Nutrimax Wellness Store

Digestive Enzymes

Do you experience any of the following after eating?

  • Gas?
  • Bloating?
  • Sheepiness or fatigue?
  • Heartburn?
  • Acid reflux?
  • Nausea?

If the answer is yes, it means that your body is in want of digestive enzymes...

What are enzymes?

Enzymes are catalysts. They initiate chemical reactions in the body but are not themselves changed or used up. There are 2 basic types of enzymes involved in the digestive process.

Digestive enzymes help the body to break down and assimilate nutrients from food: fats, carbohydratres, proteins, sugars and fibres. They are produced by the body (predominantly the pancreas, but also the stomach and salivary glands) to act on food in the small intestine, stomach or mouth.

Food enzymes are found in raw foods, which come equipped with some of the enzymes needed for their own digestion. This is why foods decompose or rot if not eaten while fresh ? they essentially digest themselves.

What is digestion?

Digestion is the process of breaking down food into its component nutrients so that they can be assimilated (absorbed) into the bloodstream and utilized by the body for a myriad of functions.

Ideally, digestion is assisted by a combination of digestive enzymes and food enzymes.

Digestion begins in the mouth, where enzymes in the saliva begin to de-construct starch and sugar molecules. in the stomach, hydrochloric acid (HCI) begins to act on proteins while enzymes in the food itself continue to reduce it down into smaller and smaller pieces. The food leaves the stomach and moves into the small intestine, which is an alkaline environment rich in enzymes secreted by the pancreas. Digestion continues until the nutrients areready for absorption into the bloodstream.

The reality is that most of us do not adequately chew our food, which means that the salivary enzymes have no chance to act before the food moves into the stomach. Even raw food must be well chewed because cellulose (fibre) is tough to break down and the pancreas does not secrete cellulose, an enzyme that targests cellulose. Liquids should also be swirled around the mouth to allow the enzymes to begin to break down any sugars or starches. Food should be chewed until it is liquid before swallowing -- at least 30-50 chews per mouthful.

The consequences of an enzyme deficit

Enzymes are heat-sensitive; cooking and processing can destroy 100% of naturally occurring enzymes in food. The lack of inherent enzymes in the modern diet means that the pancreas, which is designed to secrete only enough enzymes to finish the job that was begun in the mouth and stomach, becomes overworked. Eventually, it may not be able to keep up with the increased demand for enzyme secretion, allowing partially digested food particles to pass into the bloodstream. The body does not recognize these food particles (protein in particular) as nutrients, so it launches an attack from the immune system into form of an allergic reaction or inflammatory response. The immune system’s resources then go to production of antibodies against food (which should be a benign substance) rather than healing injuries and fighting viruses, bacteria, yeasts and fungi.

Like anything that is overworked, the pancreas eventually slows down or stops. Production of pancreatic digestive enzymes is decreased by stress, caffeine, alcohol, illness, pregnancy and simply aging. Supplementing with digestive enzyme at every meal helps to support healthy immunity and digestion, improve nutrient absorption, increase energy levels and decrease gars, bloating, inflammation and food allergies and intolerances.

Proteolytic enzymes for reduced inflammation

Each enzyme functions within a specific pH range. Some assist digestion in the varying acidity of the upper and lower stomach, while others may be active only in certain areas of the alkaline small intestine. Udo’sChoice Enzyme Blends contain several different proteolytic enzymes that function in different pH ranges so that digestion can occur as it was intended -- from the mouth all the way through the small intestine. This facilitates reduced systemic inflammation and allergic immune response caused by incomplete protein digestion.