Best Digestive Enzymes For Weight Loss

8

Best digestive digestive enzymes are primarily produced by the pancreas and are responsible for assisting your digestive system with the digestion of food. Normally, your body will produce its own digestive enzymes but there is a small percentage of people that do not produce sufficient amounts. For those who have low or inadequate levels of digestive enzymes they can take supplemental digestive enzymes to help with the breakdown of nutrients during their meals. Digestive enzymes will assist in promoting weight loss by speeding up metabolism and helping your body burn excess fat that has been stored.

What are digestive enzymes?

Digestive enzymes are compounds that help break down foods into smaller components that your body can absorb

The three main types are:

  • Protease: breaks down proteins into amino acids
  • Lipase: breaks down lipids into glycerol and fatty acids
  • Amylase: breaks down complex carbs and starches into simple sugars

Your body naturally produces digestive enzymes, but they’re also available in supplement form.

These supplements are often used to improve conditions like lactose intolerance and other digestive issues like celiac disease and IBS

SUMMARY

Digestive enzymes help break down proteins, fats, and carbs into smaller components. They’re produced naturally by your body and are also found in supplement form.

May affect gut bacteria

Some studies show that digestive enzymes may enhance the health of your gut microbiome — the microorganisms that live in your digestive tract

In one study, administering digestive enzymes to mice promoted the colonization of beneficial gut bacteria

Plus, a test-tube study showed that pairing a probiotic supplement with digestive enzymes could help protect against changes in the gut microbiome caused by chemotherapy and a type of antibiotic

Interestingly, some studies have found that the gut microbiome may play a role in weight control

In fact, one review of 21 studies reported that enhancing the beneficial bacteria in your gut may reduce body mass index, fat mass, and body weight

That said, more studies on the effects of digestive enzyme supplements on weight control in humans are needed.

SUMMARY

Some test-tube and animal studies show that digestive enzymes may improve the health of your beneficial gut bacteria — bacteria that may be involved in weight control.

Effects of lipase

Lipase is a digestive enzyme that boosts the absorption of fat in your body by breaking it down into glycerol and free fatty acids

Some studies show that supplementing with lipase may decrease feelings of fullness

For example, one study in 16 adults found that those taking a lipase supplement before consuming a high fat meal reported significantly decreased stomach fullness after 1 hour, compared with a control group

On the other hand, lipase inhibitors — which decrease lipase levels — have long been used to promote weight control by increasing the excretion of fat

While more research is needed, increasing your lipase levels by taking digestive enzyme supplements could potentially increase fat absorption, thus contributing to weight gain.

SUMMARY

Lipase may decrease feelings of fullness. On the other hand, decreasing lipase levels can promote weight loss by reducing fat absorption

Can Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight?

While research is still ongoing, it has been shown that these enzymes can help to improve digestion and the overall health of your gut. Therefore, your body will be able to efficiently metabolize the food that is consumed. This may contribute to weight loss.

Types Of Digestive Enzymes

If you decide to try probiotics and digestive enzymes for weight loss, make sure to look for a high quality brand that includes proteases (to break down proteins), lipases (to break down fats), and carbohydrates (to break down carbohydrates). Look for product labels that reassure you that the pills contain nothing extra, like no sugar, salt, wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, shellfish or preservatives. These are some of the best supplements:

Turmeric Curcumin Supplements

One such digestive enzyme that has been proven to have many health benefits is Turmeric Curcumin Supplements. Some health benefits include: increased weight loss by suppressing fat cell growth, reduced arthritis and joint pain, reduced inflammation, improved skin health, disease prevention, reduced allergies, enhanced brain function, aid in liver detox, works as a powerful antioxidant, and helps headaches and migraines.

It is suggested that 1-2 capsules should be taken at mealtimes, just before eating, or within 30 minutes of finishing the meal. That should give you relief from your gas, bloating and other digestive woes.

Lipase

Lipase supplements for weight loss may be useful, as lipase can help to increase the amount of fat that your body metabolizes.

