The Enzyme Digest Houston Nutraceuticals Inc.
Issue 19, May/June 2007

In This Issue
  • The "No Fillers" Secret
  • Customer Questions
  • Don't Give Your Pet Xylitol!
  • Enzymes Weather the Storm in Michigan
  • Dr. Houston's Event Schedule

  • The "No Fillers" Secret

    From Devin Houston, Ph.D.

    "Why do you have to use fillers?"

    We often hear this question from consumers eager to learn about enzyme supplements.

    Fillers are used in encapsulated products for several reasons, and it ultimately depends on the manufacturer as to what filler is used, though the manufacturer's customer can also have an influence on the choice (as HNI does).

    The manufacturer of our current enzyme line needs a small amount of filler that has a certain level of "oiliness", so that the encapsulation machines work better. The amount of oil needed is very small. A number of materials could be used: mineral oil, vegetable oils, or plant products with a certain amount of natural oiliness.

    Currently, their filler of choice is rice bran, which is actually a good filler. The rice bran used is certified gluten-free, and the oil contains tocotrienols (which is very nutritious). Rice bran is digestible, which is a big plus.

    Due to some customers having issues with the rice bran, we asked our manufacturer to find another filler suitable for our needs. As a result, HNI has a separate line of products using cellulose (from spruce tree bark) combined with a tiny amount of medium chain triglyceride oil (MCT oil) derived from coconut. The amount of MCT is approximately 1 milligram per capsule. Cellulose is inert, not digestible, but gives a "cleaner" look to the capsule contents (whitish vs. brown color). Cellulose won't dissolve in water, so you may see it as sediment if put in liquids. The enzymes themselves readily dissolve, however.

    Another reason to use fillers is to achieve consistent capsule weights, so that dosing is consistent from capsule to capsule.

    There are manufacturers who do not have to use any extraneous material as filler during the encapsulation process, and some enzyme companies tout their products as being free of filler. However, this is not quite true, and depends on your definition of "filler". And this is where we touch upon one of the "secrets" of the supplement industry.

    Most all powder supplements - at some point in their manufacturing - go from a liquid form to a solid form. To do this, the liquefied supplement is sprayed onto a very thin film of maltodextrin, which is referred to as a "carrier". This is true of enzymes as well. The carrier also serves to stabilize the enzyme activity so that it remains effective even after months of storage.

    Regardless of which company you buy your enzymes from, there will be maltodextrin present. Sometimes, companies will dilute an enzyme to a smaller activity level by adding more maltodextrin. Since this is a component of the enzyme, it is often not considered a "filler" in the strict sense of the word. But it actually is.

    So what does all this mean? Any enzyme will have some kind of filler, whether it's maltodextrin, rice bran, or cellulose. No one filler will please everyone, but a good formula can minimize the amount of all filler. HNI does this by using the most concentrated enzymes available. This decreases the ratio of maltodextrin to enzyme. Also, we use enzyme as filler as much as possible. We put together formulas so that a capsule is filled as much as possible with extra enzyme, so that only 1 to 35 mg of filler need to be used, depending on the formulation.

    In the near future, HNI will be introducing two new products that will contain no rice bran or cellulose, only enzymes. The manufacturer of these products does not need the "oiliness" for good encapsulation. I have formulated these new products to use all available capsule space with enzyme only, meaning that the maltodextrin present on the enzymes is the only other excipient present.

    We are always striving to deliver the best products to our customers with as much information as possible. We hope our honesty and forthrightness is appreciated.

    Till next time!

    Customer Questions

    Q: What is the time that you recommend between probiotics and giving enzymes? I know that protease eats the probiotic, correct?

    A: No, actually the enzymes do not damage the probiotics. Probiotics and enzymes exist together in the gut naturally, so there is no reason to believe that proteases harm them. If you want to play it safe, take the enzymes at the beginning of the meal, and the probiotics after the meal, up to an hour after eating.

