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Enzyme Labels

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.

Most food comparisons are based on weight. With enzymes the key measurement is the unit of activity and potency. There is no direct relationship between weight and units of activity. So beware a product that lists enzymes only in mg. This doesn't tell you the actual activity level of the enzymes.

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
  • Cellulase - CU (Cellulase unit)
  • Invertase - IAU (Invertase Activity unit)
  • Lactase - LacU (Lactase unit)
  • Maltase - DP (degrees Diastatic power)


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


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. 

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.

Because of the variety of labeling formats used it is important to read carefully and make sure you are not comparing apples to oranges.

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*Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information contained here is for reference only and is not intended to diagnose disease or prescribe treatment. The information contained herein is in no way to be considered a substitute for consultation with a health care professional. Furthermore, this information is for the private use of our clients and is not to be used publicly, reproduced, or distributed without the written consent of Enzyme Essentials, LLC