Daily Archives: September 7, 2018

Pancreatic Enzyme Insufficiency

PancreaticInsufficiencyJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The pancreas is a relatively small abdominal organ that plays major roles in both digestion and blood sugar regulation. It has two primary functions—to make and release a host of enzymes critical to proper digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and to produce insulin and glucagon, hormones important to blood sugar balance. Pancreatic enzymes reduce digestible macronutrients into absorbable forms needed for bodily function and cellular energy. Proper nutrient absorption is critical to good overall health and quality of life. When the pancreas fails to produce or deliver the enzymes responsible for nutrient breakdown, the body is hindered from converting dietary nutrients into usable forms, often resulting in weight loss, chronic digestive issues and symptoms associated with malnutrition.

Low pancreatic enzyme production is frequently caused by pancreatic inflammation or pancreatitis. Heavy ongoing alcohol use, smoking and high fat diets are common causes of chronic pancreatitis. Untreated acute pancreatitis can become chronic over time, increasing the chances of developing insufficiency. Enzyme deficiency can also be a result of diabetes or gastric surgery, as well as genetic and inflammatory conditions such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis. Most symptoms of pancreatic enzyme shortage overlap with digestive complaints such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain and intestinal upset.

Significant nutritional problems are tied to fat and protein malabsorption. Malnourishment can lead to symptoms like muscle weakness and low body weight. Deficiencies in vitamins A, D, E and K are common, and may result in vision problems, muscle spasms and osteoporosis. In addition to enzyme supplementation, treatment often requires a combination of a balanced low-fiber, healthy fat diet to encourage healthy digestion, and avoidance of smoking and heavy alcohol consumption to lessen the chances of developing chronic pancreatitis.

Nutritional supplements are often recommended to address deficiencies and prevent serious complications arising from malnutrition. Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, found naturally in coconut oil, palm kernel oil and butter, is a calorie-rich type of fat that bypasses usual fat absorption pathways to be rapidly absorbed by the body. Supplementing with MCT oil and vitamins may help control weight loss, increase strength, support physical activity and improve quality of life in those with deficiencies. Supplementing with pancreatic digestive enzymes can help improve digestive function and aid absorption of much needed nutrients. Supplementation of pancreatic enzymes should be undertaken with the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.

  • Lipase works with bile from the liver to break down fat molecules, so they can be absorbed and utilized by the body. A shortage of this enzyme can result in a lack of necessary fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Protease breaks down proteins and helps keep the intestines free of harmful substances. Incomplete digestion of proteins can lead to allergies, increased risk of intestinal infections and the formation of toxic substances.
  • Amylase breaks down carbohydrates into sugars that are easily absorbed by the body. Undigested starches in the colon often result in uncomfortable intestinal issues.

Professional Supplement Center offers many high quality products for overall health and wellness support:

Pancreatin 8X PlusPancreatin 8X Plus by Professional Complementary Health Formulas: This specialty nutritional aid supplies high potency pancreatic enzymes in support of optimal digestive function and overall wellness. pH sensitive encapsulated formula for enhanced assimilation and rapid metabolism.

Super Pancreatic...Super Pancreatic Enzymes by Verified Quality: This physician formulated product supplies highly concentrated pancreatic enzymes in support of healthy digestion and optimal absorption of nutrients. Free of gluten, soy, lactose, sugar, binders, coatings and fillers.

 

Pancreatic...Pancreatic VegEnzymes by Pure Encapsulations®: This formulation provides a broad acting plant-sourced enzyme blend designed to enhance the breakdown of foods and nutrients and promote complete digestion. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.

M.C.T. LiquidM.C.T. Liquid by Douglas Laboratories®: This product supplies 100% structured lipids in the form of medium chain triglycerides. MCT’s are absorbed intact and are quickly delivered to the liver where they are used directly for energy production. MCT oil may be a useful aid for individuals  with fat-malabsorption and enzymatic insufficiency issues. Free of gluten, wheat, soy, yeast, dairy, sugar and artificial ingredients. Vegan formulation.

