Whitney-Teacher -- This was very informative, but some of it a tad over my head. But I got the idea and that is good. I know you added the websites for the Sodium/Potassium reactions, but I am not as computer literate as you and had a "scratch your head" moment. Could you send them to my e-mail address and I can take it from there. I would appreciate it. Bev
Someone emailed me a couple of days ago asking my opinion of Digestive Enzyme Supplements and/or Probiotics to aid digestion. I thought the answer might be of interest to others so decided to share my reply with my teams. The information I’m providing is educational only, I’m a retired biology teacher, NOT a doctor. I’m not attempting to offer medical advice. Also, SparkPeople has an excellent Diet and Nutrition forum. This is a great place to ask questions related to nutrition, fitness and health and get answers from SparkPeople expert staff. Here’s the link:
First, it’s important to understand the difference in digestive enzymes and probiotics and how they function in the digestive process. Digestive enzymes are proteins produced by your body, the majority of enzymes are made in the pancreas and the small intestine. The material your body uses to MAKE these enzymes come from the food you eat.
Probiotics are living organisms found in your intestines, mainly bacteria. These are “good” bacteria that play an essential role in the breakdown of food in your intestines. Probiotics come DIRECTLY from the food you eat.
One of the reasons it's so confusing to read about adding DIGESTIVE ENZYMES to your diet is that a lot of the articles are written by companies trying to sell you their products so they really aren't giving you accurate information. I read several that said you needed to take Digestive Enzyme Supplements because heat destroys enzymes and so the enzymes in the food you eat are destroyed by cooking. The problem with that information is they don't tell you that it doesn't matter because your body doesn't get the enzymes directly from the food you eat. Your body uses the food you eat to MAKE enzymes for your body to use in the digestive process. The enzymes found in the food you eat were made by either the animal or plant you're eating for use in THEIR biochemical processes (like digestion). If you destroy those enzymes by cooking it doesn't matter because that isn't the part of the plant or animal your body extracts for your body to use. That's why it's important to have a varied diet, to make sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs for all the processes it needs to perform. If, for some reason you feel you aren't able to get enough from what you are eating you need to talk to your doctor and get his or her opinion. Here are a few links on digestive Enzymes for you to check out. . The first article is written by someone with a PhD in Biochemistry and I think she explains it pretty well. Here is an excerpt from the article:
"While it's possible to take a limited number of digestive enzymes to enhance digestion -- though it's rarely, if ever, necessary -- most digestive enzymes don't work as supplements. That's because enzymes are proteins, and if they're not meant to operate in the stomach, the stomach simply digests them like any other nutritional protein."
Here's the link to the whole article:
“The Difference Between Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes”
Here's another excerpt, followed by the link to that article:
"Some studies suggest that taking digestive enzymes in the long term may not be beneficial as the body may stop producing its own and become dependent. Probiotics are safe in the long term, as the adult body does not produce its own and there is no risk of addiction or dependency when supplementing probiotic levels."
“What’s The Difference in Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes?”
I hope these are helpful to you. I would suggest as much as possible you research how to get the things you need from the food you eat instead of taking supplements because it's easy to "overdose" on supplements and it can be just as dangerous as prescription drug overdose. Some supplements even interfere with the action of prescription drugs so you should tell your doctor if you start taking anything on a regular basis. The most commonly known source for probiotics is yogurt but there are others. Here are a couple of links showing some common probiotic food sources, not all of them are dairy:
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