Absorb More Nutrients with Digestive Enzymes – Dr. Digestive enzymes help the body absorb more nutrients and improve gut health. Learn the benefits and who should take digestive enzymes supplements. The truth is you are what you digest — and digestive enzymes are key to both better digestion and nutrient absorption. Today, there’s a growing incidence of illnesses that, when traced back to the source, appear to be linked to nutrient malabsorption due to a lack enzymes that aid in protein digestion digestive enzymes.
Oftentimes, good nutrition on its own isn’t the only issue involved in maintaining good health and avoiding illness. The role of digestive enzymes is primarily to act as catalysts in speeding up specific, life-preserving chemical reactions in the body. Micronutrients, if they haven’t already been cleaved in the stomach acid, are released and transported into the bloodstream, too. The pancreas produces bile salts or acids — which comprise water, electrolytes, amino acids, cholesterol, fats and bilirubin — and these are all sourced from the liver via the gallbladder. It’s the cholic and chenodeoxycholic acids that, when combined with the amino acids glycine or taurine, produce the bile salts themselves. The bile salts break down fats in food to enable the lipase enzyme to reduce further. Aminopeptidases degrade peptides into amino acids. Lactase, a dairy sugar, converts lactose to glucose.
Cholecystokinin aids digestion of proteins and fats. Secretin, as a hormone controls, the secretion of the duodenum. Sucrase converts sucrose to disaccharides and monosaccharides. Maltase converts maltose to glucose. Lipase converts triglycerides into both fatty acids and glycerol. Amylase converts carbohydrates into simple sugars. Elastases degrades the protein elastin. Trypsin converts proteins to amino acids.
Chymotrypsin converts proteins to amino acids. Nucleases convert nucleic acids to nucleotides and nucleosides. Phospholipase converts phospholipids into fatty acids. Digestive enzymes aren’t just beneficial, they’re essential! Salivary amylase released in the mouth is the first digestive enzyme to assist in breaking down food into its component molecules, and that process continues after food enters the stomach. The acid also has the effect of neutralizing the salivary amylase, allowing gastric amylase to take over.
That, in turn, notifies the pancreas to release hormones, bicarbonate, bile and numerous pancreatic enzymes, of which the most relevant are lipase, trypsin, amylase and nuclease. The bicarbonate changes the acidity of the chyme from acid to alkaline, which has the effect of not only allowing the enzymes to degrade food, but also bacteria not capable of surviving in the acid environment of the stomach to break it down further. At this point, for people without digestive enzyme insufficiency, most of the work is done. For others, supplementation is needed and helps this process along. Who Should Take Digestive Enzymes? Depending on how you view nutrition today, you either take a proactive or reactive approach to digestive enzyme supplements. This perspective holds that, unless someone has digestion concerns, taking enzymes is simply not needed.
On the other side, with the depleting nutrient supply in our diets and influx of chronic disease, a little extra help couldn’t hurt. Either way you look at it, an increasing number of people take digestive enzymes today, and certain health conditions like the ones below are good reasons to supplement. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, malabsorption, diarrhea or constipation, then digestive enzymes can help. Digestive enzymes digestive enzyme supplementation in gastrointestinal diseases take stress off of the stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder and small intestine by helping break down difficult-to-digest proteins, starches and fats.