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Digestive Enzymes and Weight Loss [Everything you Ever Wanted to Know]

The Brief Answer: Is there a correlation between digestive enzymes and weight loss? While taking a digestive enzyme won’t immediately lead to long-term weight loss, poor digestion is a leading contributor to weight achieve, so in many instances, digestive enzymes can not directly end in weight loss for these with poor digestion.

Although the digestive enzyme complement market is rising at a fee quicker than all the complement business as an entire most individuals don’t utterly perceive how they work and their potential influence on weight reduction.

Within the following article, we’re going to take a better take a look at digestive enzymes, with a give attention to their potential to assist individuals drop pounds.

What are Digestive Enzymes?

Before we examine digestive enzymes, and their influence on weight loss it’s useful to understand what enzymes are and the position they play in the physique.

Firstly, enzymes will not be dwelling organisms. They’re natural materials made by dwelling issues, but as they can’t replicate themselves, they are usually not a ‘dwelling’ organism.

Whereas enzymes can be found in complement type, they are extracted from raw meals and may be plant-based or sourced from animal products. They’re nevertheless not lively in meals as soon as cooked. Whereas all enzymes have specific warmth tolerances, as a common rule as soon as the temperature exceeds 140 levels, enzymes turn out to be inactive.

Enzymes are in fact, also produced naturally by the human physique and situated within our cells.

You’ll have heard the names of some enzymes before but didn’t understand what they have been. For example, enzymes have the letters ‘ase’ suffixed after them e.g. Protease, Amylase, and Lipase.

Enzymes play an important position in how our physique’s perform, they do this by growing the rate of chemical reactions that occur inside the human body. While it’s true that these chemical reactions might occur with out the help of enzymes, they might happen too slowly to help life.

Chemical Reactions in the Body

We run on chemical reactions. Chemical reactions occur when two molecules interact.

You’ll be able to think of enzymes as docking stations for molecules. Enzymes facilitate chemical reactions by way of a area generally known as the lively website. The lively website permits enzymes to bind to suitable molecules, often known as substrates. The binding process facilitates the elemental interaction required for the chemical change to happen.

The next animation demonstrates how this takes place utilizing the binding strategies referred to as the ‘lock and key model.’

Enzyme and substrate animation
  1. In the first stage of the animation, the suitable substrate is close to the lively website of the enzyme. As you can see Structurally, the enzyme and substrate are suitable.
  2. The second stage exhibits the suitable substrate binding with the enzyme, allowing the chemical response to happen.
  3. The third step of the animation exhibits the now modified substrate. In this specific example, the chemical reaction leads to the substrate being damaged down, main to the creation of two new molecules, generally known as ‘the product.’

Another model of binding, referred to as the induced match mannequin, leads to the substrate and enzyme undergoing structural modifications when in proximity to each other to permit for the binding process to take place.

Varieties of Chemical Reactions

Within the animation above, the chemical reaction happening is the breaking down of the substrate. A chemical breakdown is only one example of a chemical reaction. Other examples embrace two separate substrates combining. In all instances, the chemical reaction leads to chemical bonds being damaged or created.

For the enzyme itself, these reactions are short-term. After the chemical reaction is full, the enzyme will return to its unique state, while the substrate has undergone modification.

A practical example of the importance of enzymes is the situation often known as Lactose Intolerance.

In the case of an individual who’s lactose illiberal, their bodies are unable to produce ‘Lactase’ the enzyme answerable for separating the substrate, ‘Lactose’ (milk sugars) into glucose and galactose molecules leading to a considerably lowered capacity to digest milk sugars.

The example above is just one sort of chemical reaction, in reality, there are hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions occurring in your body. These chemical reactions are collectively often known as your metabolism.

What are Digestive Enzymes?

Digestive Enzymes Infographic

Digestive enzymes, unsurprisingly are the enzymes liable for breaking down the food that we eat. While many digestive enzymes are residing in our cells, we will categorize them into 4 main courses:

  • Protease: The digestive enzyme liable for breaking down proteins into amino acids.
  • Amylase: The digestive enzyme answerable for breaking down carbohydrates into blood sugars.
  • Lipase: The digestive enzyme chargeable for breaking down fat into fatty acids and ldl cholesterol.
  • Nuclease: The digestive enzyme chargeable for splitting nucleotides in nucleic acids into smaller models. Nucleotides are the constructing blocks of DNA.

