How digestive enzymes help lose weight
Obesity is one of the most pressing health problems that people nowadays suffer from. In this era of processed foods, chemically polluted environments, genetically modified eatables, and foods full of preservatives and additives, people are prone to getting digestive issues, which ultimately leads to weight gain and obesity.
Poor digestion is one of the key factors contributing to weight gain. But “poor digestion” itself is a broad term, and there are a number of lifestyle choices (mentioned above) as well as internal body factors that cause it.
It's not impossible to lose weight, thanks to research in medical science. Scientists have been researching all the essential factors that affect our weight and overall body profile. One of the most important factors among these is "Digestive Enzymes."
Recent studies show that there is a significant role of digestive enzymes in our body that facilitates in losing weight in a number of ways.
What are digestive enzymes, and what is their mechanism of action?
Basically, enzymes are proteins. But unlike simple proteins, they are structurally and functionally specialized proteins that boost certain chemical reactions, which in turn facilitate the digestion of food by breaking it down into smaller, digestible components.
When food is broken down into smaller pieces, it's easier for the blood to absorb the nutrients present in the food. The blood then passes these nutrients to the whole body to nourish it and maintain healthy body functions.
Different enzymes are structured to break down different types of food elements. These digestive enzymes are spread along the digestive tract at different locations where they receive the food type they're supposed to break, ensuring proper and timely steps of the digestive process.
Although there are several digestive enzymes that our body produces, which work together in synchronization to achieve efficient digestion, they can be grouped into three major types:
- Lipases-They breaks down fats.
- Amylases-They breaks down long chains of carbohydrates.
- Proteases-They breaks down proteins.
How do digestive enzymes assist in weight loss?
Digestive enzymes facilitate weight loss in the following ways:
As mentioned above, the ultimate result of the function of digestive enzymes is to acquire energy for driving different functions of the body.
Simply put, "the efficient the action of digestive enzymes, the energy we feel." Feeling low and lazy all the time is an indication that your digestion is compromised.
Digestion is a complicated process that takes up to 80% of the energy of our body. When digestive enzymes come into action, they speed up the biochemical reactions that are involved in digestion, thereby saving a lot of energy.
Better energy levels link to fast metabolism, which aids weight loss.
- Efficient absorption of nutrients
For getting energy, our body depends on the nutrients that are supposed to be extracted from the food we eat. This nutrient extraction process is carried out by digestive enzymes.
This is a two-way process, facilitating both weight loss and weight gain, depending on a person's individual nutritional needs.
To get you an insight on how it helps lose weight, think about it this way:
People who are obese have a nutritional deficiency. This nutritional deficiency makes them need more food to feel fulfilled and balanced. So the problem lies in the nutrient absorption, not the excess food intake.
Less nutrient absorption is the cause,
More food intake is the effect.
Digestive enzymes help these people digest nutrients better, which in turn lessens their appetite because then their body is getting all the nutrients they need, reducing nutritional hunger.
In a nutshell, digestive enzymes reduce hunger by making the body absorb all the nutrients it needs.
In order to maintain a healthy weight profile, your body must cleanse itself of toxins and waste products, and this happens by the action of digestive enzymes.
The digestive Enzymes help our bodies extract nutrients from the food we intake, leaving the waste material that is not useful for the body to be eliminated by excretion.
If food remains undigested, it sits around in our intestines, where it mixes up with waste products and toxins, giving rise to toxic intermediate products. These intermediate products are even more harmful to the body than the toxins themselves. If they are not eliminated from the body, they cause inflammation and toxicity by being reabsorbed in the blood.
This phenomenon may cause serious harm to the digestion process and lead to weight gain, so digestive enzymes actually prevent this from happening and therefore help lose weight.
Digestive enzymes help food particles to move swiftly through the digestive tract, by breaking them down into smaller particles. This action of digestive enzymes doesn't let the food sit into your intestines for long and increases transit time for food.
When food moves quickly through the digestive system, the process of digestion speeds up, which facilitates weight loss.
Our digestive tract inhabits two kinds of bacteria; good gut bacteria and bad gut bacteria. The good bacteria survive in a healthy gut environment, where the food is digested properly and is moving smoothly through the tract.
The healthy gut environment is ensured by digestive enzymes, which in turn causes the good bacteria to survive and even increase in number.
These good bacteria further help the digestion of food, which in the long run, helps a person lose weight.
- Burns fat and builds muscles
People who do gym, especially for weight loss issues, take digestive enzyme supplements after their workout sessions, coupled with a protein meal.
The reason behind doing this is that digestive enzymes speed up the absorption of branched-chain amino acids present in the protein meal. Branched-chain amino acids have an amazing potential of burning body fat as well as building muscle mass.
When these amino acids are absorbed better due to digestive enzymes, they, in turn, work better to burn fat, and this corresponds to weight loss.
The two hormones which control fat storage along with a number of relevant functions (energy level, appetite, blood sugar levels) are Insulin and Leptin.
When undigested food sits in our digestive system, our body perceives the food as foreign particles instead of food/nourishment. When this happens, an inflammatory response is created by the body, which adversely affects the body's sensitivity to Insulin and Leptin.
When the body stops being sensitive towards these hormones, our overall metabolism is greatly disturbed, leading to weight gain.
Digestive enzymes prevent this from happening by ensuring timely and efficient digestion of food, thereby preventing inflammation and weight gain. In other words, digestive enzymes help lose weight by reducing inflammation.
What happens when our body fails to produce enough digestive enzymes?
Since digestive enzymes' primary function is to break down large food compounds into smaller ones, deficiency of digestive enzymes leads to disruption in the digestive process.
In the absence of sufficient digestive enzymes, whole food portions that would otherwise be broken down into smaller particles start accumulating in the digestive tract. This food passes down to the large intestine, and at times even gets stuck in the small intestine.
The accumulation of large food particles in the intestines causes gas, diarrhea, bloating, all of which are symptoms of digestive discomfort.
When the food remains undigested instead of being broken down by the digestive enzymes, the nutrients present in it remain unused. In other words, the body fails to get the energy that it needs to function properly. This ultimately leads to a stalled metabolism and weight gain, along with other health issues.
What are digestive enzyme supplements, and why are they important for losing weight?
People are now bent towards employing quicker and better alternatives to the traditional methods of solving their issues. So is the case with digestive enzymes and weight gain.
While digestive enzymes can be produced in the body by a number of ways to help lose weight, digestive enzyme supplements are a quicker and more efficient alternative.
People use these supplements in combination with probiotics to get a number of weight-related benefits. This combination increases nutrient absorption, removes toxins from the body, and prevents symptoms of sluggish digestion that lead to weight gain.
When it comes to digestive enzyme supplements, there is a myriad of choices depending upon a person's individual needs. However, for weight loss, it's recommended to opt for a full-spectrum enzyme supplement that boosts up the digestion of all important macronutrients.
How and when to take these supplements?
To get the optimum benefits out of these supplements, the ideal time to consume them is approximately 5-30 minutes before you have your meal. If not before, at least take them as soon as you start eating your meal so that the enzymes can work better on the food.
There are a number of ways through which digestive enzymes improve digestion and facilitate weight loss, so getting a hold of these ways may help you with your weight loss journey in the long run.