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20% OFF & FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS $50+
WITH CODE 23FALL. ENDS 11.2.23

Enzymes 101

Everything you need to know about enzymes and how they can help support your digestive health*

Enzymes 101

Everything you need to know about enzymes and how they can help support your digestive health*

What are Digestive Enzymes?

Enzymes are protein molecules your body makes that play important roles in many bodily functions including digestion, breathing, kidney and liver function, reproduction and more.

Digestive enzymes speed up chemical reactions that help break down the food you eat into nutrients your body can absorb and use. Several places in the digestive system secrete enzymes, including the mouth, stomach, pancreas and cells of the small intestine—even your gut bacteria secrete digestive enzymes.

You need a variety of enzymes to support the digestion of a wide range of foods throughout different parts of your digestive tract. Examples of digestive enzymes include amylase, which helps break down carbohydrates and starches; lipase, which helps break down fats; and protease, which helps break down proteins.

What are Digestive Enzymes?

Enzymes are protein molecules your body makes that play important roles in many bodily functions including digestion, breathing, kidney and liver function, reproduction and more.

Digestive enzymes speed up chemical reactions that help break down the food you eat into nutrients your body can absorb and use. Several places in the digestive system secrete enzymes, including the mouth, stomach, pancreas and cells of the small intestine—even your gut bacteria secrete digestive enzymes.

You need a variety of enzymes to support the digestion of a wide range of foods throughout different parts of your digestive tract. Examples of digestive enzymes include amylase, which helps break down carbohydrates and starches; lipase, which helps break down fats; and protease, which helps break down proteins.

If my body makes enzymes, why would I need to take an enzyme supplement?

Some foods, including many fruits and vegetables in their raw, natural state contain enzymes that can help with digestion. However, we often don't reap the benefits of these natural enzymes because they are destroyed through cooking and processing.

In the past, humans consumed plenty of raw foods to help re-supply the digestive tract with beneficial enzymes, but today many of the foods we eat are cooked or processed—both of which deplete natural enzymes. What’s more, because even the raw foods we eat are typically transported and refrigerated, their natural enzyme content may be lowered. When you eat foods that lack enzymes, your digestive system has to work harder to break down and absorb their nutrients. This may result in occasional gas, bloating or indigestion.

There are also several digestive enzymes the human body can’t make. These include cellulase and phytase, the enzymes needed to break down cellulose (plant fiber) and the phytic acid found in beans and legumes. Because our bodies don’t make these enzymes, many people have trouble breaking down starchy beans, legumes and nuts to absorb their beneficial nutrients.

In addition, as we age, our bodies may produce fewer digestive enzymes, making it difficult to break down food and absorb nutrients. Over time, our bodies produce less protease, lipase and amylase, which means digestion of protein, fats and carbohydrates may be impaired as we get older. As a result, some people may experience occasional digestive discomfort after eating a meal or when they eat a specific type of food, such as dairy products.

Supplemental digestive enzymes can help support efficient digestion and keep your digestive system feeling comfortable, which means you can enjoy eating the foods you love.

Enzymes also help with nutrient absorption. By helping to break apart the bonds that hold nutrients from food together in the digestive tract, enzymes help make these nutrients available for the body to use for energy and other important functions.

Ready to enjoy more comfortable digestion?

papaya
papaya

If my body makes enzymes, why would I need to take an enzyme supplement?

Some foods, including many fruits and vegetables in their raw, natural state contain enzymes that can help with digestion. However, we often don't reap the benefits of these natural enzymes because they are destroyed through cooking and processing.

In the past, humans consumed plenty of raw foods to help re-supply the digestive tract with beneficial enzymes, but today many of the foods we eat are cooked or processed—both of which deplete natural enzymes. What’s more, because even the raw foods we eat are typically transported and refrigerated, their natural enzyme content may be lowered. When you eat foods that lack enzymes, your digestive system has to work harder to break down and absorb their nutrients. This may result in occasional gas, bloating or indigestion.

There are also several digestive enzymes the human body can’t make. These include cellulase and phytase, the enzymes needed to break down cellulose (plant fiber) and the phytic acid found in beans and legumes. Because our bodies don’t make these enzymes, many people have trouble breaking down starchy beans, legumes and nuts to absorb their beneficial nutrients.

