Digestive enzymes are substances naturally produced in the mouth, stomach, and intestines to help break food down into usable nutrients. Research shows that these enzymes play a critical role in digestion and nutrient assimilation, in immune response, cognitive acceleration, and cellular detoxification among other things (1).
There are various types of digestive enzymes found in humans, some of which include amylase, pepsin, lipase, trypsin, cellulase, lactase, sucrase, and maltase. However, all fall under one of three categories: proteases, lipases, and amylases.
Protease breaks down proteins into amino acids and is produced in the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. In the stomach, pepsin is the main digestive enzyme attacking proteins. Lipase breaks down fats into glycerol and fatty acids and is also produced in the pancreas and small intestine. Lipids play many roles, including long-term energy storage and supporting cellular health. Amylase breaks down starches and carbohydrates into sugars and is produced in the salivary glands, pancreas, and small intestine.
Since digestive enzymes work best at your normal body temperature (98.6 Fahrenheit), so when you have a high body temperature (like when you are sick and have a fever) the structure of enzymes breaks down and stop functioning properly.
Some digestive enzymes are naturally found in certain food sources such as bananas and pineapple. Often times people supplement with enzymes when they’ve had some sort of pancreas malfunction, have a digestive issue like IBS, or they want to optimize their diet and nutrition.
Best Digestive Enzymes
11MD MediZyme Complete Digestive Enzymes
1MD MediZyme capsules is our number 1 digestive enzyme supplement pick. 1MD uses a proprietary formula that was developed by a board-certified doctor with a specialty in gastroenterology and nutrition.
This broad-spectrum formula includes 18 plant-based enzymes that are potent probiotics that will naturally aid the absorption and breakdown of vitamins and minerals while stimulating digestive function and neutralizing gas production.
The formula also includes S. Boulardii, which is a common treatment for diarrhea that is derived from a tropical yeast species that is found in lychee and mangosteen fruits. It is a gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO product that is safe for vegetarian diets. The supplements contain no artificial ingredients, synthetic fillers, or hidden additives.
2Garden of Life RAW Enzymes for Men and Women
Garden of Life Raw Enzymes come with a guarantee that they will arrive alive. The temperature is controlled from manufacturing through delivery to ensure that your supplements stay alive all the way through their printed expiration. Store in a dry place at 71 F or below, and they’re best if refrigerated.
Their supplement contains 85 billion CFU and 33 probiotic strains, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Plantarum, and fermentum. Their capsules are vegetarian. They contain raw ingredients with no binders, fillers, carriers, soy, or allergens. They are naturally gluten-free.
All of their ingredients are fully traceable, right back to the seed and farm where they were grown. They are clean products made from pure, organic foods with no chemical-based ingredients. Both their men’s and women’s formulas are highly effective and formulated specifically for that system’s digestive needs.
3MassZymes – Premium Digestive Enzyme Supplement
MassZymes utilizes one of the strongest enzyme formula’s on the market. It is a full-spectrum enzyme formula that has 5 different types of protease, which is more than any other type available. It includes 100,000 HUTs per capsule along with all the other key enzymes your body needs for optimal digestive health. At more than 2 times the amount of protease with 35% less per capsule, it’s by far on of the best.
The capsules also use their proprietary AstraZyme delivery system. This all-natural and the plant-derived compound is extracted from Panax ginseng and Astragalus so it boosts the potency and effectiveness of the enzymes, making it up to 30% more effective at getting the nutrients through your gut and 66% more effective on specific amino acids.
This company also gives back to those in need. For every 10 bottles sold, they donate a bottle to someone who needs it. They hope to prevent deaths form digestive disorders, which are currently in the top 5 causes of death worldwide.
4Zenwise Health Digestive Enzymes Plus Prebiotics and Probiotics
Zenwise digestive enzymes is a powerful supplement that utilizes prebiotic ad probiotic blends to promote healthier digestion. Their vegan-friendly formula is a shelf-stable multi-enzyme system that includes Bromelain, Lactase, protease, Papain, Lipase, Invertase, Amylase, and Cellulase that support healthy gut flora and promote digestion. These capsules contain 1 billion CFU of probiotics.
