What are Pancreatic Enzymes?
Normally functioning pancreas generally produce around 7 to 8 cups of pancreatic juice every day. This juice has essential pancreatic enzymes that aid digestion. Certain health conditions can result in the pancreas secreting fewer digestive enzymes. These health conditions may include pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, and pancreatic cyst. In such cases, you need to take digestive enzyme supplements that are available in the form of pills, tablets, and capsules.
Types of Pancreatic Enzymes
Amylase is a kind of digestive enzyme that helps in breaking down sugars and carbohydrates. Deficiency of amylase in the body can lead to diarrhea because of the presence of undigested starches in the lower intestine. There are multiple kinds of amylase including α-amylase, ß-amylase, and ү-amylase.
The digestive enzyme protease is important to breakdown proteins. Deficiency of protease in the body can increase you risk of acquiring bacterial intestinal infections and allergies. There are multiple kinds of protease including serine proteases, glutamic proteases, and cysteine proteases.
The digestive enzyme lipase is necessary for the breakdown of fats and oils. Deficiency of Lipase in the body can result in greasy, fatty stools. Some examples of lipase include gastric lipase, hepatic lipase, and pancreatic lipase.
Reasons to Take Pancreatic Enzymes
At times the pancreases fail to secrete sufficient enzymes required for digestion. This condition is known as pancreatic insufficiency. Deficiency of essential enzymes can keep food from breakdown, which can, in turn, lead to various adverse health conditions. This is where pancreatic enzymes come into picture to help trigger absorption and digestion of food. Some of the common health conditions that lead to pancreatic insufficiency include pancreatic tumors, surgery, pancreatitis, and blockage of the biliary duct.
People with pancreatic enzyme deficiency may experience the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Frequent stools
- Loose stools
- Foul smelling stools or gas
- Light orange or yellow color stools
- Greasy stools
- Cramps after meals
Tips for Taking Pancreatic Enzymes
- Take pancreatic enzymes with all the snacks or meals that are rich in fat. This may include bread, meat, or dairy products.
- Take enzymes before taking your snacks or meals.
- Begin by taking the smallest necessary dose of enzymes and gradually adjust depending on the intensity of your pancreatic insufficiency.
- Certain digestive enzymes have an exterior coating to keep them from breaking down in the stomach. You can swallow the whole capsule or tablet as it is with liquid. You should not chew or crush the capsule unless doing so is directed by your physician.
- To get desired results, avoid mixing the contents of the tablets or capsules with dairy products.
- If kept in the mouth for a prolonged time, certain digestive enzymes can lead to the absorption of the mucous membranes and result in irritation. This, in turn, can result in sores in the tongue, lips, and mouth.
- Consider using enzymes before their date of expire, to ensure effectiveness.
The above statements are not intended to cure any disease or comply with any health benefits. This is solely for information purposes. Please consult your doctor/health practitioner before consumption of the product. Although we take efforts to keep our website informative, we do not guarantee any medical benefits.