Digestive Enzymes: The Hidden Dangers

Digestive Enzymes: The Hidden Dangers

In This Article

What Are Digestive Enzymes?

It amazes me how many people I see in my practice who are taking supplemental digestive enzymes. I think they’ve all been told that they’ll lose their ability to make enzymes as they age, and that they need to take digestive enzymes in order to digest food properly.

The digestive enzymes we produce naturally help break down food and turn it into the nutrients we need.

I am a firm believer that most of us can have the digestive strength of an 18-year-old, without the help of pills or powders.

The reality is that we make plenty of digestive enzymes, but as we age, the channels they use to reach our digestive tract, including the bile and pancreatic ducts, can become sluggish from bile sludge.

Here, I share some digestive reset insights and strategies so that you don’t risk becoming dependent on supplemental digestive enzymes.

See also 10 Lifestyle Tips for Perfect Digestion

Why People Take Digestive Enzymes

Intestinal irritation from a diet of processed food, food pesticides, environmental pollutants, and stress may congest intestinal villi, disturb the delicate balance of gut microbes, and force toxic material back to the liver and pancreas.

Over time, this can congest the liver and gallbladder .A congested liver can cause bile production to become more viscous and sludge-like. Thick bile can slowly coat bile ducts and congest bile and pancreatic enzymes ducts. Your bile ducts move bile from your liver and gallbladder into your small intestine, but before the bile duct meets the intestine, it joins up with the pancreatic duct in 91% of the population. (Arthur Guyton and John Hall’s Textbook of Medical Physiology) As a result, sluggish liver and gall bladder function can affect the natural flow of digestive enzymes from the pancreas.

When bile ducts, which are quite small, become congested, neither bile nor digestive enzymes can efficiently reach their destination in the small intestines, where they buffer, or neutralize, stomach acids and support digestive breakdown of fats, proteins, and carbs.

In this case, the intestines often send another message to send more bile and more pancreatic enzymes, further congesting the ducts.

Less bile in the small intestine leads to less fat metabolism. Fewer digestive enzymes in the small intestine leads to less effective digestion. Over time, these reactions can compound and begin to weaken digestive fire, cause gas and bloat, and affect the ability to digest foods like wheat, dairy, nuts, seeds, lectins, and a host of other harder-to-digest foods.

Unfortunately this situation encourages the use of, even dependency on, digestive enzyme supplementation.

See also How to Choose the Best Ayurvedic Herbs, Spices, and Foods for Your Digestion

beets with stems and leaves on a pink background
Photo by Foodism on Unsplash

How We Become Dependent on Digestive Enzymes

If you’re taking supplemental digestive enzymes, you may have noticed two things: first, you digest better when taking them, and second, you realize that you are becoming dependent on them.

You may be thinking, “Am I going to need to take digestive enzymes for the rest of my life?” Contrary to what you might have heard, the answer is no. But again, here is what is happening internally that may have led to dependency:

  1. Intestinal villi become congested (you can tell because stools are too dry or too loose).
  2. Toxic material drains from the gut to the liver.
  3. Bile in the liver becomes congested.
  4. Bile becomes too thick to flow through bile ducts.
  5. Thick bile coats pancreatic enzyme ducts.
  6. Small intestines signal for more bile and enzymes.
  7. Bile and enzyme ducts end up overcrowded, in digestive gridlock.
  8. Digestive fire weakens and food intolerances can appear.
  9. Long-term enzyme dependency ignores potentially serious underlying cause.

Short-term use of digestive enzymes can be okay, but if you find yourself having a hard time getting off of them, consider the side effects and alternatives below.

Taking a digestive enzyme will likely offer symptomatic relief, but will never address the real underlying concern. More importantly, ignoring the root cause can lead to more serious health concerns down the road.

According to Ayurveda, the digestive system is responsible for all aspects of health, immunity, and detoxification. Ignoring underlying symptoms of weak digestion by taking triggering foods out of your diet or masking the symptoms with digestive enzymes can weaken the body’s overall immunity over time. Digesting harder to digest foods, like wheat, dairy, and lectins, is how the body builds immunity,70% of which is made in your gut. These foods are hard to break down, which challenges the digestive system in a good way by having a hormetic effect on the intestinal wall that is responsible for hostingmuch of your gut immunity. Simply taking triggering foods out of your diet only weakens your long-term digestive strength and immune response

See also The Dangers of a Gluten-Free Diet

Possible Side Effects of Supplemental Digestive Enzymes

  • Dependency
  • Weaker digestion
  • Pancreatic enzyme insufficiency
  • Blockage of bile ducts
  • Blockage of pancreatic ducts
  • Digestive distress
  • Recurring digestive concern
  • Address symptoms, leaving cause to worsen
  • Gas
  • Bloat
  • Belching
  • Nausea
  • Sluggish elimination
  • Poor gallbladder function
  • Decreased stomach acid production
  • Decrease duodenal enzyme production
  • Compromised gut immunity

See also For a Sluggish Gallbladder, Try These 4 Ayurvedic Herbs and Foods

Cleansing can Lead to Digestive Enzyme Dependency

A few years ago, I was honored to lecture with one of the most brilliant natural medicine doctors of our time, Bernard Jensen, PhD. He was in his 90s and after writing 50 books, developing iridology and numerous colon cleansing therapies, was taking 17 digestive enzymes with every meal.

I had so much respect for this man and I could not believe he was on digestive enzymes, let alone 17 with each meal. Interestingly, he had developed the first bentonite clay intestinal cleanse, which I did when I was 18, and the Colema Board, a slant board enema system.

When I heard he was on so many enzymes, I immediately thought of the hundreds of patients I have seen over the years that I’ve called cleansing casualties—folks who have cleansed themselves into having a digestive system that only works if they keep cleansing it.

It became painfully obvious in my practice that you can cleanse out the gut and feel great for a spell, but getting the gut to continue functioning on its own long after such a cleanse is the real test.

I was also struck by the completely opposite approach Ayurveda uses to clean the colon. Rather than irrigating the gut with water, which can dry it out over time, Ayurveda suggests soaking the gut in herbalized oils that have a soothing and lubricating effect.

I also noticed that Dr. Jensen’s belly was largely distended and bloateda telltale sign that the villi inside the gut and lymph directly outside the gut are congested and compromised.

The intestinal wall, including its trillions of microbes and associated lymphatics, are dependent on a very delicate balance between being too wet or dry. We have all experienced dry skin after a shower. In the same way water can dry out your outer skin, overuse of water colonic irrigation may slowly dry out the villi and cause them to produce excess reactive mucus. As a result, your stools may become sluggish, loose, or both.

See also Cleansing vs Fasting: Risks + Benefits

Closeup of cinnamon stick on a blue background
Photo by J. Williams on Unsplash

Alternatives to Digestive Enzymes

Now that you understand why we may be lacking in these enzymes for digestion, and how you may become dependent on supplemental digestive enzymes, you may be asking, “Why not just decongest the bile and improve bile flow?” My sentiments exactly! Here’s how:

  1. Eat More Cholagogues

Eat more cholagogues, or bile-movers, such as raw beets, celery, apples, artichokes, and leafy greens. Greens should make up 2/3 of your plate. The cellulose in greens will attach to toxic bile and escort it to the toilet like a nonstop flight! Turmeric has been shown to increase gallbladder contraction by 50%!

  • Drink Fenugreek Tea

Fenugreek acts as a lubricant for bile ducts and helps support normal bile flow.

  • Cinnamon

Have cinnamon with every meal. Cinnamon supports healthy blood sugar levels, while also supporting normal bile flow.

  • Olive Oil + Lemon Juice

Mix 1-2 tbsp organic olive oil with 1-2 tsp lemon juice. Shake and drink every morning or night on an empty stomach for one month. This will exercise the liver and gallbladder while supporting healthy bile flow in the bile and pancreatic ducts.

  • Rehydration Therapy

Drink a big glass of water 15-20 minutes before each meal. This will super-hydrate your stomach, encouraging it to produce more hydrochloric acid and increase the flow of bile and pancreatic enzymes.

  • Regular Cleansing

Consider regular detoxification of the liver and fat cells, which store toxic material that has been processed through the liver. Regular cleansing, without overdoing it, can help you maintain optimal digestion.

  • Herbal Supplementation

Consider supplementation to support healthy bile production and bile pancreatic enzyme flow. Read about LifeSpa’s Gentle Digest, Beet Cleanse, and Liver Repair.

For more information on how to reboot your digestion, read my book Eat Wheat.

  • Regular Cleansing

    Consider regular detoxification of the liver and fat cells, which store toxins processed through the liver. Regular cleansing can help one maintain optimal digestion.

  • Herbal Supplementation

    Consider supplementation to support healthy bile production and bile pancreatic enzyme flow. Read about Gentle Digest, Beet Cleanse and Liver Repair in my online store.

  • For more information on how to reboot your digestion, read my book Eat Wheat.

    ayurvedic cleanse dangers of digestive enzymes

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    Dr. John


    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19147295
    2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/857664
    3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2215354/
    4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1352884/
    5. Guyton and Hall Textbook of medical Physiology. 12th Sanders Press
    6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8028341
    7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3238796/
    8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2898551/
    9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12495265

    249 thoughts on “Digestive Enzymes: The Hidden Dangers”

      • Wendy, I think he is referring to synthetic enzymes that are being taken through capsules or others forms. These synthetic enzymes will, over time, inhibit the bodies own natural ability to produce it’s own enzymes. He is saying this is dangerous because the body is depending on a outside source of enzymes and the body is not producing them. Overtime as the body breaks down and depends on an outside source of enzymes, it will lose, somewhat, it’s own ability to produce these enzymes. This can be dangerous.

        • Your body doesn’t produce enzymes… lol. They body on secretes a hormone to release the enzymes when necessary. Enzymes come from our food. Unfortunately, most food no longer possess enzymes. Thank over sanitation and long travel times.

            • Your body should only produce enzymes from the liver if it HAS to. You need to get it out of food. But despite whether you get it from your food or from a capsule, it is the exact same thing. There is no difference at all.

