Enzymes are the biologically active proteins that help chemical reactions happen in our body. There are two kinds of enzymes, metabolic and digestive, with metabolic helping overall health and digestive helping turn food into energy. Every part of our bodies needs enzymes to function.
Metabolic & Digestive Enzymes: All enzymes are biologically active proteins found in every living cell. Metabolic enzymes catalyze and regulate every biochemical reaction that occurs within the human body, making them essential for cellular function and overall health. Digestive enzymes have a different job, turning the food we eat into energy to be utilized by the body for various biological processes. Our bodies naturally produce both digestive and metabolic enzymes, as they are needed—but sometimes may not produce enough for what we need.
Making Chemical Reactions Happen: Enzymes are protein chemicals, which carry vital energy needed to enable each chemical action and reaction occuring in our body. There are approximately 1,300 different enzymes found in the human cell. These enzymes can combine with coenzymes to form nearly 100,000 various chemicals enabling us to see, hear, feel, move, digest food and think. Every organ, every tissue and all the 100 trillion cells in our body depend upon the reactions of metabolic enzymes and their energy factor. Nutrition would be impossible to explain without describing the part that enzymes play.
Nearly one in three people in the U.S. experience some kind of digestive problem.1,2 Though many suffer, few have to. The typical benefits of enzyme supplementation include reduced digestive distress, increased energy and improved regularity.*
Soothe Digestive Distress:* When undigested foods travel through the intestines, they can irritate and potentially damage the sensitive intestinal wall. Over time, this irritation may reduce our digestive capacity and negatively influence the vital absorption process.
Increase Energy: According to Yuri Elkaim, author of Eating for Energy, in most cases, up to 80% of our body’s vital energy is spent on digestion.3 By aiding the breakdown and absorption of foods, you can free up enormous amounts of energy, increasing physical vitality and enhancing energy levels.*
Promote Regularity: Promoting proper digestion may encourage a healthy intestinal environment and help relieve occasional constipation and irregularity.*
1. “Common GI Problems: Volume 1.” The American College of Gastroenterology. The American College of Gastroenterology, n.d. Web. 30 Jul. 2010 (http://www.acg.gi.org/patients/cgp/cgpvol1.asp)
2. U.S. Census Bureau (2010). Data Finders: Population Clocks. Retrieved October 28, 2010. www.census.gov ,(http://www.census.gov/)
3. Elkaim, Yuri. “Health Benefits of Fasting.” Eating for Energy Blog. Yuri Elkaim, 22 Oct 2009. Web. 2 Aug 2010. (http://eatingforenergy.ca/blog/177/health-benefits-of-fasting/)
Metabolic enzymes are used to speed up the chemical reactions in our cells that keep us alive. Digestive enzymes break down food into nutrition and waste. While the food we eat contains digestive enzymes, it does not contain enough to digest everything we eat on its own, which is where our body’s enzymes and supplements fill in the gap.
Metabolic Enzymes: These are an essential component for optimal cellular function and health—they speed up chemical reactions within cells for detoxification and energy production enabling us to see, hear, feel, move and think. Each organ, every tissue and all 100 trillion cells in our body depend upon the reaction of metabolic enzymes and the energy factor they contribute. Without these metabolic enzymes, cellular life would cease to exist.
Digestive Enzymes:These are secreted along the digestive tract to break food down into nutrients and waste. Most digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas. The liver, gallbladder, small intestine, stomach and colon also play pivotal roles in the production of these enzymes. Digestive enzymes allow the nutrients found in the foods we consume to be absorbed into the blood stream and waste to be discarded. Some human digestive enzymes include lipase, protease, amylase, ptyalin, pepsin and trypsin.
Food Enzymes: These are introduced to the body through the raw foods we eat and through consumption of supplemental enzyme products. Raw foods naturally contain enzymes, providing a source of digestive enzymes when ingested. However, raw food manifests only enough enzymes to digest that particular food. Cooking and processing of food destroys its enzymes, meaning our bodies have to pick up the slack. Since most of the foods we eat are cooked or processed in some way and because the raw foods we do eat contain only enough enzymes to process that particular food, our bodies must produce the majority of the digestive enzymes we require, unless we use supplemental enzymes to aid in the digestive process. A variety of supplemental enzymes are available through different sources. It is important to understand the differences between the enzyme types and make sure you are using an enzyme product most beneficial for your particular needs.
Enzymes are activated when we start to chew our food and break that food down into the nutrients we need to live. While enzymes change the structure of the nutrients we eat, turning them into what our body needs to function, the enzymes themselves remain unchanged.
The Digestive Process: When we eat raw foods, heat and moisture in the mouth activate the enzymes in food. Once active, these enzymes break down the food and make it small enough to pass through the villi (small pores of the intestines) and into the blood.
From the Gut to the Cells: The metabolic enzymes found in the blood then take the digested nutrients and build them into muscles, nerves, bones, blood, lungs and various glands. Every cell in the body depends on certain enzymes to function properly.
