Digestive Enzymes Info Thread
08-02-2007 06:29 PM
Digestive Enzymes Info Thread
This thread is for spreading information. Hopefully all information is posted correctly and no ill advice given. I'm sharing this information with you all because due to searching the threads I could not find a single informative digestive enzyme Thread.
Please feel free to comment and add anything you would like so we can all learn from personal experience and or concerns.
Digestive enzymes are enzymes in the alimentary tract with a purpose of breaking down components of food so that they can be taken up by the organism. The main sites of action are the oral cavity, the stomach, the duodenum and the jejunum. They are secreted by different glands: the salivary glands, the glands in the stomach, the pancreas, and the glands in the small intestines.
The enzymes that get secreted in the stomach are called gastric enzymes. These are the following:
* Pepsin is the main gastric enzyme. As it breaks proteins into smaller peptide fragments, it is a peptidase.
* Gelatinase, degrades type I and type V gelatin and type IV and V collagen, which are proteoglycans in meat.
* Gastric amylase degrades starch, but is of minor significance.
* Gastric lipase is a tributyrase by its biochemical activity, as it acts almost exclusively on tributyrin, a butter fat.
The pancreas is the main digestive gland in our body. It secretes the enzymes:
* Trypsin, is a peptidase, that breaks down peptides in the small intestine.
* Chymotrypsin, also a peptidase
* Steapsin, degrades triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol.
* Carboxypeptidase, splits peptide fragments into individual amino acids. It is a protease.
* Several elastases that degrade the protein elastin and some other proteins.
* Several nucleases that degrade nucleic acids, like DNAase and RNAase
* Pancreatic amylase that, besides starch and glycogen, degrades also most other hydrocarbons, but not cellulose. Disaccharides and trisaccharides form.
* Bile from the liver, which emulsifies fat, allowing more efficient use of lipases in the duodenum; in converting lipids to their component fatty acid and glycerol molecules
Proper small intestine enzymes
* Several peptidases.
* The jejunum and ileum secretes a juice called succus entericus which contains the following:
Six types of enzymes degrade disaccharides into monosaccharides:
* Sucrase, which breaks down sucrose into glucose and fructose
* Maltase, which breaks down maltose into glucose.
* Isomaltase, which breaks down maltose and isomaltose
* Lactase, which breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose
* Intestinal lipase, which breaks down fatty acids
* Erepsin, also a protein-digesting enzyme
What is an Enzyme?
Enzymes are proteins produced by all living organisms, and, like all proteins, they consist of amino acids. What makes these proteins different from other proteins is how they behave in the body. By definition, enzymes are catalysts that make many essential biochemical reactions ‘happen’ and are not used up or chemically altered in the process. As a catalyst, they help a chemical reaction take place quickly and efficiently. Some reactions would either happen very slowly or not occur at all without enzymes. So a little bit of enzyme can effect a big change.
The same variety of amino acids that occur in all living things make up enzymes. The amino acids connect in particular sequences to form protein chains. The amino acids in the chain often bond together creating folding patterns and twisting into certain shapes. The particular folding pattern of each enzyme gives it distinct characteristics and functions. When anything disrupts the specific folding pattern, the enzyme often loses its ability to function, becoming inactivated or destroyed.
How do enzymes work?
Each type of enzyme has a special function and works in a particular way. Enzymes are essential to every aspect of life and carry out all the daily biochemical functions. They are the basic elements that activate all functions in the body, facilitate reactions that build compounds from the body’s raw materials, transport elements throughout the body, break down substances, and eliminate many unwanted chemicals in the body.
Enzymes are chemicals that facilitate other chemical reactions. Food itself is essentially just a mixture of chemicals that are broken down by enzymes. The released nutrients are the raw materials. Vitamins and other nutrients cannot work in the body by themselves. They require enzymes to transport them throughout the body and make use of them. Enzymes unlock the benefits of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and hormones and put them to work in the body. Enzymes are the workers and assist many biological, chemical, and metabolic reactions, but are not ‘alive’ themselves.
