What Exactly Are Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are proteins your body produces and uses to break down your food into energy and nutrients. They differ from probiotics, which are bacteria or yeasts that offer health benefits, and prebiotics, which are fibers and other non-digestible compounds that promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Specific types of enzymes break down carbohydrates, proteins or fats. Digestive enzymes are released and mix with your food throughout digestion, starting in the mouth and continuing in the stomach, pancreas, liver and small intestine.
When your body doesnt produce enough of certain digestive enzymes, undigested compounds can make their way into your large intestine and cause unpleasant symptoms such as the gas some experience after eating beans or rob your body of essential energy and nutrients.
What Is The Relationship Between Probiotics And Digestive Enzymes
Though they both aid the digestive process, probiotics and digestive enzymes are not the same. Digestive enzymes are molecules which assist in the breakdown of the foods we eat, whereas probiotics are living micro-organisms which live in our gut and positively affect our body/physiological processes. Both probiotics and digestive enzymes are vital to our digestive health and perform complementary functions, therefore sometimes you will see digestive enzymes and probiotics included in the same supplements.
We have many thousands of enzymes in our bodies, but there are trillions of bacteria living inside us. In fact, amazingly, they outnumber our own body cells. Certain species and strains of bacteria and yeasts have been studied and found to offer benefits for their host, and consequently these bacteria/yeasts have become known as probiotics, which means ‘for life’. Probiotics are living microorganisms sometimes called good bacteria which help to improve the bacterial balance in various places in the body from the small and large intestine to the vagina. Look at this page for more information about how probiotics work.
As probiotics and digestive enzymes are different things and perform different jobs, it is absolutely fine to take them together.
Digestive Enzymes And Probiotics Together: Best Combo For Your Gut
The complementary effects of these two gut health supplements may help you finally ease your digestive issues.
Poor digestion is one of the most common health complaints today. Digestive enzymes and probiotics are two of the most widely used remedies. Can using digestive enzymes and probiotics together offer you extra benefits or is it just a waste of your time and money? Here Gabriela, one of our resident health and nutrition experts, answers just that question!
If you arent very familiarwith the words digestive enzymes and probiotics, where does your mind gowhen you hear them?
Probably to the pharmacysection that sells tablets whose packaging reads something along the lines ofhelps with digestion after a big meal.
And there is a reason so manyof these types of tablets are sold!
Tons of people have digestiveissues!
If you personally do notexperience any on a daily basis, it is very likely you have a friend or familymember that is always complaining about tummy troubles.
Digestive enzymes and probiotics are two supplements that can work to ease belly woes. So, I want to explore them, and how they work, here!
But first, a brief science andpublic health lesson so you understand a little bit about digestion and itsimportance in health!
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Are Digestive Enzymes And Probiotics The Same Thing
Many people throw the words digestive enzymes and probiotics often, thinking that they are interchangeable. The truth, however, is that they are actually quite different.
While both digestive enzymes and probiotics help promote healthy gut health and improve the digestive system, they are not the same.
Its important to understand their differences, what their respective functions are and just how vital they are to achieve a healthy body.
What Are Digestive Enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are naturally produced by the human body. They play a key role in helping your body break down the food that you eat and extract nutrients from them. They also help maintain a healthy level of bacteria inside your intestines.
There are many different types of digestive enzymes, each of which has its own specific set of sub-functions. However, all in all, the general function of digestive enzymes is to breakdown food and make them easier to absorb.
This is why the lack of digestive enzymes can lead to a lack of nutrition as well.
Taking natural enzyme supplements in Singapore can help with this. Alternatively, you can also increase your regular food intake so that its rich in natural digestive enzymes. It may also be necessary to find out whats causing the inflammation in your gut, as well as finding out ways to reduce stress and improve your digestive health.
What are Probiotics?
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When Not To Take Probiotics
Weakened Intestinal Wall or Intestinal Function
There have been cases in which probiotics have triggered infections inpeople with underdeveloped intestines or those with trauma to their gut. This includes:
- people after intestinal surgery
- those with short-gut syndrome
- very young infants
If any of these sound like you , probiotics might not be a great choice for you.
Weak Immune System
Another instance when probiotics might not be a good idea is if you have aweak immune system. You may have a weakened immune system from:
- an HIV infection
- an autoimmune disorder
Since probiotics are bacteria and your immune system is responsible for keeping bacteria from infecting your body, having a weakimmune system while taking probiotics can put you at risk for getting aninfection.
Certain strains of probiotics have a higher risk of leading to an infectionthan others. Because of this, you have to be very careful whichprobiotics you are taking when facing immune deficiencies. Please donttake a probiotic without talking to your doctor if your immune system isnt intip-top shape.
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Digestive Enzymes Vs Probiotics: Whats Better For Digestion
Digestive enzymes and probiotics are super boosters for your digestive health! Check out in this article how different or similar they are!