Their premium ingredients set them apart from other options. They utilize an advanced enzyme system with 10 powerful enzymes that will easily break down foods that are harder to digest, converting them to energy. The probiotic blend contains live microorganisms to support your immune system. Turmeric and green papaya are part of their formula, helping with stomach discomfort.
5MAV Nutrition Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
These shelf-stable, non-GMO digestive enzymes are effective for all types of foods, even difficult proteins, and complex carbs. MAV nutrition uses a special blend of powerful enzymes and probiotics that perfectly balances 3 strains of beneficial bacteria for healthy digestion support. Using Bromelain, Papain, fungal Lipase, fungal Lactase, Alpha Galactosidase, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Casei, and Lactobacillus Acidophilus, his supplement is the ultimate digestion support system.
Their enzymes are manufactured in the United States in a lab that is tested for quality by a third party. They are non-GMO, gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly, keto-friendly supplements that are GMP certified. MAV sources only the highest quality ingredients.
6Vitamistic Digestive Enzymes
Vitamistic’s advanced enzyme formula contains both probiotics and prebiotics, using a complex of 13 super enzymes to help you digest food. Their supplement is also enhanced with organic prebiotic fiber and multi-strain probiotics so you get even more digestive support.
Their supplements are non-GMO, gluten-free, vegetarian capsules. They contain no soy, no dairy, no wheat, no eggs, no fish or shellfish, no peanuts or tree nuts, no preservatives, and no artificial ingredients or magnesium stearate.
These capsules are made in the United States in a GMP approved facility that is registered with the FDA and fully compliant with the most stringent guidelines of quality, safety, purity, and potency. They offer a satisfaction guarantee and excellent customer service.
7Doctor’s Best Digestive Enzymes
The Doctor’s Best supplements are non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. Their complete formula uses beneficial bacteria backed by science-based nutrition experts to help your body break down complex foods with the support of alpha galactosidase and beta glucanase.
Their formula utilizes Amylase, Cellulase, Invertase, Hemicellulase, Lactase, Lipase, Peptidase, and Protease to bring you a full spectrum of highly potent digestive enzymes. They are exclusively formulated to be a complete regimen for optimal healthy guts. Simply take 1 capsule with each meal every day for optimal results.
8Dr. Matthew #1 Digestive Enzymes
This formula is one of the most advanced there is on the market, containing 19 different enzymes. It is a full spectrum, a vegetarian-friendly supplement that is safe and completely natural. It is gluten-free and dairy-free and they even managed to make it smell like peppermint instead of rotten eggs!
These supplements are made in the USA in very strict GMP certified facilities that have also been certified by the NSF and the FDA. They receive third-party testing for potency and quality assurance, as well as ingredient accuracy. They contain no HCL and have no aftertaste. They are the most complete enzyme supplement available.
They also have a satisfaction guarantee. Their world-class customer service will fully refund your money if you don’t see a noticeable improvement in your digestion.
9Rainbow Light Advanced Enzyme System
The Rainbow Light advanced enzyme formula is vegan-friendly. It uses a rapid release formula to aid in digestive relief. Rainbow Light has been trusted as the #1 natural multivitamin brand on the market, and their advanced enzyme system is just as great.
Not only is it vegan, but it’s also gluten free, dairy and lactose free, tree and peanut free, soy free, and contains no eggs, fish, or shellfish.
10Bluebonet Full Spectrum Optimum Enzymes
Bluebonnet full spectrum optimum enzymes contain plant based enzymes to aid in digestion. They are soy free, gluten free, Kosher certified, and vegan. They contain no milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soy. They also have no yeast, gluten, barley, sodium, or sugar.
Their formula contains 100% plant based enzymes, and each capsule also contains anise for additional digestive comfort. Most of the ezymes are sourced from papaya.
