Digestive Enzyme Supplements: Types and Function

Article Written By: Roger Wright

There are a wide variety of digestive enzyme supplements on the market and it is important to choose the right supplement for your needs. This blog post will provide you with information on the different types of digestive enzyme supplements and their functions. By understanding the different types of supplements available, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

What are digestive enzymes?

Digestive enzymes are substances produced by our bodies which function to break down the food we consume into smaller pieces which can be easily used by the cells of our digestive system. They are vital to help our bodies absorb and use the nutrients in the food we eat, as well as aid in digestion, helping us avoid gastrointestinal distress. While digestive enzymes naturally occur in the body, it’s often beneficial to supplement them with targeted dietary aids. Dietary supplements come in many forms, such as tablets, capsules, and shakes, each providing specific types of enzymes for various purposes. Additionally, there are numerous therapeutic benefits associated with taking these natural products, which include improved nutrient absorption, aided digestion, and helping reduce symptoms of digestion-related issues.

Different types of enzymes

Knowing what types of enzymes are available can be a helpful tool when looking into how to break down the best food you consume.

Amylase is a type of digestive enzyme that helps break down carbohydrates. These enzymes are released from the pancreas and small intestine, aiding in the digestion of starches, such as bread, cereals, and pasta.

Cellulase is another type of digestive enzyme that helps break down cellulose, a fibrous material found in many plant-based foods. Cellulase is essential for breaking down this type of fiber, allowing us to benefit from the nutrients it contains.

Diastase is a digestive enzyme that helps break down complex carbohydrates, such as amylopectin and amylose. Diastase is produced by the pancreas and helps us absorb and properly utilize these types of carbs.

Papain is a digestive enzyme derived from the papaya plant that helps break down proteins. Papain helps us to digest meats, poultry, and fish easily.

Pancreatin is another digestive enzyme that helps break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Pancreatin is produced by the pancreas, aiding our bodies in breaking down these essential nutrients.

Betaine is a digestive enzyme that helps break down fats. Betaine is found in foods like beef, eggs, and dairy products and helps our bodies to digest these types of foods properly.

Bromelain is a digestive enzyme derived from pineapple that helps break down proteins. Bromelain is beneficial for aiding digestion and breaking down complex proteins, allowing us to benefit from the nutrients they contain.

Lactase is a digestive enzyme that helps break down lactose, the sugar in milk. Lactase is important for people who have trouble digesting dairy products and can help prevent uncomfortable digestion-related symptoms.

Another type of enzyme, proteases, targets proteins to be broken down and used as essential building blocks for many processes in the body.

Lipase specifically works on fats — helping us both extract necessary energy from them and break them down into forms we can use more effectively.

Choosing the right supplements for different types of enzymes can be an important factor in your overall digestive health!

Natural sources of digestive enzymes

Several natural sources of digestive enzymes are beneficial to our health.

Fruits and vegetables, like papaya and pineapple, contain proteolytic enzymes that help break down proteins into smaller compounds for easier digestion.

Fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi, are packed with lactase which is an enzyme that helps digest lactose.

Honey is a fantastic source of amylase, an enzyme that breaks starch down into simple sugars.

These natural sources of digestive enzymes not only aid in the efficient digestion process but may also provide other health benefits due to their fiber content and micronutrient value. Although supplements can be useful if a person is deficient in certain digestive enzymes, it’s important to always consider natural options first.

How to choose the right supplement?

Choosing the right digestive enzyme supplement for your needs can be a tricky task. Before making a purchase, it is important to educate yourself on the different types of supplements and how they may benefit your health. Do you need help digesting proteins, carbohydrates, or fats? Knowing what specific enzymes and how much of them you need will help you find the best supplement. Additionally, consult your doctor or another healthcare provider if you have any underlying health issues that may complicate your enzyme supplement choice.

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