Digestion & Digestive Enzymes
Have you ever wondered how food gets digested? Or why some people are lactose intolerant? The answer to both of these questions involves digestive enzymes that naturally occur throughout your digestive tract, from your mouth to the small intestine actually.
What are digestive enzymes?
Well first of all let's define an enzyme. These are proteins that help reactions convert substrates into products, and in this help break down the foods we eat so our body has energy. Different digestive enzymes break down different nutrients. For example, we have proteases that break down protein, amylases to digest carbohydrates, and lipases to break down fats.
Where are digestive enzymes used?
Like I mentioned earlier, digestive enzymes are found throughout the digestive tract and are secreted at different times during digestion.
- Amylase is initially secreted in the mouth to help the breakdown of complex carbohydrates. Amylase is also used in the small intestine to further break down carbohydrates into glucose.
- Lipase is mainly is active in small intestine. Bile salts help to bring up the pH of the fats so the enzymes can function properly to break it down.
- Proteases are produced in the pancreas and initiate protein digestion in the small intestine.
Our body makes digestive enzymes, so why do we make supplemental forms?
Enzymatic insufficiency occurs when someone is not able to produce enough digestive enzymes or don’t release the ones needed to digest specific foods. This leads to the inability to digest and absorb nutrients.
One of the most common enzymatic insufficiency you hear about is lactose intolerance. This occurs when the body is unable to produce lactase, the enzyme that digests the sugars naturally found in milk. Supplemental forms, like the popular form Lactaid, are taken to provide additional lactase enzymes for your body to digest dairy containing foods.
Other causes can be related to aging or even eating too large of a meal, leading to malabsorption and digestive problems like bloating, gas, and a compromised gut microbiome.
We created a full-spectrum digestive enzyme blend, Digest-All® to aid in the whole digestive process, rather than focusing on one nutrient. These enzymes help promote the digestive process and in turn help to reduce gas and bloating.* To support microbiome health, we also created a comprehensive probiotic + digestive enzyme product, Digest-All® IC. The added probiotics in Digest-All® IC support healthy digestion and natural immune function by replacing vital intestinal tract organisms that keep our gut healthy.
We recommend taking Digest-All® 30 minutes before a meal and Digest-All® IC with food, or as recommended by your qualified healthcare provider.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.