    Q: I am currently trying to get my children to go on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, could you please advise me on which enzymes I should put them on? Two of them are being very stubborn at the moment and refuse to eat anything in the morning that doesn't have cereal or wheat bread. They were good for about 3 or 4 weeks but now they just keep screaming for starchy foods. I need to know which enzymes I can give them so that they can eat the foods that they are screaming for.

    A: I would suggest trying the Zyme Prime product, which is targeted for high carbohydrate/starch diets. Often, kids stop craving the carb-laden foods once on the product, as the carbs are converted to sugars more easily but in a modulated manner - which feeds back to their appetite centers - making them feel more "satisfied" as to those types of foods.

    Q: My son is casein, gluten, and corn free. He is allergic to these food even through my breastmilk. He is underweight and I am elimating many foods. He eats every two hours and still has slow weight gain. I am trying my best to help his gut. Some mothers have recommended your products. I'm just not sure how to use them with a breastfed nine-month-old. He will not eat any other food.

    A: I'd suggest you take the AFP Peptizyde to keep the peptides from getting into your milk. Giving him Zyme Prime should help put on weight for him; try putting it into his food or drink. Give a 1/2 capsule per feeding.

    Read our most frequently asked questions.

    Don't Give Your Pet Xylitol!
    Houston Dogs

    With all the concern about pet food safety, we thought this would be a good time to mention another important factor in your pet's health. Xylitol should not be given to dogs and cats!

    While enzymes are actually good for your pet's digestion, please don't give Fido or Fluffy a chewable enzyme tablet, as these do contain xylitol, a natural sweetener. Xylitol can produce serious distress and even death if ingested by your dog or cat. If you wish to give them enzymes, use the powder or encapsulated versions.

    Click here for a list of foods that may harm your pet.

    Pictured above are Jesse and Sevin, the Enzyme Dogs.

    Enzymes Weather the Storm in Michigan

    We were very pleased to have Dr. Devin Houston speak to our chapter members in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on March 6, 2007. When I learned that Dr. Houston would speak to our group at no cost, I immediately began making the arrangements. I wanted to share with other parents the success we have had using Houston enzymes.

    I have a 21-year-old son who has been taking Houston Enzymes for over six years. The improvements have been many -- weight gain (when nothing else helped), normalized digestion (after 15 years of chronic digestive problems), reduced red ears, improved behavior (less hyperactive and more able to focus), improved skin color, etc.

    When the evening of March 6 arrived, despite snow flurries, poor driving conditions and traffic delays, we had an excellent turnout of parents and staff. Dr. Houston first spoke on the science behind enzymes and then addressed digestive issues related to our kids. He stayed afterward and answered questions and spoke with parents about specific concerns. Several parents mentioned to me afterward that they were very appreciative of his offer to personally answer follow up email questions. I continue to get phone calls from people who were unable to attend asking for handouts or other materials that might be available.

    I would highly recommend Dr. Devin Houston as a speaker!

    Celia Andrus
    Autism Society of Kent County
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Dr. Houston's Event Schedule

    To request a Presentation or our DVD for your group, contact Cindy Kelley on our toll free Events Line at
    1-866-275-0915 or

    Dr. Houston will be speaking and/or exhibiting at:

  • Kansas City, Missouri: Northland Autism Spectrum Support Group, 5/21/2007. Contact Robin Russell at 816-792-2823 or Cindy Kelley at 866-275-0915.

  • Chicago, Illinois: Autism One, 5/25-5/27/2007.

  • Phoenix, Arizona: ASA Conference (Exhibitor only), 7/12-7/14/2007.

  • Denver, Colorado: USAAA Conference, 8/8-8/11/2007.

  • Little Rock, Arkansas: Mini-DAN! Conference (Exhibitor only), 9/21-9/22/2007. Contact Susan Booher

  • Fredrick, Maryland: SPD Parent Connections, September 25 . Contact Mary Ann Mood

    See our Events Calendar for details and updates.

    Dr. Houston holds an earned PhD in Biochemistry and has an extensive research background in enzymes. He speaks at no cost to parent groups and parent conferences.

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