Sometimes particular enzymes need certain vitamins and minerals in order to function. Magnesium participates in over 300 enzyme reactions. These additional elements are called co-enzymes. A co-enzyme may give the enzyme the three-dimensional structure it needs to create the ‘active site’ necessary to perform its catalytic function. If a needed co-enzyme is not available, the enzyme will not function.
Why Should I Care?
Enzymes run every function in our entire body. Digestive enzymes breakdown the food we eat so it can be used as a source of nutrients and a source of energy. Every cell relies on the raw materials provided to the body by digestive enzymes. If you do not have enough enzymes you can develop a vast myriad of illnesses. All the food and nutritional supplements you consume will not do any good if they are not sufficiently broken down and absorbed by the body.
08-02-2007 06:31 PM
Do Different Forms Affect Enzyme Effectiveness
Fortunately, digestive enzymes come in all types of forms and all can be effective. This is great because we all have different lifestyles, situations, physical issues, and personal preferences. Remember that you do not have to pick one form for all occasions. You can mix and match. Maybe using a bulk powder, chewables, or making enzyme chocolate wafers works at your home, but you take a few enzyme capsules with you when you are out. Some children have strong personal preferences on swallowing capsules, or taste of enzymes, or foods they will accept enzymes mixed in. Sometimes you will find one great enzyme product from one company and another product from another company who each produce different forms of enzymes.
The important part is to remember that enzymes work on contact with the substance they act on. Enzymes need to be in contact with the food in order to break it down. Taking enzymes, including swallowing capsules, at the beginning of eating works well for food breakdown. For systemic uses, such as controlling yeast, arthritis, etc, you take the enzymes between meals.
Most digestive enzymes come in capsules which you can simply swallow. Capsules are made either of gelatin (called gel capsules) or vegetable cellulose blend (called veggie capsules). Most supplement companies have been moving toward veggie capsules over the past 10 years for all their encapsulated supplements. Most enzyme capsules can be opened and the powder poured out. If you only use part of the enzyme powder, you can simply push the two parts of the capsule back together and save the rest of the enzymes for later.
Some enzymes are specifically intended not to act in the stomach, reach the small intestine, and be absorbed into the body. These capsules may be in sealed capsules. This may be an enteric coating of some kind. A newer type of coating is available on some enzyme products that consists of all-natural cellulose-plant based materials. This is a different coating than an older synthetic type of material which may cause health problems with regular use.
Some enzyme products are available in bulk powder. Most provide a little plastic scoop to measures out a serving. You can measure out how much you want. Bulk powder may be helpful if you always mix enzyme powder in food or drink to take it. If you use bulk powder, keeping the little dessicant pouch in the container may help protect the potency of the exposed enzymes (see above).
For transporting enzyme powder, see the section on capsules below.
Chewables are popular though and a real heaven for some. I didn't realize how widespread they were until a nutrition person told me she had been using the Ellen Culter ones for years. And chewable enzymes are popular for pets. Turns out there are hundreds of various brands of chewables with all sorts of flavors. With Biocore (National Enzyme Company) coming out with kids' chewables, the category will just grow. Here is a short-list of better quality brands:
* Biocore Kids Chewables
* BioSet Chewable Digestive Enzymes
* Houston Nutraceuticals
* Nutri-Essence Chewable Enzymes (through retailers and online)
* Ripple Effect Transformations Chewable Digestive Enzymes
* WellZymes Digestive Chewables
One tip too...keep that little white drying pouch thingy that comes with the bottle in the bottle after you open the chewables bottle. Those things are put in supplements to absorb any moisture to keep supplements dry in the bottle. With exposed enzymes, meaning enzymes outside of a capsule, the drying pouch may help keep the enzymes dryer after being continuously exposed to air when opening and closing the bottle. This will help maintain potency after the bottle is opened. When enzymes in bulk powder first came up years ago, the issue of moisture from the air accessing the enzymes and 'activiting' a small portion of product came up. A few parents noted that enzymes from the bottom of the container didn't seem as potent as when the container was first opened. This may not amount to much, but it is a easy tip to do if you find your non-encapsulated enzymes are starting to perform 'irregular'.
