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Your Questions About Digestive Enzymes And Weight Loss

Posted Apr 02 2011 1:21pm

Maria asks…

I currently bought a box of “digestive enzyme” becuse I have heard that it can break down carbohydrates, protein and fat faster….
so….does it mean “digestive enzyme ” can help lose weight?

In short, not really. It’s true the digestive enzymes help break down food (different enzymes for different types of foods). But that means that it makes the food readily available for use by your body. Enzymes are a natural part of the digestive process, which is breaking down food into the base components so that you can benefit from all the nutritional elements they contain.

If your digestive system is working well, you probably don’t need supplemental enzymes. They can provide great relief to people who are not producing enough on their own (a common condition as we age). Supplementing with digestive enzymes can eliminate a variety of digestive complaints, including heartburn, reflux, gas and bloating. But pills are never quite as good as the real original design. In your body, different enzymes are produced at different points along the digestive tract, starting in your mouth, and ending in your intestines. And if you don’t have digestive issues, I would worry that taking enzymes unnecessarily will interfere with your body’s self-regulating system for enzyme production. By loading up your stomach with enzymes, you’re telling your body you don’t need to produce them.

The following healthy living recommendations will help you if you’re trying to lose weight,  or just want to feel better:

*1) Burn more calories then you’re consuming everyday and measure your results using the following formula: Calories Consumed minus Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) minus Physical Activity minus the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). A website that explains this formula in more detail and will help you determine how many calories you need to reach or maintain a certain weight is at

Get an online, desktop, or cell phone diet and fitness calculator. This will allow you to easily calculate the above formula, set goals, log your daily calorie consumption, and register your physical activities.

Set realistic goals for your ideal body weight. Here are two websites that will calculate a suggested body weight Adults:

It is difficult and unhealthy to lose more than one or two pounds per week. There are 3,500 calories in a pound. If you eat 500 fewer calories per day for a week you will lose one pound. If you burn through exercise 500 more calories per day for a week you will lose one pound.

Here are two articles on how to break through a weight loss plateau

*2) Eat natural and organic foods found on earth versus something created by a corporation to make money. Take a good multi-vitamin supplement. Fish oil (or real fish) is good too.

Do not try fad diets or diet pills. Avoid “High Glycemic Load Carbs” (sugar, pastries, desserts, refined starches such as breads, pasta, refined grains like white rice; high starch vegetables such as potatoes) and drink lots of water. Read this article for more information on high GL Carbs

The following are food pyramids and several articles on what you should eat everyday Food Pyramids
Antioxidant Superstars – Vegetables and Beans
Antioxidant Loaded Fruits
Good Carbs Mean Better Weight
The Benefits of Protein
Some Fats Are Good For You
Antioxidants in Green and Black Tea
What You Should Eat Daily
Best Foods to Fight off Disease and Keep You Healthy

*3) Perform cardiovascular, core, and/or strength training on most days. Read a book or find a certified trainer to make sure you’re doing all exercises correctly.

The following is a website and numerous articles on cardiovascular, core, and strength training Exercise Prescription on the Net
Starting an Exercise Program
Strength Training Basics
Cardiovascular Machine Workouts
Balance Your Way to a Stronger Body
Understanding Your Training Heart Rate
Exercise Errors
Getting a Flat Stomach
Weight Lifting – Does Order Matter
Encouraging Exercise in Your Kids
Strength Training Safe and Effective for Kids

*4) Get plenty of sleep. Sleep experts say most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health, and safety.

*5) Educate yourself continually on health issues and make a life long commitment to good health. A great free publication is “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005”. A reputable test you can take to measure your biological age is at
Look at all areas where you can enhance your health. For example, make improvements in the quality of the air you breathe. Review outdoor air quality forecasts where you live and get an indoor air purifier.

Linda asks…

i started taking digestive enzymes and feel wonderful only after 2 days, is that normal ? i have a history of bad gas, trapped like heart attack. docs first thought gall baldder, but gas x helps LOL acid reflux terribly and I tell you with 2 days of taking this with probiotics and a good multi vit i feel great. what are some other benefits in taking this? will it help in weight loss? skin improvment? psoriasis???

If the source of your digestive problems were from a lack of suitable enzymes, then yes, I would expect fast relief when you take supplemental enzymes. (In fact, there’s not really much of a cumulative effect – you would need to take them with most every meal.  You may be able to fine tune your supplementation. Note what kind of foods cause you problems. There are different enzymes for each type of food, such as proteins, fat, sugar, dairy, etc.  It’s possible to find enzyme products that are quite specialized, so that you only have to take the ones you need. On the other hand, some people do best with a more typical broad spectrum product, if their enzyme production is poor overall.

Paul asks…

im pretty positive everything in the individual supplements is fairly safe. im not taking any brand names, all pure subtances, such as arginine, carnitine, CLA, green tea extract, forskolin, BCAAs, multi vitamin, calcium, selenium, caffeine, sesamin, tyrosine, beta alanine, glutamine, creatine, protein, ZMA, fish oil, beta alanine, melatonin, 5-HTP, probiotics, digestive enzymes and fiber. i can find plenty of information detailing the dangers and benefits of each kind of supplement. but nothing addressing the dangers of taking so many pills and powders all at the same time. it comes out to over 80 servings of pills or powders a day. im just wondering what kind of effects this can have on me. i feel normal. alittle fuller than usual. but i definitely feel stronger and more energetic and im losing weight. i lift 6 days a week. cardio 4 days a week and i box, and im on a full 6-7 meals a day, 2300 calorie diet thats very high in protein. so i was wondering if this was dangerous?

Yes, it can hurt you. There have been some large studies suggesting that people who take mega-dose vitamins actually live shorter lives than those who take basic one-a-day type of dosages. You also risk interfering with your body’s own feedback loops for regulating its biochemical production processes, because you are loading up on substances your body would normally be expected to produce in a balanced way.

The bottom line is, nobody has ever done a study on the effects of the combination of supplements you are taking. So, you are the lab rat here. If you maintain a healthy diet and level of exercise, I don’t see why you wouldn’t feel just as great, loose weight, build muscle and increase your fitness level, while saving yourself hundreds of dollars a month.



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