Full Spectrum Digestive Enzyme: Gut Health, Digestion and Disease Connection
By Eldon Dahl, DNM,
Founder and CEO of Doctor’s Choice
BACKGROUND: “All disease begins in the gut.” Hippocrates made this statement over two thousand years ago and is truer today than ever. Our bodies rely on proper enzymes and healthy microbes to work with pathogenic bacteria and to produce anti-bacterial cultures in order to strengthen the intestinal walls and to support our immune system. Creating a healthy balance of enzymes and friendly bacterial culture for an anti-oxidative effect and to breakdown carcinogens.
Today we are challenged on many fronts, lifestyles and diet, deficient intestinal flora, stress, toxic chemicals in our food, water, and environment; consumption of alcohol, and frequent use of antibiotics. They deplete our healthy supply of beneficial enzymes and bacteria allowing disease to take hold beginning with yeast strains.
Poor digestion will eventually cause one’s health to break down into a disease process therefore it is crucial to focus on perfect digestion in order to have a long and vital life.
Understanding our digestive process and communication
Digestion actually begins in the brain the moment we see or smell food—before our first bite saliva is produced. Chewing the food thoroughly is an important next step: a guideline for soft food is to chew for 5 to 10 times, for meat and vegetables it is up to 30 times. This is an essential step because chewing prepares the digestive process. The food then moves to the small intestines accompanied with bile from the gall bladder and digestive enzymes from the pancreas which complete the digestion and prepare it for absorption through the wall of the small intestines into our blood stream. The flora within the intestines work to break down food particles into vitamin nutrients that we can use. Finally, waste leaves the body via the colon and the bladder.
Signs of unhealthy digestion:
- acid reflux
- throat and nose issues (clearing throat, runny nose, etc.)
- gas and bloating
- inflammation throughout the body
- skin disorders throughout the body
- negative reactions to food, loose stools or constipation
Chronic malabsorption can lead to a variety of illnesses—if the body does not have the basic nutritional building blocks it needs, our health and ability to recover from illness will be compromised.
Besides breaking down food, enzymes can help with gut healing, controlling pathogens, and immune support. The immune system begins in the gut—and in case of enzyme and digestive issues, chances are it is not functioning as well as it should be. Aging is another complicating factor because it leads to a declining capacity for enzyme production. According to research, our natural enzyme production starts to decline by the time we are about 20. Making matters worse, the stomach produces less hydrochloric acid—a crucial ingredient in activating the stomach’s digestive enzymes—as we age. When digestion of foods requires such a heavy demand, enzyme supplies run short and the body’s enzyme-producing capacity can become exhausted.
Aging is not the only aspect interfering with our digestion. According to the study released by The European Molecular Biology Laboratory in 2018 the commonly used drugs have a huge impact on the human microbiome. Researchers screened over 1000 drugs against 40 representative gut bacteria, and found that one in four drugs inhibits the growth of bacteria in the human gut. These drugs cause antibiotic-like side effects and may promote antibiotic resistance. This phenomenon was found in drugs from all therapeutic classes including antipsychotics, proton-pump inhibitors, hormones and anti-cancer drugs. This is important because our gut microbiome directly influences many factors in health, including mood, immunity, and obesity. Interestingly, the drugs’ effect on good bacteria was greater than the effect on pathogens. The result of the study combined with the rising number of people on medication explains the amount of diseases in our population, also those that we would not link to digestion in the first place. Understanding the therapeutic potential of nurturing gut bacteria has been the subject of many researches on the microbiome–gut–brain axis.
Essential behavioral studies may initially benefit from using selective antimicrobials and prebiotics (nutrients for gut bacteria) to increase all strains of lactobacilli and bifidobacterium indigenous to the gut. That way, a broad range of microbes with psychotropic properties will be at optimal density and may influence more than emotional processing. Studies have shown that protein-induced proliferation of gut bacteria in mice augments spatial memory, and the ingestion of probiotic mixtures by healthy volunteers improves problem-solving abilities and has anxiolytic actions.
