What are Digestive Enzymes? Why are They Important?
In this article, we will see what enzymes are, their importance, the possible causes of their deficiencies, and the remedies to the insufficiencies.
What are digestive enzymes?The digestion process involves breaking down food into smaller components that the body can absorb to provide energy and nutrients to the cells to carry out their normal functions. The body releases natural chemical proteins, otherwise known as enzymes, to help the food break down into smaller components.
The human digestive process is a very vast and diverse one. Food digestion starts right from the mouth when food is chewed and swallowed. The entire digestive process involves various stages of breaking down the food. Therefore, as per the requirements, the body releases a variety of digestive enzymes to perform different digestion processes.
People with an enzyme deficiency or insufficiency can easily reap the benefits of enzyme replacement supplements such as ProZyme. Further, a gland known as the pancreas in our stomach is considered the vital source of various types of digestive enzymes. It produces the most crucial of the digestive enzymes for proper digestion. The pancreas in the abdomen produces those enzymes that break down protein, fats, and carbohydrates in food.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that there are different stages in the digestion process where the body automatically releases the required enzymes to digest the food. Therefore, apart from the pancreas, the small intestine also releases enzymes that break down lactose and sucrose in the food.
Why are digestive enzymes important?The digestive system cannot function properly without enzymes. It is due to the enzymes that the different components in food, such as carbohydrates, fats, glucose, protein, etc., are broken down into smaller parts, and they are then converted into energy and nutrients for the body. In short, enzymes help the body perform crucial tasks, such as building muscles, breaking down food, and destroying toxins.
Enzyme DeficiencyIf the natural formation of digestive enzymes is hampered, then the whole digestive process takes a hit. Further, any enzyme deficiency or insufficiency can also mean malfunction of the organ that produces the enzyme. Chronic insufficiency of enzymes can lead to serious health issues.
However, some of us may not be able to naturally produce a sufficient amount of enzymes required for the natural digestion process. For people who have this insufficiency, their bodies cannot produce these enzymes on their own.
Some people may face enzyme deficiency or insufficiency due to hereditary genetic causes. Further, insufficiency in enzyme production in humans can be present right from birth, or it may also develop at a later stage in life. Some of the enzyme insufficiency-induced health issues include cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, etc.
Causes of insufficiency in Digestive EnzymesSome enzyme insufficiency can be hereditary due to an affected gene in the body. Other insufficiencies can be caused by certain disease-induced insufficiency such as diabetes, celiac, fibrosis, etc. These health issues can affect the body's natural ability to produce sufficient enzymes for digestion.
Enzyme SupplementsIn cases where enzyme insufficiency is reported, external digestive enzymes can be taken to fill the deficiency of natural enzymes in the body. Further, two types of enzyme supplements are found across the country - Prescriptive Supplements and Over-The-Counter (OTC) Supplements.
- Prescriptive Supplements
People with chronic enzyme insufficiency may need to take prescription-based digestive supplements. These supplements help in better processing of the food and enhance the overall digestive process. The US FDA-regulated PERT or pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy is the most commonly used. It is also the only FDA-regulated prescriptive therapy for enzyme replacements.
Cystic fibrosis and pancreatitis are certain cases where pancreatic enzymes are externally consumed.
- Over-the-Counter (OTC) Supplements
Patients of minor or general digestive disorders such as acidity, bloating, diarrhea or gas consume external digestive enzyme supplements. Since these are available across medicine stores, one can get them over the counter. They are known as Over-The-Counter (OTC) Supplements.
Medical experts point out that digestive enzymes are found in sufficient quantities in healthy people who regularly have a wholesome meal. However, no evidence suggests specific dietary requirements to fulfill the enzyme insufficiency.
The best and most natural digestive enzymes are the ones that the human body produces. However, whenever there is an insufficiency in enzymes found, using digestive enzymes such as ProZymes, etc., has been found effective for smooth digestion.
Enzymes are responsible for a variety of essential chemical reactions in the body. They are an important part of the entire digestive system. The pancreas in the stomach creates most of the digestive enzymes required by the body. However, the small intestine and the tongue also procreate some enzymes to complete the entire digestive process.
PERT, or external OTC supplements like ProZymes, are enzyme supplements. They replenish the enzymes that are insufficient in the body.