Lactase

Some feel that lactose intolerance may lead to weight gain. Therefore, a lactase enzyme could offer beneficial results.

Pancreatic Enzymes

The pancreas is involved with the breakdown of sugars, starches and fats. These enzymes may therefore be used to improve metabolic efficiency.

Betaine HCL

The pancreas is involved with the breakdown of sugars, starches and fats. These enzymes may therefore be used to improve metabolic efficiency.

Bromelain

Bromelain weight loss supplements are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and they may help to reduce belly fat.

Are Digestive Enzyme Supplements Beneficial?

“Digestive enzyme” is an umbrella term that includes many types of enzymes, each with their unique function. If you are experiencing digestive issues, you will only benefit from a digestive enzyme supplement if it contains the enzyme or enzymes that are targeted for your specific condition.

The first step in considering whether or not you need a digestive enzyme and which type might benefit you is clarifying what is causing your symptoms. “It’s hard to identify intolerances like these yourself,” says Shira Hirshberg MS, RDN, LDN, registered dietitian and founder of All Foods Nutrition. “Meeting with a registered dietitian who specializes in gastrointestinal difficulties can help you identify whether enzyme products might be helpful.”

In addition to diet assessment, a variety of medical tests can be performed by a gastroenterologist to pinpoint the issue. For conditions where an over-the-counter enzyme is appropriate, a subset of enzymes has been clinically shown to improve symptoms in these associated conditions:

  • Lactase (B-B-galactosidase): lactose intolerance
  • Alpha-galactosidase: galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS) intolerance 
  • Xylose isomerase (glucose isomerase): dietary fructose intolerance 
  • Diamine oxidase (DAO): histamine intolerance 

A digestive enzyme supplement may be beneficial for the following individuals: 

  • Those with lactose intolerance: Lactose intolerance is when your body does not produce enough of the enzyme lactase needed to break down lactose, or the sugar naturally found in milk and milk products. Taking a lactase enzyme supplement can be helpful if you have lactose intolerance and want to eat lactose-containing foods.1
  • Those with dietary fructose intolerance (DFI): To improve fructose digestion, those with DFI can take an enzyme called xylose isomerase (aka glucose isomerase) when eating fructose-containing fruits, vegetables, and sweetened foods.2
  • Those with fiber-rich diets: If you regularly consume legumes (i.e., chickpeas, beans) or cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) and notice bloating afterward, you may be sensitive to certain types of fiber known as galacto-oligosaccharides (GOSs). Alpha-galactosidase is a supplemental enzyme derived from yeast that can break down GOS when taken with a meal.3
  • Those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): If you have IBS and have a sensitivity to FODMAP-rich foods, you may want to try a “cocktail” of FODMAP enzymes such as lactase, xylose isomerase, and alpha-galactosidase when you consume a FODMAP-rich meal. A very small amount of research also suggests that lipase supplementation, the fat-digesting enzyme, may also be of help in those with IBS.4
  • Those with active (untreated) small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO): If you have active SIBO, the bacteria in your small intestine can interact with FODMAPs and cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms including gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Low-FODMAP diets are often recommended until SIBO is treated, though short-term supplementation with individual digestive enzymes or a “cocktail” mix of multiple enzymes may help with the digestion of FODMAP-rich foods, such as lactose, fructose, or GOS.5
  • Those with histamine intolerance: The body relies on an enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO) to break down histamine, a naturally occurring substance found in certain foods such as aged cheese, canned fish, spinach, and eggplant. However, if you have a DAO deficiency or you take in more histamine than DAO can break down, you may experience a variety of digestive symptoms including diarrhea, bloating, skin reactions, and chest tightness. In some cases, delayed reactions can occur and may be worse during allergy season. Those with MAST cell activation syndrome (MCAS) or those on medications that block DAO are more likely to have histamine intolerance. In addition to histamine-blocking medications and dietary histamine avoidance, you may use supplemental DAO to help break down histamine in the body.6
  • Those with fat sensitivity: If your pancreas is working normally, but high-fat foods (e.g., greasy, oily, fried foods) consistently trigger digestive issues, it is unclear whether enzyme supplementation will improve symptoms. Limited research has shown that symptoms may improve if you supplement with lipase before a high-fat meal, though more data is needed to create standardized recommendations.78
  • Those with functional dyspepsia (FD): Functional dyspepsia is a condition where you have indigestion without a clear cause. While there is no enzyme deficiency with this condition, a small amount of research has shown a benefit of taking lipase before fat-rich meals.9
  • Those unable to restrict their diet: While the surest way to feel your best after a meal is to avoid the foods that are known to trigger your digestive symptoms, there are a variety of reasons why diet restriction is not possible. In these cases, an appropriately selected enzyme for your intolerance can offer a key tool for dietary freedom. 

