Liver health and detox

Tiredness, weakness, and irritability are often symptoms of a fatigued liver. And obviously, all of this depends on external factors such as the environment in which we find ourselves and our diet. Fortunately, digestive enzymes help us in the detox process.

What are digestive enzymes

Digestive enzymes play a key role in breaking down the food you eat. These proteins speed up chemical reactions that turn nutrients into substances that your digestive tract can absorb. Your saliva also contains digestive enzymes and so do some of your organs, including the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver, which release them.

 Fatigued liver depends on external factors
Fatigued liver depends on external factors such as the environment in which we find ourselves and our diet.

Different types of enzymes target different nutrients:

• Amylase breaks down carbohydrates and starches

• The protease acts on proteins

• Lipase manages fats

• Natural sources of digestive enzymes

• Fruits, vegetables, and other foods have natural digestive enzymes. Eating them can improve digestion.

Honey, especially raw honey, contains amylase and protease.

Mangoes and bananas contain amylase, which also helps the fruit ripen.

Papaya has a type of protease called papain.

Avocados have the digestive enzyme lipase.

Sauerkraut, or fermented cabbage, collects digestive enzymes during the fermentation process.

If your body doesn’t make enough digestive enzymes, it can’t digest food well. This can mean stomach pain, diarrhea, gas, or other painful symptoms.

How come I don’t have enough digestive enzymes

Some digestive disorders prevent your body from producing enough enzymes, such as lactose intolerance.

Lactose intolerance

This phenomenon occurs when your small intestine does not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the natural sugar in milk called lactose. With a lactase deficiency, the lactose in the dairy products you eat travels directly to the colon instead of being absorbed by your body. Then it combines with bacteria and causes annoying stomach symptoms.

Lactose intolerance occurs when you don't produce enough of the digestive enzyme
Lactose intolerance occurs when your small intestine does not produce enough of the digestive enzyme lactase, which breaks down the natural sugar in milk called lactose.

There are three types of lactose intolerance:

• Primary. You were born with a gene that makes you lactose intolerant. The gene is more common in people of African, Asian, or Hispanic descent. Your lactase levels suddenly drop as a child. So you will no longer be able to digest dairy products as easily. This is the most common type of lactose intolerance.

• Secondary. Your small intestine produces less lactase after an illness, injury, or surgery. It can also be a symptom of both celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.

• Congenital or developmental. From the moment you are born, your body does not produce lactase. This is rare. You have to inherit the gene for this from both your mother and father.

People with lactose intolerance need to move their bowels a lot and have gas and bloating after eating or drinking dairy products such as milk and ice cream. Some people can manage symptoms by eating small amounts of dairy. Others avoid dairy products entirely or choose lactose-free foods and drinks.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).

This can happen when another condition damages the pancreas. Common causes of EPI include:

• Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas

• Pancreatic cancer, which begins in the tissues of the pancreas

• Cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that damages the lungs, digestive system, and other organs

consider making a liver detox
If you have EPI you may consider making a liver detox.

To treat EPI, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes, such as:

• If you smoke, quit

• Avoid drinking alcohol

• Follow a low-fat diet

• Take vitamin and mineral pills

• Prescription medicines can also improve symptoms.

Digestive enzyme supplements

You may have noticed digestive enzyme pills, powders, and liquids in the aisles of drugstores or health and nutrition stores. These supplements can relieve the symptoms of digestive upset. Your age, weight, and other things determine the right dose. But remember, over-the-counter enzyme supplements are not regulated in the same way as prescription medicines. The manufacturers of these products do not have to prove that they are effective.

The Value of Digestive Enzyme Supplements

Always speak to your doctor before trying any type of supplement. More research is needed to study how safe they are and how well they work. But over-the-counter lactase supplements help many people with lactose intolerance, and there is one supplement that appears to help people digest the sugars found in beans.

Experts do not recommend lactase supplements for children under the age of 4. Also, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

At present, most enzyme products are of animal origin. Researchers predict that plant and bacterial products may be more common in the future.

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