            • Corey-Ross you are at least half right. The majority of our enzymes should come from our food…. but if we are buying that food from a store of any sort it is unlikely we are getting them and thus we NEED to supplement. The enzymes the body does produce is from the Pancreas and it should always have enzymes on hand but Corey is right in the sense that these are released when needed and should never be relied on, these are 911 enzymes for when chunks have made it that far through the digestive tract.

          • umm I am 100 percent certain your body produces enzymes. Your body DEFINITELY produce enzymes. They are proteins coded for by your DNA. It is why some people are lactose intolerant. Their BODIES do not produce lactase, the enzyme, for whatever reason. enzymes are essential to digestion and are not needed from food. how could you even break down the food in the first place to get the enzymes from it if your body didnt already make them. It starts with amylase which is an enzyme in your saliva. beginning the digestive process before food even reaches your stomach. There are a cascade of other enzymes involved as well. mostly secreted from the pancreas. and please dont argue with me on this one. I am currently in school taking Biology and I have been for the past 2 years. 6 Bio classes so far. Anatomy/Physiology 1 and 2 Microbiology, basic biology, you name it. My professor would cringe if I didnt know something as basic as knowing that our bodies do, in fact, make enzymes. lots and lots of enzymes….but not cellulase. which is good. we cant break down cellulose from plant foods and that in turn becomes what we call fiber and cleans our insides 🙂

            • Enzymes are already in your body but they are inactive. You have to eat co-enzymes for them to be active. An example of a co enzyme is all vitamin Bs, biotin, folic acid, vitamin E, and vitamin k.
              I’m reading my microbiology book and was interested with enzymes and metabolism, this is how I ended up at this site.

            • I’ve been having digestive issues lately. What is a good diet to be on? I know too much fiber can be bad. I do drink at least 70 ounces of water daily, and take probiotics every night. Just been feeling terribly bloated and constipated. I had my gall bladder removed about 5 years ago. Appreciate any advice. Thanks!

            • This reply is for Nancy. I have an amazing clean eating program (not a diet) supported with the best, easiest to digest, supplements that can help reset your gut and get rid of the bloating and constipation. Contact me if you’d like to learn about it.

            • Basically we have crap food here in America that is filled with preservative foreign to the human body. We were meant to eat off the land obviously. Because the chemicals in our foods are not natural, the foreign chemicals throw the body off. When the body is confused in how to digest the particals in the body it automatically stores is as a fat and does not digest properly. That’s why the majority of Americans are over weight or suffer from disease. Most Americans do not have the time to grow their own food and/or not enough money to afford healthier foods. More preservatives, cheaper the food, longer it stays on the shelf the more profit. That’s why foods without preservatives are so much more expensive, less time on the shelf, less likely it will be sold in time. It’s all about money. I say all if this the explain that the enzymes are not produced naturally because of all the foreign chemicals. That’s why adding digestive support meds are a good way to break down the foods that are not digested properly. Cleanses and diets are a good ideas. However, how many people actually stick to them religiously? Their are select ingredients to avoid that will help. High fructose corn syrup, added sugars, sugar supplements, etc. Even containers that advertise as a health food are in fact that worst things to eat. I really do wish our government cared more about the people more than the profit they are gaining by giving us toxic foods.

            • You are my hero. Lol. I’m a licensed massage therapist and had to take similar classes, and yeah…it’s a good idea to know how your body works. And obviously this shows most people do not. So it’s nice to see someone gets it.

            • I am so very glad you wrote. Sites such as this may provide some useful information, if only to redirect our thinking and give us additional things to try to do or avoid, but often they are nearly void of actual scientific fact, alarmingly – and dangerously – in many cases. Science may not have all the answers, but science provides the best objective methodology for testing hypotheses. And what science DOES know is FACT and not OPINION. (Yes, I too have a strong background in the relevant academic fields.) 🙂

          • The enzymes in food are generally not digestive enzymes, such as protease, lipase, amylase etc. Papain and Bromelain in Papaya and Pineapple are exceptions to the rule. The enzymes that we get in raw foods are cellular enzymes like catalase, sod, glutathione peroxidase and others. These enzymes are very important for detoxification and cell protection, but they do not digest food. Your body most definitely produces all of your digestive enzymes. No big deal, a lot of people are repeating the misinformation that we get our digestive enzymes from raw food.

            • There is some interesting research, decades old, that native Alaskans have had the lowest rates of cancer for generations. In the studies, it is discovered that as a people group they primarily ate raw foods. This, in turn, gave the body the enzymes that are often “cooked” out during the cooking process. As Americans, we boil, saute’, steam, and microwave everything…or eat it in a can, cooked form. Since the enzymes are found mostly in raw food, we no longer have enough to supplement our bodies natural enzyme process. Since we don’t enjoy eating most foods raw, the enzyme market exploded in response to people trying to find a way to increase their enzyme intake. I know of people who have used raw foods and enzyme support to put their cancer in remission. Some of these friends of mine have been in remission for 10+ years due to an enzyme supported and mostly raw food diet.

          • Body does produce enzymes, both digestive and proteolytic. Body’s ability to produce enzymes for its own needs are not unlimited – Enzymes Potential. We are alive as long as we have enzymes in our body.Last enzyme left our body – we checked out

            • : )
              I think that the whole raw food movement mis educated people into thinking that the enzymes in food are the enzymes that digest our food. This is not correct. As you have said David, it is a biological fact that our body makes and stores and uses enzymes to digest our food.

              The whole point of this article is that John is saying that as we age and with all the stuff in our environment and foods our enzyme systems kinda don’t function as well and you need to take care of them and clean them out once in a while. Then things should improve and you won’t NEED to take the enzymes in pill form to help you digest food. Makes total sense.

          • Incorrect. Amino acids create enyzmes and proteins. We have both! We lack certain enzymes but we definitely produce enzymes.

          • Actually it does. Exocrine glands secrete them. For example the chief cells in your stomach produce the enzyme called pepsin. They also make the enzyme gastric lipase. The digestive enzymes we buy from health food stores are not synthentic, they come from pigs.

            • Only the pepsin comes from pigs. Other enzymes come from other sources. Lipase in an enzyme formula is usually a vegetarian product now.

          • Digestive enzymes such as Amylase,Lactase,Protease,etc; are produced by the Pancreas and the duct from the Pancreas joins the duct from the Gall Bladder which then enter the small intestines. So yes your body does make digestive enzymes.

          • This is totally false. Digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas, as is insulin. It’s the only two functions of the pancreas – insulin and digestive enzymes. My husband just had most of his pancreas removed, and believe me when I tell you the pancreas produces digestive enzymes. If you don’t agree with this, then you need to ask a pancreatic surgeon where digestive enzymes come from. If you don’t have enough digestive enzymes, it is because your pancreas is not producing enough, which could be a problem with your pancreas due to aging or a serious medical issue with your pancreas, like having it removed or having a tumor that is making it impossible for the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes.

      • Hi Wendy,
        It is not that the enzymes themselves are necessarily dangerous, it is that they are not healing the root cause of the digestive weakness. While enzyme supplements can provide quick fix, the source of the issue still needs to be addressed. The body’s ability to digest food is an indication of how well it can detoxify – which is vitally important.
        Also, as Nicole said, there is the concern of increased dependency on enzyme supplements and weakened digestion over time.
        I hope that helps to clear things up.

        • However, when you have Hashimoto’s, Isabella Wentz, recommended that we take Betaine Hydrochloric Acid tablets after every meal. I also have H Pylori (3 rounds of a/b gave me CDiff and I had a miscarriage…so don’t want to do meds again). I seem to have chronic inflammation and body is talking…just don’t know what it is saying! I am a 49 year old Latina 145 lbs and appreciate any feedback.

        • Many have asked about how to deal with digestive issues without a gallbladder but it has not been answered– I to have had my gallbladder removed- does this information apply the same or us there a different protocol for us without gallbladder? Thanks

        • Dependency? Stop talking out of your ass please. You don’t know the first thing about human biology and that is extremely apparent.

          • you need to stop being abussive and tell us how your opinion is the one to listen to. What credentials do you have to imply what you are saying. Google enzymes and it is apparent, you Corey are nothing but a troll.

        • You might want to consider changing the title of your article though because it promises to tell the dangers of digestive enzymes. And the section labeled “digestive enzyme summary” makes it seem as if you are saying the things listed there are the result of taking enzymes. That was probably not your intent, but you should really consider revising it because those misrepresentations turned me off to what was otherwise a very good article.

        • Hello
          When i eat salt pasta bresd all carbs any spicy food..salty foods ice cream milk butter cheese..I retain large amounts of sweelling bloating under eye puffiness. My skin swells up EVERYWHERE..Then MASSIVE FATIGUED ALL OVER…THID HAPPENS THE VERY NEXT DAY..I SLEEP HOURS MORE BECAUSE OF THIS PROBLEM…I NEED HELP..THIS AFFECTS MY QUALITY OF LIFE. THANK YOU

          • It sounds as if you have significant problems with food sensitivities and should probably get tested. I went to a GI doc to find out the source of significant stomach problems (turned out to be gastritis) and he had me tested. I turned out that I was sensitive to quite a few things (among them dairy and gluten) and while I was upset about having to cut out those foods (and not certain at all that cutting them out would help me), I found that when I did, I began to heal. My stomach is fine now. Additionally, other problems I thought were unrelated, such as inflammation in joints and tendons, went away as well.

          • Have your genes (DNA) tested for MTHFR mutation. My doctor tested me and it changed my life. I do well on gluten free, not because I’m allergic to wheat gluten. I do not produce the enzyme to convert synthetic B vitamins to usable folate. Mat rice flour products are nott “fortified or enriched.” These genetic mutations which are now common in America and likely the result of environmental toxins and vitamins made in a lab added to almost all food the past 60 years. We pay for it with illness, joint pain, mental health issues and gut inflammation because we can’t detox. When my gallbladder came out my surgeon said it was a nasty toxic waste dump but had no reason as how it got that way. Now I know. Eat nothing or put anything down your throat that contains folic acid. Eat clean unprocessed foods and fortunately B vitamins that can be processed without producing this enzyme is actually available…methyl folate, methyl B 6 and B12 if you are deficient in these. Eat lots of greens like spinach or add to smoothies. If you don’t want a genetic test, ask to go over your last lab test with the Doctor. A good clue you have the defect is high homocysteine and high B12 which your body can’t convert to usable form. It just stays in the blood.