A further digestive enzyme essential for breaking down plant fibre is Cellulase. Cellulase isn’t current within the body. As an alternative, Cellulase will is extracted from plant sources. Cellulase breaks down Cellulose (Carbohydrate) into beta-glucose. It’s handy that the enzymes required for digesting fiber from fruit and vegetables are within in the fruit and greens themselves.

Once damaged down these nutrients are then in a position to be absorbed by the human physique and used for a variety of purposes, together with offering power and rebuilding the physique, together with the manufacturing of latest enzymes.

Unsurprisingly, naturally occurring digestive enzymes are discovered in the main areas of digestion within the human body (mouth, stomach, pancreas and small intestine) with nearly all of absorption happening within the small gut.

The Digestive System

Digestive Enzymes of the Mouth

Chemical digestion of meals begins within the mouth. Salivary glands discovered beneath and behind our tongues excrete roughly 1.5L of saliva per day. Contained inside this saliva are the enzymes that break down Carbohydrates and Fat.

Because we swallow our meals shortly, solely limited chemical digestion can occur (mechanical digestion takes place in the type of chewing), however as our meals mixes with saliva, the enzymes proceed to assist in digestion.

The Digestive Enzymes of the Stomach

Our stomachs play a big position in digesting our food. Gastric Enzymes are discovered inside the stomach and embrace the enzyme Pepsin.

Pepsin: Pepsin is transformed from Pepsinogen thanks largely to Hydrochloric Acid produced by the cells of the abdomen. Once transformed to Pepsin, it turns into the chief gastric enzyme and breaks down proteins into amino acids. While Fat and Carbohydrate chemical digestion start within the mouth, chemical Protein digestion begins in the stomach.

Sure, it’s true Hydrochloric Acid is produced by the cells of the stomach. Nevertheless, our abdomen lining consists of mucus which protects the abdomen. Electrolytes contained inside this layer of mucus neutralize the Hydrochloric Acid if penetration of the mucus occurs. Hydrochloric Acid’s main objective in digestion is to remove any micro organism remaining in our food because it enters the abdomen.

The Digestive Enzymes of the Pancreas

Sitting to the rear of the stomach and hooked up to the Duodenum (the primary part of the small intestine) is the Pancreas. The Pancreas is the primary digestive gland of the human physique, and its essential activity is to produce enzymes.

The other perform of the Pancreas is to create hormones that regulate metabolism.

The Digestive Enzymes of the Small Gut

Most absorption of the nutrients extracted from our meals happens within the small gut after being broken down firstly by the mouth and secondly by the abdomen, the place nearly all of digestion takes place.

Most enzymes discovered within the small intestine are secreted by the Pancreas, getting into the small gut by way of the pancreatic duct.

Complete listing of Digestive Enzymes

Scroll right to see full table

Enzyme Location Class Ensuing Product Lingual Lipase Mouth (The tongue) Lipase Fatty acids Salivary Amylase Mouth (Salivary glands) Amylase Sugars Gastric Lipase Stomach Lipase Fatty acids Pepsin Abdomen Protease Peptides Carboxypeptidase Pancreas Protease Amino Acids Chymotrypsin Pancreas Protease Amino Acids Deoxyribonuclease Pancreas Nucleotide Nucleotides Elastase Pancreas Protease Peptides Pancreatic Amylase Pancreas Amylase Sugars Pancreatic Lipase Pancreas Lipase Fatty Acids Ribonuclease Pancreas Nucleotide Nucleotides Trypsin Pancreas Protease Peptides Aminopeptidase Small Gut Protease Amino Acids & Peptides Dipeptidase Small Gut Protease Amino Acids Enterokinase Small Gut Protease Trypsin Lactase Small Gut Amylase Glucose and Galactose Maltase Small Intestine Amylase Glucose Nucleosidases & Phosphatases Small Intestine Nucleotide Phosphates Sucrase Small Gut Amylase Glucose & Fructose α-Dextrinase Small Intestine Amylase Glucose

Digestive Enzymes and Weight Loss

Now that we understand how enzymes work and their position in digestion we will concentrate on the question at hand, relating to digestive enzymes and weight reduction.

