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April 7, 2010 at 1:11 PMComments: 1 Faves: 0

How Long Should I Take Digestive Enzymes?

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Digestive Enzymes: What Are They?

Enzymes are specialized proteins, composed of a specific chain of amino acids that effectively accelerate chemical reactions within the body. Enzymes are utilized by all systems within the body to control the rate at which reactions occur. What is interesting to note about enzymes, is that, while they increase overall reaction rate, they do not change the reaction.

Enzymes accelerate reactions by altering the activation energy. This is possible because enzymes are highly specific molecules, often compared to a lock and key. When the enzyme binds to its particular substrate, the reaction environment is changed, enhancing the rate of the reaction. When the enzyme is removed, or if there is an enzyme inhibitor present, the enzyme is no longer capable of increasing overall reaction speed.

Metabolism: Chemical Reactions in the Body

Enzymes regulate the speed at which chemical reactions occur within the body. Another term for chemical reactions in the body is metabolism. Your overall metabolism is the combination of all chemical reactions that occur within your body to keep you healthy and alive.

Digestive Enzymes: Aid in Digestion

Digestive enzymes are necessary in the body for the proper break down of food substances ingested. Digestive enzymes catalyze the reactions for the digestion of carbohydrates, sugars, fiber, oils, proteins, and fats. This digestion causes the breakdown of these complex molecules into simple molecules that can be readily absorbed and utilized by the body.

Digestive Enzymes: Why Are They Beneficial?

Many health problems in Americans stem from the lack of proper nutrition. Digestive enzymes serve to enhance the overall digestion process, ensuring that nutrients, including essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins are efficiently absorbed. If there are deficient amounts of digestive enzymes present, digestion will not occur properly, leading to an overall decrease in the absorption rate of nutrients.

Digestive Enzymes: Are They in the Food I Eat?

The amount of digestive enzymes you have is dependent upon the foods you eat. Digestive enzymes are found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. However, the typical American diet, composed of highly processed and fried foods, doesn't contain digestive enzymes. The body must compensate for this by redirecting energy and resources to the production of enzymes.

Digestive Enzymes: How Long Should they Be Taken?

Digestive enzymes are available in supplemental form. Dietary supplements containing digestive enzymes are all natural products with limited side effects, when taken as directed. However, it should be noted that supplements are made in an attempt to "supplement" a healthy diet and lifestyle and not to correct the presence of poor dietary and lifestyle choices. You and your physician should decide the duration that digestive enzymes should be taken.

As always, take the supplement as directed. It is usually recommended that you use supplemental products for a minimum of three months before evaluating overall effects.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/digestive-system/DG00021

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1 Comment

  • Really scientifically informative!

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