If you have common stomach issues and problems digesting foods, you might benefit from natural digestive enzymes. Certain conditions cause difficulty in natural enzyme production. Supplementation can help with digestion and allow you to continue to enjoy your favorite foods. If you want to know more about common digestive enzymes and their uses, continue reading.
Common Natural Digestive Enzymes
Non-prescription digestive enzymes generally come in three different forms. Each helps with a specific digestive problem. Some supplements combine all three into one, while others are sold separately. Here are the three most common enzymes and what they do.
- Amylase: Amylase breaks down complex starches and turns them into sugars to be metabolized as energy. It occurs naturally in some foods like bananas and mangos.
- Protease: Protease handles complex proteins and converts them to essential amino acids. It also helps keep the intestinal tract free of undesirable bacteria and yeast. Pineapples and papayas are natural sources of protease.
- Lipase: Lipase breaks down fats into lipids. This amino acid is important for getting fat-soluble vitamins. Avocados and kefir have some lipase.
These are the three main types, but other enzymes are also on the market. For example, alpha-galactosidase targets a certain type of food like beans. Lactase works with lactose. However, even though many foods naturally contain enzymes, you might have to eat a lot of these foods to cover a deficiency.
Conditions That Benefit From Natural Digestive Enzymes
Some medical conditions cause problems with the production of natural digestive enzymes. Doctors sometimes prescribe enzyme replacement for their patients. However, natural digestive enzymes may be beneficial if you know you have problems digesting certain foods. For example, many people take them for lactose or bean intolerance. Some people take them to reduce bloating.
How to Take Digestive Enzymes
Natural digestive enzymes are not like other supplements. For them to work effectively, you must take them just before or at the same time as eating the problem food. Otherwise, they will be ineffective and end up moving down the digestive tract. Some medications may interfere with digestive enzymes, so ask your doctor for advice in this case.
Natural digestive enzymes could help you digest your food better and reduce stomach and intestinal problems. They are particularly helpful if you have a health condition that reduces the enzymes your body naturally produces. If you have severe or chronic stomach pain, see your doctor before taking enzymes to rule out other issues. Then, consider using natural digestive enzymes to reduce routine digestive problems.