How We Rank
The very first thing we looked at, to determine our rankings, was the ingredients used in formulation the various digestive enzyme products. We preferred companies and products that use multiple strains and diversities of enzymes. We rewarded products like Garden of Life RAW Enzymes, who used a variety of strains but also included probiotics in their formula to help improve efficiency.
We also made sure to examine that the ingredients these companies used were clean and pure. Many of the companies on our list like Vitamistic and MAV Nutrition use ingredients that can be traced back to their source. They are all-natural, non-GMO formulas that contain no gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, or artificial and chemical preservatives and additives.
All of these companies and products meet a minimum standard of quality throughout their process, from formula development right through to delivery. Products that ranked high, like Dr. Matthew #1 Digestive Enzymes, are manufactured in GMP certified facilities, and many of the facilities are also certified by the FDA and the NSF. They receive testing from third parties to ensure the accuracy of the ingredient claims and the potency and purity of ingredients.
We also considered that not everyone has the same budget available for supplements. There are some pricier supplements on our list, but we also provided some extremely affordable options that are just as effective. This means that your budget won’t be a reason not to enjoy digestive relief from these enzyme supplements.
The last thing we looked at was is if the product was backed and formulated by doctors and scientists. We wanted to ensure that every formula in our rankings was backed by science and tested in independently certified labs under the supervision of certified medical professionals who specialize in gastroenterology, so you know you are getting the best possible product. 1MD MediZyme Complete Digestive Enzymes checked off all these boxes and them so, which is why they were ranked first overall.
1Digestive enzymes can help with IBS symptoms. According to a 2011 pilot study published in Frontline Gastroenterology, some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome might be alleviated with the supplementation of the digestive enzyme known as pancrelipase. For the study, 69 patients with irritable bowel syndrome were given either pancrelipase or a placebo before consuming foods known to trigger their symptoms.
Study results showed that those treated with pancrelipase experienced a significantly greater improvement in such symptoms like cramping, bloating, and pain (2).
Another 2011 study investigated the use of a supplement mixture of beta-glucan, inositol, and digestive enzymes marketed as Biointol in 90 people. The supplement significantly improved IBS symptoms like bloating, gas, and abdominal pain (27).
One more double-blind pilot study involved 49 people with diarrhea-predominant IBS showed that participants taking a pancreatic lipase supplement called PEZ had a significant improvement in cramping, stomach rumbling, bloating, urge to defecate, pain, and loose stools compared to the placebo group (3).
Lastly, a study 2013 study found that a supplement containing the digestive enzyme papain led to a significant improvement in bloating, constipation, and painful bowel movements in 126 people with IBS (4).
2Digestive enzymes can help speed up exercise recovery. A 2009 study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise set out to determine the effectiveness of digestive enzyme supplementation (specifically protease supplements) in reducing eccentric exercise-induced skeletal muscle damage and inflammation to speed up the recovery of muscle function.
In this study, subjects were randomly assigned to consume 5.83 g daily of either a cellulose placebo or a proteolytic supplement containing fungal proteases, bromelain, and papain.
They weight trained via extension/flexion of the quadriceps muscle group for 21 days. The researchers concluded that the group who consumed digestive enzymes reduced strength losses by regulating leukocyte activity and inflammation (5).
In another 2007 double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover design study, researchers examined the effects on DOMS and selected markers of muscle damage in correlation to the supplementation of digestive enzymes.
Twenty men were randomly assigned to either an enzyme supplement group or a placebo group.
After testing and 2 weeks of rest, the subjects were crossed over into the opposite group and performed the same tests as during their first visits, but with the opposite limb. Overall, isometric forearm flexion strength was much greater (7.6%) for the supplement group than for the placebo group.
These findings provided initial evidence that the protease supplement may be useful for reducing strength loss immediately after eccentric exercise and for aiding in short-term strength recovery (6).
A study published in Enzymes Enzyme Therapy showed significant improvements after the use of digestive enzymes for athletic injuries and subsequent recovery. Swelling recovery time decreased from 6 days, hematoma recovery time decreased 10 days, and restriction of movement, inflammation and unfit for training recovery time decreased by more than half (7).
