A visitor named Melanie asks the following question about digestive enzymes.
“I was wondering what your take was on enzyme supplementation? It seems the only information on the web is from companies that sell the enzyme supplements.
I have read claims that certain digestive enzymes can help control Candida growth or even kill it over time with the right dosage levels. This I have read to be true with proteases. It seems the general online consensus that even though we create certain enzymes in our bodies, the addition of more can be beneficial.
How effective are enzyme supplements really? Although I highly doubt the claim that it can control Candida by itself, I wonder if it would help? Is it safe to take enzymes at high doses throughout the day? The information I have found over the past few weeks leaves me in great confusion and doubt.
Thank you for your time and input!”
Great question. Yes, while it is true, that our bodies create digestive enzymes, the problem is that many of us are deficient. Deficiencies may occur as a result of a poor diet, Candida overgrowth, SIBO, environmental toxins, stress, genetics, not chewing thoroughly enough, alcohol consumption, or nutritional deficiencies. Additionally, as we grow older the body doesn’t produce as many as they used to.
Enzymes are crucial for breaking down the food you consume so the body can absorb the nutrients. Without sufficient levels of enzymes you won’t digest adequately and thus the body won’t receive the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
Yes, they really are effective. Supplementing your diet with digestive enzymes can be helpful for a variety of digestive conditions like heartburn, indigestion, gas, bloating, irritable bowel, upset stomach, constipation, and food sensitivities. They also help keep Candida, parasites, and other unhealthy microbes at bay. I use them all the time and they help me a great deal. However, they aren’t miracle cures and are not going to keep Candida under control all by themselves. They need to be used as part of a comprehensive plan that covers all the bases involved in yeast overgrowth.
People with Candida as well as many other people typically have enzyme deficiencies that fall under two different categories, hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzymes.
Hydrochloric acid is in the stomach and many people with Candida have insufficient levels, however not always. I have severe Candida overgrowth, but do not have low HCL. In supplement form it is usually combined with pepsin, because they work hand in hand.
You can determine if you are deficient with this simple test. Take one hydrochloric acid tablet right before your meal. If you feel burning or warmth in your stomach then you aren’t deficient. If you don’t feel any burning in your stomach, then the next time you eat take two hydrochloric acid tablets. If you don’t feel any warmth or burning then the next time you eat take three. Continue this process until you feel warmth or burning in your stomach. Once you do then go back to the dosage that didn’t initiate any warmth and that is the amount of HCL that you need.
Hydrochloric acid should be taken with care. If you supplement it in your diet when you don’t need it, then you could cause stomach or intestinal damage. If you have a history of ulcers or take any medications you should consult with your holistic physician. Hydrochloric acid should not be taken with certain prescription and over the counter medications like aspirin, blood thinners. or anti-inflammatories.
You should never take HCL without food or in between meals. It must be accompanied with food.
Pancreatic enzymes take place in the small intestine and can be taken with meals or between meals. With meals, they help digest fats, carbohydrates. and proteins and in between meals they are used to clean up undigested material, eliminate unwanted visitors, and help with inflammation.
Yes, pancreatic enzymes are safe and can also be used in between meals as a natural antifungal. They digest Candida as well as other bacteria and parasites when taken on an empty stomach.
Now, while I do advocate the use of digestive enzymes I have personally not found them to be the “miracle cure” that some people claim they are. They are one piece in a very big puzzle. An important piece, but not the only one. They cannot control Candida all by themselves. Candida requires a comprehensive approach like the one outlined in Candida Secrets.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all supplements are created equal and this is especially true with pancreatic enzymes. You should take high quality, high potency pancreatin, at 10x strength. Most pancreatic enzymes are diluted and aren’t strong enough to do the job properly, so be sure to look for 10x.
I have used a product called Mega Zyme by Enzymatic Therapy for a couple decades and it is what I recommend. Enzymatic Therapy is one of the most reputable manufacturers of nutritional supplements around and Mega Zyme has the highest potency pancreatic enzyme complex you can find and it is created to be similar to your bodies own enzymes. I use them with all my meals and in between meals from time to time as well. It is one of the few brands that contain 10x strength.
So, in summary, yes, digestive enzymes can be very beneficial in supporting a healthier more effective gastrointestinal tract.