Digestive enzymes are important for a variety of functions of your body and are best known for their role in breaking down the foods in nutrients that can be easily absorbed in the bloodstream and further used by your body. Digestive enzymes in supplement form can be used by diabetics to help improve the digestion and proper absorption and utilization of nutrients. Before taking any supplements, including digestive enzymes you should first consult your health care provider.
About Digestive Enzymes
There are three key digestive enzymes. Protease, found in the juices of the stomach, pancreas and intestine help break down the proteins from the food you eat. Lipase, also found in the stomach and pancreas help break down the fats. Amylase from saliva, pancreatic and stomach juices help digest the sugars or carbohydrates.
Digestive Enzymes for Diabetics
Diabetes does not only cause impairment in the metabolism of sugars but is also associated with abnormal metabolism of fats and proteins. Therefore all three key enzymes — lipase, protease and amylase — are important in managing diabetes because they will help digest all three groups of nutrients: proteins, fats and sugars.
Enzyme Therapy for Diabtes and Its Complications
In addition to a multivitamin and multimineral formula, supplementation with digestive enzymes is recommended by the author of “The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy” for managing both type 1 and 2 diabetes. These enzymes will help improve digestion, as well as break down the fats, proteins and sugars. In addition, digestive enzymes may improve circulation, which is often poor in diabetics, boost the immune system, decrease inflammation, help the transportation of nutrients throughout the body, eliminate waste products and enhance overall wellness. Digestive enzymes may be also useful for gastroparesis a complication of diabetes. Gastroparesis is a complication of diabetes characterized by symptoms like heartburn, belching, bloating, nausea and changes in bowel movement pattern. Digestive enzymes, particularly protease may help prevent kidney complications of diabetes, and all enzymes may help prevent nerve damage caused by this condition, based on research conducted to date, indicates Cickohe.
Supplements like probiotics, aged garlic extract, L-carnitine, L-glutamine and Coenzyme CoQ10 may enhance the absorption of digestive enzymes and therefore should be also taken by diabetics, according to “The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy.”
Consult a qualified health care professional to find out the optimal dosage to help improve your condition. A healthy diet and daily exercise are also important for a diabetic. Keep in mind that digestive enzymes do not replace, and should not be used to replace, any anti-diabetes drugs.
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Dr. James Balch, et al.; 2002
- American Diabetes Association: Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus
- "Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy"; Anthony Cichoke; 2002