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.
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.