When shopping for a digestive supplement, be sure to choose a formula that contains multiple enzymes. The benefit of a multi-enzyme formula is that it will help break down the wide variety of foods included in your daily diet. For example, protease and papain may be included to help break down proteins; lipase to assist with fat digestion; cellulase and xylanase to help break down the fibrous cellulose in plant cell walls; invertase to assist with sugar digestion; and amylase to help digest starches.
Phytase may also be added to help digest wheat and other grains, allowing important minerals such as calcium to be absorbed more efficiently by the body. Because the digestive tract is a complex environment that varies in levels of acidity and alkalinity, the most versatile enzymatic supplements are made from plant enzymes, which are effective over a broad range of pH levels in the intestinal tract.
Perhaps most importantly, plant-based enzymes continue to be fully functional when exposed to the hydrochloric acid of the stomach on their way to the intestines. The stronger, the better!