For some people, a limited diet while eating out, traveling, or at social functions may be impractical or stressful, while for others long-term dietary restriction is not recommended. For example, those with food intolerances that are in recovery from an eating disorder may benefit from having a digestive aid instead of cutting foods out of their diet, or those that have strong cultural ties to certain foods can benefit from a supplement to help digest a food that is an important part of their diet

Who May Not Benefit from [Over-the-Counter] Digestive Enzymes

If you do not have digestive symptoms, an enzyme supplement is unlikely to provide a noticeable benefit. Although many products are marketed as improving digestion, there is no evidence for general health or for those who are symptom-free.

Some medical conditions require treatment beyond over-the-counter products. Additionally, certain digestive enzyme supplements may not be safe for:

  • Those with a genetic condition called galactosemia (avoid alpha-galactosidase)
  • Those who take diabetes medications, such as Precose (acarbose)
  • Those who are pregnant or lactating

Some conditions require prescription enzyme replacement therapy. “True enzyme replacement therapy is a prescription medication that is FDA approved and tested, and contains much higher doses of the requisite enzymes,” notes gastroenterologist Yevgenia Pashinsky, MD. If you have any of the following conditions, work with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment option: 

  • Pancreatic insufficiency: The pancreas makes key digestive enzymes—protease, amylase, and lipase. A condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency causes a deficiency in these enzymes, resulting in poor nutrient digestion, particularly of fat. Pancreatic insufficiency can also arise from cystic fibrosis, diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and pancreatic surgery, among other conditions. If you have pancreatic insufficiency, prescription pancreatic enzyme replacement is needed. 
  • Congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID): A known sucrase-isomaltase enzyme deficiency calls for a prescription-only enzyme called sacrosidase in order to adequately digest sucrose-containing meals. Temporary sucrase-isomaltase deficiency can also arise from conditions affecting the small intestine, such as untreated celiac disease or active Crohn’s disease. 

In addition, there is no evidence of digestive enzymes to help with the following: 

  • Sugar alcohol intolerance: There are currently no digestive enzymes with a proven ability to aid tolerance to sugar alcohols (i.e., ingredients ending in “ol” such as erythritol, xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol). If you experience digestive upset with these foods, an over-the-counter enzyme is unlikely to provide relief. 
  • Food allergies: If you have mild to severe reactions to foods that are related to a food allergy, a digestive enzyme supplement is not an effective treatment or preventative strategy. For example, a lactase enzyme supplement will not help with a milk allergy. Promptly consult your healthcare provider if you have symptoms such as swelling, difficulty breathing, itching, rashes, or blood pressure changes after eating certain foods. 
  • Celiac disease: The only treatment for celiac disease—an autoimmune condition that results in intestinal damage in response to gluten—is a lifelong gluten-free diet. Despite some product marketing claims, there is no digestive enzyme or supplement that makes gluten safe for consumption for people with celiac disease. Products containing dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP IV) or those marketed as “glutenase” are not proven aids for gluten consumption, nor for the treatment of symptoms related to gluten exposure, in people with celiac disease. 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Active IBD, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, necessitate medical treatment and specific dietary therapies. Digestive enzymes are not indicated for IBD management. However, in some cases, temporary lactose sensitivity is associated with active IBD and may be helped by lactase enzymes if consuming lactose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Like
Close
TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.
Close