Without digestive enzymes, your body cannot break down food properly, which can trigger a range of digestive disorders.
“When I was younger, I could eat whatever I liked; but these days, all I get is indigestion or wind – or both!” Does this sound like you? And why does it happen? Research shows that the body’s production of digestive enzymes declines substantially from the age of 27 onwards, which explains the unpleasant digestive symptoms. However, it’s not just gut health that is compromised – impaired digestive function will also impact the body’s immune, nervous and hormonal systems.
The greater the reserves of digestive enzymes in your body, the stronger your immune system will be. Enzyme activity is needed not only during digestion, but in relation to all increases in metabolic activity, including fighting acute and chronic illness.
Support heart health
The digestive enzyme lipase helps to control the release of cholesterol and triglycerides, which in turn has a protective effect against some forms of heart disease, such as atherosclerosis.
Boost brain power
The body’s red blood cells transport oxygen, along with glucose from the liver, to the hypothalamus; this is the part of the brain that directs the endocrine system, which is responsible for the body’s water balance, temperature and appetite. If the endocrine and digestive systems are impaired, we feel fatigued and cannot think clearly.
Cleanse the colon
Food that is not digested properly remains in the colon – undigested protein putrefies, carbohydrates ferment and fats turn rancid. Digestive enzymes ensure that food is properly broken down and the colon is therefore kept free from this potentially toxic waste.
An undernourished endocrine system can trigger hormonal imbalances, which upset the nervous system and sleep patterns. Digestive enzymes, on the other hand, keep the endocrine and nervous systems in balance so the body can restore and renew itself during sleep.
Promote weight loss
Being overweight is often due to a metabolic imbalance caused by a malfunctioning endocrine system. Digestive enzymes support endocrine, digestive and bowel function and help to correct nutritional deficiencies; in particular, the enzyme lipase breaks down fats properly so they are not stored in the body.
Improve skin health
Enzymes also fight the ageing process by increasing blood supply to the skin, supplying it with vital nutrients and flushing out waste products that give skin a dull appearance. The body’s circulation slows with age, and consuming enzymes helps to counter this.
Some researchers estimate that up to 70 per cent of illness starts with poor colon function.
What you need to know
Enzymes are not ‘magic bullets’. However, they do support your body’s ability to completely digest food, which means that different people will experience different effects when they take them. For example, some people may notice a dramatic improvement in their energy levels; others may experience a reduction in specific symptoms, such as bloating or constipation, as well as the easing of long-term chronic conditions – it depends on the underlying deficiency.