Digestive and systemic enzymes for overall health
Enzymes – an area where most of us have very little knowledge about – but changing fast as more research had gone into this area and had indication of positive results in some areas such as digestive issues, food intolerance, autoimmune diseases and even premature aging.
For many years, enzymes had been taken mainly as a supplement for digestive issues where the likes of amylase goes to digest carbohydrates, lipase on fats, cellulase on fibers and protease for protein.
How do you know if you need digestive enzyme supplements? If you have regular problems like bloating, gas, nausea, constipation or diarrhea after eating, then these are symptoms that indicate that you might need digestive enzyme supplements. The supplements does not only help to relieve symptoms of indigestion but also help to increase nutrient absorbtion.
As we age, the amount of enzymes in our body declines. That is why older adults tend to have lactose intolerance as our body’s production of lactase starts to diminish. That just goes to show the importance of the glands in our mouth, stomach, small intestine, gall bladder and pancreas because as long as they function well, we have sufficient flow of enzymes.
In recent years, there has also been more studies on systemic enzymes, which are enzymes that not only aid digestion but also support bodily functions in every tissue and organ. Every cell in the human body uses enzymes for building, maintenance and repair. Systemic enzymes help our body to defend against inflammation, fights infection, modulate the immune system and cleanse the blood of cellular waste.
Systemic enzymes offer various health benefits and may be used as health supplements for specific issues; however, they also serve as excellent prophylactic supplements for general body support.
Perhaps the best-known example of systemic enzymes is nattokinase, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure and may help sustain cardiovascular health. Other commonly studied systemic enzymes include bromelain, which degrades fibrin associated with blood clot formation. Serratiopeptidase, which has anti-inflammatory properties, is used to supplement the diet for this benefit.
By speeding up the resolution of fibrin and clearing out cellular waste from the blood, it helps to support normal liver function and boost the immune system.
When we take exogenous protease enzymes as supplement just before food, it will work very hard to help you digest your food. When it is taken without food, they will be absorbed into your blood stream and it will do other work which include cleaning your blood.
In some cases where individuals have leaky gut syndrome, different type of molecules get into our blood stream from the intestine and these are times when you can get your food intolerances. These molecules are often encased with protein and can raise red flags with your immune system which target these foreign invaders as circulating immune complex (CIC). Your liver and spleen are supposed to filter out these CICs but if they are sluggish, the body will grab it and store it in soft tissues to make it as inert as possible.
We typically have weak links in our body. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, this is where the CICs will go – the joints. When you have the systemic proteases, they are able to neutralise the CICs and they can also go to the soft tissues and break it down. There could be benefits from supplementing our diets with enzymes but do consult your medical practitioner for advice. As always, in addition to supplements, the starting point to help improve our overall health is still a healthy diet.
Reference: Katie Wells, Steve Wright, Deerland