With so much information about enzymes in the mainstream media, I am often asked should I take digestive enzymes or systemic enzymes? And what is the difference? The answer is for optimum health benefits – take both! And here’s a helpful table outlining key differences between digestive and systemic enzymes.

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How Digestive Enzymes Work
Most people that take digestive enzyme products are usually looking for help with occasional digestive issues – gas, bloating, GERD, reflux, heartburn, irregularity, etc. Products like Digest 90, DigestZyme and LypoZyme contain a blend of digestive enzymes that support the proper breakdown of foods and help release the nutrients from our food for energy production, cell growth and repair. When foods are not properly digested by your body’s own enzymes and enter the small intestine, this may irritate our digestive tract and allow undigested food or waste to enter the bloodstream. Now our bloodstream has to work to clean up these undigested particles! Ugh. When you take a blend of digestive enzymes (protease, lipase, amylase, lactase, cellulose, etc.) in the form of supplements with a meal, these digestive enzymes work to help support complete digestion and help prevent undigested foods and waste from ending up where they shouldn’t.

How Systemic Enzymes Work
But what about when you take enzymes on an empty stomach (not with a meal)? What do the enzymes do if they aren’t digesting your food? When you take enzymes, specifically protease or proteolytic enzymes, on an empty stomach, instead of the protease helping to digest the protein from your meal, the enzymes will enter your bloodstream to support the circulatory system, the immune system and work to support overall detoxification. The better the blood flow and the healthier your circulatory system, the better the detoxification. This type of enzyme use is called “systemic enzyme supplementation.” The use of systemic enzymes is great for healthy individuals, but can provide additional support for those with compromised immune systems. Some conditions that may be exacerbated by undigested proteins and food particles in your body are leaky gut, arthritis, fibromyalgia, CFS, allergies, to name just a few.

Learn more about which digestive enzymes are right for you!

Learn more about our systemic enzyme options!

 


juice cleanseJuice cleanses are very popular these days for many reasons. Juice cleanses can be a great way to “kickstart” healthier eating habits, give your digestive system a break, clear out toxins, and introduce your body to cleaner eating. Overall a juice cleanse can be a great way to detox from poor diet choices and help you get serious about the decision to live healthier.

But, since one of the benefits often touted is to give your digestive system a “break,” then most people might think they don’t need digestive enzymes while on a cleanse. All that raw juice has enzymes, right? And your body doesn’t really need extra enzyme supplements since you aren’t eating solid foods, right? Wrong.

Why? Digestive enzymes can be a great way to support and enhance a juice cleanse by assisting with breakdown and removal of toxins in your body. Systemic protease enzymes found in our PureZyme product can support flushing your system since the enzymes enter the bloodstream and help improve circulation and assist with clearing toxins. See our blog entry and video about how protease enzymes support detoxification.

Lisa Helffrich, RD, author of The Ripple Effect of Toxicity, explains why systemic protease enzymes are such a key component in immune system and detox support:

“..I talked about protease enzymes for digestion of protein, but proteases can also be taken between meals for other health benefits. These additional benefits are called “systemic benefits” because they help the circulatory system, the immune system, and the detoxifying organs.

Remember how I explained that the circulatory and lymphatic systems are very important to detoxification because they are the transportation systems? Well proteases improve circulation and the better the blood flow, the better the detox. Also, proteolytic enzymes are very effective at helping reduce and control chronic inflammation, the underlying cause of most degenerative diseases. Taking proteases regularly is very proactive and supports your body’s natural recovery and healing processes.

My experience and results have been with using fungal proteases that are acid, neutral and alkaline, and also require no coating for protection. Taken between meals (morning, mid-afternoon and at bedtime) they absorb into the blood stream very easily. My clients have told me they noticed:

  • Improved circulation, better energy and concentration
  • Less pain, inflammation and reduced stiffness in joints
  • Much faster recovery and healing after injury or surgery
  • Improved resistance to allergies, colds and infections
  • Clear and healthy skin and hair”

So while you are giving your digestive system a “break” with a juice cleanse, be sure to help your immune system clear out the toxins and improve circulation with systemic protease enzymes like PureZyme. We suggest taking 2 PureZyme capsules 3 times per day during a cleanse or any time between meals to help support immune health, improve circulation, and assist with toxin removal.

Thinking about a juice cleanse? I want to give quick, unsolicited (i.e., I’m not being paid for this!) plug for a great local business, Skinny Limits, that makes super tasty juices and offers a few different cleanse options. The owners, Cary and Joanie, live in our neighborhood and are really nice folks who are small business owners like myself! They ship nationwide too!


