Why do we need to supplement 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.
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 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
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
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.