By Maday Labrador, Ph.D – Vice President of Scientific Affairs for Enzymedica
Food intolerances are common, even people who maintain a healthy diet may have challenges with digestion from time to time. These adverse reactions can be in response to a particular food or compound found in food. I think almost everyone knows someone who is lactose intolerant or sensitive to gluten.
Parents of children on the autism spectrum report that many of their children have food intolerances (sensitivities) and some signs of that are: dark circles, red ears, red cheeks, particle of food in stool, hyperactivity, lethargic, attention problems, and sleep problems. Many have found that by following certain diets, and eliminating or reducing the amount of a certain foods or food components, they can alleviate or minimize their food challenges.
Though enzymes do not replace specialized or restrictive diets, many people take enzymes in the form of dietary supplements to replace the enzymes their body is lacking, or to fortify the enzymes found in their food to ensure complete digestion of each meal. If you don’t digest the food, you can’t absorb the nutrients. If you don’t absorb the nutrients, you can’t get all the fuel you need for repair, growth and learning.
In the body, enzymes made by intestinal bacteria work synergistically with our own inherent enzymes to support optimal wellbeing and digestive health. This is also the same with supplemental enzymes and probiotics. These supplements may be taken together (at the same time) to support digestive health.
It’s been estimated that the human body consists of about 10 trillion cells, and the intestines of each of us are inhabited by 10 times as many microorganisms. These organisms support regularity, aid the immune system, produce vitamins like B and K, and fuel our digestion through their production of enzymes, including lactase, protease, and amylase. Each of us has a unique little ecosystem that exists in our digestive tract and it appears to be influenced by both genetics and diet. Just like most things in life, the key seems to be balance.
Watching what you eat, and including digestive enzymes and probiotics as a regular part of your health maintenance program provides a little insurance that you (and your family) have the tools necessary to digest everything you put in your body, to get the maximum benefit, and that you are maintaining an environment in your digestive tract that will allow you to absorb all available nutrients, and continue to keep you healthy and allow you to flourish. Both probiotics and enzymes are produced in a variety of forms, and most can be added to any type of special diet without concern, but it’s always good to check with your doctor before starting.
Enzymes and probiotics are two different supplements that can be taken together to support digestion and address different digestive issues. Friendly bacteria (probiotics) and enzymes are both located in the digestive tract. In fact, healthy bacteria in our body produce certain enzymes to assist with digestion. Sometimes supplementation of both enzymes and friendly bacteria are needed to provide optimal digestion and intestinal wellbeing. For example, during times of stress and illness, enzymes and friendly bacteria are reduced in the body. No doubt about it, the combination of enzymes and probiotics is a safe approach for complete digestive care.
Author Biography: Maday Labrador Ph.D
Maday Labrador holds a Ph.D in Holistic Nutrition and has been working with Enzymedica for the past 12 years, accumulating expertise on the functions of supplemental enzymes. She currently serves as Vice President of Scientific Affairs.
As Vice President, Maday is involved in formulating new products and researching ingredients and technologies that are used to formulate the most efficacious enzyme products in the natural foods industry. Maday oversees Enzymedica’s in-house lab, regulatory department and clinical studies along with the preparatory studies that Enzymedica conducts on a regular basis. Maday also writes articles on behalf of Enzymedica and has been involved in consumer lectures, staff trainings, radio interviews and consultations.