Best Digestive Enzymes-Complete Overview

A digestive enzyme is a catalyst that facilitates a molecular transformation. Enzymes are essential because they facilitate the breakdown of macronutrients like carbs, proteins, and lipids into smaller molecules that the body can use for fuel and cellular functions.

Enzymes that aid digestion are produced by our bodies spontaneously in the salivary glands, stomach, small intestines, and pancreas. However, various environmental and lifestyle variables can deplete our natural enzymatic resources. Eating meals high in enzymes or taking enzyme supplements might be useful to aid digestion even further.

Digestive Enzymes Benefits

1. Less bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

One of the most significant advantages of digestive enzymes is decreased gas bloating and gas after meals. Whenever your body lacks the enzymes necessary to digest food, it might result in undigested food sitting in your intestines and fermenting. The fermentation process generates gas, which can cause bloating. Undigested food can also attract water to the colon, causing diarrhea or loose stools.

2. Increased nutrition absorption

Digestive enzymes guarantee that your food is properly broken down and your body gets the nutrients. Inadequate enzyme synthesis can result in nutritional malabsorption, leading to vitamin shortages.

3. Aids in the digestion of difficult-to-process foods

Whether it’s a restaurant meal, your favorite takeaway order, or a special family supper, taking a digesting enzyme before your meal will help make meals more palatable, especially if you have lactose intolerance or your body struggles with a fatty meal. Food should be delightful; digestive enzymes can enhance the enjoyment of splurging meals.

Natural Digestive Enzyme Sources

Natural digestive enzymes are present in fruits, vegetables, and other meals. Eating them can help with digestion.

• Honey, especially raw honey, contains amylase and protease.

• Mangoes and bananas contain amylase, which aids in fruit ripening.

• Papaya contains a protease known as papain.

• Avocados contain lipase, a digesting enzyme.

• During fermentation, sauerkraut, or fermented cabbage, absorbs digestive enzymes.

HOW DO I SELECT DIGESTIVE ENZYMES?

Various types of digestion enzymes break down food. Here are some of the best digestive enzymes to look for in food or as part of a digestive enzyme supplement:

BEST DIGESTIVE ENZYMES FOR PROTEIN

Protease, bromelain, and papain are three of the most effective enzymes for protein digestion.

Protease

This enzyme aids in the breakdown of protein into its fundamental building components. This is a naturally occurring enzyme in our digestive tract. However, as we age, we produce less. As a result, as a nutritionist, I recommend taking a digestive enzyme supplement that contains this specific enzyme. Protease advantages include improved digestion and maybe immune support.

Bromelain

Bromelain is the most effective digestive enzyme. Pineapple contains it. Bromelain helps digest meat, cereals, nuts, and cheese proteins. According to research, bromelain contains anti-inflammatory characteristics and may benefit joint health. To reap the benefits of bromelain, eat pineapple after a substantial, protein-rich meal.

Papain

Papain aids in the breakdown of proteins into peptides and amino acids, making them simpler to digest. Because papaya is a natural source, it is a popular fruit for alleviating bloating and constipation. Bromelain and Papa work nicely together.

Surprisingly, topically putting papain on the skin is often used as a natural cure to heal insect bites and other surface wounds.

BEST DIGESTIVE ENZYMES FOR CARBOHYDRATES

Amylase, cellulase, and lactase are the most effective enzymes for carbohydrate breakdown. They are known together as carbohydrates.

Amylase

Amylase is an enzyme that our bodies create to break down carbohydrates. This enzyme is quite active! It degrades the fiber and carbohydrates in fruits, vegetables, and cereals into smaller molecules. It is a carbohydrate enzyme generated in the pancreas and salivary glands. Help break down carbohydrates into simple sugars.

Cellulase

It is another carbohydrase and one of the plant kingdom’s basic building blocks that aid in the digestion of fruits and vegetables. Plant-grazing animals, such as cows and sheep, manufacture this enzyme naturally in their bodies. That is not the case with people. Because humans cannot generate cellulase naturally, we must obtain it through food or supplements. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, probiotic yogurt, and kombucha are high in cellulase.

Lactase

Lactase is the digestive enzyme that breaks down lactose. Lactose is a kind of sugar that is plentiful in dairy products. When we are newborns and rely on our mothers’ milk for sustenance, our bodies create a lot of lactase. However, as we age, our lactase synthesis decreases. Lactase levels in some adults go so low that they become lactose intolerant. Lactase deficiency causes painful gas and indigestion in lactose-intolerant people when they consume dairy products.