What tastes good varies widely by the person. Try samples of products whenever possible. For sensory sensitive people, the texture of chewables may be a problem as much as any taste issues.
Q. At least one website that says that crushed up enzymes sprinkled on or in food can cause the mouth to feel like it is burning. What's this about?
A. This may happen with chewables or when enzymes are taking in a drink. IF this comes up for you, just wash out the mouth with a non-enzyme drink after chewing the chewables just to ensure there is no residual enzyme in the mouth. What this 'burning' typically refers to is when proteases in the enzyme product start to breakdown some of the dead layer or cells on the skin surface. Enzymes do not harm good healthy tissue, but they do remove damaged, infected, or dead cells. If proteases linger on the skin surface for a prolonged period, they may remove the dead cells exposing the healthy skin below. This can lead to very temporarily irritation.
Sometimes if a child is taking enzymes in a drink, he gets the drink on his upper lip, like a milk mustache. If he doesn't wipe his mouth off, proteases can linger and he can get what looks like rash there. Just make sure the person wipes their mouth off if they drink in this way. Using a straw will also take care of this. The same sort of thing can happen in the mouth if you chew on raw pineapple or papaya fruits (proteases in these fruits).
Liquids - Drinks
Dry enzyme powder whether from a capsule or bulk powder can be mixed into any drink. Chewables and tablets can be crushed and mixed into drinks, but these may not mixed completely do to any binders present.
Enzymedica offers a new type of enzyme powder called Kid's Digest (available May 1, 2006) which needs to be mixed in an acidic liquid (like orange juice, lemonade, grape juice, etc). It contains bicarbonate and is an effervescent much like Natural Calm magnesium is a powder that effervesces in liquid. The effervescent faciliates the immediate dispersal of the enzymes in solution. In addition, the bicarbonate may help those with acid stomach. Kid's Digest contains xylitol which has antimicrobial properties as well as adds a sweeter taste to the product. I'm told that mixing in plain water alters the taste and is not recommended. Since this is a new product with a new technique for delivering digestive enzymes, this site will add and update information as it becomes available.
Enzymes are usually not sold as a liquid in a bottle because water 'activates' the enzyme activity. The potency would not last long in the bottle once water comes into contact with the enzymes.
Pancreatic Enzymes - no other ingredients
Pancreatic enzymes are derived from pig or cattle sources (also written as ox bile). These are like our own pancreas produced enzymes. Pancreatic enzymes are not as stable at wide ranges in pH or temperature and are destroyed by stomach acid. Thus, there are usually enterically coated and not active in the stomach. However, they do work and have been used clinically for a long period of time.
If you cannot have any fruit-derived or fungal- derived enzymes due to serious allergies (or other reason), here are some over-the-counter products that are pancreatic enzymes ONLY:
* Twinlabs Pancreatin
* Solgar Pancreatic Enzymes
Many of the products with pancreatic enzymes also contain some fruit or fungal-derived enzymes in the blend as well. There are some prescription pancreatic enzymes which doctors can write prescriptions for. The best known of these are Creon or Vikoase pancreatic enzymes. Insurance might cover these if a doctor writes a prescription. If anyone knows of other only pancreatic enzyme products please let me know and I will add them this resource.
Three brands of pancreatic enzymes that the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation recommends:
* Creon by Solvay Pharmaceuticals
* Ultrase by Axcan Scandipharm, Inc.
