Best Digestive Enzyme Supplements

You’ve cleaned up your diet. You focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, organic when possible, lean meats, non-GMO, with no artificial ingredients or preservatives, and avoid sugar like the plague. All this for weight control and to be as healthy as possible. Congratulations. However, equally, perhaps even more important than what you eat is what your body digests. Your clean diet is not serving you if you can’t digest and absorb the vitamins and nutrients from the foods you ingest. That’s where digestive enzymes come in. So, what are the best digestive enzymes, and which one is right for you? Let’s take a look!

Digestive Enzyme Supplements

The Role Of The Digestive System

Digestion and absorption of the foods we eat, the breaking down of food into small molecules, occurs in our digestive system. Digestion is a complex process that converts these foods into energy and waste products. It provides the energy required for all the processes that take place in our bodies. The process takes place in the gastrointestinal tract, a long, connected, tubular structure that starts with the mouth and ends with the anus. 

Food is propelled through the system, broken down by enzymes and hormones into usable particles; carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and absorbed along the way. Once nutrients are broken into small enough molecules, they are absorbed through the wall of the small intestine into the bloodstream and then delivered throughout the body. Our body is extremely efficient and handles the process without much thought on our part. 

When you experience heartburn, indigestion, or acid reflux, the process is not operating optimally, possibly due to a lack of digestive enzymes. As we age, our bodies produce fewer digestive enzymes. Further complicating this is the fact that farming practices over the years have depleted the quality of vitamins and minerals in the soil, meaning that less of these crucial micronutrients are in the foods we eat. 

Digestive System - Digestive Enzyme Supplements

What Are Digestive Enzymes?

Naturally occurring digestive enzymes help break down food so we can soak up nutrients. They are a group of enzymes responsible for breaking down macromolecules into smaller building blocks for absorption. The major enzyme-producing systems in the human body are the:

  • Salivary glands
  • Stomach
  • Pancreas
  • Liver
  • Small intestine

Below are the three primary types of digestive enzymes and the nutrients they target:

  • Lipases – fats and oils
  • Proteases – proteins
  • Amylases – carbohydrates such as starch and sugars

If the body is unable to produce enough digestive enzymes naturally, food molecules are not digested properly. This can slow the digestion process and lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as lactose intolerance. 

What Are Digestive Enzyme Supplements?

Digestive enzymes are nutritional supplements, typically in capsule or chewable form, that contain a combination of different digestive enzymes. Many of the more popular brands, such as Nucific Bio-X4, also include a probiotic to support the good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. A typical blend of enzymes might consist of:

  • Lipase
  • Protease
  • Amylase
  • Cellulase
  • Bromelain
  • Papain

Enzyme supplements are known to provide relatively fast relief when eating foods that commonly irritate the stomach. 

Check Out Our 9 Top Rated Supplements
Our team has reviewed hundreds of popular supplements - these are our 9 favorites.
Click Here to check out the list.

In this article, we will detail what to look for in a digestive enzyme supplement, discuss the purported benefits, and provide an unbiased opinion on their efficacy. We’ll also recommend several brands with formulas supported by scientific research. 

Benefits Of Taking Digestive Enzyme Supplements

If you suffer from gas, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, or acid reflux, digestive enzymes may provide relief.  Clinical studies indicate that a multienzyme, a blend of digestive enzymes, is effective in addressing symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, belching, fullness, and postprandial distress in participants. 

Other benefits include:

  • Increased energy as you are utilizing your food properly
  • A healthy inflammatory response
  • May influence body weight

Supplement manufacturers will add the following benefits in their marketing:

  • Prevention of leaky gut
  • Better mental focus
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced IBS symptoms
  • Clearer

We are less convinced about these purported benefits, although there is a great deal of interest in better understanding the gut-brain connection. Claiming to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition or the symptoms of a medical condition, with a supplement, is strictly off-limits according to the FDA. 

Will Digestive Enzymes Work for Me?

Every person’s body is different, and there is no one size fits all regimen for addressing digestive issues. However, anecdotally and scientifically, a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme has been proven effective in addressing many of the digestive problems cited in this article. Further, we have personal experience with some of these issues and are favorably impressed with our body’s response when using a digestive supplement. 

Digestive Enzyme Supplement Alternatives

The first place most people turn when experiencing heartburn is to an over the counter antacid. Antacids are great for providing fast, short-term relief, but they don’t address the underlying problem. 

If symptoms persist, the next step is to visit your medical professional. His/her first recommendations will no doubt be based on lifestyle and dietary decisions, getting regular exercise, avoiding nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), reducing coffee consumption, eliminating high-fat foods, alcohol, and tobacco. Another option is for your doctor to prescribe prescription-strength enzymes if he finds you are digestive enzyme deficient.  

