Digestive enzymes are catalysts that help break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into a more simple form, enabling them to be absorbed by the body.
Digestion begins in the mouth, where amylase starts to break down carbohydrates. If you chew enough on a piece of whole wheat bread, you can detect a slightly sweet taste. This is the sugar that is being released as carbohydrates are broken down into more simple sugars. As the food moves into your stomach, gastric juices act on the proteins.
Once entering the intestine, the majority of the breaking down occurs when the pancreas and small intestine release amylase, protease, and lipase (these are your naturally occurring digestive enzymes) to make the final breakdown of the nutrients.
So, the question is: Do we really need to take enzyme supplements or is it simply a marketing ploy powered by supplement suppliers? The answer is, of course, it depends.
Symptoms of recurring digestive issues my acupuncture patients complain about are: