The Nutrition Handbook

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES

Digestive enzymes are proteins that assist in the breakdown of food components such as protein, carbohydrate and fats. Most of them end in -ase.

 

THE DIGESTIVE ENZYMES

What are digestive enzymes?

    Digestive enzymes are proteins that assist in the breakdown of food components such as protein, carbohydrate and fats. Most of them end in -ase.

    • Proteases break down proteins
    • Amylases break down carbohydrates
    • Lipases break down fats

    The smaller fragments that result are made digestible or able to be absorbed into the body from the intestinal tract.

    Do we need to take enzyme supplements?
    Life today is so stressful that most of us don't secrete sufficient digestive enzymes. This results in intestinal discomfort and gas. Supplemental digestive enzymes can be helpful in reducing these symptoms. Contact EnzymesDirect 1-800-637-7893 for a selection of high quality enzymes I often recommend to my patients. Quote code 1EKATZ8900.

    Where are digestive enzymes found in foods?
    Bromelain is found in fresh pineapple and papain comes from fresh papaya. Because enzymes are proteins they are easily denatured by heat. This means they no longer do their work effectively because their shape is altered by heat. What other benefits of enzymes? Bromelain and papain and other proteases have been found to be beneficial to the immune system. Studies indicate increased numbers of white cells and activity of white cells when supplements of 250 mg or more are taken daily. Many people find that supplements of enzymes assist during chemotherapy possibly helping to induce programmed cell death or apoptosis.