How can digestive enzymes help me lose weight
There are many ways to lose weight. You can achieve quick weight loss by taking diet pills or following a weight loss diet plan, you can also maintain a long-term healthy weight with a right lifestyle and regular exercise, but one lesser-known natural way is via the use of digestive enzymes. But what are digestive enzymes? And how can they help you lose weight? I’ll reveal all here, but before I do let’s take a look at exactly what enzymes are
Digestive Enzymes 101
Enzymes are the keys to life, as the food we eat consists of large complex molecules that need to be broken down into small particles as they enter our bodies. This is where digestive enzymes come in. Enzymes are necessary at various stages as food passes through the digestive tract.
Firstly, carbohydrate digestion begins in our mouths through the action of an enzyme called Ptyalin. It then passes into the duodenum where cells in the pancreas produce amylase enzymes to break the carbohydrate down further. Down the line in the upper part of the intestine more amylase is released.
Protein is digested differently and it starts in the stomach with hydrochloric acid, what we usually call stomach acid and the enzyme pepsinogen. The combination of these two form a powerful enzyme called pepsin. Special cells in the first part of small intestine produce protease enzymes and assuming that this all has happens as it should, then the end result is simple amino acids that can easily be absorbed.
The fat we eat is not water-soluble so is impervious to the enzymes in our digestive juices. It has to be emulsified by bile from the gall, which is made in the liver. This is not a lightweight job and the pancreas assists by sending lipase, a fat-digesting enzyme into the duodenum.
I realize that this is a rather simplistic overview of our complex digestion system, but I hope it demonstrates how important the different digestive enzymes are at each step of the process.
Large amounts of enzymes are needed to digest the food we eat and if insufficient are made by the body, we bloat and suffer from digestive problems.If this problem is long-standing it can lead to digestive infections, such as candidiasis, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome AND we put on weight. But, if our bodies are supposed to digest food and make sufficient enzymes, this raises two questions. First, why aren’t people producing sufficient enzymes? Secondly, why would this lead to weight gain?
Digestive Enzymes and Weight Gain
For example, protein is well known for its satiating effects – eat more protein and you feel more full and so become less inclined to snack or eat more than you should. However, if you lack protease and pepson enzymes, protein won’t be digested as effectively and you’ll limit its hunger suppressing effect. The result is you’ll feel hungrier and eat more.
In a similar way, enyzmes are needed to absorb nutrients. When these nutrients are absorbed this sends messages indicating to both the brain and body that sufficient nutrients have been taken in. This in turns dampens down hormones that control feelings of hunger. Or put another way, if you don’t absorb enough nutrients because of lack of enzymes, signals to dampen hunger feelings won’t occur, and you’ll eat more
Another example is the lipase enzyme. When lipase is at adequate levels, your digestive system’s able to break down and dissolve the fat stored throughout the body. Without this vital enzyme fat levels build and is stored in your arteries, organs, and capillaries. You will see it accumulate on stomach, hips, buttocks, and thighs.
Also, if you are lypase deficient, studies have shown you’ll most likely have a tendency to avoid eating fats (even the good healthful ones, such as omega-3’s) and instead turn to sugary food instead. Sugary foods are the biggest culprit for most peoples fat gain, because of sugars ability to trigger big insulin surges which in turn will build up fat cells.
There are many other mechanisms by which enzymes help control body weight that are beyond the scope of this article, so it should come as no surprise many people are turning to supplement enzymes to lose weight. So why isn’t our natural diet meeting our needs? There are several reasons for this:
- We eat very little raw food that contains natural enzymes.
- Modern day farming methods provide us with a glut of food and we no longer have to buy according to the seasons, and have bad eating habits.
- Modern day farming depletes the soil of nutrients. Food processing and refining strips away even more nutrients.
- We eat high protein diets that require more digestive enzymes.
- Many people eat diets high in Fat, which can be difficult to digest if the body lacks lipase enzymes.
- We eat too much sugar and so need more sugar and starch digesting enzymes.
It should also be noted that the metabolism slows with aging and less stomach acid is produced. Time is not on my side either, but now I know how digestive enzymes can help me lose weight, and so do you!
Written by HealthyNewAge, the alternative healthcare web site and blog.