There’s little doubt that digestive enzymes will assist you eradicate waste from your system resulting in momentary weight reduction. Weight loss over the long-term because of taking a digestive enzyme, nevertheless, is a little more difficult.

Whereas there’s conflicting info on the benefits of digestive enzymes and weight reduction, the truth is, each arguments could be right depending in your strategy to vitamin.

The straightforward reality is; nevertheless, enzymes aren’t a magic bullet for weight reduction. Nevertheless, additionally it is true that incomplete digestion may be one of many leading causes of weight achieve.

As digestive enzymes help with the breaking down of vitamins, serving to you to take in extra vitamins out of your food. Relying on the foods you eat this could either assist with weight loss or assist you placed on weight quicker.

If your weight loss plan is poor, enzymes gained’t assist with weight reduction. If then again you eat plenty of nutritious entire meals and restrict your consumption of unhealthy foods e.g. sugary carbohydrates, you can anticipate to profit even more from the nutrients in your food.

In the majority of instances, someone who’s obese will expertise low power levels, will typically feel bloated and complain of having a sluggish metabolism. If your digestive system isn’t working optimally, digestive enzymes can assist with all three of these elements.

In any case, a holistic strategy to weight reduction is all the time the most effective strategy, and further supplements are merely tools that can help but ought to never be relied upon too heavily.

Keep in mind, approaching weight reduction with the mindset of taking in fewer calories may fit for a short while, however long-term isn’t an environment friendly technique. It’s much more useful to create the right surroundings inside your physique to burn fats.

Digestive enzymes can definitely help in this regard, offered your body requires assistance with the digestion of the meals you eat.

Do Lipase Inhibitors Assist with Weight Loss?

You could have heard claims that scientists have found the on/off change for Lipase enzymes and how this has the potential to be a breakthrough for weight reduction.

Orlistat, an over-the-counter medicine is arguably probably the most well-known Lipase Inhibitor. Lipase inhibitors, as the identify suggests block Lipase within the small gut. They do that by binding to Lipase enzymes and limiting their exercise.

As we now have previously discussed Lipase is important for breaking down fat into fatty acids. If we prohibit the exercise of Lipase Enzymes in the body, then it stands to cause that we’ll take up much less dietary fats. Because (because of the Lipase Inhibitor) dietary fats is unable to be digested it is expelled as waste.

Studies have shown that Lipid inhibitors can assist with weight reduction however not in a big approach. The opposite facet to contemplate is as soon as you cease taking a lipase inhibitor, the load is comparatively straightforward to put again on.

To summarize, Lipase Inhibitors may also help individuals shed extra pounds however within the majority of instances are usually not as effective as food plan and train.

What’s the distinction Between Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes?

Yakult - Probiotic

As we have now beforehand discovered, enzymes are usually not dwelling organisms, and their main objective is to assist break down foods permitting more efficient absorption.

Probiotics, then again, are reside bacteria that line the digestive tract and assist absorption along with a number of different digestive system advantages including:

  • Enhancing digestive system effectivity
  • Destroying micro organism that creates dangerous breath
  • Elevated power due to the production of B12
  • Helps develop the immune system

Nevertheless as Probiotics live organisms, they’re destroyed by toxins, prescription antibiotics, and even stress.

Negative effects

Are Enzymes Harmful?

Enzymes are thought-about non-toxic and protected for human consumption as they are present in most of the foods we eat.

Nevertheless, there’s growing evidence to help the truth that the extra we rely on digestive enzyme supplements, the much less our bodies will produce them naturally. Whereas this is thought-about reversible, In essence, it is attainable in your body to develop a dependency.

It’s recognized that when we attain the age of 40 and above our manufacturing of digestive enzymes decreases by up to 25% (due to organ deterioration). Additionally it is thought that as we age congestion of the bile ducts that excrete bile containing enzymes increases leading to much less environment friendly supply of enzymes to the small gut.

Are Digestive Enzymes protected for Diabetics?

