Tackle it with Digestive Enzymes!
Picture it – it’s a sunny, cool, and crisp afternoon in the fall, the faint scent of grilled meat is wafting through the air, and you’re surrounded by friends, family, food, and FOOTBALL.
Does it get any better?
What could go wrong?
Whether you love the NFL and root for the Dallas Cowboys or the New England Patriots, or prefer college football and cheer for the Georgia Bulldogs or the Clemson Tigers, don’t let the delicious game day spread at your football party cause any upsets. Especially an upset stomach!
If you don't want your gut to take too many heavy hits from game day goodies like pizza, barbecue, chicken wings, nachos, hot dogs, and hamburgers, then be a real MVP and support optimal digestion with the best digestive enzymes.*
What is digestion?
In general, digestion is the process of breaking down food into smaller substances as it travels through your digestive tract so nutrients can be absorbed. Food contains three macronutrients – fats, proteins, and carbohydrates – that require digestion before they can be absorbed. During digestion, which requires digestive enzymes, all three large macronutrients are transformed into tiny particles that can crossover from the intestine to the blood for use in the body. Any defect or inadequacy in digestive enzymes can lead to nutritional deficiencies and gut issues.1
Digestion begins when food enters your mouth, where chewing and the digestive enzyme known as amylase begin to break the large food particles into smaller pieces. Then, the food travels into your stomach after you swallow it. In the stomach, the food is exposed to hydrochloric acid and the digestive enzyme pepsin, which continue to break down the food. After leaving the stomach, the food moves into the small intestine, where several digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas have a significant impact.
The pancreas secretes many digestive enzymes, including amylase, lipase, and protease, that are released into the small intestine to digest your food.
- The digestive enzyme amylase breaks complex carbohydrates down into simple sugars.2
- The digestive enzyme lipase breaks fat down into free fatty acids.3
- The digestive enzyme protease breaks protein down into single amino acids.4
Most nutrient absorption occurs in the small intestine, and waste products that are not absorbed move into the large intestine for excretion from the body.
What are digestive enzymes?
If you are familiar with the classic video game Pacman, you can visualize a digestive enzyme as Pacman bumping into your food, biting it, and breaking it down into the smallest molecule possible so the nutrients can be absorbed and used by your body. Even though enzymes act on and transform food, the enzymes are not alive. In general, extra enzymes could lead to better digestion and improve nutrient absorption while minimizing the presence of distressing symptoms. Yes, low digestive enzyme levels can lead to embarrassing and uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and a bloated stomach, which might be worse than your team fumbling the ball!
A long-term digestive enzyme deficiency can even be an underlying cause of gut dysbiosis, which is an imbalance in the organisms in the gut microbiome associated with obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disease, and infertility.5-7
A robust amount of digestive enzymes are required for the optimal digestion of every meal and snack. Since we often indulge in extra goodies on game day and more food means more enzymes are needed, consider a digestive enzyme supplement.* Your gut will thank you!
What is Amylase?
Amylase is the first enzyme that digests your food because it is produced in your mouth and released into your saliva while chewing your food. So, as you chew your food, the amylase enzyme “bites” simple sugars off of the complex carbohydrate (amylose and amylopectin) chains, which can include thousands of simple sugars bound to each other.2
What is Lipase?
The digestive enzyme lipase is produced and secreted by your pancreas. After lipase is secreted by the pancreas, it moves into the small intestine to help digest your food. Lipase is required for the optimal digestion and absorption of fat.3 While dietary fat often receives a bad reputation, digesting and absorbing adequate healthy fat from your diet is very important for optimal health. In fact, the organ that naturally has the most fat is your brain! Overall, almost 60% of your brain is fat.8,9
What is Protease?
The digestive enzyme protease is also produced and secreted by your pancreas. Protease digests proteins.4 A protein is a sequence of amino acids linked together to form a long chain that folds into the very specific shape needed so the protein can function in your body. Each amino acid is linked to other amino acids through “peptide bonds.” The protease enzyme acts like a pair of sharp scissors to break the peptide bonds and release individual amino acids so they can be absorbed from the gut.7,10 Once absorbed, the amino acids are used by your body to produce neurotransmitters, hormones, and muscles; and to support numerous cellular processes.11
What is Papain?