3Digestive enzymes can help reduce the side effects of cancer treatments. A 2008 report published in Integrative Cancer Therapies showed that digestive enzymes may be beneficial to people undergoing cancer treatment. According to the authors, several side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy including nausea, fatigue, and weight loss were reduced with the supplementation of digestive enzymes (8).
4Digestive enzymes can help fight cancer off cancer growth. Pineapple, botanically named Ananas comosus, has been used for centuries as a folk medicine by the indigenous inhabitants of Central and South America to treat a range of ailments. The medicinal qualities of the plant are attributed to bromelain, a pineapple stem extract, which has been available as a pharmaceutical product since 1956 (9).
A 2013 test tube study showed that digestive enzyme Bromelain blocked colon and stomach cancer cells. Bromelain also appears to impair cancer cell survival by blocking the Akt pathway (10).
Another 2014 test tube study showed that bromelain exerts anti-proliferative and proapoptotic effects in colorectal carcinoma cells and may help prevent colon cancer (11).
Another recent test-tube study showed that both bromelain and papain stopped growth and caused cell death in human bile duct cancer cells (12).
However, human trials are needed to confirm the efficacy in human cancer patients.
5Digestive enzymes can help relieve pain from osteoarthritis. According to a research review (involving 9 trials) published in Arthritis Research & Therapy in 2006, certain digestive enzymes may help relieve pain related to osteoarthritis. The review concluded that the digestive enzyme bromelain helped reduce pain similar to often prescribed osteoarthritis NSAIDs (13).
Another 2004 review involving 10 studies showed that bromelain help reduce joint stiffness and swelling in persons with osteoarthritis (14).
Lastly, a 2004 study showed that a supplement containing bromelain and trypsin was as effective as traditional anti-inflammatory drugs at reducing osteoarthritis-related pain (15).
Digestive enzymes can reduce muscle soreness. A 2009 male study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine showed that digestive enzymes were able to reduce post-workout muscle soreness compared to the placebo. There were even trends towards reductions in plasma indicators of inflammation (high sensitivity C-reactive protein) and muscle damage (creatine phosphokinase and myoglobin) (16).
Another 2004 study found that people who consumed, before and after downhill running, a supplement containing the digestive enzyme bromelain, chymotrypsin, trypsin, and papain showed quicker muscle recovery and reduced muscle soreness than the placebo group (17).
6Digestive enzymes can help with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). One 2010 animal study published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found that bromelain helped decrease inflammation of the colon (18).
7Improve digestion and nutrient delivery. The main role of digestive enzymes are to break down food for easier digestion. However, an often overlooked benefit is that they also help the body absorb nutrients better.
One 2013 study involving patients with indigestion issues found that digestive enzymes helped the body absorb nutrients better while also significantly improving common indigestion issues such as belching, heartburn, bloating and loss of appetite. (19)
Another 2014 animal study showed that kiwi extract (which contains the digestive enzyme actinidin) helped improve the breakdown, digestion, and absorption of proteins, especially difficult ones such as meat (20).
8Digestive enzymes can help decrease overall systemic inflammation. A 2005 study showed that the digestive enzyme bromelain help reduce inflammation in the sinuses (21).
Another 2008 animal study showed that the digestive enzymes serratiopeptidase, chymotrypsin, and trypsin were more effective at reducing inflammation than aspirin (22).
9Digestive enzymes can help wounds heal faster. A 2012 animal study investigated how digestive enzymes could be used to help burn wounds heal faster. In the study animals who had burns were either treated with a placebo or the enzyme agent. Another group free of burns was also treated with the enzyme agent to see if it would damage normal healthy skin.
The researchers found that the enzyme agent (containing bromelain) helped to speed healing and accelerate new tissue growth. It also had no negative effects on normal healthy skin (23).
Another 2010 animal study confirmed this as well (24).
10Digestive enzymes can shorten recovery time after surgery. One 2008 study published in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, showed reduced swelling and pain intensity when patients who had just undergone dental surgery and took a supplement containing 5 mg of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase (25).
