Probiotics are healthy types of bacteria that live in our digestive system. Balancing the amounts of these desirable bacteria flora with the unhealthy bacteria in the gut is imperative to maintaining our health. Probiotics supplementation can help maintain this balance. Digestive enzymes assist in the breakdown, digestion and absorption of food. Digestive enzyme supplementation will help you get the most nutrients from your dietary choices.
The human digestive tract contains billions of bacteria and micro-organisms that assist with digestion. The body requires a healthy balance of friendly and unfriendly bacteria. Poor diet, antibiotics, prolonged illness and aging can deplete the beneficial bacteria faster than they can be replenished. An incorrect balance of unhealthy bacteria over desirable bacteria is associated with poor digestion, inadequate Vitamin B12 absorption, systemic yeast infections and autoimmune diseases. Taking probiotics can help restore the needed bacteria balance.
According to Dr. Bill Code, "Probiotics are live organisms that are friendly bacteria that normally live inside our large bowel and are critical to our overall health." These beneficial bacteria enhance our digestion by increasing nutrient absorption, and play a huge part in our immunity. If intestinal permeability, or leaky gut, is present, an overgrowth of yeast, undigested food particles and bacteria may pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. These foreign particles will elicit an immune response. If these particles are similar in molecular structure to specific body cells the immune cells will attack both the foreign particles and the similar body cells. This is called molecular mimicry and may be the source of autoimmunity.
Three classifications of digestive enzymes exist: Lipases digest fats, amylase digest carbohydrates and proteolytic enzymes digest proteins. Enzymes play a key role in the digestion of these macronutrients. The University of Michigan Health System reports that reliable and relatively consistent scientific data shows digestive enzymes provide a substantial health benefit when taken for pancreatic insufficiency, ligament sprain and muscle strain. Using digestive enzymes may also be helpful in managing celiac disease, Crohn's disease and indigestion.
Always consult a registered dietitian, nutritionist or medical professional before implementing digestive enzyme supplementation. This will point you in the right direction to correct enzymes, the right combination, the proper amounts and the best time to ingest them. Another important reason to seek professional assistance is because digestive enzymes may interact with certain medications.
Digestive enzymes and probiotics may help with food intolerances. Taking digestive enzymes will help break down the food particles into smaller substances that your body may be able to tolerate and break down further. Probiotics help maintain the healthy balance of gut flora. This balance promotes better digestion, increased immunity and lessens food intolerance.
- University of Michigan Health System: Digestive Enzymes
- Dr. Bill Code: Probiotics and Gut Health
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.