Involved in almost every biochemical activity in the body, enzymes have earned their reputation as the “sparks of life.” Enzymes are catalysts in digesting food, stimulating the brain, supplying cellular energy and in repairing tissues, organs and cells. Simply put, we can’t live without enzymes.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t consume enough enzymes in our diet. The over-processing and over-cooking of modern foods can destroy these important molecules. Regular occurring indigestion is often the initial symptom of poor enzyme activity. This occurs when there are insufficient enzymes to properly digest food, resulting in an excess of hydrogen and carbon dioxide from undigested and fermenting food. Anyone who has experienced bouts of bloating and gas knows the discomfort of indigestion.
A full spectrum enzyme supplement can be an effective way to get relief from indigestion caused by a variety of food types. Some of the specific enzymes to look for in such supplements are:
Not only can enzymes help with indigestion, but also the increased energy you will feel due to the improved absorption of important food nutrients is yet another reason to supplement with a full spectrum enzyme formula.
Digestive Health – The role of stomach acid
How Betaine Hydrochloride can make your digestive enzyme supplement even more effective.
It is estimated that almost one-third of Canadians suffer from low stomach acidity. This condition occurs when an individual’s stomach is unable to produce a sufficient amount of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) for the proper functioning of the digestive system. Baby boomers and seniors are the groups most commonly afflicted by low stomach acidity, as aging and the frequent use of medications can reduce the stomach’s acid producing capability.1
Common signs of low stomach acidity are reflected in a variety of poor digestion symptoms. Bloating, belching and flatulence after meals, indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea or constipation, undigested food in the stool, and food allergies are all associated with insufficient stomach acid.
There are serious health concerns that can result from low stomach acidity. One is the poor absorption of minerals and vitamins, particularly calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid. Just recently, certain ulcer drugs that lower stomach acid production were linked to a 41% reduction in calcium absorption in women.2 Poor absorption of minerals and vitamins can lead to malnutrition and a host of health problems. A second concern is that low stomach acidity has been found to adversely affect the immune system of seniors. Because food borne bacteria and parasites thrive in an environment of low stomach acidity, risk of a related infection is increased.3
Many health care professionals recommend betaine hydrochloride supplementation to maintain proper stomach acid production. Betaine hydrochloride is a vitamin-like nutrient found naturally in grains and contains hydrochloric acid.
One way to alleviate digestive problems is to supplement with a full spectrum digestive enzyme containing added betaine hydrochloride. A full spectrum digestive enzyme typically contains a complex of enzymes to break down the major food substances – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, lactose and plant materials. The addition of betaine hydrochloride to such a supplement will help those with low stomach acidity by ensuring a more productive digestive environment. Betaine hydrochloride also helps to activate enzymes for improved digestion.
For a more serious stomach acidity problem, your health care professional may recommend a high dose betaine hydrochloride supplement.