This is because stomach acid is secreted into the stomach in response to the expansion of the stomach wall. During this time a considerable amount of digestive work can be accomplished if plant enzymes, either indigenous to the raw food ingested or from a supplemental source, are present. Unfortunately, the amount of time necessary to make stomach acid increases with age. Studies have proven that older adults often suffer from inadequate stomach acid levels.
But cooking or other types of processing destroy enzyme activity (which is the basis for “canning” of vegetables). It is thought that the enzymes present in raw food also contribute to its breakdown once eaten. However, there is only enough enzyme present in foods to break down that food over a period of days. Pancreatic enzymes available by prescription are enteric-coated, meaning they have a protective coating that keeps the enzymes from exposure to stomach acid.
Regardless, plant enzymes are not destroyed by the highly acidic environment of the stomach. They simply become dormant until reaching the higher pH levels in the small intestine, where they again become active and continue the digestive process. Once their digestive function in the gastrointestinal tract is completed, a large number of enzymes are absorbed through the gut wall into the bloodstream. During my periods of poor digestive health (ie those first 4 weeks) I also opted to take digestive enzymes with smaller meals, eg a protein shake.
And the problem with cooking other foods is that due to the heating process you basically kill the natural digestive enzymes in them. Foods like sauerkraut, kefir, avocado, bananas and pineapple will naturally carry a good amount of digestive enzymes themselves. Unfortunately if you are suffering from leaky gut, then the systemic inflammation of your digestive tract and damage done to the microvilli along your intestinal lining, along with related conditions like Celiac disease or Crohnâ€™s or SIBO etc, can reduce your ability to produce digestive enzymes.
There is a common misconception that enzymes are destroyed by stomach acid. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Protease supplement can be taken in between meals in addition to digestive enzymes with meals. Start by taking enzymes with about two meals per day and adjusting your dosage as needed as the days move on.
Therefore, these products are not recommended for use in patients with pancreatic cancer. Good nutritional care improves outcomes and is critical for your quality of life. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network strongly recommends that patients have access to pancreatic enzymes and see a registered dietitian. Furthermore, pancreatic enzyme supplementation could be used to relief abdominal pain in chronic pancreatitis, since the introduction of exogenous enzymes is supposed to play a negative feedback regulation on endogenous enzyme secretion, with consequent reduction of pancreatic duct pressure.
Digest highly resistant proline-rich peptides in gliadin fraction of gluten and casein that can lead to activation of the immune system in the gut resulting in autoimmune damage to intestinal tissue as seen in conditions like coeliac disease. In addition, gluten and casein-derived proline-rich peptides may exert opioid-like activity in the central nervous system causing sedation (i.e. post-meal drowsiness) and food addictions. Think of feeling sleepy after a carbohydrate heavy meal or even feeling addicted to bread! Further along this neurological scale gluten and casein are believed to trigger neurological symptoms encountered in children with autism spectrum disorders.
We consider a twofold approach. First begin with a digestive. Digestion is the foundation of health.
The better we digest our foods, the more nutrients we have the possibility of assimilating safely and easily while improving the removal of waste. Second consider a therapeutic (enzyme taken on an empty stomach, usually between meals). To determine which formulas may be right for you, take our Enzyme Deficiency Test.