Will My Body Still Make Its Own Digestive Enzymes?

When using digestive enzyme supplements, your body will continue to create them naturally on its own. You won’t be dependent on digestive enzymes, but they will give your body’s natural digestion a boost when you need it.

Do Digestive Enzyme Supplements Really Work?

Harvard Health tells us that according to recent marketing research, global digestive enzyme sales are expected to reach $1.6 billion by 2025. They go on to say, “But don’t be too quick to reach for them. Some of them are clearly beneficial in certain situations. But enzyme supplements also are often used in situations where there is little evidence that they do any good.” 

One of the most common objections to supplementation is that the body can produce all the digestive enzymes it needs. We would counter that stress, poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and a food supply with depleted nutrients can be catalysts for enzyme shortages and a strong rationale for supplementation.

Best Digestive Enzyme Supplements

When picking the best enzyme supplements, we adhered to the following criteria:

  • First, we made sure the product is manufactured in a certified cGMP facility (Good Manufacturing Practices)
  • We looked for full-spectrum blends including clinically proven enzymes; Lipase, Protease, Amylase, Cellulase, Bromelain, and Papain
  • We found brands that use plant-based enzymes where feasible
  • We sought transparency – products which listed the dosage of each enzyme, with no proprietary blends
  • We looked for companies and brands that have independent third-party testing for quality
  • Each of the recommended brands offers a money-back guarantee – demonstrating the manufacturer’s confidence in the product

Here are our picks for your consideration. Note: we have no bias or affiliation with any of these products:

Renew Life DigestMore Ultra Enzymes

Renew Life DigestMore Ultra Enzymes

First, we love the company. Renew Life was purchased in 2016 by the Clorox Company, owned in turn by Proctor & Gamble. Renew Life earns our trust in doing business the right way. They are very conservative with their structure-function claims, and we assure you, any claims they make will be substantiated by science, or Clorox would not allow it.

The product is made with naturally derived, plant-based enzymes, a full spectrum blend containing Protease, Cellulase, Amylase, Lipase, Lactase, and Invertase. Although proprietary blends are included, the dosages of each component are indicated on the package. The company also makes a probiotic product, called Renew Life Probiotics. All Renew Life products are made in the U.S. in a certified cGMP facility. 

Reviews are stellar for effectiveness.

GET THE BEST PRICE ON RENEW LIFE

Now Super Enzymes

Now Super Enzymes

Another company we trust. Now has been in business as a family-owned and operated, Midwestern company since 1968. Of course, their manufacturing facility is cGMP certified. Note the transparency of the Supplement Facts panel on the right. Each ingredient is identified, and the dosage is indicated. And notice a broad spectrum of enzymes, including those with the most clinical trials. 

This soy-free, made without gluten, and Keto friendly product represents a great value in the category at less than $20 for a thirty-day supply.

Garden of Life, Dr. Formulated Enzymes Organic Digest +

Garden of Life Dr Formulated Enzymes Organic Digest

Another nationally known brand, Garden of Life, with products formulated by Dr. David Perlmutter, a board-certified neurologist, and expert in the human microbiome. In addition to a broad-spectrum plant-based formula, this product contains a proprietary blend of twenty-nine different organic fruits and vegetables. Yes, we said proprietary blend; however, each enzyme is identified, and the dosage is evident in the Supplement Facts panel. 

This pick is a delicious Tropical Fruit Punch chewable to be taken after meals and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. 

For Added Gut Health Try Stacking your Enzymes with a Probiotic

Each of our picks come from companies that specialize in digestive health, marketing probiotics as well as digestive enzymes. We highly recommend stacking a probiotic product with your enzymes for added gut health support. Need help finding a good one? Use our guide to the best probiotic supplements.

To Summarize: Do Digestive Enzyme Supplements Work?

If you suffer from occasional bloating, gas, or heartburn, we think supplementing with a digestive enzyme is appropriate. Start with a minimal dose and titrate up based on your tolerance. Although digestive enzymes are generally considered safe, their side effects can be similar to the symptoms you are treating. 

If you do decide to take enzymes, we highly recommend a company and brand such as those represented in our picks, one that is reputable, scientifically formulated, quality tested, and with a money-back guarantee. 

You May Also Like
Health Benefits Of Fasting – What This Type Of Diet Can Do

Health Benefits Of Fasting – What This Type Of Diet Can Do

There is a wide range of different fitness, health, nutrition, and wellness trends that have completely taken over the industry. Some have more research backing them than others, some are more effective than others, and some are just straight hogwash.  Of all the...

