What are Supplemental Enzymes?

Supplemental enzymes are enzymes that are taken orally to help with the digestion of food. They are also sometimes called digestive enzymes. The human body produces its own enzymes, but sometimes it needs a little extra help. That’s where supplemental enzymes come in. There are a variety of different supplemental enzymes on the market, each designed to help with a specific type of digestion issue. Some common types of supplemental enzymes include:

Lipase: This enzyme helps break down fats.

Protease: This enzyme helps break down proteins.

Amylase: This enzyme helps break down carbohydrates.

Health Benefits

There are a number of potential health benefits associated with taking supplemental enzymes. For example, they may help to:

-Improve nutrient absorption: When food is not properly digested, nutrients are not absorbed as well. Enzymes can help improve digestion and absorption of nutrients.

-Reduce inflammation: Inflammation is a common issue in the digestive system. Enzymes may help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

-Manage weight: Improper digestion can lead to weight gain. Enzymes may help to improve digestion and prevent weight gain.

Dosage and Preparation

Supplemental enzymes are available in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. They are also available in different strengths. It is important to follow the directions on the product label.

Some enzymes need to be taken with food, while others should be taken on an empty stomach. It is also important to drink plenty of water when taking enzymes.

Side Effects and Precautions

Enzymes are generally considered safe for most people. However, there is a risk of side effects, such as nausea, bloating, and diarrhea. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking enzymes and speak with your doctor.

If you have a chronic illness or are taking medication, it is important to speak with your doctor before taking supplemental enzymes. Enzymes can interact with some medications.

Interactions

-Lipase may interact with:

Antibiotics, such as ampicillin (Prinivil, Zestril) and erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin)

Diuretics, such as furosemide (Lasix) and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide)

-Protease may interact with:

Anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin)

Antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)

-Amylase may interact with:

Anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin)

Antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)

-In general, enzymes may interact with:

Insulin or other diabetes medications

The antibiotic tetracycline (Sumycin)

Steroids, such as prednisone (Deltasone) and methylprednisolone (Medrol)

Some chemotherapy drugs, such as methotrexate (Rheumatrex)

Supplements that increase stomach acid, such as betaine hydrochloride and HCl

Mechanism of Action

Enzymes work by breaking down large molecules into smaller ones. This process is essential for the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Enzymes are also involved in a number of other important processes in the body, such as detoxification and inflammation.

Pharmacokinetics

Enzymes are not absorbed into the bloodstream. They work in the digestive system to break down food.

Half-Life

The half-life of enzymes is dependent on the type of enzyme. For example, lipase has a half-life of about one hour, while protease has a half-life of about four hours.

Alternatives to Supplemental Enzymes

There are a number of alternative treatments for digestive issues. These include probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber supplements. Probiotics are live bacteria that promote gut health. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that helps feed gut bacteria. Fiber supplements help to bulk up stools and improve digestion.

Some lifestyle changes can also help to improve digestion, such as eating smaller meals, avoiding trigger foods, and getting regular exercise. Chewing food thoroughly and drinking plenty of water can also help.

Are Probiotics more effective than enzymes?

There is no definitive answer. Probiotics and enzymes are both effective in their own ways. Probiotics help to promote gut health, while enzymes help with the digestion of food. Some people may find that one is more effective than the other, while others may need to use both probiotics and enzymes to see results. Ultimately, it depends on the individual.