Frequently Asked Questions
What are enzymes?
Question: What are enzymes?
Answer: Enzymes are proteins that help reactions to occur quickly in the body. The kind of enzymes Houston Enzymes produces are highly purified from fungal or fruit sources and are mainly for digestion.
How do enzymes work?
Question: How do enzymes work?
Answer: Enzymes work as catalysts of biochemical reactions. A catalyst increases or accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction. Digestive enzymes break down proteins, carbohydrates or fats.
The nice thing about enzymes is that if the particular molecule they work on is not present, the enzyme does nothing. For example, if you take the enzyme lactase and the lactose it works on is not present, the enzyme has no job and does nothing. It will get passed on in the gastrointestinal tract as food protein.
How does digestion work?
Question: How does digestion work?
Answer: Digestion starts in the mouth and moves through the gastrointestinal tract, ending in the small intestine. Along the way, enzymes break food down into smaller particles for nutrient absorption.
How do I know I need an enzyme?
Question: How do I know I need an enzyme?
Certain foods can be problematic for people. We call these food intolerances, which is different from an outright food allergy. A food intolerance can be observed through nausea, irritation, tiredness, occasional irregularity, or a rash. Whereas a food allergy is more life-threatening problem.
For food intolerances, an enzyme can often be the solution. By identifying the specific problem food and coupling that with the particular enzyme that breaks down that food, you can often find relief from certain food intolerances.
How do I choose a product?
Question: How do I choose a product?
Answer: Which one product or combination of products you need depends on several factors such as diet and your specific gut metabolism. Match the enzymes in a product to the food you want to break down.
Are enzymes safe?
Question: Are enzymes safe?
Answer: Enzymes are safe for adults as well as children once they are old enough to eat table food.
What is the best time for giving enzymes?
Question: What is the best time for giving enzymes?
Answer: It’s usually best to take enzymes near the beginning of the meal. If you forget, take the enzymes when you remember as there may still be food in the stomach.
If you are a “grazer”, that is, frequently eating during the day, you may wish to take enzymes at fixed dosing intervals, uch as every 4 or 5 hours during the day.
Can I take enzymes with other medications or supplements?
Question: Can I take enzymes with other medications or supplements?
Answer: Enzymes may be taken with other medications and supplements, including probiotics.
Can I mix enzymes with food or drinks?
Question: Can I mix enzymes with food or drinks?
Yes, you can mix enzymes with many foods or drinks. However, the enzymes will change the textures of some foods depending on the food and how long it's in contact. Don't mix enzymes with very hot foods. Enzymes remain active up to about 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 Celsius), but they will be inactivated by cooking temperatures. Enzymes may be added to foods after cooking, just prior to serving. Enzymes are not harmed by cold temperatures; in fact, the colder they are kept, the longer they keep their activity. However, don’t store in the refrigerator due to the humid conditions. The freezer is dry and a good environment for enzymes.
What is the recommended dose for enzymes?
Question: What is the recommended dose for enzymes?
Answer: Dosing is by the size of the meal, not age or body weight. Typically, it’s best to start with 1 capsule per meal, with the exception of TriEnza, which is 2 capsules per meal. Those eating a small meal, such as younger children, by find a half-dose to be adequate. There isn’t any upper limit with dosing, and no toxicity associated with enzymes.
Can enzymes help with special diets?
Question: Can enzymes help with special diets?
Answer: It may be possible to add back, or support the digestion of, some problem foods with enzymes.
Some have wondered whether enzyme products such as AFP-Peptizyde or TriEnza are meant to replace the GFCF (Gluten-Free Casein-Free) diet. After much feedback from consumers on the use of these products, the answer now is "definitely" for some, and "quite possibly" for many others. Enzymes may support other diets too. Lypazyme may support fats in the keto diet. No-Fenol may support polyphenols in the Feingold diet.
How do I store enzymes?
Question: How do I store enzymes?
Answer: Store in a cupboard or on a shelf. Don’t refrigerate enzymes as the refrigerator tends to be humid and humidity isn’t good for enzymes. The freezer is fine for enzymes as it tends to stay dry.
I have never used an enzyme product. What can I expect as far as reactions?
Question: I have never used an enzyme product. What can I expect as far as reactions?
Answer: Typically there are no adverse reactions. Start with a low dose (about half the recommended dose) to ensure that you have no allergies to the enzymes. Digestive changes may be noticed, such as increased frequency of bowel movements (not diarrhea), less stool being passed, and a possible increase in gas production. All these are usually temporary and should be resolved in a matter of days.
Will taking oral enzymes long-term stop the pancreas from functioning?
Question: Will taking oral enzymes long-term stop the pancreas from functioning?
Answer: No. Pancreatic enzyme secretion is due to hormonal signals resulting from mechanical stretching of the stomach wall as food enters as well as from the act of chewing, tasting and smelling food. Research has shown some adaptability of the pancreas in animals; giving oral enzymes resulted in a slight decrease in pancreatic enzyme output that quickly returned to normal once enzymes were stopped.
Are enzymes different from probiotics?
Question: Are enzymes different from probiotics?
Enzymes are not the same as probiotics. Enzymes enhance the digestion of foods by breaking them down. Probiotics don't contribute much to the breakdown of foods, and mainly help support the immune functions of the gut. Another difference is enzymes start working quickly to break down foods, while probiotics need time to multiply and get established in the gut.