Enzyme and Stomach Acid Depletion
Since stomach acid and healthy digestive enzymes are essential for access to nutrients from foods, depletion of enzymes and hydrochloric acid may result in suboptimal nutritional status.
Gastric Phase Digestion (Stomach)
Betaine hydrochloride is an acidic form of betaine, used in the gastric phase to help bring the stomach to a more acidic pH to aid in digestion. Studies have shown the ability to secrete gastric acid decreases with age. Common symptoms of low gastric acidity include: bloating, belching, burning and flatulence immediately after meals, a sense of “fullness” after eating, indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, multiple food sensitivities, and nausea after taking supplements. Ortho Digestzyme also contains pepsin, a protease secreted in the stomach by chief cells for added digestive power in the gastric phase.
Enteric Phase Digestion (Small Intestine)
Pancreatin, bromelain, papain and ox bile extract support enteric phase digestion in the small intestine for further digestion of proteins and fats. Pancreatin extract is composed of three different enzymes: amylase, lipase and protease. All help to digest starch, protein and fat and enhance enzyme activity to support digestion. Eighty percent of pancreatic enzymes by weight are proteases. Lipase works with ox bile extract to emulsify and digest fats. Research has shown that papain, a protease derived from papaya, can help digest wheat gluten in the small intestine and render it harmless in those who are gluten sensitive. Finally, bromelain, an enzyme extracted from pineapple, aids in the digestion of protein and has been shown to help maintain normal levels of inflammation.