BEST DIGESTIVE ENZYME FOR FAT

Lipase is one of the best digestive enzymes for breaking down fat in our diet.

Lipase

Lipase is an enzyme that degrades lipids into fatty acids and glycerol. It is the most effective digestive enzyme for digesting olive oil, butter, cheese, and other plant and animal fats. Fatty acids are essential because they form most of our cell membranes and supply energy, among other things.

Do I Need A DIGESTIVE ENZYME SUPPLEMENT?

While these enzymes are important for digestive health, many of us need the proper balance in our systems.

The absence of digestive enzymes may result in inadequately processed food in the small intestines, as well as the following problems:

• decreased nutrition absorption

• gas and bloating

• indigestion

• constipation

Consider adding foods containing naturally occurring digestive enzymes or a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme to your diet to assist proper digestion and nutrient absorption.

If you have a history of stomach ulcers, visit your primary care physician before taking any enzymes.

Our Picks for the Best Digestive Enzymes in 2023:

Probiotics Support

Probiotics Support is a powerful combination of types of beneficial bacteria, each chosen for its specific potential to improve digestion. The medication keeps your digestive system balanced by introducing beneficial bacteria. This is essential for proper digestion.
If you are looking to relieve stomach pain or improve your overall health then probiotics support is the best choice. It aids digestion, increasing nutrition absorption and decreasing gas and bloating. A healthy immune system and glowing skin are two other ways it helps wellness.

Pros

  • Improved Digestion
  • Balanced Gut Microbiome
  • Versatility
  • Immune System Support
  • Skin Health
  • Ease of Use

Cons

  • Individual Response
  • Specific Needs
  • Storage Requirements
  • Potential Herxheimer Reaction
  • Limited Research
  • High Cost

Source Naturals Essential Enzymes

If you regularly eat food, you know your digestive system may have trouble processing. You may develop a digestive enzyme deficit. Source Naturals’ digestive enzyme supplements are ideal for this purpose. After giving it a try, it was clear that it was an effective supplement for relieving various stomach problems.

Additionally, the enzyme supplement guarantees your digestive health will remain unaffected. Naturally, this supplement is fantastic for easing the digestion of dairy and red meat since it includes protease, lipase, alpha-amylase, amyloglucosidase, hemicellulose, and lactase. If you’ve been researching digestive enzymes, you may have noticed that some products exclude enzymes essential for digestion. However, when you buy this particular brand, you receive a wide range of digestive enzymes.

Some people may need to take two capsules of the enzyme supplement to get the full benefit, especially if they have sensitivities to gluten or lactose. One tablet should be taken 30 minutes before each meal; the recommended daily maximum is six pills.

Pros

  • Easy to swallow
  • A wide variety of enzymes
  • No noticeable flavor or aftertaste
  • Value for money
  • Works within 20 minutes

Cons

  • No returns

Enzymedica Digest Gold + ATPro, Maximum Strength Enzyme Formula

These Enzymedica digestive enzyme pills will provide unrivaled quick relief if you suffer from indigestion. They also have your back when you indulge in stomach-heavy items like fried dishes. Try an enzyme supplement if you suffer from bloating, gas, or indigestion. The enzymes amylase, protease, lipase, and lactase included in the supplement digest the complex carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins that cause gas.

Take one tablet 30 minutes before eating, as directed. Taken orally, these enzymes expedite digestion by breaking down a standard meal’s components. The tablets are just as effective as the real thing since they include the same digestive enzymes found in nature. I also observed that taking it immediately after a meal was just as effective as before.

Supplemental enzymes like these are designed to keep working through digestion. So, you won’t have to worry about any stomach upset because they work in both acidic and alkaline conditions. I realize that a digestive enzyme pill isn’t the best technique to alleviate stomach aches, but I’ve found that it eliminates my feelings of fullness and discomfort after eating.

Pros

  • Easy to swallow
  • Effective
  • Works fast
  • No discernable flavor
  • Easily absorbed

Cons

  • You will experience side effects until your body gets used to the enzymes.

American Health Original Papaya Digestive Enzyme

These chewable pills are the finest option if you seek a digestive enzyme that works quickly. In addition, they are for any acidity or inflow, whether it be due to dietary intolerances, overeating, or stress. In addition, I appreciate that they taste like candy, allowing me to take my time chewing and swallowing without water.

