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Digestive enzymes, what science says about this?
Digestion is referred to as the process of breaking down of complex organic molecules into simple sugars e.g., glucose for producing ATP—energy packets. This breakdown takes place with the help of digestive enzymes e.g., amylase, sucrose, lipase, trypsin, pepsin and so on. When any digestive gland for instance pancreas finds it hard to function and produce enzymes properly, synthetic enzymes are used for carrying digestion (Bernard, 2008; Heather, 2011). These medicines can be found in form of tablets or liquid syrups. A bulk of research literature is evident that these medicines act as a supplement (when bile is being produced but undergoes malfunctioning) as in indigestion (Heather, 2011). Furthermore, we can use them as replacement therapies (when organs are not producing enzymes) in case of cystic fibrosis, cancer, surgery and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (Heather, 2011). Researchers are agreed upon their universal advantages with respect to their digestive functioning but other side of the picture is apparently more jaundiced. They are having accepted disadvantages as well: Difficulty is talking and breathing, swelling of throat, lips, tongue and mouth, chest tightness, itching, rashes, wheezing, peeling skin, red blistered swollen skin, headache, constipation, gas, diarrhea, cough, stomach pain, sore throat, neck pain, nausea, upset stomach, ear pain, stuffy nose, heartburn, nose-bleeding and dizziness (Bernard, 2008; Olesen, 2013). fibrosing colonopathy is a severe condition resulting in excessive use of digestive enzyme encapsulating the symptoms of constipation, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting and upset stomach ((Bernard, 2008; Olesen, 2013). Esophageal perforation is another resulting condition involving severe irritation of esophagus tissues. This is why these supplements are not regulated by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA, 2018).
The only solution to these umbrella problems is to use these medicines as the second line treatment of digestive problems. Diet and exercise may prove effective alternates in this regard. Excessive use must be avoided (FDA, 2018).
“Dietary supplements.” Food and Drug Administration Authority (FDA), 16 Nov. 2018. https://www.fda.gov/food/dietarysupplements/default.htm. Assessed 18 March 2019
Olesen Juel, Graversen Kolesnikov Wilder-Smith Drewes. “Pharmacological pain management in chronic pancreatitis.” World J. Gastroenterol. 2013, vol. 19, no.42, pp.7292–7301. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24259960 Assessed 18 March 2019
Heather Wiera and Robert Kuhnb. “Pancreatic enzyme supplementation.” Curr. Opin. Pediatr. 2011, vol. 23 pp. 541-544. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21799412 Assessed 18 March 2019
Bernard Roxas. “The role of enzyme supplementation in digestive disorders.” Altern. Med. Rev. 2008, vol.18, no.4, pp.307–314. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19152478 Assessed 18 March 2019
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