Stomach enzymes, also called digestive enzymes, are absolutely essential for healthy digestion. So if your supply of these enzymes is lagging, you may be feeling a little rotten all over.
Because if you can't digest your food, it tends to sit in your system and rot, or worse yet, get into your bloodstream without being properly broken down. Both can cause many different health challenges.
You may be thinking...
"OK, but how did I live so many years without them, if I need them now?"
The answer to that question varies depending on your diet and lifestyle, but there are two major reasons we eventually need stomach enzymes.
In short, enzymes are protein molecules that help our bodies function.
Enzymes work with co-factors (frequently minerals), and co-enzymes (frequently vitamins), to help our bodies produce energy, detoxify, protect against outside attacks, and do practically everything else that happens in the body.
Stomach enzymes help us break down our food so that we can use it.
If they are lacking, not only will it cause indigestion, gas, diarrhea, and general digestive difficulties, it may also contribute to Crohn's disease, IBS, and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
In addition it is now suspected that their lack also has an indirect influence over conditions like arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue, and allergies.
All foods can be divided into three major groups, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. In case you don't recognize "carbohydrates", that group is made up of sugars and starches. Starches are broken down in the body into sugars.
For healthy digestion we need enzymes that enable us to break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and we need enough of them to get the job done completely.
Most stomach enzymes come in a multi-enzyme formula. You can buy them separately, but it would be much more expensive.
Frequently these formulas may contain some minerals that act as co-factors, as well as Betaine Hydrochloride, which is a supplemental acid to be sure that the protein enzymes will work properly.
When taking a multi-enzyme formula, follow the dosing instructions on the bottle, unless a doctor gives you other directions.
Generally speaking stomach enzymes are safe and without side effects...
However when you first start taking them they could cause gas or bloating due to your digestive system trying to re-balance itself, because getting enough digestive enzymes could enable your body to kill off yeast, and other bad bacteria, that have been over populating your stomach and intestines.
If you should have symptoms that don't go away fairly quickly, you could be having a reaction to some component of the enzymes themselves. In that case you would need to find a different formula.
People with ulcers, blood clotting problems, and those about to have surgery should avoid taking protein digesting enzymes unless their doctor knows, and approves.
If you are allergic to pork or beef, don't take enzymes derived from these animals.
But, if you have a problem with yeast overgrowth, taking enzymes made from microbes should not be a problem, according to Dr. Stengler, who wrote The Natural Physician's Healing Therapies.
Multi-Enzymatic formulas are available in many different places. When I don't have time to get them from the Internet, I've been able to pick them up at Wal-Mart.
However I usually order them, when I have time, from Vitacost, or Vitamin World. You can do the same by clicking on the image to the left, at the top of the page for Vitacost, or right beside here for Vitamin world. These are two of the most economical suppliers I've found.
Another place that you can get quality digestive enzymes is Life Extension Foundation. You can find them by clicking their ad below. I know they offer very high quality products..
Amazon also has several formulas available. I know that the Garden of Life Omega-Zyme Digestive Enzyme Blend, Caplets, 180-Count Bottle is a quality formula as well.
These are just some of my favorites, of the multiple enzyme formulas available.
If you are having trouble with your digestion, trying stomach enzymes might be one of the easiest ways to resolve the problem.
As with all health supplements, you frequently get what you pay for...
If you get the cheapest you can find, they may not work at all. A quality product is necessary to help. But, they are a fairly easy supplement to find.
They have been a tremendous boost to my health! Give them a try to see how much they'll help you.