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Enzymes: Digestion and Beyond

<p>Enzymes play an important role in a healthy body and are crucial at a cellular level. Research and formulation is coming a long way in helping consumers understand what enzymes are used for and why they are important.</p>

Enzymes keep many bodily functions in working order. Low levels of enzymes in the body can cause various problems. Lactose intolerance is one well-known ailment usually caused by low levels of the enzyme lactase. Due to the lack of lactase in the body, people who are lactose intolerant have difficulty digesting lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk products. Normally, the small intestine would produce lactase to break lactose into simple sugars that the body can easily absorb.

In a 2010 study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, researchers found tilactase, a digestive enzyme and an ingredient found in medicines for lactose intolerance such as Lactaid, strongly improved both lactose breath test (LBT) results and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms after lactose ingestion, compared to placebo. Tilactase also showed better results than the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri.

There are many enzyme supplement solutions on the market, including Tolerase™ G from DSM for gluten sensitivity and ThioZyme®YD and ThioZyme®GI from Deerland Enzymes, for digestive tract function.

It’s not only deficiencies that enzymes are a useful supplement for. Enzymes have also found a home in the sports nutrition category. Deerland offers ProHydrolase, a biosufficient supplement designed to build muscle mass and accelerate muscle recovery when used as an ingredient in protein supplements. It provides superior protein digestion and has been clinically proven to increase amino acids in the blood, according to Scott Ravech, CEO of Deerland Enzymes.

An unpublished clinical study of ProHydrolase 5 found that adding a blend of ProHydrolase to whey protein isolate caused amino acid concentration in the blood to increase by 20 percent, compared to supplementing with whey protein alone. C-reactive protein levels also decreased, which indicated a reduction of inflammation in the body. Insulin levels were not affected by ProHydrolase supplementation.

Aminogen® and Carbogen® from Triarco Industries are enzyme systems designed with the sports nutrition category in mind. Aminogen® functions to help break down protein and increase the rate of amino acid absorption and Carbogen®, according to Rodger Rohde, Jr., president of Triarco Industries, works as a food-interactive energy product by breaking down difficult-to-digest complex carbohydrates, releasing more and longer-lasting energy.

With the many applications enzymes have to offer, it’s no surprise that the market is growing stronger. More research is emerging and consumers are seeing how enzymes can be used and the benefits they bring.

Read more in the article “Encompassing Enzymes" in INSIDER’s Digestive Health Content Library.

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