how people should choose which supplement to try?

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Welcome to the Vitamin Supplements Group!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Digestive enzymes are necessary,if they are natural,it will add their value.My lens also provides natural digestive enzymes supplement.Do visit

    • Barkely profile image


      11 years ago

      Great information, I go in spurts, I take digestive enzymes for a while, then I forget about it. I always feel better when I take them. I need to make it a regular habit.

    • aprilkerr lm profile image

      aprilkerr lm 

      11 years ago

      Hi Jeff, I always take digestive enzymes with my protein drink. Have a look at my green tea lens. Thanks. Oh and I've given you 5 stars.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Hi jeffwend, great lens . I really enjoyed articles on it. However , i have also created my lens on health and fitness.In my lens you will find valuable information on important topics like "Flatten your belly" , "Get perfect six pack abs", "2 weeks of free fitness instructions", "10 simple ways to weight loss" and much much more. To view the lens , please

      Click Here.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Thanks for your kind comments on my tofu lens. Coming from someone as prolific as you (38 lenses!) and with your nutritional backgroud, it's a real compliment. I'm glad you found it worthwhile.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Your recommended product "digest more" is really good. I got some a few months back and I feel great. Thanks, Steve from male sexual health


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