Probiotics are everywhere these days. I’ve even seen them as an ingredient in tortillas! With digestive disorders affecting one out of every four Americans, the demand has never been greater for probiotic supplementation to help with regular elimination, promote GI health and support a healthy immune system.

Let’s answer some common questions many people have about probiotics and probiotic supplements.

What exactly is intestinal flora?
In the scientific literature, flora is defined as the microorganisms that normally inhabit a bodily organ. The natural flora found in the human intestines is referred to as native microbiotica. Microbiota are unique to each individual and affected by diet, lifestyle, and environment.

How are probiotics different than enzymes, and why do so many people get them confused?Probiotics and enzymes are similar in that they both support healthy digestion and a healthy immune system.

  • Digestive enzymes are proteins that help breakdown (digest) food into nutrients for absorption into the blood stream.
  • Probiotics are live supplemental microorganisms that support the native microbiota. 
Many probiotic strains are also known for their ability to secrete enzymes and/or metabolize food in the intestines, thereby assisting the digestive process.

What are probiotics?
“Probiotics” refers to a group of microorganisms that colonize the GI tract, where they live in symbiosis with their host. Within that symbiotic relationship, they provide several benefits to the host, including the synthesis of several important molecules and nutrients as well as the control of potentially pathogenic organisms.

The human gastrointestinal tract hosts over 400 species of mircroorganisms. Some of these are friendly to the human host as mentioned above, whereas others are potentially harmful, should they be allowed to grow uncontrollably.

Why do I need probiotics? 
Taking probiotics, like our Plantadophilus, offers many health benefits such as improved digestion, immunity, and elimination.

  • Digestion – Probiotics produce enzymes such as protease, lipase, and lactase to further assist with protein and fat digestion as well as reduce problems associated with lactose intolerance. Probiotics also produce B vitamins, particularly folic acid and B12, which are biocatalysts in food digestion.
  • Immunity – Intestinal microbes are a key factor in the development of the post-natal immune system and in acquired immune response and inflammation. Probiotics produce the natural antibiotic-like substance acidophilin and inhibit the growth of opportunistic microorganisms.
  • Elimination – Probiotics act as natural stool softeners and facilitate the healthy and timely elimination of waste.

Are most probiotics lactose free?
Lactobacillus denotes ”lactic acid producing” or “acid loving.” The term “Lacto” does not indicate a relation to lactose or dairy, as is commonly misunderstood. Lactose may be used in the medium to grow the probiotic culture; however, this is completely removed from the final product. Our probiotic formula, Plantadophilus, is lactose-free, and prefers a pH of 6.5 to 6.8.

Are Enzyme Essentials’ probiotics GI tract stable? 
Lactobacilli probiotics are GI tract stable by nature. That is a given according to an understanding of digestion and the nature of probiotics. Some of the bacteria will be lost in transit, but the vast majority survive the GI tract. This is especially true when taken during times when the digestive system is dormant, such as first thing in the morning or at bedtime. When digestion is not in progress, the stomach pH is closer to neutral. Only in the peak of digestion does it hit 2.0 – 3.0, and even then some probiotics survive.

Enzyme Essentials’ Plantadophilus probiotic is live bacteria and is assigned a one-year shelf life. The probiotics are manufactured under refrigeration and inventoried under refrigeration prior to shipment. The products are not shipped on ice as it has been determined unnecessary for short periods of time. However, to help preserve maximum activity for the longest amount of time, we strongly recommend that the customer refrigerate our probiotics to maintain activity once they have been received. You may occasionally come across some probiotics that use an enteric coating. We believe this is used to increase shelf life, and it may improve gastric survival but is not absolutely necessary. Enzyme Essentials prefers refrigeration over enteric coating to avoid the use of additives that provide no nutritional value.

When traveling, it is recommended to only take with you only the amount needed, perhaps in a separate container or pillbox. For short periods of time, non-refrigeration is acceptable. The probiotics may lose a slight amount of activity but do not go “bad” if left in warmer environments.

Why isn’t eating yogurt enough for probiotic repopulation?
Yogurt and fermented foods contain “live cultures” that can be beneficial, but they should not be compared to probiotics. Probiotics are specific genera, species, and strains of bacteria that have been isolated and identified with certain characteristics. The live cultures in most fermented foods have not been isolated and are not the same as probiotics. Additionally, the colony forming units (cfu) in a supplement are often much more concentrated than in food.

With so many probiotics on the market, how can I choose a good one for my family’s own situation?
We recommend you review the research available on the specific species and strain. The manufacturer and/or your health professional should be able to provide this information to you. There are many books that list which strains are helpful for specific conditions.

