Can Digestive Enzymes Help With Weight Loss?

Digestive enzymes are naturally occurring proteins that can help regulate your body’s chemical reactions that are key in the digestion of food. These helpful enzymes ensure that the food you eat is broken down into small enough sizes to be carried into the bloodstream.

When it comes to weight loss, digestive enzymes are an important piece of the puzzle to consider. After all, it’s only with proper digestion that your body can effectively use the good nutrients it needs to stay happy and healthy.

What Are Digestive Enzymes

These enzymes are proteins that help break down your food into a manageable size for distribution around your body.

As noted by Medical News Today, there are many organs that can produce these enzymes. The pancreas, salivary glands, and stomach are a few. Other organs that produce them include the small intestine and liver.

Of course, there are supplements for digestive enzymes. Those who may not be producing enough or who would like to supplement their current supply of digestive enzymes may want to look into these supplements.

Supplements are often made from microbes, plants, and animals.

Are Digestive Enzymes The Same As Probiotics?

Something to note is that enzymes, unlike probiotics, are not alive. Though they are technically organic and made by living things, enzymes can’t reproduce.

Additionally, enzymes aren’t necessarily always active in the foods we eat.

Though eating raw fruits and veggies can bring a certain amount of digestive enzymes into our diets, cooking or freezing our food can make them inactive.

Though each type of enzyme is different, it’s thought that enzymes become inactive once the temperature reaches 140 degrees.

The Digestive System

Nutrients are delivered around your body through blood vessels. In order of this to happen, the food must be successfully digested.

When it comes to this digestion, there are several ways the body deals with different kinds of compounds.

Though you might think that the digestive system’s process starts in the stomach, it actually starts the moment you put your food in your mouth.

Not only is chewing an important part of the digestive process, but saliva helps break down your food right away. This is why the salivary glands are just one location in which digestive enzymes are created.

Digestive_System_Diagram

Once your food reaches your stomach and small intestines, the digestive process begins to diversify. Any fatty foods are digested by bile that’s made by the liver. This bile is brought to the small intestine via the gall bladder.

Proteins get digested via your stomach acid. Carbs, proteins, and fats are even more digested by enzymes that are made in the pancreas, otherwise known as pancreatic enzymes.

The cell lining of the small intestines also creates enzymes. These enzymes are crucial for the digestion of grains, veggies, and fruits so that they can get inside our bodies.

How Do Enzymes Work? 

Enzymes are considered to be protein “catalysts”. These catalysts help increase the rate of a reaction within the body.

Each and every chemical reaction – such as digestion – within your body is caused via the help of enzymes.

The enzyme protein helps work with chemical reactions without being damaged.

With more enzymes, there is a shorter amount of time in which a chemical reaction takes place.

Therefore, the more enzymes, the faster the rate of a chemical reaction such as digestion.

Digestive Enzymes In Your Diet

natural digestive enzymes

It’s important to consider the places in your natural dietary routine that may increase the levels of enzymes in your body.

There are several foods which can help bring more digestive enzymes into your system.

If you are eating a balanced diet, or are focusing on bringing more fruits and veggies into your regular eating habits, you may already be bringing enzymes into your diet regularly.

So what foods contain these helpful enzymes? Many of them are in the fruit and vegetable families.

Foods such as pineapple, avocados, mangos and papayas are at the top of this list. Others, like kimchi, sauerkraut and ginger are more great ways to get more digestive enzymes into your diet.

Why Use Digestive Enzymes?

Digestive enzymes are important for several reasons, but number one among them is the health of your gut.

Ensuring gut health is absolutely key for the proper digestion of your food.  Therefore supporting any weight loss efforts.

If you don’t have a healthy gut, it’s easier for your body to become unbalanced in a way that may be the impetus for health problems.

Whether they appear to be related or not, these health problems are simply part of a chain reaction that is set off by poor gut health.

Good gut health, however, is something that will not only positively affect your digestive system, but can greatly impact your overall health.

With a healthy gut microbiome, you’re less likely to get sick. Additionally, your body’s most important systems – such as the cardiovascular system – will be more supported.

Digestive Enzymes For Health

Because of their importance to gut health – and therefore overall health – digestive enzymes can help positively affect different health issues.

While many of them are digestion related, there are actually several conditions that may be improved with the regular use of digestive enzyme supplements.

These conditions include such things as PMS, anxiety, and autoimmune issues. Other conditions of note are stress, IBS, diarrhea, food sensitivities, and chronic pain.

Types Of Digestive Enzyme

Not all digestive enzymes are the same, of course. As they can be made in different locations in the body. Some digestive enzymes can do different things.

The main three groups of digestive enzyme include:

1. Proteases and Peptidases

These kinds of digestive enzyme help split proteins down into amino acids and small peptide.

