Digestive plant enzymes
Digestive plant enzymes can improve digestion and nutrients uptake by helping the body to break down proteins (proteases), carbohydrases (amylase) and fats (lipases) from the foods we eat. Digestive plant enzymes are commonly used as natural digestive aids to help in cases of digestive issues, enzymes deficiencies, and also to compliment a healthy optimal digestion from the diet.
When taken on an empty stomach certain proteolytic enzymes (proteases) such as bromelain, papain and others are also used as systemic enzymes for inflammation, swelling, and respiratory issues.
Summary of our 20 years of working with enzymes: what we have learned
|Enzyme Use||Suggested Protocol|
|Support healthy digestion, transitioning to new diets, athletes to boost nutrients uptake.||
|Candida overgrowth, leaky gut, parasite cleanse, enzymes deficiencies.|
Digestive enzyme supplements have been an important part of many of our protocols for over 20 years. Proper use of digestive plant enzymes has shown to be very beneficial especially for people who have digestive issues, food sensitivities of foods intolerances due to conditions such as candida overgrowth, leaky gut, parasites infections, enzymes deficiencies and others.
Here is a summary of the best practices, uses and benefits based on our experience:
- Digestive plant enzymes supplements are preferred over animal based enzymes. Main reasons are purity and stability. To learn more, see: best digestive enzymes supplements.
- Support healthy digestion and nutrient uptake from foods: when taken at the beginning of the meals, this is the biggest benefit of digestive enzyme supplements. If you have digestive issues, taking multiple digestive enzyme supplement complex can make a big difference.
- Multi enzyme supplement complex is usually prefered over individual enzymes. The main reasons are ease of use and flexibility. You want your enzyme supplement to support any type of food or meal you eat, rather than thinking each meal which enzyme supplement to take.
- Food allergies: digestive enzyme supplements can help in cases of food allergies and food sensitivities. It is very important however, to find out if you have sensitivities to certain foods and eliminate these from your diet. A good way to tell is the elimination diet. A good example is cow’s milk and lactase enzyme supplement. If you have a problem digesting cow milk, you should consider switching to plant based milk such as coconut milk rather than keep consuming cow milk and take lactase enzyme supplement.
- Transitioning to new diets: adjusting to new diets usually takes time, especially with foods your body may not be used to. Taking full spectrum multi digestive enzyme complex can help with this transition and improve the digestion and nutrients absorption from the foods you eat.
- Digestive enzyme supplements side effects: if taking a digestive enzyme supplement with your meals causes side effects, especially digestive issues such as stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and others you should stop using the product. In our experience, many enzyme supplements side effects are caused by low quality enzymes. Unless you are eating foods you also have issues with without taking the enzyme supplement. If this is the case, see our protocol for digestive issues in the above table.
Digestive plant enzymes: list of common plant enzymes
The best enzymes for your digestive system are the enzymes that support the digestion of the foods in your own diet. This is very important. As you can see from the table above, different enzymes are required to digest different foods. This is the main reason a multi digestive enzyme complex is preferred over individual enzymes supplements.
Here are the most common best enzymes to look for in a multi enzyme complex supplement:
|Enzymes||Help to break down:|
|Alpha Galactosidase||complex carbohydrates.|
|Beta Glucanase||beta glucans (high fiber foods, grains and cereals).|
|Catalase||hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to water and oxygen.|
|Cellulase||cellulose (fruits and vegetables).|
|Glucose Oxidase||glucose to Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).|
|Hemicellulase||hemicellulose (fruits, vegetables, grains, and cereals).|
|Invertase||sucrose and table sugar.|
|Lactase||lactose (milk sugar).|
|Lipase||fats and oils.|
|Maltase||maltose (cereals, legumes and barley).|
|Nattokinase||fibrin and mucus.|
|Pectinase||pectin and dietary fiber.|
|Phytase||seeds, corn, soy and nuts.|
|Protease||proteins and gluten.|
|Serrapeptase||fibrin and mucus.|
|Xylanase||xylose (high fiber foods, grains and cereals).|
Digestive enzyme supplements
Digestive enzyme supplements are very popular for a good reason. Digestive issues are very common. You can eat the healthiest foods in the world, but without sufficient digestive enzymes, your body will not absorb the nutrients from the foods. Taking digestive enzyme supplements with your meals can help the body to break down the foods you eat and improve digestion and nutrients uptake from your diet.