According to research, there is a gut-brain connection associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) as well. The results of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of digestive enzymes in children with ASD conducted in 2015 showed that digestive enzymes have beneficial effects in ASD patients and suggested digestive enzyme therapy as a possible solution for treating ASD in the future. “The ASD group receiving digestive enzyme therapy for 3 months had significant improvement in emotional response, general impression autistic score, general behavior and gastrointestinal symptoms.”
A brief list of diseases associated with compromised digestion and lack of bacterial culture:
- autoimmune disorders
- food and general allergies
- chronic viral infections
- genital infections
- liver cirrhosis and biliary disease
- mental illness
- clinical infections and autoimmune disorders
Full Spectrum Digestive Enzyme from Doctor’s Choice
Full spectrum means the complete digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, as well as fiber in the diet. Unless someone consumes an 80% raw food diet, it is likely that undigested processed foods are accumulating in the arteries, the digestive tract and the intestinal walls. This is the dual purpose of taking daily enzyme supplements: complete digestion and uncompromised blood circulation.
This formula is one of the most bio-advanced enzymes on the market today. Each ingredient was sourced from the USP pharmaceutical grade and U.S.A. -manufactured enzymes. The formulation was designed to be vegetarian but due to today’s diet and the public’s state of health ox bile was added. For clarification, an ox is a domestic bovine mammal (Bos taurus). The gall bladder is removed from beef cattle for food and the bile is lyophilized for supplement use. The bovine sourced bile is high in cholic acid which helps to digest fats and certain nutrients. It can also help normalizing bile acid production in the body.
Full Spectrum Digestive Enzyme Ingredients:
- Alpha-Amylase – helps break down starch into sugars
- Cellulase – breaks down cellulose, which is the main constituent of plant cell walls and vegetable fibers
- Glucomylase – breaks down starches and carbohydrates into maltose, a disaccharide
- Invertase – catalyzes the hydrolysis (breakdown) of sucrose (table sugar) into fructose and glucose
- Lactase – breaks down lactose, the sugar in dairy products
- Lipase – catalyzes the hydrolysis of fats (lipids). Lipases perform essential roles in the digestion, transport, and processing of dietary lipids (fats and oils).
- Phytase – makes the phosphorus from phytin available for digestion
- Protease – catalyzes proteolysis, the breakdown of proteins into smaller polypeptides or single amino acids
- Alpha Galactosidase – hydrolyses the terminal alpha-galactosyl moieties from glycolipids and glycoproteins
Those with poor functioning gallbladders or those who have had their gallbladder removed will greatly benefit by using this enzyme. The gallbladder is responsible for storing bile; bile is produced in the liver and released by the gallbladder. If the gallbladder has been removed, bile must be produced by the liver and sent to the small intestines for digestion—this severally marginalizes its effectiveness and when taking Full Spectrum Digestive Enzymes the problem is quickly addressed.
In today’s society we need to be aware of the fact that processed foods by definition have had their enzymes removed for greater shelf life. Once in the body, these adulterated, unnatural foods cannot be broken down easily into the component nutrients the body needs. They offer little food value and are partly responsible for blocking the digestive tract and bloodstream, also interfering with nutrient absorption. The key is nutritional therapy is the bioavailability at the cellular level.
- Burnet, Philip W. J. 2012. Gut bacteria and brain function: The challenges of a growing field. https://www.pnas.org/content/109/4/E175.full#ref-2
- Maier, Lisa – Pruteanu, Mihaela – Kuhn, Michael, et al. 2018. Extensive impact of non-antibiotic drugs on human gut bacteria. Nature, published online 19 March. DOI: 10.1038/nature25979
- Saad, Khaled et al. 2015. A Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial of Digestive Enzymes in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Clinical psychopharmacology and neuroscience: the official scientific journal of the Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology 13,2 (2015): 188-93. doi:10.9758/cpn.2015.13.2.188.
 Maier, Lisa – Pruteanu, Mihaela – Kuhn, Michael, et al. 2018.
 Burnet, Philip W. J. 2012.
 Saad, Khaled et al. 2015.