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Gut Health

J J   07 Dec 2020

Love Your Guts – We look at Digestive Enzymes!


Digestive enzymes are an important part of the digestive process. They are necessary for the breakdown of proteins, carbs, fats and vitamins. Digestive enzymes break down these molecules into smaller molecules that can easily be absorbed. 

Digestion is the body’s way of breaking down foods to prepare them for absorption. Digestion begins in the mouth as food is chewed and liquids are swallowed and then passes down into the stomach. The contents within the digestive tract must be kept moving forward, slowly and steadily at a pace which permits reactions to reach completion. In order to move through at a steady pace the food must be lubricated with liquid, if it’s too dry or if there’s too much liquid it won’t move at the right pace. When the digestive enzymes break down the food they need it to be suspended in enough liquid to make every particle accessible. The enzymes are designed to digest carbohydrates, fat and protein. These cells need protection against the action of the powerful digestive juices that they secrete.

If your digestive system is not functioning the way it’s supposed to be, you may experience:

  • Poor nutrient absorption 
  • Weight issues
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Acid reflux
  • Irritable bowel

Poor digestive health could also be a result of poor lifestyle and eating habits, stress, age, genetics, food additives and chemicals and physical inability.

Some foods are high in natural digestive enzymes such as, mangoes, pineapple, bananas, papaya, avocados, honey, sauerkraut or fermented cabbage, kefir, kimchi, miso, kiwi fruit and ginger.

Some people choose to supplement with digestive enzymes if their body is unable to make enough to break down the food molecules.

Reasons why you might decide to supplement with digestive enzymes:

  • You may experience any of the signs mentioned above – that your digestive system is not functioning correctly.
  • You have lactose intolerance – your body doesn’t produce enough of the enzyme lactase 
  • You have exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) this can happen if another condition has damaged your pancreas, such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer or cystic fibrosis.

At CYOS we use DigeZyme ® a versatile multi-enzyme complex:

DigeZyme ® is a unique blend of five specific digestive enzymes that offers much more than just aiding in proper digestion and better absorption of nutrients. The individual enzymes in DigeZyme ® are non-GMO, suitable for vegans, gluten-free and TSE and BSE free. DigeZyme ® is able to digest milk proteins and lactose thereby controlling bloating caused by lactose ingestion. DigeZyme ® can also digest plant components as it contains cellulase and protease, the enzymes that digest cellulosic material as plant proteins. DigeZyme ® is ideal for both dairy and plant protein-based products. 

A variety of digestive enzymes on the market are derived from animal products like the pancreas of swine, calf or hog. This makes it hard for a person following a vegan diet, so DigeZyme ® have produced enzymes via fermentation method. Non-animal derived enzymes have traditionally been used extensively in the fermentation process to culinary ingredients (aspergillus orzae has been used to prepare soy sauce and miso by fermenting soybeans). 

DigiZyme ® enzymes consist of:

  • a-Amylase: Starch hydrolyzing enzyme
  • Protease: Protein hydrolyzing enzyme
  • Lipase: Fat hydrolyzing enzyme
  • Cellulase: Cellulare hydrolyzing enzyme
  • Lactase: Lactose hydrolyzing enzyme

A-amylase – breaks down the carbohydrates, such as starch, glycogen and polysaccharides into smaller units for digestion. 

Cellulase – breaks down cellulose and chitin. It helps to free nutrients in both fruits and vegetables

Lipase – breaks down lipids, improves fat utilization and supports healthy gallbladder function

Protease – breaks down protein and peptides, supports immune function

Lactase – breaks down lactose (milk sugar) and useful for lactose intolerance

The team at DigeZyme ® have created a clinically backed formula with plenty of studies showing the benefits of supplementing with DigeZyme ® digestive enzymes.

DigeZyme ® enhances absorption of minerals and vitamins

Healthy volunteers were provided with a multivitamin/mineral capsule with or without BioPerine ® plus DigeZyme ® or DigeZyme ® for 5 days. The pilot study provided sufficient data to establish that DigeZyme ® enhanced absorption of minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin C and B-carotene over the course of the study. 

DigeZyme ® was able to decrease the associated pain & tenderness induced by exercise

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a well reported phenomenon after high intensity exercise. The common symptoms of DOMS are soreness, enhanced passive stiffness, muscle soreness and low on strength and power which often occur within 24 hours of exercise and can last for 3-4 days. In this study, 20 healthy male participants were given either placebo or a multi-enzyme complex capsule thrice a day for a period of 3 days. The results found that DigeZyme ® was able to decrease the associated pain and tenderness induced by exercise. Pro-inflammatory biomarkers had also declined [1].

Bioperine ® 

BioPerine ®  is a superior, patent, black pepper concentrate. Black pepper is commonly used as a spice or flavour enhancer in food, but it’s known to benefit supplement formulas by boosting ingredient absorption or bioavailability. It works by inhibiting glucuronidation, a process where enzymes in the body break down much of an ingredient’s components into forms meant for excretion. 

While glucuronidation helps reduce the likelihood of having excess levels of drugs and supplements circulating inside the body, it could also drastically reduce nutrient uptake. Reducing nutrient uptake can weaken the effects of ingredients in supplements. Adding black pepper allows companies to add the minimum effective dose and still get a similar absorption rate as if they used heavy dosages.

What makes BioPerine ®  better than plain black pepper is how it’s standardised for piperine, black pepper’s active component. Piperine is the compound responsible for what makes black pepper really good at boosting absorption.

With BioPerine ®, glucuronidation is almost skipped or bypassed, allowing supplements to be absorbed in a more efficient manner. 

At CYOS we also sell Bioperine ® by Sabinsa, which is a patented extract from black pepper fruits (piper nigrum) standardized minimum to 95% piperine. It has been used for over 20 years to increase the bioavailability with various nutrients. Bioperine ® was found to enhance absorption of nutrients by at least 30%.

Some of the Supplements BioPerine ® increases bioavailability include:


Digestive enzymes play an important role in the food we eat and if your body is not making enough digestive enzymes and you are experiencing symptoms such as stomach aches, gas and diarrhoea it may be worth speaking to your health professional to see if supplementing with digestive enzymes is right for you. You may also find supplementing with digestive enzymes beneficial if you are lacking in certain nutrients.


[1] –

[2] – Zhang Y, Henning SM, Lee RP, et al. Turmeric and black pepper spices decrease lipid peroxidation in meat patties during cooking. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2015;66(3):260–265. doi:10.3109/09637486.2014.1000837

[3] – Shah SS, Shah GB, Singh SD, et al. Effect of piperine in the regulation of obesity-induced dyslipidemia in high-fat diet rats. Indian J Pharmacol. 2011;43(3):296–299. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.81516

[4] – Gomez-Pinilla F, Nguyen TT. Natural mood foods: the actions of polyphenols against psychiatric and cognitive disorders. Nutr Neurosci. 2012;15(3):127–133. doi:10.1179/1476830511Y.0000000035


CYOS blog content is for informational and educational purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Always consult with your doctor or medical professional before using any dietary supplements or if you suspect you have any medical concerns or issues.




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