Understanding Food Intolerances
The Challenge of identifying a food intolerance is further compounded by the fact that many people suffer from multiple food intolerances. When they eat a slice of pizza, for example, is the digestive trigger the lactose or casein in the cheese? The gluten in the crust, or phenols in the tomato sauce?
If you think you have multiple food intolerances, there are formulas available that cover the complete spectrum of common food intolerances. Make sure the product you choose covers everything you need.
Bloat Busters: Katie Cavuto, RD’s top 5 tips for beating the bloat
1. Sack the Sugar. We all know sugar is bad for us, but did you know that gas causing bad bacteria and yeast feed on refined sugars which can exacerbate bloating? It’s time to ditch the sweet stuff!
2. Go Pro. Probiotics are good bacteria that keep your gut healthy and happy. Eat fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut or or take a probiotic supplement
3. Feed your Bacteria. Just like us, probiotics need food to thrive. That’s where prebiotics come in - they are non-digestible carbohydrates that act as food for probiotics and are found in plant based foods like bananas, onions, garlic, asparagus and artichokes. Definitely add these to your diet, but considering they are high in fiber do it gradually and drink a lot of water to avoid digestive upset.
4. Chew on This. Food intolerance is often a result of your body’s inability to digest a food efficiently. Give it a little help with a digestive enzyme like Enzymedica’s Digest Gold (or Digest Gold +PROBIOTICS) which helps you to digest macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and fats more easily and may soothe abdominal discomfort and promote GI regularity and nutrient absorption.*
5. Indigestion 101. Enzymes in the digestive system play a vital role in your overall health. They ensure proper breakdown, absorption and utilization of nutrients from food you eat. A deficiency in the natural production of digestive enzymes may be an underlying cause of your gastrointestinal complaints, including occasional heartburn and acid discomfort. Removing intolerant foods from your diet and adding Enzymedica’s Acid Soothe may provide support for occasional indigestion.*
Resolve to make better food choices in the New Year
By Walter Crinnion, ND
Setting goals is a common occurrence as the New Year approaches. Many set similar goals year after year. While financial goals are dreamed of, health goals are far more crucial to our lives. Good health provides limitless possibilities. Without health, those possibilities can be significantly diminished. Thoughts about health goals are common in January following overindulgence in alcohol, sugars and fatty foods typical of the holiday season. Let’s think about how our diet impacts our health. For decades we have known that all the major chronic disease states, which afflict virtually everyone consuming the Western diet, are lifestyle related. The major lifestyle factors that cause these illnesses are the Standard American Diet (SAD) and our toxic environment. A lack of exercise plays a role, too. It never ceases to amaze me that vast majority of the Americans insist on eating the SAD and living in an ever-more-toxic home environment. Genetics do play a role in chronic illness, however, the outcome is determined by both genetic predisposition AND lifestyle.
Let me use myself as an example. All of the men, and most of the women, in my bloodline died from heart disease – at fairly young ages. My father had his first heart attack at 48 years of age. Knowing my genetics predisposed me to cardiovascular disease, I have consumed a heart healthy diet with heart healthy supplements, along with regular exercise, for the past 35 years. My father had already had two heart attacks by the time he was my age, but according to the cardiologists I have visited, I have the cardiovascular system of a 26 year old! Most people know they should eat right. Most everyone realizes that smoking cigarettes causes cancer. But people like the taste of sugar and fat the same way they enjoy what happens to their brain and mood when they smoke. Sometimes it is hard for people to look past the short-term benefits to see the long-term costs of their choices.
There are “functional foods” readily available as good choices. Functional foods have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. These foods include broccoli and all of its Brassica relatives (Kale, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower), and all of the dark-colored berries. Additionally, wild Alaskan salmon provides a high level of essential oils. However, you will not get the same benefit from Atlantic farmed salmon. The natural chemicals and fiber from these vegetables and fruits are primary benefactors. To gain the full benefit from these foods, one needs to eat them AND digest and absorb them. We actually are not what we eat – but what we digest and absorb.
When digestive ability decreases, digestive discomforts may increase. Television advertisements assure us that all of our digestive discomforts will go away, including occasional heartburn, if we just take medication on a daily basis! But if the digestive discomforts are caused by a reduced digestive enzyme output, why not support digestion naturally? All too often medications only mask the symptoms, typically with serious side effects.
