Digestive enzymes are a vital part of the digestive system. They aid your body in breaking foods (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) down so that nutrients can be fully absorbed. Without them, the food you eat would essentially be going to waste, because your body wouldn’t be receiving all of the benefits.

Digestive enzymes are naturally occurring all throughout the digestive system, including the mouth, stomach, and small intestine. However, if you are experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, you may want to consider adding a digestive enzyme supplement to your diet. These replacement digestive enzymes “take the place of natural enzymes, helping to break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from the foods you eat. Then the nutrients are absorbed into your body through the wall of the small intestine and distributed through the bloodstream. As a result, replacement digestive enzymes can help prevent malabsorption and related digestive discomforts.”

Types of digestive enzymes

  • Amylase: Breaks down carbs like starch into simple sugars.
  • Lipase: Breaks down fat into three fatty acids plus a glycerol molecule.
  • Protease: Breaks down proteins into amino acids.

There are many plant foods that contain natural enzymes that will help with digestion. Plant foods such as
bananas, ginger, honey, kiwi, mangos, papayas, pineapples, and sauerkraut not only have essential vitamins and minerals, but they may lessen GI symptoms!

Why Do You Need Digestive Enzymes?

Source: Sameer Islam MD/Youtube

Have you ever wondered if digestive enzymes actually work? Are they safe? Sameer Islam MD shares his thoughts on this topic. He explains that digestive enzymes are naturally occurring in the body and they start in the mouth. When you eat, they break down your food into the smallest components so that your body can absorb them properly and get the vitamins and minerals that it needs. The enzymes go all throughout the entire GI tract and keep us healthy. Digestive supplements are widely available over the counter, in pill form.

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