Diabetes is a situation which leads to the physique being unable to produce or reply adequately to the hormone Insulin which leads to the body being unable to metabolize blood sugar. Diabetes can even influence Protein and Fats digestion.

Consequently, the three main Enzymes (Protease, Lipase, and Amylase) can all play a task in managing diabetes as they’ll assist in digestion and finally absorption.

Nevertheless, it’s also necessary to understand that notably in the case of Amylase (the enzyme answerable for breaking down sugars) this may end up in a blood sugar spike, notably if you are already taking medicine for Diabetes.

Please, take into account Diabetes is a critical condition and any change in weight-reduction plan or an addition of a complement should all the time begin with a session together with your physician who is aware of your medical history.

Are Digestive Enzymes Protected for Being pregnant?


As digestive enzyme supplements are extracted from uncooked foods, enzyme supplements are thought to be no more dangerous than consuming the food the enzyme is derived from in its natural type.

While it’s necessary to seek the advice of together with your doctor if pregnant, earlier than taking supplements of any sort, enzyme dietary supplements usually are not thought-about dangerous for pregnant ladies, though there are conflicting stories on how effective they’re for treating uncomfortable side effects of being pregnant including bloating and heartburn.

Who Ought to Take Digestive Enzymes

Sometimes, digestive enzymes are advisable for those experiencing any of the next circumstances that point out digestive issues:

  • Undigested food in your stools (notably fatty substances)
  • Experiencing frequent bloating or fuel
  • Constipation and indigestion
  • All the time feeling full regardless of eating solely small amounts of meals
  • Affected by Leaky Gut Syndrome

If you are not sure, the safest means to check the health of your digestive system is to request a stool pattern from your doctor.

How to Take Digestive Enzymes

In the majority of instances, it is best to take a digestive enzyme with meals. They are out there in both pill or capsule type and could be taken with food or before or after a meal. If you choose to add them instantly to your meals capsules are a better choice as the enzymes might be extracted from the capsule and added immediately to your meal.

Tablets, however, won’t dissolve until they attain your lower gut.

Digestive enzymes work by interacting with the meals you are consuming so it’s imperative that they’re taken within a short while before, after or through the consumption of food.

Digestive enzymes dosages are based mostly on the forms of meals you are consuming slightly than simply your age and weight. Because of this, you may be required to attempt totally different doses to check how efficient they are on your specific state of affairs.

If after a number of weeks you don’t see any constructive advantages, I’d recommend consulting together with your pharmacist and making an attempt an alternate brand.

If you are taking a digestive enzyme to deal with a condition reminiscent of Leaky Intestine Syndrome, you might discover as your health improves, that you require a smaller dose over time.

The Greatest Digestive Enzymes for Weight Loss and Digestive Well being

While you can definitely get hold of enzymes from uncooked meals together with fruit and vegetables, dietary supplements present a a lot greater focus. There’s additionally the truth that as soon as you prepare dinner vegetables, the enzymes contained within turning into inactive.

As beforehand mentioned, you gained’t discover a digestive enzyme complement specifically designed for weight loss. Sustaining a healthy weight is a by-product of excellent digestive health, a nutritious diet, and an lively way of life.

Enzymes can definitely be of benefit nevertheless if you are experiencing poor digestive well being however until you take a holistic strategy to weight reduction, you shouldn’t anticipate to see something more than short-term outcomes.

Plant-based V animal sourced

We advocate if purchasing a digestive enzyme supplement to stick to plant-based options. While animal-based digestive dietary supplements can be found, they are less efficient in the abdomen due to the acidic nature of the abdomen (animal based mostly enzymes aren’t effective in an acidic setting) thanks to the presence of Hydrochloric Acid. Plant-based enzymes, then again, are lively across a broad vary of PH ranges making them a extra viable choice.


As we’ve discovered throughout this text, enzymes whereas indirectly affecting weight can help in digestive health in these people who are experiencing digestive points. As we all know, poor digestion is a leading contributor to weight achieve, so in lots of instances, digestive enzymes and weight loss can work hand in hand.

If nevertheless you are experiencing digestive health issues and you are noticing symptoms of your meals not digesting utterly, your first port of call ought to all the time be your physician.

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