Enzyme Specificity: This is referring to the fact that a protein digestive enzyme will not digest a fat, a fat enzyme will not digest a starch (carbohydrate), and so on. Each enzyme has a specific function in the body. This is referred to enzyme specificity.
Staying Unchanged: Enzymes act upon chemicals and change them into other chemicals, but enzymes themselves remain unchanged. Simply stated, enzymes help transform something in our body turning it into something else we need. Without enzymes, nothing in our body could function.
As much as we try to get all the enzymes we need without supplementation, there are a lot of things working against us:
In a world with so many factors keeping us from getting the enzymes we need, enzyme supplements provide support for more complete digestion and nutrient absorption.
Not only can the lipase enzymes in Lypo Gold break down the fat we eat, but enzymes can improve our metabolism, helping us to lose weight the healthy way.*
Lipase for Fat Digestion: Lipase is the enzyme that breaks down and helps us digest fat. Giving the body an extra boost of lipase can take stress off the gallbladder, liver and pancreas. When taken between meals, these enzymes can give us some great systemic support and can even be stored in the liver for later use.
Promoting Healthy Metabolism*: When we break down our food better with the help of enzymes, our body is better able to digest food instead of turning it into fat. This method of weight loss may take a while, but it is healthier and lasts longer. Best of all, it doesn’t harm the body at all. Of course, there is no magic pill for weight loss and enzymes and supporting metabolism are only one piece of the puzzle, to be combined with exercise and healthy habits.
Of all enzyme sources—plant, glandular and vegetarian—vegetarian is the most active, or potent. This means they contain more active units and can break down more fat, protein and carbohydrates across a broader range than any other source. This is why vegetarian enzymes make up 80% of the enzyme supplements sold in health food stores today.
The most common enzymes found in natural food supplements are protease, lipase, amylase and cellulase. All four of these vegetarian enzymes, the most potent form of enzymes, are found in Enzymedica’s complete digestive supplements such as Digest Gold.
Vegetarian enzymes are the most popular and effective kind of supplemental enzymes. That’s why all of Enzymedica’s products are 100% vegetarian. Enzymes derived from animal glands also exist, but they are not as effective as vegetarian enzymes.
Vegetarian Enzymes: These are the most popular choice of supplemental enzymes. They are grown in a laboratory setting and extracted from certain types of fungi and probiotics. The enzymes harvested from aspergillus are called vegetarian, or fungal. Of all the choices, vegetarian enzymes are the most potent. This means they can break down more fat, protein and carbohydrates than any other source. Two common vegetarian enzymes are bromelain and papain.
Bromelain: This is a proteolytic (breaks down protein) and milk-clotting enzyme derived from the pineapple stem. A concentrate of this enzyme has been known to promote a healthy inflammatory response, is used as a meat tenderizer and is used in the chill-proofing of beer.* Like pepsin and papain, bromelain has an optimal temperature higher than normal body temperature. There is always greater heat at the sight of inflammation than any other part of the body. Bromelain is used in Repair, Repair Gold and Natto-K.
Papain: This is an enzyme derived from the latex of papaya. This enzyme becomes active in an environment of 6.0-8.0 pH and requires temperatures above normal human body temperature. Like bromelain, it too supports the body’s natural recovery from overexertion.*
Glandular/Animal: Chymotrypsin, pancreatin, pepsin and trypsin are enzymes from the pancreas, stomach and small intestine derived from animal glands and organs. These enzymes require an alkaline pH level of 8.0 to become active. Enzymedica products are 100% vegetarian, thus, enzymes derived from animals are not used in Enzymedica enzyme formulations.
Each of our enzyme supplements is designed to meet a specific need. To find out what product would be best for you, take our digestive quiz.
CoQ10, vitamins and minerals are all coenzymes, which means they need energy and another enzyme to work. Blue green algae and green barley are helpful, but since they are not enzymes, they cannot help us absorb nutrients from everything we eat. Hydrochloric acid can help digestion but is not an enzyme nor does it act as an enzyme.
Raw food provides only enough enzymes to digest that particular food. There are no extra enzymes in raw food to digest the other cooked or processed food we eat. Although a totally raw diet may appear to be the best solution, it is generally not practical, and in most cases, not medically advisable. Due to the risk of bacterial contamination, many foods should not be eaten raw, including meats, poultry, eggs and beans. Many people also find the fiber content in large quantities of raw food difficult to digest.
Take our Digestive Quiz for more in-depth information. But briefly, if you are looking for preventative relief, Digest Gold and Betaine HCL work well, and if you are looking for relief after the meal, Acid Soothe and Heartburn Relief are great choices.
A general digestive enzyme (such as Digest Gold™) or Betaine HCl before the meal will give your body extra support for preventing occasional heartburn.
After the meal, Acid Soothe™ and Acid Soothe Chewable are great enzyme and botanical based formulas to soothe symptoms associated with occasional heartburn.*
Heartburn Relief™ is a breakthrough new alginate-based formula developed in conjunction with the Roskamp Institute. It forms a gel-like "raft", preserving stomach acid while naturally protecting our esophagus.* Heartburn Relief is also best taken after a meal. This is our most advanced formulation for occasional heartburn.