If you struggle with digestive issues and youre interested in supplementing for your gut health, two options you might be having trouble choosing between are digestive enzymes vs. probiotics. Here, Ana breaks down everything you need to know in order to be able to make the best choice for your digestive health!
Between 60 and 70 million Americans struggle with some kind of digestive disorder.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
I am sure that many of you have faced difficulties with your digestion, either in the short or long run! I know I have, every time I go on vacation!
Travel-related digestion issues are actually very common but there are many other gastrointestinal conditions that affect large numbers of people, as well.
These GI conditions are just one type of disease people face nowadays due to the modern, fast-paced life which doesnt allow you much time to take care of your nutrition.
If youre one of the people whose digestion has suffered from our gut-unhealthy lifestyle, then Im sure youve heard about all kinds of treatments and supplements that are supposed to be able to help you.
Two of the most commonly touted supplements are probiotics and digestive enzymes. In fact, these two are mentioned so frequently together, that they can be really easy mixed up!
What Symptoms Or Conditions Can Probiotics Help
Just as with digestiveenzymes, probiotics can help with a variety of gastrointestinal conditions. Theyare typically considereduseful for:
- irritable bowel syndrome
- non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Lets Compare These Two Digestive Aids! A Small Recap:
Before we go into how to takedigestive enzymes and probiotics together , lets recap abit.
- naturally produced by the body to break down food
- classified into three main categories corresponding to food groups
- can be taken as supplements or found in foods
- are not produced by your body
- can be taken as a supplement or found in foods
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What Are Digestive Enzymes For A Dogs Digestion
Based on the findings of Doggy Digest, a digestive enzyme is any protein that helps to break down food to aid digestion. This is not the same kind of protein that is in the food your dog eats, but rather a specific chemical produced by the body that interacts with food. When food initially reaches your dog’s stomach, it is still in relatively large chunks and pieces. Generally speaking, it can take up to 12 hours for a dog to digest his food, but this may depend slightly on his age and weight. Food must then be broken down and digested so nutrients can be absorbed by the body.
Your dog’s body naturally does this process through the use of stomach acid and other natural enzymes that help to break the food down. The idea behind supplemental digestive enzymes for dogs is that these additives work with your canines’s biologically-produced enzymes to help break down food at a faster rate. As a result of these supplements, your dog’s digestive system doesnt have to work as hard, allowing for easier digestion and less gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, indigestion, loose stools, and other problems.
Which Should I Take
Enzymes and probiotics perform similar functions in the body, but there may be instances where you will benefit more from one or the other. For example, if youve recently finished a round of antibiotics, probiotics will serve you better than digestive enzymes. On the other hand, if youre lactose intolerant, you will probably see more improvement from adding a digestive enzyme supplement containing lactase, as this would help your body to break down the sugars in milk.
While they each have their own benefits, you dont necessarily have to choose between them. Both digestive enzymes and probiotics support healthy digestive and immune systems, and there are many foods that contain both, including kefir and fermented vegetables. We recommend trying to get as many enzymes and probiotics from natural food sources as possible, though, of course, this isnt always easy to do in todays world.
If you find yourself struggling to incorporate them into your diet, we suggest a supplement. We recommendEnzymedica Digest Gold + PROBIOTICS. This combines the plant-based enzymes that make up our Digest Gold product with eight strains of probiotics, totaling 1.5 billion active cultures.
If youre not sure what your best option is, talk to your doctor or natural health professional about your options. They may be able to help you decide which is best for your specific circumstances.
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Digestive Health: A Quick Science And Public Health Overview
The human digestive system isone of the longest and most complex organ systems in the body.
Starting at your lips and mouth and running all the way to your colon and anus, your 30 feet of gastrointestinal tract break down the food you eat, absorb nutrients, and contribute to your immune system.
It is incredibly important for the health of your entire body.
How To Take Digestive Enzyme Supplements
If you react to specific foods, look for specific types of enzymes in your supplement product. For example, if you are lactose intolerant, a lactase enzyme will be most helpful. If beans and legumes cause you excessive gas and abdominal pain, try using a product with alpha-galactosidase.
If you cant connect your digestive symptoms with any specific food, its best to try a product that combines the most important enzymes that help you digest proteins, fats, and carbs.
Take digestive enzyme supplements before each meal, following the dosage guidelines on the product label. Allow 2-3 weeks of daily supplementation before deciding if digestive enzymes are helping to resolve your symptoms.
Digestive enzymes dont usually cause side effects. However, protease enzyme supplements can be irritating for some. If you experience a burning sensation or increased bloating and gas right after taking digestive enzyme supplements, try a different formula.
