1-2 per meal
In today’s world, where we chew quickly and eat fast, many find the need for digestive support. Inadequate digestive enzymes – amylase, lactase, lipase, cellulase, and neutral protease – can have an impact on digestive function, leading to occasional bloating, flatulence, or gastrointestinal discomfort. These digestive enzymes help the body digest high-fat or high-starch meals. Each enzyme in our ACTION Enzymes has a role to play that ultimately can help the body better absorb nutrients from food and supplements. This product can also help alleviate bloating, fullness, or discomfort associated with occasional indigestion and gas.
These microbial derived digestive enzymes (amylase, lactase, lipase, cellulase, and neutral protease) are formulated to be more pH-stable, working over a broader pH range in the intestinal tract than their animal-derived counterparts.
Inadequate digestive enzymes—amylase, lactase, lipase, cellulase, and neutral protease—can have an impact on digestive function, leading to occasional bloating, flatulence, or gastrointestinal discomfort. Each enzyme in ACTION Enzymes has a specific role to play that ultimately can help the body better absorb nutrients from food and supplements.
Enzymes help facilitate biochemical reactions in our bodies. They aid in everything from breathing to digestion. Having too little or too much of a certain enzyme can lead to health problems. Some people with chronic conditions may need to take enzyme supplements to help their bodies work as they should.
Enzymes are required for proper digestive system function.
While there are many different types of digestive enzymes, there are three main types produced in the pancreas, an organ that does a lot of the working during digestion. These digestive enzymes are categorized based on the reactions they help catalyze:
- Amylase breaks down starches and carbohydrates into sugars.
- Protease breaks down proteins into amino acids.
- Lipase breaks down lipids, which are fats and oils, into glycerol and fatty acids.
- Cellulase breaks down cellulose, an insoluble fiber source. Cellulose is common in fruits, vegetables and grains.
Amylase is produced mostly in the pancreas, but also in the salivary glands and small intestine. One type of amylase, called ptyalin, is made in the salivary glands and starts to act on starches while food is still in your mouth. It remains active even after you swallow.
Amylase will digest a large variety of starches such as those from:
Pancreatic amylase is made in the pancreas and delivered to the small intestine. Here it continues to break down starch molecules into sugars, which are ultimately digested into glucose by other enzymes. This is then absorbed into the body’s blood circulation through the wall of the small intestine.
When undigested starch moves deep into the intestinal tract, digestive issues may arise. Starch stimulates many types of bacteria and yeast that can overgrow in the small intestine (frequently referred to as SIBO).
Protease is produced in the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. Most of the chemical reactions occur in the stomach and small intestine. In the stomach, pepsin is the main digestive enzyme attacking proteins. Several other pancreatic enzymes go to work when protein molecules reach the small intestine.
A neutral protease is the third proteolytic enzyme that completes the protein digesting group for our ACTION enzymes. It is derived from Aspergillus oryzae (also known as koji which is used in the production of sake). This protease functions optimally in a pH range around neutral (6.5-8.0).
Protein digestion is therefore enhanced by this enzyme in the small intestine because it operates at a similar pH range to the small intestinal environment.
Many enzyme supplements contain acid protease enzymes which function primarily in the stomach at a pH below 3.0.
Lipase is produced in the pancreas and small intestine. A type of lipase is also found in breast milk to help a baby more easily digest fat molecules when nursing. Lipids play many roles, including long-term energy storage and supporting cellular health.
Lipase digests fats and oils that interfere with the activity of other enzymes.
When fats and oils form a film around nutrients such as starches and proteins, which commonly happens in the stomach, the digestion rate of these nutrients decreases. Especially once they reach the duodenum if there is any shortage of pancreatic lipase.
Try to visualize a protease enzyme like bromelain trying to digest a piece of pork chop that is covered with fat. Fat from the pork, fat from butter, fat from cooking oil, and fat from all the other fatty foods in the meal.
With all that fat, it becomes difficult for bromelain to break down fat coated pork proteins. On a molecular level, fat blocks bromelain’s active site and reduces its activity.
This layer of fat prevents bromelain from breaking down protein and this interference can be easily demonstrated in the lab. Add bromelain to some ground meat and water in a beaker and measure its rate of digestion.
Now repeat the test but add a few grams of butter to a second beaker containing the same amount of meat and bromelain. The rate of protein digestion will be slower in the beaker containing the butter.
Lipase is the enzyme that directly digests fats and oils and converts these triglycerides to fatty acids and glycerol that are then utilized for energy and metabolism. Problems arise when fats are not effectively digested Blood triglycerides go up, intestinal problems develop, and fat appears in the stools. As we age it’s common for all digestive enzymes to decrease by 1-2% per year and lipase is no exception.
Therefore, it makes sense to add high lipase activity to a multi-enzyme supplement. Lipase is one of the more expensive digestive enzymes to produce so most supplement manufacturers neglect to add it at efficacious levels.
Cellulase digests cellulose, an insoluble fiber source. Cellulose is common in fruits, vegetables and grains.
Cellulose, like starch, is a polymer of glucose molecules. These carbohydrate molecules are bonded together differently in cellulose and therefore require a different enzyme to split them – cellulase instead of alpha-amylase. The end result of digesting starch and cellulose is the same: glucose.
The human body does not produce the enzyme cellulase. Therefore, virtually no digestion of cellulose occurs unless you ingest a dietary supplement containing this enzyme.
Most multi-enzyme supplements do not contain cellulase. Those that do often contain a low, essentially nonfunctional, activity level. We include cellulase because it releases prebiotics nutrition from complex fiber matrices present in whole foods.
HOW TO TAKE YOUR ENZYMES
For the best results and the least risk of experiencing side effects, take digestive enzymes about 10 minutes before each meal or with your first bite of food. Protease supplements can be taken in between meals in addition to digestive enzymes with meals. Start by taking a low dose of enzymes, such as having them with one or two meals per day and increasing/adjusting your dosage as needed depending on your reaction.
Take digestive enzymes separately from calcium- or magnesium-containing antacids, since taking these together might reduce their effectiveness.
Free of the following common allergens: milk/casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, and peanuts. Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Amount per capsule
Digestive Blend 50mg
Amylase 1,200 SKB
Neutral Protease 300PC
Lactase 200 ALU
Microcrystalline cellulose and vegetarian capsule (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, water).