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Enzymes and Indigestion
Enzymes can help with Indigestion



Invertase, also known as sucrase, is an important digestive enzyme required for the digestion of table sugar or sucrose. This enzyme splits sucrose into fructose and glucose that are readily metabolized in the body. Sucrose intolerance (similar to lactose intolerance) can develop in individuals who are deficient in invertase, a condition resulting from normal aging or genetic causes. Symptoms of sucrose intolerance range from nervousness and anxiety to heart palpations or arrhythmias to indigestion accompanied by bloating and flatulence. The human body does not respond well when disaccharides (sugars containing two simple sugar molecules) are either absorbed into the blood stream or delivered undigested into the colon. [Note: Gas producing bacteria are stimulated by undigested sucrose or lactose in the colon]
Lactose intolerance, which is better understood, results from a deficiency of the enzyme lactase which splits milk sugar or lactose into galactose and glucose. When a person deficient in lactase eats dairy products the result is bloating and flatulence often associated with cramping and diarrhea. Sucrose intolerance is potentially more dangerous due to neurological and cardiac effects in addition to gastrointestinal upset. One way to offset sucrose intolerance is to take an enzyme supplement that contains an effective amount of invertase, such as 400 Summer Units or Invertase Units (SU or INVU) and simultaneously limit your consumption of sucrose.
Taking an enzyme supplement that contains 400 Summer Units of invertase can be ineffective if the enzyme is not protected from stomach acid as significant invertase activity is lost before reaching the intestinal tract. The same is true for lactase when it is not protected. There is a new multi-enzyme product called Enzalase® that utilizes sodium alginate, a natural polysaccharide form seaweed, to form a protective buffered gel that surrounds sensitive enzymes in the stomach and releases them unharmed in the intestinal tract (patent pending). This product contains invertase and lactase plus 10 other digestive enzymes all protected by alginate delivery technology. More detail on Enzalase® can be obtained at