ENZYMES FOR DIGESTION
WHICH ENZYMES DO WE REQUIRE FOR DIGESTION?
Every enzyme is responsible for digesting a specific substance. If we are deficient in any particular enzyme needed for the digestion process then the particles not digested fully will render a list of side effects that most of us are too familiar with. This lack of proper digestion may also lead to health issues and sometimes serious illness. Depending on the types of enzymes we are depleted in will usually determine the side effects link to them. It is vital that we consume the correct types and amounts of digestive enzymes to breakdown the all the food groups that we consume.
Enzymes involved in…
Lactase – Lactase is essential for digestive hydrolysis of lactose in milk. Deficiency of the enzyme causes lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is an inability to digest and absorb lactose (the sugar in milk) that results in gastrointestinal symptoms when milk or products containing milk are drunk or eaten. Lactose is a larger sugar that is made up of two smaller sugars, glucose and galactose. In order for lactose to be absorbed from the intestine and into the body, it must first be split into glucose and galactose. The glucose and galactose then are absorbed by the cells lining the small intestine. The enzyme that splits lactose into glucose and galactose is called lactase, and it is located on the surface of the cells that line the small intestine.
Bromelain – An enzyme that is derived from pineapple, this nutrient also facilitates the digestion of proteins. Bromelain has also been associated with a wide range of diverse health benefits of its own.
Papain – This enzyme is derived from papaya and serves to enhance the digestion of proteins, facilitating nutrient absorption.
Protease – This enzyme supports the digestion of protein and protein containing foods, breaking them into absorbable units of amino acids, the building blocks for the body’s regenerative purposes.
Lipase – The main enzyme that functions to break down lipids and improve fat utilisation. In this capacity, it supports the function of the gall bladder. The microbial-derived lipase used in this formulation has been shown to have much higher activity levels than animal-derived lipase enzyme, enhancing the efficiency of fat digestion. Microbial lipase is resistant to inactivation by stomach acid and can digest dietary fat beginning in the stomach and continuing into the small intestine. In an animal study, researchers demonstrated that a microbial-derived lipase was as effective at digesting fat as a 25 times larger dose of conventional pancreatin.
CARBOHYDRATE, FIBRE AND OTHER DIGESTION
AGS alpha-galactosidase – An enzyme that facilitates the breakdown of carbohydrates such as raffinose and stachyose. This enzyme is especially helpful in supporting the digestion of raw vegetables and beans. A study published in 1994 showed that AGS a-galactosidase supplementation was effective at reducing indigestion and flatulence in healthy individuals consuming a high-fibre diet consisting of grains, beans and other vegetables.
Amylase – This enzyme functions to break down carbohydrates such as starch and glycogen, a storage form of glucose.
Beta-glucanase – An important enzyme that facilitates the digestion of beta-linked glucose bonds associated with whole grains such as barley, oats and wheat.
Cellulase – This enzyme helps free the nutrients found in both fruits and vegetables by breaking down cellulose, a plant fibre.
Glucoamylase – This enzyme complements the function of hemicellulase by breaking down polysaccharides from plants.
Hemicellulase – This enzyme assists in the breakdown of carbohydrates and is most useful for enhancing the efficiency of polysaccharide digestion from plant foods.
Invertase – This enzyme facilitates the breakdown of carbohydrates and is especially effective at helping to digest sucrose, common table sugar.
Phytase – This enzyme breaks down plant carbohydrates and is especially helpful at breaking down phytic acid found in leafy vegetables. Because it breaks down phytic acid, it frees the minerals in plants and aids in their absorption.
Xylanase – This enzyme is a sub-type of hemicellulase and functions to break down soluble fibre from food sources.
Pectinase – breaks down pectin, a non-cellulose polysaccharide commonly found in fruits and vegetables.
Catalase – this enzyme breaks down the chemical hydrogen peroxide inside living cells. Because it is toxic, or poisonous, hydrogen peroxide would soon kill the cell if it were not removed or broken down immediately.