* Pancrease by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals
Pancreatic Enzymes - with other ingredients
There are quite a few enzyme products which contain pancreatic enzymes. Most of these are also blended with plant and/or microbial enzymes. Because of the pancreatic portion, these enzymes are usually enterically coated to protect the pancreatic enzymes. The plant and microbial enzymes in these products would not be active in the stomach. Wobenzym enzymes are long-standing and well-studied examples of this group of enzymes. These products are sold over-the-counter.
Fruit-derived Enzymes Only
This refers to supplemental containing only enzymes derived from fruit plant:
Enzyme Fruit enzyme comes from
Bromelain and papain can be bought individually in stores. They are also common ingredients in many enzyme products. Actinidin and ficin are used rarely. Bromelain is best known for its aid in reducing inflammation in the body. Papain is also used for inflammation in addition to aiding digestion and stomach upset. These fruit-derived enzymes, also commonly called 'the fruity enzymes', may not be tolerated by individuals sensitive to phenols or salicylate foods. These enzymes are also cross-listed reactive to with latex allergy. If you have a latex allergy, avoid these enzymes.
08-02-2007 06:34 PM
Well thats all for now folks hopefully something above can teach and inform others on the importance or lack there of digestive enzymes and supplementation.
I personally wonder how long these so called digestive enzymes stay in our bodies. I know in a recent thread and many other thread ive made and or have read on about the use of grapefruit juice and how the enzymes released with it can last up to 72 hours. Making the need to keep drinking grapefruit juice or supplementation somewhat not as important every few hours but rather once or twice daily or even perhaps once every two days to get full benefit.
If taking digestive enzymes I notice on most labels it says to take with each meal. Wondering if anyone can find any other useful information on this topic please do share it.
08-02-2007 09:52 PM
FYI- BAC has BioCore in bulk powder.
Enzymes are great for bulking because they help you to break down all those extra calories you're shovelling in. I find they have to be taken religiously with every meal. I have not tried the grapefruit thing though.
08-02-2007 10:27 PM
Yeah digestive enzymes are a staple for me as well. I spend a ton of cash on protein from food I might as well be getting the most out of it. Digestive enzymes help make the most out of what gets eaten.
The whole grapefruit thing I have not tried either. It seems like there are still a lot of factors in question reguarding its mechanism/timing.
08-02-2007 10:28 PM
Good read bro. Thanks. Its nice to read something different than that overkill RPN, stack this, (insert new product here) b.s.
08-02-2007 11:11 PM
thanks for sharing. lets get this party started
08-03-2007 01:41 AM
probably wrong but i once was told that taking to much digestive enzymes can shut your natural production of digestive enzymes down. any truth???
08-03-2007 10:47 AM
Never thought of that. I'm not sure to be honest with you.
08-03-2007 01:45 PM
taken from t-nation interview
JPC: Sounds reasonable. I'm curious, what type of prescription do you use to detoxify the liver? And how often?
Dr. Serrano: In my office, I have access to IV administration, which is the route I'd take if a patient has a drastic liver condition such as hepatitis. However, for a simple detox, there are a few requirements.
First, fix the diet. Make sure they're eating properly. Second, give them enzymes because the liver, believe it or not, will make enzymes as well so that will ease the burden.
JPC: When you prescribe digestive enzymes, when the hell should you take them? Before the meal? During the meal? After? Everyone seems to have a different recommendation!
Dr. Serrano: Okay, first of all, as soon as you start chewing something, your system begins to make enzymes. Now if you have someone that has problems producing stomach acid, then give them HCL at the beginning of the meal and digestive enzymes half an hour after the meal to aid digestion. For those individuals who don't have acid-related problems, they can take a broad-spectrum enzyme during their meal.
There are generally three reasons that people would take enzymes in supplement form:
1. As an anti-inflammatory agent (in which case, you'd take them on an empty stomach between meals).
2. For digestive purposes (see above)
3. To ease the stress on the liver and pancreas
If it's for the latter purpose, then take your enzymes half an hour before you eat to get them into your system, thereby reducing the stress on the liver and pancreas when you do eat. You see, timing of enzymes (or any supplement for that matter) really depends on the purpose!
