Digestive enzymes break down food so that the nutrients can be used by the body, especially during youth, when optimal nutrition is key. As we age and fall ill, our bodies’ digestive functions worsen, causing gas, bloating, indigestion, nutritional deficiencies, and even inflammation.
For people with digestive issues, there are enzyme formulations that can help improve digestive health, prevent gastric distress and malnutrition, and protect against systemic inflammation.
You Are What You Digest
Even if you eat healthy foods, they won’t do you much good if your body can’t digest them properly. As we get older, our digestive system slows down, making it harder for us to process the nutrients our body needs.
If we cannot extract all the nutrients in our food, our overall health will begin to falter and can result in a wide range of unwelcome diseases. These problems are caused by decreasing levels of digestive enzymes that help break down food in the digestive tract.
Malnutrition and lack of crucial nutrients can lead to a cycle of poorer immunity and more disease, especially in older people. However, digestive enzymes that help break down different types of food have been shown not only to improve digestion but also to reduce recovery time after surgery and, in some cases, help with cancer treatment.
Natural Digestion Support
Age-related digestive problems needn’t become significant health issues, given that supplemental digestive enzymes—many derived from plants—can help replace the pancreatic enzymes produced in
There are a number of enzyme components that help improve digestion. These enzymes help to break down food so that the body can absorb nutrients more easily. Pancreatin is a very important ingredient. It is a mixture of several enzymes that are normally released by the pancreas when food is present in the intestines. Pancreatin is a digestive enzyme that contains proteases, amylase, and lipase. Proteases break down proteins into amino acids, amylase breaks down carbohydrates into sugars, and lipase breaks down lipids into usable components. Other helpful components to take with the supplement include lactase to help the body break down lactose from dairy products; papain from papaya to help with protein digestion; and cellulase to prevent the development of a rare condition called gastric phytobezoar, where undigested cellulose or plant fiber forms a mass with other plant parts, which might cause a blockage in the gastrointestinal system.12,13
What is Digestion?
The following text discusses the journey food takes through the alimentary canal. It mentions how this journey can provide us with nutrients and energy that are beneficial to our health. The human body cannot run on crude oil; it needs to be “refined” in order to run smoothly. It requires digestion.
Foods are broken down into smaller molecules by mechanical and chemical processes in the digestive system, which includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines. The body extracts energy and nutrients from the smaller molecules and discards the unusable components. The process of breaking something down involves a series of coordinated events that combine the physical process of breaking it down with chemicals and enzymes. ,16,17 As we age, our bodies produce less of the enzymes needed to digest food.
What are Digestive Enzymes?
Enzymes that help with digestion are important because they help the body break down nutrients into small pieces that can be used to keep the body functioning properly. Although our bodies usually produce the enzymes needed for digestion, many people have difficulties digesting food for various reasons. The most common reason is that we eat too quickly for our bodies to break down the food.
Trying to give ourselves more time to eat is likely to reduce how much we overeat. There are plenty of indicators that suggest American culture is bad for our bodies; this includes the entire isle of hemorrhoid solutions at the local drug store and the tempo at which we all eat our meals. The health of our digestive enzymes is directly related to the rate of our digestion. If we hurry through our meals, we usually chew less, swallow more air, and our blood sugar levels go up and down more. There are many studies that show that eating casually is much more effective at reducing weight gain, lowering blood sugars, reducing the waistline, and in general reducing the likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance.
What are Common Digestive Enzymes?
AGN Roots Grass-Fed Whey provides the body with all of the macronutrients it needs, but in order for the body to use them, it needs healthy digestive enzymes to break them down into forms that can be either stored or used right away. Proteolytic enzymes are enzymes that specifically break down proteins into manageable amino acids.
What are Proteolytic Enzymes?
The stomach and pancreas both create the proteolytic enzymes that are essential for protein absorption. A proteolytic enzyme’s primary function is to break down the peptide bonds that make up a protein structure.
Although proteolytic enzymes are naturally produced by our bodies, fortifying these enzyme concentrations via supplementation is gaining popularity among all ages, especially given the rise of intense fitness sports and associated Irritable bowel disorder (IBD).
IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a catch-all phrase related to numerous conditions involving chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
The most common proteolytic enzymes naturally produced within the body include:
What is Protease?
The digestive enzyme most commonly found in whey protein powders is lactase. Protease is a type of enzyme that is produced by the pancreas, stomach, and small intestine. The protease’s main job is to break down the peptide bonds in different proteins, making them smaller and easier to digest.
What is Pepsin?
Pepsin is important for metabolizing protein soon after eating it. The stomach produces Pepsin, which is essential for protein digestion. Pepsin is unique because it can break down proteins in acidic environments where other enzymes become less effective at lower pH levels.
What is Trypsin?
Trypsin is an enzyme that digests proteins. It is produced in the pancreas and is released into the small intestine, where it helps break down the proteins in food. Once trypsin arrives in the small intestine, it continues the work begun in the stomach. Trypsin breaks down proteins into tiny peptide components that are easier to absorb.
What is Chymotrypsin?