When taken on an empty stomach, certain enzymes known as systemic enzymes have known health promoting benefits. Ongoing tasks such as immune system support, tissue repair, organs regeneration, inflammation reduction and others depend on having enough systemic enzymes in the body. The most common enzymes used for their systemic effect are proteolytic enzymes or proteases which break down protein.
Best digestive enzyme supplements
The best digestive enzyme supplements need to contain the enzymes that support the digestion of the foods in your own diet. As you can see from the table above, different enzymes are required to digest different types of foods. For this reason, it is very important to make sure the enzymes included in the digestive supplements match the foods you eat. The supplement facts label should clearly describes which digestive enzymes are included in the formula and which foods they help to break down.
Plant based enzyme supplements are usually prefered over animal based enzymes for two main reasons:
- Purity: Plant enzyme supplements do not contain harmful substances that may be found in animal by products such as traces of chemicals, antibiotics and other toxins.
- Potency: Digestive plant enzymes are considered more stable with wide pH range. This allows digestive plant enzymes to work throughout the entire digestive tract.
Another reason many people prefer plant based enzymes, is to avoid the unnecessary harm caused to the animal. Not to mention the thought of consuming a supplement made from the pancreas of a pig.
Best digestive enzyme supplements: VeganZyme
VeganZyme ® is our preferred choice for a multi full spectrum plant enzymes supplement, and it has been a very important part of many of protocols, especially for people who have digestion issues or food sensitivities due to conditions such as candida overgrowth, leaky gut, enzymes deficiencies and others.
The biggest advantage we see in VeganZyme has to do with its versatile formula.
With a total of 20 digestive and systemic plant enzymes, it can support the digestion of a wide variety of foods making it ideal for many different diets, cuisines, and health conditions.
VegamZyme systemic enzymes profile is highly diverse as well, and can effectively break down excess yeast, candida, mucus, allergens and other toxins.
To get these plant enzymes benefits, you usually have to combine multiple enzymes supplements which can make things complicated with more pills to take and more things that can get wrong, such as potential interactions between different formulas we see quite often, or not including all the needed enzymes.
Most people feel the improvements from veganZyme within a matter of days: feeling “light” after meals, having more energy, less digestion issues and better bowel movements. If you currently have digestion issues such as gas, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux or food sensitivities, VeganZyme may provide a significant improvement and relief from these discomforts.
Type of digestive plant enzymes
Based on many of your questions:
Pancreatic enzymes are normally produced by the pancreas and help to break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Certain conditions can cause the pancreas to not produce enough enzymes and lead to a condition known as Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) and pancreatic enzyme deficiency. When your pancreas do not produce enough pancreatic enzymes, you may experience digestive issues after your meals such as pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, foul smelling greasy stool, undigested food in your stool, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Overtime, this can lead to nutritional deficiencies, especially with fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, K.
The main goal of using pancreatic enzyme supplements for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, is to minimize nutrient malabsorption, especially of lipids. According to the medical literature, enzyme supplements have been found to improve lipid malabsorption compared with placebo in numerous trials, for both adults and children younger than 7 years old (source).
Proteolytic enzymes or proteases are protein digesting enzymes that break down protein into polypeptides and amino acids. Besides their use as digestive aids for protein when taken with foods, proteolytic enzymes supplement are also known for their systemic action when taken on an empty stomach. Proteolytic enzymes supplements or protease enzyme supplements are commonly used as a systemic support to control inflammation, swelling, and respiratory issues. According to the medical literature, proteolytic enzymes such as papain and bromelain show anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious properties in studies (source).
Enzymes in food
Enzymes in food are naturally found in raw foods, such as fruits, vegetables, sprouted nuts, seeds and legumes, as well as fermented veggies. When foods are microwaved or heated above 120 °F, the enzymes in the foods may get compromised. When we eat cooked foods, the body needs enzymes to digest and break down these foods. Since their enzymes got destroyed by the heat, the body has no choice and is forced to produce the enzymes needed for digestion. This eventually can deplete the body’s limited enzyme capacity leading to enzyme deficiency.
For this reason, eating more raw foods is highly recommended. Foods high in enzymes include:
- Raw fruits, pineapple is a rich source of bromelain, papaya is a rich source of papain.
- Raw vegetables.
- Sprouted nuts seeds and legumes.
- Fermented veggies.
- Raw sea vegetables and blue-green algae.