From time to time we’ll be scrolling through various trending searches or top sellers online and something outside of sports nutrition grabs our attention.
We’ve seen quite a few sales through Amazon with this one, and wanted to check it out, since we normally don’t talk about digestive enzymes (or probiotics, but those are different). The product is called Power Blendz Digestive nZYMES and its page on the main PricePlow site is getting a bunch of traffic – so we decided to investigate further.
Digestive enzymes are naturally occurring compounds that aid the digestive process. More specifically, enzymes help break down food so the body can optimally absorb the vast array of nutrients into the bloodstream. It’s also important to realize that enzymes are very specific, meaning certain enzymes are used to break down specific foods.
Examples of this would be protease for protein, while amylase is needed to digest carbs. If any of these are missing or in short supply, your body can’t digest food properly and you miss out on lots of vital minerals, vitamins, and their respective health benefits.
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Digestive nZYMES Ingredients
Taking one look at the label, there’s a strong chance you have absolutely NO CLUE what some of these compounds are. Rest easy, we’ll walk you through several of the most common ones contained here so you can get a better idea of just what in the heck you’re consuming, because we’re big fans of knowing what we put into our bodies. So, hang on and take a walk on a different side of the supplement industry!
Note: Amounts listed below correspond to that contained in 1 capsule.
Protease 1 (20,000HUT) & Protease 2 (4,000HUT)
We’ve lumped these first two enzymes together for a reason, they both help in the digestion of protein. Proteases, also known as proteolytic or systemic enzymes, are any type of enzyme that hydrolyzes (break down) peptide bonds linking amino acids together in the protein structure.
Here’s something else really cool about proteolytic enzymes: Various parasites, fungi, and bacteria are all made of proteins, even viruses have a protein film that covers their nucleic acid center. Proteolytic enzymes can break these proteins down, sparing the immune system additional work so it can get to destroying the baddies once the protein film is removed.
So this not only helps reduce systemic inflammation, but also helps ward off disease and illness!
This is an enzyme produced by the liver that helps with the breakdown of various carbohydrates. Essentially, Amylase takes complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides) and disassembles them into shorter chain disaccharides, and ultimately converts them into monosaccharides such as glucose.
Additionally, amylase also helps scavenge dead white blood cells from the body. For instance, when the body is low in amylase, it’s more susceptible to abscesses (inflamed areas with pus). You’ve seen these before if you’ve ever had a really bad toothache and received antibiotics. If the aching doesn’t go away after treatment, you most likely have an abscess. On other bit is that enzyme administration even helps alleviate chronic pains like those associated with osteoarthritis due to reduced swelling.
What is DU?
You’re probably also wondering about the strange units of measurement of some of these enzymes. Amylase is measured in DU (Dextrinizing Unit). One DU is defined as the number of grams of soluble starch dextrinized per hour at 30 degrees Celsius and pH 4.6
Fats are a strange bird in the human body as they require a more specialized digestive process than either carbs or proteins. See, the byproducts from fat must be carried via water medium (blood and lymph) in which fats are not soluble. Lipase is the primary enzyme required to divide fats into fatty acids and glycerol. Technically, very little fat is digested in the stomach; however, gastric lipase does digest some already emulsified fats, like those found in egg yolks.
From a health standpoint, lipase enzymes help improve the body’s immune response. One particular study found that consuming lipase with meals helped reduce symptoms of digestive upset in hospital patients.
Glucoamylase, also displayed as amyloglucosidase is a particular variety of digestive enzyme that cleaves off a free glucose molecule from the incredibly complex sugar-based chains that form starch or some of the simpler sugars like maltose. This freed up glucose can then be used by the body for energy. This enzyme is incredibly important when it comes to digesting starches found in vegetables like corn and potatoes.
Glucoamylase does much more though than mere digestion of complex carbs. It also has been found to help balance blood sugar. Moreover, another independent study found that it helped offset negative digestive upset in patients who had gastrointestinal troubles, over an 8 week period. Symptoms of the group included vomiting, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite, and bloating.
Anyone who has ever consumed milk or milk by products like cheese or whey protein knows that lactase helps digest lactose, the carbohydrate (sugar) found in milk. Those that have low levels of this enzyme or don’t have it at all simply can’t digest dairy and get massive GI distress, cramping, and bloating from the consumption of any form of standard dairy product.
A recent clinical review found that lactase supplementation is effective for improving digestive imbalances.
Use with cheaper whey protein powders?
It’s quite possible that if you’re lactose sensitive, you can take Power Blendz Digestive nZYMES before drinking a protein shake that contains whey protein concentrate, and potentially fare better due to the additional ability to digest whey concentrate’s lactose.
If you’ve ever sliced open a fresh pineapple and enjoyed a slice, you’re well acquainted with our next enzyme, bromelain. This is another proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzyme that was originally isolated and found to be key to the digestive process back in the latter 1800s.
