Food for thought: Everything you need to know about digestive enzymes

The enjoyment of food is an integral part of the human experience that spans across continents and cultures. We all love a great meal, especially when shared with loved ones. However, for many persistent stomach issues can significantly disrupt and negatively impact one’s quality of life. 


With many diseases starting in the gut, having a healthy digestive system is very important.


According to the National Institute of Health, an estimated 70 million Americans are affected by chronic or regular digestive issues. These include symptoms like bloating, heartburn, nausea, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. With so many suffering from their gut health, it’s unsurprising that products offering relief, like digestive enzyme supplements, have exploded in popularity and are beginning to be embraced by the medical community. 

What Are Digestive Enzymes? 

Digestive enzymes are naturally occurring and secreted by the body at various stages of the digestive process. These naturally occurring enzymes help break down food, which allows the body to soak up life-giving nutrients. 


As food travels from the mouth, stomach and small intestine, various digestive enzymes begin interacting with it to break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Once these vital nutrients are broken into small enough molecules, they are absorbed through the small intestine wall into the blood then delivered throughout the body. 


The pancreas creates a majority of the body’s digestive enzymes along with other glands and the gallbladder. When working normally, this system is a workhorse for breaking down food and extracting nutrients, but sometimes the body isn’t capable of making enough digestive enzymes. This can significantly slow the digestive process and is a root cause of many common stomach issues. 


Some health conditions that can cause digestive enzyme deficits include cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Additionally, certain individuals inherit or develop conditions like lactose intolerance, which occurs when the body does not make enough of a digestive enzyme called lactase. 


Can Digestive Enzymes Help My Digestive Issues? 

Whether you are interested in managing chronic symptoms of digestive issues or ensuring your body is maximizing nutrient absorption, digestive enzyme supplements can prove beneficial and have limited risk. 

As previously discussed, digestive enzymes have become increasingly popular as a potential treatment for common gut issues like bloating, heartburn, nausea, gas, constipation, or diarrhea and have frequently been used to supplement deficiencies in bodily production of key enzymes. Digestive enzymes have even shown promise as a treatment for those with illnesses like IBS. 


Those with persistent digestive issues or illnesses that stifle digestive enzyme production should consult with their doctor about using digestive enzyme supplements. Stool testing may be required to identify certain digestive issues, however some symptoms that suggest you might have problems with digestive enzymes include:


  • Persistent sensation that you have food sitting in your stomach following meals
  • Gas and bloating after meals
  • Feeling full after eating a few bites of food
  • Frequent undigested food in your stool
  • Frequent floating stools
  • Frequent oily stools 

Digestive Enzyme Supplements at Omega Health & Wellness – Jacksonville, FL


At Omega Health & Wellness, we offer patients expert guidance on full-spectrum digestive supplements to improve their health. Our digestive enzyme blend contains lipase, which assists in breaking down fats, amylase for carbohydrate metabolism, and protease, which aids in the body’s toxin elimination. 


Proteases are enzymes that work in the bloodstream to help your immune system manage inflammation and keep your body’s natural defenses healthy. A protease formula between meals will help promote optional blood flow and improve circulation, which means better delivery of nutrients and oxygen and more efficient detoxification and helps to manage inflammation, supporting the overall health of all systems of the body.


Probiotics, also known as “friendly” bacteria in the GI tract, further support digestion, a strong immune system, and timely elimination of wastes. Probiotics will help keep the gut healthy and balanced.


Can Digestive Enzyme Supplements Help Me Improve My Overall Health?


While the full impact of digestive enzyme supplements is still being closely studied, there is increasing evidence that it may be a strong contributor to good health. Taking digestive enzymes with meals can help ensure proper assimilation and bio-availability of all nutrients supporting cellular health, function, and repair. This ensures maximum nutrition from the food you eat, which helps support the body’s ability to produce energy, build or maintain muscle and support a healthy immune system. 


Digestive enzymes play a critical role in reducing inflammation, which is known to be linked to a variety of health disorders. By maintaining maximum digestive enzyme potential, it is possible to reach and better maintain optimal nutritional status, as well as various health benefits and defense against some major diseases. Just like an oil change for a car, digestive enzyme supplements can help keep our body’s performing at their best.