The Best Digestive Enzymes & Supplements to Soothe and Improve Gut Health

As a person who likes to take a vast array of health supplements, I caught onto the idea of taking digestive enzymes pretty late on.

Usually, one would think that digestive enzymes may only be for people who feel discomfort in their stomachs after eating, and although that is true, I think everyone should at least consider the idea of taking digestive enzymes to aid in digestion.

I say this because after doing some brief research on digestion, I can now see the importance of efficient digestion. For if you do not properly digest your food, this can lead to certain negative symptoms (which I’ll come on to later) some of which I never even thought could be attributed to improper digestion.

In addition, after paying more attention to my own gut health through the supplementation of certain probiotics and digestive enzymes, I have noticed a large uptick in my overall health.

This is one reason I thought it was worth writing an article on digestive enzymes and sharing what I have learnt.

In this post, I’ll cover my experiences with taking digestive enzymes as well as discussing what digestive enzymes are, and which are the important ones to take.

In this article, we’re going to cover these best digestive enzymes:

What Exactly Are Digestive Enzymes?

Digestive enzymes help break down larger food molecules into food smaller molecules in order that our body can absorb the nutrients from these foods.

There isn’t one ‘King’ digestive enzyme that is able to digest all food types, but rather, different digestive enzymes are required to break down different food types.

Some of the most important digestive enzymes include:

  • Amylase – For starches and carbohydrates
  • Cellulase – Breaks down Cellulose present in fruits, vegetables, grains and seeds
  • Lactase – Is useful for breaking down lactose found in milk products
  • Lipase – Turns fats into fatty acids and glycerol
  • Protease – Is vital for breaking down proteins.
  • Invertase – Works on sucrose found in sugars
  • Peptidase – Breaks down casein & gluten

If our body does not have sufficient digestive enzymes, it may not be able to break down foods into the forms that our body requires.

As you can guess this can become very problematic.

Symptoms of Undigested Food

There are many implications of having undigested food in your stomach:

  • Low energy and fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Thyroid problems
  • Skin issues and rashes
  • Food allergies
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain
  • Food cravings
  • Joint pain
  • Depression and anxiety
  • ADHD

Reasons You May Lack Enough Digestive Enzymes

There are a couple of reasons why it’s possible for someone to lack the necessary amounts of digestive enzymes in their body.

a) Your Body

Although our saliva glands, pancreas and small intestines act as our own source of digestive enzymes, sometimes we simply may not have enough to break down the foods we eat.

For example, certain medical conditions such as pancreatic problems and Crohn’s disease can be a cause.

However, there can also be less obvious causes such as inflammation in the gut, getting older, low stomach acid, and one of the biggies is chronic stress, which nearly everyone suffers from these days.

b) The Food You Eat

Raw foods such as fruits and vegetables contain within them the enzymes necessary to digest our foods. However these days we aren’t eating as many foods in its raw form meaning that the enzymes can be lost as a result of the manufacturing process.

In addition, even if we do eat store-bought food that is raw, there is a good chance that it may have been grown in conditions which are not conducive to keeping its enzyme content intact.

If your body and your food are not providing enough digestive enzymes to digest the food you eat, it could be a good idea to get your digestive enzymes in the form of digestive enzyme supplements.

Should YOU Be Taking Digestive Enzyme Supplements?

As I mentioned in my the introduction I have only started taking digestive enzymes in recent times. The main reason I started taking digestive enzymes was when I began to focus more on improving my own gut health, with a particular emphasis on treating leaky gut.

One of the recommended steps to healing leaky gut is to take digestive enzymes supplements to help take the strain off the digestive system as well as preventing undigested foods from building up in the stomach.

There are various other reasons why you may want to take digestive enzymes such as if you experience gas and bloating.

There are however other reasons you may wish to take digestive enzymes summed up in the illustration below.

Source: Dr. Axe

What to Look for in a Digestive Enzyme Supplement

A good digestive enzyme supplement will contain a decent blend of the most important digestive enzymes that cover a wide range of food groups.

If you are vegetarian or vegan then its best go with a plant-based enzyme which should include the enzyme bromelain (found in pineapple) and papain (found in papaya).

Sometimes a digestive enzyme supplement will include further ingredients in their blends such as peppermint or ginger to further calm and support the digestive system.

The Best Digestive Enzyme Supplements

Below (in no particular order) are the best digestive enzyme supplements you may want to consider.

