Indigestion Medical Considerations
Digestive Enzymes: Indigestion occurs when the foods eaten, are not properly digested. Using a digestive enzyme formula will help greatly, if that formula is both potent and very broad spectrum. Using lesser quality product, and / or a formula with only a few enzymes, will be limited in its ability to cover all digestive needs. In that case, indigestion could still occur. You need a very high quality, bioavailable, preferably broad spectrum formula, for rapid and complete digestion of foods, to prevent developing possible food allergies. Raw food has intact enzymes that assist in the digestion of that food group. Cooking destroys enzymes. Our bodies also have enzymes that assist in digesting foods, however enzyme function diminishes with age. Failure to completely digest foods leads to incomplete assimilation of nutrients. The result is the development of a number of chronic medical conditions, food allergies included. Plant based digestive enzymes work at any pH; meaning once it is in your stomach, it starts working right away. Animal based digestive enzymes do not begin to work until after your stomach pH drops very low; thus any person with hypochlorhydria (a lack of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juices), may never benefit from animal based digestive enzymes. Enzymes taken with meals will be used up in the stomach while they help digest that meal. Enzymes taken on an empty stomach will go into the blood stream intact. Blood conditions such as stacking of red blood cells (RBCs) like a stack of coins (RBC Rouleau), or red blood cells clumping together (RBC Aggregation), or accumulations of Uric Acid Crystals in the blood, can be greatly helped with a combination of Plant Digestive Enzymes and Antioxidants, taken on an empty stomach. (See our section on
Health NOTE: Individuals with extreme cases of Gastritis, Gastric or Duodenal Ulcers should begin their Enzyme Supplementation with very little (or no) Protease. Then slowly introduce Protease in approximately 4-6 weeks. This is due to the situation that Protease may temporarily have a burning sensation on individuals with these situations.
Enzymes Supportive Information
Intestinal Flora / Probiotics Replacement: Sometimes referred to as “Probiotics”. We must create a healthy environment within the Gastrointestinal Tract. Antibiotics destroy the friendly gut bacteria, allowing the naturally present candida bacteria to overpopulate, and then mutate into a mold, which penetrates the intestinal wall to infect the rest of the body. This process has the end result of a “Polysystemic Candidiasis Infection.” (Poly meaning in many systems of the body.) Replacing friendly bacteria on a regular basis, but especially during and after any antibiotic use, is very important for the prevention of a candida overgrowth. A high quality, balanced, Intestinal Replacement product, should replace the delicate strands of the various acidophilus types of intestinal bacterium. This is essential during Candida die off so other Candida does not “refill” back into the empty spaces in the intestines. This should assist in combating digestive disorders, vaginal yeast infections, and helps the body resist diseases caused by “unfriendly” bacteria.
Intestinal Flora / Probiotics Supportive Information
Aloe Vera Juice Aloe Vera has healing properties that will assist in healing the cells of the intestinal tract, in addition to other internal healing.
Indigestion is incomplete or imperfect digestion, which is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms: Heartburn, Nausea, Gas or Belching. Nutrient factors can be of value.
Enzymes are responsible for every activity of life. Each and every chemical reaction that takes place within the human body requires enzymes. Our digestive processes are dependent on adequate levels and functioning of digestive enzymes. Raw food has intact enzymes that assist in digestion. Nature intended us to obtain these enzymes from our food sources. Most individuals though, ingest high amounts of cooked food devoid of such enzymes. As our own body’s enzyme function likely diminishes with age, failure of proper digestion can result. This may evolve into a lack of adequate nutrition and the development of a number of chronic medical conditions. A quality line of enzyme products should be utilized on a daily, meal-to-meal basis, for anyone who has indigestion, or any other digestive complaints.
All enzymes need to be plant based. This is very important as plant based enzymes work under nearly all pH environments. Animal based enzymes will only work “after” your stomach lowers its pH to around 3.0. This certainly will not benefit those individuals who already have digestive problems related to improper stomach pH values.
There are two classes of enzymes recognized:
1. Metabolic enzymes – These are responsible for repair, formation and function of each cell within each and every tissue of the body. Over the course of time, these enzymes “wear out” and require replenishment by the body.
2. Digestive enzymes – The main enzymes are the proteases, amylases and lipases, which are involved in the breakdown of ingested proteins, carbohydrates and lipids (fats) respectively. However there are also other enzymes that should be included in a proper enzyme formula. Proper breakdown of these ingested foods is necessary to allow proper absorption of the nutrients to occur.
