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Probiotics vs Digestive Enzymes - What Each Does





How they differ

Pancreatic Enzymes are, plant-derived enzymes which mimic the actions of the digestive enzymes that your body (should) produce on its own. It helps to break down your foods while you are eating, thereby leading to better, more complete digestion.

They are especially effective taken with any meal that does not contain any raw vegetables or fruits. You see, since those foods contain their own digestive enzymes, they need little or no help to be broken down. On the other hand, cooked foods, even cooked vegetables (whose enzymes have been destroyed by heating) need the help of supplemental digestive enzymes to be digested completely.

Pancreatic Enzymes do most of their work in the stomach and its target is what you've eaten at that particular time. Once your foods are broken down, Pancreatic Enzymes primary work is done.

Now, Pancreatic Enzymes can also help from a therapeutic perspective, when they are taken at non-meal times.

ALL of your body's functions--not just digestion--depend on the actions of enzymes. Even your heartbeat is the result of enzymes! So when you take Pancreatic Enzymes in-between meals, your body uses the enzymes in its numerous other endeavors.

This can be assisting your body in fighting inflammatory conditions, high cholesterol, heart disease and nerve problems, to name a few.

Probiotics, on the other hand, are not an enzyme but a dose of the same beneficial bacteria that you (ideally) should have a good population of in your intestines.

These friendly bacteria do help to break down certain select foods in your intestines, so in that respect Pancreatic Enzymes do share SOME of that responsibility with Probiotics.

However, the functions of your intestinal flora go WAY beyond digestion.

The most significant being your immune system.

80% of your immune system resides in those friendly little inhabitants of your intestines. So when their numbers are low and they're "outweighed" by harmful bacteria, you basically have a weak immune system.

This leaves you susceptible to every bug, virus and infection around.

It also paves the way for your immune responses to get "mixed up" -- leading to flare-ups or worsening of autoimmune conditions such as Crohn's, ulcerative colitis and fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as allergies.

Do you need both?

As you now understand both a healthy supply of digestive enzymes AND properly balanced intestinal floras are vitally important.

To determine what your needs might be, you only have to do two things.

LOOK at yourself and LISTEN to your body.

LOOK at yourself

OK, you've got to fess up here. Has your diet been "less than stellar?"

Are your 4 food groups Burger King, KFC, Frito-Lay and Betty Crocker?

Do you always "get your money's worth" out of all-you-can-eat buffets?

Would you not recognize a fresh fruit or vegetable if you fell over it?

Or do you frequently use antacids or acid reducers?

If so, you're putting a tremendous amount of stress on your body to digest what you've eaten. And chances are excellent that you've diminished your body's ability to produce digestive enzymes and may need a boost with Probiotics.

In addition, a diet that includes a lot of refined carbs (breads, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, crackers, pastas) and other processed food causes the harmful bacteria in your gut to multiply like rabbits on Valentine's Day, while at the same time starving your beneficial bacteria.

That means you may need the help of Pancreatic Enzymes.

In addition, other factors also destroy your helpful bacteria--these include smoking, alcohol consumption, not getting enough sleep, taking medications and stress. So if any of those are part of your life, it's likely that your gut flora are paying the price.

LISTEN to your body

Your body is constantly talking to you. You just need to tune into what it's trying to tell you.

Here are some signs that something is awry in your innards and what it might be caused by:


Low digestive enzymes

Imbalanced intestinal
flora

Gas, bloating & cramps

X

X

Heartburn, acidy burps

X


Diarrhea

X

X

Constipation

X

X

Autoimmune flare-ups


X

Frequent colds, flu, infections


X

Nutritional deficiencies

X

X

Low energy

X

X

Worsening allergy symptoms


X

Flare ups of conditions such as
diverticulitis, IBS & ulcers

X

X

Vague body aches & pains

X

X

The bottom line

In our world filled with dietary temptations, convenience foods, long work hours and stress, it's very rare that someone does NOT need a little help now and then.

So it's essential to honestly examine how you're feeling...then DO something about it.

Probiotics and Pancreatic Enzymes are both available at the office, be sure to check them out when you come in.