Ease Holiday Overeating Distress with Enzymes

Over the holidays most people tend to over indulge in food and drink, as fun and feasting go hand in hand. I could say the best thing is to not overeat in the first place, but where’s the fun in that? However, often there is a price to pay because overeating can cause digestive distress. Digestive enzymes can help easy some of the ‘tummy troubles’ over the holidays and on a regular basis. 

Digestive enzymes are produced and secreted by the gastrointestinal system to breakdown fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, that facilitate digestion and absorption of nutrients. There are three primary types of enzymes:

Amylases: break down carbohydrates into simple sugars like glucose

Proteases: break down proteins into amino acids

Lipases: Break down fats into fatty acids

Digestive enzymes such as bromelain, amylase, cellulase, lactase, lipase, and protease are some of the key enzymes that have been shown to help support digestion when taken with or directly after meals. These three types of enzymes alone will help digest the majority of most meals and they work synergistically to help support optimal digestion.

In addition to over eating and drinking in general over the festive season, the abundance of sweets and rich deserts are a huge temptation for everyone. Those who have intolerances to lactose and gluten may find the holidays particularly challenging and unable to resist.

It is estimated that 75 percent of individuals worldwide experience or some degree of  lactose intolerance, even though many may not be aware of this and attribute the gut discomfort to other causes. Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk products while casein is the protein in milk. Many who have a lactose intolerance also have trouble digesting milk protein. Taking a supplemental lactase enzyme combined with proteases can help digest lactose and casein and reduce or even eliminate uncomfortable gut symptoms.

Gluten sensitivity is also a common problem and for those with either celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it is important to consider taking a digestive supplement that combines protein-digesting enzymes (proteases) and a specific gluten-digesting enzyme called dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV). These enzymes help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of gluten intolerance. DPP-IV is thought to be one of the key enzymes responsible for the digestion of these proteins and is found in lower amounts in the intestinal lining of individuals with gluten intolerance.

While following a gluten, casein/lactose free diet usually reduces uncomfortable symptoms there are times when a person chooses to indulge or there are often hidden sources of these in foods. That’s where supplemental digestive enzyme preparations come in—they help people tolerate lower levels of gluten, casein or lactose intake and enjoy the odd desert without regret.

Several formulations of digestive enzymes are available on the market, each being different in terms of enzyme type, source and origin. Talk to the knowledgeable staff at Vitamin Shop to help guide your choice of a blended mixture that suits your digestive needs whether it is for the festive season or to aid digestion on a regular basis.  

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