What are Digestive Enzymes?
Digestive enzymes catalyze your metabolism and help your body break down large food molecules into smaller ones that are easy to absorb. No single enzyme acts on all types of nutrients. Your body needs a variety of different digestive enzymes. Three of the most important digestive enzymes are:
Amylase: Metabolizes complex carbs and starch sugar into simple sugar.
Protease: Acts on the proteins to break them down into amino acids
Lipase: Regulates lipid metabolism and breaks them down into glycerol and fatty acids.
Enzymes are proteins in nature and are usually produced by the body itself. These enzymes are produced constantly in the human body but as we age, their production starts decreasing and by age 40, it is reduced by as much as 25%. So they need to be obtained via alternative food sources and supplements.
What are Digestive Enzyme supplements?
Digestive enzyme supplements are a type of dietary supplement that contain a blend of enzymes that help the body digest food. These enzymes, which are produced naturally by the body, help to break down complex molecules in food into simpler compounds that can be absorbed and used by the body for energy.
Do Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight?
There is some evidence to suggest that digestive enzymes may help with weight loss. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that people who took a digestive enzyme supplement while following a calorie-restricted diet lost more weight than those who did not take the supplement.  However, it’s important to note that digestive enzymes are not a magic solution for weight loss and should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise.
Other benefits of Digestive enzymes
Improved GI Microflora
Taking digestive enzyme supplements may help to improve the balance of good bacteria in the gut, also known as the gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is important for overall health, as it helps to break down and absorb nutrients from food, produces vitamins, and supports the immune system. 
Helps with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhoea. Some research suggests that taking digestive enzyme supplements may help to reduce the severity of IBS symptoms.
Helps with fatigue and lack of energy
Digestive enzymes may help to improve the absorption of nutrients from food, which can lead to increased energy levels. This is especially important for people who have difficulty digesting certain foods or who have conditions that affect their ability to absorb nutrients.
Helps deal with cancer symptoms and the side effects of chemotherapy
Cancer and chemotherapy treatment can both have a significant impact on the digestive system. Taking digestive enzyme supplements may help to reduce symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea, and may also help to improve the absorption of nutrients.
Foods with Digestive Enzymes
There are several foods that contain digestive enzymes, including:
- Kimchi: a fermented vegetable dish made with vegetables such as cabbage, radish, and carrots.
- Avocado: a fruit that is high in enzymes that help to break down proteins.
- Kefir: a fermented milk drink that contains a variety of beneficial bacteria and yeast.
- Honey: a natural sweetener that contains small amounts of digestive enzymes.
- Nuts: some nuts, such as pine nuts and pistachios, contain enzymes that help to break down proteins.
What to expect when you start taking digestive enzymes
If you’re considering taking digestive enzyme supplements, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider first. They can help you determine the right dosage and ensure that the supplements are safe for you to take.
When you start taking digestive enzymes, you may notice improved digestion and overall health. However, it’s important to remember that these supplements are not a cure-all and should be used as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise.
- “The effects of a dietary enzyme supplement on weight loss: a randomized controlled trial.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4436986/
- “Gut microbiota and its potential influence on gastrointestinal cancer.” Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jgh.