            • I have have high blood levels of B12, high homocysteine and the MTHFR mutation. I do take the methylated form of folate and (methylcobalamin) B12 to compensate. I am concerned about my body not being able to use the available B12. Is there anything I should be doing? I stopped taking folic acid about 3 years ago.

        • Why would your body become dependent on the enzymes when supplemented? When the digestive requirements are met, surplus enzymes go to systemic functions like reducing inflammation and breaking down other blockages. Why would you not want to maximize every enzyme available, through diet, self production, and supplementation? Shouldn’t it only reduce the fatigue of enzyme producing organs allowing them to spend less time catching up to all of the non-enzymatic food we bring into our body? Leave a piece of toast or a burger out on the counter for a month. That thing will grow mold, shrivel and dehydrate but it will not break down. Do the same with a banana. The enzymes in that banana will digest the damn thing right on the counter, into a puddle of gooey nutrients, completely liquified. Now accelerate that process inside your body with the help of some of your own enzymes. Doesn’t it make sense that standard American diets create an unnessesary bourdon on our enzyme resources?? I like your suggestions for keeping a healthy gut though. Thanks for the fun read and the great comments all – Ian

          • Have your genes (DNA) tested for MTHFR mutation. My doctor tested me and it changed my life. I do well on gluten free, not because I’m allergic to wheat gluten. I do not produce the enzyme to convert synthetic B vitamins to usable folate. Mat rice flour products are nott “fortified or enriched.” These genetic mutations which are now common in America and likely the result of environmental toxins and vitamins made in a lab added to almost all food the past 60 years. We pay for it with illness, joint pain, mental health issues and gut inflammation because we can’t detox. When my gallbladder came out my surgeon said it was a nasty toxic waste dump but had no reason as how it got that way. Now I know. Eat nothing or put anything down your throat that contains folic acid. Eat clean unprocessed foods and fortunately B vitamins that can be processed without producing this enzyme is actually available…methyl folate, methyl B 6 and B12 if you are deficient in these. Eat lots of greens like spinach or add to smoothies. If you don’t want a genetic test, ask to go over your last lab test with the Doctor. A good clue you have the defect is high homocysteine and high B12 which your body can’t convert to usable form. It just stays in the blood.

          • If your son also has irregular bowel movements, like chronic diarea, his autism could be triggered from food allergens like gluten. Read the book called Breaking The Vicious Cycle for more info about why.

      • See when we plaster a broken hand or feet and when we cut open the plaster after two months we find that the healed limb is very much thinner. Why because if we stop using a body part it becomes weak and smaller like bodybuilder has bigger muscles than rest of us . Similarly when we use outside sources of enzymes the body does not feel the needs to produce enzymes itself and that part will become smaller and weaker progressively and die so let the body do its work itself

      • He’s saying we can become dependant on them. That does not make them dangerous, he is only offering, what he thinks is a viable alternative. I myself, have been on enzymes for many years, and cannot digest, without them.

        • Dude! The body doesn’t produce them! You need to retrieve enzymes from food. Wrong food = no enzymes. Live and fresh food will help, especially sprouts. But you cannot become dependent on enzymes as they naturally are retrieved from an external source! Stop listening to these self proclaimed doctors.

          • The pancreas produces protease, amylase, and lipase. Protease breaks down proteins. Amylase breaks down sugars/starches. Lipase breaks down fats. A simple search about the exocrine function of the pancreas will give you what you need to know about enzymes. These are then dumped into the duodenum with I believe 8 cups of pancreatic juices through the common duct along with bile. It also produces bicarbonate to neutralize the stomach acid because enzymes cannot do their work in a low ph environment. Once this happens, the enzymes are mixed with the contents that are excreted from the stomach and are broken down throughout the duodunem, jejunem, and ileum. Once it’s done the work it needs and there is lipase left over, it is absorbed in the colon and put to work breaking down triglycerides floating in your bloodstream. Hope this helped!

      • Hi everyone! Can someone explain to me why when I eat cooked foods I get really tired within minutes? My eyes get heavy and my heart starts beating fast. This doesn’t happen when I eat raw foods. I actually feel my stomach getting warm and my energy remains steady. I’ve been trying to figure this out for about 2 years now. All my blood work comes back normal and there’s no signs of diabetes or being pre-diabetic. I was thinking of going fully raw vegan but I hear I’ll miss out on some nutrients if I do. Can someone help me figure this out?

      • It’s funny that he says digestive enzymes are dangerous but yet he sells digestive enzymes in his store.

    1. Thank you for writing this article! I began searching on the internet to find an article that discusses pros and cons of digestive supplement, and I found yours. I have a couple of concerns: I think I may need synthetic supplements because I am unable to digest leafy greens and basically most skins of fruits/vegetables. These foods give me really bad indigestion and I can see them come out in whole pieces in my stool. You mention leafy greens in your article as a natural way to cure digestive issues, but since I can’t digest greens, I feel like eating them to aid with my digestion is counter intuitive. What are your thoughts on this? I should also mention that I got my gallbladder taken out when I was 10 years old and have had progressively worse digestion and stomach issues ever since. I am now 25 and cannot eat most foods without having some sort of distress 🙁

      • I am anxiously awaiting the answer to your question from Mr. Douillard. I think it will help many of us, who no longer have our gallbladders.
        (will continue to read down the line of comments to see if there is a similar question)

        • Apparently no answers on “do we need enzymes when Gall bladder removed?” and the complications of adding “Collagenous Colitis” or “microscopic Colitis” to the mix – – guess I gotta’ keep “googling” !

            • You wanna take lipase digestive enzymes otherwise you cant digest healhy fats if you dont have a gallbladder…. if not you get deficiecy, which leads to symptoms. Some more serious than others

    2. Please Help I have Major Gastroparesis.. Dr’s have done 3 endoscopy’s’ on me ..I’ve had pet scan, cat scans..fluoroscopy. .you name it I’ve tried it.. What is the best way for me to stop this excruciating Pain from this disease? Had it now for 10+ years I’ve tried everything. . I see take half t. olive oil with half of lemon juice 1 hr after waking on empty stomach in am and @ night..
      Please Help! Dr’s say maybe gastro pace maker oh my!
      Sincerley! Thanks

      • Hello Rosalind,
        I’ve had gastroparesis for some time. After all the oscopies (upper and lower) the doctor told me the only thing they KNOW that causes it is “some synthetic chemicals, in particular, BPA and red food coloring.” I have stayed away from food coloring for years and now I use glass jars for most of my food storage and I use glass or stainless steel for water bottles. I believe (though I’ve never had a doctor admit it) that gastroparesis can also be caused by destruction of intestinal flora through use of antibiotics. I took many courses of antibiotics due to chronic bladder infections after the C-section delivery of my son. It took me 17 years to find a natural solution to the infections but the harm had been done. Anyway, the GI doctor said the only thing they KNOW that helps this condition is probiotics. He recommended a cup of kefir every day and Align or Floraster every day. I take both Align and Floraster plus other probiotics and I took the kefir (unflavored, unsweetened) every day and was slowly improving for six months. Then I started getting worse. I have now cut out all dairy, including the kefir (I long ago cut out all grains and legumes, realizing they definitely caused gastroparesis about 72 hours after ingestion). Anyway, I’m three weeks into no dairy and am learning to make water kefir and have added more probiotic supplements. It will be awhile before I know if dairy was a problem. I hope my story can help you.

      • Old thread but you might want to look into the Vagus Nerve… damage to that nerve has been known to cause Gastroparesis.

    3. Interesting…i have a hard time digesting fat because of liver fibrosis caused by 25 years hepatitis…maybe in my case enzymes supplement would be beneficial?

    4. May I use Coconut Oil in place of Olive Oil for the Oil-Lemon shot each morning? Ive been using the Olive oil. Just wondering what the difference is.


      • Hi Lauren,
        Coconut oil bypasses the gallbladder so you will miss out that cleansing if you use it instead of olive oil. That said, coconut oil has many other beneficial properties and may be a worthwhile addition to your diet.

        • Enjoyed reading your interesting article. I suffer with tooth enamel erosion, therefore I’m very worried about the lemon/olive oil suggestion. Is there a way I can stop the lemon from damaging my teeth? Also like many on here due to stomach issues I can’t digest heavy fibre. Eating vegetables, leafy salads etc etc just blocks me up. My main issue is endless constipation, I would do anything to end this misery. Doctors have been of no help at all. They just suggest the usual drinks lots of water and fibre which blocks me up even more. Please help!!!

          • Hi Tony,
            Yes, this issue with digestion is a common problem. I usually start with our Slippery Elm Prebiotic Formula to heal, protect and slime the intestinal tract. From there I suggest the Elim I and Gut Revival (probiotic) to reboot elimination function. You can read more about these on my site.
            Hope that helps.
            Be well,
            Dr. John

            • I have Larengopharyngeal Reflux (Silent Reflux). My diet is very restrictive. Fat and acid are the 2 most critical considerations in m diet. How do might around drinking lemon juice and olive oil? Also, cinnamon is a no-no also..

          • Try cutting out bread and pasta from your diet. ALL breads (doughnuts, muffins, cookies, etc). Force yourself to eat more salads, but no grains. I believe its the grains that are blocking you up and not the salads. Also this is just a hunch, but diet soda will erode your teeth and bones – so make sure you don’t fall into that trap

          • For your teeth, Try fermented cod liver oil with high vitamin butter oil. I had extremely sensitive teeth and after taking it for a couple of weeks I noticed a difference. Get the flavoured stuff or capsule, it tastes terrible but is worth it. I get the Green Pasture’s Blue Ice. And yes, I also believe that grains have something to do with tooth problems as well. As far as the liver cleanse goes, I use the juice of a large grapefruit and have had good results. I mix it right with the olive oil in a jar. I don’t like sour things so to me it tastes much better.

