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What Are Digestive Enzymes

As forms of proteins, digestive enzymes are chiefly modified for the purpose of breaking down foods into the form of nutrients which the human body can easily absorb. With that main purpose, the human body greatly produces for about 22 various digestive enzymes. And a much more number of digestive enzymes are greatly found in meats, fruits, vegetables, grains, as well some other foods.

In the process, digestive enzymes are basically produced from the salivary glands, stomach, and small intestines. So when we eat a meal, such digestive enzymes directly perform its role to break down foods or generally to speed up the process of digestion. It is noted that every digestive enzyme usually acts on particular type of food. Proteases, for example, which are one of the major digestive enzymes present in the body, break down the basic components of protein foods. On the other hand, the amylases help to absorb carbohydrates and the lipases break down the fats. In addition, another form of digestive enzymes which are found in plants known as cellulases, usually absorb the fiber.

Digestive enzymes are widely recommended by some experts especially the nutritional oriented doctors. It is mainly for the reasons that digestive enzymes not only promote good digestion but they also increase the nutrient digestion. As a support, most of the experts commented that the primary reason that many people lacked digestive enzymes because of the inadequate diets, over-refined foods, poor health, as well as environmental toxins.

When there is lack of digestive enzymes in the body, symptoms like bloating, heartburn, gas, and indigestion usually occurs. Furthermore, many experts have thought that even without the symptoms of digestive enzymes deficiency still some people can get benefits from regularly raking some extra digestive enzymes that are now found in digestive enzymes supplements for maintaining good digestion as well as to improve the stocks of necessary nutrients.

Traditionally, digestive enzymes are also recommended by some conventional physicians and gastroenterologists. They then thought that most of the individuals benefit from all the digestive enzymes that they need, except when there is a real digestive enzyme deficiency, which is very detectable through the stool analysis. For that, most of the conventional doctors suggest Pancreatin, which is a digestive enzyme derived from the pancreas of pigs and is commonly used for the treatment of chronic pancreatitis. This condition is such a fairly unusual condition in which the stores of digestive enzymes in the pancreas greatly deteriorate. Aside from that, most of the traditional doctors suggest the Lactaid for lactose intolerance, and sometimes Beano for the treatment of chronic gas.

Some of the commonly recommended digestive enzymes such as the bromelain from pineapples, papain from papayas, and enzymes grown on the fungus known as aspergillus are widely suggested by some alternative practitioners for the same purposes. Along with that, some of them also prescribe animal-based products known as pancreatic enzymes, which are derived from the pancreas, either alone or in combination with plant-based enzymes.

Foods that contain natural digestive enzymes include:

  • Pineapples
  • papayas
  • Mangoes
  • Honey
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kiwifruit
  • Ginger

If you find you need to include supplementation, many health food stores now carry a wide rage of great options for absorbable supplements. Be sure to do your due diligence in finding one that may be best for you to include in your diet. But by including many of the foods above, you can help your stomach digest better on it’s own 🙂

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