Featured Article: What are Digestive Enzymes and What are their Benefits?

Digestive enzymes play an integral role in our health. They are essential for digestion and absorption of food – helping us to break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into energy that can be used by the body. Without them, we would not be able to unlock all of the nutrients that foods contain. In this article, we will explain what digestive enzymes are and what are their benefits.


What are Digestive Enzymes and What Do They Do?

Digestive enzymes, as their name suggests, are crucial for digestion - a process as essential to our survival as breathing. They're tireless workers in our bodies, breaking down the food we consume into manageable units nutrients that our bodies can absorb and utilize.

Proteases, for instance, handle proteins, breaking them down into their building blocks amino acids. Lipases take on fats, splitting them into fatty acids and glycerol. Carbohydrases, such as amylase found in our saliva, deal with carbohydrates, transforming them into simple sugars like glucose.

The digestive process, aided by these enzymes, begins the moment we put food into our mouths. As we chew, enzymes in our saliva kick into action, breaking down carbohydrates. The process continues in the stomach with the aid of stomach acid and pepsin, a protease enzyme. More enzymes join the party in the small intestine, effectively breaking down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates [1].

However, under different circumstances, your body is unable to produce adequate amounts of digestive enzymes, that’s where digestive enzyme supplements come in handy. Rucir’s daily digest digestive enzymes offers you a way to optimize your gut health with ease.


What are the Types of Digestive Enzymes?

Digestive enzymes play a crucial role in our bodies, breaking down food into nutrients which our body can then absorb. They're naturally produced within our bodies, mainly in the pancreas, stomach, and small intestines. Broadly speaking, there are three types of digestive enzymes:

  • Proteases and Peptidases: These enzymes are responsible for breaking down proteins into amino acids.
  • Lipases: Lipases help in the digestion of fats or lipids into fatty acids and glycerol.
  • Amylases: These enzymes convert carbohydrates into simple sugars which our bodies can easily absorb.

Each type of enzyme is specialized to break down a certain type of food, ensuring that our bodies are capable of utilizing the wide range of nutrients we consume in our diets.


Top 7 Benefits of Digestive Enzymes

1.   Increase Nutrient Absorption

Digestive enzymes break down the food we eat from proteins to carbohydrates and fats into nutrients that our bodies can absorb and utilize [1]. Imagine our bodies as an intricate network of streams and rivers. The food we consume is the water, and the enzymes are the currents that push that water through, breaking it down into smaller particles so it can flow more easily.

Absorption is the process of those particles being soaked up into our bodies, feeding us with the energy and nourishment we need to function. Without digestive enzymes, these essential nutrients from our food would pass through our bodies undigested, leaving us undernourished no matter how well we eat.


2.   Prevents Leakage

Taking digestive enzymes can indeed play a significant role in preventing leakage from the gut, a condition often referred to as "leaky gut syndrome". Our bodies naturally produce these enzymes to break down food into nutrients we can absorb. However, stress, illness, or age can reduce our natural enzyme production. Here's where supplemental digestive enzymes step in. They essentially pick up the slack, aiding digestion and helping to ensure that the food we consume is broken down properly and thoroughly [2].

When our food is not adequately broken down, it can seep through the lining of our gut, causing leaky gut syndrome. This condition can lead to inflammation, food sensitivities, and various other health problems. Taking digestive enzymes can be a proactive step towards preventing these issues, promoting optimal gut health, and maintaining overall health.


3.   Supports Methylation

Methylation is a vital process occurring millions of times every second in our bodies to keep us healthy and functioning. These enzymes, found in our gut, are catalysts to breaking down food into smaller, absorbable components. This process aids in nutrient absorption, including absorption of components like methyl groups.

These groups are crucial for methylation, a biochemical process that plays a key role in functions like DNA repair and energy metabolism. Simply put, no digestive enzymes means less efficiency in unlocking these crucial nutrients from our food, which could lead to less optimal methylation.


4.   Helpful in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Digestive enzymes play a crucial role in managing the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). For individuals with IBS, the body may not produce enough of these enzymes or they may not function as effectively. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.

Supplementing with digestive enzymes may aid the body's natural digestion process. Enzymes like protease, lipase, and amylase assist in breaking down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates respectively, hence reducing discomfort and inflammation in the gut [3]. While digestive enzymes aren't a cure for IBS, they can significantly help manage and alleviate symptoms, enhancing the quality of life.


5.   Promotes Healthy Inflammatory Response

inflammation is a natural defense mechanism in the body, occurring when harmful elements such as toxins or pathogens come into play. However, chronic inflammation may be detrimental to our health, potentially leading to various health conditions. By aiding in the proper digestion of food, digestive enzymes ensure less undigested food particles leak into our bloodstream; a phenomenon known as 'leaky gut'.

If these particles get into the bloodstream, they can trigger an immune response, resulting in inflammation. So, by performing their core task of breaking down food efficiently, digestive enzymes can indirectly help to promote a healthier inflammatory response in the body.


6.  Helps Fight off Anxiety

Digestive enzymes can have an impact on our mental wellness, including getting rid of symptoms of anxiety [4]. The gut, often referred to as the 'second brain', houses nearly 70% of our immune system and is connected to the brain through millions of nerves. This connection, known as the gut-brain axis, is vital for maintaining our overall wellbeing, including our mental health.

When our digestion is compromised due to a lack of sufficient digestive enzymes, our body struggles to break down food efficiently. This can lead to gut issues like bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. However, poor gut health can also lead to the production of stress hormones, which are a common trigger for anxiety. By supplementing with digestive enzymes, we can reduce the related stress on our body.



In conclusion, digestive enzymes are essential for proper functioning of the human body in breaking down food into manageable molecules. They increase our nutrient absorption and prevent gut leakage; thus enabling us to benefit from everything we eat. Digestive enzymes also support methylation, help with IBS, promote a healthy inflammatory response, and reduce anxiety.

If the body has enough digestive enzymes, you can experience improved digestion that will lead to better overall health. Finally, if you find yourself struggling with digestion, then adding digestive enzymes to your diet is a great way to give your body the added boost it needs.



  1. Ianiro G, Pecere S, Giorgio V, Gasbarrini A, Cammarota G. Digestive Enzyme Supplementation in Gastrointestinal Diseases. Curr Drug Metab 2016;17:187–93. https://doi.org/10.2174/138920021702160114150137.
  2. Aleman RS, Moncada M, Aryana KJ. Leaky Gut and the Ingredients That Help Treat It: A Review. Molecules 2023;28:619. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28020619.
  3. Graham DY, Ketwaroo GA, Money ME, Opekun AR. Enzyme therapy for functional bowel disease-like post-prandial distress. J Dig Dis 2018;19:650–6. https://doi.org/10.1111/1751-2980.12655.
  4. Söderquist F, Syk M, Just D, Kurbalija Novicic Z, Rasmusson AJ, Hellström PM, et al. A cross-sectional study of gastrointestinal symptoms, depressive symptoms and trait anxiety in young adults. BMC Psychiatry 2020;20:535. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-02940-2.
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