Digestive enzymes benefits & side effects

Table of Contents

How This Helps

Do you have a weak digestive system? Are you dependent on digestive enzymes/zypan supplements to aid your digestion? Digestive enzymes are proteolytic enzymes that help support the digestion and absorption of proteins into your body in conditions when your digestive system is compromised. In people whose gallbladder has been removed or has cystic fibrosis, consuming these digestive enzymes can help aid in digestion, but depending on these digestive enzymes (zypan) can lead to zypan dangers in later stages. There are different types of digestive enzymes which promote digestion:

Lipases – help in digesting fatty acids.

Proteases and peptidases – Helps in digesting proteins and amino acids.

Amylases – Help digest carbohydrates such as starch and sugars.

Nucleases – It helps digest nucleic acids.

See: Ayurveda herbs for digestion

What are digestive enzymes?

What are Digestive enzymes? What are its functions?

Digestive enzymes are the enzymes that have the ability to break down the carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. The function of these above mentioned digestive enzymes is to help aid in digestion.

Digestive enzymes are released in anticipation of meals and in response to food. It follows that just thinking about or looking at meals is sufficient to get your juices flowing! As we odor and finally taste our food, the amount of enzymes that are being secreted raises.

Enzymes are secreted from our salivary glands, and from the cells lining our gut, pancreas, and large and small intestines. Various kinds of enzymes are secreted based on the types of foods that we eat.

Types of digestive enzymes

Our bodies create many different types of digestive enzymes to assist our bodies to benefit from the many nutrients found inside the foods we have. Here are examples of a few of the more prevalent kinds of enzymes.

Amylase: Amylase is a digestive enzyme necessary for our digestion of carbohydrates. Amylase is secreted by our salivary glands and our pancreas. The amylase enzyme breaks down starches into sugars. The amylase levels in the blood are occasionally used as an aid in diagnosing various pancreas or other digestive tract ailments.

Lactase: Lactase enzyme breaks down lactose found in milk products. Supplemental lactase can be utilized to aid people that are lactose intolerant to dairy products.

Lipase: Lipase is responsible for the breakdown of fats that we consume. Especially, lipase breaks fats into fatty acids and glycerol (simple sugar ). Inside your body, lipase is produced in tiny quantities by your mouth and stomach, and in larger quantities by your pancreas.

Maltase: Maltase is secreted from the small intestine and is responsible for breaking down maltose (malt sugar).

See: Ayurvedic Herbs for GERD & Heartburn

Proteases: Proteases are digestive enzymes that break down proteins into amino acids. The main types of proteases found inside the human gastrointestinal tract are:

– Carboxypeptidase A

– Carboxypeptidase B

– Pepsin

– Chymotrypsin

– Sucrase

– Trypsin

Sucrase is secreted in the small intestine, where it breaks sucrose into the simpler sugars.

Digestive enzyme supplements

There are many health ailments that interfere with the secretion of adequate quantities of digestive enzymes for complete digestion of meals. In such a case, someone may benefit from taking a digestive enzyme supplement. Among the areas where digestive enzyme supplements would be most helpful is for men and women that have chronic pancreatitis. For these people, digestive enzyme supplements can assist with digestion and ease the pain associated with the disease.

Digestive enzyme health benefits

Health Benefits

Though some studies seem to support the purported advantages of digestive enzymes, there’s mixed evidence to demonstrate clear health benefits. Lots of the studies are small, poorly designed, have conflicting consequences, and are not conclusive. With that disclaimer, potential health benefits of nutritional supplements containing digestive enzymes are listed below.

Arthritis: Some studies on bromelain reveal It could help relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA), probably because of its ability to decrease inflammation.  A 2015 randomized, double-blind research compared a commercial enzyme preparation known as Wobenzym, which produced significant improvements in joint pain and function after 12 weeks compared with the NSAID. Enzymes can have a clinical role in improving symptoms of OA, but more extensive studies are needed.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A digestive enzyme called pancrelipase may alleviate some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a pilot research report printed in Frontline Gastroenterology in 2011. The study showed that people treated with pancrelipase experienced an improvement in these symptoms as bloating, cramping, and pain. Another small study included a multi-ingredient formulation named Biointol. This supplement comprises digestive enzymes together with beta-glucan and inositol. The results suggested that the supplement decreased abdominal pain, bloating, and flatulence.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Several preliminary studies indicate that bromelain can help handle colitis or gut inflammation. By way of instance, a 2010 animal research printed in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found that bromelain helped reduce inflammation of the colon in mice. Digestive enzymes may be helpful in people with IBD who experience symptoms of IBS, such as abdominal pain and nausea, despite little or no active inflammation. Those who received mesalamine and Biointol reported a decrease in abdominal pain and a reduction in bloating and flatulence after four months, while those who took the only mesalamine reported just a mild decrease in the symptoms.

