How Do Digestive Enzymes Work?

A great question that’s difficult… Yet this will be easy to understand!

The human body is a complex machine on the inside. I like to use the term “chemical computer” because that’s exactly what it is.

You have a base program and upgrade it through nutrition and supplementation to make up for bad coding, or just refining the code to make it work 5x better.

If you’re asking: how do digestive enzymes work? Let me break it down…

Let’s say you’re supplementing with protein shakes — out of 40g you are only breaking down about 25-30g, excreting the rest.

Our bodies can only assimilate a smaller portion of food than you think!

The above example, though small is harmful to muscle-building, healing and more, in general.

There are many digestive enzymes (22+!), however this 2-part series covers the main base of enzymes. Some are plant-based (proteolytic), others are not.

The Enzyme Team:

  • Protease-Supports breakdown of all proteins except those of living organisms, it does this through hydrolysis.
  • Amylase-Breaks down carbohydrates into sugars, both slow and fast dieting sources. (Sweet Potato = Slow, Rice= Fast)
  • Lipase-Responsible to breaking down all fats within the body including CLA, ALA and Omegas.
  • Lactase- Assists in the breakdown of lactose sugars from dairy.
  • Sucrase-Facilitates the breakdown of sugars. Makes fructose and sucrose molecules smaller for the small intestine to absorb.
  • Papain-Derived from Papaya, papain is a secondary protein enzyme, it works in the same way as Protease, but more specific to tough meat fibers (Beef, Chicken, Fish, etc)
  • Bromelain-Not just for allergies! Bromelain is derived from Pineapple and contributes to further protein breakdown. Also a great anti-inflammatory when taken between meals.
  • Pepsin-Another protein enzyme that assists in breaking down amino acids like Papain/Protease

First of all, without this awesome team, your gut health suffers as do your goals and emotional well-being. Science has shown that gut health is linked to mental health, falling in line with Chinese Medicine teachings.

Considering the above enzymes; breaking down proteins, amino acids, fats and carbs becomes more efficient as a result.

Let’s say you’re out at your favorite Italian restaurant and you have their world-famous classic lasagna with a soup, around 1,125 calories…

The macronutrient ratio is most likely going to look a little something like this:

Protein: 55g

Carbs: 80g

Fat: 70g

Sodium: around 2,500mg

That’s actually somewhat difficult for the body to break down on it’s own and nutrients don’t get utilized. As a result, the intestines can only break down so much at once.

Like the internet, your intestines are a series of tubes…

if a packet is too large, it will be ignored/removed from the data sent across the internet.

Similarly, particles too large to breakdown simply exit as normal, at the cost of losing valuable nutrition that powers your life and goals.

Enzymes attack these large particles of proteins, fats, carbs, and sugars to break them down into easily digested particles for your gut to turn into fuel.

By taking digestive enzymes you actually make your body more efficient and reliable, sapping every ounce of nutritious goodness out of every bite you take.

That is only going to lead to higher performance, stable moods and better health. Who says the body wants to work hard 24/7?

By giving it some breathing room to do less work, you come out on top all around.

Can you see why choosing to use digestive enzymes is such an important aid to your dietary and nutrition goals?

Personally, I don’t go without them! I even take some with me if I’m dining out as I know I’ll be having a large meal.

Do you use digestive enzymes? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts, as well as your experience taking them.