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 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.
– Amylase, Lipase and Protease: Today a growing number of health conditions are also linked to poor digestion and malabsorption of nutrients caused especially by the deficiency of Amylase, Lipase and Protease regarded as the most vital among digestive enzymes produced in our body. Amylase is required to digest carbohydrates into simple sugars such as glucose, Protease breaks down protein into amino acids, and Lipase is in charge of fat break down. Since deficiency of these digestive enzymes is believed to be a common problem today addition of Amylase, Lipase and Protease in various formulas can be very beneficial in improving digestion of macronutrients and reducing constipation, bloating, gas and other gastrointestinal problems.
– Lactase enzyme may bring relief to people suffering from lactose intolerance, which is another very common problem. It is caused by the deficiency of lactase which is required to digest lactose (sugar) from milk. As a result, lactose can’t be fully digested whenever dairy products are consumed and it leads to various unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, wind, cramps, nausea and diarrhoea.
– Good digestive enzymes should be boosted with viable bacterial strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium 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 the 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.
– Bromelain is a type of proteolytic (helps break down proteins) enzymes, found in pineapple fruit (especially in stems or cores). Bromelain is composed of several endopeptidases and compounds like peroxidase, phosphatase, glucosidase, escharase cellulase, and protease inhibitors. It is a powerful digestive aid effective in the entire digestive system including in the presence of stomach acid and also in the alkaline environment of the intestines. The activity of Bromelain is measured in GDUs (Gelatin Digesting Units) which indicate the proteolytic (protein digesting) activity. Bromelain is effective against various digestive and gastrointestinal problems simply because it is an enzyme that helps to digest proteins. It also supports the absorption of nutrients. It is known to ease colon inflammation and symptoms of autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease by reducing the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines which damage the gut lining. Due to the fact that Bromelain actually heals the gastrointestinal tract lining, it is beneficial for the following GI problems: Inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative colitis & Crohn’s disease), Heartburn, Colon cancer, Dyspepsia, Gastric ulcers (caused by helicobacter pylori), Constipation, and Diarrhoea.
– Good formulations also contain Chloride in the form of calcium chloride that is proved to contribute to healthy digestion by improving the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
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