In addition, as we age, our bodies may produce fewer digestive enzymes, making it difficult to break down food and absorb nutrients. Over time, our bodies produce less protease, lipase and amylase, which means digestion of protein, fats and carbohydrates may be impaired as we get older. As a result, some people may experience occasional digestive discomfort after eating a meal or when they eat a specific type of food, such as dairy products.

Supplemental digestive enzymes can help support efficient digestion and keep your digestive system feeling comfortable, which means you can enjoy eating the foods you love.

Enzymes also help with nutrient absorption. By helping to break apart the bonds that hold nutrients from food together in the digestive tract, enzymes help make these nutrients available for the body to use for energy and other important functions.

Ready to enjoy more comfortable digestion?

Digestive enzymes vs. probiotics

One of the reasons you might take a daily probiotic supplement is to help support your digestion, but what about those times when you experience occasional bloating or indigestion after eating? Taking digestive enzymes with your meals may help provide relief.

You may not realize it, but enzymes work differently than probiotics. Enzymes are protein molecules that support the digestive process by working to break down the foods we eat more completely.

Probiotics are live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host (that’s you!).

Taken together, probiotic supplements and digestive enzymes help support a balanced, efficient digestive system so you can stay healthy and feel your best.

Enzymes vs. Probiotics

Digestive enzymes vs. probiotics

One of the reasons you might take a daily probiotic supplement is to help support your digestion, but what about those times when you experience occasional bloating or indigestion after eating? Taking digestive enzymes with your meals may help provide relief.

You may not realize it, but enzymes work differently than probiotics. Enzymes are protein molecules that support the digestive process by working to break down the foods we eat more completely.

Probiotics are live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host (that’s you!).

Taken together, probiotic supplements and digestive enzymes help support a balanced, efficient digestive system so you can stay healthy and feel your best.

Enzymes vs. Probiotics

When should I take enzymes?

pizza

You can take digestive enzymes daily, but they’re especially helpful when taken before or with hard-to-digest meals. They can also be good to have on hand when you travel or any time your diet changes.

Aim to take enzymes before or with your meals to support the digestive process and help break down the foods you eat more completely. It’s best to take them before you eat, so they have enough time to get to your small intestine (where the majority of digestion occurs). If you forget to take your enzymes before you eat, don’t worry, you can still take them after your meal and reap most of the benefits. One of the reasons you might take a daily probiotic supplement is to help support your digestion, but what about those times when you experience occasional bloating or indigestion after eating? Taking digestive enzymes with your meals may help provide relief.


Which enzyme supplement is right for me?

When it comes to choosing the right enzyme supplement, consider your unique needs. A broad-spectrum formula may be best for complete everyday support, or you can opt for a targeted formula to address specific issues such as occasional gas or bloating. You could also select a digestive enzyme formula made specifically to help support digestion of certain foods such as fats and proteins.

Renew Life plant-based digestive enzyme supplements are formulated to enhance digestion and nutrient absorption, and provide relief from occasional gas, bloating and indigestion, so you can enjoy the foods you love while supporting your gut health.*

When should I take enzymes?

You can take digestive enzymes daily, but they’re especially helpful when taken before or with hard-to-digest meals. They can also be good to have on hand when you travel or any time your diet changes.

Aim to take enzymes before or with your meals to support the digestive process and help break down the foods you eat more completely. It’s best to take them before you eat, so they have enough time to get to your small intestine (where the majority of digestion occurs). If you forget to take your enzymes before you eat, don’t worry, you can still take them after your meal and reap most of the benefits. One of the reasons you might take a daily probiotic supplement is to help support your digestion, but what about those times when you experience occasional bloating or indigestion after eating? Taking digestive enzymes with your meals may help provide relief.

pizza

Which enzyme supplement is right for me?

When it comes to choosing the right enzyme supplement, consider your unique needs. A broad-spectrum formula may be best for complete everyday support, or you can opt for a targeted formula to address specific issues such as occasional gas or bloating. You could also select a digestive enzyme formula made specifically to help support digestion of certain foods such as fats and proteins.

Renew Life plant-based digestive enzyme supplements are formulated to enhance digestion and nutrient absorption, and provide relief from occasional gas, bloating and indigestion, so you can enjoy the foods you love while supporting your gut health.*

Shop Enzymes

Shop Enzymes