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Enzyme supplements could improve digestive processes

Research suggests taking daily enzyme supplements appears to improve digestion as well as the absorption of nutrients.

Why you need enzyme supplements intake every day

The study utilized a patented computer-controlled gastrointestinal model (TIM) which simulates the conditions of the human stomach and small intestines allowing a true comparison between healthy gastric and intestinal secretions and impaired digestion due to lower levels of gastric and impaired secretions.

enzyme supplements

The study used these two extremes in the testing because usually the digestive capabilities of most people fall somewhere in between these extremes. 4 different tests were done when analyzing the digestion of the same meal; the meal without the digestive enzymes under perfect digestive conditions, the meal with the addition of a digestive enzyme blend under perfect digestive conditions, the meal without digestive enzymes with a 70% reduction in gastric and intestinal secretions and finally the meal with the digestive enzyme blend with a 70% reduction in gastric and intestinal secretions.

Samples were collected at various stages of the digestive process and were analyzed for glucose and nitrogen content which would show both carbohydrate and protein digestion.

Enzyme supplements improve digestive processes

The results of the study

The results showed the enzymes improve the bioavailability of proteins and carbohydrates in the small intestine when there was a reduction in the gastric and intestinal secretions and when the digestive conditions were not impaired.  Glucose availability was increased by 7 times in the impaired digestion model and 4 times in the “perfect” digestive model.  The findings in this study provide scientific confirmation of prior evidence which supports the use of digestive enzymes.

Further studies are needed.

More about Digestion and enzyme supplements

Let to take a moment to talk more in detail about Digestion and Digestive Aids.

Digestion begins in the mouth when chewing food and the initial work of salivary enzymes begins. Once the food is swallowed, the stomach takes over the digestive process by secreting hydrochloric acid and pepsin which break food, especially carbohydrates and proteins, down so that the digestive enzymes in the intestines can do the final breakdown of the food which will then be absorbed as nutrients.

how enzyme works

Many of the digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas and each enzyme has a specific function. The enzyme Lipase aids in the digestion of fat by hydrolyzing fat in the small intestine. The Amylase enzyme breaks starch down into sugar.  Protease is any enzyme that conducts proteolysis, the breakdown of proteins or peptides into amino acids.

Both animal and human research show hydrochloric acid in the stomach and digestive enzymes produced in the pancreas diminish with age. Additionally, lowered pancreatic function for any reason may cause reductions in the production of the digestive enzymes produced in the pancreas adding to impairments in digestion. Read also about how Lipoic Acid supplements may aid weight control.

Dietary supplements containing betaine hydrochloride and various sources of amylase, protease and lipase can address inadequate hydrochloric acid and digestive enzyme function.

Friendly bacteria (probiotics) also play a role in digestion and the health of the intestines and may be depleted due to drugs like antibiotics and other drugs or due to poor dietary practices.

Supplementing with probiotics may help reintroduce friendly bacteria into the intestinal tract.  Constipation which is characterized by infrequent bowel movements as well as intestinal distress may benefit from certain fiber products as well as laxative type herbs.

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