Muscle Soreness: The evidence about the effectiveness of OTC enzymes in enhancing muscle soreness is combined, and lots of studies are small and dated. In a study from 2004 that involved 20 guys, protease supplements eased muscle recovery and lessened perceived gains in pain following extreme exercise.

Cancer care: Digestive enzymes may be beneficial to individuals undergoing cancer therapy versus affecting the disease process itself, for example, by decreasing complications of treatment. But based on some 2014 article at Mayo Clinic Proceedings, these studies weren’t statistically examined or did not reveal consistent or significant progress with OTC enzymes.

See: Acupuncture & Homeopathy For Leaky Gut Syndrome

Digestive enzymes supplements risks

Digestive enzymes risks

Digestive enzymes and their supplementation play a significant role in the management of various types of digestive disorders, starting from lactose intolerance to cystic fibrosis or pancreatic cancer. Hence for people with low amounts of digestive enzymes, it’s essential to maintain a proper supplementation of the enzymes. The digestive enzyme supplementation can help an individual get back to enjoying their favorite foods again. Depending on these digestive enzymes, supplements for better digestion can pose numerous dangers to the physical and internal health of an individual. Digestive enzymes’ side effects may negatively impact your health over time, which may not at all related to the type of foods you eat.

Some of the hidden risks with digestive enzymes supplementation are listed below:

1. Dependency: An individual totally dependent upon digestive enzymes supplements may develop a dependence on them, which can adversely affect the health of an individual. Dependency on digestive enzymes can lead to diarrhea, nausea, and in many cases, stomach cramps also are observed.

2. Disrupted intestinal balance: Consuming digestive enzymes supplements may correct a gastrointestinal disorder but may also disrupt the intestinal balance. In order to maintain proper defecation of stools, the intestinal moist to dry ratio must be neutral, which means it should neither be too moist nor too dry. An intestinal imbalance may directly or indirectly impact the brain function and overall quality of life.

3. Arthritic joint problem: Digestive enzymes supplementation is also associated with low enzyme production. People who are consuming digestive enzyme supplements irrespective of cystic fibrosis or pancreatic cancer, there is a possibility that they may develop arthritis. This is because of the production of too many enzymes that results in uric acid formation causing arthritic joint problems.

4. Lactose intolerance: lactose is known as the primary sugar entity, which is found in the cow’s milk and dairy products. As we grow older, our body becomes intolerant towards lactose, where the body is unable to digest the lactose sugar. In such cases, consuming digestive enzyme supplements may cause problems like gas, bloating, and constipation. Lactase is an enzyme present in the dairy foods that helps break down the sugar present in the milk.

5. Interfere with the absorption of nutrients: Long term usage of digestive enzymes may interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients making an individual devoid of them.

See: Ayurveda & Yoga for Digestion


Precautions while consuming digestive enzymes:

1.     One should be careful when buying or consuming a digestive enzyme formula. They should adequately ensure the ingredients do not contain any particular formulation that is commonly listed among amylases. Amylases can only help digest carbohydrates and starch.

2.      Check for FDA regulated digestive enzymes while buying them. There are a number of digestive enzyme formulations that are available over-the-counter in health food stores that are not regulated by the FDA.

Some digestive enzymes like enzyplex digestive aid powder are considered to be suitable for people with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Enzyplex digestive enzymes’ reviews are quite good, and one can try it.

Natural alternatives for digestive enzymes supplements

Natural alternatives instead of digestive enzymes supplements

One can try including specific home remedies to improve their

1. Cholagogues: Cholagogues are chemical constituents that have medicinal properties that promote the discharge of bile from the system. These foods include leafy green vegetables, apples, celery, raw beets, and artichokes.

2. Fenugreek tea: Numerous research studies have shown that fenugreek seeds are known

to increase the lithogenic index of bile. It provides lubrication to your bile ducts and helps in promoting the healthy flow of bile required for digestion.

3. Rehydration therapy:  Rehydration therapy promotes easy digestion by enhancing the production of hydrochloric acid and the flow of pancreatic juices and enzymes.

4. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is another super ingredient known to aid in digestion by increasing the flow of bile while also maintaining healthy sugar levels.


There are some research and evidence that has proved to produce beneficial effects in people taking digestive enzymes. But, it’s also essential to consider here specific evidence related to digestive enzymes that have risks and hidden dangers. It may help you consume your favorite foods with ease but may also make you prone to various gastrointestinal and other health-related disorders. So, choose the best digestive enzymes for yourself without developing a dependency on them.

See: Natrum phosphoricum for digestive gerd


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