Though our bodies produce enzymes naturally to help the digestion of certain foods, some molecules pass through our bodies undigested. This especially applies to FODMAPs, fermentable short-chain carbohydrates poorly absorbed by the small intestine. Though most of us produce lactase to help with lactose (disaccharide, or D in FODMAP), our bodies do not produce enzymes to help with oligosaccharides, monosaccharides, or polyols.
Digestive enzymes can be essential for your body to effectively break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from food. By doing so, these enzymes ensure the absorption of nutrients, which is necessary for maintaining optimal health. Without these enzymes, the nutrients in your food would simply go to waste.
Enzyme supplements are widely used by people who want to improve their digestive health. These supplements are designed to support the body's natural digestive processes and help to extract functional nutrients from certain foods.
While enzyme supplements come in various forms, including capsules and tablets, the powder form is considered the most effective. In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons why.
Types of Enzymes
Protease is an enzyme that breaks down proteins into smaller peptides and amino acids. It is particularly important in the breakdown of proteins from animal sources, such as meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Lipase is an enzyme that breaks down fats or lipids. It is essential for the digestion and absorption of dietary fats, which are important for the body's energy needs and cell membrane structure.
Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates or sugars, such as starches and glycogen, into simple sugars like glucose. It is produced in the salivary glands and pancreas and is necessary for the digestion of carbohydrates.
Cellulase is an enzyme that breaks down the cellulose found in plant cell walls. Humans do not produce cellulase, but some bacteria and fungi in the gut do. Supplemental cellulase may help break down the cellulose in plant foods, releasing more of the nutrients for absorption.
Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. People who are lactose intolerant do not produce enough lactase and may benefit from supplemental lactase to help digest dairy products.
Alpha-galactosidase is an enzyme that breaks down complex carbohydrates, specifically galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). These carbohydrates are found in foods such as beans, lentils, and certain vegetables, and can be difficult for some people to digest. Alpha-galactosidase supplements may help with the digestion of these foods, as well as alleviation of gas and other symptoms.
Fructan hydrolase (a novel, wide-spectrum enzyme included in FODZYME) is an enzyme that breaks down fructans, a type of carbohydrate found in many fruits and vegetables, including garlic, onions, artichokes, asparagus, and more. Some people may have difficulty digesting fructans and may benefit from supplemental fructan hydrolase to help break them down for easier digestion.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples that breaks down proteins. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is often used as a digestive aid.
Papain is an enzyme found in papayas that also breaks down proteins. It is commonly used as a meat tenderizer and is also used in digestive supplements.
The specific types and amounts of enzymes included in a supplement can vary depending on the intended use and the manufacturer. However, by understanding the different types of enzymes and their functions, you can choose a supplement that meets your specific digestive needs.
Why take enzyme supplements?
Enzyme supplements can be especially helpful for people who have difficulty digesting certain foods or who want to improve their overall digestive health. For example, people with lactose intolerance may benefit from lactase supplements to help break down the lactose found in dairy products. Similarly, people with difficulty digesting certain carbohydrates may benefit from supplements containing enzymes such as alpha-galactosidase or fructan hydrolase.
Enzyme supplements are also commonly used by people with conditions that affect the pancreas, such as cystic fibrosis or chronic pancreatitis, as these conditions can cause a deficiency in pancreatic enzymes.
Overall, enzyme supplements can help improve digestion and nutrient absorption, leading to better overall health and well-being.
What is enzyme powder?
Enzyme powder is a novel form of enzyme supplements, designed to be mixed directly with food or drink. It is considered the most effective mode of administration because it quickly integrates with food, allowing the enzymes to break down the FODMAP molecules faster and more effectively.
Why powdered enzymes are better?
We found that the overwhelming majority of digestive supplements on the market are offered as pills or capsules to be swallowed.
These are suboptimal methods of delivering the enzymes as they slow down the assimilation of enzymes with food (especially when the enzymes are encased in a wall of delayed-release cellulose).
It is critical for the enzyme to distribute in the ingested food bolus as quickly as possible to take advantage of the optimal pH range for enzymatic activity immediately following a meal. Later on, gastric pepsin becomes considerably more active and other proteases threaten enzyme stability. 
One of the main reasons why the powder form of enzyme supplements is more effective is because it is absorbed faster by the body. When you take a capsule or tablet, the body has to break down the outer layer of the supplement before it can access the enzymes inside. This can take some time, delaying the effects of the supplement. With a powder supplement, the enzymes are readily available to the body, making them more effective in supporting digestive health.
FODZYME® is designed as a powder to integrate directly with the meal and has been assessed in this manner throughout the SHIME experiments. FODZYME®’s powder formulation maximizes homogenization of enzymes and food and thus the availability of enzymes to their substrates at the post-prandial gastric pH most favorable to microbial carbohydrases.
Just like no enzyme is the same, our bodies also work differently. And so, our tolerance levels to various FODMAPs differ, too. Another benefit of powder form is that it makes the enzymes highly customizable. Depending on the meal you are having, its size, and the FODMAP contents, as well as your personal tolerance thresholds, you can easily adjust the dosage to meet your specific needs.
This is especially beneficial for people who are highly sensitive, or those who need a higher dosage of enzymes to support their digestion. This also applies to social situations, where you may graze or snack for a prolonged period of time. Using a little bit of powder on small snacks ensures you denature the FODMAPs in every bite, and avoid wasting a whole dose on the first bite of the evening. With a powder supplement, you can easily mix in the right amount of enzymes to meet your needs.
Powder enzyme supplements are also more versatile than other forms. You can mix them into a variety of foods and drinks, including smoothies, yogurt, and soup. This makes it easy to incorporate them into your daily routine. Additionally, the powder form allows for a wider range of enzymes, including lactase, alpha-galactosidase, and wide-spectrum fructan hydrolase to be included in the blend, providing more comprehensive protection against the most common gut symptom triggers.
The powder form in enzyme supplements is likely to be the most effective when breaking down FODMAPs. It is quickly integrated with food, customizable to meet individual needs, and highly versatile in its use.
It's critical for enzymes to distribute within the ingested food while your stomach pH range is optimal for enzymatic activity. The longer after the meal - the more threatening your gut environment becomes to enzymes.
FODZYME®’s powder form facilitates maximum enzyme integration in food, allowing the enzymes to swiftly target FODMAP triggers in the meal. FODZYME® breaks down common FODMAPs fructan, GOS, & lactose (with a polyol solution in development) that can trigger gut symptoms like abdominal pain, excessive gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea.
If you need help digesting FODMAPs, try FODZYME and see how it can change your life.