Digestive enzymes have been used widely to support healthy digestion and improve nutrient absorption. In fact, these beneficial enzymes have been shown to help overcome conditions like lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
However, many people have been asking, “can digestive enzymes help you lose weight?” This article will show you the health benefits of digestive enzymes and discuss their role in weight loss.
Before we talk about the benefits, let’s start by learning more about digestive enzymes.
What are Digestive Enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are protein-based compounds that help in the breakdown of foods into smaller absorbable components.
Several organs in the body, including the liver, pancreas produce digestive enzymes. Your saliva also contains a good amount of these useful enzymes. Also, the cells within intestinal walls store digestive enzymes for food breakdown.
There are many types of enzymes released in the body, but the main types include:
- Amylase: This enzyme helps break down complex carbs and starches into simple sugar
- Lipase: This enzyme breaks down lipids into fatty acids and glycerol
- Protease: This enzyme helps break down proteins into amino acids
- Maltase: This enzyme breaks down malt sugar into glucose
- Lactase: This enzyme breaks down lactose, a natural sugar in milk
Although these digestive enzymes are released naturally in the body, you can also take them in supplement form. These enzymes in supplement form have been found to be useful in treating serious digestive conditions such as celiac disease and IBS.
Let’s take a better look at the health benefits of digestive enzymes.
What Benefits Do Digestive Enzymes Offer?
Below are some of the benefits of digestive enzymes that are backed by scientific studies:
Digestive enzymes improve gut microbiome
Several studies have shown that digestive enzymes impact gut bacteria – the microorganisms living in your digestive tract.
One study examined the impact of combining digestive enzymes with probiotic supplements. The study showed that this combination could help protect against changes in the gut microbiome, which is often caused by chemotherapy.
Interestingly, some studies have shown that the gut microbiome plays a crucial function in weight control.
A review also reported that enhancing the beneficial bacteria in the gut may help reduce fat mass, body mass index, and body weight.
However, more studies are still ongoing to show the effects of digestive enzymes on weight control in humans.
May alleviate symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
An incomplete breakdown of food in the digestive tract can cause congestion and overfeeding of the gut bacteria. This often results in gas, loose bowels, swelling, and other common effects.
However, some studies have shown that enzymes, such as Pancrelipase, can help relieve IBS symptoms.
Supports a healthy inflammatory response
Several proteolytic enzymes such as trypsin, bromelain, papain, chymotrypsin, are involved in the breakdown of proteins into amino acids and polypeptides.
The enzyme, protease, is also known to help digest the protein content of foods such as poultry, meats, nuts, and eggs.
While protease works to break down protein into amino acids, this enzyme is also essential for many interactions, such as ensuring a healthy inflammatory response and improving immune functions.
One clinical study observed the effect of digestive enzyme supplements on 570 participants suffering from IBS and IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). The result showed that the enzyme helped improve the symptoms such as constipation, bloating, stomach pain, and painful bowel movement.
Research has found a link between inflammation in the gut and pain like headache and migraine. Hence by adding digestive enzymes to your diet to improve digestion, you can reduce inflammation in your gut leading to decreased pain and fatigue.
Food sources containing digestive enzymes
Some good food sources loaded with natural digestive enzymes include:
Can Digestive Enzymes help You Lose Weight?
Various research has shown that taking digestive enzyme supplements may help boost the health of your gut microbiome. This has been largely linked to weight regulation and weight loss.
However, studies have been conducted on enzyme inhibitors – compounds that inhibit the function of certain enzymes in the body.
Digestive enzymes inhibitors help decrease the absorption of certain macronutrients. This has been shown to support weight loss and the treatment of obesity.
A review of 14 studies show that amylase inhibitors extracted from white beans may boost fat loss in humans and weight loss.
Another study found that blocking the effect of the enzyme, trypsin - which is involved in protein breakdown- caused a decrease in food consumption and weight gain.
One popular lipase inhibitor called “orlistat” has been shown to help reduce fat absorption by 30%. This inhibitor acts by decreasing the function of lipase in the pancreas and stomach, leading to weight loss.
One study observed the effect of long-term use of orlistat in 40 obese women. The result showed an increase in the level of certain hormones that suppress appetite and hunger. But some other studies found that orlistat could decrease these hormones and speed up the emptying of the stomach.
However, apart from affecting hormonal levels, lipase inhibitors have been found to cause some side effects, such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and fat in the stool.
So we can say while digestive enzymes support weight loss indirectly by promoting a healthy gut microbiome, enzyme inhibitors are more researched to help shed a few pounds.
Interestingly, some foods contain a good amount of natural enzyme inhibitors. These foods include legumes, broccoli, potatoes and even oranges. When you add a moderate amount of these foods in your diet, it may help in promoting weight loss.
However, note that science recommends a healthy diet and regular exercise as the best way to lose weight naturally.
Digestive Enzyme Supplements
While your body produces a good amount of digestive enzymes and some foods contain a significant amount of these enzymes, supplements containing a blend of several important enzymes provide multiple health benefits.
For example, Helthr Advanced Digestive Enzymes is formulated with 18 most important digestive enzymes, including amylase, protease, lipase, cellulase, Glucanase, and more. It even contains a very special enzyme called “Aspergillopepsin,” which helps break down gluten 60 times faster than other enzymes, and eases any effect of gluten on people with a sensitivity.
So if you want to tap into the full nutrient in meals to derive energy, repair tissue, as well as relieve bloating and gas, then you should consider incorporating a digestive enzyme supplement into your diet.
Helthr Advanced Digestive Enzymes is 100% vegan and 1 bottle contains 60 veggie capsules, which are proven to restore your youthful energy, encourage smooth digestion and benefit every part of your health.
However, it is important to always follow the recommended dosage of any digestive enzyme supplement. As an adult, you may just need to take one capsule at the beginning of each meal. But do not take more than six capsules daily.
Several studies show that digestive enzymes could help improve the health of the gut microbiome, and this has been linked with good weight control.
However, digestive enzyme inhibitors have been shown to reduce the action of certain enzymes, controlling appetite and food intake, and boosting weight loss. But these drugs may cause serious side effects.
So, while digestive enzyme supplements may or may not directly help you lose weight, they promote healthy digestion and gut regularity, especially in people with certain gut issues.
Cobionic is a holistic wellness company and our products are created are formulated with strictly natural and clinically proven ingredients that are third-party tested for quality and safety.
Our digestive enzyme supplements help boost your digestion function and maximize nutrient absorption. You may get these vegan capsules today and add to your diet routine to boost gut function and increase your chance of losing weight.