These digestive enzymes in this supplement can help you feel better and have more regular bowel motions. Papain, amylase, and protease are present, making it ideal for breaking down tough proteins, starchy meals, and fatty foods. The enzyme supplement’s ability to promote healthy bacteria, which is beneficial to gut health and helps simple digestion, also left an impression on me. Moreover, papaya is a natural component that aids digestion.

You may take these chewable pills before or after a meal without worrying about harming your vegan diet. Make sure you don’t exceed 6 per day, though! There is no horrible aftertaste, just a powdery flavor. Keep the tablets out of direct sunlight, as this might cause them to melt, and instead, keep them in a cool, dry spot.

Pros

  • Easy to chew and swallow
  • Increases nutrient absorption
  • Immediate relief
  • No aftertaste

Cons

  • It might be too sweet for some people

Zenwise Digestive Enzymes – Probiotic Multi Enzymes

Taking a probiotic pill is a great method to kickstart your digestive system. Fermented foods containing probiotic bacteria are an excellent all-natural remedy for indigestion. However, this isn’t always feasible, so vitamins are useful, especially if you’re trying to maintain a routine. I don’t mention that probiotics and digestive enzymes are excellent treatments for gastrointestinal problems.

Naturally, this supplement’s action is instantaneous, and eliminating bloating and gas will immediately make you feel better. In the morning, you’ll feel terrific thanks to the enzymes glucoamylase, amylase, bromelain, cellulase, invertase, lactase, bacterial protease, papain, lipase, and maltase. In addition, these supplements are great, particularly if taken before each meal or snack if you have a penchant for spicy cuisine yet find that you always require relief from bloating and gas.

Pros

  • Provides pain relief
  • Easy to swallow
  • Easily absorbed
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Expensive

 BiOptimizers MassZymes

If you suffer from digestive discomforts like gas and bloating, these complete digestive enzyme pills are for you. As expected from a broad-spectrum formulation, it quickly reduced stomach inflammation. Enzymes help the body absorb nutrients better, reducing the need to snack often. Straightforwardly, this can help you shed pounds.

After trying this enzyme, I naturally felt more energized because my body wasn’t wasting so much power producing digestive juices. The digestive enzymes also include lipase, amylase, and bromelain, which aid digestion and prevent constipation after eating fast food.

You must take a tablet before eating your favorite dishes or having a snack. In addition, these enzymes are suitable for vegetarians because they include no artificial flavors or ingredients.

Pros

  • Fast acting
  • Easy to swallow
  • No artificial flavors or sweeteners
  • Vegan-friendly

Cons

  • Expensive

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Digestive Enzymes

A few things to consider while picking out the best digestive enzymes. The following considerations can help you decide:

All-Purpose Digestive Enzymes

Find a digestive enzyme supplement with a wide variety of enzymes to assist in the digestion of dietary fiber, fat, carbs, starch, and sugar. In addition to a larger percentage of absorption, many substrate specificities, and a broad optimum pH range, broad-spectrum enzymes can also come from many different sources. Because of this, the combined enzymes will provide greater benefits than the separate enzymes.

Remember that enzymes each have a unique role in digestion and collectively enhance nutrient absorption. Incorporating digestive enzymes into your diet is simple since your meals contain components from various food categories.

Since you’re consuming a wide variety of foods in one sitting, you may utilize digestive enzymes to speed up the process of breaking down all the macronutrients at once. A combination of certain enzymes, such as lipase, lactase, protease, amylase, and cellulase, can greatly facilitate digestion in the body.

Constant bloating, flatulence, gas, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and exhaustion can be difficult to manage without the help of vitamins. To absorb nutrients effectively, digestion must be working properly.

Enzyme Origin

Digestive enzymes derived from plants are often more effective than those derived from animals or microorganisms. They are easy and good to digest and promote intestinal health because of their mild to moderate acidity. Plant-based enzymes are more effective because they reduce the strain placed on the small intestine by their animal-based counterparts during digestion.

These enzyme supplements suit vegetarians because they are not derived from animals. The most effective digestive enzymes come from plants, but you should remember that not everyone benefits from their use. Because they have more active units overall, vegetarian enzymes dominate the market. Remember that enzymes produced by animals degrade quickly in acidic conditions like the stomach and can only perform effectively within a narrow pH range.

