Can Enzyme Supplementation Improve Digestive Health? Enzymes function in our bodies as a catalyst. They are basically protein molecules. We get these from the plants and animals that we eat as well as manufacturing them in our bodies. A catalyst basically allows the chemical reactions in our bodies to occur faster. There are many different reactions in our bodies that these help to facilitate. They help us digest the foods that we eat, aid in the growth of new cells and help transport substances around the body. There are enzymes that are produced in our salivary glands, stomach and pancreas as well as the small intestine that are responsible for digestion of nutrients. These also help to transport and absorb nutrients as well.

We all live a very hectic lifestyle and eat a lot of proceeded and fast foods. For this reason we may not be getting the proper balance of enzymes that our bodies need. Our bodies have to compensate by producing more of the enzymes that we require to clean up the “mess” we have created. As we age normal enzyme production in our bodies decreases. This makes it difficult for us to digest some of the foods that we are used to eating. We all know someone who always enjoyed spicy foods but now is having problems digesting them due to age. The problem arises when this inability starts to lead to illness. Without proper digestion we are not getting the vitamins and nutrients needed.

When foods are processed methods such as pasteurization and microwaving destroy the enzymes that are present. Enzymes are very sensitive to heat that these modern techniques incorporate. For this reason these foods are more difficult for our bodies to digest. When foods are cooked our bodies have to rely on the natural enzymes that it produces to digest them. This is why nutritionists will tell you to eat raw vegetables such as we get from salads. Also if we are under prolonged periods of stress or have health issues or an illness the production of these natural enzymes will also decrease.

If you feel that you fall into any one of these groups you may want to consider enzyme supplementation. This will allow the digestive process to occur more efficiently and eliminate some of the harmful toxins that can accumulate.

There are three main enzymes that our bodies use for digestion.

Amylase is the enzyme which is responsible for breaking down starches into sugar. It exists in our saliva and is the first step in the digestive process. Foods such as potatoes and rice may taste a little sweet to us because they contain a lot of starch. The sweetness that we are tasting is because amylase is breaking down this starch into sugar. The pancreas also produces amylase which converts starches into disaccharides and trisaccharides which are later converted to glucose to supply our bodies with energy.

Protease is responsible for breaking down the proteins that we consume. This is the most difficult substance for us to metabolize. This is why protease is one of the more important enzymes that we have. Proteins need to be fully digested or they will make their way to our circulatory system and other organs.

Lipase works in the small and large intestine and is responsible for the absorption and digestion of nutrients. It breaks down lipids (fats) that come from the fats that we eat. Once they are broken down into smaller components they are more easily absorbed in the intestines.

When your digestive system is functioning properly our bodies are better able to fight off disease and infection. This is why nutritionists believe that enzyme supplementation keeps the body healthy and can be a benefit to everyone.

While supporting good health enzyme supplementation can be of additional benefit for anyone suffering from diseases that affect the digestive system. When your overall digestive health is improved it will aid your body in the absorption of much needed nutrients and improve overall health. But it's a tall order to make fruits and vegetables that big a part of your diet, even if you're serious and disciplined about your health...

You can take vitamins, minerals and antioxidants by the handful and still suffer poor health. Now we know why. Our diets lack a vital food — a type of nutrient that even some alternative doctors don't know about. I'm talking about enzymes. Learn more
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