10 best enzymes for digestion

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

According to advertising, no meal should be complete without enzyme preparations that improve digestion. Without trying to urge readers to moderation – after all, no one is perfect – we should note: the main indication for taking enzymes is the lack of functions of various parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Abuse of enzymes for digestion, if not indicated, can lead to the fact that the body stops producing them. We present to your attention a ranking of the best enzymes for digestion.

What are enzymes and why are they needed

Only relatively small molecules are able to penetrate the intestinal wall into the bloodstream: amino acids, monosaccharides (glucose, fructose), fatty acids. All of these are the building blocks of more complex substances: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Enzymes break down complex substances into simple 'building blocks':

  1. amylases – complex carbohydrates;
  2. lipases – fats;
  3. proteases are proteins.

Digestion, that is, the splitting of complex substances into simple ones, begins already in the mouth, where salivary amylases are involved in the work. In the stomach, where the environment is acidic, the activity of amylase is suspended, food is processed by the proteolytic enzyme pepsin, which can only work in an acidic environment. At the exit from the stomach (in the antrum), the acidic environment of the food is neutralized, and the food lump passes into the duodenum – the initial part of the small intestine. Here it is processed with bile, which emulsifies fat – turns it into a suspension of the smallest droplets. This increases the area of ​​contact of fats with lipases. In addition to lipases, amylases and proteases work in the duodenum. This complex of enzymes is produced by the pancreas, so its analogue, contained in medicines, is called pancreatin (Latin pancreas – pancreas).

If, for some reason, enzymes are produced insufficiently or they cannot be active (for example, with reduced acidity of gastric juice, proteins in the stomach are not broken down), the digestion process is disrupted. Incompletely processed food components begin to irritate the intestinal walls, causing diarrhea, pain, and bloating. Half an hour – an hour after eating, there are sharp urges to go to the toilet, the excreted stool becomes abundant, foamy, and has a pungent unpleasant odor.

Often a similar problem arises in chronic pancreatitis, when cells that produce enzymes die under the influence of inflammation. Another common cause is a violation of the normal outflow of bile due to dyskinesia of the biliary tract or after removal of the gallbladder. Insufficiently emulsified fat is less in contact with enzymes and is broken down worse.

Ranking of the best enzymes for digestion

Nomination a place Name of product price
Best enzymes for adults 1 Micrasim RUB 635
2 Mezim RUB 66
3 Festal 123 r
4 Acidin-pepsin RUB 80
Best enzymes for kids 1 Kolif drops for children RUB 1,573
2 Creon micro 5000 1 224 RUB
3 Lactazar 413 r
BEST VEGAN ENZYMES 1 Now Foods, Plant Enzymes 1750 RUB
2 Pepfiz
3 Vegan enzymes 390 RUB

Best enzymes for adults

In this ranking group, we have collected the most popular digestive enzymes suitable for adults.

Micrasim

Rating: 4.9

MICRASIM

Pancreatic enzyme complex – pancreatin – containing amylases, lipases and proteases; placed in microspheres, which, in turn, are packed in capsules. The capsule dissolves in the stomach, the microspheres are evenly mixed with the food lump, passing into the intestine and already there dissolve under the action of an alkaline medium, releasing enzymes. Thus, enzymes are evenly mixed with food and act as efficiently as possible.

Clinical recommendations for the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency separately stipulate that the only effective form of supply of enzymes to the intestine is precisely microspheres or microtablets, which are activated only in the lumen of the small intestine.

Take a capsule three times daily with meals. Given the form of release of the drug, the capsules cannot be chewed – if the membrane of the microspheres is damaged, the enzymes are inactivated in the acidic environment of the stomach.

If the drug is used occasionally with overeating, a dosage of 10,000 U is sufficient. In other cases, the doctor should prescribe the remedy, he will determine the required dose.

Possible analogs are Hermital, Creon.

Advantages

  • microbeads provide more efficient enzyme work.

disadvantages

  • high price.

Mezim

Rating: 4.6

MEZIM

Economy option: all the same extract of the pancreas of animals – pancreatin, as in the previous tool, but placed in enteric-coated tablets. Enzymes are not inactivated in the stomach, they begin to act only when they enter the intestine, but given that the tablet needs time to dissolve, it is more difficult to talk about the effective interaction of enzymes with food (as we remember, the activity of enzymes is higher, the higher their contact area with food suspension ).

