If you’re someone who’s looking to get the most out of their meals, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of supplementing with digestive enzymes. Whether you’re seeking to get the most out of the food you’re eating, or perhaps your age has contributed to shifting digestion issues, or you otherwise need help to ease occasional gas and bloating, enzymes have become an integral part of many people’s mealtime routine, and the benefits don’t stop there. With each new study, a new benefit is discovered.
However, for those who are new to enzymes, it can get a bit confusing. Different enzymes help digest different foods, but which is good for what? How are they measured? What makes a good enzyme supplement?
If you find yourself asking these questions, don’t worry. We have all your enzyme supplement questions answered in the article below. Keep reading to learn how to tell which enzymes are the best for you, and what to avoid.
What Enzyme Should I Take?
It’s hard to answer this question without knowing your specific situation, but we can give you some basic information, based on which enzyme works best with each kind of food. While there are many different enzymes, these three major enzymes are ones you should look for: protease, amylase and lipase. Protease digests protein, amylase digests carbs and lipase digests fat. If you’re having difficulty digesting any of those foods, supplementing with its correlative enzyme may help. Many natural enzyme supplements will have a blend of these and other enzymes.
How Are Enzymes Measured?
One of the most confusing parts of enzymes is how they are measured. We are so used to seeing supplements measured in milligrams, that seeing them measured in something like “HUT” can throw us for a loop. Instead of weight, enzymes are measured in activation units. This is because there isn’t any correlation between weight and effectiveness for enzymes, unlike vitamins. For example, you’ll never see an enzyme measured in milligrams.
In short, an activation unit is the amount of food an enzyme has the potential to break down. So therefore, larger numbers mean higher potency, even if the units are foreign. For reference, protease is measured in HUT, amylase in DU and lipase in FCCIP. If you’re at the store looking for a protease supplement that isn’t measured in HUT, you may be looking at the wrong one, or one that contains other enzymes as well. This is something good to keep in mind when comparing products.
Another thing to keep in mind is how the enzymes will work throughout the digestive tract. At various points across the digest tract, the bodies pH is very different. Certain enzymes may only work at certain pH levels. Enzymedica’s unique Thera-blend™ formula means that each enzyme has been formulated to work across the digestive tract’s broad pH range, making it as effective as possible.
How Long Will It Take for Me to See Results?
You should be able to make a judgement on how well an enzyme supplement is working for you in three to four days, but it may sometimes take longer. If after that time you don’t see any effects, this may be signal that a higher dose is needed. As a note, if you get an upset stomach after starting to supplement with protease, it may be a sign that your dosage is too high and a lower dose is needed.
Which Kind of Enzyme Is Better: Plant or Animal?
The answer for this is simple: plant. This includes fungal enzymes as well. Animal enzymes do not work as well because they cannot pass through the stomach and remain active without being coated in something like plastic or wax. Plant-based enzymes, on the other hand, can work in the whole digestive tract and don’t need to be coated in plastic or wax. The best enzyme supplements not only have plant-based enzymes, but are also entirely vegetarian, containing only cellulose and water aside from the enzymes.
What Else Should I Look For?
Going off of the last point, the cleaner and more natural, the better. They shouldn’t contain any fillers, binders, excipients and flow agents. All the ingredients should be natural and not produced using biotechnology. Enzymedica’s enzyme supplements meet all of these criteria, along with their facility receiving the Good Manufacturing Practices certification from the NSF, and being the industries’ first to be certified by the Clean Label Project, an independent organization that tests consumer products for over 130 harmful contaminants and toxins.