What is the difference between a pre-biotic and a probiotic?
Pre-biotics are carbohydrates that serve as food for the probiotics. Examples of pre-biotics are inulin or foods containing inulin such as chicory root and Jerusalem or Globe Artichoke. Some individuals can be sensitive to inulin and so this may be something to look to avoid in a probiotic supplement. Our Plantadophilus is inulin-free and FOS-free and consists of a single strain of L. Plantarum.

Do I need to take a probiotic for life?
Yes. Taking supplemental probiotics confers health benefits to the host by improving the environment and supporting the existing microbiota. The most current research is showing that the native microbiota is quite hardy and well established, however the probiotics are mainly transient (adhere to intestinal cells temporarily), giving rise to the need for continual supplementation.

If I am on an antibiotic, is it pointless to take a probiotic?
No. In fact, it is very beneficial to take probiotics while on antibiotics. They support the growth and maintenance of the native microbiota, and many of the strains being studied are actually resistant to antibiotics. Several studies show the beneficial effects of probiotic supplementation, in particular its ability to reduce antibiotic diarrhea.

Can I take too many probiotics?
The general answer is no, however the species, strains, and activity per dose should be suited to the individual’s health needs.

 Some health studies about probiotics health benefits:

Probiotics’ Potential — Research Suggests Beneficial Bacteria May Support Immune Health

Probiotics Help Lower High Cholesterol

 


Your body’s pH varies from system to system and a “moving” pH is healthiest state. For example, saliva is usually neutral while gastric secretions are acidic and pancreatic secretions and bile tend to be more alkaline. When all systems are in the correct range, they work together beautifully! But, when the ranges get out of sync, that’s when health issues can begin to occur.

Here are some important ways pH can affect your health:

  • Proper digestion. Food digestion begins with saliva, which is most active in pH of 6.5-6.75. If it moves out of this range, then enzyme activity can decrease and food is not as easily broken down. The stomach pH is acidic and can also hinder digestion if not in the proper range.
  • Hormone secretion. If the pH of your blood is not the proper range (slightly alkaline 7.30 – 7.45) then it can affect the hormone functions at the receptor sites.
  • Energy Production. Cell production needs a proper pH in order to function optimally and efficiently.
  • Bone Health. If the blood becomes too acidic, the body will “borrow” calcium from bones to help act as a buffer and balance the acid in the blood.

 

What can I do to help my body achieve and maintain healthy pH levels?

  1. Eat nutrient dense foods and minimize sugar intake. Sugar is very acidifying to the body.
  2. Drink plenty of water, preferably pH balanced spring water (optimal pH of 7.5), to assist with elimination of metabolic and toxic waste.
  3. Manage stress through yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, etc. to help limit secretion of stress hormones that contribute to pH imbalance.
  4. Take a probiotic daily (preferably right before bedtime when the gut is at rest) to support a healthy pH in the lower GI tract.
  5. Take digestive enzymes with meals to support your body’s digestive function, feed your cells, and help maintain an overall pH balance.

 

Source: “Promote Health and Wellness through pH Balance.” Transformation Enzyme Corporation. Clinical Observations newsletter.


Still aren’t taking digestive enzymes with every meal? Five reasons why you need to start today!

Keeping your digestive system healthy should be an important part of your daily routine because as Hippocrates said “All disease begins in the gut.”  There are only two things you must supply the body’s cells with on a very regular basis and that is oxygen (breathing) and nutrients (from food).  Since you’re likely not going to consciously stop breathing, let’s look at the necessity of digestion. The only way you can get nutrients to the cells is via the digestive system. Do you eat a healthy, balanced diet and have regular elimination and still think you don’t need digestive enzymes? Think again! and read these 5 compelling reasons.

  1. To keep your cells healthy, you need to deliver the nutrients through good digestion. If your body doesn’t completely break down and digest your food, then you are not providing your cells with MAXIMUM nutrition. If your digestive system is compromised, your cells don’t get what they need and this can lead to disease and illness. As we age, our internal enzyme levels decrease, making  complete digestion more difficult. Taking enzymes with every meal can provide your cells the nutrients they need each day.
  2. Stress, no matter how big or small, compromises our digestive function.  While many of us strive to limit and manage the stress in our lives none of us are completely protected from it. Taking digestive enzymes keeps your digestive system at its best.
  3. Genetically modified foods (GMOs), fast food and highly processed packaged food are more difficult to digest.  We now eat food with chemicals that the body doesn’t even recognize as “food” and doesn’t even know how to break down, so there is an added burden on digestion that many cannot handle. Taking enzymes provides the support needed to ensure optimum digestion with each and every meal.
  4. Digestive diseases are on the rise and colo-rectal cancer and stomach cancer are on the World Health Organization’s top 10 list for causes of death. Digestive enzymes and probiotics support the digestive tract so it can function optimally.
  5. You don’t benefit from eating right unless you are digesting those healthy foods. All the good nutrition in the world will not provide benefits unless you are properly digesting it. Supporting digestion with digestive enzymes is a great way to promote optimum health.

