Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics

Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics

As consumers, we trust what companies promote as a healthy food or supplement. But as responsible consumers, we should also understand why we’re purchasing a product—and what specific effects it will have on our bodies.

Probiotics are nothing new. They have been employed as a marketing tactic for specific foods for years, and you likely know that they are good for your health. But before you buy ALL the yogurt, it might be helpful to actually understand what probiotics do, and why you may want to pair it with additional supplements, like digestive enzymes.

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What are probiotics?

Understanding the health of your gut is in many respects the most important way to keep yourself healthy. 80% of the body’s immune system resides in the digestive tract. [1] It’s pretty incredible when you think about it. It also helps to shed light on the importance of what kind of food you’re eating!

The gut is a large portion of the immune system, and it works by having an ecosystem of bacteria. YES. You read that right. Health professionals refer to your intestinal tract as an ecosystem. A microbiome of bacteria, often referred to as ‘gut flora.’

A healthy flora has a balance of good and bad bacteria. [2] There are a range of 300 to 500 species of bacteria in your gut, and the number of bacteria in your gut is 10 times all the cells in your body. [3] That’s a lot of bacteria! The perfect mix of good and bad bacteria is still undetermined and probably different for everyone. [4] But one thing medical professionals all agree on is the need to focus on restoring good bacteria in the gut.

How to get probiotics

You can get probiotics in two ways: eating probiotic-rich foods and supplements. Among these probiotic-rich foods are sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, kombucha and goat cheese. [1]

I’ve gotta be honest. None of these probiotic-rich foods fit my regular diet. Though I don’t mind kombucha, I am not eating dairy and I don’t even know how to eat sauerkraut unless it is on a Reuben. I’ve chosen to get the majority of my probiotics from a supplement.

A good probiotic supplement should have at least 9 strains of bacteria, be 100% vegan, and not require refrigeration. [5] I’ve found all these in the LifeSeasons Digestivi-T digestive supplement. If you follow my reference link, you’ll see that this supplement doesn’t meet all the recommended guidelines for a probiotic. When healing the gut, it is recommended to take at least 40 billion CFUs of probiotics. This is because Digestivi-T is not meant to be a probiotic used for healing the gut. In fact, I’ve paired this with a separate probiotic which has a CFU count of 30 billion.

Although this supplement will be my main source of probiotic support after some time, the more important component of these supplements are the digestive enzymes.

What are digestive enzymes?

We all know that to stay healthy, we need to eat healthy. But eating healthy doesn’t work as well as it should if your body isn’t properly digesting foods to get the nutrition you need. Enzymes are responsible for regulating and promoting any process in your body, and digestion is no different.

While your body produces digestive enzymes, you can also get them from eating food. Digestive enzymes may be recommended by a doctor in cases where the body needs to increase its efficiency for absorbing nutrients. Common foods (ie. processed foods) have less nutrition, and cooking can sometimes reduce the natural enzymes found in healthy foods. Age can also be a factor in the production or efficiency of digestive enzymes. [6] When dealing with a leaky gut, digestive enzymes can be a great way to boost overall health. [7]

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How to choose a digestive enzyme

When finding a digestive enzyme, doctors recommend using the following guidelines [6]:

  • plant-based enzymes
  • paired with probiotics, specifically Saccharomyces boulardii
  • a money-back guarantee
  • doctor-formulated

Digestivi-T meets all these guidelines. While LifeSeasons is not owned by a doctor, they use only clinically-proven ingredients in their supplements.

Digestivi-T not only has digestive enzymes, but it also has 10 billion CFUs of probiotics and enzymes to aid in the digestion of gluten, casein (milk proteins) and other dairy components. Since I’ve seen digestive issues when eating dairy and gluten, this is exactly what I needed in a digestive supplement!

Should you take probiotics or digestive supplements?

If you’re interested in a probiotic or digestive supplement, I encourage you to seek out a medical professional. That said, if you’re experiencing food sensitivities or digestive issues, you may do your own research and see what is right for you!

Disclaimer: I partnered with LifeSeasons to promote their supplements in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. While this is a sponsored post, all thoughts, opinions and demonstrated results from using these products are completely my own.

Do you take digestive supplements or probiotics?

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