by Briana Michel Six Pack Abs
Faster fat burning with better digestion – Digestive Enzymes: The 411
A few years ago I really started studying the important role that enzymes play in our ability to breakdown our food, and realized that every reaction within the body is a result of some type of enzyme as a catalyst. Enzymes are responsible for everything from our ability to breath and blink to our ability to breakdown and absorb nutrients from the foods we eat. They hold incredible power over our health and yet we rarely hear about their importance! Here is your introduction if you have never really heard of them.
Enzymes are protein-like substances that act as catalysts for all chemical reactions in the body. Enzymes help maintain the body’s tissues, orchestrate its functions and digest food. There are three kinds of enzymes:
- Metabolic Enzymes — spark many of the reactions inside cells, enabling our organs, tissues, and cells to work properly.
- Food Enzymes — supplied by what we eat, they help break down food before our digestive enzymes are called upon. The majority of food enzymes are destroyed at temperatures above 118ºF, so nearly all cooked and processed foods are devoid of them.
- Indigenous Digestive Enzymes — secreted by the pancreas into the small intestine, they break down the nutrients in the foods we eat that have not already been broken down by food enzymes. These are crucial to a healthy gut, flat six pack belly and a well nourished body.
Enzymes are perhaps our most important and overlooked dietary component. Before the advent of modern food processing, we ate a diet that was rich in “live” raw and fermented foods. These foods contained many of the food enzymes that our diet lacks today. Food enzymes aid in the digestion of food. Without them, the body must produce more digestive enzymes to break down the nutrients in the food we consume. That process is very taxing and takes resources away from doing all the metabolic things our body needs to do, like fight inflammation and disease or repair after a tough workout, for instance.
A great way to get the enzymes you need is to consume a diet high in “live” raw and fermented foods, and/or to supplement your diet with a full spectrum digestive enzyme.
Digestive enzymes are absolutely essential to life. Digestive enzymes allow the human body to absorb nutrients from foods. These enzymes are normally secreted from the pancreas. The enzymes work as catalysts to the cell processes that break down proteins. In order for any chemical process in the human body to take place, enzymes must first lower the amount of energy it takes to start the process. By lowering the activation energy required to begin the chemical process, enzymes allow each process to occur an extremely elevated rate. Without these enzymes, chemical processes would be too slow to have any effect. So, without enzymes the human body would not be able to sustain any life.
When many different types of enzymes work together to create a succession of chemical processes, it is called a metabolic pathway. The digestive tract is an example of such a metabolic pathway. Many different types of enzymes, each specifically designed to start chemical processes in certain cell types, work together to start each chemical process that allows the digestive tract of the human body to break down proteins and absorb nutrients. This digestive process begins in the mouth and travels all the way to the end of the digestive tract. Any problems with these digestive enzymes can lead to digestive conditions and difficulties in obtaining sufficient amounts of nutrients from foods. Artificial digestive enzymes can be prescribed for people with digestive difficulties to aid in the digestion process.
There are three types of digestive enzymes, Amylases break down carbohydrates, Lipases break down fats and the Proteolytic enzymes digest proteins. A health care professional can prescribe digestive enzymes to help anyone who may have a type of disorder that limits their body’s ability to absorb nutrients. This can include problems like pancreatic cancer, gall bladder removal, Chron’s disease and Celiac disease. Because these enzymes alter the body’s function they often have side effects. These side effects are often seen in the first few days of taking them. Most of these are temporary and are digestive tract and stomach related because as bad bacteria die off and we create a healthier gut environment they may produce gas and other symptoms. Temporary side effects of digestive enzymes may include: stomach pain, nausea, appetite problems, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Other side effects may involve other parts of the body in forms such as headaches, fatigue and dizziness. In five years of putting my clients on digestive enzymes I have only had one person complain of headaches and no other real side effects.
People taking any form of anticoagulants should be especially careful. As with any form of supplements or medical prescriptions, it is important to discuss the risks and rewards with a health care professional. The proper dosage of digestive enzymes is important, as is the specific types of digestive supplements that should be used. This is another important reason to consult with your doctor. Digestive enzymes are generally a safe way to help the body break down foods.
WHAT DOES THIS ALL ENZYME TALK MEAN FOR SIX PACK ABS?
When you aid your digestion, you absorb more nutrients and assist your body’s natural functions like metabolism and liver detoxification which in turn means burning more stored fat and seeing your abs that much sooner. It also can reduce bloating, gas and constipation after meals, so again, your abs will appear leaner and you will feel so much better. If you aren’t having a bowel movement at least once per day, have diarrhea, gas, bloating or feel like food sits in your belly after a meal; you can bet you aren’t digesting your food well or excreting hormones and toxins that your body needs to get rid of in order function optimally.
Did you know that each enzyme has a particular job? That is why taking a full-spectrum enzyme with food is important. For instance, a “lipase” enzyme can’t break down the protein in your chicken but it can breakdown the fat in your avocado. Here are some enzymes and their duties to give you a better idea. Don’t get caught up on memorizing them, just know if you are taking Complete Digestion with your food, then you are ahead of the curve!
- Protease blend of five proteolytic enzymes aids digestion and utilization of dietary proteins†
- Amylase digests starch†
- Lipase digests fats†
- Glucoamylase breaks down starch-like carbohydrates †
- Malt diastase (maltase) digests maltose based carbohydrates or malt found in grains†
- Invertase (sucrase) is an enzyme that breaks down sucrose into glucose and fructose †
- alpha-Galactosidase helps digestion of difficult-to-digest foods such as beans, legumes and cruciferous vegetables†
- Lactase digests the milk sugar lactose†
- Cellulase digests fiber cellulose into smaller units†
- Xylanase breaks down xylose, also called wood sugar†
- Pectinase breaks down carbohydrates such as pectin, found in the pulp of many fruits†
- Hemicellulase breaks down carbohydrates widely present in plant foods†
- Phytase breaks down phytic acid present in many difficult-to-digest grains and beans. Research supports the view that phytic acid present in plant foods interferes with digestion of proteins and utilization of many important minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, and iron †
- Beta-glucanase breaks down bulky beta-glucan molecules into smaller units †
- Bromelain, derived from pineapple, breaks down a broad variety of proteins †
- Papain, derived from papaya, also digests proteins into peptides and amino acid