To know about the answer of this question, we must know about the definitions of Digestive Enzyme Supplements. Besides, we need to know why and when we should take supplements?
First of all, what is digestive system? Actually, digestion is a huge part of human body. Whatever we eat through our mouth, that have to be transferred into smaller portion to get absorbed by body cell. So that the body cell can use the energy of those foods into different tasks. The whole process after eating a food to let that out from our body is known as digestion system.
But what are digestive enzymes? Digestive enzymes are substances that aid in the digestion of food. The salivary glands and cells lining the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine secrete (release) them. They accomplish this by breaking down the large, complex molecules that comprise proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into smaller ones. This allows nutrients from these foods to be easily absorbed and carried throughout the body.
Enzymes are produced by your body in the digestive system, which includes the mouth, stomach, and small intestine. The pancreas performs the majority of the work. Digestive enzymes aid in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food. This is required to allow for nutrient absorption and to maintain optimal health. The nutrients in your food would be wasted if these enzymes were not present. Certain medical conditions can impair the production of digestive enzymes. When there is a lack of digestive enzymes, it results in poor digestion and malnutrition.
There are various types of digestive enzymes. Different enzymes are responsible for breaking down different nutrients. The main types of digestive enzymes are:
Amylase: This enzyme converts carbohydrates (starches) into sugar molecules. Diarrhea can result from a lack of amylase.
Lipase: This works in conjunction with liver bile to break down fats. Lipase deficiency causes a shortage in fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.
Protease: This enzyme converts proteins into amino acids. It also facilitates the removal of bacteria, yeast, and protozoa from the intestines. Protease deficiency can cause allergies or toxicity in the intestines.
Digestive Enzyme Supplements
Normally, we get these enzymes from foods and the nutrients make our physiology easier. But many of us are not careful about our diet and that’s when body can’t create sufficient level enzymes to process the digestion. People face digestive enzyme deficiency on that time.
Among the various types of digestive enzyme deficiency are:
- You have a congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency, which means you don't have enough sucrase to digest certain sugars.
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) occurs when your pancreas does not produce enough of the enzymes required for carbohydrate, protein, and fat digestion.
- If your body does not produce enough lactase, you may have difficulty digesting the sugar found naturally in milk and dairy products. That is called lactose intolerance.
People who do not have enough digestive enzymes or who want to support healthy digestion should consider adding digestive enzymes to their diet. They can accomplish this by eating foods rich in naturally occurring digestive enzymes. They can, however, take nutritional supplements under the supervision of a healthcare provider. So, this means supplements are external intake of digestive enzymes.
Digestive enzyme supplements can come in:
- Liquids sourced from animals, plants, or microbes
The FDA regulates both prescription supplements and over-the-counter supplements. For conditions affecting pancreatic function, such as chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer, prescription enzyme supplements are recommended.
The FDA does not regulate over-the-counter enzyme supplements. Because there haven't been enough high-quality studies on them, it's difficult to say how effective they are. But they are effective if you are simply consult your doctor and they will set up a prescription and time-table for the supplements.
Overall, we need digestive supplements if we have any complications to digest our daily food. And if we face any issue of lower secretion of digestive enzyme, these supplements are helpful in many ways. However, most of the time, we may feel unable to give our best to maintain our diet and a digestive supplement a day can be an addition to a healthy diet but obviously choose the brand wisely with the consultation of your doctor.