You’ve likely heard of digestive enzymes before, but how much do you really know about them? Are digestive enzymes in your supplements necessary, or are they already found in your food? If you’ve ever wanted to know more about how digestive enzymes work, what they can and can’t do, and if they can help you in your health journey, we’re about to answer all of your questions.
Digestive Enzymes 101
Digestive enzymes help with, you guessed it—digestion. They are responsible for taking your food and breaking it down into smaller substrates your body can use. Your body produces its own digestive enzymes in the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. Even your saliva has digestive enzymes in it, so the process of digestion begins as soon as you put food in your mouth. But like most things related to your body, age slows down the natural production of digestive enzymes.
Without digestive enzymes, you wouldn’t be able to process the food you eat or get the full value of its nutrition. The digestive enzymes benefits can be broken down into a few main categories—nutrient absorption, gut health, weight loss, and increased energy. Since the body slows its production of digestive enzymes around the age of 27, many of us could use the extra help of a digestion supplement to aid with these processes.
If you experience gas, bloating, or other digestive issues after eating certain foods, then you might need a digestive enzyme supplement. That’s especially true if you used to be able to eat those foods without an issue. Sometimes your symptoms can start small, but over time, food that isn’t fully digested can build up in your digestive tract. That buildup can cause more pronounced symptoms, or even lead to other digestive health issues. Paying attention to your gut and the way you feel after you eat will help you decide if you need the help of digestive enzymes.
Do Digestive Enzymes Really Work?
While there’s a lot more talk about digestive enzymes and their effectiveness these days, they aren’t a new concept. You’ve probably been hearing about them for years, and have maybe even used them in the past. Lactaid and Beano are two brand-name digestive enzyme supplements that have been around for a long time. Since they aren’t typically referred to as digestive enzymes, you might not have known that’s what they really are.
Lactose intolerance happens when the body doesn’t produce enough of the digestive enzyme lactase. Supplements like Lactaid help your body process dairy products by boosting its supply of lactase. This reduces the discomfort you would otherwise feel because your body is now able to efficiently break down and digest the food.
Similarly, you’ve probably heard of Beano before, or maybe even taken it. Did you know it’s actually a digestive enzyme? Beano contains alpha-galactosidase, an enzyme that helps break down the sugars in tough-to-digest foods like beans and leafy greens. This reduces feelings of gas and bloating.
So if you’re asking yourself, “Do digestive enzymes really work?” those are two examples that have been used effectively for years. Just as with Beano and Lactaid, other digestive enzymes have different roles in the body and break down different foods. The best digestive enzymes provide digestion support through:
Sure, your mouth, stomach, and intestines get all the credit for digestion, but they mostly just carry the food from one place to another within your body. The real star of the digestion show is digestive enzymes. The various digestive enzymes turn macros from your food into forms of energy your body can use. The more protein, fat, and carbohydrates you can pull from your food, the better your overall health will be.
Poorly digested food can lead to gas, bloating, and a general blech feeling. With digestive enzymes, your body more effectively breaks down food and helps it move smoothly through your system. They can help minimize, or even eliminate feelings of discomfort that come as a result of eating food your body struggles to digest and process. Improved gut health helps you in ways that are both seen and unseen.
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When your digestive system is working properly, your body absorbs more of the nutrients from the food you eat. This helps give you more energy, especially as you more efficiently process hard-to-break down protein. Plus, the less energy your body spends digesting food, the more energy you’ll have for other activities.
It doesn’t matter how healthy your diet is if your body isn’t properly processing the food you eat. Digestive enzymes help with weight loss by increasing nutrient absorption. This helps you get more benefit from the food you eat and makes your healthy lifestyle changes go further in your weight loss journey.
3 Myths About Digestive Enzymes
There is a lot of false information out there about digestive enzymes. Here are three common misconceptions people have, and why they aren’t true.
Myth #1: You don’t need to take digestive enzymes, because your body produces enough.
Answer: Your body’s production of digestive enzymes slows starting at around age 27. That’s why some foods become harder to digest as you get older. Digestive enzymes provide digestion support to help your system function more efficiently.
Myth #2: Digestive enzyme supplements don’t work.
Answer: While it’s true that not all digestive enzyme supplements are created equal, for years, digestive enzyme supplements have been proven to effectively aid in the digestion process. It’s important to get a variety of digestive enzymes to improve efficiency.
Myth #3: Digestive enzymes are for people with recurring digestive issues.
Answer: Everyone’s body produces fewer digestive enzymes as they age, so everyone can use the digestion support. Digestive enzymes don’t just benefit those who have noticeable digestive issues, and you shouldn’t just take digestive enzymes when you are experiencing pain, gas, or bloating. Taking a digestive enzyme supplement on a regular basis can help your system function properly every day, and can help prevent issues from happening in the first place.
A Digestive Enzyme With Xyngular’s Complete Collagen™
While the Xyngular collagen supplement is touted mostly for the benefit of its collagen content, like other Xyngular products, it has been specifically formulated to benefit your health in more than one way. It contains the digestive enzyme protease, which helps you break down proteins and aids in their nutrient absorption.*
Love Your Guts with the Digestion Duo
Tackle your gut health with double the love! This dynamic duo of Probiotix and Collagen will help you strengthen your microbiome and improve nutrient absorption. The Digestion Duo products work in tandem to improve your overall digestive health, so you get more out of your nutrition and your life.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.