Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Digestive Enzymes are absolutely crucial for proper digestion and the unlocking of nutrients which preserve our life. Our body depends on countless enzymes which control thousands of biochemical reactions that keep us alive, vibrant and healthy. They promote proper digestion and absorption of nutrients and help to regulate body weight and metabolism. Digestive enzymes are also essential for the elimination of waste products and toxins.
Unfortunately, most enzymes normally found in fresh and raw plant foods are mostly destroyed by heating. But even with the healthiest, unrefined and rich in nutrients diet, if our body has trouble breaking down and absorbing nutrients, due to lack of its own enzymes, we really can’t reap the benefits.
Deficiency of digestive enzymes such as Lactase (required to digest Lactose from milk and dairy products) and also insufficient production of stomach acid (HCl) may lead to malabsorption of nutrients and numerous health conditions including constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, heartburn, skin problems, tiredness, fatigue, underweight, overweight, allergies or food intolerances.
WHAT IS LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
Lactose is a sugar found in milk which requires a special enzyme in our body called lactase. Unfortunately, many individuals are deficient in this enzyme and as a result they can’t digest it and develop lactose intolerance with various unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, indigestion, etc.
It’s estimated that over 70% of the world’s population does not produce the lactase enzyme and is lactose intolerant. Highest rates of lactose intolerance are found among people of African and Asian origin (60-100%). Only white Europeans seem to tolerate lactose quite well.
Deficiency of naturally produced in the body enzyme lactase required for proper digestion of lactose (sugar found in milk and dairy) makes impossible to digest galactose from lactose found in dairy. As a result a galacticol is created and accumulates in the eye leading to cataract.
AVOID ALL FOODS CONTAINING MIL & DAIRY
Obviously, the simplest solution to the problem is avoiding any products containing lactose (milk, dairy, cakes, yogurts, cheese, and other popular foods) but for many people it is very difficult as they enjoy these foods too much to be able to give up on them completely.
Fortunately, there are certain mentioned below supplements which may be effective or beneficial in trying to solve or reduce the problem of lactose intolerance.
GHEE INSTEAD OF BUTTER
It is also important to substitute butter for raw coconut oil or ghee as it contains no lactose. Ghee is made by simmering and skimming butter which process removes lactose and casein (strong carcenogen), making this product healthier and more sutable for individuals with sensitivity or allergies to dairy products. In addition, if Ghee is made from butter and milk from grass-fed cows, levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), are two to three times higher than that of grain-fed cows. However, since Ghee is still an animal product raw coconut oil is a healthier option.
TAKE LACTASE IN THE FORM OF A SUPPLEMENT OR DIGESTIVE ENZYMES WITH LACTASE
Taking lactase alone or digestive enzymes that contain lactase could be highly beneficial, especially if taken at the beginning of each meal, to ensure that foods are fully digested. This would also help to decrease the probability that partially digested foods including proteins, fats and carbohydrates will sit in the gut.
Since deficiency of digestive enzymes is believed to be a common problem today addition of Lactase and other important and potent natural enzymes in good quality formulas can be very beneficial in improving digestion of micronutrients and reducing constipation, bloating, gas and other gastrointestinal problems.
Addition of Lactase enzyme brings relief to people suffering from lactose intolerance, which is a very common problem.
INCREASE NUMBER OF PROBIOTIC BACTERIA IN YOUR INTESTINES
Digestive enzymes should be taken together with viable bacterial strains of Lactobacillus (Lactobacillus acidophilus is a strain of bacteria that can digest lactose) and Bifidobacterium which is one of the most important types of friendly bacteria found in the digestive tract, colonizing mainly the large intestine and colon. Bifidobacteria are considered extremely important to the health of the gastrointestinal tract. They may play a vital role in aiding absorption of nutrients, strengthening the immune function, fighting Candida, preventing flu and colds, and eliminating various intestinal problems including wind, gas, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation.
In order to effectively treat lactose intolerance while still enjoying dairy products you need to take care of your colon and increase probiotic bacteria dwelling there by taking good quality supplements which contain strains of probiotic bacteria that are able to generate lactase enzyme to handle lactose from dairy. The following strains are have proved to be able to do the trick:
All of them are known to produce lactase and help relieve or eliminate symptoms of lactose intolerance and allow you to digest milk and other dairy products. The more of these strains you add to your daily diet the better should be the results but keep in mind that they must be live and from reliable source as some time ago in America experts decided to test many popular probiotic supplements and yogurts and discovered that shocking 70% of them didn’t contain live bacteria!
GIARDIA LAMBIA INFECTION
Infection of the intestine caused by Giardia lambia can lead to lactose intolerance and probiotics have been successfully used to restore the activity of lactase in children who experienced this infection.
CHOOSE GOOD QUALITY PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS WITH LIVE BACTERIA RESSISTANT TO STOMACH ACID & BILE
The following excellent quality HealthAid probiotic formulas contain some of the above mentioned strains and therefore are very beneficial in coping with lactose intolerance (click on the image if you want to see the ingredients):
You also must take best prebiotics such as Psyllium Husk, FOS, GOS, or chlorella on a regular basis as it is the best food for the beneficial bacteria. Find out more about amazing health benefits of Chlorella >
Magnesium deficiency is common in people with digestive tract disorders including lactose intolerance. Therefore, supplements containing the most bioavailable form of magnesium, such as magnesium citrate, are highly recommended.
Those who are lactose intolerant usually are also vitamin K deficient, so it is important to take supplements with 100 to 400 mcg of vitamin K2 MK7 (from fermented natto) and add foods rich in vitamin K1 such as green leafy vegetables (especially raw spinach), scallions, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and dried basil.
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