Proper digestion and elimination is at the root of truly radiant health. Unfortunately, it does not matter how healthy your diet is or how many supplements you take if your body is not breaking down and absorbing the nutrients you consume. In their infinite intelligence, our bodies produce a vast array of specialized proteins called digestive enzymes. Each enzyme is specifically designed to break down the macronutrients (fat, sugar, and protein) of the food we eat. Digestive enzymes are produced primarily in the pancreas and small intestine, and once released, catalyze chemical reactions in the gut that are essential to proper digestive function.
Today, more and more people have some level of digestive disruption. Whether this is due to stress, leaky gut, and/or intestinal dysbiosis, a lack of digestive enzymes almost certainly play a role. Symptoms of poor enzyme activity include: gas, bloating, constipation, loose stools, greasy stools, and undigested food in the stool. Many people find these symptoms result from the difficulty of digesting foods such as gluten and dairy. Therefore, these people tend to adopt increasingly restrictive diets. In the short term, removing hard to digest foods from the diet can help relieve symptoms, but in the long term, this does not fully address the underlying cause of the problem.
A Vicious Cycle
When the body is not producing an adequate supply of digestive enzymes, the food we eat is not being broken down properly. The undigested food particles damage the digestive tract causing leaky gut. When the food is not being broken down and absorbed, then the body is not receiving the proper nutrition to allow it to ultimately heal and restore normal production of digestive enzymes. Thus we are thrust into a vicious cycle of continually worsening digestive function. This prompts many people to blame food insensitivity and remove suspect food from their diet. Of course, if someone is genuinely allergic to a food, such as in the case of celiac disease, then that food should be avoided. However, for many people, hard to digest foods like dairy and gluten can be safely reintroduced into the diet.
If you continually remove hard to digest food from your diet without addressing the underlying enzyme deficiency you’ll end up eating nothing but lettuce soup and still having problems with digestion! The key is turning the digestive fire back on. Intelligent supplementation with digestive enzymes, like Dr. Colbert’s Living Digestive Enzyme formula, can help you achieve this goal. For people with compromised digestion, taking a full spectrum digestive enzyme with meals will provide the body with much needed assistance. This support will allow the digestive system reprieve from the assault of undigested food particles allowing it to heal. As the enzymes help to more fully break down the food, the body receives more nutrition allowing for the rejuvenation of the body’s endogenous enzyme production.
Easy Does It
Although digestive enzymes can be an incredibly effective intervention for those with digestive difficulty, it is also important to be cautious of over-reliance on supplementation. Remember, the goal is to reboot your body’s own production of digestive enzymes. As you begin to more fully digest your meals, slowly wean yourself off of the supplement as to allow your body to direct the newly absorbed nutrients to production of endogenous enzymes in the pancreas and small intestine. Once you feel like the digestive fire has been restored, you can begin to add hard to digest foods back into the diet, paying close attention for the recurrence of symptoms.
Direct Your Digestion!
Proper digestion is the root of great health. Digestive enzymes facilitate proper digestion. When the body is not producing adequate levels of digestive enzymes food is not broken down and absorbed leading to nutrient deficiencies and intestinal damage. By introducing supplemental digestive enzymes with meals you can assist your body in the breakdown of food and nourishment of your body. As you taper your supplementation, the body begins to reestablish endogenous enzyme production allowing you to reintroduce previously foregone foods back into the diet.