We suggest a basic enzyme blend taken at the start of each meal. The enzyme blend should contain protease (to break down proteins), amylase (to break down starch and sugars), lipase (to break down fats) along with lactase, and other enzymes to support complete digestions of meals. We offer some great options on our website or contact us for suggestions!


Take a few minutes to learn how systemic protease enzymes can help support immune health from Lisa Helffrich, Director of Education at Transformation Enzyme.

Our PureZyme formula contains 370,000 HUT of protease per serving. We suggest taking protease between meals to support circulation, remove toxins, and boost immune health*


This is wonderful recipe that is hearty, full of delicious vegetables and makes a great week-day meal for your family. It’s a great twist on the usual pasta with marinara. I’ve been meaning to try it over quinoa too!

2 cans (14.5oz) Italian-seasons diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy)
2 lbs bone-in country style pork ribs
1/2 lb zucchini, diced (about 2 zucchini)
1 lb whole wheat bow-tie or rotini pasta
1 cup shredded reduced fat Italian cheese blend or grated parmesan (whatever you prefer).

1. Coat slow cooker with non stick cooking spray. Add UNDRAINED tomatoes, onion, carrots, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.

3. Add ribs and spoon tomato mixture over them to cover. Nestle into the sauce. Scatter zucchini over the top.

4. Cover and cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 8 hours.

5. Remove ribs and shred the meat. Discard the bones and stir shredded meat back into sauce and add remaining salt and pepper to taste.

6. Cook pasta according to directions and serve pork ragu over pasta with a sprinkle of cheese on top and a side salad.

Enjoy! Let us know what you think!

Makes about 6-8 servings and you should have sauce left to freeze for a second meal later.


Digestive enzymes work within the digestive system to support proper breakdown of foods and nutrient acquisition. Our Digest 90, DigestZyme and Kidz products are great examples of the types of products to take with meals for digestive support.

Systemic enzymes work within the other “systems” of the body to support optimal circulation, removal of toxins, and immune health. Our PureZyme and PureZyme Plus are products that support the immune system through improved circulation and support of detoxification.

Here’s a great new video from Lisa Helffrich, Director of Education for Transformation Enzymes about how Proteases Support Detoxification:

How Proteases Support Detoxification from Transformation Enzymes on Vimeo.


Have you heard about digestive enzymes and probiotics, but aren’t sure why you need them or how they can help you?

Or do you already take digestive enzyme supplements and need an informative video to share with family and friends to convert them to the remarkable benefits of enzymes?

Lisa Helffrich, RDN and Director of Education for Transformation Enzyme Corp. shares her thoughts on why taking enzymes and probiotics are so important for optimal health.

 


Protein shakes, powders and bars are everywhere these days. Many people are on high protein diets to keep up with training needs or reach a weight goal, but did you know that a diet high in protein can put a lot of added stress on your digestive system and your kidneys? If you are eating a healthy diet and involved in an exercise program, you are likely a very healthy individual. But while the energy bars, sports drinks and protein powders help you reach you body weight goals, they may also add digestive stress to your body.

Why do we need protein?
But let’s start with the reason people may be taking the protein in the first place. Muscle, bone, connective tissue along with antibodies, and hormones are all made up of mainly proteins. We constantly need to replenish our body’s cells and need the amino acids found in protein to do this. Proteins must be then broken down into amino acids to be bio-available to our body’s cells and this begins in the stomach and continues into the intestines. However, the further along the proteins get without being broken down into amino acids, then the more likely they are to cause issues within your gut and immune system. This is where digestive enzyme supplements, particularly those high in protease, can help can be so important.

What happens to undigested proteins in your body?
These protein fragments can produce allergic reactions and even lead to irritation of the mucosal lining of the intestines. The undigested proteins can putrefy in the gut and lead to embarrassing (and stinky) gas.

How can I better support protein digestion?
That’s where digestive enzyme supplements can help. Every time you eat a protein bar, shake or even just a meal, your pancreas and gall bladder have to produce enzymes to help digest those foods. That’s their purpose. But as we age, our body becomes less efficient at producing enzymes. But when you take supplemental digestive enzymes, you support your body in proper digestion.

So when you are working to build those muscles and improve your outer body, don’t forget to stay fit on the inside and take a comprehensive digestive enzyme supplement with at least protease, lipase, and amylase to help support maximum nutrition, optimal circulation and immune function.

Our Digest 90 and DigestZyme products provide the complete digestive support you need and PureZyme is our protease-only product to support your high protein needs.

Have a question about protease supplements and supporting complete digestion? Contact us! We are here to help!