Breaking it down
When we look at the idea of digestion, what we are effectively talking about is the body's natural methods of breaking down the foods that enter it, absorbing the constituent parts such as vitamins and minerals, and using them for vitality and healing.
It's a process that begins from the very second you place food into your mouth. Our saliva is packed with enzymes, primarily amylase, which breaks down starches and carbohydrates. This is why foods like bread dissolve when they're place into the mouth, or candy that you suck on disappears over the course of a few minutes.Food that is swallowed encounters enzymes at different points within the digestive tract that do the same thing. Protein-rich foods encounter protease, the enzyme that breaks it down. Fat-rich foods, meanwhile, encounter lipase, which does the same thing.
In optimum conditions, the body is a well-oiled machine that breaks down foods as intended using these enzymes within the digestive tract. The food goes in, the body takes and utilizes what it needs, and then excretes the waste. Of course, there's a lot more going on than that, as regular readers will know, but that's the essence of the process. And disruption to the essence of digestion leads to the majority of cases of digestive discomfort.
What causes digestive discomfort?When we're talking about digestive discomfort, we're talking about relatively minor conditions that nonetheless impact upon lifestyle in a negative way. Bloating, heartburn, flatulence, and light nausea are a few examples.
But the root of all of these things most commonly lies in poor digestion. If you the food you intake cannot be correctly be dissimilated and catabolized, it tends to disrupt the digestive tract at other points causing physical problems.
Lactose intolerance: just one examplePerhaps the best known example of this is in the common condition of lactose intolerance. Humans are the only species of animal to continue consuming lactose after infancy. Lactose is something that only baby humans should consume from their mother's milk. As a result, 65% of the US population suffers from at least minor lactose intolerance, and some cultures such as Asian populations have 90% of people suffering from lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance itself is caused by a lack of lactase, the enzyme in the body that breaks down lactose, and an enzyme that we only produce in infancy. The resulting effects on people can vary, and include nausea, bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, stomach ache, heartburn and more. None of these are life threatening (lactose intolerance is different from a milk allergy), but nonetheless problematic to daily life.
Combatting digestive issues
We absolutely do not recommend consuming dairy–it's one of the worst things you can eat. But, as you age, other enzymes can become less frequent within the body, meaning you experience similar reactions to a range of foods.
The best way to cope with the decline in digestive enzymes caused by aging is to supplement them. We recommend doing this anyway, as digestive enzymes help you extract the goodness from food. However, if you're experiencing digestive distress in any of the ways mentioned above, digestive enzymes come even more highly recommended from us, as they can outright solve issues you're experiencing.
Our organic formula, Digestive Enzyme is ideal for improving and maintaining high levels of digestive enzymes within the body, allowing you to better extract nutrition from food and absorb it.