Aging decreases the overall energy level and digestive ability is also often compromised. Studies indicate that people with type “A” blood have weaker digestive ability and as they age, often experience digestive trouble more frequently than people with type “O” blood. Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s Eat Right 4 Your Type discusses this in length. He makes the argument that persons with weaker digestion (blood type A) do much better on a vegetable-based diet because meat proteins are much more difficult to digest. Type A blood individuals could benefit from supplemental digestive enzymes. However, should they want to eat a lot of animal protein, they would need more protein-digesting assistance, typically from protease enzymes. Aging blood type O people will need digestive help to break down animal proteins, too. A number of oils and fat-soluble vitamins that are essential for life need fat or oil-digesting enzymes (lipases) to help aid digestion as well. Therefore, if you are wanting to add Alaskan salmon into your diet to support a healthy heart, as I have done for the last 35 years, it would make great sense to add supplemental lipase to insure that all those fish oils are actually absorbed!
The holiday season has come and gone. We may have more weight around our middles and less money in the bank. Department stores may be happily in the black while our health and vitality is in the red. It is time to refocus, make the healthy investment of functional foods to your diet and stop the junk, alcohol, sweets and high-fat foods. Aim for a cleaner environment and add exercise. Hundreds of studies on healthy diets show dramatic benefits for those who changed their eating habits. The benefits are derived from replacing the poor food choices with good, healthy food! Be sure that you are getting the greatest return on your investment by insuring that you are optimally digesting and absorbing all that healthy foods have to offer.
Food Allergy or Food Intolerance?
At Enzymedica we believe knowledge has the power to change lives. We offer you these articles for educational purposes only.* The views and opinions of authors expressed in these articles do not necessarily state or reflect those of Enzymedica. These articles are not being used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.
Amy Pereira, BA, CHNC
Are there differences? If so, what are they? This article helps us explore common intolerances and their potential effects upon the digestive system, in addition to the roles that enzymes can play in supporting individuals with these intolerances.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), food allergies affect 4% of adults in the U.S.1 Meanwhile, other authorities state that food intolerances affect up to 20% or more of the population.2 Food allergies, food intolerances, what’s the difference? Let’s take a closer look…
Defined by NIAID, food allergies involve “abnormal response to a food, triggered by the body’s immune system.”3 In these cases, our bodies perceive food as a threat (allergen) and respond by creating antibodies that attach to the allergen and enable its removal. Once allergens are bound to antibodies, special cells (on which allergens and antibodies attach) release histamines and other chemicals that cause various symptoms, like itchy/swollen mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, hives or eczema, or even swollen throat/impaired breathing.
Food intolerances don’t involve an immune response but instead often result in digestive system response. To dispel confusion surrounding differences between food allergies and intolerances, NIAID clarifies that intolerances involve the body’s inability to produce the enzyme (or enough enzyme) necessary to digest a particular food. Even if the immune system isn’t engaged, intolerance consequences are nevertheless discomforting, frequently appearing as occasional gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. Lactose intolerance is one example of an inability to produce the enzyme lactase, required to digest the milk sugar, lactose.
However, not all people with dairy difficulties benefit from lactase. In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers noted that 64% of those with dairy intolerance actually digested lactose. This indicates that some other component(s) of dairy, such as the milk protein (casein), may present the challenge. If lactose causes your digestive difficulties, then a high potency lactase formula may work wonderfully. In addition to 9,500 lactase units, Lacto™ contains 25,000 units of Thera-blend™ protease for casein digestion. No other product delivers such a well-rounded approach to dairy digestion while also including enzymes for the rest of the meal!
If high lactase supplementation has provided less-than-desired results, or lactose-free dairy still causes difficulty, then you may benefit from stronger casein digestion support. If you experience difficulty digesting wheat gluten then you may appreciate the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4). DPP-4 is in highest concentration in GlutenEase™ and GlutenEase™ 2X (1,000 units per cap) and offers digestive support for both casein and gluten intolerances.*
1 National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Food Allergy. (2013, August 7). Retrieved April 29, 2014,from http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/foodallergy/Pages/default.aspx
2 Bray, R. Food Intolerance Annual Scientific Assembly November 15th, 2006 Retrieved from http://www.feingold.org/Research/PDFstudies/Bray2006-open.pdf
3 National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Food What is Food Allergy. (2010, November 8). Retrieved April 29, 2014, from http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/foodAllergy/understanding/Pages/whatIsIt.aspx
4 Rosado, J., Allen, L., & Solomons, N. (1987) Milk consumption, symptom response, and lactose digestion in milk intolerance. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 45, 1457. Retrieved April 29, 2014, from