Posts Tagged ‘supplement’

Do Digestive Enzyme Supplements Work?

Many glossy magazines have a special knack of convincing us that we can’t live without a particular supplement. Before you know it, your kitchen cupboard resembles a mini-health store. Yeah, so there are a number of supplements that are very good for you such as Evening Primrose Oil, Cod Liver Oil and Spirulina, however if you had to choose just one what would it be?

For me I think I would have to choose Digestive Enzymes.

What are Digestive Enzymes?

Digestive enzymes digest our food so that we can use the nutrients to keep our body healthy. There are many types of enzymes, each with a specific role. For instance, amylase digests starch, whilst lipase digests fats. Without these enzymes we will suffer from indigestion, malnutrition or even a weakened immune system.

How do We Normally Get Digestive Enzymes?

If you are eating a diet largely made up of processed food then it’s unlikely intaking enough enzymes. This means your body then has to produce its own enzymes. Unfortunately our bodies have a limited supply, so when they’re gone, they’re gone. Even eating raw fruit and veg may not be enough if they have been grown thousands of miles away or in soil that is poor quality.

What Digestive Enzymes to Take?

As I said, there are a number of types of enzymes available each with its own role. You can buy them either individually, for instance people who are intolerant to milk can take lactase or you could take a protease capsule with a protein drink. It you aren’t sure then it’s probably best just to take one which has the most important enzymes in it along with your main meal.

At the moment I’m taking a Bromelain (from pineapples) and Papain (from papaya) tablet with my protein shake every day. My boyfriend on the other hand takes Now foods Plant Enzymes because he suffers from indigestion. When taking the enzymes he doesn’t need to take any indigestion tablets. I call that a success.

(If you live in the UK, I buy these enzymes and protein powders from as I find they have a very good selection at competitive prices.)

So basically, it’s all very well to take lots of supplements however if you aren’t digesting them properly it could all be a waste of time (and money).  I don’t know, but it might even help with cleansing your liver.

What’s Really in Your Supplements?

This doesn’t really affect me as I live in the UK, however it appears that the FDA are going to be cracking down on health supplements. The problem until now is that supplements are viewed as being food which is something that some manufacturers have been abusing.

I remember seeing a TV show a few years ago about the appetite suppressing qualities of Hoodia. The presenter went to Africa to try it for himself, and sure enough he didn’t want to eat anything for 24 hours.

Unfortunately the world is full of people who would sell their Granny for a quick buck, which means many pills have appeared on the market claiming to be Hoodia when in fact it’s just caffeine.

The new rules set out by the FDA means that as of 24 August, this “will help ensure that dietary supplements are manufactured with controls that result in a consistent product free of contamination, with accurate labeling,” said Dr. Robert E. Brackett, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

This surely has to be good news? The problem with many alternative therapies is that it can take some months for symptoms to improve, so you never really know if what you’re buying is the real deal.  The same thing goes with stuff like how to cleanse your liver.