JPC: Understood. Let's get back to the liver...
Dr. Serrano: Yes, by the way, anyone who works out will have elevated liver enzymes. The liver will work harder if you're training. There's no doubt about that. I'd prescribe enzymes as I just mentioned, as well as glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid, high doses of Vitamin C (at least 3 grams orally), and co-enzyme Q-10.
Why co-Q10? Because the liver is one of the most metabolically active organs in the body! It's always working and there are plenty of mitochondria to support.
JPC: Now, is it possible to take too many enzymes in a day? Will they shut down your own production due to over consumption?
Dr. Serrano: No, they won't because the enzymes will start working but they'll also break each other down. In other words, the enzymes you consume will form a complex with those in the body, and this complex will slowly be broken down (i.e. digested) over time.
In 1962, there was an interesting study where they took different organs, chopped them up, and traced them in the body using a radioactive marker. Using chopped up heart, for example, they found that 71% of the tracer ended up in the heart! Chopped liver ended up in the liver, etc. Why this occurs, no one knows. Only God knows.
Take the animal kingdom for example. When a lion kills its prey, the king of the litter will come and eat the liver first. Then everyone else can have the rest. No one can touch that liver except for the king. Why? Something is going on but we don't really know the answer.
Also, North America is the only culture that doesn't routinely consume these internal organs. Where I come from, we eat everything — tongue, heart, lungs — you name it. Back in Puerto Rico, there was a time when boxers would recommend that you eat the internal organs to improve performance.
JPC: Interesting stuff. Any tips to improve restoration or recovery between workouts?
Dr. Serrano: I have research now using amino acids for various purposes such as cancer, infertility, and of course, recovery. In the latter case, we took seven subjects and gave five of them free-form amino acids (FFAA) pre and post-workout as well as between meals (Protocol A). The other two received FFAA only pre and post-workout, not between meals (Protocol B).
We measured things like strength, energy levels, soreness, and appetite which generally reflect recovery. And by the way, we also gauged these levels before they started this little experiment so we could determine if there was indeed a difference. And let me tell you, there was a difference. A big difference, actually, particularly for the group taking FFAAs between meals as well (Protocol A). All parameters improved significantly!
JPC: Which FFAAs did you use and at what dosage?
Dr. Serrano: Okay, it was a combination of high dose branch-chain amino acids and all eight essential amino acids. No non-essential aminos were used.
The dosage was the subject's bodyweight in kilograms multiplied by 0.15 in divided doses for Protocol A or half that dose pre-workout and the other half post-workout for Protocol B.
08-03-2007 01:52 PM
JPC: Okay, next topic. How do you determine poor digestion and absorption of nutrients? What are some signs and symptoms and how do you go about correcting these issues?
Dr. Serrano: Well, a comprehensive stool analysis will do the trick but it costs $462, which many view as too expensive. In my opinion, it's worth every penny. You can also check certain bowel enzymes, blood in the stool, bloating, motility, etc.
The most important diagnose, though, is determined through one's history. How often do you go to the washroom, release gas, etc.? Are you bloated? We even listen to the bowel sounds — are they hyperactive? Do you get acid reflux?
If you want a very cost-effective method, simply gauge the smell of your stool. If your **** stinks, it can indicate poor digestion!
JPC: I've heard that one benefit of probiotics is to improve a foul-smelling stool. Is that true?
Dr. Serrano: Great question! There are a trillion cells and over 500,000 different types of bacteria in the body. How do you know that the one or two bacteria that you consume are the ones that you're missing? It's like finding a needle in a haystack. You have a better chance of winning the lottery, so good luck!