Vitamin D ComplexVitamin D Complex by Designs for Health®: Each serving of this professional formula provides 2,000 IUs of bioavailable vitamin D, as well as effective amounts of fat-soluble vitamins A, E, K1 and K2 in support of vitamin sufficiency and optimal bodily function. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

References:
What Causes Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency? https://www.healthline.com/health/exocrine-pancreatic-insufficiency/causes#1
The Pancreas and its Functions. http://columbiasurgery.org/pancreas/pancreas-and-its-functions
Pancreas: Function, Location & Diseases. https://www.livescience.com/44662-pancreas.html
Why Are Enzymes Important? https://www.healthline.com/health/why-are-enzymes-important
Should I Take Pancreatic Supplements? https://www.healthline.com/health/pancreatic-supplements
Pancreatic enzymes. https://www.pancan.org/facing-pancreatic-cancer/living-with-pancreatic-cancer/diet-and-nutrition/pancreatic-enzymes/

Be Social For Increased Exercise Benefits

SocialExerciseJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

 

 

Exercise, a boon for both physical and mental wellbeing, actively supports overall health, improves sleep, and reduces anxiety and depression. A recent study based on data from 8,500 adults who were part of the Copenhagen City Heart Study found that social interaction involving either an exercise partner or participation in team sports further enhanced the already plentiful benefits of physical activity. While exercise of any kind contributes to improved long term health and longevity, it appears that connecting socially while exercising may have an advantage over solitary activity. The findings reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings showed a clear correlation between social sports and increased longevity.

It appears that regular participation in activities such as tennis, basketball, soccer or badminton, may extend one’s lifespan up to a decade, while solitary activities such as swimming, cycling, jogging and health club participation, may add one to four years. A large body of research shows that consistent activity offers numerous health benefits including chronic disease prevention and weight management, as well as cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and cognitive health support. Now, it seems, the addition of activities that promote social interaction may be just as important to long term health as social connection is to overall wellbeing.

A World Health Organization (WHO) study found that one in four adults worldwide don’t get enough exercise, putting more than 1.4 billion adults at risk of developing chronic diseases linked to inactivity. In the U.S., only 23 percent of Americans regularly meet physical activity guidelines during their leisure time. Perhaps combining team events and friendship with exercise is just the impetus many need to start and stick with an exercise program. One of the biggest challenges to exercise is motivation. Knowing that others are counting on us, provides the accountability and encouragement that may be missing with solo exercise. Being a member of a supportive team often encourages one to take their activity to a higher level, and for many, brings out their innate competitive spirit.

While more studies are needed to support the connection between group exercise and increased longevity, there are other reasons to make workouts communal. Research shows that healthy actions of those around us can have a significant impact on our own health. A study published in the journal Obesity found that overweight persons tend to lose additional weight when they spend more time with friends who are physically fit. Other studies show that working with a partner or a team not only improves performance but may also significantly increase time spent working out. Many appear to agree, as spin-cycling, dance-based classes and other group activities have been steadily trending for a decade or longer. Encouragement to reach personal bests triggers the release of feel good hormones that help create a positive attitude and encourage future participation.

Those new to fitness may find it best to work out solo before joining a difficult group session. One on one instruction can help draw the attention to areas of weakness or imbalances. Find a class or group setting that matches your level of ability to avoid injury. Friendly competition is fine but understand your strengths and limitations. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that those who engaged in group walking outdoors saw improvements in blood pressure, resting heart rate and body fat. Social walkers were also significantly less depressed. You may find that enlisting a friend for an enjoyable walk in the park, or participating in a boot camp work out, may be just what is needed to de-stress and lift your mood, resulting in an energetic feeling of overall good health.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements for overall health and longevity support:

ATP EnergyATP Energy Progressive Laboratories: This energizing formula provides bioavailable Peak ATP®, malic acid and magnesium, essential elements for continued cellular energy production which may decline with aging. Acid resistant, delayed release capsules.

 

Athletic NutrientsAthletic Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic, nutrient-rich, highly bioavailable multivitamin, mineral and trace element complex is formulated to support exercise performance and training by promoting energy and stamina and lessening muscle fatigue. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Klean BCAA plus Peak...Klean BCAA  + Peak ATP® by Klean Athlete: Specifically formulated for athletes and weekend warriors alike, this products supplies branched chain amino acids and Peak ATP® in support of peak physical performance, increased strength and muscle gain. NSF Certified for Sport. Gluten, soy, wheat, dairy, preservative and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Energy PlusEnergy Plus by Vital Nutrients: This herbal adaptogen complex helps to reduce daily stress by supporting energy production, stamina, healthy adrenal gland function and mental and physical performance. Suitable for long-term use. Free of gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, sugar, binders and coatings.

References:
Various Leisure-Time Physical Activities Associated With Widely Divergent Life Expectancies: The Copenhagen City Heart Study. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002561961830538X
The health benefits of working out with a crowd. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/why-you-should-work-out-crowd-ncna798936
5 Reasons to Find a Workout Partner. https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2018/workout-partner-healthy-friends.html
A Quarter of the World’s Adults Don’t Get Enough Exercise, Study Says. http://time.com/5387221/who-physical-inactivity-report/