Everything You Need to Know About Digestive Enzymes

By now, most of us have come to marvel at the intricacies of the human body, where countless processes operate simultaneously to carry out their own distinct roles. The ultimate aim? To maintain your body’s enduring health and vitality. At the core of this mission is the goal of providing your body with the necessary fuel, and on the frontlines of this endeavor is your digestive system. 

The quality of what we consume and how effectively our digestive tract is working is key to keeping nearly every part of our body healthy. This is where many people are starting to turn to digestive enzymes. But what exactly are these compounds and what do they have to offer for your body? Let us break it all down for you.  

The Role of Digestive Enzymes

Let’s start by answering the basic question: What are enzymes? 

Enzymes are like nature’s little helpers, and your body has the amazing ability to produce them on its own. Their main job? Well, that depends on the type of enzyme you are talking about. There are a large variety of different types of enzymes that are found in the human body, and each of them has its own specific job to do. 

With that being said, the vast majority of these enzymes are known as digestive enzymes because their jobs are to aid the body’s natural digestive process in some way or another. These special digestive helpers are mostly created in places like salivary glands, intestines, the stomach, and the pancreas, and although they have their own jobs to do, they often work as a team. Stationed strategically throughout your digestive system, the various digestive enzymes are there to ensure that everything you eat gets broken down and absorbed as it should be.  

Types of Digestive Enzymes

Remember how we said there are many different types of digestive enzymes within your body? Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones. 

  • Amylase. This is one of the main digestive enzymes that can be found within your body. Amylase is responsible for converting carbohydrates to simple sugars. It is also known to break down starches and fiber into smaller, manageable molecules.
  • Protease. Protease is mostly produced in the pancreas, and its main role is to break proteins down into amino acids. Also known as a proteolytic enzyme, protease is mostly found in animals, but it can also be found in bacteria as well as some types of fungi and plants. 
  • Lipase. This enzyme is produced in the mouth, intestines, and pancreas, and is mainly tasked with breaking down dietary fats into fatty acids and glycerol, which are both compounds that can be transported throughout your body in water-based fluids like blood.  
  • Sucrase. As its name might lead you to believe, sucrase is an enzyme that is responsible for breaking down sugar. Sucrase is largely found in the large intestine where it turns the table sugar you ingest into fructose and glucose, which your body can then convert into energy.  
  • Lactase. Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down lactose, which is the sugar found in dairy products, and in humans, it is mostly found in the small intestine. 

When You May Need More Enzymes

While the human body has the amazing ability to produce its own supply of digestive enzymes, there are a number of different factors that affect how much of each type of enzyme your body produces. Because of this, it’s possible to not have the correct balance of enzymes within your body. More often than not, this happens when your body isn’t producing enough of a specific enzyme that it needs. Thankfully, there are foods and supplements out there that can help boost your body’s supply of these important compounds. 

So, how can you tell if you need more digestive enzymes? Here are a few hints your body may be giving you…

  • Bloating after meals
  • Feeling uncomfortably full after eating
  • Sensitivities to specific types of food
  • Poor nutrient absorption 
  • Ongoing fatigue 
  • Excessive gas
  • Irregular bowel movements

Health Benefits of Digestive Enzymes

If you do choose to supplement your body’s supply of digestive enzymes, there are a few benefits you may be able to reap. 

Improves Nutrient Absorption

Your digestive tract is responsible for not only breaking down the foods you eat but also absorbing the nutrients from those foods so they can be used for various bodily functions. By ensuring your body has an adequate supply of digestive enzymes, you are also providing your digestive system with the tools it needs to help you get the most out of your meals. This means that you will be able to make better use of the nutrients that are naturally found in the foods you eat. 

Supports Digestion of Hard-to-Process Foods

It’s no secret that certain types of foods are easier to digest than others, and some people have an even harder time digesting certain types of foods (like dairy or gluten). Having an adequate supply of the right types of enzymes can be a game changer when it comes to your body being able to properly break down and digest these harder-to-handle foods. By supplementing your body’s natural supply of specific enzymes, you can help ensure that you actually enjoy that next takeout order from your favorite restaurant, special family dinner, or holiday treat that you may otherwise avoid. 

Proactively Combats Digestive Discomfort

We’ve all heard that things like mindful eating and properly chewing our food can help ensure proper digestion. While those are definitely important and helpful, helping your body have an ample supply of digestive enzymes is also vital. Since these enzymes are responsible for breaking down the foods you eat, your body has to work extra hard to get the job done when these important compounds are missing. This can lead to a variety of different digestive discomforts like stomach pains, bloating, excessive gas, and indigestion. When you are supplementing your body’s supply of enzymes, you are proactively taking steps to prevent these discomforts later. 

Sources of Digestive Enzymes

We’ve already established that your body doesn’t always produce the amount of digestive enzymes that it needs and that it may be beneficial to get some of the enzymes from outside sources. But that begs the question: where can you get digestive enzymes? There are two types of sources you can choose from—natural foods and supplements. 

Natural Foods

Nature is amazing and has already included a vast supply of natural digestive enzymes in many of the foods that you likely already enjoy. For example, papayas, kiwi, raw honey, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, pineapples, ginger, and mangoes are all great natural sources of digestive enzymes. Incorporating these items into your diet is a great way to help give your body a boost of these important compounds. 

Natural Supplements

If you still feel like your body needs a little extra boost when it comes to enzymes, you can always opt to get them in supplement form. There are many digestive enzyme supplements on the market today that contain various blends of these important enzymes, and having one on hand to take before a meal or add to your daily routine is a simple and effective way to support your digestive system. Be cautious though. Not all supplements are created equal, so be sure to do your research and choose a product that is made with plant-based enzymes and other natural ingredients and has the proper certifications to show it is safe and of the highest quality possible. 

Meet Enzymes Plus

Your digestive system needs all the help it can get, and supporting it with a digestive enzyme supplement like Enzymes Plus is a great way to give this ever-important system the help it needs.  This powerful supplement blends 12 plant-based enzymes with the digestive-boosting ingredients of fennel, ginger, cayenne, and organic Wild Microalgae®, which all work together to help your body break down meals and increase blood flow. That way, you can take full advantage of all the nutrients you eat, every day!

The best part? You can put it to the test risk-free with our 90-day money-back guarantee.  

At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of microalgae that is available in many forms including tablets, capsules, and powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.