The Digestive system is a group of organs that work together to transform the food into energy and provide the nutrients that the body needs. The Digestive system includes the gastrointestinal tract, some hormones, bacteria, blood and the accessory organs of digestion.
The health of your digestive system depends on your lifestyle, the amount of exercise you get and your stress levels throughout the day.
All enzymes are catalysts that enable molecules to be changed from one form into another. Digestive enzymes are substances that are secreted by the body to help turn larger molecules (the macronutrients we call proteins, carbohydrates and fats) into smaller ones. In addition to digestive enzymes, bile and hydrochloric acid also help with digestion.
Digestive enzymes are secreted into the digestive tract to break down food matter into smaller particles. If the pancreas is not secreting enough enzymes, then this can lead to bloating, bowel distension, gas, abdominal pain and undigested food. The amount of enzymes we secrete decreases with age, so these symptoms are more common as we age.
According to Dr. Gabriel Cousens, ‘’Enzymes are not simply catalyst that makes digestion and all metabolic process work: they are living proteins that direct the life force into our basic biochemical and metabolic processes’’.
Pancreatic enzymes can often help in the digestive process and alleviate many of these symptoms. Digestive enzymes play a key role in regulating and maintaining the propriety functions of the digestive system.
According to the Baseline of Health Foundation, science has identified more than 3,000 different enzymes in the human body, and it is believe that we have anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 enzymes in total in our bodies.
There are many disease processes that will benefit from digestive enzymes, and indeed would be therapeutic in such cases as:
Research including digestive enzymes supplementation conclude that people that are celiac tend to show defects in their intestinal barrier against the entry of gluten, as well as the blocking of gliadin presentation by human leukocyte antigen blockers and tissue transglutaminase inhibitors.
According to the Journal of Natural Medicine, introducing digestive enzymes supplementation, containing highly active proteases and peptidases and may help celiac disease.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study on functional dyspepsia with 40 patients receiving either multi-enzyme complex supplement or placebo for 60 days, the result showed that the group that were taking the multi-enzyme supplements managed to control their dyspepsia symptoms much more effectively.
According to the Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, digestive enzymes improve the digestibility and bio accessibility of proteins and carbohydrates in the lumen of the small intestine, not only under impaired digestive conditions, but also in healthy human digestion.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
A randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial found that when IBS individuals who frequently suffered from diarrhoea after meals took digestive enzymes before eating, they reported a reduction in their symptoms.
Another study published in European review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences found that when people with IBS took a combination of digestive enzymes and soluble fibres, they noticed a significant reduction in stomach discomfort, gas, and bloating.
A study published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found that bromelain, which is a mixture of proteolytic enzymes derived from pineapple helped decrease inflammation of the colon in mice with colitis.
In a randomized clinical study to assess digestive enzyme supplementation on markers of inflammation after a meal, the results showed that gastric discomfort was reduced with the supplementation of digestive enzyme compared to placebo.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a sample of 101 children with Autism Spectrum disorder, aged 3 to 9 years, investigated the relation between digestive enzymes and Autism Spectrum disorders. Autism Spectrum disorders patients were randomized to receive digestive enzymes or placebo. The results showed that the group that took the digestive enzyme therapy for 3 months had significant improvement in emotional response, general impression autistic score, general behaviour and gastrointestinal symptoms.
A report published in Integrative Cancer Therapies state that digestive enzymes may be beneficial to people undergoing cancer treatment. In their analysis of preliminary studies and clinical trials on the effects of enzyme therapy including proteolytic enzymes on people with cancer, the report’s authors found that enzymes may reduce several side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, such as nausea, fatigue and weight loss.
Digestive enzymes are now being taken by an increasing number of people to help treat health conditions like acid reflux, gas, bloating, leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, malabsorption, diarrhea or constipation.
Digestive enzymes can help break down difficult-to-digest proteins, starches and fats. This can reduce some of the work that the stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder and small intestine have to do.
What Enzymes shall I take?
We recommend to our patients DIGEST PLUS as it contains large array of different enzymes to help digest protein, carbohydrates as well as fat. Each 3 veggie capsules contain:
- Lipase (10,000 FIP/G)
- Cellulase Trichoderma (3,000U/G)
- Protease (10,000 HUT/G)
- Amylase (50,000 SKBU/G)
- Bromelain (2000 GDU/G)
- Papain (6,000 U/G)
- Lactase (65,000 U/G)
If there are stomach issues too, then it is highly recommended to take BETAINE COMPLEX which contains hydrochloric acid along with synergistic components to help its absorption.
