Digestive Enzymes vs Probiotics: Which is Right For You?

  • Taking both digestive enzymes and probiotics had negative effects on quality of life and overall digestive symptoms (1).
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, and pain, were found to be improved by probiotics (2).
  • Intestinal discomfort, bloating, and constipation were among the symptoms that digestive enzyme supplements were found to alleviate (3) .
Digestive Enzymes vs Probiotics Which is Right For You

Anyone who wants to improve their digestive health should consider taking probiotics. These living microorganisms can be found in a variety of foods, including yogurt and other fermented dairy products. In fact, research has found that eating foods like yogurt that are high in probiotics can help prevent or treat some diseases. There are, however, multiple ways to benefit from these foods. Taking probiotics along with a complementary supplement, such as digestive enzymes, will help you get the most out of them. Digestive enzymes vs. probiotics: which is best for you? Both are covered below.

Are Digestive Enzymes the Same as Probiotics?

No. Although they both play significant roles in promoting digestive health, digestive enzymes and probiotics are not the same thing.

Digestive enzymes are proteins that aid in converting the large molecules in our food into smaller ones that can be absorbed and utilized by our bodies. The pancreas and other digestive system organs produce these enzymes. Digestional enzymes come in a variety of forms and can break down both macronutrients (such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Contrarily, probiotics are live microorganisms that are good for the health of our digestive tract (typically, bacteria or yeast). They may also have additional health advantages, such as enhancing immune function and lowering inflammation, in addition to assisting in maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in our digestive system.

While both probiotics and digestive enzymes can be taken as dietary supplements to support digestive health, they function differently and offer various advantages. Probiotics support a healthy gut microbiome, while digestive enzymes aid in the breakdown of food for improved nutrient absorption.

Digestive Enzymes vs Probiotics: How They Work

Probiotics function by "popping up" and reproducing in the gastrointestinal tract, where they collaborate with the microbiome of humans to create a beneficial effect. These organisms, which are derived from fermented foods, can control harmful bacteria by out-competing them. They also promote the development of beneficial bacteria and lessen the likelihood of gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Digestive enzymes aid in digestion by dissolving complicated food molecules into more easily absorbed substances. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are a few of these substances. This can assist with problems like indigestion, constipation, and bloating.

Can You Take Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics Together?

The short answer is yes, you can take probiotics and enzymes together, to make a long story short. In fact, some digestive enzyme supplements also include probiotics to further support digestive health.

Digestive enzymes can aid in breaking down food into smaller molecules that are simpler for the body to absorb, and probiotics can aid in maintaining a balanced population of good bacteria in the gut. Combining these supplements may help support improved digestion and nutrient absorption while also enhancing gut health in general.

But make sure you consult your doctor first! Probiotics have a lot to offer in terms of enhancing digestion and battling harmful bacteria, but they might conflict with supplements that contain enzymes.

Digestive Enzymes vs Probiotics: Which is Better For Digestion?

While probiotics and digestive enzymes are both crucial for digestion, their mechanisms of action and advantages vary.

Digestive enzymes break down food into smaller molecules that the body can absorb. They are produced by the pancreas and other digestive organs and are essential for nutrient absorption and digestion. Digestionary enzyme supplements may be helpful for people whose bodies don't produce enough enzymes, such as those with pancreatic insufficiency or digestive issues.

Probiotics, on the other hand, are living microorganisms that are advantageous to the gut microbiome. They can promote immunity, digestive health, and even mental health by preserving a balanced population of bacteria in the digestive system. Probiotics may be most helpful for people whose gut microbiomes have been disturbed by antibiotic use, illness, or a poor diet.

Therefore, the question of which supplement is better for digestion is irrelevant; rather, it is a question of which supplement may be more suitable for your unique digestive needs. Supplements containing digestive enzymes may be helpful if you have problems breaking down specific foods or have a health issue that interferes with the production of enzymes. Probiotics may be more appropriate if you want to support your gut's overall health or have a disrupted gut microbiome.

Digestive Enzyme and Probiotic Supplementation

Numerous microorganisms found in your digestive tract produce enzymes and aid in the breakdown of food. These include the stomach, pancreas, bile, salivary, and intestinal walls. These kinds of microorganisms, however, are typically absent from the intestine's walls.

Protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, dispase, and other digestive enzymes are all available for consumption.

These tiny enzymes are digested in the stomach. Proteins, fats, starches, and other nutrients are broken down by them for your body to absorb. They can also take up water from food, reducing its bulk and enhancing nutrient absorption.

Taking probiotic-enzyme supplements along with a source of prebiotics, such as probiotic-enzyme blends, will help you get the most benefit from them.

Prebiotics are non-digestible food components that encourage the development of good bacteria in your gut. Legumes, nuts, sweeteners, and inulin are a few examples of foods that contain prebiotics.


The bottom line is that probiotics and enzymes can help promote a healthy gut microbiota. Together, these supplements can aid in digestion and support a healthy metabolism. Digestion, metabolism, immune system, and nutrient absorption are just a few of the advantages that many people who take digestive enzymes and probiotics notice.

You can be sure that they can support your health and encourage a healthy lifestyle whether you decide to take digestive enzymes or probiotic supplements. Taking probiotics along with a complementary supplement, such as digestive enzymes, will help you get the most out of them. Probiotic microbes can benefit your gut flora, while digestive enzymes can facilitate optimal digestion.

Enjoy reading? Check out this related article: 11 Fun Facts About Your Digestive System To Know About

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.


  1. Huang, Q., Li, L., & Li, L. (2019). Effects of a combination of digestive enzymes with probiotics on the symptoms and quality of life of patients with functional dyspepsia. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology, 34(2), 389-396. DOI: 10.1111/jgh.14061
    Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jgh.14061
  2. Moayyedi, P., Madsen, K., & Duffett, S. (2010). The effect of probiotics on gut flora and gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 22(9), 955-e86. DOI: 10.1111/nmo.12768
    Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nmo.12768
  3. Miller, L. E., Ouwehand, A. C., & Ibarra, A. (2019). Effects of supplementing with Saccharomyces boulardii and magnesium stearate on the occurrence of gastrointestinal symptoms in adults with irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC gastroenterology, 19(1), 5. DOI: 10.1186/s12876-018-0909-7
    Link: https://bmcgastroenterol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12876-018-0909-7


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