Food sensitivity has been correlated to the lack of digestive enzymes.

In the ideal situation enzymes are products of digestion: coming from the saliva, the stomach which produces hydrochloric acid (HCL), the pancreas and gallbladder, both of which produce different types of enzymes.  However, due to the Standard American Diet, (SAD) the amount of processed foods consumed, the lack of adequate chewing, drinking excessive amounts of liquids with the meal, and the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet, consequences of digestion start to spiral, leading to a multitude of health problems.

Digestive enzymes break down specific types of foods.  For instance, protease breaks down proteins, lipase breaks down fats, amylase breaks down carbohydrates and lactase breaks down dairy.

Raw fruits and vegetables are the only foods that contain natural enzymes.  Any other foods consumed are taxing the digestive tract. Enzymes in food are destroyed via processing and cooking, making the food entering our stomach severely enzyme deficient.  To boot, as we age we produce less stomach acid, on average 10% less for every 10 years of life.  By age 50 the amount of stomach acid produced is down 50%.

The most common symptoms of insufficient stomach acid (HCL) production include repeated belching, heart burn, indigestion, bloating or distention after eating, food sensitivity, and nausea.

HCL is required for the absorption of many vitamins and minerals. Calcium and iron are two vital nutrients that need a strong stomach acid for absorption.  What baffles the author is the antacids containing calcium. The calcium will not be absorbed due to the alkalizing affect that the antacid has on the stomach.

Heartburn is considered by most people to be caused by too much stomach acid (HCL). Often the opposite is the case. With deficient or absent HCL, food is not digested properly, instead it ferments and putrefies. As this process occurs there is enough acid from the purifications process that when a person belches the gas goes up into the esophagus causing heartburn.

The amount of digestive enzymes secreted is dependent on the amount of stomach acid released. The digestive enzymes buffer the stomach acid as the food stuff leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine.  The enzymes break down the food into amino acids that are absorbed by the intestines.

The most effective way to regain your digestive tract health is to increase the amount of raw fruits and vegetables, 8-10 servings a day are recommended by the Mediterranean diet.  Methods to improve digestion:  Chewing food up to 34 times before swallowing aids in digestion and absorption of the nutrients, and minimizing water intake with the meal so that it doesn’t dilute the stomach acid.   Supplementing with digestive enzymes can reduce the taxing affects from the Standard American diet, from eating cooked and processed foods and not getting enough raw fruits and vegetables.

In order to determine the best form of supplement needed, a through patient history review of signs and symptoms is recommended. By determining which foods are causing sensitivity and what digestive aid is needed the health of a person can start to turn around within 3-4 weeks.

This information is for educational purposes and is not intended for diagnosis or treatment.