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What Are Vegetarian Digestive Enzymes?

The digestive system is responsible for processing food with the help of enzymes.
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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 July 2014
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Vegetarian digestive enzymes are dietary supplements which aid in the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. They are available in capsule and powdered form, and are usually taken at the beginning of a meal to aid in digestion. These supplements contain only natural extracts that do not contain any animal derivatives, and are safe to be used as vegan supplements. The different types of enzymes used in vegetarian digestive enzymes include lipase, protease and amylase.

Many vegetarian digestive enzymes contain natural extracts from fruits and vegetables which help aid in the breakdown of macronutrients. These macronutrients include protein, fats and carbohydrates. As the body ages, the ability of the body to produce digestive enzymes decreases. Using vegetarian supplements that contain these enzymes greatly helps in increasing digestive comfort after a meal.

Lipase is a naturally occurring digestive enzyme which aids in breaking down and digesting fats. Protease, another digestive enzyme, may be extracted from plants in the form of bromelain. Protein and fats are more difficult to digest than carbohydrates, so digestive enzymes are essential for the breakdown of these macromolecules. Supplements that include this enzyme should be taken before a meal containing large amounts of protein, such as lean meats.

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Amylase is another digestive enzyme available in the body as well as in vegetarian digestive enzymes that aid in the digestion of carbohydrates. When carbohydrates aren't fully broken down, bloating and digestive distress may be present. Since carbohydrates break down into glucose to support cellular energy, a lack of amylase may present low energy in individuals who lack this digestive enzyme. Using digestive enzymes may be beneficial for people who experience fatigue or low energy after meals.

In order to properly absorb and assimilate nutrients in the body, digestive enzymes must be present to help break down large macromolecules present in food. Digestive enzyme supplements aid in this process to help prevent nutritional deficiencies. Due to the body being unable to produce digestive enzymes over time, vegetarian digestive enzymes are appropriate for any diet. Lack of digestive enzymes may produce low energy states, making digestive supplements a priority for people with digestive disorders and fatigue.

Supplementation of digestive enzymes are incredibly important for any individual who struggles with digestive issues. Enzymes are available in capsule form at any health food store. A doctor may also be able to recommend a high-quality vegetarian digestive enzyme to apply to the diet. Powdered digestive enzymes are also available to be dissolved with water. These supplements must be taken on an empty stomach before any meal containing carbohydrates, fats or proteins.

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burcinc
Post 3

I'm so glad that vegetarian digestive enzymes are available. I have been vegetarian for years and lately, I started experiencing a lot of digestive troubles like bloating and stomach cramps. Digestive enzymes have been very beneficial, they get rid of the discomfort and really make digestion easier.

Those with regular digestive troubles ought to try these supplements.

ZipLine
Post 2

@fBoyle-- No, capsules can be made from vegetable cellulose, so vegetarian digestive enzyme supplements are also in capsule form. Of course, the supplement label should mention "vegetarian" on the label.

Although the digestive enzymes in these supplements come from plants, the capsules may not be vegetarian if the label doesn't say vegetarian. And vegetarian supplements should also mention what ingredient the capsules are made from. It should say vegetable cellulose.

Many vegetarian digestive enzymes are also vegan but vegans might want to select a product that also has "vegan" on the label just to make sure.

fBoyle
Post 1

Some enzyme supplements are in capsule form. Aren't the capsules usually made from gelatin that comes from animals? Are vegetarian digestive enzyme supplements in tablet form?

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