If you do take a digestive enzyme formula, please check the ingredients and make sure it doesn’t contain enzymes for digestion commonly listed as Amylases. The bad news is that most of them do. In fact, they play a leading role in most digestive enzyme formulas.
Amylases are enzymes produced in the pancreas that are secreted into the small intestine to help break down dietary starches and sugar. Taking extra of these amylases can increase the speed with which the body breaks down carbohydrates, which can cause excess and rapidly-absorbing glucose into the bloodstream. This can cause dangerously high after meal blood sugar spikes and high blood sugar (1).
So Beware! These are dangerous enzymes for digestion.
Now, we have been told that as we age the ability to manufacture digestive enzymes declines and, yes, I have to admit there are studies to back this up.
But why accept this without a fight? It is just not as simple as saying, if I take digestive enzymes and feel better, it means I need them for the rest of my life. Why not investigate why the body is not producing adequate enzymes for digestion in the first place?
The most common reason that this happens is liver congestion. In the vast majority of humans, right before the bile duct enters the small intestine, it connects with the pancreatic duct (2).
If the large intestine is constipated or inflamed, toxins will default back to the liver for processing and, over time, congest the liver and thicken the bile. A congested bile duct can block the flow of digestive enzymes from the pancreas in at least 91% of the population (2). In one study, 46% of patients with pancreatitis had extra thick and viscous bile, linking congested bile to pancreatic function.
My Advice on Enzymes for Digestion:
- If you have blood sugar issues, as do at least 100 million Americans, avoid amylase enzymes.
- Eat more beets, radishes, fennel, fenugreek, leafy greens and small amounts of cinnamon to thin your bile.