However, not all the research is promising.
A 2016 review took a look at digestive enzymes to help speed healing in patients who underwent cosmetic procedures. This review contains clinical trials that evaluated prevention and/or treatment of post-procedure ecchymosis or edema with oral arnica, topical arnica, and oral bromelain (26).
It was found that enzymes might be able to recovery times, but more research is necessary before making any definite claims.
Another 2017 study involving 64 patients found insufficient evidence that the combination of Arnica and Bromelain is effective at producing a statistically significant difference in ecchymosis following upper eyelid blepharoplasty (27).
11Digestive enzymes may help relieve shingles symptoms. One 1995 study showed that proteolytic enzymes were as effective as medication to treat the symptoms of shingles for 192 people including neuralgia, skin lesions and pain (28).
12Digestive enzymes may help ease a sore throat. A 1976 study gave 100 people, with different types of sore throat diseases, throat lozenges containing 2mg of the digestive enzyme papain.
The study showed that the lozenges helped to relieve redness and swelling from sore throats, compared to the placebo. However, it’s unclear if the other ingredients involved had any effect as well (29).
13Digestive enzymes may help improve nutrient absorption. Digestive enzymes help your body to absorb more nutrients. Having the right types of enzymes in the right numbers of culture will mean that you get even more nutritional benefit out of anything you eat. The fruits, vegetables, and proteins that you eat will actually get broken down and absorbed into your system instead of just sitting around in your gut until they get excreted.
14Digestive enzymes may help prevent leaky gut. When you digest food, the tiny cells that are located along the lining of your intestines go to work to absorb any of the nutrients it contains. When you can’t digest your food properly, the larger molecules of undigested food can start to push through the cell walls and break them, which will trigger an immune system reaction that tries to fight the invading problem. This causes inflammation in your body. Ensuring that you have the right enzymes to break down these larger bits of food can prevent this from happening.
15Digestive enzymes may help with acne. Having the right levels of digestive enzymes may help with acne problems, too. Everything in our bodies is connected to all the other processes.
When you don’t get the right nutrients, or when your body is experiencing inflammation due to being unable to break down food properly, it can show up in your complexion. We get fatty acids from food, and those are a key component necessary for healthy skin. If your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs on the inside, you will notice the effects on the surface as well (30).
16Digestive enzymes may help lower chronic fatigue and pain. Digestive enzymes can lower occurrences of chronic fatigue and pain. Most of the time, when our body experiences pain, it’s because of inflammation.
Even headaches and migraines may be linked to inflammation in your gut. The pancreatic digestive enzyme known as Amylase can convert carbohydrates into glucose, which is used for energy. If everything runs smoothly, you will likely see far less pain and chronic fatigue (31).
17Digestive enzymes may help combat anxiety. Digestive enzymes help our body break down nutrients and convert them. Our neurotransmitters need proteins to function so that we can have balanced energy levels and moods and stay alert.
The amino acids that are created during a healthy digestive process supply our neurotransmitters with the proteins they need to function. Countering inflammation in your gut will help with the issues that result when inflammation gets out of control, which means you will be far less likely to suffer from sleep issues and depression or anxiety.
18Digestive enzymes may help Improve memory and focus. 90% of our body’s serotonin is actually created in our digestive tract, and not produced in our brains. If you’re in a fog and you need a productivity boost, you may want to start by improving your gut’s health. With a better digestive system function, you will see an increase in the serotonin that helps your focus and memory stay sharp (32).
19Digestive enzymes may inhibit autoimmune diseases. A lot of times, our autoimmune system is engaged by instances like Leaky Gut Syndrome. These can lead to more serious problems, where our system begins attacking nonexistent enemies.
Although opinions still vary on whether these autoimmune disorders are cured, the consensus is that poor digestion can trigger outbreaks and issues in patients who have these diseases. At a minimum, taking enzyme supplements can help your body because you will have the necessary tools to properly absorb vitamins and nutrients and minimize any risk of inflammation due to digestive issues.