Specifically, each veggie cap contains:
Betaine Hydrochloride – 625 mg
Pepsin powder – 30 mg
Copper Citrate – 13.8 mg
Zinc Bisglycinate – 10 mg
Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) powder – 5 mg
Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate – 1.5 mg
Vitamin B1 Thiamine Hcl – 1.3 mg
Hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach does several positive things. It assists protein digestion by activating pepsinogen to pepsin, it renders the stomach sterile against ingested pathogens, it inhibits undesirable overgrowth in the small intestine, and it encourages the flow of bile and pancreatic enzymes. Hydrochloric acid also facilitates the absorption of a number of nutrients, including folate, vitamin B12, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, iron, and some forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
If you suffer from constipation, then this can severely impede proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients, so in such cases we recommend CONSTFORM.
CONSTFORM is a fast-acting colon cleanser, designed for the chronically constipated in need of strong treatment for a blocked bowel. Purgatives have been combined with carminatives to prevent griping.
It is a powerful intestinal cleanser, which will “blast loose” residual intestinal congestion and get any bowel cleanse program off to a good start.
Each 685 mg proprietary blend capsule provides:
Aloe Vera extract (200:1)
Dandelion root extract (4:1)
Ginger root extract (20:1)
Nettle leaf extract (4:1)
A fast-acting, herbal colon cleanser and bowel support formula with 10 active herbal ingredients, including glucomannan.
Another formulation that we often use to cleanse and tone the muscles of the gut, is called COLFORM is a well-known herbal colon cleanser and bowel support combination, based on a formula by master herbalist, Dr. John R. Christopher.
Popular with colonic hydrotherapists, COLFORM contains a range of active herbal ingredients which help to cleanse the intestinal tract, soften the stool, stimulate the liver and improve peristalsis. This, in turn, helps to produce bowel movements and expel layers of old encrusted mucus and faecal matter that may have accumulated over time.
It acts to gently cleanse, stimulate and tone the bowel wall, supporting a move towards unassisted bowel movements.
Each 780 mg proprietary blend capsule provides:
Burdock root powder
Ginger root powder
Rhubarb root extract (30:1)
Fennel seed powder
Aloe vera extract (200:1)
Clove bud powder
Dandelion root extract (4:1)
Another powerful gut tonic that we often use is called OXYGUT – a powerful, yet gentle, non-habit forming colonics formula, with nutrients specifically selected to contribute to an increase in faecal bulk and normal bowel function.
It contains: magnesium peroxide, magnesium oxide, magnesium hydroxide, sugar beet fibre, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), citric acid, citrus bioflavonoids, apple cider vinegar powder (a natural digestive) and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS, a prebiotic) – ingredients designed to support the ‘oxygenating’ actions of the magnesium, as well as digestive regularity.
- Sugar beet fibre, in particular, contributes to an increase in faecal bulk in two ways: the insoluble components of the fibre increase faecal bulk by absorbing water in the large intestine, while the soluble components are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine leading to an increase in bacterial mass. As such, this source of fibre may have a beneficial physiological effect for people who want to improve or maintain a normal bowel function. Click herefor EFSA scientific opinion.
- Magnesium contributes to: a reduction of tiredness and fatigue, electrolyte balance, normal energy-yielding metabolism, normal functioning of the nervous system, normal muscle function, normal protein synthesis, normal psychological function, the maintenance of normal bones and teeth, and it has a role in the process of cell division. Click here and here for EFSA scientific opinions.
- Vitamin C contributes to maintaining the normal function of the immune system during and after intense physical exercise (with a daily intake of 200mg in addition to the recommended daily intake of vitamin C). It also contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of blood vessels, bones, cartilage, gums, skin and teeth, normal energy-yielding metabolism, normal functioning of the nervous system, normal psychological function, protection of cells from oxidative stress, the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, the regeneration of the reduced form of vitamin E and increases iron absorption. Click here and here for EFSA scientific opinions.
A natural approach to supporting long-term bowel health and ideal as part of a cleanse and detox programme.
Each 845 mg proprietary blend capsule provides:
- Vitamin C
- Magnesium Peroxide
- Magnesium Oxide
- Magnesium Hydroxide
- Sugar Beet Fibre (55 mg)
- Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
- Citric Acid
- Citrus Bioflavonoids
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)