          • Tony you mist likely have methane dominant SIBO (small intesinal bacterial overgrowth) I have it too. IT causes constipation and FIBRE makes it worse. They feed of certain sugars in vegetables. So even tho slippery elm bark will sooth the digestive track the bacteria feed off of it.

        • Hi. I have a bad reflux. Can I use the olive oil and lemon in the morning. Since, I understand both bad to reflux, also, can you send me a link what the best supplement for reflux, I used enzyme for 6 weeks 3 times a day, I stopped. Cold turkey. Now I feel worse then the beginning. Am I expirance rebund? I had a pain in my gold bladder, after I stopped I feel better but the reflux worse, thanks

    5. Hello, very informative article 🙂 I wanted to ask : all my digestive enzymes work fine with the exception of protease, so what can I do to help it specifically (I’m not even sure If I have a protease deficiency or it just doesn’t do its job well). Thanks in advance!

    6. I had my gallbladder taken this past March. It was full of stones and slush which I was told was caused my my back to back pregnancies and fast weight loss post partum. Now, I have read everywhere to take digestive enzymes and bile supplements to aid for the missing gallbladder. But I do not want to become dependant or mess me over in the long run. Can I still take the steps you have suggested and not necessarily have to take digestive enzymes?

      • Hi Stefany,
        All of the steps should be fine except for #4 – the olive oil and lemon might be too much. Let me know how it goes. The apple cider vinegar that Kathie mentioned in the comments here might be a good addition as well if you need more of a digestive boost for awhile.

      • Hi Kathie,
        Yes, organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar is excellent to use for a cleanse – the malic acid in it is especially cleansing for the liver.
        Apple cider vinegar is also beneficial for weak digestion. When taken in water 15 minutes before a meal, it naturally stimulates digestive fluids so that your body can break down food more effectively.

    7. dear mr.douillard
      i am 49 year old man. i am suffering from bloating, indigestion, belching for the last 4 years. ihave lost 10 kgs within a period of 6 months in 2011.but remained stable since then 15 60 kgs.my height is 5’11. i feel gas in upper stomach especially in left side. no pain.appetite is good.i feel irritated, angered, stressed, confused. kindly advise me a natural diet/enzymes

    8. I had an endoscopy a few weeks ago and was told I have severe gastritis and esophagitis. I had my gallbladder removed back in 2011. I have taken all kinds of PPIs and none work. They put me back on Prilosec since my endoscopy. I feel sick to my stomach. I have been battling stomach issues for years. I am only 38. Please help me!

        • I think it’s time you write an article about the ‘gallbladder,’ explaining it’s importance, how to remedy a ‘sick’ one, AND what to do if you are the unfortunate victim of gallbladder removal. Thanks

          • Yeah why is it that no one will address that situation?? I have been so sick since my gall bladder was taken out. I have bought presciptions. I have tried the natural root.. Nothing works. Its a money game between Dr’s and drug companies. The health way can poison your body and presciptions can do the same thing. Why is it such a guessing game.. I almost just want to forget eating all together because no one knows what really works. I was told to take enzimes and now I am being told you keep having to increase the amount you take for it to work and if you stop you are in trouble because your body has been become addicted and wont digest on its own. I am sick of no one knowing what they are talking about and I dont have money to try to figure it out.. Just like everything they tell you to take to lose weight.. Eat off of a small plate and eat clean thats the best way to lose weight but everyone wants a fast cure. There is none. Stop waisting money and if you dont feel good after you eat something, dont eat it again.

    9. Thank you for supplying this information.

      May I ask, how can I “cleanse” my liver?

      I am not nor ally a fussy eater at all, but for some reason, I just cannot stand to drink organic apple cider vinegar in water.

      Are there other alternatives you might suggest? The more suggestions/options the better 🙂 I’m happy to try them all.

      Again, thank you for your time and information.

      • Hi Bec,
        You can use water with fresh squeezed lemon juice (1/2 a lemon in hot, warm or room temperature water) in place of apple cider vinegar. For many people, that is a more palatable option.
        Hope that helps.

    10. HI MR JO
      thanks for your immediate response. i have started the protocol suggested by you.
      i am doing the undernoted on daily routine:
      i dring 4 glass of water soaked with fennugreek seed and in copper utensil.at 6.30 am
      in the morning i take half lemon alongwih 2 tsp of olive oil.at 8.00 am
      i also take isabgol just before breakfast
      for break fast i take poridge alongwith upma, powa etc. at 9.00 am

      i take lunch at 2.00 pm just before that i take one beetroot raw with lemon squeezed on it.
      for lunch i take 4 rotis , dal and vegetable

      at 5.00 i take some fruits like anar (pomogranate)
      at night i take 4 rotis alongwith vegetable before that i take one beetroot.

      i also take liv52 for liver cleansing.
      kindly advise me whether this will improve my digestion condition or should i change any of the above routine or take enzyme supplement for a brief period for weight gain.

    11. Hi John,
      As a lifetime IBS sufferer, I avoid certain trigger foods, try to be aware of FODMAPS, and mostly live each day ‘normally’ – as normal as we types get! However, in a very bad flare, often with upper right pain and with the usual list of pain, bloating, wind, elimination problems etc – I am robbed of all energy and feel really sick; this can last for hours, or for days. I reduce my foods to very small, bland tolerated items. I rush to swallow one or some of the ‘fix-it’ things. The relief range I have on hand includes calcium carbonate, simethicone, Bis pectin, Ural, codeine. This approach helps dramatically! So dramatically that I know I am not ‘sick’ just not functioning. The there is the next level of help – taken diligently and for longer – slippery elm, ACV + water, lemon + water, and digestive enzymes. The digestive enzymes are the most dramatic of all. A life saver right now actually, after three bad weeks. But as you said, one cannot live on them. CAN one do it without pills and potions in the long run? Thank you, John.

    12. Thanks jo for your valuable advice, I am feeling the difference just after 2 days of following the new pre protocol suggested by you. I will continue this for a month and then start the protocol of furnace heating, will need your advice then again, regards

    13. Sir I have since 20 years stomach pain. The bigging I feel like some heavy load in my stomach doing endoscopy barium xray .blood test all are normal. And I have some anxiety also. Body weak and weight loss. Food not eating. Little eat feel my stomach full. And abdomen pain also started. Now I eat something it is more time staying my stomach and. Minimum 4 hours I can’t eating nothing. And night I can’t sleep. Very few some 4 hours. I feel always something in my stomach. Tired.some fruits eating my stool withdrawith same the fruits which I eat. Please help

    14. Hi Dr. John,

      Ijust stumbled upon this webpage while researching digestive enzymes because I have been taking them for about a month now. I am 21 and was diagnosed with IBS about a year ago. My main problem is that every morning when I wake up, my stomach is upset and crampy in my lower abdominal region, I am constipated for up to an hour, and then after I pass a solid movement, it is followed over the next hour or so by a series of quick bursts of undigested diarrhea. Can you help me? I took the probiotic VsL3 all year and then read some things online about lactobassilus being a neurotoxin and producing too much lactic acid in your body, potentially causing chronic fatigue which I HAVE been struggling with. I stopped taking it about a month ago and switched to high potency digestive enzymes. Should I stop taking these too? What are your reccomendations for becoming better? I have been in and out of many illnesses this year because of my weak digestive system and I have been having strange bodily aches and pains all over like short stabbing or pinching sometimes in my hands, feet, arms, legs, or chest. My doctor has found “nothing wrong with me” and thinks it is all in my head but it is NOT. I am in pain every day. Help please!!

    15. I had digestive problems for years, which progressed to urticaria swollen tongue etc, after a couple of visits to an allergy clinic I was diagnosed with a salicylate intolerance. After three days of avoidance I had a dramatic improvement. Since then I have had to manage my food. I tried high levels of fish oil which worked well but I felt as though I was oozing oil from every pore. I now combine a certain level of avoidance, along with taking xyalanse to break down phenols, plus a backup of antihistamines if needed. The most important thing is a correct diagnosis. That said a quick and easy point in the right direction is to take resting heart beat before eating and then resting heart beat half an hour after food. If your heart is 10 beats / minute faster then you have reacted to something you have just eaten. It then becomes a matter of narrowing it down to a food type.

    16. Hello I have had a problem at night early hours of the morning. I get woken up with tummy pain. Only at night time only when I get up and eat and drink does it help. Whats wrong.

    17. i’ve had a hysterectomy and a nephrourtorectomy in past years which caused adhesions which caused bowel obrstuction which was operated on 7/14. Since then my bowel movements float most of the time. I went off daury for 20 days with no effect. Have had more than my share of antibiotics over the years. I read that the bowel problem indicates i am not properly digesting fats – any suggestions?

      • Hi Barbara,
        This could be a combination of sluggish muscle tone of the bowel, poor bile flow, and poor alora from the antibiotics.
        I would suggest to start with:
        Elim I: 2-4 capsules 2x/day with water on an stomach
        Gut Revival: 1 packet 2 x/day after food w water
        Beet Cleanse: 2 before each meal

        Try these for a month and then if possible let’s have a consult so we can take the next steps.
        You can read about these in my store at lifespa.com
        Be well,

    18. Hi John i have been bothered big time with IBS so have been taking digestive enzymes for awhile is it ok to take them for a short time?

    19. Hi
      I am 52 year old female,,i had my gallbladder removed when i was 26,,,i suffer terrible with acid reflux,,i have has a nissen fundolipication done which gave me great relief and needed no meds for 4-5 years,,for the past 3 years i am talking 300mg of zantac at bedtime,,40mg of protium in the morning before i eat,,20mg of protium at 3pm, and still have burning on my tounge and lips,,could you give me any advice,,,i recently had the camera done and it showed stomach inflamation,,,


    20. I’m 32 years old and have had stomach issues for sometime. I will get so bloated i look pregnant, and cannot pass gas which becomes painful. I take magnesium every night to help me go to the bathroom. I have gone weeks without going to the bathrooom. Any suggestions you would have would be greatly appreciated!!