1. Enzymedica – Digest Gold with ATPro

Sale
Enzymedica - Digest Gold with ATPro, Daily Digestive Support Supplement with Enzymes and ATP, 45...
  • EVERYDAY ENZYMES: Good health begins in the gut;...
  • BALANCE AND COMFORT: Specialized blend of enzymes...
  • NUTRIENT ABSORPTION: Make sure you're getting the...

Pros:

  • Enzymedica are a brand who specialise in Enzymes
  • According to manufacturer’s they are the number one best selling digestive enzyme in the US.
  • Non-GMO, Vegan, Kosher & Gluten Free

Cons:

  • Rather pricey compared to other brands
  • Some other brands cover a larger spectrum of digestive enzymes

Enzymedica is probably the best-known manufacturer of enzyme-based supplements in the US making them a reliable company to buy digestion based products from. They have a vast range of different digestive enzyme supplements to suit individuals who require different things.

Digest Gold is one of their best all-round supplements which covers all the major digestive enzymes (including lactase), however, what sets them apart from any other digestive enzyme supplement is their Thera-Blend process which enables their digestive enzyme blend to work throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract regardless of the variation in Ph levels.

This process is described in the video below.

Enzymedica – Thera-Blend

As we have seen, Digest Gold definitely ticks all the right boxes.

However, they don’t come cheap.

Their standard capsule count in a bottle is 45, which costs the same price as other brands that have over double the capsule count. That being said, they do have a Digest Basic model which has double the capsule count of Digest Gold, costs half the price and still contains the Thera-Blend technology.

See Prices >


2. Dr. Tobias Enzymes for Digestion

Sale
Dr Tobias Digestive Enzymes - 18 Enzymes for Digestive Health
  • SUPPORTS DIGESTION: Helps process...
  • PLANT-BASED ENZYMES: Formulated with 18...
  • REDUCES POST-MEAL GAS: Helps reduce uncomfortable...

Pros:

  • Blend containing 18 different digestive enzymes
  • Includes enzyme for Gluten digestion
  • Plant-based enzymes including Bromelain and Papain
  • Good value for money
  • Non-GMO

Cons:

  • Not suitable for Vegans despite being plant-based

Dr. Tobias Digest is a great all-around digestive enzyme supplement and a very popular digestive enzyme supplement on Amazon. It has a large range of digestive enzymes within its blend including two types of Protease as well as Aspergillopepsin for people who are gluten intolerant.

In addition, all the digestive enzymes within the blend are plant-based.

There aren’t many negatives surrounding this product except that it may not be suitable for Vegans despite being plant-based. The sellers state that the reason for this is that dairy is used in the fermentation process.

However, despite this negative, Dr. Tobias should prove to be a good option for most other people.

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3. Garden of Life Vegetarian Digestive Supplement for Women/Men

Garden of Life Vegetarian Digestive Supplement for Men - Raw Enzymes for Digestion, Bloating, Gas,...
  • Helps your body process difficult-to-digest foods...
  • Supports colon health and overall digestive...
  • Reduces occasional post meal gas and bloating
Sale
Garden of Life Vegetarian Digestive Supplement for Women - Raw Enzymes for Digestion, Bloating, Gas,...
  • Helps your body process difficult-to-digest foods...
  • Supports colon health and overall digestive...
  • Reduces occasional post meal gas and bloating

Pros:

  • More than just a digestive enzyme supplement
  • Includes vitamins and probiotics in its formula
  • Specifically formulated for women or men
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • No binders or fillers like most other brands

Cons:

  • A little on the expensive side

I’m a big fan of Garden of Life products and they are known for splitting up their product ranges to meet the bodily needs of both men and women.

Both their ‘Raw Enzyme’ ranges for women and men contain not only a large spectrum of 22 digestive enzymes but also important vitamins as well as a probiotic blend.

This product is basically a multi-vitamin, digestion aid and a probiotic all in one supplement.

In addition Garden of Life have sound manufacturing processes ensuring that there are no fillers, gluten or dairy in their products and they only use raw ingredients.

That being said since there is so much goodness packed into one supplement its also a little pricier than other options. However, if you’re looking for probiotics and digestive enzymes in one supplement then this is a great option.

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4. Garden of Life Vitamin Code MEN

Sale
Garden of Life Multivitamin for Men - Vitamin Code Men's Raw Whole Food Vitamin Supplement with...
  • MULTIVITAMIN SUPPLEMENT: Specially formulated...
  • MULTIVITAMIN WITH PROBIOTICS: Vitamin Code Men's...
  • PROSTATE SUPPLEMENT: This men's multivitamin...

