​Breaking Down the Most Beneficial Digestive Enzymes

There is an old joke that asks, "how do you eat an elephant?" The answer: one bite at a time. Yes, the idea is silly, but have you ever felt like you did eat an elephant after a meal? You’re just stuffed... uncomfortably full... like you need go lay down. We’ve all felt this way after a huge meal, for instance during the holidays, but it might also happen after a normal meal. This is where digestive enzymes come to the rescue. Notice I didn’t say antacids. Just say no to plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Rather than block the body’s ability to digest our meals, why not give it the aid that it needs?
The foods we eat are composed of macronutrients: protein, fats, and carbohydrates. As they move through the digestive tract, we extract micronutrients from them. Digestive enzymes simply supply the components the body needs to digest the foods we eat and turn them into micronutrients and then into fuel and building blocks for growth and tissue repair. Starches, like grains and potatoes, become sugars; proteins become amino acids; fats become fatty acids; and fiber becomes short-chain fatty acids. These products of digestion, along with vitamins, minerals, water, and other compounds, are absorbed through the walls of the small intestine. From there, they travel to and are stored in body tissues and are utilized as an energy source.
Our meals will not supply us with nutrients if we are not able to digest and absorb them. We are not what we eat. We are what we absorb. Poor digestion can result in a malnourished state, even if we have plenty of food. We can be well-fed and even over-fed, yet undernourished. Poorly digested or undigested food can move into the intestines and cause dysbiosis, or an imbalance in beneficial and pathogenic gut bacteria, as well as occasional bloating and gas.
Taken with a meal, a good digestive enzyme supplement can help us feel comfortable and not like we just ate an elephant. Studies have shown that a good pancreatic enzyme can relieve after-meal discomfort and ease occasional bloating and gas.
Here are the most beneficial digestive enzymes to look for in a good formula: protease to digest proteins, amylase to digest starches and sugars, and lipase (along with ox bile) to digest fats. Most of these are produced by the body, typically in the pancreas, but sometimes not in adequate amounts.
There are many causes of digestive enzyme deficiency that are not related to illness. For example, having had one’s gall bladder removed, being stressed and, yes, even being older, can be to blame. I find travel sometimes is an issue, so I carry a convenient travel pack of my favorite Carlson enzyme formula: Natural Digestive Enzymes.
One serving digests 34 grams of protein and large amounts of fats and carbs into absorbable nutrients. I always have it with me for restaurant meals that tend to be heavier than what I serve at home, but even at home I find I feel much more comfortable after a meal. Try it, I think you’ll love it.