    21. My husband has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We are seeking information on complementary and alternative medicines to help in his treatment. I read info on Dr. Gonzalez and his use of pancreatic enzymes., which then led me to research and thus this article. As far as we know his cancer is operable and is very small (1.9mm) located right at the head of the pancreas, but narrowing the duct so no bile can pass (tubes are now draining the bile duct as well as feed tube into the upper intestine because he is having trouble eating more than a couple of bites at a time). Would low amounts of pancreatic enzymes be useful or what other herbs, etc would help with his nutrition and supplement his treatments when we start chemo?

      • Sorry about your husband. When my Dad was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer, he also sought out Dr. Gonzalez but this was around 1990 so I am sure his natural protocols have changed since then. At the time, my Dad was taking about 100 vitamins a day along with coffee enemas. He lasted nine months on Dr. Gonzalez’s program.

    22. I had my gallbladder removed and now I am gaining weight. I exercise daily and eat right most of the time. Should I avoid all fats completely?? What supplements should I take? I feel great minus my 10 pound weight gain.

    23. your article are really targated to young people.. I am 70 years old past.. and i do need enzymes.. the digestive tract really goes down.. some more than some others.. gastric acid is the start.. and go and tell a 72 years woman to do this and that,, you will see the response..

      • Hi Mimi,
        I am not against enzymes if you need them, but I often see such support used without addressing the cause of poor enzyme activity. The cause is often blocked bile and pancreatic ducts. As we age it is even more critical that we don’t just mask symptoms, but instead address the digestive imbalance that is not usually difficult to treat.
        Hope that helps clear up my perspective.
        Be well,
        Dr. John

    24. I have chemical sencitivty,with many digestion and autoimmune problems,cant even take lglutamine or digestive enzymes,you think this protocol with cranberry juice could help detox liver,assuming it needs detoxed.

    25. My husband has diverticulosis and his doctor wanted him to have a resection done a little over a year ago. He had 2 very severe bouts of diverticulitis and was hospitalized the second time. He declined the surgery and I’ve been giving him Essentialzymes-4 from Young Living that he takes before dinner and and Greens dietary supplement from It Works. He has had one flare up in the last year that cleared up by itself. He also has severe acid reflux and heard that probiotics may help with that. What is your suggestion for both issues?

    26. I have a pretty insignificant problem compared to many. I have been burping after eating anything — sometimes just water — for over 6 months. At one point I did have mild burning & mild nausea. There was an “oil film” on my urine that had stood all night. I have started using HCL — digestion seems better & no oil film, but still burping — and I recently added enzymes. Still burping.

      I suspected that I needed to thin my bile, & that lead me to your site. Rarely, if I don’t take any HCL or enzymes, I will get mild indigestion (other than the burping). Up until 6 mos. ago, I could eat anything. The burping seemed to come on suddenly, but maybe I just thought it was normal at first. I have considered that I have H. pylori, but it has not been confirmed. 7 – 8 mos. ago, I did have a parasite & Giardia; I took the drug to eliminate them, and destroyed a lot of my good flora.

      So I’m taking probiotics, Kefir, & homemade vegetable ferments. Still burping!

    27. Hello Dr. Douillard,

      I am trying to follow the above “Alternatives to Digestive Enzymes”. I have been taking digestive enzymes with each meal, but would like to get off them and support my digestion naturally. I have very loose stools each morning and thought the digestive enzymes would help but they haven’t. I have no other complaints…no pain, or other issues for the rest of the day.

      I took the olive oil/lemon juice this morning. Could you tell me how long I should wait after taking this, before I drink a glass of water (the glass of water you recommend before eating)? I suppose they shouldn’t be taken together. Trying to time everything with breakfast, and how long I should wait (olive oil/lemon juice…wait 1/2 hour….drink water….wait 15/20 minutes, then have breakfast??).

      Also, I love beets, but wonder if one should be concerned about the high oxalates they contain? I have never had a kidney stone, but because oxalates form small crystals they can contribute to kidney stones, as well as gout. Could you be a little more specific about how often to eat beets, and if raw or cooked are more of an issue. Would drinking extra water help with regard to the oxalates?

      Step 6 says to consider regular detoxification of liver and fat cells…by this do you mean repeating steps 1 to 6, (Decongesting bile and pancreatic ducts to improve bile flow), or is there another process on your site for this? If it is repeating steps 1 to 6 how often would you recommend doing this?

      Thank you very much! Sorry for all my questions!!

    28. How would you adjust for “eating a lot of greens” in the winter season for a vata with a vata imbalance? There aren’t many on the list !! Sweet ones like bok choy?

      • Hi Joyce,
        Enjoy your greens cooked during the winter (or for a vata imbalance) and add oil/ fat to them. Eating hearty winter greens like kale, chard and collards is an excellent way to incorporate green vegetables into your diet in the winter.

    29. The reason I came across your website is because I struggle with digesting fats, every time I consume olive oil I get a blemish within 24 hours and also causes flatulence. Same thing happens with certain nuts; not all just certain ones. I also break out after consuming coconut oil, this is why I thought I might have a digestive problem. Do you still recommend I do the 2 T. olive oil if I am sensitive to it?

    30. Great Explanation! Thank you! A lot of people recommend digestive enzymes, but don’t tell you that you may become dependant. I have battled lymphocytic Colitis for one year , and have improved very much with diet and some supplements, Digestive enzymes have come in handy at times, specially when i travel and dont have much control of food choices. I will put in practice your recommendations to improve bile flow.
      Much appreciated,

    31. My weight has gone up and down for years. In 2008 I had lost a lot of weight and had to have my gallbladder removed. I was told it was common and that I didn’t need it. Fast forward eight years later and I am significantly overweight from over eating and yoyo dieting. I should be about 135 and I am 270. The past year I hae been in so much discomfort. My belly is always bloated and pushing up into my ribcage. I have gone from plant based diet to take out diet and back again. My body doesn’t know what’s going on and my doc just says lose weight. Everytime I eat I am bloated. I tried enzymes and they gave me heartburn. I am really at a loss. The swelling in my abdomen makes breathing hard let alone any kind of exercise. I feel achy a lot which I think must be due to toxic overload. But my docs all say I am healthy. Any suggestions are appreciated!

    32. If you’re gallbladder was removed, which steps are important? Are there tests to see exactly what problems the pancreas may be having?

    33. Hello Dr… I have similar symptoms a lot of the people are talking about. Mine are due to IBS that I’ve had all my life, gluten intolerance for the past 12 years (have been on a gluten-free diet since) and gastroparesis for about 5 years. I can not eat a lot of the healthy foods that you suggest! I feel it is very necessary for me to take digestive aids and probiotics daily! Any comments on this dilemma?

      • I would be happy to do a consultation with you so we can really dig in and get to the root cause of your IBS. I can recommend herbal, diet and lifestyle changes. Please contact my office at admin@lifespa.com for more information. Thanks for reading.

    34. Hi. I am a 47 yr. old female. I am 5’3 1/2″ tall and over the course of 9 months I have lost 30lbs. I currently weigh 100lbs. (very scary). In April of 2015 my PCP medicated me for H. Pylori and also a second time in July. The entire time I had several trips to our local hospital for various reactions to medications which in turn got me appointments with a cordiologists( racing heartbeat), a gastroenterologist ( stomach pain) , my gynecologist ( pain in groin and ovaries). During all this time I have had pain just under the center of my rib cage just to the left and occasionally to the right along with pain in my groin and ovaries. My PCP keeps telling me it’s my stomach. Oh, I’ve also had bouts of strong depression and crying because the pain gets intensely worse a couple of times a month for a few days at a time and that is when this doom and gloom depression occurs. Anyway, I remembered that when this all began I also had a cortisol test that was not quite right and that my PCP had set up an appointment for me with an endocrinologist. Do to all of my hospital visits I never went and my PCP tells me that I don’t need to . Well, by some chance I found this article and have only done # 1,#3, #4, and #5. This is my 5th day and I am getting a little relief. I can’t find fenugreek tea in my area … only mothers milk… I don’t need to produce milk, but is this tea OK?? Belching was also non stop for more than 9 mo. and is now starting to subside along with cold chills and other various symptoms. I am feeling hopeful. I am exhausted from being in “crisis mode” 24hrs. a day for the past 10mo. Any advise on what I should do what be highly appreciated. Thank you Dr. John

      • Hi Melissa,
        Thank you for reaching out. The mothers milk by traditional medicinals should be okay if you can’t find bulk fenugreek. I am available for consultations remotely if you are interested in talking more. Please feel free to e-mail my office at admin@lifespa.com
        Thank you for reading.
        Be well,

    35. Hi, I have been on Digestive Gold enzymes for 3years, only take when I eat beef or anything greasy, not often. If I don’t take one I suffer with gas and bloating and pain until I do. I have no gall bladder. I have IBS. I also get kidney stones from oxalate and uric acid. I try to watch what I eat, so I am terrified to eat all the veg. I had all my life I do not want another stone. What do you suggest?

    36. Hi Dr. John,
      I had my gallbladder removed over twenty years ago. What do you recommend I take? I started eating raw foods about three months ago. I feel great but my stools are super hard. Can I still take the olive oil and lemon in the morning?
      My chiropractor said I needed Standard Process Zypan (digestive enzyme) because I do not have a gallbladder any more. Please let me know your thoughts. Great article, great information, great video.
      Thank you for your help.

    37. I was diagnosed with mesonteric artery stenosis – two out of three of the arteries leading to my small intestine starting to narrow. Began (again, as I’ve used them over the years) taking a digestive enzyme (proprietary blend) and it has seemed to help my bloating and elimination issues. I also take milk thistle as I am on a drug (methimazole) daily. I am wondering if it isn’t the milk thistle helping in lieu of the enzymes. I did notice when I stopped taking both the bloating became a problem again. My diet is relatively healthy and I walk briskly 30 minutes at least four times a week on a treadmill so exercise not the issue either. Again, they seem to be helping and it is a proprietary blend by Century and I don’t want to stop and have more issues.