20Digestive enzymes may support methylation. Methylation is a biochemical process in your body that handles vital cell division and production within your DNA sequence. This process is responsible for detoxification, controlling inflammation, and producing energy.
The process requires several B vitamins for the process, so if you can’t digest your food or you have too much bacteria present in your digestive tract, it makes it much harder for these B vitamins to be absorbed into your system. Having a healthy digestive system can ensure that the necessary B vitamins make it into your DNA so that Methylation can continue without issues and help your body to function properly (33).
21Digestive enzymes may help with autism. More study is necessary and being conducted, but there is growing evidence for a connection between the gut and the brain when it comes to autism spectrum disorders. In 2015, a double-blind placebo-controlled study showed that children who received digestive enzymes for 3 months showed significant improvement in behavior, emotional responses, and gastrointestinal symptoms compared to children in the control group (34).
To date, there have not been enough clinical studies to definitively state that there is a proven link between enzymes and autism spectrum disorders. However, there is a chance that these digestive supplements may offer some relief with these issues, and at the least, they are still healthy.
1Digestive enzymes may cause IBS like symptoms. Digestive enzymes can sometimes cause an upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea.
2Digestive enzymes may increase your risk of bleeding. Some digestive enzymes have a mild blood thinning effect and therefore shouldn’t be taken with blood thinning medications. If you are having surgery, avoid enzymes for a month before undergoing the knife.
3Digestive enzymes may cause an allergic reaction. Topical digestive enzymes may cause blisters and skin irritation.
4Digestive enzymes may become ineffective when swallowed. Since digestive enzymes are technically proteins, once swallowed, stomach acid tries to break it down just like any other protein. If this happens, these enzymes won’t survive long enough to do its job. To help avoid this, choose brands of digestive enzymes that are enteric-coded, so that they break down in the small intestine instead.
5Digestive enzymes may lower blood sugar. This can interfere with patients who are diabetic or who take medications that lower blood sugar.
6Digestive enzymes may be a problem for pregnant women (or women trying). A 2002 animal study suggests that eating papaya (rich in digestive enzymes) may cause fetal poisoning or birth defects when consumed in large amounts (35).
There is no standard dose; the amount will vary based on the type and strength of the enzyme supplement. Most digestive enzyme supplements are available without a prescription, while some, such as lactase, may also be prescribed by your doctor.
Some types of digestive supplements are to be taken with your meal, while others should be taken shortly before eating.
Don’t chew or grind up tablets unless instructed to do so by your healthcare professional. If you have a hard time swallowing, open the capsule and disperse powder contents over your food, and then eat immediately.
Are digestive enzymes safe to take? Yes, digestive enzyme supplements are safe to take as they are naturally occurring.
What do digestive enzymes do? Natural digestive enzymes, such as lipase, amylase, and protease, aid in breaking down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Additionally, enzyme supplements can be taken to help improve digestion. But if you take these supplements at the wrong time, they may be completely ineffective.
What’s the difference between digestive enzymes and probiotics? Enzymes are biologically active proteins, while probiotics are living bacterial organisms. Enzymes are present throughout the body while probiotics are concentrated in the digestive system. Enzymes can be naturally produced in the body but probiotics cannot.
Do digestive enzymes cause weight gain? Enzymes are designed to break down foods more thoroughly which allows more absorption of the vitamins, minerals, and calories in food. So, taking enzymes can actually cause weight gain IF one is not aware of how much is eaten.
Do digestive enzymes help with water retention? Yes, digestive enzymes can help alleviate symptoms of water retention.
Are there prescription digestive enzymes? Prescription enzymes (Creon, Zenpep, and others) contain pancrelipase, a mixture of the digestive enzymes amylase, lipase, and protease, and has a special coating on the pill so it will survive stomach acid and make it to the small intestine.
How often should you take digestive enzymes? Most people find it easiest to pop them just before they sit down to eat, but anytime within about 30 minutes of your meal is going to be beneficial. If you have a high-quality product, most people need 1-2 capsules with their major meals.
