Gobble up holiday meals with the right amount of enzymes

Thanksgiving Table 2017


The onset of the holidays is a perfect opportunity to reinforce some principles concerning enzyme dosing.

We have become so used to taking pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter drugs that we tend to apply the same thinking with supplements, and in many cases, that would be appropriate. 

But digestive enzyme products are different: 

  1. They are safe. No upper limit for a digestive enzyme has been documented or found to cause any harm.

  2. Enzymes are not absorbed into our bodies like drugs and other pharmaceuticals. They will stay primarily in the confines of the intestinal tract. 

    This means that all their work will be on the food in the small intestine and colon. The tiny fraction of ingested enzyme that does get absorbed into circulation does not stay there long and becomes inactivated quite quickly.

  3. Any enzyme left in the gut will be eliminated during bowel movements. Enzymes are not stored or accumulate in the body. That is why enzymes should be taken with each meal.

Some who try enzymes feel they don’t really do anything and stop taking them. Usually they are using an enzyme product that has low amounts of activity and they take the amount listed on the label.

All manufacturers are required to put a recommended dose on the label, but the dose listed may not be enough for many users. Experiment with the dosing to find the amount of enzymes needed for your particular gut and diet.

Those who do use enzymes need to be reminded that holiday eating may require more than they usually take.

Fat intake increases dramatically during holiday feasting. This can slow stomach emptying and increase the risk of heartburn or reflux. Stock up on lipase enzymes to break down fats and keep the stomach moving.

Starches and carbohydrates make up the bulk of holiday meals and contribute to the usual complaints of bloating, gassiness, and fatigue. Enzymes with plenty of amylase, glucoamylase and alpha-galactosidase will greatly ease your discomfort and keep you in the running for that extra helping of pecan pie.

Those pies are also typically full of gluten, a protein found in wheat. If you have a digestive intolerance to gluten, look for products with multiple protease enzymes formulated specifically for gluten.

Those of us who are lactose intolerant often forget how much dairy is included in holiday treats. You may not drink milk, but that glass of eggnog may be too tempting to pass up. Make sure your enzyme product has plenty of lactase enzyme to keep you from spending your valuable holiday time in the bathroom.

Still not sure how much of which enzyme product to take? Send us an email and we'd be happy to chat.

We at Houston Enzymes wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Dosing and Recommendations;