By Enzyme Science
Why every patient can benefit from enzyme supplementation
Despite the abundance of foods on market shelves, the modern diet is lacking. Educating on the value of a whole-food, nutrient-dense and varied diet is critical yet old habits often die hard and lasting change may need to be implemented gradually in order to be sustainable. With this in mind, it’s important to consider how we can inform about immediate health benefits which encourage patients/clients and propel them forward on their lifelong journeys along ever-winding wellness paths.
Full of additives, preservatives, trans-fats and other unnatural adulteration while limited in enzymes, probiotics, ATP and nutrients (significantly higher prior to processing), today’s food offerings are tailored to survive lengthy journeys from farm to factory to distribution center to truck to store to home pantry to plate! Our food system easily sets the stage for many health concerns and is a factor in why so many patients present with digestive complaints and other potentially avoidable situations. Age also factors into the digestive health equation. As decades unfold, digestive changes frequently arise, including gastric secretion, pancreatic enzyme and intestinal disaccharidase decline.1,2,3
Enzyme supplementation can be a safe, efficacious adjunct to dietary and lifestyle adjustments. Although digestive enzyme supplementation cannot make nutrient-poor meals more nutritionally sound, it may assist with proper, complete macro-nutrient breakdown; which may, in turn, ensure greater access to the amino acids, simple sugars, essential fatty acids and micro-nutrients within. Exogenous enzyme supplementation may also help decrease digestive difficulties resulting from incomplete digestion.
When seeking digestive support formulas, look for enzyme products that perform in the acidic gastric region, as well as in the neutral and alkaline settings of the small intestine. The ability to perform throughout all gastrointestinal pH settings may confer faster relief from occasional gas, bloating, irregularity and other uncomfortable symptoms linked to poor digestive function. Ability to perform over a broad pH range may also mean more complete digestion, improved conversion of food into energy and overall superior efficacy.
Although diet and age may correlate with poor digestion, one does not need to experience digestive distress to reap the benefits that enzyme supplementation may offer. Enzyme supplementation may be considered a proactive approach to digestive health that may be easily implemented by most with neither concern for digestive secretion down regulation nor dependency.
Explaining enzymes to patients
When explaining enzymes’ structure, function and value, patients may easily understand similes that liken enzymes to solvents that dissolve the glue that bonds food components or that liken enzymes to scissors which cut the ties that bind food molecules together. Therapeutic/systemic enzyme supplements, used away from meals, can enter the blood stream and form complexes with alpha 2 macroglobulins to assist with degradation of unwanted proteins. You may simply explain that systemic enzymes ‘digest’ things other than food when used on an empty stomach.
Catalysts for change literally defines these amazingly efficient, biochemically active proteins while also figuratively crediting their ability to impart beneficial effects in human health.
Addressing the “another pill?” question
Although you may aim to minimize the products you prescribe while still positively impacting patients’ well-being, enzyme supplementation may help ensure efficient digestion and absorption of foods as well as other supplements. Used in conjunction with supplements like herbs, fish oils, or fat-soluble vitamins, enzymes may improve digestion, increase bioavailability and potentially even reduce the amounts needed for beneficial effect.
Understanding patient compliance with enzymes
While compliance is key to supporting positive change, enzyme supplement compliance is no exception; however, enzymes do not need to be taken for great durations before effects take place. As long as a sufficient potency of active enzyme is exposed to moisture and the temperature and pH range in which it is able to function, it will be able to act upon its correlating substrate and may quickly deliver tangible results. For example, when lactose is more completely digested, minimal amounts are available to microbes in the large intestine, reducing gas formation and other uncomfortable effects due to microbial fermentation of lactose.
Systemic enzyme supplements can also function upon contact with corresponding substrates although more sustained use may sometimes be necessary when working to support balanced microflora levels or healthy inflammatory status.
Overall, vegetarian enzyme supplements that are designed to perform in a wide range of pH settings may prove ideal in supporting each and every body, and can be a safe and efficacious approach to patient wellness support.
References
1.   Feldman M, Cryer B, McArthur KE, Huet BA, Lee E. . Effects of aging and gastritis on gastric acid and pepsin secretion in humans: a prospective study. Gastroenterology. 1996 Apr;110(4):1043-52
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8612992
2.   Laugier R, Bernard JP, Berthezene P, Dupuy P. Changes in pancreatic exocrine secretion with age: pancreatic exocrine secretion does decrease in the elderly. Digestion. 1991;50(3-4):202-11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1812045
3.   Lee MF, Krasinski SD. Human adult-onset lactase decline: an update. Nutr Rev. 1998 Jan;56(1 Pt 1):1-8.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9481112


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.