As an athlete I consume quite a bit of food each day to support my aesthetic and performance goals. I typically have to rely on aids that help keep my digestive system performing at its best; otherwise, I may not be absorbing all the nutrients I need to remain healthy and strong. I have a lactase deficiency, which causes extreme pain when I consume any type of dairy product. The lactose is not properly broken down, so I started implementing AMPD Nutrition’s Digestive Enzymes into my daily routine, and it has made a huge difference in such a short amount of time. As nutritional habits have been dramatically changing, food is becoming a lot more difficult to break down and absorb, especially as we age. Supplementing with digestive enzymes has shown to have great benefits in, not only the digestive system, but also our overall health.
What are Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes play a vital role within a healthy digestive system. They aid in the breakdown of the foods we ingest daily and ensure that they are absorbed and transported throughout the body where they are utilized for our overall health and function. These enzymes work to speed up chemical reactions that naturally break the food particles into smaller molecules that can easily be absorbed by the small intestine. Our body has several different organs that are stimulated by either the ingested food or other enzymes to secrete target digestive enzymes. The digestion process begins in the mouth where the salivary glands start to secrete enzymes that break down carbohydrates. As the food makes its way past the stomach and into the sterile small intestine, the pancreas secretes and transports digestive enzymes that help break down proteins, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. The liver is also another active organ that aids in the secretion of digestive enzymes. Once the enzymes have split and broken down the food into tiny particles or molecules, they are easily and readily absorbed through the small intestine. The molecules all serve a specific purpose making it to their destination to help the body function properly.
While digestive enzymes naturally occur within the body, some people’s bodies do not make enough of their own and require supplementation. Having a deficiency in the production of digestive enzymes can negatively interfere with the digestive process and cause quite a bit of discomfort and nutrient deficiency as the molecules are not being absorbed properly, along with causing gas and bloating. Some deficiencies can even go so far as to cause conditions such as lactose intolerance, which is a low secretion amount of the digestive enzyme lactase. Lactase breaks down the natural sugar in milk and dairy products. It eventually travels down to the colon and combines with the bacteria that resides there causing extreme discomfort and pain.
As our bodies age, we naturally start to decrease the production of our own digestive enzymes, so supplementation is recommended to increase the absorption of the nutrients ingested. AMPD Nutrition has formulated their own amazing product to help increase the digestive process and ensure that we are properly absorbing all of the food we consume while also reducing bloating and gas.
Health Benefits of Digestive Enzymes
- Aid in healthy digestion
- Enhances immunity
- Balances bacteria
- Reduce gas and bloating
- Known to increase muscle recovery and tissue damage
- Reduce pain
Functions of Digestive Enzymes:
Amylase is a class of enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of carbohydrates such as starch into smaller molecules, or better known as sugars, such as glucose and maltose. Amylase is made in two different places in the body. The first is in the salivary glands located in the mouth where the digestion process begins. Once food is consumed, the salivary glands will then use the body’s saliva to break down carbohydrates such as potatoes and rice, which releases maltose creating a sweet taste in return. The pancreas is the second place the human body makes amylase. Pancreatic amylase travels through a duct located within the pancreas to make its final destination to the small intestine. Pancreatic amylase finishes the digestion of carbohydrates and releases glucose. Glucose is then carried throughout the body within blood to help regulate blood sugar levels.
Protese is a proteolytic enzyme that helps break down and digest protein molecules that have been consumed. Proteolytic enzymes also aid in many other functions throughout the body such as cell division, blood clotting, immune function, and protein recycling. There have also been studies that have shown they help reduce inflammation and symptoms related to inflammatory conditions. This enzyme also aids in muscle recovery and promotes healing of the body’s tissues. It is especially essential for athletes and athletic injuries as it can increase healing time. Protease is secreted within the pancreas and transported the pancreatic duct into the small intestine.
Lactase is produced in the lining of the small intestine and aids in the breakdown of the sugar lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products. Lactase splits lactose into small molecules known as glucose and galactose so they are easily digested. Many people have a low amount of lactase enzymes causing the body to have a hard time breaking down lactose, which in turn causes an intolerance and decrease in calcium consumption.
Lipase is the digestive enzyme that breaks down free fatty acids and glycerol. There are many different types of lipases, hepatic lipase which is located within the liver, hormone sensitive lipases within adipocytes, lipoprotein located in the vascular endothelial surface, and pancreatic lipase in the small intestine. Lipase secreted by the pancreas aids in fat digestion and plays a vital role in lipid transportation.
Beta glucanase is part of a group of carbohydrate enzymes that break down glycosidic bonds within beta-glucan. Beta-glucans act as intestinal fiber which helps reduce high cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar. Beta-glucan makes up a large portion of the cell wall of many forms of fungal organisms such as candida and candida biofilm, which is found in the digestive system. Beta glucanase greatly reduces indigestion, bloating, abdominal discomfort, and gas which eases the digestion of heavier cereal grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. It benefits those who are suffering from candida overgrowth by breaking down the coating or biofilm on their cell walls.
Invertase is a digestive enzyme that separates sucrose, a compound which is the chief component of cane or beet sugar, into fructose and glucose. It easily helps the digestive system break down and digest sugars. It can be found in yeast sources or pollen and has been known to slow down the aging process within the human body. As we get older, we start to produce less of this enzyme which can negatively affect the absorption of carbohydrates.
Cellulase is an enzyme that breaks down the cellulose plant fibers we eat into beta glucose and short chain polysaccharides. It is made from several different complex enzymes that work together to aid animals to hydrolyze, or break down, cellulose into simple sugar beta glucose. The process is known as cellulolysis. Cellulase also helps fruits and vegetables release antioxidant compounds and help break down harmful microbial biofilms.
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