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Probiotics Vs Digestive Enzymes For Dogs
Good digestive habits are an imperative part of your dog’s continued long term health. Plenty of exercise, high-quality food, and regular check-ups at the vet are all essential practices in making sure your dog is as healthy as possible. But what about supplementing your dog’s health routine with a dog digestive supplement? Are there products that could be helping your dog to maintain a healthier digestive system from the inside?
Maybe you have been taking supplements for your own health, or perhaps a friend has recently been in your ear about their dog’s new dietary addition, regardless of why it has been brought to your attention, digestive supplements can make a major difference in your dogs digestive system.
There are two main types of digestive supplements you should know about. There are two main types of digestive supplements you should know about. Digestive enzymes and probiotics are both categorized as digestive supplements and both help to give your dog a happier and healthier digestive tract.
If you are interested in learning how digestive enzymes and probiotics can help to benefit your dog’s health, the following article will give you a solid understanding of what each supplement does and the differences between the two.
To understand how supplemental enzymes and probiotics affect a dog, we must first understand what each supplement does and how they differ from one another.
Considerations For Probiotic Supplementation
If you decide to opt for a probiotic supplement, there are a couple of things to consider. First, make sure you choose a supplement that fits your individual needs. There are countless microorganisms that live in your gut and several types of probiotics that affect the body in different ways.
Since theres such a wide variety of probiotics available, its essential that you dont just grab the first supplement you see. Depending on your specific body and goals, youll want to select a product with a range of high-quality probiotic strains that are proven in clinical research to address your health needs.
Finally, its important to remember timing. The most effective time to take probiotics is on an empty stomach. With this in mind, many people like to take them first thing in the morning before breakfast or just before going to bed at night. On the other hand, digestive enzymes function best when taken with meals.
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If You Are Not Sure Which To Take
If you have digestive symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, or acid reflux, you may not be sure how to decide between digestive enzymes vs. probiotics.
In this case, its worth doing a separate trial of each supplement, starting with probiotics. For each type of supplement, take a full dose for 2-3 weeks and monitor your symptoms. If your symptoms improve, continue to take the supplement. If your symptoms dont improve, there is no need to continue taking that supplement.
Enzymes Vs Probiotics And Why We Need Both
Digestive Enzymes 101
Supplementation with digestive enzymes make sense for several reasons:
- In nature, enzymes present in fresh, raw foods and do up to 60% of the digesting for us, before the food moves into the bottom of our stomach for further digestion. Industrial processing and cooking foods destroys all in-food enzymes, rendering them non-function.
- Supplementary enzymes help ensure all foods are completely broken down into their absorbable nutrients, including when we overeat. They keep digestion strong, freeing your immune system to do other important jobs: digest virus, microbe, yeast, and cell debris, break down inflammatory and autoimmune proteins, and repair cells and tissues.
- They help relieve food intolerances and sensitivities, and allergy symptoms. This includes an estimated 75 percent of the worlds adults who deal with some degree of lactose intolerance from lowered lactase production after weaning.
- They can be used to help manage some of the digestive symptoms related to more serious conditions like celiac disease and cystic fibrosis.
Probiotic supplements are considered a safe therapy and play a role in health because they:
Digestive Enzymes vs Probiotics: So, whats the same?
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Popular Types Of Probiotics
Three popular classes of probiotics are:
Many supplements in the market contain strains from one, two, or all threeof these classes of probiotics.
Well-studied strains that are worth looking for in your probioticsupplements include:
- B. animalis
- L. rhamnosus
- L. reuteri
- L. acidophilus
- L. plantarum
- B. longum
- S. cerevisiae
- B. lactis
- L. bulgaricus
- B. coagulans
- S. boulardii
To find an excellent probiotic supplement to meet your individual needs, I highly recommend checking out What are Probiotics Benefits, Dangers, and Best Sources?
Digestive Enzymes Vs Probiotics: Which Is Better
Okay, so it’s settled: digestive enzymes and probiotics are not the same things. But here comes another question. Which is better? In other words, which should you choose? Unfortunately, because they perform different functions in the body, there’s no clear-cut answer. In most cases, you will have to get to the root cause of your digestive troubles . If you find that a specific food is constantly triggering uncomfortable symptoms , digestive enzymes are likely to offer more targeted relief. Conversely, if your digestive issues are due to an unhealthy gut in general then probiotics can help you regain microbiome balance in your second brain.
That said, it’s crucial to realize that the benefits of digestive enzymes and probiotics are not mutually exclusive. Sure, they are different things and do different things, but they can also work together.
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Foods Rich In Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are present in a variety of foods but they tend to be most highly concentrated in raw foods.
This is because digestive enzymes are, as I mentioned above, proteins, and they can easily degrade if they are exposed to high temperatures, such as those reached during baking, boiling, or frying.
If you have difficulties with digestion, adding lots of digestive-enzyme-rich foods to your diet may be helpful for you! Below is a brief overview of some of the best food sources of digestive enzymes.
Foods rich in proteases :