Do digestive enzymes cause gas? No, in fact, they help alleviate gas. Enzymes are catalysts that work within the body to get chemical processes going, specifically digestion. Without them, our food does not get properly digested, and nutrients do not get absorbed. As mentioned before, undigested foods also cause excess gas and bloating.
Can you take probiotics and digestive enzymes at the same time? No, in order to keep your probiotics and digestive enzymes working together instead of sabotaging your efforts, be sure to take them separately and at different times of the day.
What are the best foods for digestive enzymes? The best foods to obtain a natural source of digestive enzymes are pineapple, papaya, mango, honey, bananas, avocados, kefir, and sauerkraut.
Can digestive enzymes be taken on an empty stomach? Yes, you can take digestive enzymes on an empty stomach. If you take digestive enzymes before you eat and your stomach is empty – the digestive enzymes can be absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly (in less than 3 minutes). To help digest the meal you’re eating, it’s best to take the enzymes during or immediately after the meal.
What are the plants used to source these digestive enzymes? All of our highest ranked digestive enzyme supplements use natural and plant-based ingredients. Here are some of the ingredients they use to perfect their formulas. Nearly all of them use papaya and pineapple fruits. Papayas contain Papain, which is a very powerful proteolytic enzyme. The papaya proteinase I (Papain) found in the roots and leaves of the papaya plant has been used for thousands of years to tenderize meat because of its proficiency with breaking down protein. Pineapples ar4e where Bromelain is usually sourced for supplements. This is found in the fruit, the skin, and the juice of pineapple plants and the indigenous peoples of Central America have used it for centuries as a natural treatment for a variety of issues. Other plants also include the additional digestive enzymes found in these formulas. Kiwis, ginger, turmeric, asparagus, yogurt, kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut are all excellent sources of digestive enzymes.
Are these supplements safe for vegetarians and vegans? Some of them are. Make sure that you read your bottle carefully. All of our supplements are safe for vegetarian diets, but some of the capsules contain animal byproducts that aren’t fit for vegans to consume. Make sure that you read your bottle carefully if you are vegan. Proteolytic enzymes come from plant and animal sources, so be sure to avoid any formulas that contain trypsin and chymotrypsin, which are derived from pigs and cows. Look for Papain and Bromelain, which come from fruit instead.
How long does it take for these supplements to work? The good news is that these go to work immediately, but you will start seeing more benefits over time with more regular use as healthy cultures of digestive enzymes begin building up in your system. After your first meal, you may see a reduction in gas, bloating, and discomfort. After a month, your digestive health starts improving drastically. By the second month, you will begin to notice the benefits as toxins are no longer able to escape from your gut and enter your bloodstream thanks to the reinforcements at the barrier of your gut. From the 3rd month and beyond, your body becomes equipped with larger populations of healthy digestive enzymes that will absorb nutrients in your food, so you may see improvements in your energy, focus, and overall health as a result of absorbing more nutrients and fully breaking down complex foods.
Digestive enzymes are crucial for optimal health and are vital parts of inflammation management, energy production, nutrient absorption, and even brain health.
Unfortunately, with age, increased stress, or poor nutrition, your body tends to slow enzyme production – and this means the food you eat doesn’t break down properly.
This is a problem because it means you’re not going to get all the vitamins nutrients you should and it puts stress on your digestive tract, which can cause problems all over your body.
Thus it becomes imperative to eat digestive enzyme rich foods such as kefir, pineapple, and bananas or supplement with them.
However, if you’re in good health, follow a healthy diet, and your doctor says your enzyme levels are healthy, don’t start taking enzyme supplements simply hoping to get a little healthier as enzymes can have some side effects in the body.
If you have a chronic disease such as cancer or if your doctor has told you that you’re lacking in certain nutrients, then be sure to discuss whether to take digestive enzyme supplements and what kind (there’s a lot) you should take. They’ll help you determine if you need to take them and what your dosing should be.