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Enzymes play an essential role in physiological processes throughout the body. Natural digestive enzymes, such as lipase, amylase, and protease, aid in breaking down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Additionally, enzyme supplements can be taken to help improve digestion. But if you take these supplements at the wrong time, they may be completely ineffective. Let’s take a closer look at when taking those enzymes will maximize their effectiveness.
Enzymes are Catalysts
Enzymes, which are made up of amino acids, catalyze biological functions. As you probably learned in high school chemistry, catalysts are used to speed up a chemical reaction or allow it to occur at a lower temperature than it would normally. In the same way, digestive enzymes enable the body to perform biological functions that otherwise would not occur at physiological temperatures.
Digestive Catalysts Can Only Work When There is Something to Metabolize
Some people incorrectly put enzyme supplements in the same category as vitamins, thinking that if they just take one in the morning, it will do its job throughout the day. But a digestive enzyme needs a substrate in order to catalyze a reaction – in other words, food. Just like your friend who shows up on moving day after the apartment has been emptied, taking an enzyme supplement when there’s nothing in your digestive system to metabolize is simply a waste of a valuable resource.
Enzymes Should be Taken with Food
It’s crucial to take enzymes as directed. That means, in most cases, you should take digestive enzyme supplements along with food. In many instances, they should be taken in combination with specific foods in order to properly perform their intended function. Lactase supplements, for example, include the enzymes that digest milk sugars, so they should be taken along with dairy products. Likewise, amylase supplements help the body digest the complex sugars found in legumes and vegetables to reduce bloating and gas, so they should be taken just before eating these foods.
To determine when to take a digestive enzyme, or any supplement, refer to the instruction label of the product. Some digestive supplements are intended to be taken with a meal, while others should be taken shortly before eating. Also, check the proper dosage, which will vary based on the type and strength of the enzyme supplement. If you are unsure or have any questions, ask your pharmacist or nutritionist. And of course, if you are taking any medications, be sure to consult your doctor before using any supplement.
Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes & Probiotics Knows Digestive Supplements
At Deerland, our product development experts formulate many of the popular, high quality enzyme supplements you will find in stores and online. Incorporating enzymes, probiotics and/or prebiotics, we create condition-specific supplement products to address a wide range of digestive issues.
An educational enzyme and probiotic resource
Digestible is your go-to resource for learning about enzymes, probiotics and their impact on digestive health. Keep up with the latest trends in dietary supplements, learn why gut health is critical to overall wellness and immunity, and the science behind it all.
John Davidson has been formulating enzyme based dietary supplements for more than 30 years, with a particular focus in human digestion. Davidson’s wide range of experience encompasses nearly all aspects of supplement manufacturing; including QC/QA, blending, encapsulation, tableting, research & development, product development and technical services. In his current role as the Director of Education and Innovation for Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes, Davidson is responsible for both new product innovation, collaborating with R&D and Sales to bring new products to market.