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Formulating a holistic product for digestive healthFormulating a holistic product for digestive health

A truly holistic approach to digestion includes both probiotic and enzymatic support, but formulating and testing such a formula is a complex process.

Melissa Kvidahl Reilly

November 8, 2018

2 Min Read
Formulating a holistic product for digestive health

A truly holistic approach to digestion includes both probiotic and enzymatic support. The enzymes help breakdown foods earlier in the process, allowing probiotics and other bacteria to work most efficiently when food reaches the intestines.

“The probiotic category is a crowded one,” said Naeem Shaikh, Ph.D., vice president of research and innovation at National Enzyme Company (NEC). “It makes sense to differentiate by synergizing probiotics with enzymes in a formulation, because they work in harmony towards better digestion.”

However, a common misconception exists: probiotics and enzymes aren’t automatically compatible in the same product.

“Probiotics are proteins in nature,” Shaikh explained. “If you add any kind of protease into the formula and don’t closely control the conditions, the protease can activate unintended proteolytic reactions. It’s a challenging combination.”

To circumvent this challenge, it is important to control the raw material water activity (the amount of water available for reaction) as well as the type of bacteria in a proprietary blend of probiotics and enzymes. Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus coagulans are more stable than other strains under higher humidity and temperatures, and are able to withstand the manufacturing process.

“We started with 5 billion CFU [colony forming unit] per tablet and studied how a broad-spectrum, enzyme product that included protease, lipase, amylase, lactase and others would interact with the probiotics,” Shaikh said. “The objective of NEC’s initiative was to study the symbiotic effect of enzymes and probiotics, and provide supporting data in conjunction with two-year, real-time, shelf-life stability studies,” Shaikh said.

Formulating, though, is only part of the challenge. Next comes testing, and testing an enzyme and probiotic combination formula is a complex process, according to Tammy Blakemore, general manager for SORA Labs.

This is an excerpt from the article, “Enzymes and Probiotics Together? A Case for Including Both for Holistic Digestive Support.” Read the complete article by downloading INSIDER’s Digestive Health Digital Magazine.

This article was submitted by National Enzyme Company and written by Melissa Kvidahl Reilly. Reilly is a freelance writer with 10 years of experience covering the natural products industry, from food and beverage to personal care, from research developments to market trends. Her work appears in a number of industry publications, including Natural Products INSIDER, Food Insider Journal, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Delicious Living and more. She lives and writes in New Jersey.

About the Author(s)

Melissa Kvidahl Reilly


Melissa Kvidahl Reilly is a freelance writer and editor with 10 years of experience covering news and trends in the natural, organic and supplement markets. She lives and works in New Jersey.

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