Papain is a proteolytic enzyme that is naturally found in papaya. Like protease, a proteolytic enzyme is an enzyme that breaks down protein. Papaya with papain has been used as a traditional or folk remedy for gut issues for hundreds of years and offers additional benefits beyond the digestion of protein. According to modern research, papain alters gastric motility, which is the movement of the stomach. The effect papain has on the function of the stomach muscles could be a reason it is highly beneficial for many gut issues.12 Papain also offers anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulant, and anti-biofilm benefits.13
What is Bromelain?
Bromelain is another plant-based digestive enzyme that digests protein. It is naturally found in pineapple stems. Bromelain not only breaks down protein but is also commonly considered a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Current research confirms bromelain offers beneficial effects on the respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and immune systems. Research and clinical use show bromelain may also offer anti-arthritis, anti-diarrheal, wound-healing, anti-asthma, anti-allergy, anti-coagulant, anti-cancer, anti-swelling, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial effects.14-18
Taking enzymes to support digestion during football season could help you keep your head in the game instead of worrying about your gut health!
Amylase, Protease, Papain, Bromelain & Lipase are available as a synergistic blend in the popular Mega-PolyzymeTM dietary supplement.*
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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- Patricia J, Dhamoon A. Physiology, digestion - StatPearls - NCBI bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK544242/. Published September 18, 2021. Accessed June 15, 2022.
- Akinfemiwa O, Muniraj T. Amylase - StatPearls - NCBI bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557738/. Published July 31, 2021. Accessed June 28, 2022.
- Pirahanchi Y, Sharma S. Biochemistry, Lipase - StatPearls - NCBI bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537346/. Published July 22, 2021. Accessed June 28, 2022.
- López-Otín C, Bond JS. Proteases: multifunctional enzymes in life and disease. J Biol Chem. 2008;283(45):30433-30437. doi:10.1074/jbc.R800035200
- Alkaade S, Vareedayah AA. A primer on exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, fat malabsorption, and fatty acid abnormalities. Am J Manag Care. 2017;23(12 Suppl):S203-S209.
- Di Tommaso N, Gasbarrini A, Ponziani FR. Intestinal Barrier in Human Health and Disease. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(23):12836. doi:10.3390/ijerph182312836
- Wang H, Xu A, Gong L, et al. The Microbiome, an Important Factor That Is Easily Overlooked in Male Infertility. Front Microbiol. 2022;13:831272. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2022.831272
- Chang CY, Ke DS, Chen JY. Essential fatty acids and human brain. Acta Neurol Taiwan. 2009;18(4):231-41.
- Why is there so much fat in our brain? Exploring your mind. https://exploringyourmind.com/why-is-there-so-much-fat-in-our-brain/. Published June 12, 2020. Accessed June 28, 2022.
- Sanvictores T, Farci F. Biochemistry, primary protein structure - NCBI bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK564343/. Published November 5, 2021. Accessed June 28, 2022.
- Lopez MJ, Mohiuddin SS. Biochemistry, essential amino acids - StatPearls - NCBI bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557845/. Published March 18, 2022. Accessed June 28, 2022.
- Annaházi A, Schröder A, Schemann M. Region-specific effects of the cysteine protease papain on gastric motility. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2021;33(7):e14105. doi:10.1111/nmo.14105
- Baidamshina DR, Koroleva VA, Olshannikova SS, et al. Biochemical Properties and Anti-Biofilm Activity of Chitosan-Immobilized Papain. Mar Drugs. 2021;19(4):197. doi:10.3390/md19040197
- Chakraborty AJ, Mitra S, Tallei TE, et al. Bromelain a Potential Bioactive Compound: A Comprehensive Overview from a Pharmacological Perspective. Life (Basel). 2021;11(4):317. doi:10.3390/life11040317
- Secor ER Jr, Carson WF 4th, Cloutier MM, et al. Bromelain exerts anti-inflammatory effects in an ovalbumin-induced murine model of allergic airway disease. Cell Immunol. 2005;237(1):68-75. doi:10.1016/j.cellimm.2005.10.002
- Kelly GS. Bromelain: a literature review and discussion of its therapeutic applications. Altern Med Rev. 1996;1:243–257.
- Varilla C, Marcone M, Paiva L, et al. Bromelain, a Group of Pineapple Proteolytic Complex Enzymes (Ananas comosus) and Their Possible Therapeutic and Clinical Effects. A Summary. Foods. 2021;10(10):2249. doi:10.3390/foods10102249
- Hikisz P, Bernasinska-Slomczewska J. Beneficial Properties of Bromelain. Nutrients. 2021;13(12):4313. doi:10.3390/nu13124313