How to Get the Most Benefit from Digestive Enzymes
Enzyme supplement use continues to grow in popularity. More people are realizing the importance of a well-maintained gastrointestinal tract and are seeking effective supplements that support gut health. But when faced with which enzyme products to use, the consumer often hits a brick wall. The names of enzymes often don’t lend a clue as to their function and the activity units associated with each enzyme are meaningless to most people outside the industry. Listed below are some tips in helping to determine if you need enzymes and which enzyme could help you most. 1. What is your gut telling you? Everyone seems to have some foods that cause problems. Whether it’s lactose intolerance from eating dairy, problems with wheat, or just general gas and bloating, an enzyme may help but you have to know which enzyme works with each food type. Lactase is the enzyme needed for lactose intolerance and does a great job in alleviating the cramps and bloating that can occur after eating that bowl of Rocky Road ice cream. Gas and bloating often result from incomplete digestion of starchy foods. Gut bacteria begin feeding on the leftovers and then produce copious amounts of gas as their population rises. Enzymes that specialize in breaking down carbohydrates, such as amylase and glucoamylase, can help keep the gut clear of undigested starches. Non-celiac gluten intolerance is on the rise. Gluten is a protein and requires protease enzymes to be broken down. However, gluten is especially difficult for our own digestive enzymes to break down. A combination of plant-based proteases is most useful for dealing with this obstinate protein. Look for an enzyme called DPP-IV in combination with other proteases to help gluten break down. 2. Can enzymes be used as an alternative to diets such as the Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet Wheat and dairy proteins often cause gut problems for many, including children on the autism spectrum. For these children, restriction of wheat and dairy products often produce benefits in digestive function. While the GFCF diet can produce great results, it is also difficult for many to use. Protease enzyme combinations can often provide results similar to those seen on the diet. Because the plant-based proteases are active in the stomach, the gluten and casein proteins can be broken down before they can be absorbed in the small intestine. This prevents production of the exorphin peptides that seem to produce problems for many. 3. Which enzyme products are best? The best product is the one that works for you. It is also difficult to fully educate people in the scope of one short article. The best way to find out which enzymes will work best for you is to find a company that specializes in enzyme formulation and takes the time to understand your specific needs. Houston Enzymes is dedicated to educating consumers about the benefits of enzymes. Call or email me – the product formulator - and I’ll help you get started on the path to better gut health.