2. Lipases

These kinds of digestive enzyme help break fat down into fatty acids and a molecule of glycerol.

3. Amylases

These kinds of digestive enzyme help break down carbs into simple sugars.

Digestive Enzymes And Weight Loss

digestive enzymes

Of course, another health issue that can be positively affected with the use of digestive enzymes is weight loss.

Research shows, the more enzymes in the body, the faster a chemical reaction such as digestion can take place. Therefore, taking digestive enzyme supplements and having a plentiful diet of fruits and veggies can help improve your body’s weight loss efficiency.

If your diet doesn’t have enough digestive enzymes, you may become constipated. Frequent and chronic constipation can “back you up” – in other words, your digestive system will not be working regularly.

You’ll often feel bloated, gassy, or just plain sluggish. When you’re feeling this way, it’s hard for your body to have the energy to help move your weight loss efforts along.

While digestive enzymes won’t necessarily directly contribute to weight loss, keeping your system regular is important for long term weight loss.

Lack of complete digestion is thought to be one of the main causes of weight gain; therefore, counteracting the potential for this is a solid way to prevent weight gain.

Irregular Digestive System Issues

An irregular digestive system is one that can cause fecal matter to build up. Effectively adding to your overall weight as well as slowing you down overall.

This is more than just uncomfortable. In fact, it might lead to other health issues down the road. For example, acid reflux disease and IBS can be caused by digestive issues.

If you don’t have the right digestive enzymes – or the right amount of them – in your body, you won’t be able to have proper digestion.

Therefore, the nutrients that your food provides won’t be carried around your body.

Even if you’re focused on eating right and getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your everyday diet, your body won’t be able to absorb them.

The food you eat won’t be properly digested. This means your body won’t be able to break it down into small enough parts to move through your bloodstream.

Again, poor diet is one of the leading factors of weight gain. If you’re overweight and continue to eat sugary foods, you may have low energy and will have a slower metabolism overall.

This is, unfortunately, a difficult cycle to get out of. However, with conscious decisions about nutrient rich, healthy foods and the use of digestive enzymes – whether through supplement or diet – it is possible to help not only jump start but speed up the process of weight loss.

Bringing Nutrients To The Body

One of the main positives to bringing more digestive enzymes into your body is that they help with the breaking down of necessary nutrients for your body’s function.

Of course, this will happen regardless of the kind of food you eat. If you’re eating a more balanced diet of fruits, veggies, good carbs and proteins, you’ll receive more of these nutrients in your bloodstream and therefore around your entire body.

If your eating habits are poor, the increased digestion may increase your potential for weight gain.

Diet is very important both for the function of the digestive enzymes and for your overall weight loss. If you have many unhealthy foods in your diet, such as sugary sweets, you won’t be bringing many nutrients to your body.

However, if your diet is good and you put a limit on the amount of unhealthy foods in your diet, you’ll find an even greater benefit from the nutrients your body is gaining.

In Conclusion

Digestive enzymes are both naturally occurring and can be found in supplement forms. They’re very important to the digestive process, and are key in helping bring necessary nutrients to your body.

These enzymes are proteins that are made by several different parts of the body. The enzymes are the catalyst for chemical reactions – and the human body runs on these chemical reactions. The chemical reaction that promotes digestion is caused by these enzymes.

There are three different main groups of enzymes, including proteases, lipase, and amylases.

Each group of digestive enzyme helps digest something different. A simple way to remember this is that proteases digest proteins, lipase digest fat, and amylases digest carbs.

What About Digestive Enzymes And Weight Loss?

When it comes to weight loss, digestive enzymes can definitely help speed up the process. Diet is absolutely key in this regard. Whether or not you’re eating healthy foods, digestive enzymes work to break up your meals into small enough pieces that they can be carried through your bloodstream and delivered around your body.

Because of this, if you make sure to eat a balanced diet, digestive enzymes can help ensure that your body gets the nutrients that it needs.

By introducing more digestive enzymes to your diet, whether through supplement or raw fruits and veggies, you may be able to help boost the process of your weight loss.

The more digestive enzymes in the body, the more chemical reactions that can happen. Additionally, these chemical reactions will happen at a faster rate with a higher number of digestive enzymes.

Though taking digestive enzymes in and of themselves will not directly affect your weight loss journey, it’s true that they can help with weight loss in the long run.

By having a balanced diet and bringing more digestive enzymes into your daily routine, it’s possible to help your body absorb the nutrients it needs to help maintain your metabolism and speed up your weight loss process.

Can Digestive Enzymes Help With Weight Loss?
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Joao Vasconcelos

Joao is a health and fitness enthusiast and creator of one of the leading fitness blogs in Brazil. With a unique focus on weight loss, Joao is an advocate of functional fitness training and has his own line of natural weight loss juices.

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