Can Digestive Enzymes Help with Bloating, Gas, Indigestion, Irregularity, & Heartburn?
The answer to this question is completely dependent upon the individual and individual circumstances. If an enzyme deficiency is present, typically the supplementation of digestive enzymes can help with gastrointestinal symptoms.
Digestive Enzymes: What, When, Where, and How?
There are a wide variety of digestive enzymes, usually named for their function within the digestive system. Digestive enzymes are primarily located within the gastrointestinal tract (most common to the stomach and small intestine), however, the production and secretion of some digestive enzymes is accomplished by the accessory organs, including the pancreas and the liver. Digestive enzymes are commonly activated after the ingestion of food, where they are utilized for the catalysts for the reactions necessary to break down complex molecules into simple molecules.
Digestive enzymes are highly specific, catalyzing reactions of particular products - typically fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Digestive enzymes are necessary for the digestion of food products, and proper digestion is essential for the absorption of nutrients. Nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, are necessary in all biological systems of the body. If digestive enzymes are not provided in adequate amounts, this can lead to digestive problems accompanied by many signs and symptoms.
Digestive Enzyme Deficiency: Signs and Symptoms
Enzyme deficiencies are associated with a wide variety of symptoms. A vast majority of these are isolated to the gastrointestinal tract, as this is the primary location of digestive enzymes. The following is a list of the most common signs and symptoms associated with enzyme deficiencies. It should be noted that the majority of these signs and symptoms can also be associated with many other diseases and conditions. Just because you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, does not guarantee that you have an enzyme deficiency.
- Abdominal pain
- Heart Burn
Digestive Enzymes and Symptom Relief
Digestive enzymes are a requirement for proper digestion. Hence, it makes sense that a deficiency in the presence of digestive enzymes would be associated with signs and symptoms of inadequate digestion. As digestive enzyme deficiencies can be the cause of many digestive signs and symptoms, symptom relief can be achieved by ingesting more digestive enzymes to solve the deficiency.
Increasing Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are naturally produced by the body. Therefore, the necessary ingredients to produce digestive enzymes must be supplied in adequate amounts. This can typically be achieved through a healthy diet. There is data to support that raw foods typically contain high concentrations of enzymes, particularly fruits and vegetables. There is also data to support that the typical processing of food (commonly heating) is enough to destroy the vast majority of all natural enzymes present in food. Supplements are available that provide both nutritional value in addition to the actual enzymes. Supplements should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle. This is essential, as supplements can not replace inappropriate lifestyle and dietary choices.