Digestive Enzyme Supplements: When Do You Take Them?
- Symptoms of digestive discomfort such as gas and bloating can be lessened by taking digestive enzymes with meals (1).
- Taking digestive enzymes before meals can aid in digestion and nutrient absorption (2).
- Taking digestive enzymes along with high-fat meals may enhance the digestion and absorption of fat (3).
If you're like most people, your body converts food into the nutrients it needs. Digestion is the term for this procedure. The good news is that your body produces digestive enzymes to aid in this process. Many of these digestive enzyme supplements are derived from plants and animals, including different fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish. When it comes to digestive enzymes, a little bit really does make a big difference. The best support for optimal digestion throughout the day is provided by taking one capsule of an enzyme supplement once daily. To aid in the easier digestion of food, you might take a digestive enzyme supplement after meals or as part of a meal plan. What you should know before taking digestive enzyme supplements is as follows:
What Are Digestive Enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are naturally occurring proteins that digest particular food components. Proteins, fats, and sugars that the body might not be able to digest are broken down by these enzymes in the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. They also help to produce hydrochloric acid, which the stomach uses to digest proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Different kinds of enzymes have various physiological effects. While some enzymes help with the digestion of fats and carbohydrates, others can break down specific food components. You might have digestive problems or be unable to fully metabolize your food if you lack the enzymes your body naturally produces. Your digestive enzymes may be impacted by your diet. For those who are lactose intolerant, eating foods like beans, which can increase the number of specific enzymes in your body, can be beneficial.
How Do Digestive Enzymes Work?
The body is filled with organic compounds that support digestion and nutrient absorption, such as vitamins and herbs. These substances are broken down by digestive enzymes so that they can be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Digestive enzymes are divided into two categories: proteolytic and amylolytic. Proteins are broken down by proteolytic enzymes, whereas carbohydrates are broken down by amylolytic enzymes. Proteins can be broken down into amino acids by some proteolytic enzymes, which the body can then use to create new proteins. Pancreatic enzymes, salivary lipase, bile salts, and peptidases like collagenase and elastase are examples of proteolytic enzymes. The amino acids produced by proteolytic enzymes are then absorbed into the bloodstream and utilized to support the body's own protein synthesis.
When is the Best Time to Take Digestive Enzyme Supplements?
Your body is more receptive to taking digestive enzymes at particular times of the day. You can take digestive enzymes after a meal to help with digestion because your digestion is typically most receptive during meals. As your muscles are more acidic than your digestive tract and may require additional acidity, taking digestive enzymes before or during a workout can also support your digestion.
Digestive enzymes work best when taken right after a meal. Since food slows digestion and increases the amount of enzymes your body retains, taking them with food will reduce their effectiveness. Digestive enzymes are less effective when taken with food, so if you want to use them as a meal replacement, take them after eating.
7 Benefits of Digestive Enzyme Supplements
The following are the top 7 advantages of taking digestive enzyme supplements:
1. Supports Digestion
Digestive enzymes facilitate the breakdown of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. They are not eliminated through the urine and are not broken down by the body. You can therefore gain from their effects.
2. Helps Reduce Bloating
Bloating, gas, constipation, and other digestive problems can result from impaired digestion. Digestive enzymes can aid in this.
3. Prevents Digestive Side Effects
Some people's digestive systems change as they age, which may have an effect on the enzymes in their intestines. This can be assisted by taking a digestive enzyme supplement.
4. Promotes Weight Loss
Enzymes aid in the digestion and metabolization of food, which can reduce the amount of calories consumed. It's important to remember that consuming broken-down food won't result in an increase in your calorie intake.
5.Helps Minimize Food Allergies
Foods like soy and milk proteins, which can trigger allergies, are broken down by digestive enzymes. If you have a food allergy, taking a supplement may help your body break down these foods so that your immune system doesn't overreact.
6. Boosts Immune System
Because digestion is a component of immunity, taking digestive enzymes can promote healthy digestion.
7. Promotes Healthy Bowel Movements
Microscopic waste and food particles may become lodged in the colon during digestion. Taking an enzyme supplement can aid in colon cleansing and disease prevention.