Pros:

  • Includes Multi-vitamins and digestive enzymes
  • Probiotics included in the blend
  • Fruit, veggies and antioxidants included
  • Specifically formulated for men
  • Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Cons:

  • Not specifically a digestive enzyme product

This isn’t specifically a digestive enzyme supplement but I couldn’t help but mention Vitamin Code for Men as it is such a versatile product and something I take myself on a daily basis.

It is a daily multivitamin, however, it does also include a RAW probiotic and enzyme blend as well, which includes some of the most important digestive enzymes as well as papain, bromelain and lactase for lactose intolerant individuals.

Vitamin Code for Men is not the type of digestive enzyme supplement you would take after a meal to settle your stomach but It’s more of a general supplement to promote good gut health. If you want to help improve your overall health as well as your gut, this is a great option worth considering.

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5. Omega-Zyme ULTRA Enzyme Blend

Sale
Garden of Life Vegetarian Digestive Supplement - Omega Zyme Ultra Enzyme Blend for Digestion,...
  • The ultimate digestive enzyme supplement,...
  • Provides 21 different digestive enzymes, each with...
  • Delivers a unique blend of digestive enzymes with...

Pros:

  • Provides 21 different digestive enzymes
  • Enzyme blend works across all PH levels
  • Gluten and dairy free
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • The blend includes Ginger & Turmeric

Cons:

  • Could be considered expensive

This is getting embarrassing. Yes, another Garden of Life product. As I mentioned above, I do like Garden of Life products so I couldn’t help but add another one to this list, however, this time it’s not purely focused on women or men.

Omega-Zyme is solely a digestive enzyme rather than an all-in-one vitamin solution like the women or the men’s Digestive Supplement. It contains slightly more digestive enzymes (21 as opposed to 18) and also includes Ginger and Turmeric, something most other digestive enzymes don’t include.

If you were drawn to the Thera-blend capabilities of Enzymedicas supplement then hold your horses! Omega-Zyme is also said to have an enzyme blend that will work in varying levels of PH in the gastrointestinal tract.

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6. DigestWise Digestive Enzymes

Digestive Enzymes - 1 Before Each Meal See How Good You Feel - DigestWise, Gold Standard of...
  • ENJOY FOOD & FEEL GOOD AFTERWARDS: DigestWise...
  • ABSORB NUTRIENTS & HAVE MORE ENERGY: If you don't...
  • PERFECT FOR SENSITIVE STOMACHS: The enzymes in...

Pros:

  • Plant-based digestive enzymes
  • Works in all Ph levels in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Gluten free
  • Suitable for Vegans
  • Relatively low price

Cons:

  • Not as high a number of digestive enzymes as some of the other brands

Out of all the other digestive enzymes on this list, DigestWise is most similar to Dr. Tobias digestive enzymes. They are both plant-based and both good low priced option compared to the other brands.

That being said, it does have an advantage over the Dr. Tobias brand in that it is suitable for Vegans.

If you don’t want to pay too much for your digestive enzymes then DigestWise may be for you. The only one drawback is that it doesn’t have as many different digestive enzymes as the other brands on this list.

See Prices >


Which is the Best Digestive Enzyme Supplement?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question it all depends on which factors matter most to you, but I’ll try my best to sum it up.

If You Have Deep Pockets & Like Expert Knowledge

If you want the best digestive enzyme supplement and are not too bothered how much it will cost then Digest Gold is a good choice. Enzymedica are proven experts and manufacturers in the realm of digestive supplements.

Even if you think Digest Gold is not for you then you can browse their other digestive enzyme supplements and you’ll likely find one of their products that fits your needs and budget.

All Round Best Digestive Enzyme

I feel that Dr. Tobias Enzymes is the best all-rounder if you factor in price. It has a high number of plant-based digestive enzymes and isn’t priced too high. It also seems a very popular choice among Amazon.com users.

Gender Specific + Probiotics

On a Budget

At the time of writing DigestWise seems to be the cheapest. It’s around the same price as Dr. Tobias however you get around 30 capsules more. That being said DigestWise’s blend has a lower count of digestive enzymes than Dr. Tobias.


Try It Out For Yourself

There is no rule that says digestive enzymes will definitely help you feel better in the stomach overall, however, if you suffer from bloating, stomach discomfort and gas, there’s a good chance that they could help. I know they have helped me.

At the current time, I do not take digestive enzymes after every meal as I feel my gut health is under control and no longer feel uncomfortable after meals, but I do take them every now and again if I have had a heavy meal just for maintenance.

If you are on medication, have any medical health conditions, or are unsure of whether it is safe to take digestive enzymes be sure to ask your doctor beforehand.

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