    38. Hello,

      does type 1 diabetes have anything to do with poor natural enzymes in own body? I notice some bad digestion for lactose in dairy product, with gluten products, I think protein as well, fibres ( bloodsugars stays high levels for some time after consuming dairy and gluten products, plenty of fruits un-digested remains) and I think some extra enzymes should do some work with this. I was searching for natural enzymes, I tried many greens and seeds, nuts, but I doesn’t seemed enough, especially the T1D is my little 3 year old daughter, she doesn’t understand she has to make sacrifices for natural food all the time and I don’t have so much time to develop only raw-vegan tasty receipes. I feel so bad that I can’t get to the bottom of this, there are untold stuff about this, but I can’t complete the puzzle (yet).
      I appreciate every opinion on this.
      Thank you so much!

    39. I am a 60 yr old lady who just had an egd done last week. I was diagnosed with gastroduodenitis. I am still waiting for the results of the biopsies. About 4 years ago I was diagnosed and treated for h pylori. For the past couple of years I have not taken ppis. I have basically relied on October enzymes. The weight gain, bloating, belching and pain are a problem. I have noticed in the past month pain has started in the right upper abdomen . I take synthroid and have concerns about interactions between say, slippery elm, and the one prescription med I do take. I am inclined to think that the more viscous bile may be related to the new onset r abd pain. Is it safe to take acv with inflammation already present, and recent biopsies.

    40. HI Dr. John

      I have had 1 episode of acute pancreatitis and my blood Lipase levels are still well above acceptable (consistently 800-900) . Would doing something that increases enzyme production cause more damage to my panaceas? I am excited to try the remedies that will thin out my bile since that should help. The reason I have been researching Enzyme supplements is to help lessen the enzyme production demand on my pancreas. I get the feeling that my doctors think I am an alcoholic, but I maybe have 2-3 drinks per month. It’s frustrating that they haven’t had any suggestions, and they seem to be giving me the run-around. Any advice??

    41. Hi Dr John,
      I have a very clean diet, paleo diet, not too mich meat though, lots of fish & eggs, veggies. The most sugar I have is in the form of a banana or apple, but barely eat fruit. The past week, I have lots of burping and bloating all day long with a yellow coating on my tongue, and hx of constipation. Could this be a blocked bile duct? Do you suggest the olive oil & lemon shots? I am taking oregano oil for possible overgrowth. Do you think I should also be doing a probiotic? Thank you very much.


    42. Hi Dr John,
      Please could you help me. I had my gallbladder removed last year. But I have been experiencing alot of bloating and constipation since. I have done alot of research already and so recently started taking artichoke extract to help with bile production, but they just made me very gassy and more bloated. I am now wondering if digestive enzymes are the way forward. I have gained 10Ibs in weight since the op and really don’t like feeling so swollen around my middle. Any help much appreciated. Thank you.

      • Hi! I never comment but promised myself that if I ever got passed my constipation I’d try to help people. I took laxatives for 10years and had massive issues, my solution: cucumber water. Soak cucumber in water overnight, drink first thing in the morning, it changed my life! Hope it works for you too. I’ve been off laxatives for 5 years now.

    43. Is it possible to make a smoothie of red beetroots and spinach and then drink between meals? Must it be raw beetroots and spinach (not lightly cooked/steamed)?

      • Hi Fredrik, I do recommend that you stick to raw beets in your tonic. Through my research and the evidence-based cleanse results I’ve seen, it is raw beets that are so effective in thinning bile. The fiber in the raw beets also helps “scrub” the villi along the intestinal wall. We recommend that you make a green smoothie with lightly steamed and blended celery, zucchini, and green beans to release the vital nutrients in these foods and also break down the foods’ cell walls.

        Here is a link to the green smoothie: https://lifespa.com/the-powerful-benefits-of-parsley/
        And here is a link to the recipe for the beet tonic: https://lifespa.com/gallbladder-health-food-and-recipes/

        Be well,
        Dr. John

          • Hi Patty, in general we prescribe beets because in addition to all the wonderful minerals and nutrients they also supply fiber. Which is essential for proper digestion. Juices contain high concentrations of natural sugar, with little to no fiber, this can be potentially problematic on the digestive system long term. To spice up the beets you can shred them with carrots, squeeze lemon juice over them and even add Dijon mustard to make it a beet salad. Be well.

    44. My son was dx’d with Celiac disease around 8 years ago. He is now 14 and has struggled with stomach pain for years (even with NO cross contamination) and being extremely careful with his diet.

      About a month ago, I started making him a smoothie every morning with Aloe, Apple Cider Vinegar, Kefir and adding Barleans Superfruits and Greens. I add blueberries and other fruit sometimes to jazz it up, but for the last month, we have only had 1 week where he had a bit of stomach pain (and he only missed a couple hours in the morning of school 1 morning). He has also ALWAYS struggled with constipation and the GI just keeps saying take Align and Miralax. We tested align and NO cultures grew so it’s no wonder it works some times and not others and we all know that Miralax is NOT approved for children…

      He also takes a very good Probiotic that we have tested (and yes it grew cultures quicker than any of the other 6 we personally tested). He takes a high quality multi vitamin and I give him Turmeric every day as well. We also cook with Flax Seeds, Turmeric, Garlic and other anti inflammatory foods/spices. He takes a Vitamin D as well as being in the Midwest without sun so often during these long / overcast/winter months, he does suffer from a bit of a deficiency. Some mornings I do give him a cod liver oil pill and coconut oil pill (and we cook almost everything in coconut oil).

      I am going back to our naturopath that we went to several years ago as I want to have his vitamin/mineral levels tested to see if there are any areas we have missed nutritionally but he is feeling much better and his stomach still looks a little bloated to me but nothing like it’s been in the past.

      I do think the combination of things are working for him. He has used Digest Gold digestive enzymes but if we can continue to use the smoothies, its certainly a great solution. Unfortunately just taking the apple cider vinegar before meals with water is a hard sell to a 14 year old boy regardless of how it helps him digest his food! It’s way easier just to give him a smoothie in the morning with breakfast & one in the afternoon when he gets home from school. He drinks that without an issue and the Superfruits / Greens from Barleans is really good. I drink one in the morning now too and will see what it does for me (energy wise!).

      If you see something here that you think I should reconsider or study further, let me know.

    45. Hello Dr. John,

      I have a really quick question about caffeine, I would like to know correlation between caffeine intake whether it was through eating chocolate or drinking coffee moderately, and having the worst black circles under eyes and whether this is a sign of a unhealthy liver or kidneys, ( I already have colon problems), bearing in mind that the lab test indicates they are normal.

      Lastly I would like to know whether supplementing on (Protease, Amylase, Lipase, Cellulase) can cause pancreatitis

      Thank you in Advance

    46. Hi Dr John

      I have recently read that taking PPIs for a prolonged period can result in some horrid conditions, brittle bone, and kidney problems being just two. I’ve been taking PPIs for 15 years as I have a hiatal hernia . Ihave bought Apple cider vinegar, aloe Vera juice and digestive enzymes in the hope of weening myself off the PPIs . However Iam now worried about taking the enzymes. Do you think perhaps just one a day is ok? I have to say after just one day on all three I haven’t had any heartburn at all. Many thanks in

    47. I so appreciate Dr Johns advice as well as everyone else’s, but why is the question dodged whenever anyone wants help with not having a gallbladder.. My weight gain and digestive issues are terrible.. Digestive enzymes give me the worst acid reflux.

    48. I have been using the Dr Max Powers 15 Day Cleanse product for about six months (I do it every other month), and I love that it doesn’t cause cramping, and I have lost weight and feel so much better after it. This really helps to keep my system regulated. My husband uses them occasionally for cleansing.

    49. I only take enzymes with cooked food, since Cooked food is unnatural. No other animal in the world eats cooked food except humans and what they feed their pets.

      • Hi

        For the past four months I have been having what I think is candida overgrowth with body rashes which don’t want to go away. I cut out sugar and grains etc , used some herbs like pau d’arco to get it under control in the gut. As the rashes are persistent I was wondering about taking enzymes like cellulase to break down the biofilms the candida yeast apparently builds and see if that will get rid of the rashes. What do you think? If the candida yeast really does build biofilms then it could be a reason why it so hard to clear it from the gut.


    50. Hi –

      Three months ago I decided to go vegan for ethical reasons. I am 49 and have always been pretty healthy. I started having problems with the diet and with each problem a little tweaking of the diet seemed to fix the problem. There was one consistent problem though that was driving me crazy. I felt like there was a lump in my throat. Sometimes it felt like I needed to belch, sometimes it felt like a mucous problem, sometimes it felt like someone was choking me. It got worse with stress and as each day went on, but was not present when first waking each morning. I finally got it under control with digestive enzymes. I also decided to stop having my nightly cocktails I have long enjoyed. My previous diet was heavy on dairy. It was a big and abrupt change in my diet. Any advise? I do not want to take enzymes if I don’t have to.

      • Hi, Look up the information on LPR, also called Silent Reflux and Respiratory Reflux. Lump in the throat is one of the main symptoms. Probably has to do with the nightly cocktails.

    51. I am working on ridding systemic Candida and acidosis while dealing with a poor digestive system. I was dropping weight, then started enzymes and Betaine with HCL. My weight loss stopped. How long would you keep using enzyme supplements in this scenario? Until the acidosis is gone?

    52. Can anyone help me? I have been having chronic diarrhea from when I was young till now, and recently I have developed acid reflux. Lately I have diarrhea almost every day for any small reasons. I have diarrhea after taking these; green tea, coffee, raw vegetables even lettuce, I cannot digest red meat, and I have loctose intolerance. As you can see I have no joy of eating or drinking. I think I have enzyme problem, and what this guy is saying doesn’t make a sense to me. Nothing is natural. I am a big believer of eating balanced meal with no restrictions. Any suggestion? My family doctor does only blood tests and says everything is fine, but I am suffering.
      I really hope I can sit at a coffee shop enjoy drinking or go to a nice restaurant enjoying food. Thanks.

    53. I have a temporary ileostomy due to a bowel resection. They want me on a low fiber diet: if I do well I can have Jo to 13 g of fiber per say next week. ½ cup of super well cooked veggies a day. White flour and rice encouraged. Likewise potatoes, skin off. Protein at every meal. No berries. Limited creamy nut butter, which is a godsend.