Since enzymes are the catalysts that turn food into energy, they're necessary to make muscles move and grow. If muscle tissue enzymes were not working in the muscle tissue, there would be no muscular growth, not even the basic muscular activity to create growth. So, enzyme supplementation can ensure you're getting the maximum benefit out of the food you're consuming—better supporting body performance.*
No. GlutenEase was designed for individuals with gluten intolerance and was never intended to “cure” celiac or any other known disease. Some people suffering with Celiac disease find GlutenEase helpful as a safety precaution when eating outside of one's own home.
Take our Digestive Quiz for more in-depth information. In short, Lacto, Digest Spectrum and Candidase can be helpful for children with autism-related food intolerance, but it is always recommended to look at trusted sources like Enzymes for Autism by Karen DeFelice.
Digestive products such as Lacto or Digest Spectrum are good choices to take with meals, while products found with the “red labeling,” such as Candidase, are suggested between meals. Many children with autism are found to have food intolerance issues, and alleviating that problem area can lead to results in other areas of their behavior.
No matter which product you choose, we recommend using the “low and slow” dosing method. This means slowly building up tolerance to enzymes and increasing potency over time.
Enzymedica takes great pride in producing safe and effective high-quality supplemental enzyme products. Our enzymes come from sources that have not come into contact with any pesticides or preservatives, however, they are not considered “certified organic.”
First off, always avoid fillers such as magnesium stearate, apple pectin and rice starch. When looking at the label of a high-quality enzyme product, you will find measurement units you may not recognize. With most supplements, we are used to comparing products based on weight. However, with enzymes, we are interested in the activity and potency available, which is measured in these specific units. It is important to recognize that there is no direct relationship between weight and enzyme activity.
When comparing enzyme products make sure enzyme activities are measured using units such as these:
If you see a warning on a product label stating “WARNING: Reproductive Harm – www.P65Warnings.ca.gov”, don’t be alarmed. This warning is required to be on certain products sold to the state of California, and warnings like this one are commonly posted throughout California, including restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, schools, hospitals and on consumer products.
You may be surprised to find this warning on everyday items like wine, vinegar, alcohol, potato products, nutritional supplements, cleaning products, etc.
Why is this warning specific for California?
In 1986, the State of California enacted the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, commonly known as Prop 65. California voters approved of this initiative to require businesses to notify California residents of their exposure to chemicals from consumer products, at home and the workplace, and from the environment.
Today, California has incorporated more than 800 chemicals to their growing list of substances “known to the State of California” to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm. Although these chemicals are regulated both federally and internationally for safety, California has set their own standards known to be more stringent than any other regulation.
Why is this warning statement on my product?
Since chemicals, such as lead, are naturally present in small amounts throughout the environment, herbal and botanical ingredients from plants grown in soil are expected to contain very small amounts of this heavy metal. Because of this, we verify that our formulas comply with regulatory standards. California’s lead limit is 20 times less than the federal limit, therefore it is common to see a warning statement on dietary supplements containing botanical ingredients.
Enzymedica® is dedicated to complying with all regulatory standards to provide our customers with the highest quality supplements and encourage vibrant health.
Unlike certain vitamins, minerals and herbs, there is no upper limit (or threshold) to the number of supplemental enzymes that can be consumed. The reason for this is that the body has an estimated 100 trillion cells, and any one of those cells could be using thousands of different enzymes every second. This allows for huge quantities to be used by the body without overdosing.
Supplemental enzymes support the body’s normal function without replacing its ability to make enzymes on its own. We like to compare this to a raw food diet that is rich in enzymes. Even though you would be ingesting a large amount of enzymes through your food, no one suggests eating raw food would inhibit the body’s natural production of digestive enzymes. The fact is, the body will continue to manufacture the enzymes needed to benefit from food. Supplemental digestive enzymes simply aid the digestive process.
Vegetarian enzymes tolerate stomach acid well and are not destroyed. Enzymedica’s exlusive Thera-blend™ technology combines vegetarian enzymes formulated to perform across a wide pH range, including acidic and alkaline environments. This enables enzymes to not only be active in the stomach, but throughout the entire GI tract in order to optimize digestive benefits.
We believe our supplemental enzymes, as they are naturally occurring, are among the safest nutritional supplements available. However, with a lack of conclusive scientific evidence, we recommend consulting a physician before combining or replacing prescription drugs with supplemental enzyme products.
Yes. Proteolytic enzymes (such as the protease in Candidase) will not hurt healthy things, they will merely hydrolyze the "3-D's" (a.ka. Dead, Damaged & Does-not-belong cells). Thus, they will not interfere with colonization of probiotics.
Some individuals insist that the effects of digestive enzymes can be felt more quickly than other nutritional products. Most people begin to really feel the effects after a few days to a few weeks.
Not only can you get a personalized recommendation when you complete the quiz, but you’ll get 20% off your next order!