Probiotic multi-enzymes are among the hundreds of supplements lining pharmacy and supermarket shelves. With millions of Americans regularly using them, why exactly are probiotic multi-enzymes so popular and how can they boost health?
Your gut microbiome houses trillions of bacteria. While certain bacteria are harmful, a healthy microbiome has plenty of “good” bacteria to keep the bad bacteria in check. One way to introduce “good” bacteria into your gut is by supplementing it with probiotic multi-enzyme.
Probiotic multi enzymes are a combination of probiotics and digestive enzymes that work to improve digestive health. While probiotics introduce beneficial types of bacteria into the gut, digestive enzymes aid in breaking down food and assisting with digestion.
Types of Probiotic Multi Enzymes
Not all probiotic multi enzymes work the same. There are many different types of probiotic multi enzymes, some formulated to support overall digestion and others focused on specific issues such as gluten or lactose intolerances.
While general benefits include decreased gas, bloating, and abdominal pain, other benefits of probiotic multi enzymes depend on the strains of bacteria used. Commonly used probiotic strains include:
- Lactobacillus acidophilusIf you consume yogurt, you’ve probably read “Lactobacillus acidophilus” on the label. It’s one of the most common probiotic strains, found in yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, and other fermented foods. Lactobacillus acidophilus is known to aid in overall digestive health.
- Bifidobacterium bifidumAlso found naturally in fermented foods, Bifidobacterium bifidumshows promise in treating a number of digestive conditions including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, constipation, diarrhea, and more.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Many dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and milk contain Lactobacillus rhamnosus. This probiotic may help protect against travel or antibiotic-related diarrhea.
- Saccharomyces boulardii
Unlike other probiotics found in fermented foods, Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast used in some probiotic supplements. It can help prevent diarrhea associated with a harmful bacteria called Clostridium difficile (C. diff), infection from Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori, and some viruses.
- Lactobacillus casei
Lactobacillus casei may help regulate issues with diarrhea, constipation, and antibiotic-associated digestion issues. Some research even suggests this probiotic can help alleviate digestion and inflammatory symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Lactobacillus plantarum
Frequently in fermented foods, Lactobacillus plantarum is helpful in alleviating diarrhea and constipation.
- Streptococcus thermophilus
Commonly found in cheese, yogurt, and other cultured dairy products, Streptococcus thermophilus is supportive for digestive health.
Different Types of Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are vital in breaking down the food you eat. Your mouth, stomach, small intestine, and pancreas naturally create digestive enzymes, helping to break down macronutrients in food. If your body doesn’t make enough digestive enzymes, you may have uncomfortable digestive issues such as cramps, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and more.
Taking a probiotic multi enzyme supplement can help. Common digestive enzymes paired with probiotics in probiotic multi enzyme supplements include:
- Amylase: Helps break down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars.
- Lipase: Helps to break down fats and lipids.
- Protease: Helps break down proteins into amino acids.
- Cellulase: Breaks down cellulose, a complex carbohydrate in plant fibers.
- Pectinase: Improves digestion of fruits and vegetables by helping to break down pectin, found in plant cell walls.
- Bromelain: Found in pineapples and pineapple juice and helps break down proteins, reducing digestive issues like gas or bloating.
- Papain: Found in raw papaya fruit and helps to digest proteins.
Do I need to take a probiotic multi enzyme?
While probiotic multi enzymes provide some digestive health benefits, it’s not necessary that everyone take them. Whether or not you should take a probiotic multi enzyme depends on your current health, diet, and specific health needs or goals. It’s important to talk to your doctor about taking any new supplement— your primary care physician can help guide which probiotic multi enzyme is right for you.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a probiotic multi enzyme:
If you suffer from digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, reflux, or indigestion, you may benefit from a probiotic multi enzyme. Poor gut health could be to blame, and probiotics with digestive enzymes could help alleviate symptoms. However, it’s important to first speak to your doctor to rule out any underlying cause of digestive issues.
If you eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole foods, you may not need additional probiotic or enzyme support. However, if your diet consists of mainly processed foods or lacks certain nutrients, you may benefit from probiotic multi enzyme supplements. If you’ve had to eliminate certain food groups from your diet containing lactose or gluten, probiotic multi enzymes may help you digest them more comfortably.
*Work with your primary care doctor to decide whether this option is right for you before reintroducing any restricted foods back into your diet.*
If you’ve recently taken antibiotics, you may notice your digestive health has changed or you may experience symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, or bloating. Probiotic multi enzymes can help to reintroduce beneficial bacteria into the gut that were eliminated by antibiotic medicine.
Some research suggests that your immune system may benefit from improving gut health. Taking probiotic multi enzymes may help introduce “good” bacteria into your gastrointestinal tract, boosting overall immunity. If you’re exploring ways to improve immune health, consider probiotic supplementation as a helpful resource.
Talk to Your Doctor Before Trying New Supplements
Probiotic Multi enzymes are safe for most individuals. However, they can interact with certain medications and may not be safe for those with weakened immune systems. Consult a healthcare provider to ensure probiotic multi enzymes are right for you.
Want to learn more about probiotic multi enzymes, supplementation, and other health topics? Contact us to make an appointment with a qualified primary care doctor who can answer your questions and provide trusted care tailored to your needs.
At PACT, we have a number of providers offering trusted primary care throughout Connecticut. Learn more about primary care services at PACT today.
To schedule an appointment, request an appointment online or call a local center near you.
Learn More About PACT
Physicians Alliance of Connecticut (PACT) is a multi-specialty medical group led and operated by over 30 physician partners and more than 100 healthcare providers. We are committed to healthcare excellence, innovation, safety, and quality in private-practice patient care in the New Haven area of Connecticut.