The current use of metabolic enzymes is limited to specific medical situations such as clot dissolution through intravenous use. Digestive enzymes, though, have been used and are available in supplemental form to assist in numerous digestive disorders.
There is extensive evidence that supports the use of digestive enzymes for a wide range of Gastrointestinal illness including malabsorption, pancreatic insufficiency, celiac disease and lactose intolerance. There are at least two studies that have shown benefit in food allergies with the use of enzymes. Conventional physicians frequently recommend enzymes for all of these aforementioned situations. Heartburn and indigestion also frequently may respond to enzyme nutritional support.
European literature recognizes additional uses for plant based proteolytic enzymes. These compounds have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, fibrinolytic (blood thinning) and anti-tumor properties in a number of animal experiments. A study in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases showed benefit in individuals with arthritis. 556 people with various forms of arthritis were studied. 283 had good to excellent improvement and 219 showed mild to moderate improvement. The specific enzyme Bromelain, found within “Digestive Support” has been used successfully in Europe as an anti-inflammatory in diverse conditions such as allergic rhinitis and minor trauma including sprains and strains. Quality enzyme formulas thus have a broad range of applicability from improvement in digestion and gastrointestinal disorders, to enhancement of blood flow in individuals with circulatory disorders, to lessening of allergic and arthritis symptoms.
Individuals with extreme cases of Gastritis, Gastric or Duodenal Ulcers should begin their Enzyme Supplementation with very little (or no) Protease. Then slowly introduce Protease in approximately 4-6 weeks. This is due to the situation that Protease may temporarily have a burning sensation on individuals with these situations.
There is a theoretic concern for the use of Coumadin and protease digestive enzymes, due to the fibrinolytic properties of protease. The concern is: Coumadin is a blood thinner and fibrinolytic properties means to cause blood clotting. The question is whether taking protease would counter the effects of Coumadin. Blood clotting is a normal protective mechanism used by the body to stop people from bleeding when they get a cut. Without the ability of the blood to clot, a person could bleed to death from a small cut. No human studies have addressed this concern of Coumadin verses Protease enzymes.
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A large body of evidence over the past 75 years has demonstrated the preventive health value of eating foods fermented with Lactobacilli or Bifidobacteria. These beneficial bacteria are referred to as Probiotics. Probiotic bacteria are considered “friendly” bacteria. They are an essential component of a healthy gastrointestinal tract as they inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, boost immune function, decrease infection in the digestive tract, and enhance digestion through enzyme production.
There are numerous species of lactobacilli and many strains for each species. The most well known of these, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteris, are normal inhabitants of the human digestive tract. Others, like L. bulgaricus and L. Salivarius are not. These organisms, though, still play an important role in maintaining the proper ratio of “friendly” organisms in the bowel by producing “bacteriocins” chemicals that destroy harmful (unfriendly) bowel organisms.
Acidophilus and bifidobacteria maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora by producing organic compounds such as lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid. These compounds increase the acidity of the intestine and inhibit the growth of less desirable organisms that fair poorly in this acidic environment. By occupying an ecological niche in the intestine, they further limit the growth of opportunistic organisms.
A number of studies have demonstrated benefit of supplementation with Probiotics. The Annals of Internal Medicine published a study which showed that Lactobacillus ingestion reduced and prevented vaginal yeast infections in women. Lactobacillus has also demonstrated positive benefits in irritable bowel syndrome. The DDS-1 strain developed at the University of Nebraska, has proven to be a superior strain in terms of its compatibility with the human GI tract and its stability. (Therefore, the DDS-1 strain is used in this formula.) In another recent study, increasing levels of bifidobacteria reduced the count of Clostridium, a pathogenic disease causing bowel organism. Lowering of the level of Closridium reduced the amount of large bowel toxic chemicals believed to promote cancer. Also, the incidence of “traveler’s diarrhea,” which is caused by pathogenic bacteria can be reduced by preventive use of probiotics. It is also important to utilize Probiotics after antibiotic use as recolonizing the intestine may reduce post antibiotic infection in the digestive tract by fifty percent.
The choice of Probiotics is very important. It should be manufactured using highly viable, stable strains of organisms that survive passage through the digestive tract and take up residence in the GI tract.
There are no known side effects with the use of probiotics.
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