Ingredient Science

What are Papaya Enzymes?

March 12, 2018 by Enzymedica Marketing
What are Papaya Enzymes?

It’s a rite of passage that many of us remember fondly: Chewing on a few chalky, fruity tablets for gentle digestive support. Papaya enzymes are often the first digestive enzyme supplement that people try – and they have memories of their family keeping a giant bottle in the bathroom cabinet or their mom pulling a roll out of her purse.

But have you ever wondered why papaya enzymes are so popular (and iconic)? And what do they actually do for your digestive health? Do they offer more than a tasty tropical flavor?

There are actually enzymes in those papaya enzymes – and they can support digestion.* But there’s a big “but.” Keep reading to learn about the problem with papaya-only enzymes, the actual science behind papaya enzymes and why we finally decided to make not one but two papaya enzyme formulas.

The Problem with Papaya (Only) Enzymes

Many of the papaya enzymes out there are made with artificial or low-quality ingredients. Some have large serving sizes, so you’re chewing on lots of chalky tablets at once. And they don’t always contain much actual papaya (let alone organic papaya).

For centuries, papaya has been a time-honored way to offer support for indigestion and acid discomfort.* The tropical fruit contains proteolytic enzymes that help the body break down and digest proteins, and the primary enzyme in papaya is called papain.*

In the USA, generations of families have trusted papain and papaya enzyme supplements to gently support digestive wellness.* However, as delicious as papaya enzymes are, they primarily target proteins, helping break them down into their amino acid building blocks. Since most meals contain a variety of nutrients, ideally your digestive enzyme supplement does, too.

Digestive Enzymes Refresher Course

Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins speed up chemical reactions in the body. Think of them like little scissors, slicing and cutting the foods you eat into their most basic building blocks. Your food needs to be broken down not only to avoid occasional digestive discomforts but also to allow your body to make use of the nutrients in that food. Digestive enzymes speed up digestion, boost energy and reduce occasional indigestion.*

In the digestive system, each enzyme or group of enzymes targets a certain nutrient. Here’s a quick list.


Nutrient It Breaks Down






Dietary fats




Gluten (wheat protein)


Lactose (milk sugar)

Alpha Galactosidase

Cellulose (plant fiber)




Papaya enzymes fall into the protease category, making them specialists in breaking down protein into amino acids.

Digestion starts to happen before you even take your first bite. Smelling food triggers the release of your first set of digestive enzymes, which are released by your salivary glands. Your digestive system continues to release digestive enzymes throughout the digestive process – the stomach, small intestine, liver and pancreas, the primary producer of digestive enzymes, all release them.

Digestive enzymes help break down food into essential nutrients that your body uses for energy and other biological processes. When you don’t have enough enzymes, your digestive system can’t fully break down the foods you eat, which can impact your digestion and transit times. When digestion is sluggish or incomplete, undigested food ferments in the large intestine, which can cause occasional gas, bloating and indigestion.

There are plenty of reasons why you might not have enough digestive enzymes. Aging and everyday stress are common culprits, but lifestyle, habits and an inherited genetic deficiency (like lactose intolerance) can also be to blame. So can overeating or overindulging! Up to 20% of the population has one or more food intolerances due to insufficient enzyme levels. Digestive enzyme supplements can provide the enzymes your body needs (without interfering with your natural production).

What to Know about Our Papaya Enzymes

Our papaya formulas start with organic papaya juice powder, then we add a proprietary Enzyme Blend – to target protein, carbs, fiber and fat. (Because you’re eating a variety of macros at most meals!)

Thera-blend® is the difference. More importantly to you, this proprietary technology is how our enzymes enhance nutrient absorption and help you have more energy.* With a deliciously fresh papaya mint flavor, our papaya enzyme formulas include higher-potency enzymes to speed up digestion, improve energy and reduce occasional digestive discomfort when taken before or after meals.* Like all of our enzymes, they are formulated to retain their potency across the diverse pH levels of your GI tract – so they can where they need to go and then get to work.

We have two new formulas: Papaya Gold and Papaya Complete.

What’s Different about Enzymedica’s Papaya Enzymes?

Generations of American families have trusted papaya enzymes to support their digestive well-being. When we decided to make a papaya enzyme formula, we knew it had to deliver the comprehensive support you expect from the makers of Digest Gold, America’s #1 selling digestive enzyme supplement.

In a single delicious tablet, Papaya Gold delivers high-potency enzymes to speed up digestion.* We always scour the planet to find the best ingredients, including the organic papaya in this formula. Ours comes from a trusted, high-quality source.

Papaya Gold is an advanced enzyme formula that helps you enjoy the benefits of papaya and other high-potency enzymes in a single, non-chalky and delicious chewable tablet. With a comprehensive and clean blend that works throughout the broad pH ranges of the body, you'll feel a difference at your next meal.

With no artificial fillers, fewer tablets per serving, 3 times more papaya and purer ingredients compared to the next leading competitor, it’s the gold standard in papaya enzymes!*^  It’s a papaya enzyme supplement with pure potency and unmatched quality.

Also with a deliciously fresh papaya mint flavor, Papaya Complete is a slightly gentler formula compared with Papaya Gold. This daily digestive enzyme formula helps you enjoy the benefits of papaya and other high-potency enzymes in a non-chalky and delicious chewable format.*

In both formulas, we include organic alfalfa powder, a natural source of chlorophyll that is a powerhouse of plant nutrition. With no artificial colors, fillers or sweeteners, Papaya Complete and Papaya Gold are superior in every way!