However, given the fivefold difference in price with the previous drug from our rating, it is not surprising that the drug has many fans. Nevertheless, we would recommend it primarily to healthy people, whose quality of life does not depend too much on the effectiveness of the medicine taken.

Possible analogs are Penzital.

Advantages

  • low price.

disadvantages

  • lower efficiency in comparison with preparations containing enzymes in microgranules.

Festal

Rating: 4.5

FESTAL

And again, pancreatin, that is, amylase, lipase and protease. In combination with the enzyme hemicellulase, which breaks down fiber (normally it is produced by the normal intestinal microflora) and bile components.

It is because of the bile acid complex that we included the remedy in the rating of the best enzymes for digestion. They facilitate the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins and correct biliary insufficiency – reduced activity of the gallbladder or its complete absence. Therefore, among the indications for the use of festal, in addition to pancreatic insufficiency and overeating, which are traditional for enzyme preparations, there are also pathologies of the liver and biliary tract:

  1. alcoholic and toxic diffuse liver damage, cirrhosis;
  2. biliary dyskinesia,
  3. cholecystitis,
  4. condition after cholecystectomy.

Hemicellulase, by breaking down fiber, can help reduce bloating and flatulence. characteristic of dysbiotic conditions.

Possible analogs: Enzistal.

Advantages

  • contains bile acids that correct biliary insufficiency;
  • affordable price.

disadvantages

  • reduced efficiency of enzymes in comparison with preparations containing microgranules.

Acidin-pepsin

Rating: 4.4

ACIDIN-PEPSIN

If all the other products in our rating are created in order to support the functioning of the small intestine, this drug contains a complex of enzymes to improve digestion in the stomach.

As mentioned, this is where the first stage of protein digestion takes place. But for gastric proteases to work, an acidic environment is needed. With atrophic gastritis, due to prolonged inflammation, the glands that produce both enzymes and gastric juice die. Insufficient digestion in the stomach is manifested by the heaviness after eating, rapid saturation, belching with air. There are also frequent manifestations of dumping syndrome caused by the ingress of a large amount of insufficiently processed food into the intestines:

  1. sudden weakness after eating, up to fainting;
  2. drowsiness,
  3. pallor,
  4. sweating
  5. hiccups.

In such a situation, the doctor may prescribe Acidin-pepsin.

Contains a complex of gastric enzymes (pepsin) and betaine hydrochloride. Pepsin is an extract from the mucous membrane of the pork stomach. Betaine hydrochloride, getting into water, is hydrolyzed (decomposed) with the release of hydrochloric acid, providing an optimal environment for the action of pepsin.

Dissolve two tablets in half a glass of water and drink with meals.

Advantages

  • low price.

disadvantages

  • inconvenient method of application.

Best enzymes for kids

Medicines for children have their own characteristics. Firstly, it is forbidden to give pills to children under 3 years old, and capsules up to 5 years old, it is believed that only at this age a child is able to swallow the medicine without choking. Children don't like to take pills. And if, say, for an antipyretic, you can use the 'grandmother's' method, stirring the crushed medicine in jam, with enzymes for digestion, this way of handling is unacceptable – after all, if the shell of a tablet with pancreatic enzymes collapses in the stomach, the active substance will lose its activity.

In addition, for children, it is not problems with the pancreas that are more relevant, but the insufficiency of a single enzyme – lactase – without which the baby is unable to normally digest the disaccharide contained in milk – lactose.

This is manifested by a sharp bloating, seething, colic, and frequent profuse stools. And if an adult, intolerant of milk, can simply not drink it, then a child, especially an infant, cannot do without milk. Of course, there are lactose-free formulas, but they are still not breast milk, and they are not cheap. That is why we are starting our ranking of the best enzymes for children with a product containing lactase.

