Healthy digestion begins with the natural secretion of digestive enzymes. The enzymes break down food into macronutrients, which in turn provide energy to every part of our body, allowing us to function effectively. There are different digestive enzymes for every stage of the digestive process, from specific enzymes, such as amylase, produced in our salvia, through to proteases, lipases and carbohydrases that work in the small intestines.
Why do we have an enzyme deficiency?
Our natural secretion of digestive enzymes can be reduced by our lifestyle choices and the environments in which we live, work and play. If we are exposed to pollution and environmental toxins, or have a mineral or nutrient deficiency, or suffer from stress, or experience poor sleep our enzyme production will also be impacted. And as we age our natural enzyme production also tends to slow down. In fact, most people over the age of 30 should be taking a digestive enzyme supplement to support the function of their gastrointestinal tract.
One of the major contributing factors to a deficiency in digestive enzymes is our diet. If we are eating cooked or processed foods, then the natural enzymes in the raw ingredients have been denatured by heating the food item over 60 degrees C.
Popular fast food and supermarket meals are usually so difficult to digest that most people would benefit from enzyme supplementation when eating these types of processed foods.
Effective tools for healthy digestion
When food is not properly digested by healthy stomach acid and digestive enzymes, undigested food particles pass through the digestive tract, creating low-level inflammation, food intolerance symptoms, gas, bloating and flatulence. Over time, the gut’s beneficial bacteria are also affected, which can create a greater risk for nutrient deficiency or malabsorption issues.
Signs and symptoms that indicate poor digestive enzyme function:
- Food intolerance
- Fatigue after eating
- Food or oil in our stools
How to help our digestive system
Because so many things can interfere with the healthy production of digestive enzymes, adding a digestive enzyme supplement to our eating routine is an easy way to ensure we effectively digest as much of the nutrition we are eating as possible.
“Enzymes are the body’s most effective tools for healthy digestion”
There are many different types of digestive enzymes, each with a specific function, so it is best to choose a supplement that has a wide variety of different enzymes in the ingredients list. Broad-spectrum enzyme supplements contain proteases needed to break down tough proteins, lipases for fat digestion, amylases for carbohydrate digestion and cellulases for fibre digestion.
Selecting a high-quality digestive enzyme
Like many supplements, there are assorted brands, with ingredients and formulas that each differ in function and quality. When it comes to selecting the right digestive enzyme product, it’s important to understand what your digestive supplement contains.
Read the label – Look for units of enzyme potency/activity level
Be wary of any enzyme formula that lists only the weight (milligrams) of enzymes present as opposed to the activity level of each enzyme in the formula. Some manufacturers list only milligrams on the ingredients label, but it is enzyme activity level that is important with digestive enzymes. Two batches of the same enzyme of equal weight can have wildly different activity levels. The bottom line is that when it comes to enzymes, milligram measurements are just not useful and can be downright misleading, as there is no direct relationship between weight and units of activity.
When comparing enzymes, if you want a like for like comparison, you need to compare activity levels. The internationally recognized and accepted standard for measurement is by Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) Units. This is usually expressed in different activity units for each type of enzyme. For example, Proteases are measured in HUT, Amylases are measured in DU and Lactases are measured in ALU.
CuraZymes – the next generation enzyme formulas for digestive health
CuraZyme Vital features 10 different pharmaceutical grade vegan enzymes; 3 CuraBlend enzymes (Proteases, Amylases, Lipases) plus 7 additional enzymes including additional carbohydrate digesting enzymes Glucoamylase and Xylanase. CuraZyme Vital has MCT (Medium-chain triglycerides) included in the ingredients as an enzyme accelerator. This helps to speed up the activity and potency of the enzymes.
CuraZyme Vital is an ideal introductory digestive enzyme, if you haven’t tried an enzyme supplement before, or if you are looking for a smaller capsule for those that don’t like to swallow capsules. The vegetarian capsule can be twisted open and the contents sprinkled onto food for younger family members. If you are going to sprinkle the enzymes on food, make sure that the food is cold/cool such as yoghurt or apple puree.
CuraZyme™ Ultra is a potent formula, with 13 specialised enzymes, each one carefully selected for its unique effect on different types of foods. Ax-Max500™, our proprietary enzyme accelerator, is added to speed up and increase the potency of the digestive enzymes.
CuraZyme Ultra is ideal to take with a difficult to digest meal, such as your main cooked meal of the day. This enzyme formula rapidly eliminates wind, bloating, heartburn and indigestion.
The CuraBlend Difference
The digestive enzymes used in the CuraZyme products are very stable, resist damage caused by the stomach acid and are effective throughout the entire pH range of the gastrointestinal tract. Since this pH varies from very acid to alkaline, it is important to choose products that utilise modern technologies, such as our CuraBlend process. This involves careful blending of multiple protease, amylase and lipase enzyme variants, allowing the effective break down of all proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
One vegan capsule with each meal
Both CuraZyme Vital and Ultra are best taken at the beginning of a meal, with the first bite of food. This allows the enzymes to work at their very best. If you forget to take the capsule at the beginning of the meal, take it as soon as you remember.
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Ianiro, G., Pecere, S., Giorgio, V., Gasbarrini, A., & Cammarota, G. (2016). Digestive Enzyme Supplementation in Gastrointestinal Diseases. Current drug metabolism, 17(2), 187–193.
Jayachandran, M., Chen, J., Chung, S., & Xu, B. (2017). A critical review on the impacts of B-glucans on gut microbiota and human health. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 61, 101-110.
Sperber, A.D. et al. (2021) “Worldwide prevalence and burden of functional gastrointestinal disorders, results of Rome Foundation Global Study,” Gastroenterology, 160(1). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.04.014