Home Health Supplements What Are Digestive Enzymes And Why Do You Need Them?

What Are Digestive Enzymes And Why Do You Need Them?

What Are Digestive Enzymes And Why Do You Need Them?

Your digestive system and gut are the control centers of your body. Digestive enzymes are produced and secreted by your gastrointestinal (GI) system to degrade and metabolize macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates and fats, and then absorb the nutrients to fuel thousands of metabolic processes. Supplementing with digestive enzymes has become an increasingly popular treatment to help reduce inflammation, bloating and improve digestive health. We’ll talk more about what digestive enzymes are, how they work, and why you need them.

Digestive enzymes are proteins naturally produced by the body to help absorb and digest food. From the saliva in the mouth, to the small intestine and pancreas, various digestive enzymes are released and secreted. The pancreas is considered to be the center where most of the digestive enzymes are produced. The main purpose of digestive enzymes is to aid and support digestion.

The pancreas produces several different types of digestive enzymes. Various health conditions that affect the pancreas can lead to deficiencies in digestive enzymes, which can lead to malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies.

  • Amylase – An enzyme secreted in the mouth and pancreas that breaks down carbohydrates.
  • Maltase – Produced by the small intestine to break down maltose or maltose into glucose for energy.
  • Lactase – An enzyme that breaks down lactose, a sugar in dairy products. It converts lactose into glucose and galactose. The unabsorbed lactose is fermented by the gut, which can cause bloating and gas.
  • Lipase- Lipase breaks down fats into fatty acids and glycerol.
  • protease These are digestive enzymes that break down proteins into amino acids. Wolverine’s whey protein isolate Added protease as well as papain from papaya for better protein digestion.
  • sucrose- Sucrase is secreted by the small intestine and breaks down sugar or sucrose (table sugar) into fructose and glucose.

When the pancreas doesn’t produce enough digestive enzymes, you can’t effectively break down food into functional nutrients. This can lead to malnutrition, as well as bloating, cramping, and inflammation.

Supplements can help treat autoimmune diseases such as lactose intolerance and cystic fibrosis, which are characterized by malabsorption.

Starting in the mouth, through saliva and working through the gastrointestinal system, digestive enzymes break down food into smaller molecules, such as sugars or amino acids. Hydrochloric acid, found and produced in the stomach, sterilizes food and breaks down macronutrients, activating digestive enzymes in the stomach. As food passes through the small intestine, the pancreas releases a variety of digestive enzymes to process the food, in addition to bicarbonate, as the gallbladder releases bile into the small intestine. Bicarbonate neutralizes stomach acid, creates a neutral environment, inactivates gastric enzymes and activates enzymes in the gut.

Many foods contain naturally occurring digestive enzymes that can aid digestion. Papaya, pineapple, kiwi, ginger, banana, and mango all contain proteases that break down proteins, such as papain, amylase, and bromelain. Avocados contain the enzyme lipase that breaks down fat. Adding more of these foods can help support healthy digestion.

If you experience digestive problems such as frequent cramping, bloating, diarrhea, gas, oily stools, or rapid weight loss, you may be suffering from inefficient digestive enzymes. This of course leads to severe malabsorption and nutritional deficiencies.

Your gut and digestive health are critical to overall health and vitality. Inefficient digestive enzymes can lead to adverse symptoms such as gas, bloating, inflammation and gastrointestinal distress. Complementing or adding staple fruits and vegetables can help with better digestion and support a healthy gut.

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