Perfect Timing Maximizes Effectiveness of Your Digestive Enzymes

6 minute read

Digestive enzymes are critical for the proper breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and proteins in your digestive tract.While your body does produce natural enzymes, supplemental doses can be beneficial, as well. The typical supplemental versions are papain and bromelain, which are found in papaya and pineapple. You can also take lactase supplements for help digesting lactose and amylase supplements for complex sugar digestion.

| Related: Health Benefits Of Papaya Seeds For Digestion And Prevention |

What is the Dosage?

Enzymes are dosed by quantity and type of food rather than age or weight. Most people find it helpful to experiment first to determine the dosage for your body. Ideally, you want to take the recommended dosage on the label and then watch for any reactions. The different supplemental products on the market will all have varied activity levels, so taking one capsule of one product may have the equivalent effects of four of another.  

The target dose you are looking for is an amount that will break down food while it is in the stomach for about 60 to 90 minutes. Enzymes generally continue working after the food passes to the intestines but you want most of the process to occur in the stomach.

Certain molecules, if passed along only partially digested, can cause food allergies or intolerance in the intestines. To get the best effects, it is always wise to start with a small dose and gradually increase. This allows your body to adjust slowly to the changes. Most healthy people do just fine taking the recommended dosages. For those with poor digestion or damaged guts, you will need to choose a broad spectrum product.

The Perfect Schedule

Step 1: Make sure you check the label of any enzyme supplement to determine the correct dosage to start with. While you are looking at the label, be sure to double check the expiration date. You will find the dosage will vary according to the type and strength of the supplement.  Generally speaking, these supplements are available without a prescription.  

Step 2: The label will tell you when to take the enzyme, and if not you can always check with a nutritionist or your physician. Remember that every product has different levels of efficacy so serving sizes will vary depending on what product you take.

If you feel like a product is not working and you switch, remember to check the new dosages, because the same dose as your previous supplement may not be effective at all. Some should be taken with a meal while others should be taken before eating.  

Step 3: Take the capsule with a drink of water. Remember you can always empty the capsule contents into a drink if you prefer. Chewable tablets need to be chewed fully and if using enzyme drops, be sure to add the correct amount to your drink.

As your digestive system heals and begins to function more efficiently, fewer enzymes may eventually be required. The estimated time for gut healing is averaged around 6 months, so be sure to keep track of when the levels may need to taper off.

The Best Mixers

♦ Milk or milk substitutes

♦ Water

♦ Fruit Juices

♦ Sports drinks

♦ Drink mixes

♦ Spritzers

♦ Syrup, such as chocolate or strawberry

♦ Mix with jelly on some toast or cracker

♦ Honey

♦ Oatmeal

♦ Mashed Potatoes

♦ Applesauce

♦ Frozen Yogurt

Be Cautious

If you are currently taking any medications, it is best to consult with your physician before starting any enzyme supplements. Some of the supplements from fruits have been known to react with blood-thinning medications thus increasing the risk of bruising and bleeding.

As with any product, there is a chance of side effects which can include allergic reaction, upset stomach, or diarrhea. In the event you experience any severe or adverse side effects, you need to stop taking the supplement and speak with your doctor. For the most part, enzymes actually assist other medications because of their ability to improve digestion. An efficiently running digestive system means better absorption of nutrients as well as medications.  

|Related: Lipase Enzyme is a Vital Warrior for Those Battling IBS |

Wait...There's More

The supplemental enzymes you are taking will do more for you than just improve your digestion and heal a damaged gut. The intake of proteases helps with several non-digestion related health benefits. Proteases have been shown to help with gut healing, blood cleansing, detoxification, fibromyalgia, reducing arthritis pain and migraines.

Certain autoimmune diseases can be helped by the right mixtures of enzymes which can be provided by your doctor. Additionally, proteases have helped with sports injuries by reducing muscle pains and with common colds by reducing symptoms and overall time of infection.

The Bottom Line

Digestive enzyme supplements are beneficial to the digestive tract and play a role in health, as well as longevity. However, the time and manner in which you take digestive supplements can impact the results you experience. 

Read Next >>> Probiotics Are Ideal Complement To Digestive Enzymes