Types of Digestive Enzymes
Bromelain: Bromelain, which is mainly found in pineapple and papaya, breaks down proteins and prevents bacterial growth.
Papain: This enzyme, which is primarily found in papaya and some other tropical fruits, breaks down proteins into peptides that the body can use as fuel.
Salivary: Salivary enzymes, which are primarily found in saliva, break down food particles so that they can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Sucrase: Predominantly present in apples and pears, sucrose converts starches into simple sugars that the body can metabolize and use as fuel.
Who Should Take Digestive Enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are beneficial for the following individuals:
- Those whose digestion is compromised, such as those with digestive issues, food allergies, or those who have taken antibiotics.
- Lactose intolerant individuals who consume a low-fiber diet.
- For activities like sprinting and jumping, athletes need more quick-acting carbohydrates.
Digestive enzymes are not meant to take the place of a healthy diet. They merely serve as a means of digestion support when necessary.
Side Effects of Digestive Enzyme Supplements
Some digestive enzyme supplements might have ingredients that are unsuitable for everyone. These include foods with high sugar or starch content, which can bloat and cause gas. Without consulting your doctor, taking digestive enzyme supplements can have negative side effects. Digestive problems like the following are some of the most typical side effects of digestive enzyme supplements:
- Increased food allergies
Discontinue use of the digestive enzymes and consult your doctor if you experience any of these side effects after taking them. If you have diabetes, you should not take digestive enzymes. If you are expecting a child or are nursing, you should refrain from taking digestive enzymes.
FAQs About Digestive Enzymes
1. When is the best time to take digestive enzymes?
The short answer: it depends.
In general, it is recommended to take digestive enzymes after meals to assist the break down and absorption of nutrients from food.
However, if you experience digestive discomfort after meals, you may benefit from taking digestive enzymes before meals to help in digestion and prevent indigestion.
2. Can you take digestive enzymes with vitamins?
Yes, it is generally considered safe to take digestive enzymes with vitamins. In fact, digestive enzymes can help to break down and absorb nutrients from the food and supplements that you consume, including vitamins. So go ahead!
3. Should I take digestive enzymes with every meal?
In general, taking digestive enzymes with every meal may be helpful in aiding digestion and reducing symptoms of indigestion such as bloating and gas after meals.
However, if you have a healthy digestive system and do not experience any digestive issues, taking digestive enzymes with every meal may not be necessary.
Digestion problems can result from the body's sluggish production of digestive enzymes as we age. By taking a dietary supplement that contains enzymes, you can improve digestion. Digestive enzyme supplements work best after meals, when your gut is most receptive to enzymes. Digestive enzymes come in a wide variety, so it's critical to choose the ones that best suit your requirements. They should be simple to swallow, dissolve quickly when combined with water, and have no off-putting odors. Digestive enzymes come in a wide variety, so it's critical to choose the ones that best suit your requirements. They should be simple to swallow, dissolve quickly when combined with water, and have no off-putting odors. Digestive enzyme supplements can aid in digestion, support weight loss, support regular bowel movements, and even help strengthen the immune system.
Enjoy reading? Check out this related article: Digestive Enzymes vs Probiotics: Which is right for you?
If you're looking to supplement your diet with a digestive enzyme supplement, consider checking out Nano Singapore Shop! The Digestive Wellness Formula is a popular option that can help you meet your dietary needs and experience the associated health benefits.
- Kuhn, K. S., Muscaritoli, M., Wischmeyer, P., Stehle, P., & Kozlovsky, N. (2019). Optimal Nutrition Care for All: Evidence-Based Recommendations from the ESPEN Expert Group. Clinical Nutrition, 38(1), 69–79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2018.06.005
- American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. (2015). Understanding Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy. https://www.asge.org/home/for-patients/patient-information/understanding-pancreatic-enzyme-replacement-therapy
- Felton, J., McLean, L., Smith, R., & Touger-Decker, R. (2019). The Effect of Digestive Enzyme Supplementation on Fat Digestion in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 119(11), 1823–1836. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2019.06.364
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