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Digestive Enzyme

What are Digestive Enzymes and Why are they important?

Indigestion and acidity trouble most of us nowadays. Easy access to fast food, junk food, a sedentary lifestyle, and eating lots of oily and fried foods are the prime reason for indigestion. To ease our lives our body produces something called digestive enzymes. As the name suggests these digestive enzymes aid in the digestion process.

Digestive enzymes produced by the body are naturally occurring proteins that break down food. In this way, they help in digesting the food. These digestive enzymes are a vital part of your digestive system. In this blog we are going to discuss:

What are digestive enzymes?
Benefits of digestive enzymes.
Different types of digestive enzymes.
Problems faced due to insufficient enzyme production.
Ayurvedic digestive enzyme supplements
Conditions that cause digestive enzymes insufficiency.


What are digestive enzymes?

As we have mentioned earlier digestive enzymes are naturally occurring proteins that break down food. They play a key role in breaking down the food we eat. These proteins speed up the chemical reactions that turn nutrients into substances. These substances can be absorbed easily by the digestive tract.

Benefits of digestive enzymes

Even though research is still ongoing on the benefits of these enzymes. Some research has provided us with certain benefits of digestive enzymes. They are:

They reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome:
When your food doesn’t break down then you can face this syndrome. As the food gets collected in your digestive tract, the bacteria in your gut benefit from it. But when this bacterium is overfed and congested it can be the reason for gas, swelling, loose bowels, and other IBS side effects.

Increases your energy:
As the nutrients from the food are absorbed properly, you will realize that you have more energy. If the absorption process is slow then you will feel low on energy. You will not feel like doing anything.

Increases nutrient absorption:
This is the primary function of digestive enzymes. Intake of digestive enzymes leads to added benefits from the food you eat. You will get full nutrients from the food. Without these digestive enzymes, the food will not break down and make you gassy instead.

Decreases chronic fatigue and pain:
Inflammation is the prime reason for pain. Migraines and headaches can be related to inflammation in the gut. This is connected to the absence of nutrients. So if everything in your digestive system is running smoothly then you will notice a difference in your overall well-being.

Prevents leakage from the gut:
The tiny cells that line your intestine absorb the nutrients in your food. If the food is not broken properly then these bigger, undigested particles begin to push and break the cell walls. This leads to the triggering of the immune system to battle these trespassers. This leads to aggravation in your intestinal lining and other places in your body. Here comes the usage of digestive enzymes supplements. These supplements help in the smooth digestion of food which in turn doesn’t trigger the immune system.

Combats anxiety:
Good gut health results in the overall well-being of an individual. If you are facing digestive troubles then you may also face issues like depression, anxiety, insomnia, and so on. For a healthy mind and body, our neurotransmitters need amino acids. Amino acids are the simpler form of proteins. If the body does not produce enzymes to break down proteins you will need digestive enzymes supplement.

Different types of digestive enzymes

There are different types of digestive enzymes. Some are made in the pancreas while some are made in the small intestine. The enzymes that the pancreas secretes:

Amylase: Made in the mouth and pancreas, breaks down complex carbohydrates.
Lipase: Made in the pancreas, breaks down fats.
Protease: Made in the pancreas, breaks down proteins.
The enzymes that the small intestine secretes:
Lactase: Breaks down lactose
Sucrase: Breaks down sucrose

Problems faced due to insufficient enzyme production

When the pancreas or small intestine does not produce enough enzymes, your food is not broken down. Your body does not get the nutrition it needs. As a result, you can become malnourished, and can face indigestion. Gassiness, bloating and immune system triggers are some problems faced due to insufficient enzyme production. 

You might have feelings of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Enzyme deficiency has been linked to the mental health of an individual.


Ayurvedic digestive enzymes supplements

Sometimes it so happens that the pancreas does not produce an ample amount of digestive enzymes. Then an individual can face the above-mentioned digestive issues. In this case, an individual can consult an ayurvedic practitioner. These ayurvedic enzyme supplements are available over the counter. They do not have any known side effects.

Conditions that cause enzyme deficiency

Chronic pancreatitis:

In this condition the digestive enzymes that travel via the tubes in the pancreas and empty into upper intestine. In chronic pancreatitis the pancreas is inflamed and does not heal or improve. It eventually impairs the patient’s ability to digest food and make pancreatic hormones.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)

This is a condition where the pancreas does not have enough digestive enzymes. Therefore, the ability to digest and break down food is compromised.

Lactose intolerance

This is a shortage of enzymes required to digest sugars in milk and dairy products.


Take away

Digestive enzymes have their own impact on your body. They have specific functions. Hence, when the body does not produce enough of them you will face many issues. In such cases, digestive enzyme supplements work best when taken before food. Your age and weight decide on the quantity of the supplement.

You can contact your healthcare provider for further knowledge about digestive supplements.