Another protease produced by the pancreas, Chymotrypsin, completes its work in the small intestine. Chymotrypsin is an enzyme that helps break down proteins by hydrolyzing protein-peptide bonds in the small intestine. Chymotrypsin is a strong alkaline protease that can be used for various applications and has anti-inflammatory qualities.
What is Peptidase?
Protease enzymes are responsible for digesting protein by breaking down peptide bonds. Peptidase is a specific type of protease enzyme that is responsible for attacking these bonds. Proteases like peptidase have anti-inflammatory and other healthful properties.
What is Bromelain?
Bromelain is an enzyme that digests protein. It is found in pineapples and also in the pineapple’s fruit, skin, and juice. This enzyme has been used by healing Central and South American people for centuries to help reduce inflammation, treat swelling, and help relax muscles while pushing the body to eliminate fat.
What is Papain?
The papaya enzyme is a powerful protease digestive enzyme that comes from the papaya fruit. Papain is an enzyme that breaks down tough protein fibers. Piperine has many benefits, including aiding in digestion, helping with skin and wound healing, breaking down sinus mucus, supporting the immune system, serving as an antioxidant, and preventing irritation and redness.
Digestion does not begin in the stomach but with the senses. The mere sight and smell of tempting foods send short messages to the brain that begin a chain of events. The saliva production increases, which then pumps the enzymes amylase and lipase into the mouth. Amylase is a protein that helps break down carbohydrates, while lipase is a protein that helps break down fats.
youth. Modern digestion-assistance preparations that contain natural enzymes can help improve digestion when taken with meals.
Chewing breaks food down so that it can be more easily digested. As you keep chewing, you swallow small bites of food that have been mixed with saliva and enzymes. This happens when the muscles in your esophagus contract and push the food down into your stomach.
Inside the stomach, food is combined with gastric acid and churned. Gastric acid consists mostly of hydrochloric acid. Peptides are created when pepsin, released by chief cells in the stomach, breaks down food proteins. More digestive enzymes are involved in this process. The enzymes in the stomach break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats before moving the contents of the stomach to the small intestine, where most of the digestion and absorption occur. The stomach is also important because it produces a compound called intrinsic factor, which helps the body absorb vitamin B12 further down the digestive tract.
In the small intestine, more digestive enzymes, including pancreatin, trypsin, and chymotrypsin, help break down food. The intestinal lining produces enzymes, or the pancreas releases enzymes into the intestine that are important in extracting nutrients from food.
The liver produces bile, which is stored in the gallbladder and released when fatty foods are consumed. Bile helps break down fats by emulsifying them, making them more susceptible to being broken down by enzymes. This action is important for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
The breaking down of food into smaller pieces allows the body to absorb amino acids, sugars, and fatty acids through the small intestine and into the bloodstream. Blood flow to the liver increases so that nutrients can be filtered, toxins inactivated and removed, and final processing can occur
There is no doubt that enzymes play an important role in this complicated process. Many adults do not have enough of the enzymes that help with digestion. A deficit of this enzyme can be caused by diet. Many Americans consume too few raw fruits and vegetables, even though natural enzymes are found in them. Even when people make an effort to eat foods that contain these enzymes, most of them are inactive because of cooking and processing. The stomach, pancreas, and small intestine typically produce fewer enzymes as we age.
Older people may have trouble digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and moving their intestines, which can cause problems like constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, anemia, and malnutrition.
Malnutrition and Aging
Many factors challenge the nutritional status of older adults. There are a number of health conditions that may result in malnutrition due to poor nutrient absorption, including chronic alcohol abuse, atrophic gastritis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic insufficiency, lactose intolerance, diverticulosis, and celiac disease.
Additional research has also established that many elderly people are at risk of zinc, copper, and selenium deficiencies. It has been previously noted that elderly people are at a greater risk of developing deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. A study done in France found that a high number of men and women aged 70 and above were deficient in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to a serious condition called pernicious anemia, is also common in the elderly.29,30 Further research has shown that many elderly people are also at risk of zinc, copper, and selenium deficiencies.
It is important to have good digestive health in older adults because if they don’t, it could have terrible consequences.
Many individuals and health practitioners rely on digestive enzyme supplements to ensure that food is properly broken down and absorbed.
A study that used two different groups of people and had them switch between treatments confirms that digestive enzyme supplements help with digestion. Healthy volunteers ingested either a high-calorie, high-fat meal with pancreatic enzyme capsules or a high-calorie, high-fat meal with a placebo. Gastrointestinal symptoms were recorded for the next 17 hours. Researchers found that the supplements also helped alleviate abdominal pain. Pancreatic enzyme supplements can help with bloating, gas, fullness, and abdominal pain. The findings from this study suggest that digestive enzyme supplements may help to improve digestive comfort, even for healthy individuals. This suggests that digestive enzymes could play a role in improving symptoms for those with irritable bowel syndrome.
As we get older, we face many challenges. But we don’t have to give up the simple joy of good food. If you take digestive enzymes orally before you eat, they can help your body break down food so you can get the nutrients you need. . If you take digestive enzymes between meals, it may help reduce inflammation and disease throughout your body, keeping you healthy.