Do You Know the Difference Between a Probiotic and Enzyme?

The concept of digestive health can be difficult to understand. There’s a huge number of terms that are thrown around. It seems like every commercial out there is explaining how their product is full of probiotics and enzymes and other good things. Which bacteria is supposed to be good bacteria? Can you have too much? What about probiotics? 

Filtering through the buzzwords and actually understanding what’s going on with digestive health can be really useful. It’s an interesting health topic. The use of probiotics and enzymes are more than capable of improving common digestive issues, the immune system and also helping with overall health. 

What’s the Difference Between Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes? 

It’s important to note that both are beneficial to digestive health. Each performs a different function, but can work in tandem for digestive health. The biggest difference starts in what each are. While some people consider them to be the same thing, enzymes are chains of protein while probiotics are types of living bacteria. 

Enzymes are specifically responsible for the breaking down of food. These chains of protein are located throughout the various aspects of the digestive tracts. Different enzymes are located in different parts of the digestive tract like the mouth, stomach, small intestine and pancreas. Different enzymes break down different food molecules. This specificity is why so many enzymes are required. If the gut is missing the enzymes to properly break down food, then it’s likely that it will lead to bloating and gas. 

Probiotics are living bacteria, not protein chains. The body’s gut has what’s known as a “microbiome”. This features trillions of bacteria. When a person suffers a bacterial infection, the normal bacteria has somehow been reduced, then allows the bad bacteria to fill in and cause an infection. Taking probiotics ensures that these potential gaps in the biome are occupied by the probiotics rather than invasive bacteria. Unlike enzymes, which can be produced in the body, probiotics can only be acquired from outside sources. They help support the biome. Since so much of the immune system is located within the digestive system, probiotics help maintain the quality and health of the immune system. 

Which is Better? 

The simple factor is that neither of the two are better than the other. They are just responsible for different aspects. In most cases, ensuring a proper balance of both can result in a higher level of digestive health. Speaking with your doctor can help you determine if supplements for either are needed, or if diet is more than enough. 

In many cases, there are products which offer both a probiotic and enzyme blend together in a single purchasable item. Taking probiotics and enzymes tends to reduce consistent issues with bloating, gas and stomach discomfort. 

Benefits of Taking Enzymes and Probiotics

There are several other benefits that can come from taking probiotics or enzymes. In some cases, taking probiotics can help in the production of digestive enzymes. Sometimes these enzymes assist in breaking down more of a molecule than is usual, other times it can be that the food molecule is broken down quicker with more efficiently. When more of a food molecule is broken down, that means that more of the nutrients are getting where they need to go, rather than being wasted! 

In some cases, probiotics have helped people with food intolerances. Many cases of food intolerance is simply the body not creating enough of the proper enzyme to break down one type of food. For example, many people struggle to break down dairy. By taking a digestive enzyme that the body may be missing, it’s easier to digest dairy. Probiotics can assist as well by creating digestive enzymes and promoting health in the gut. 

Disclaimer: The articles on this website are not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor are they meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Treatment or advice used by a reader may have varying results, as each individual is different. Any article reader with a health-related question, is encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider. The articles on this website should not be used to disregard any medical or health-related advice, nor should they be the root cause for delay in seeing a doctor or a certified health provider.

The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.

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