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Seeking digestive balance has become more and more common among Americans.
And while diets and top probiotics provide great benefit, few consider the perks that come with adding a digestive enzyme to their routine, as well. Digestive enzyme supplements can help your body fully break down food and absorb nutrients.
In this article, you’ll learn the ten best digestive enzymes to use, how they work, and what to look for when purchasing digestive enzymes.
Digestive Enzymes 101:
While some people joke about having a “food baby” when they feel bloated and uncomfortable, the truth is that sometimes this can happen because some foods are harder to break down than others. Foods like meat, dairy, grains, beans, certain vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, and so much more.
This is why the human body produces some measure of digestive enzymes on it own, to help break down hard-to-digest foods. The most common digestive enzymes include:
- Amylase — this digestive enzyme helps to break down carbs and starches
- Lipase — this enzyme works with bile to break down fats
- Protease — this digestive enzyme helps break down proteins into necessary amino acids
Now that we’ve run through a quick refresh on digestive enzymes, let’s talk about the best digestive enzyme supplements.
6 Best Digestive Enzymes: 2021 Top Brands
When it came to selecting the best digestive enzymes of 2021, we took a few important things into consideration. We considered:
- Consideration taken to support a wide range of digestive needs
- The quality of the raw materials and ingredients
- The types of enzymes included
- That each product on our list of best digestive enzymes was third-party tested
- Product: Daily Digestive Enzymes
- Price: $$
Probulin Daily Digestive Enzymes are #1 on our list of the best digestive enzymes you can buy, and for a number of reasons. These digestive enzymes supplements offer broad-spectrum support, meaning they bring a full range of digestive enzymes that are both plant-based and probiotic-based. They support macronutrient digestion, and are also specifically designed to work with foods that tend to be most problematic. And to ensure strength and stability, they are Third-Party Lab-tested.
We also love that this digestive enzyme supplement is formulated by a board-certified doctor with 20+ years of specialty experience in gut health. Hands down, this is considered top at the list of best digestive enzymes for their wide-ranging digestive enzyme perks, the fact that they are shelf-stable (which means no refrigeration is required), that they are entirely vegan and manufactured without dairy, gluten, soy, or GMOs.
You can purchase Probulin Broad Spectrum Plant-Based here.
(You can even get 25% off with the code PRB25!)
2. Vital Plan
- Product: Active Enzymes
- Price: $$
Made with 15 plant-based digestive enzymes, Vital Plan’s Active Enzymes are more potent than other digestive products, with 470 mg of enzymes per serving. Added ingredients include cardamom seed and fennel seed. These enzymes can naturally help promote digestive health because they work to break down food and absorb nutrients. Doctor-formulated and plant-based, these capsules help to promote healthy digestion.
You can purchase Vital Plan Active Enzymes here.
- Product: Total Gut Health
- Price: $$$$
Albeit a bit more expensive on this list of the best digestive enzymes, Onnit’s blend of 14 enzymes delivers 500 mg of enzymes per serving. You can also expect a punch with five probiotic strains and two probiotics, alongside fennel seed powder and ginger root extract to help digest. As a result, you should break down proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fats more efficiently. With a full spectrum of enzymes to help you better digest, they also offer a discount with each subscription to a 30-day supply.
You can purchase Onnit Total Gut Health here.
4. Global Healing
- Product: VeganZyme
- Price: $$
Number four on our list of best digestive enzymes is GLobal Healig’s VeganZyme. With a blend of 20 vegan enzymes, you get around 1000mg of enzymes per serving. Other helpful ingredients in this Global Healing recipe include organic gum acacia, organic rice hulls, and the vegetable capsule. We love this brand because it offers a potent blend of 20 different digestive enzymes. This best digestive enzyme supplement is designed to aid in digestion and help support your immune system. So you can feel good about taking this brand.
You can purchase Global Healing VeganZyme here.
- Product: Bio-Gest
- Price: $
No matter your reason for seeking the best digestive enzymes on the market, Throne could be a solid choice.
Thorne’s Bio-Gest offers broad-spectrum digestive enzymes support with hydrochloric acid, as well as pepsin, pancreatin, and ox bile. While not plant-based, number five on our list of digestive enzymes supplements is effective for those who need carbohydrate digestion, fat emulsification, and absorption. Despite this, it is lactose-free.
You can also find hydrochloric acid, which facilitates the absorption of several essential nutrients, including folate, vitamin B12, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, iron, and several forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
You can purchase Thorne Bio-Gest here.
How Do Digestive Enzyme Supplements Work?
Digestive enzyme supplements help break down macronutrients so that amino acids, sugars, fats, vitamins and minerals can be utilized by the body.
To get the most out of whichever digestive enzymes supplement you choose, make sure to take it right before you eat. This way, the enzymes will get to work right when the food hits your stomach. If you don’t take them before you eat, you’ll waste the supplement because it’s not going to work.
What to Look for When Choosing Digestive Enzyme Supplements
With so many different supplements on the market claiming to be the best digestive enzymes supplement, it can be difficult to find one suitable for your needs. We recommend looking into the type of enzyme support they provide and experimenting with a few of the digestive enzyme supplements above to find out which one you like best.
Before you purchase any digestive enzyme supplement, make sure it’s a quality product. Here are three things you should look for when purchasing a digestive enzyme supplement.
Choosing Best Digestive Enzymes: Which Enzymes Should Be Included?
The amount and type of digestive enzymes included in any digestive enzymes supplement is one of the key features you need to look at. The more variety of digestive enzymes included, the better. It’s best to have a full or broad spectrum enzyme to break down nutrients effectively. If your body is having a difficult time breaking down a specific thing, make sure an enzyme that breaks it down is included.
For example, having protease to help break down proteins, as well as lipase to help with fats, and amylase for carbohydrates is ideal. When looking for the best digestive enzymes, consider having at least three types of digestive enzymes.
Common Sources of Digestive Enzyme Supplements
The best digestive enzymes can be extracted from different things. Some digestive enzymes supplements are plant-based while others derive from animal-based products. If you don’t consume animal products, make sure you are purchasing a plant-based supplement. If you are open to it, give both kinds a try and see if you notice the difference. Both can serve different purposes on your quest to find the best digestive enzymes.
Pay attention to the amount of chemicals and hormones used during the extraction process for the digestive enzyme supplements. It’s best to use a supplement that’s non-GMO and backed by research. For that reason, it’s true that most of the best digestive enzyme supplements are formulated by doctors and nutritionists. (Such is the case for Probulin Digestive Enzymes, for example.)
One of the best ways to find out whether a product works or not is to speak to someone who’s already used it. Check out customer reviews on the company’s website to see what people are saying. What do they like? What do they not like?
It can help to look for reviews from people. It can give you some key insight to how it would work for your unique situation.
Choosing the best digestive enzyme supplement for you may take some fishing around, but it’s worth it. These tiny-but-mighty proteins work to support your digestion in ways nothing else can. While Probulin Digestive Enzymes remain number #1 on this year’s 2021/2022 list of Best Digestive Enzyme Supplements list, each of the products that made the best digestive enzyme list is top-notch. Happy digesting.