Why Enzymes Are Important for Digestion - Probiotics
Green salad in bowl with chickpeas

Why Enzymes Are Important for Digestion

Enzymes are biologically active proteins that play a key role in every single function that occurs in the human body. They’re also essential for digesting the food you eat and for the absorption of nutrients. Here is why enzymes are important in general, and especially important for digestion.

Here is Why Enzymes Are Important for Digestion

These amazing proteins are produced by all living organisms – not just humans – and, like all proteins, they consist of amino acids. What makes enzymes different from other proteins is how they behave in the body. Enzymes are catalysts that make many essential biochemical reactions happen quickly and efficiently without being used up or chemically altered in the process. Enzymes work so quickly that they can catalyze up to several million reactions every second. But enzymes are highly specific in the job they do. Just as you wouldn’t hire a plumber to fix a flat tire on your car, each enzyme is designed to do one specific job and nothing else. Having the right enzyme is like having the right key to open a specific lock. And like a key, each enzyme can “unlock” that lock over and over again until the enzyme eventually wears out.

When we are young, our body creates all of the enzymes it needs for healthy and complete digestion. But as we age, this production begins to slow down. Over time, we can find ourselves deficient in the critical enzymes needed for good digestion or to maintain the proper functioning of our vital organs.

Time to Replenish Your Enzymes

In a perfect world, we would be able to replenish the enzymes we need through the foods we eat. Raw foods – especially organically grown – are literally bursting with enzymes when they are plucked from the field. But when a food has been heated to 118 degrees or more, the enzymes it contains are destroyed. This means that every processed, canned, or cooked food that passes your lips does not contain any enzymes. Fortunately, you can fortify your body’s supply with a variety of supplemental enzymes.

Taking digestive enzymes with each meal ensures that the digestive tract has sufficient enzyme levels to process the foods we eat. Since we rarely eat foods that contain only dairy, only protein or fat or carbohydrates, it’s wise to choose a supplement that contains a blend of enzymes to support complete digestion. The enzymes amylase, lactase, and protease are critical to digesting certain macronutrients.

  • Protease is a proteolytic enzyme that breaks apart protein.
  • Lipase processes fat
  • Amylase digests carbohydrates
  • Lactase is needed to digest the milk sugar in dairy products

Taking enzyme supplements daily is one of the simplest and most effective ways to help transform your digestive health and well-being.*


This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.




How do probiotics support the immune system?

Numerous studies have demonstrated that probiotics supplements that include strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, can help support the immune system and reduce the risk of infections, such as respiratory infections (cold, flu) and ear infections. There are several ways in which probiotics do this. They enhance the innate immune system and modulate inflammation; they compete with and block harmful bacteria from adhering to the cells in the digestive tract; they enhance the gut barrier and they stimulate the protective immune responses from the gut. There is also evidence that Lactobacillus probiotics may enhance the protective effects of vaccination against influenza, basically boosting the efficacy of the flu shot.


What can probiotics do for your health?

Your gut comprises about 70% of your immune system and is critical for brain function, to balance body chemistry, and for converting nutrients into a usable form the body can absorb. When your microflora (gut bacteria) is imbalanced, your health suffers. Probiotics are important for replenishing and restoring microfloral balance. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are believed to be good for overall health, and specifically for digestive health. To help alleviate the symptoms and conditions that harmful bacteria can cause, we need to maintain our beneficial bacteria. Known as ‘friendly’ or beneficial bacteria, probiotics produce a variety of compounds, including natural lactic acids that help to inhibit the growth of the harmful bacteria, thereby preventing them from gaining a foothold and causing illness. Probiotics can be found naturally in some foods, in fermented drinks, and in supplements.