Enzyme Structural Type

Capsules, rather than pills, are the most common form of enzyme supplementation. Most active enzymes in capsules are preserved since they don’t go through a rigorous manufacturing procedure, so they may be absorbed more effectively when taken orally. On the other hand, some active enzymes are lost during the manufacturing process of tablets, reducing their digestive efficacy.

You shouldn’t chew the tablets or keep them in your mouth for too long if you take digestive enzyme supplements in tablet form since this might irritate your gums and cheeks. Additionally, the enzyme is best taken with a glass of water. Chewing them completely before swallowing them for optimal absorption when taking chewable pills is important.

Different problems may arise with capsules; many individuals need help ingesting them. If you find swallowing them whole with water difficult, you may mix them into a smoothie or other beverage. It’s important to remember that breathing in the powder might irritate the respiratory system.

Made with Organic Ingredients

It is advised that those searching for digestive enzymes prioritize naturally formulated ones. This implies you should stay away from ones that are loaded with unnecessary ingredients. Herbs like ginger, fennel, and peppermint can be helpful additions to the formulae of all-natural digestive enzyme supplements.

Naturally made digestive enzymes include lactase and alpha-galactosidase, which break down lactose. The capsule covering shouldn’t include any cellulose or other substances, either.

Kimchi, ginger, and fresh fruits are great examples of naturally fermented foods that aid digestion before taking supplements. It’s ideal for your digestive tract if you take a high-quality, all-natural digestive enzyme supplement if you’re still not feeling better.

Effectiveness of Enzymes

A digestive enzyme’s response rate when digesting food is its activity level. So, the more active it is, the more impressive it is at digesting your meals. If you select a supplement with a high level of activity and potency, you will require fewer tablets each day. The activity of enzymes is also affected by factors such as temperature, concentration, pH, amount, and substrate. Therefore, the higher the activity level, the more effective it is.

In most cases, the efficiency with which your enzyme functions will give you a good sense of its activity level. Most digestive enzyme supplements start working almost instantly. However, the amount of particular enzymes in the supplement can also provide insight into the supplement’s efficacy. The presence of the four primary digestive enzymes (carbohydrate, protein, lipid, and nucleic acid) indicates its efficacy.

Based on Solid Evidence

Always go for enzymes that have solid scientific backing. It would help if you remembered that a reputable supplement maker would base their product on scientific evidence. If you’re still hesitant, you might have a specialist in gut health or a dietitian go through the supplement you’re considering before you buy it. You should look for another vitamin that does meet all your criteria if the one you desire doesn’t.

Digestive Enzymes: When to take them

Depending on your needs, taking digestive enzymes daily before your two largest meals is most beneficial. Others may prefer to take them only when they have a very large meal or one higher in fat, protein, or carbs or when they eat dairy products.

A digestive enzyme supplement is most effective when taken 30 minutes before eating. That’s when they’ll do their job best. You can also take it during a meal or right before bed if that’s easier to remember.

Put digestive enzymes right on the table next to your food. It will serve as a visual cue to take it while eating.

In what time frame do digestive enzymes become active?

Digestive enzymes get to work straight away, unlike some supplements that may take days or weeks of constant use to have an effect. They start functioning quickly, generally within 10 minutes, so taking them before eating is better.

Taking digestive enzymes regularly over time might provide instant relief from bloating and advantages to digestion if you need to and your doctor approves.

Safe Use of Digestive Enzymes

Some people may benefit from or require the use of digestive enzymes. However, digestive enzyme supplements taken orally are usually unnecessary.

It would help if you never attempted to identify and treat gastrointestinal issues, including bloating, stomach discomfort, constipation, and gas. Though most individuals encounter these symptoms sometimes, you should see a doctor if you experience them frequently, especially after eating or drinking.

Some malignancies, such as ovarian and colorectal, might manifest through digestive problems. A delay in identifying severe disorders and administering required therapies can come from the careless use of digestive enzymes and other attempts to “treat” digestive symptoms on one’s own.

In addition, taking a digestive enzyme supplement, particularly at a high dose, might lead to unpleasant side effects like a burning feeling in the stomach, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Some drugs may also interact negatively with digestive enzymes. The protein-digesting enzyme papain may boost blood levels of some antibiotics, whereas the blood-thinning enzyme bromelain may counteract the effects of the same drugs.

Be sure to consult your doctor before using any dietary supplements, including digestive enzymes, if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.

Conclusion

Taking digestive enzymes regularly might put an end to stomach pain. We picked these enzymes, in particular, for their ability to alleviate common stomach complaints, though they all improve gut health.

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