Digestive enzymes are complex proteins involved in digestion and are needed for every single chemical action that takes place in the body. Enzymes are produced both internally (most notably in the pancreas and the other endocrine glands) and are also present in the raw foods we eat. Unfortunately, due to modern farming and food preparation, we are not getting the right amount of enzymes from our food. Added to this, the ageing process depletes the body of its store of digestive enzymes.
The three digestive enzymes are protease, amylase and lipase. Amylase is needed to digest carbohydrates and dead blood cells. Protease digests proteins, parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungus. Lipase is needed to digest fat as well as fat soluble nutrients, such as fish oil and vitamin E.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that are vital for a healthy digestive tract. They work to keep unfriendly or pathogenic bacteria at bay and they also help with the absorption of key nutrients. In addition, probiotics keep the lining of your intestines healthy and work to keep candida albicans from developing into a problem. Yet, this is not all that probiotics can do, as they also play a key role in the healing process and anti-ageing. Probiotics help to restore levels of gastrointestinal microflora that may have been compromised from the use of antibiotics and medication or as a result of poor diet, stress and digestive abnormalities. When choosing a probiotic, it is important to look for a multi-strain variety as these have been shown to exert more positive benefits and reach more areas of the gastrointestinal tract than single-strain varieties.
Inulin is a natural soluble dietary fibre derived from chicory root which is also found in a number of fruits and vegetables. It has many health benefits, the main one being supporting digestive health. Inulin is known as a prebiotic because it increases the activity of the beneficial bacteria in the gut, by acting as a ‘food’ for the good bacteria in your digestive system. It therefore helps to promote digestive health and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.
Curcumin is the active anti¬inflammatory ingredient of turmeric, the spice traditionally used in curries. It is a potent antioxidant and has pharmacological actions that might benefit patients with digestive disorders, such as ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Due to its inherent poor absorbency, high doses of ordinary curcumin have been needed to achieve the dramatic effects shown in worldwide studies. Studies have shown that Meriva curcumin is absorbed up to 23 times more than ordinary curcumin. A 2007 study, published in the journal Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, demonstrated Meriva’s superior bioavailability compared to ordinary curcumin.