      My normal diet is about 70% raw, at least 60% veggies. Lots of nuts and seeds. Small quantities of clean animal protein. No grains and legumes only as an occasional treat. For sure no gluten! Probiotics, prebiotic so, the whole nine yards. So this is quite a shif for me.

      They admit that they are switching me to an unhealthy diet but emphasize that it’s only temporary. I can’t imagine healing well ion that regime, so I negotiated with the dr for no wheat, very limited rice/potatoes, more cooked veggies & veggie juice so long as it’s pulp free. I’ve been doing a green juice to minimize sugar content, but at least I get some live co-enzymes.

      In this context I’m taking digestive enzymes, low dose, just to help my traumatized system along. I do take apple cider vinegar as well. Thoughts?

      Fortunately most digestion takes place i

    54. This is advice is dangerous pseudoscience. Please read the article on sciencebasedmedicine about cleansing……Unless you want to waste your time and money.

    55. If I am not mistaken, in short, your explanation was: “Enema->Constipated intestine->Blocked bile duct->Blocked pancreatic juice excretion”. Lets assume your explanation is correct. But how does this make digestive enzymes dangerous?

      By the way, English is not my native language.

    56. I read the book “enzymes” by tom bohager.Good Information about Enzymes though.
      In the book he says that enzymes in our body always are being made but under some conditions
      mostly bad eating habits or whatever the balance goes negative .
      another issue is our body have to spend energy to make enzymes if we need more enzymes
      we loose our energy more than usual. Bottom Line we need to boost our body sometimes by
      taking Enzymes not every time. you want to know when ,get the exact measure by lab test.

    57. What about people like me who have trouble digesting food due to disease ?
      I have Crohn’s disease. I have had two surgeries in which portions of my small intestine were removed, including the ileum. This has caused major issues with being able to digest food properly, which causes malabsorption , etc,etc. My Gastroenterologist recently started me on an Rx called Creon (digestive enzyme). Unfortunately, whenever I take it at mealtime, I feel incredibly dopey shortly after. Like major brain fog. Any idea what would cause this ? My GI doctor thinks I’m crazy.

    58. #5 is likely a bad idea in that drinking more than just a couple ounces of water prior to a meal can dilute stomach acid and any present enzymes in the stomach to such a low state, that digestion would be impaired. Either drink water up to half an hour beforehand, and don’t drink water immediately before a meal, or avoid it until the meal proper, and ONLY sip it during the meal. Don’t do the dumb thing of chugging it afterward.

        • Thank you for answering. I am so glad because I cannot use digestive enzymes i have tries quite a few times and they do not agree with me they make me feel worst. I have just started to include a probiotic to my day and I cannot beleive in a few days how much it is helping me. How about lemon water to help with my liver because i dont have a gall bladder ?

          I will look at the link you referred above. Thanks again and all the best 🙂
          Thanks for your time 🙂

          • Wow thank you so much for the informative link. Funny i left you the remark above before looking at the link didnt know i was already doing the right thing 🙂 When you say dont forget the lymphatic system will exercise take care of the lymphatic system ? Thanks again. 🙂

        • is it ok to take dgl 20 minutes uses before breakfast and to take probiotic right after meal
          it suggest on bottle to take probiotic after meal
          thank you

    59. What if your gal bladder has been removed? I have read that taking an enzyme to help digest fats might be helpful if gal bladder has been removed. This is because bile is not stored in the gal bladder and used as needed, instead it is dumped directly into the duct from the liver and may cause the bile to not be used or available when needed. Also, does it help to use a cleanse focused on helping the gal bladder when you don’t actually have one (the bile duct cleanse you mention in the associated article)?

    60. I only read the first few comments before I felt compelled to post. Someone here said the liver produces enzymes. No, it doesn’t. Not a single one, not digestive enzymes that is. Every cell in the body produces enzymes for various metabolic functions and most are anabolic, not catabolic (digestive), but the liver’s role in digestion is not due to digestive enzyme production. K. Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Biology

    61. No, you do not need enzymes when your gall bladder is removed. The gall bladder does not produce or release any digestive enzymes. Neither does the liver. The only function of the gall bladder is bile storage and release into the small intestine where it emusifies fats for digestion, thus absorption into the bloodstream. After cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) there’s no longer a bile storage tank that releases it under hormonal influence when you eat. Instead, bile is constantly released into the small intestine. Therefore, the only problem one might have is lower fat absorption. This can be a problem because some might have problems absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins ADE & K which rely on dietary fats for proper absorption. Most never have a problem after a cholesystectomy.

    62. Hi John,
      You are amazing . Every article is made easy to belief your conclusion s.
      You r doing great job to human being by putting Ayurveda before the way it’s understandable.
      I am highly impressed.
      Mayank Pandey

    63. You said in an article that I just read that you should drink water 20 mins before a meal whereas I have always learned in Ayurveda not to drink before a meal so as not to dilute the digestive juices so I am confused.
      On a more general note I am so interested on your take on gluten so opposed to Perlmutter, Hyman, Osborne and all the greats so keeping an open mind.
      Tks Aileen

      • Ayurvedically speaking the idea is to never drink during food consumption. Drinking water 20-30min prior to eating will pre-hydrate the stomach lining, buffer the stomach acid, and turn on the digestive fire.

    64. Hi Dr. John, I love your articles. Your educational approach has really enabled me to achieve great healing in my body since I have been following you, so thank you VERY MUCH…. I have heaps of gratitude for what you do.
      I would like to ask you about eating the celery and leafy greens, do they need to be raw like the beets to help move the bile or can they be cooked into soups etc?
      Thank you. Warmest of Wishes to you ….. Harri

      • Hi Harri. They can all be slightly cooked/steamed as well. Added to soups is fine. The more likely it is for you to eat the better!

    65. While I agree that food remedies are better than taking extra supplements is the ideal way to hekp digestive issues, I am a vata and therefore can’t consume celery, apples, and raw leafy greens. I will certainly drink the fenugreek tea and the olive oil with lemon. Thanks for your information. Everything you send is quite useful.

    66. Dr. D:
      Thank you so much for all of this quality information and the time you give away. I am 58, and started taking digestive enzymes about 15 years ago when I became quite ill and my digestion was extremely poor. I have remained on them all of these years thinking it was just extra support. Currently, my digestion is pretty good, but could be better in some ways. I already do a number of things that you recommend — lot’s of leafy greens, beets, parsley, lemon water, cinnamon, a salad every day. I’m not sure if I really need the enzymes any longer, or if I’ve grown dependent on them. How would you suggest I test this out? Should I stop altogether and do some of your reset suggestions, or keept taking them while doing the reset and cleanse suggstions? Thank you, again, for your time!

    67. Dr. Douillard,

      I was so pleased to run into your video on eating wheat, which led me to this website, looking for an opportunity to communicate with you. I have stage 4 Primary Biliary Cirrhosis with a lack of bile flow. I can’t undo that process but I am wondering if I could do something to help my digestion and benefit from my food intake for as long as possible. I do take digestive enzymes but, even after reading your input, still feel this is a prudent thing for me to do. Can you give me a roadmap on how to proceed, please? Do you do any consulting? I realize my situation is rather complicated . I take a probiotic also. I intend to do more greens, veggies, etc, now. I wish you would write a manual for people with PBC like myself. Meanwhile, if you would be so kind as to please share whatever input you think may be helpful. Thank you for all you do in educating the public! I hope your readers take good care of themselves to help prevent autoimmune diseases like PBC. Once one loses one’s health, it’s a big deal. I’m still a long way from a transplant with a MELD of only 9, but I more than likely won’t get sick enough by the time I am 70 (2 years from now) when I was told, it’s not possible for me to get a transplant anymore due to advanced age. So I read and do whatever makes reasonable sense to me to prolong my life as it is. Maybe you could help.

    68. Hi there, very interesting article!

      My question is, would it be effective to drink a juice made of greens, fenugreek leaves and apple? Or does the juicing reduce the effectiveness?

      Also, is there any particular timing in drinking the fenugreek tea that helps, or does having a couple throughout the day do the job?

      Thanks again, I feel this really explains a lot!

    69. After years of acid reflux I now have an esophageal ulcer and therefore have been put on a PPI. So how would drinking the glass of water before my meals affect the stomach acid? Or should that step be skipped?

    70. Hi Dr John. first i have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is causing havoc with me at the moment, i don’t usually suffer this bad with it, but the past 3 weeks joints are sore than usual, some can be due to the work i do to. But what i am wanting to ask is, i have to be direct, reading about block bile ducts in the liver and so on, my stools have been pale lately can this be cause? meaning the block bile ducts? will appreciate any advise in what to do. Thank you.

    71. Dr. Douillard is right. I started taking dygestive enzimes 4 years ago, felt great, started losing weight. My MD also advised against taking them long time, but I was too stubborn to listen. In 3 years they lost all effect on me, I was the same basically with or without them, I also had incredible nausea and bloating, that gave up when I stopped taking them. Now I supplement with psyllium and turmenic, seems to work. Thanks !

    72. Adelle Davis said that if you have low hydrochloric acid level in your stomach, you must consume HCl as a temporary crutch. (Her words.) Here is why: in order for your body to be able to produce sufficient good quality HCl, it must have access to certain nutrients from your food. But to make those nutrients accessible, you have to have plenty of HCl in your stomach in the first place. A Catch-22. So, taking betaine hydrochloride will stimulate digestion of food to make those nutrients available your; body will respond eventually by producing enough HCl and you can stop taking the betaine hydrochloride.

      Betaine hydrochloride is not the same as naturally produced HCl in your stomach, but it is a digestant and there is nothing wrong with taking it. Once your HCl levels are back to normal, you don’t have to worry about taking enzymes.

      • PS. When I said, “you don’t have to worry about taking enzymes”, I did not mean that it is all right to take them. I meant that sufficient naturally occuring stomach acid will do the trick. Forget the enzyme pills.

