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What are Digestive Enzymes?

Digestive enzymes are substances produced and secreted by our gastrointestinal system to digest food. Their primary role is to break down and absorb nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. 

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are large complex molecules that must be broken down into smaller ones to absorb into the bloodstream and carry throughout the body easily. Digestive enzymes are necessary for this process.

Some people do not have enough digestive enzymes, or their bodies do not release the enzymes as they should. They can opt for digestive enzyme supplements that mimic the action of naturally occurring digestive enzymes and aid in better digestion and absorption. 


Digestive Enzymes: Benefits & Uses

These are some claimed benefits of digestive enzyme supplements.

  1. Better nutrient absorption: The primary role of any digestive enzyme supplement is to support our digestive system in the complete breakdown of food for better absorption.
  2. Increase energy levels: We eat food to derive energy; hence digestive enzymes ensure the smooth functioning of our metabolic processes to maintain a continuous energy supply.
  3. Prevent inflammation: Studies have shown that some proteolytic enzymes like trypsin, chymotrypsin, and rutin effectively reduce inflammation. 
  4. Reduce symptoms of indigestion: Digestive enzymes promote the better breakdown of food which is necessary to prevent signs of indigestion. This is because bacterial growth on partial or undigested food in the small intestine provokes swelling, gas issues, loose bowels, and Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
  5. Prevent fatigue and anxiety: When our body does not digest the food the way it should, it can not extract and absorb the essential nutrients needed. Over time, the person is likely to become nutrient-deficient, causing stress-related symptoms like fatigue, mood fluctuations, anxiety, and sleep issues.
  6. Healthy weight support: Research studies have shown that people who struggle to lose weight have poor gut health and often suffer from digestive issues. Digestive enzyme supplements may help with weight reduction by speeding up the process of digestion and supporting metabolism. 


Digestive Enzymes: Types

Here is a list of digestive enzymes that target a specific nutrient and assist in its digestion and assimilation.

  1. Amylase: This is a carbohydrate-digesting enzyme that digests starch. Both salivary glands and pancreas secrete amylase enzyme.  
  2. Maltase: This enzyme helps break down maltose into glucose (simple sugar), an instant energy source for the body.
  3. Lactase: Lactase enzyme is needed to digest lactose, a carbohydrate (sugar) in dairy products that gets converted to glucose and galactose. People with lactose intolerance lack this enzyme, due to which they cannot digest dairy products and might experience symptoms like bloating, gas formation, and stomach cramps. 
  4. Lipase: This is an enzyme that digests fat and converts it into fatty acids and glycerol. Lipase is also needed to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  5. Sucrase: The sucrase enzyme is needed to digest sucrose (sugar) and break it down into glucose and fructose.
  6. Proteases: These proteolytic enzymes help digest protein by breaking them into amino acids. Pepsin, chymotrypsin, trypsin, and carboxypeptidase A and B are produced in the stomach and pancreas.


How to choose the right digestive enzyme for you?

Digestive enzyme supplements are available in syrup, capsules, and tablets form. Before you buy any supplement, it is essential to check the ingredient list, especially if you are allergic or sensitive to any food. The price and dosage of digestive enzymes can vary from brand to brand; hence it is advisable to take medical advice to make a suitable choice to get the desired level of enzymes.


How to use digestive enzymes?

One should prefer taking a digestive enzyme syrup or tablet before a meal. However, one should prefer taking it only after a doctor's consultation for any medical condition like IBS or leaky gut.


Where to buy digestive enzymes?

You can visit Nutrabay to buy the best digestive enzyme syrup in India. Nutrabay provides you with the best prices and deals on all brands, making it one of the most affordable options for purchasing supplements. You can be assured of 100% genuine products and the best digestive enzymes tablets or supplement prices with Nutrabay, as each is directly sourced from the brand.


Is digestive enzyme safe to use?

Digestive enzyme supplements are generally safe to consume. They are widely taken by people with indigestion issues, fitness lovers, athletes, and bodybuilders. Those diagnosed with enzyme insufficiency must consult a doctor first, as they might require prescription digestive enzymes. Common digestive enzymes side effects include nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, and stomach cramps.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Which protein-digesting enzyme is present in pancreatic juice?

Pancreatic juice contains enzymes that digest carbs, proteins, and fats. Trypsin is the pancreatic enzyme effective in digesting proteins.


2. Who can use digestive enzyme supplements?

One can opt for digestive enzymes during the following conditions.

  • Frequent indigestion issues.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Pancreatic surgery.
  • Diabetes.
  • Cystic fibrosis.

Athletes, active people, and bodybuilders can also use them for better digestion and absorption of their diets.


3. Are there any foods with digestive enzymes?

Foods containing natural digestive enzymes are:

  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi
  • Banana
  • Mango
  • Ginger
  • Kimchi
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Honey
  • Avocado
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