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Do You Need Digestive Enzymes?

Do You Need Digestive Enzymes?

We've all experienced the symptoms of indigestion to some degree -- bloating and abdominal pain after a large meal, acid reflux after too many fatty or fried foods, or the occasional bout of diarrhea. However, if you frequently experience gastrointestinal distress, it may be a sign that you need some support.

Gas and bloating are signs that you're not digesting your food adequately. Chewing is the first vital stage of digestion, so aim to have reduced your mouthful of food to liquid mush before you swallow. This allows the digestive enzymes in your stomach and intestines to have a greater surface area to work on to start breaking down your food.

Some people have a lack of digestive enzymes in the small intestine, resulting in food not being broken down properly -- and nutrients not being absorbed optimally. For example, some people underproduce lactase, the enzyme that digests milk. Others may lack amyloglucosidase, which digests leafy greens, or alpha-galactosidase, which digests beans. Enzyme production naturally decreases as we age, which is one reason why digestive issues become more frequent as we get older.

If you're suffering from digestive distress and suspect you may be lacking sufficient enzymes or just want to support your everyday digestive health, consider supplementing with a multi-enzyme formula. In addition to the ones previously mentioned, look for a supplement that contains lipase, amylase, protease, bromelain, and papain, which help to digest fat, carbohydrates, and protein. A quality supplement will list the strength/potency of each enzyme. Be sure to take digestive enzymes with a meal.

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