Best Form Of Magnesium – Get The Most Health Benefits

Best Form Of Magnesium – Get The Most Health Benefits

We set out in this “Best Of” article to identify the various forms of magnesium used in dietary supplements, to review their benefits, and to suggest which form and format might be best for you. In the process, we discovered that the types and combinations of...

Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil – Which Is Better For Your Health?

Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil – Which Is Better For Your Health?

Fish oil and krill oil both contain omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA – two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are widely known for their benefit on our heart and brain health. However, although both oils contain omega 3 fatty acids, some claim that krill oil...

Best Vitamins For Energy – Top 8 Choices To Keep You Moving

Best Vitamins For Energy – Top 8 Choices To Keep You Moving

Whether you are preparing to seize the day, hit the road on an afternoon escapade, or hitting the gym, you always need an ample amount of energy. Sure you can get some energy from the food you eat or drinks you down, but are you really getting enough? That's where...

Intermittent Fasting Vs. Keto – Which Is The Better Diet?

Intermittent Fasting Vs. Keto – Which Is The Better Diet?

Diets come into vogue and then gradually lose popularity. There have been the Atkins Diet, the Scarsdale, the Beverly Hills, and the South Beach. Leading us to the Paleo, the low-carb, no-carb, slow-carb, and the Ketogenic Diet. Then there is the IIFYM (If It Fits...

Dr. Gundry Supplements – Are Gundry MD Supplements Worth Using?

Dr. Gundry Supplements – Are Gundry MD Supplements Worth Using?

One of the hottest topics in scientific research today is the microbiome and Dr. Steven Gundry knows that better than most. Dr. Gundry is the founder of Gundry MD, a well-known health and wellness company with a large focus on the microbiome. Dr. Gundry supplements...

Disclosure: Some of the links in our articles are from our advertisers. Learn more about how we make money.

Contents

Reviews

Latest Fitness Profiles

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramReese WitherspoonActress Born: 1976Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born in Louisiana and grew up in Tennessee. Her first foray into show biz was in a tv commercial at age 7 which motivated her to take acting lessons. A high-achiever,...

Krysten Ritter

Krysten Ritter

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramKrysten RitterActressBorn: 1981Krysten Ritter was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania. At age 15, she was discovered by a modeling agent while shopping at the mall. Ritter moved to New York and became a print, tv and runway model. After...

Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramIan SomerhalderActorBorn: 1978Ian Somerhalder grew up in Louisiana. He started modeling when he was 10 and by age 17, decided to make acting his career. He found small roles in tv and film at first, and his breakout came in 2004 with...

Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramEmmy RossumActress Born: 1986Emmanuelle Rossum is from New York City. She was raised by her mother and has only met her father twice. Diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten, Rossum eventually dropped out of school to pursue her career. She...

Kai Greene

Kai Greene

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramKai GreeneBodybuilder Born: 1975Leslie Kai Greene was born in Brooklyn, New York and was placed in foster care at age 6. His disruptive behavior at school prompted a teacher to suggest bodybuilding. Greene was enthusiastic about the...

Latest Reviews

Burn Lab Pro Review – Can This Supplement Burn Your Fats Away?

If burning fat were easy, everyone would be doing it. No one would have to fight for their ‘summer bod’ because they would already have it. Looking in the mirror would give people confidence, rather than eliminate it. Life would be much, much better. ...

Clean BCAA Review – Should You Use This Clean Machine Supplement?

Are you in search of a supplement to help you increase your muscle mass? Or a supplement to maximize your workout results? There are tons of options out there that claim they can provide these benefits. While some may measure up, others fall short. Clean BCAA by Clean...

Related Articles

Best Time To Take Collagen – Get The Most Benefits For Your Body

If you spend a few minutes on social media these days then chances are you will come across collagen. It’s quite the craze from fitness enthusiasts to celebrities, and for good reason!  The truth is collagen is a great supplement for just about anyone. If you are...

Best Natural Nootropics – Top 4 Picks For Better Brain Power

Are you looking for supplements that will boost your brainpower? Are you looking for ways to boost your mental performance during exams or a tense job interview? Mental or cognitive performance such as memory, reaction time, alertness, and mood are all very important...

Brain-Gut Axis – The Complete Guide

Research into gut health, the microbiome, and “biotics” (prebiotics and probiotics) continues at an unprecedented rate as scientists discover benefits far beyond those in the more established areas of digestive and immune health.  In this guide, we will provide a...

Top Rated Supplements
Best Supplements

Our team has reviewed hundreds of popular supplements - these are our 9 favorites.


Check Out the List

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This