One of the most often questions we are asked is how our products compare to other digestive enzyme supplements. With so many products available, comparing apples to apples using the labeling units can get very confusing! First, let me just tell you that when you buy enzymes, the weight (usually listed in mg.) means nothing when comparing the activity units of the enzymes. Quality enzyme products will use the standard FCC (Food Chemical Codex) units of measurement which establishes activity levels for the enzymes. But, there are even a few versions of these units so here’s a handy table to give you some approximate conversion factors.
|Enzyme Name||Common Labeling Units||Conversion|
|Protease||HUT, USP, SAP||1 HUT = approx. 6.5 USP|
|Amylase||DU||1 DU = approx. 48 USP|
|Lipase||FIP, LU, FCCLU||1FIP = approx. 2.5 LU/FCCLU No conversion available to USP|
I’m always stunned when I see major national retail chains with products that list enzymes only in milligrams (mg) as this truly doesn’t tell the buyer anything about the potency of the enzymes, but metric weight is all that is legally required by the FDA for enzyme supplements. So, when you are selecting an enzyme product, you want to be sure to choose one that lists more than just the mg. and also compare the units of activity to the price. One product may have a higher price, but when you truly compare the activity units you may need to take 3 or 4 capsules of one product to equal the enzyme activity in 1 capsule of a competitor product.
The enzyme activity of products should be measured and reported in FCC units. These unit measurements are usually expressed as follows:
Protease – HUT (Hemoglobin Unit Tyrosine base), USP
Amylase – DU (Alpha-amylase Dextrinizing units)
Lipase – FIP, LU, FCCLU (LU= Lipase unit)
Cellulase – CU (Cellulase unit)
Invertase – IAU (Invertase Activity unit)
Lactase – LacU (Lactase unit)
Maltase – DP (degrees Diastatic power)
When comparing enzyme products make sure measurements are listed using FCC standard codes. Some manufacturers make up their own abbreviations. Others use weights such as milligrams (mgs). Still others will list measurements based on dosage which may be more than one capsule.
Because of the variety of labeling formats used it is important to read carefully and make sure you are not comparing apples to oranges.
Another item to think about when choosing an enzyme product is “does the product contain fillers?” Many supplement products contain magnesium stearate, silica, rice bran, etc. to “fill-up” a standard sized capsule or to prevent caking or clumping. Enzyme Essentials tries to eliminate fillers whenever we can and all our capsules are sized for each product so we never need to add inactive ingredients to “fill” a capsule. Our philosophy is we don’t put ingredients you don’t need in our products.