Who should take digestive enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are suitable for anyone who consumes moderate amounts of cooked and/or processed foods in their diets as these foods are devoid of their own endogenous enzymes. Enzymes can also be used by anyone who wants to maximize digestion and nutrient absorption and may be especially helpful for persons who feel they have digestive difficulties or need support breaking down specific dietary components such as dairy, wheat, legumes or high-fiber foods.
Can children take enzymes?
Yes, but smaller doses should be used. One half of an adult dose can be used for children under the age of 12. For children under 5, consult with your local GP.
What type of enzymes should I use?
For most people, a broad-spectrum enzyme supplement designed to break down multiple components of the diet, such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats, would be suitable. If you feel you have difficulty with one particular class of foods you may want to look for an enzyme product designed specifically to digest that food. For example, a person with difficulty digesting fatty foods might benefit more from an enzyme preparation with a high content of lipase, while someone with lactose intolerance would be best served by a high-lactase product. Persons with particular dietary restrictions should also choose an appropriate enzyme supplement. For example, vegetarians may wish to avoid animal-source enzymes such as pancreatin, while persons with allergies or sensitivities to particular plants or microbial organisms should not use enzymes derived from those sources.
What should I look for when reading the enzyme activities listed on the label of a digestive enzyme supplement?
Enzyme activities, where applicable, should be reported in unit amounts specified by FCC for plant and USP for animal-source enzymes. Milligram amounts are appropriate for most vitamins and minerals, but do not give sufficient information about the potencies of enzymes. FCC and USP units are widely recognized as the highest standard for accurately labeling enzyme activities. The presence of FCC or USP units on a label, helps ensure that the enzymes have been tested for activity levels set forth by the industry, and are most widely recognised. Enzyme products that do not report activity in terms of FCC and/or USP units cannot be easily assessed, or compared, for potency and efficacy.
When should I take enzyme supplements?
For digestive purposes, enzymes are best taken at the before or in the middle of a meal. Encapsulated enzymes can be swallowed whole or the capsule can be pulled apart and the contents mixed with liquid or food. Digestive enzymes should not be mixed with extremely hot foods or beverages to avoid inactivation of the enzymes. Proteolytic enzyme supplements being used to achieve a systemic effect, such as regulating inflammation, should be taken at least and hour before or after meals so that the enzymes do not expend their activity on food digestion, but are instead absorbed intact into the bloodstream.
Can a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme supplement be used for systemic benefits?
Proteases are the only enzymes that have been shown to exert systemic effects in the body. While other enzymes such as carbohydrases and lipase may be absorbed from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream, there is no scientific data describing the type of effects, if any, they have once in the systemic circulation.
How much of a digestive enzyme supplement should I take?
Individuals respond differently to digestive enzymes so it is best to start by following the package directions and adjusting the dose either upward or downward to achieve the best clinical response. The dosage should also roughly correspond to the amount of food being eaten, so more enzymes should be taken with a heavy meal and less with a lighter meal.
What can I expect when starting digestive enzyme supplementation and how will I know it is working?
Some individuals may notice a slight increase in bowel movement frequency and gas when beginning digestive enzyme supplementation. These symptoms are generally temporary and may last for a few days as the gastrointestinal tract adjusts to the presence of exogenous digestive enzymes. Improvements in digestion and gastrointestinal function may be seen immediately upon taking an enzyme supplement or may take several days to several weeks to become noticeable.
Can digestive enzymes help with food allergies or intolerances?
Preliminary research suggests supplemental digestive enzymes can be helpful for certain types of food-related allergy symptoms. The predigestion of meat proteins with proteolytic enzymes has been shown to reduce their allergenicity in sensitive children. Similarly, some doctors report that carbohydrases are helpfuln in reducing allergies or sensitivities to certain plant foods. Plant foods contain thousands of different proteins, many of which are potentially allergenic. Carbohydrases like cellulase, hemicellulase, and beta-glucanase that break down the fibrous components of plant cells may help expose allergenic proteins making them more vulnerable to degradation by endogenous or supplemental proteolytic enzymes. Carbohydrase products have also been developed that claim to modify phenolic compounds in plant foods in such a way as to facilitate their metabolism by persons with phenol sensitivities. While much research remains to be done to demonstrate the efficacy of enzymes in reducing or neutralizing offending substances in foods, preliminary evidence suggests this approach may hold promise for those suffering from food sensitivities and/or allergies.
Do chewable enzymes work as well as tablets or encapsulated enzymes?
The efficacy of an enzyme product depends on the types and potencies of the enzymes it contains. Chewable enzymes may contain the same types of enzymes found in non-chewable tablets or encapsulated products, but they are typically lower in potency in order to minimize possible irritation to the oral mucosa and also to accommodate other ingredients like flavors and sweeteners. Chewable enzymes maybe a good choice for children and persons who have difficulty swallowing pills. Because of the lower potency, however, adults taking chewable enzymes may need to take more of the product to achieve optimal digestive benefits. For these reasons, Atone have chosen to use encapsulation only for our products, believing that it reaps better rewards.
Can digestive enzymes be used with probiotics?
Probiotic bacteria naturally synthesize and secrete a variety of digestive enzymes suggesting they are capable of surviving, and in some cases thriving, in an enzyme-rich environment. Take Atone’s Digestion plus Probio – this is successfully designed with so that they enzymes work in synergy with the probiotics within the blend.
How should enzymes be stored?
Enzymes should be stored in a cool, dry place (59°F-85°F) away from direct light. Interestingly, many people make the mistake of opening them and storing them in their bathrooms. This is the worst environment for them, and ideally, the fridge is the best place. Think of them as akin to probiotics and store them as they need to be stored.
Extensive research on enzyme use in both animals and humans along with an understanding of human physiology provide a compelling case for supplementing with digestive enzymes. Throughout humankind’s evolutionary history, humans subsisted primarily on raw plant and animal foods. These types of foods contain an abundance of enzymes which play as important a role in human health as vitamins and minerals. Modern diets contain dramatically less enzyme activity due to cooking and heavy processing of foods and many prominent doctors and researchers over the last century have maintained that this loss of dietary enzymes is most likely a significant contributing factor to the degenerative diseases and poor health often experienced with aging. Confirming the problem, it is now clear that certain health conditions, including normal aging, can
significantly reduce the capacity of the human body to create and secrete enzymes. Supplementing with digestive enzymes will help to compensate for reduced enzyme intake and the gradual decline in enzyme production associated with aging. The addition of enzymes to diets not only aids food digestion, but also helps to spare naturally occuring enzymes to perform important metabolic functions. Research over the last half century in both animals and humans confirms that supplemental enzymes do enhance macronutrient and micronutrient availability and reduce the incidence and severity of gastrointestinal symptoms associated with poor or incomplete digestion.
For more information about our Enzyme Digestive Supplement, and others in our range, please visit our shop here. Also, contact us at email@example.com anytime, with whatever questions you may have.