Your tummy produces digestive enzymes to help break down food.
Digestive enzymes are a type of protein that work by splitting up large molecules into small ones.
These small molecules can then be absorbed by your gut and used for energy (or stored somewhere else in the body to be used later)!
Digestive enzymes are produced by special cells in the mouth, stomach, pancreas, and small intestine.
There are many different types of digestive enzymes. Here are some of the key enzymes in humans:
- Amylase: breaks down starch into sugar.
- Protease: breaks down proteins into smaller peptides and amino acids.
- Lipase: breaks down fats into fatty acids and glycerol.
- Lactase: breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose.
There are also many other digestive enzymes that exist in nature. Found in plants or produced by microbes. And there are also digestive enzymes that can be synthesized in a laboratory.
This is why digestive enzyme supplements can be confusing, with many different varieties in differing amounts.
Sometimes, companies mix digestive enzymes with other ingredients like probiotics. This makes it harder to know which part of the product is helping you.
When considering a supplement, it’s important to know if the ingredients have been shown to help your symptoms.
That’s why our experts at Tummy MOT regularly review digestive enzymes and other supplements.
But if you want to keep learning about how to choose a digestive enzyme supplement (and whether you really need one) then carry on reading.