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Digestive Enzymes

Source: Dr Axe

What are digestive enzymes and how do they support health and wellness?

 

Digestive enzymes are proteins that are primarily produced in the small intestine and pancreas, as well as in saliva, that help break down the foods we eat into nutrients that can be absorbed and used by the body. Overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine (SIBO), Celiac Disease, and Pancreatic Insufficiency are all medical conditions that can lead to a lack of digestive enzymes the body needs to break down food, causing significant GI symptoms. People with these medical conditions often benefit from digestive enzyme supplements. In addition, people who are lactose intolerant and or who consume primarily plant based diets may also benefit from digestive enzymes to avoid gastrointestinal symptoms.

 
Digestive Enzymes and Neuro-Developmental Disorders

 

Kids with neuro-developmental disorders often experience higher instances of digestion issues related to food intolerance, sensitivities, and/or allergies and may benefit from digestive enzymes as well. Recent research shows that kids with ADHD are significantly more prone to bowel problems than their peers, further underscoring the need to investigate the role that diet and digestive health may play for kids with learning and behavioral problems. If a child is lactose intolerant or gluten sensitive and has weak gut junctions that don’t properly control what passes through the lining of the small intestine (intestinal permeability), GI symptoms can occur. When trigger foods like dairy and gluten are not fully digested in the stomach, food particles may escape through the weakened lining of the gut and into the bloodstream. When undigested food particles seep into the bloodstream, which is often referred to as leaky gut syndrome, it triggers an immune response in the body and brain. Chemicals produced during this immune response can affect a child’s behavior, focus, and learning ability. Kids with food sensitivities may also experience vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to poor absorption, which may further exacerbate a child’s learning or behavioral struggles.

Source: Brain Balance Achievement Center

See also Probiotics

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