Digestive enzymes, safety, risks

Ask the Doc: Are Digestive Enzymes Safe?

Ask the Doc: Are Digestive Enzymes Safe?

© 2006 Wellness Clubs of America.com

Iíve been reading about digestive enzyme supplements. Are they safe? A. J.

Dear A.J.: Not only are digestive enzymes safe, they are, for many of us, essential for health. Foods that are raw or lightly steamed contain their own enzymes and are, in essence, capable of digesting themselves. That is why a raw peach will quickly rot if not eaten while cooked peaches can be kept indefinitely. Foods that are cooked can only be digested if we provide the enzymes necessary to do so. As people move into their 40s, 50s and beyond they often have great difficulty producing adequate amounts of digestive enzymes spontaneously. Indigestion, gassiness, bloating and heartburn are symptoms that result from an inadequate supply of digestive enzymes. Supplemental digestive enzymes should be taken with meals to prevent these symptoms from developing. A meal that consists of a fresh salad may require no enzyme supplementation. A meal of meat, potatoes, bread and cooked vegetables may require four or more enzyme tablets or capsules for digestion to proceed and for discomfort to be avoided.† -Dr. Peterson

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