    73. Sai Sri Hospital is urgently in need of kidney donors with A,O,or B blood, Donors will be awarded with the amount of($390,000.00). We are located in Malaysia, Canada, South Africa,India ,UK Turkey and all over UAE, Interested person should kindly contact us and you will be highly rewarded with this amount immediately. All email should be send to:saisrikidneydepartment@gmail.com WhatsApp number: +918525001532 Call @ +919677354815 Doctor Richard Smitt

    74. I’m here to testify about the great work Dr Lucky did for me. I have been suffering from (Hiv) disease for the past 5 years and had constant pain, especially in my knees. During the first year,I had faith in God that i would be healed someday.This disease started circulating all over my body and i have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago i came across a testimony of one lady on the internet testifying about a Man called Dr Lucky on how he cured her from Herpes Simplex Virus. And she also gave the email address of this man and advise anybody to contact him for help for any kind of sickness that he would be of help, so I emailed him telling him about my (Hiv) he told me not to worry that i was going to be cured!! Well i never believed it,, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me as Dr Lucky assured me that i will be cured,after some time i went to my doctor to confirmed if i have be finally healed behold it was TRUE, So friends my advise is if you have such sickness or any other at all you can contact Dr Lucky via email Thanks once again Dr Lucky…….

      • Hello,

        Do you have Dr Lucky email? I would appreciate if you could email it to me in header out Dr Lucky.

        Many thanks


      • Hello Katherine Charlotte!
        Your story sounds really amazing and I am very happy for you.
        I just like to add my own thoughts to the story, on the background of what I understand about healing. Your cure might very well be related to the fact that you so desperately really believed that you would be cured, and it happened, possibly not so much/or at least in combination with the remedies themselves he gave you. That’s a good thing we always should keep in mind! Keep believing in yourself and your bodies self-healing ability! Can you tell me what substances/remedies/treatments that were?
        Much health,

    75. Your statement about Dr. Bernard Jenson taking several digestive enzymes per meal was also related to the fact he had cancer. If you have read anything by Dr. Edward Howell or Dr. Howard Loomis, then you would know the simple fact – digestion can only take place with enzymes. However, because we eat cooked, processed food without any enzymes to them, our bodies MUST produce them. The pancreas and immune system are the 2 major suppliers of enzymes when eating cooked food. if you’ve read anything by Dr. John Beard, you’d know the pancreas was never meant to be a digestive organ but an organ related solely to the immune system and becomes overburdened by supplying metabolic enzymes to the digestive tract. My own research of over 45 years shows this to be true.
      We are dependent on enzymes being supplied by the food we eat – ie raw, uncooked. Our bodies were never meant to consume excessive quantities of cooked foods because over time it drain/exhausts our ability to produce digestive enzymes. Dr Howell proved chronic degenerative disease is the result of enzyme “starvation” – the term he used in his published paper in 1940.
      Herbs (botanical) stimulate the digestive process but will NEVER actually digest anything. Enzymes are the only substances capable of digesting (breaking apart) food. Hence we are entirely dependent on external enzyme sources. Again, the pancreas and immune system were never meant to supply enzymes for digestion. They are meant to resolve inflammation and destroy pathogenic micro-organisms – not digest food.

    76. I did the” Tissue Cleansing Through Bow Management” by Dr Jensen for 7 days in 1986.
      It helped to dissolve a breast lump. In nine month the 2cm big lump was gone.
      I continued to to take the Psyllium seeds drink with at least 6 pancreatic tablets, on and off on an empty stomach as maintenance.
      If not taken with food, there are dark ropes, shaped like the colon coming out.
      New research shows the production of pancreatic enzymes do not go down when you take them, I take them not with food. I use them for cleanup.
      It is not the same as when you take extra hormones, which I would never do…

    77. Dear Dr. Douillard: I wish I’d read your article back in college when I first started to take enzymes. I resisted them until my digestion was so poor, I could not go out in public! They have been a life-saver, but I am a classic example of how it takes more and more enzyme supplements to digest even the simplest of foods, and my list of food intolerances has exploded. My question is: now, when I have constant pain in my gallbladder and pancreas areas (I can tell by pushing on them), and have had nausea for days despite being hungry, I’m fearful of trying some of these cleanses. I used apple juice to soften and possibly pass any possible gallstones, and now I have thrush on my tongue (as I do not normally ingest much sugar, including fruit juices). I’m worried about my pancreas or gallbladder rupturing… is there a gentle way to cleanse without causing more damage when you get REALLY clogged up? I managed to eat a simple greens salad with sliced apple and some cooked wild rice last night, but I have to lie on my right side after eating anything to get it to digest without intense pain, even with enzymes (which I continue to take). I’m using Biotics Research Beta-TCP which has pancrelipase, along with full-spectrum enzymes. I tried to eat without enzymes and the pain is worse. I did my first coffee enema today and felt some relief from the nausea afterwards, but the pain has returned. Stress has been a major problem for me, so my ability to digest is further impaired because I’m in a sympathetic dominant state… I’m doing everything possible to activate my parasympathetic nervous system to move into “rest and digest” mode. Would appreciate your feedback on what protocol to follow when you get to this state of seemingly no return…. I believe return is possible, but it’s a matter of finding the right way. I’ll try to eat another salad again with my veggie soup (that I seemed to be able to keep down earlier today). That’s better than Friday when I ate an apple for dinner and it came back up a short while later….
      No fever yet, so that’s a plus. No other overt symptoms, but bad pain in the upper gut, just below the right rib cage and also dead center. Hunger with nausea, belching like mad. I don’t use betain HCl unless I eat a protein meal (e.g. eggs or fish). Grateful for your guidance and suggestions.

    78. I came to this site via a google search. I am trying to decide whether taking digestive enzyme supplements is for me. I am not a doctor or a biologist. But I do have a good healthy level of common sense and skepticism whenever I see an ad for the next magic pill that will solve all my problems.

      The thing that sticks out about this article versus all the other ones I have read on this topic is pretty basic. Every suggestion that was made to improve digestive performance came from natural sources. The lemon juice and olive oil thing for instance is something I am going to check out.

      No where in this article did John try to sell me anything. That alone makes me think he has some credibility.

      I found the article to jibe with my very basic understanding of how the digestive system works. And it at least offers an alternative to taking expensive pills which by the way for the most part are not endorsed by the FDA or any other credible body from what I see. So I will do my own research to try and find some confirmation of what John is saying. I found the article useful.

      • Same here, no selling made from this article and it wasn’t like from the others that recommend supplements to buy and the suggestions came from natural resources. Thanks for sharing this post!

      • Actually, there are numerous times where the article refers you to his online store to purchase supplements. Everytime you see a purple colored word, it is a link to buy a product.

    79. Hi Dr. Douillard,
      I have a lot of digestive issues and have recently found relief with digestive enzyme supplements.
      I have a long history of anorexia including starvation, laxative abuse (causing lazy bowel), and self induced vomiting. I was doing well in recovery until I had my gallbladder removed. I then gained a lot of weight over a few months that I can not seem to lose. My stomach is always bloated and sore and I experience hormone irregularities.
      These symptoms have been present for years now, after my cholysesectomy, but I’ve basically been told that it’s all self inflicted from my eating disorder, and therefore been treated as if I deserve it. I really feel that losing my gallbladder is a big factor here. I am vegan (and was before losing my gallbladder), and seem to have a hard time with digesting plant foods. I have purged foods like rice or vegetables ten hours later because they are still sitting in my stomach, undigested.
      Do you have any advice, please? If you think you can help, maybe I could look at paying for a consult?
      Thank you.

      • I should mention that the gallstones went undiagnosed for 8 years, as doctors thought I was imagining it or making it up as a reason not to eat. So by the time they were discovered and removed, it was because they had begun to disintegrate and caused acute pancreatitis, so I wonder if that’s caused long term damage too.

    80. How long do you consider “short term” when speaking about digestive enzymes? Weeks, months? What’s the longest amount of time you can take it without disrupting your body’s production?

      I’m taking digestive enzymes to break up biofilms.

    81. Dr John, I have thought for years the increase of intestinal and gastric problems is related to the use of phages. Since 2005 they have been spraying phages on all fruits and vegetables before they are sent to market. Oddly few know about this or what phages are. Phages are types of FDA approved viruses. These viruses kill bacteria by infecting them, growing in them and bursting out of the bacteria releasing countless more phages that repeat the process. Big business sprays the phages on the vegetables because it makes them rot less since bacteria cause food rot. That way they last longer in travel and have a longer shelf life. But the reason such naturally would rot is nature made it to do so when they are no longer nutritious and are old so they rot away and don’t get eaten. These phages prevent food rot and destroy bacteria. But when the foods are eaten the phages go in the gut and destroy gut flora. They claim phages wont harm good gut flora but phages evolved to destroy bacteria, its what they do. And this is what I think is causing so many gut health problems now. The FDA even approved for phages to be sprayed on organic foods now and even meat among many other things. This is very real and you can google phages sprayed on foods as the information is out there. But no one is telling the people about this regardless that this information is not hidden. I find it all very sad really. Please google phages sprayed on foods as you can learn so much more.

    82. Hi John,
      Thank you for this article. I follow your newsletter and appreciate your views of healing the body naturally. I started taking digestive enzymes approx. 7 years ago every day and am still doing this not realizing any of this. If I follow your protocol do you think even after all this time on the enzymes my body could still start taking over and produce the enzymes on my on? I am noticing now that they don’t seem to work anymore and am concerned that maybe now it would not. I also have low lipase levels and floating stools.

      • Hi Rose,

        Check with your doctor about doing Dr. John’s Colorado cleanse this upcoming Spring, as that may help reboot your digestion in a gentle way. Beyond that, after meeting with your doctor you would want to consider booking a consultation with Dr. John directly.

        LifeSpa Staff

    83. Hello I have a question so I have been having problems with my stomach I have had heartburn on and off for years 4x a week I eat out everyday well I did. I was having bile come back up in my throat so my doctor said I have GERD and put me on Omeprizole this makes me feel sicker. Now my heartburn is gone but i can’t eat I’m not hungry and I’m getting scared so I went to ER they said I have a pancreas enzymes deficiency. I haven’t seen my doctor yet but I wanna know if anyone else has been through this.


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