Life Extension Magazine January 2013
Are You Obtaining the Proper Enzymes?
By Jeffrey Stout
Epidemic of Digestive Discomforts
If you find yourself reaching for drugs like Alka-Seltzer® or Pepto-Bismol® to relieve chronic digestive problems, you could have bigger health problems than you realize. Those OTC drugs might temporarily ease your symptoms, but they're doing absolutely nothing to target the underlying cause of the problem. If that underlying cause goes unchecked, you could be setting yourself up for a host of health issues that are much more devastating than gas or bloating such as food intolerance and malnutrition (in older adults).
Drugs like Prilosec® and Prevacid® suppress stomach acid secretion, but do so at the expense of poorer digestion. Even when stomach acid production is blocked, gastric contents and bile secreted by the liver can still reflux back into the esophagus and cause heartburn and irritation that lead to serious disease. Those who suffer esophageal reflux don't want undigested food remaining in the stomach any longer than it has to.
The proper enzyme formula facilitates more rapid digestion that can help resolve common digestive discomforts.
Gradual deterioration of digestive function doesn't have to be an inevitable part of aging. The right combination of enzymes can mitigate the embarrassing, uncomfortable, and occasionally dangerous consequences of incomplete food digestion.
Digestive enzyme supplements promote complete digestion of food in the stomach and upper small intestine. That prevents undigested food from reaching the colon, where normal bacteria ferment it to produce gas, liquid, and the unpleasant symptoms of a poorly-regulated digestion.
The main problem with most digestive enzyme supplements is that they facilitate the breakdown of starches into simple sugars that are rapidly absorbed as glucose into the bloodstream. Because of its widespread deleterious effects on health, excess glucose is a leading cause of disability and death in modern societies.10-18
Even if one consumed no carbohydrates, the body would still have plenty of glucose because the liver efficiently converts protein (and fatty acids) into glucose through a process known as gluconeogenesis.
It is far more logical to take a digestive enzyme supplement loaded with protease and lipase, and specialized cellulases. That way, one facilitates digestion of vital amino acids, plants, and fat-soluble nutrients without creating dangerous glucose spikes.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
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