Digestive Enzymes Might Be Spiking Your Blood Sugar

high blood sugar pharmaceutical pills glucose monitor imageIf you do take a digestive enzyme formula, please check the ingredients and make sure it doesn’t contain enzymes for digestion commonly listed as Amylases. The bad news is that most of them do. In fact, they play a leading role in most digestive enzyme formulas.

Amylases are enzymes produced in the pancreas that are secreted into the small intestine to help break down dietary starches and sugar. Taking extra of these amylases can increase the speed with which the body breaks down carbohydrates, which can cause excess and rapidly-absorbing glucose into the bloodstream. This can cause dangerously high after meal blood sugar spikes and high blood sugar (1). So Beware! These are dangerous enzymes for digestion.

Now, we have been told that as we age the ability to manufacture digestive enzymes declines and, yes, I have to admit there are studies to back this up.

But why accept this without a fight? It is just not as simple as saying, if I take digestive enzymes and feel better, it means I need them for the rest of my life. Why not investigate why the body is not producing adequate enzymes for digestion in the first place?

The most common reason that this happens is liver congestion. In the vast majority of humans, right before the bile duct enters the small intestine, it connects with the pancreatic duct (2).

If the large intestine is constipated or inflamed, toxins will default back to the liver for processing and, over time, congest the liver and thicken the bile. A congested bile duct can block the flow of digestive enzymes from the pancreas in at least 91% of the population (2). In one study, 46% of patients with pancreatitis had extra thick and viscous bile, linking congested bile to pancreatic function.

My Advice on Enzymes for Digestion:

  • If you have blood sugar issues, as do at least 100 million Americans, avoid amylase enzymes.
  • Eat more beets, radishes, fennel, fenugreek, leafy greens and small amounts of cinnamon to thin your bile.


  1. 1. Stout J. Are You Obtaining the Proper Enzymes. Life Ext Mag. Jan 2013
  2. 2. Guyton Physiology.2011


  1. Scott says


    Now before you go and post an article such as this, you may want to do a bit more research before someone dies from your advice. Let us say that someone in my situation goes and reads this article and stops taking the Pancreatic enzymes that their doctor has prescribed to them. They begin suffering from being malnourished and die. Why is it you ask? Well it is because I have no pancreas to create the digestive enzymes which you speak of. My pancreas was damaged due to a drunk driver hitting me upon my motorcycle. Years later, I found a doctor that was able to transplant my islet cells into my liver which in time will stop the diabetes that I currently have. But nothing can be done to create the enzymes that are required to digest the foods, so I need to add these into my diet in order to digest foods. I will be the first to say that my sugars spike on these, but it sure is better than the alternative!!

    • Debbie says

      I agree with this man. I decided I should take digestive enzymes. I took ones that had amylase with each meal. I do not eat ANY refined sugar (not even honey, or fruit juice) and my diet is super low in high-glycemic foods, especially vegetables. But when I decided to take the enzymes (the package said 2 per meal), after just a few months, my appetite rose, I gained 3 pounds (I eventually decided to not eat when hungry, just at meals when I began to suspect something was wrong), and my blood sugar spiked so high, my doctor was concerned I had become pre-diabetic.
      Then I became suspicious of the digestive enzymes. I read this article (and also one by Suzanne Somers who also said digestive enzymes can “work too well” and increase hunger), and stopped taking them. My appetite has gone back to normal and I will have another blood test in a few months and expect good results. Listen to this man! Watch the amylase, invertase and alpha galactosidase enzymes. They can cause trouble. They did for me.

    • John Douillard says

      Hi Scott,
      Yes, it sounds like for your unique medical situation, enzymes are a great help.
      As stated on every page of the LifeSpa website: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of John Douillard. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and they are not intended as medical advice. They are intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of John Douillard and his community. John Douillard encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

  2. joshuah says

    Are you speaking about synthetic digestive enzymes or natural digestive enzymes? I have been taking a papaya extract enzyme with papacain and bromelain in it. Since these ingredients are naturally found in fruits (pineapple and papaya), will these be good to use or are ALL digestive enzymes bad for you whether they are synthetic or natural? Thank you.

  3. Eric says

    Interesting theory. Any scientific evidence to back this up? Because there is evidence for the exact opposite:


    “Specifically, higher salivary amylase activity is related to lower blood glucose… Individuals with high amylase levels are better adapted to eat starches, as they rapidly digest the starch while maintaining balanced blood glucose levels…”

    • John Douillard says

      Hi Eric,
      Yes, the references for the studies are listed at the bottom of our articles.

      1. Stout J. Are You Obtaining the Proper Enzymes. Life Ext Mag. Jan 2013
      2. Guyton Physiology.2011

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