Benefits of Digestive Enzymes

Recently I told you about the benefits of digestive enzymes…. how they help you eliminate heartburn, gas, bloating and constipation. That’s a good reason to take a digestive enzyme with every meal. 

But today I want to give you more benefits of digestive enzymes and an even better reason to take digestive enzymes. You see, enzymes work two ways. Yes, they help your body break down and digest food, and extract the nutrients. But what happens when that work is done? 

Enzymes don’t just sit back on their heels and admire their good work. They’re real go-getters. If you take digestive enzymes between meals, when there’s no food to digest, enzymes go directly into your bloodstream and start “digesting” foreign proteins in your blood. 

These protein intruders are the same characters that contribute to chronic inflammation and can lead to viral infections, joint and muscle pain, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, cancer and a whole lot more.

Here’s how they work…

Enzymes Quiet Inflammation and All Its Related Diseases

When digestive enzymes work between meals, you may see them called “metabolic,” “pancreatic,” or “proteolytic” enzymes. By cleansing your blood of foreign proteins, they reduce inflammation in your body.   

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Pancreatic enzymes gobble up rogue proteins that cause infection – things like viruses, bacteria, mold and fungus. That’s why they’ve been used to treat lung infections and tooth infections among other conditions. 

But also, by cleaning up the blood of infectious agents, pancreatic enzymes fight the kind of chronic inflammation that can lead to autoimmune diseases like arthritis, or cardiovascular disease and even cancer. It can also help with preventing the kind of inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

And once pancreatic enzymes neutralize the proteins that feed inflammation, your body can get on with its job of repairing and regenerating healthy tissues.  

All of the cleaning and scrubbing by pancreatic enzymes leads to a broad range of benefits to you. They help: 

  • Regulate cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Increase healthy blood circulation
  • Boost immunity by destroying invaders
  • Remove scar tissue particularly in the circulatory system 
  • Regulate hormones
  • Treat multiple sclerosis
  • Fight asthma and allergies
  • Treat cancer
  • Speed up recovery from bruises, sprains and even fractures

And one more thing…

Do you spend a lot of time on airplanes? Pancreatic enzymes are one thing you want to take before long airplane flights and here’s why. They are very effective at removing fibrin, a strong protein that’s essential to blood clotting.

On long-haul flights where your movement is restricted, blood can pool in your legs and fibrin can cause a clot to form. Taking pancreatic enzymes before boarding a plane can improve your blood’s ability to flow easily through your circulatory system and reduce your risk of a blood clot and deadly stroke. 

Two Ways to Get the Benefits of Pancreatic Enzymes

If you are already taking enzymes to help with your digestion, you can also use them to realize many of the benefits of pancreatic enzymes. It’s all in the timing. 

Just take your digestive enzymes between meals and they will work as pancreatic enzymes, breaking down the proteins in your bloodstream, reducing inflammation, improving circulation and boosting your immune system. Take three 500 mg capsules a day at least 1 hour before or after eating, or before bed on an empty stomach.

But you could also look for an enzyme formula that’s designed specially to work throughout your system.

These special formulas will differ from your regular digestive enzymes because they’ll have much more of the protease or proteolytic enzymes that target proteins. That’s because most of the enzymes that regulate body functions other than digestion – like your detoxifying liver function and your immune system function – are proteases. You just need more of them. 

Look for a formula that says it contains at least 200,000 HUT to 300,000 HUT of proteases. (Hint: It will say “proteolytic enzymes” on the label.)  A good formula will have a variety of different proteases from different sources such as papain from papaya and bromelain from pineapple. 

One word of caution though…

You may also see a protease called nattokinase listed in your pancreatic enzyme formula. This enzyme is derived from fermented soybeans and has a special ability to balance your blood’s clotting activity.

It’s been said to rival the blood-thinning drug warfarin, but without the nasty side effects. If you’re already on a blood thinner or if you’re scheduled for surgery, you’ll want to talk to your doctor before taking a pancreatic enzyme formula with nattokinase that could increase your risk of bleeding.

Have you been taking digestive enzymes or pancreatic enzymes? Do they work for you? Let me know what you think by hitting the reply button. 

“Anti-Aging and Digestive Health Through Enzymes” by Jon Barron

“Digestive Enzymes: The Key to Good Health and Longevity” by Rita Elkins, 1998, Woodland Publishing

© Copyright 2013 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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