Aside from its digestive impact, bromelain has been used overseas in Europe as a means to alleviate swelling and redness. Furthermore, bromelain has also been found to ease the aches and pains associated with the discomfort and inflammation brought about by osteoarthritis.[9,10,11]
Most bromelain supplements also include papain, and that’s the case with Digestive nZYMES as well, so don’t fear that you’re missing out.
Why the need for a digestive enzyme?
We’ve always been curious as to the big deal surrounding enzyme blends and their allure to the masses, so we reached out to the makers behind Power Blendz Digestive nZYMES to get the whole story. Here’s what they had to say:
“The modern diet DOES NOT provide the proper amount of enzymes to aid digestion and immune activity. One of the most COMPLETE digestive enzyme products on the market, Digestive nZYMES by Power Blendz Nutrition, provides the benefit from a multi-enzyme product including proteases (which break down proteins), lipases (which break down fats), and carbohydrases (such as amylase, which break down carbohydrates. Digestive nZYMES also contain a variety of plant sourced enzymes that are the most stable of all the enzymes, survive digestion well, and have a broad spectrum of action.”
— Power Blendz
No doubt, it’s a very completely product, and they’ll be looking to take on the ultra-competitive digestive enzymes Amazon listings with it – but it seems more well-rounded than many of the others shown, so it stands a good chance.
Consume 1 to 2 capsules before each meal or as directed by a healthcare professional. Do not exceed 6 capsules daily.
If you’re sensitive to whey concentrate, try a couple capsules before taking the first sip of your concentrate-based protein powder. But note, if you’re completely lactose intolerant, this may not work and you may need more lactase or should just stay away from concentrates in general!
Proper digestion is one of those things that can affect all of us to some extent. Those with better diets (i.e. less processed garbage and more whole foods) will tend to have better gut flora and better digestion than those with poor diets.[12,13] However, there’s always room to improve and make sure your body is making the most of the food you’re eating. Not only will this help increase nutrient transport in your body, but also reduce signs of puffiness and bloating that’s typically associated with poor digestion.
Power Blendz Digestive nZYMES is a unique combination of some of the most powerful enzymes need to ensure your system is always functioning at peak levels. Check the widget below for the best deal and try it today!
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- Shahid S. Role of Systemic Enzymes in Infections. WebmedCentral COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE 2011;2(11):WMC002495 doi: 10.9754/journal.wmc.2011.002495
- G.Klein, et al. Efficacy And Tolerance Of An Oral Enzyme Combination In Painful Osteoarthritis Of The Hip. A Double-Blind, Randomised Study Comparing Oral Enzymes With Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006 Jan-Feb;24(1):25-30.
- Fink, Carol S, Paul Hamosh, and Margit Hamosh. 1984. Fat Digestion In The Stomach: Stability Of Lingual Lipase In The Gastric Environment. Pediatr Res18 (3): 248-254. Nature Publishing Group. doi:10.1203/00006450-198403000-00006.
- Nichols BL, Quezada-Calvillo R, Robayo-Torres CC, Ao Z, Hamaker BR, Butte NF, Marini J, Jahoor F, Sterchi EE. Mucosal maltase-glucoamylase plays a crucial role in starch digestion and prandial glucose homeostasis of mice. J Nutr. 2009
- Karani S, Kataria MS, Barber AE. A double-blind clinical trial with a digestive enzyme product. Br J Clin Pract. 1971 Aug;25(8):375-7.
- Roxas M. The role of enzyme supplementation in digestive disorders. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Dec;13(4):307-14. Review.
- Zatuchni GI, Colombi DJ. Bromelains therapy for the prevention of episiotomy pain. Obstet Gynecol. 1967 Feb;29(2):275-8.
- Brien S, Lewith G, Walker AF, Middleton R, Prescott P, Bundy R. Bromelain as an adjunctive treatment for moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study. QJM. 2006 Dec;99(12):841-50.
- Brien S, Lewith G, Walker A, Hicks SM, Middleton D. Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):251-257. Epub 2004 Oct 6.
- Hale LP, Chichlowski M, Trinh CT, Greer PK. Dietary supplementation with fresh pineapple juice decreases inflammation and colonic neoplasia in IL-10-deficient mice with colitis. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2010 Dec;16(12):2012-21. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21320.
- Sonnenburg, Erica D. and Justin L. Sonnenburg. 2014. “Starving Our Microbial Self: The Deleterious Consequences Of A Diet Deficient In Microbiota-Accessible Carbohydrates“.Cell Metabolism 20 (5): 779-786. Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2014.07.003.
- Holscher, H. D., J. G. Caporaso, S. Hooda, J. M. Brulc, G. C. Fahey, and K. S. Swanson. 2014. “Fiber Supplementation Influences Phylogenetic Structure And Functional Capacity Of The Human Intestinal Microbiome: Follow-Up Of A Randomized Controlled Trial“.American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition101 (1): 55-64. American Society for Nutrition. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.092064.