What do Digestive Enzymes Do?

May 21, 2024

What do digestive enzymes do?

Have you heard of digestive enzymes?  They can be helpful in your bodies ability to breakdown foods.  You see, when you eat a meal, your body needs to break it down into smaller nutrients, so your cells can use these nutrients from your food for energy and function. However, the process of breaking down food is highly impacted by one thing: the function of digestive enzymes.

The function of digestion enzymes depends on which specific enzyme it is. For example, certain enzymes help break down each food type, like carbohydrates, fiber, protein and fats.

 Your body produces some of these enzymes naturally, like amylase, protease and lipase — but only if it's functioning optimally. You can receive other enzymes through the food you eat. It's also important to note the production of your enzymes can be affected by many things, including:

  • Your age; as you age, your internal production of digestive enzymes starts to decline.

  • If you have common food sensitivities, like lactose or gluten, it can be linked to lower enzyme production or other digestive imbalances.

  • Imbalances within your body, like low stomach acid, can lead to weakened digestion and also affect enzyme production and their effectiveness.

  • Underlying digestive imbalances or diagnosed digestive issues conditions.

  • Unhealthy lifestyle choices can increase stress and lower enzyme production and function.

This is why taking a digestive enzyme with whole food meals can provide additional digestive support and increased nutrient absorption and bowel regularity.

If the production or function of digestive enzymes isn't optimal, it could lead to digestive discomfort, including gas and bloating. If you experience discomfort after eating, consuming a digestive enzyme could support this issue. 

Digestive enzymes can break down food to help with digestion and absorption, as you need first to be able to digest foods before you can optimally absorb the nutrients. This will allow your body to turn the food into usable nutrients to receive more vitamins and minerals required for energy and optimal functioning.

Digestive enzymes can also support bowel movements. Proper digestion means your body can break down the food you eat, absorb nutrients and eliminate the rest.

If your body isn't breaking down the food optimally and at an efficient rate, then that food may sit in your digestive system for an extended period. This could lead to slower transport time, the re-uptake of toxins into the body, and bacteria to ferment, contributing to increased gas buildup. Taking digestive enzymes may help support slower transport time and increase bowel regularity.

I personally take a digestive enzyme with certain foods I know are a little more difficult for my body to breakdown.  This is my go-to digestive enzyme and it works like a charm!


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