How Systemic Enzymes Work
What happens when you take enzymes on an empty stomach? 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.
When is the best time to take a protease supplement?
For maximum systemic benefit, it is best to take proteases between meals as this allows for faster absorption into circulation. However, if this is not realistic for your patient, then it is ok to take proteases with meals knowing that some of the protease enzymes may be used to digest food proteins. Also, it is better to take small doses several times throughout the day rather than one or two large doses in a day. Common dosing times are first thing in the morning, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and bedtime.
Can protease enzymes be taken with NSAIDS and/or prescription medications?
Digestive enzymes function by breaking down specific chemical bonds in foods. In most cases digestive enzymes can therefore safely be taken with medications. However, it is of course always recommended to let your health care provider know what you are taking.
Can protease enzymes be taken with prescription blood thinners?
One area of caution is with prescription blood thinning agents. These types of prescription drugs interfere with the natural blood clotting mechanisms, while proteases break down fibrin allowing for better blood flow. They can be taken in conjunction, but it is recommended to dose them about four hours apart and monitor lab work closely. We recommend notifying and working with the doctor prescribing the medications.
Can you take protease enzymes when taking prescription “protease inhibitors”?
More often than not, the term “protease” that describes proteolytic enzymes is used in very general terms. There are many metabolic proteases in our body, each with many different functions. The medications that are designed as protease inhibitors are targeting a very specific viral protease. The supplemental digestive proteases are very different and will not interfere with the medication. In fact, oral supplemental digestive enzymes can be very supportive to those patients with auto-immune disorders.