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Digestive Enzymes

Also indexed as:Black Bean Extract
Digestive Enzymes: Main Image

Digestive enzymes are complex proteins involved in digestion that stimulate chemical changes in other substances. They work optimally at specific temperature and pH. Digestive enzymes include pancreatic enzymes, plant-derived enzymes, and fungal-derived enzymes. There are three classes of digestive enzymes: proteolytic enzymes needed to digest protein, lipases needed to digest fat, and amylases needed to digest carbohydrates.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Low Back Pain

(Trypsin, Chymotrypsin)
4 to 8 tablets a day of proteolytic enzymes containing trypsin and chymotrypsin, and/or bromelain3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with a combination of the enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin may improve low back pain.
Low Back Pain

(Trypsin, Chymotrypsin)
4 to 8 tablets a day of proteolytic enzymes containing trypsin and chymotrypsin, and/or bromelain3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with a combination of the enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin may improve low back pain.
Pancreatic Insufficiency
Consult a qualified medical practitioner3 stars[3 stars]
Digestive enzymes are the mainstay of pancreatic insufficiency treatment and have been shown to reduce pain and steatorrhea associated with pancreatitis.
Sprains and Strains
4 to 8 tablets a day of proteolytic enzymes containing trypsin, chymotrypsin, and/or bromelainas Proteolytic Enzymes3 stars[3 stars]
Proteolytic enzymes, including bromelain, may be helpful in healing sprains and strains because they are anti-inflammatory and appear to promote tissue healing.
Celiac Disease
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Some evidence suggests that enzyme supplements may be useful at the beginning of dietary treatment for this disease.
Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Lipase, a pancreatic enzyme, aids in the digestion of fats and may improve digestion in some people.
Osteoarthritis
90 mg of bromelain and 48 mg of trypsin, with 100 mg of rutosid, taken in enteric-coated pills three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, people with painful osteoarthritis of the knee who received an oral enzyme-flavonoid preparation saw more improvement in pain and joint function than those who took a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID).
Tendinitis
Several tablets per day of proteolytic enzymes2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with digestive enzymes may reduce the severity of symptoms and speed healing.
Acne Rosacea
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Digestive enzymes have been reported anecdotally to improve rosacea symptoms.
Allergies and Sensitivities and Food Allergies
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Proteolytic enzymes may theoretically reduce allergy symptoms by breaking down undigested protein to sizes that are too small to cause allergic reactions.
Chronic Candidiasis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Digestive enzymes inhibit the overgrowth of candida and prevent it from becoming established in the small intestine.
Crohn's Disease
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with enzymes might improve the nutrient malabsorption that is often associated with Crohn's disease.
Low Back Pain
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Several trials have reported reduced pain and swelling, and/or faster healing in people with a variety of conditions who use papain.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.