Now with that said, there are some good brands of probiotics out there. There's a company from Japan that supplies them in little green tablets, but the name escapes me right now. Jarrow is a pretty good company that most people in the U.S. have access to, and another one is Standard Process which you can obtain through a health-care practitioner.
By the way, Standard Process has an excellent product with Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is a beneficial nutritional yeast that produces lactic acid as a by-product of metabolism. This particular yeast helps establish proper pH balance vital for the promotion of nutrient absorption. It's integral in maintaining the proper environment in which normal intestinal flora thrive and it's beneficial for the overall healthy functioning of the gastrointestinal system.
Just remember, take probiotic supplements first thing in the morning and before going to bed, always on an empty stomach.
JPC: So everyone should take digestive enzymes then. Right?
Dr. Serrano: Where do you get enzymes from? Raw, uncooked, whole food. How often do we eat food in its unadulterated state? Very rarely! That's where people should start.
08-03-2007 01:56 PM
"Dr. Serrano: Okay, it was a combination of high dose branch-chain amino acids and all eight essential amino acids. No non-essential aminos were used."
For the most part, sounds like whey supplementation.
01-26-2008 04:08 PM
Okay, I know I'm WAAAAY late to the party here but I just ran across this thread and wanted to clarify this for anyone who reads this thread, whey supplementation is most definitely NOT what Dr.Serrano was refferring to as whey protein also contains the non-essential aminos which he specifically says WERE NOT USED. Also, he says in that article that he used FFAA (Free Form Amino Acids) which are free of the bonds which holds these aminos together in the typical fashion as found in a complete protein chain like whey. Aminos bonded together form chains which are called protein. Whey is these chained together aminos (protein) and NOT FFAs. Though whey contains all the aminos Dr. Serrano used AS WELL AS the non-essential aminos which HE DID NOT USE, whey must be digested first and broken down into individual aminos and/or smaller chains of aminos before being absorbed and utilized in the same way as FFAA can and are.
Originally Posted by bioman
04-23-2008 06:23 PM
I take them. Super digestive enzymes from now and sometimes some aphidolus.(sp)
I find I do not have the protein farts like I used too when i wasn't taking digestive enzymes
04-24-2008 05:48 PM
My question is of the efficacy of swallowing these enzymes. Because breaking down protein starts in the stomach certain enzymes will only work or survive in the stomach, the small intestine and the large intestine where they are activated by certain actions. Some will be destroyed in the stomach, which is why I wonder if it is worth taking. Since some enzymes require certain actions in the body to activate enzymes would this also be worth taking them? For example trypsinogen an enzyme that breaks protein down in the small intestine and needs to be activated by the hormone enterokinase, would this enzyme and others survive the acididty of the stomach and pass on the the SI then to the LI? My question is basically how do we know these enzymes which we dish out $ for will end up doing what we intend them for?
04-30-2008 11:24 PM
I have been taking NOW's Super Enzymes for awhile. They seem to work well. I usually take them during or right after my meal. After reading that article I think I will be taking them before my meals. I usually use the enzymes on a couple meals a day. Never knew that had an anti-inflammatory effect.
Good stuff, thanks!
05-01-2008 12:06 AM
bromolain has anti inflammatory effects is if its taking betwen meals. This is the most potent digestive enzymes for anti-I effects(also great for protein digestion and sinitus)
Originally Posted by StanChampion
06-20-2008 06:03 AM
Originally Posted by nycste
would u take these enzymes before a meal if the bottle says take with a meal!?
06-20-2008 07:26 AM
bottom line, is yes, it doesnt really matter, there are benefits to take them at any time, and they stay in your tummy for ya know x amount of time
Originally Posted by bbillcee
i am no expert by any means im just stating my opinion
06-20-2008 08:12 AM
thanx for reply.... i just started l. acidphilus priobotic in the morning then after my protein drink i take a bromalain/propain 250mg/250mg then after regular meals take a multi enzymes (pancreatic 4x etc)
seem like over kill?
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