Digestive Enzymes

Origin: United States, Japan

Digestive enzymes are a group of proteins that act as biological catalysts to break up & digest other proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. They are found in humans, plants, animals, and fungi. In the human body, they’re naturally produced in the gastrointestinal tract and used to break down food. Many people today suffer from some degree of relative enzyme deficiency, which can lead to a range of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms -- including bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. Enzyme production can also decline with age, resulting in gradually increasing deficiencies that can prevent you from getting the most out of your food. We chose two specific digestive enzymes, lactase and alpha-galactosidase, to include in Daily Digestive Essentials, intended to help supplement and fortify your enzyme supply to help you get the most out of every meal.

Lactase Alpha-Galactosidase

Lactase is a naturally produced enzyme specialized in the breakdown and digestion of lactose - a milk sugar present in dairy products. It’s one of the more “well-known” enzymes because so many adults are deficient in its production, making them lactose intolerant (or unable to properly digest dairy products). Lactose intolerance is often oversimplified as a yes-or-no disorder (you have it or you don’t) when in reality our ability to digest lactose lies on a spectrum -- and peoples’ tolerance to different amounts of milk sugar can differ widely. Many people today suffer from minor lactase deficiencies and don’t know it! These individuals can experience varying levels of abdominal pain, bloating, and gas following the consumption of dairy. Because lactose has been shown to be so difficult to digest, lactase supplementation shows tremendous potential to help improve digestion as a whole, particularly following the consumption of milk sugar as present in milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream and other foods.

Alpha-galactosidase is a natural enzyme specialized in the breakdown of complex sugars. It targets many of the complex carbohydrates found in high fiber foods such as plants and vegetables, and is therefore particularly important for people with plant-based or high fiber diets. If you’re like us - salad-obsessed and vegetable-loving - this one’s for you.

Benefits

  • Reduce bloating & flatulence
  • Better nutrient breakdown
  • Improve digestion

Science First

  1. “National institutes of health consensus development conference: lactose intolerance and health.”

    - Annals of Internal Medicine, 2010.

  2. “Effect of a single dose of lactase on symptoms and expired hydrogen after lactose challenge in lactose-intolerant subjects.”

    - The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1992

  3. “The effect of oral alpha-galactosidase on intestinal gas production and gas-related symptoms.”

    - Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 2007

  4. “All lactase preparations are not the same: results of a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.”

    - The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 1994

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