Kolif drops for children

Rating: 4.8

KOLIF DROPS FOR KIDS

It is a dietary supplement recommended for children suffering from lactase deficiency. Available in a bottle with a dropper. 1 dose of the drug – 4 drops. Before feeding the baby, you need to express 2 – 3 teaspoons of milk, stir the medicine in them, give the baby from a spoon and then breastfeed as usual. For a baby who is bottle-fed, 4 drops of the drug are diluted for the entire volume of the mixture intended for one feeding.

The medicine and milk diluted with it can neither be frozen nor heated above 37 degrees.

As a rule, by six months in children suffering from lactase deficiency, the production of their own enzyme is getting better. therefore, by this age, you can gradually reduce the amount of funds. But sometimes the problem remains for life.

Possible analogs: Baby – doc.

Advantages

  • convenient to use.

disadvantages

  • high price.

Creon micro 5000

Rating: 4.7

CREON MICRO 5000

And this medicine is necessary for children with impaired pancreatic function. If in adults this is usually the result of chronic inflammation, then in babies it is usually a manifestation of a congenital pathology – cystic fibrosis.

Contains pancreatin (amylase, lipase, protease) in minimicrospheres, which are not placed in capsules, but simply poured into a bottle with a measuring spoon. In this form, they can be added to any acidic food. non-chewy: yoghurt, applesauce, for infants into expressed breast milk. In the stomach, the granules remain intact, mixing with the entire volume of the food lump, and once in the intestine, they begin to work as intended.

The drug should never be chewed.

Advantages

  • convenient form of release for children;
  • higher enzyme activity.

disadvantages

  • high price.

Lactazar

Rating: 4.3

LACTAZAR _

This is another dietary supplement that contains lactase, this time in capsules. Therefore, the remedy can only be given to children over 5 years old at the rate of 1 capsule per 100 ml of milk.

Advantages

  • easy to dose.

disadvantages

  • only from 5 years old.

Best Vegan Enzymes

As the readers have probably noticed, most of the enzymes for digestion are extracts of the pancreas or stomach of animals. And people who for ethical reasons refuse animal products are left with a choice: to abandon principles or health. Especially for vegetarians and vegans, there are preparations based on herbal enzymes.

It should be noted that these funds are not included in the clinical guidelines, therefore, those wishing to replace the animal enzymes prescribed by the doctor with plant enzymes come at their own peril and risk.

Now Foods, Plant Enzymes

Rating: 4.2.

NOW FOODS, PLANT ENZYMES

A complex of enzymes of plant origin. It is interesting in that, in addition to traditional proteases, lipases and amylases, it contains acid-fast proteolytic enzymes that improve digestion in the stomach, lactase, cellulase, cleaving fiber, as well as plant complexes papain and bromelain. The latter two are credited with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects (recall: papain is the basis of the well-known drug 'Wobenzym'), but the medical community has not come to an unambiguous opinion.

Take 1 capsule with each meal.

Advantages

  • good value for money.

disadvantages

  • there is no clinical evidence of efficacy in gastrointestinal diseases.

Pepfiz

Rating: 4.1

PEPFIZ

Film-coated tablets. They contain the proteolytic enzyme papain, simethicone (reduces gas formation in the intestine), fungal diastase (a mixture of amylases). That is, it breaks down protein and carbohydrates, does not act on fats. Therefore, we would not recommend it to people suffering from chronic pancreatic pathology, in which the violation of fat digestion comes to the fore. But the remedy can work well when overeating and to prevent bloating due to an excess of vegetable fiber in food.

1 – 2 tablets should be dissolved in half a glass of water and consumed with meals.

Advantages

  • contains simethicone, which prevents flatulence.

disadvantages

  • no lipases,
  • must be dissolved before meals.

Vegan enzymes

Rating: 3.9

ENZYMES VEGAN

Dietary supplement of Russian production. Contains bromelain, papain, amylase and gingerol – a compound found in ginger root that promotes more active secretion of gastric juice and improves peristalsis. In addition, gingerol has been credited with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects.

Despite the fact that the instructions for the product indicate the lipolytic effect of bromelain and papain, it should be noted that it is much lower than the protease activity. Therefore, again, by promoting the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates, the drug leaves fats 'unattended'.

Another drawback is the relatively high price: three days of use (10 tablets) cost more than 200 rubles.

Advantages

  • possibly has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects.

disadvantages

  • expensive.

Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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