Your body is designed to digest the food you eat.
It creates hydrochloric acid along with various enzymes for just that purpose. So why might you consider taking them as a supplement?
Well, if you seem to get gas no matter what you eat, often suffer from heartburn or indigestion, or if constipation is an issue for you, it may mean that there is something not quite right with your enzyme production.
This is key because, in order to be able to absorb nutrients, your food has to be broken down microscopic particles. Anything that's not totally broken down starts composting somewhere in your intestinal tract, leading to any number of problems.
But before you start taking pills, let's look at how the digestive process works, or at least, how it's supposed to.
Digestion actually starts before you ever pick up your fork. Ever notice that smelling something delicious can make your stomach growl? That's your body realizing that food is on the way, and starting to pump out digestive juices to get ready for it.
And as woo woo as it may sound, it's important to look at your food and appreciate it before you begin eating. Gratitude for the cook, the farmer, the grocery store, a higher power and feeling thankful allows your digestion to work better.
Next, chew your food thoroughly. Yes, just like your grandma probably told you when you were little. This obviously mechanical step also stimulates the production of saliva, which contains the first round of digestive enzymes.
Your stomach produces acid that begins breaking down proteins. This acid also signals your gall bladder to release bile, which begins breaking down fats into fatty acids your body can use.
After this mixture churns for a while, your pancreas takes over. It neutralizes the stomach acid and releases enzymes that further break down the food.
If all has gone well, by the time it gets to your small intestine, all your food has been broken down into tiny particles, which can be absorbed into your bloodstream.
If not, well, that's how you get those symptoms we talked about earlier.
All of the different digestive actions are necessary for the whole thing to work. Remove or inhibit one piece, and the rest of the process suffers.
There are a few diseases that affect enzyme production, but one of the biggest causes of enzyme deficiency is Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS). This is ironic because enzyme therapy is also a crucial part of healing leaky gut.
Depending on your situation, your healthcare practitioner may suggest the use of hydrochloric acid therapy or other enzyme combinations. Proper use of supplemental enzymes can help your body heal and once again create the enzymes it needs.