Tag Archives: Digestive Enzymes

The Best Time to Take Nutritional Supplements

timingSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

Those of us who regularly take vitamins and minerals to support overall health or a specific health challenge know the importance of optimal nutrition. But many may not know the ideal time of day to take specific vitamins, whether to take them on an empty stomach or with food, or what combinations of vitamins to avoid or take together. Timing really is everything, as when you take your supplements can either boost or diminish their effectiveness. According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s annual survey of dietary supplements, 71% of women and 65% of men take dietary supplements.

Video Timing Is Everything

By far, the most popular supplements are multivitamins and minerals, with 97% of supplement users relying on these to complement their health. While 90% of supplement users report following label information, this little primer may help those who take multi vitamins and those who take more than one supplement to receive the maximum benefit from their formulas.

Morning:

Probiotics – Probiotics are best taken on an empty stomach, so for that reason morning may be best, although some prefer to take them at bedtime. When the stomach is empty, digestive activity is quiet and stomach acid and pH balance are relatively low, increasing the chances for the helpful microorganisms to thrive.

Iron – If you are advised to take iron supplements, take them in the morning, as iron is best absorbed on an empty stomach. Caffeine, dairy and calcium can negatively affect absorption, so it’s best to avoid these for several hours after taking iron. Vitamin C, however, can aid absorption, so by all means wash the iron supplement down with orange juice or lemon water.

Multivitamins – Taking multi’s with your first meal is ideal, as the vitamins are absorbed along with the naturally occurring nutrients contained in the food. As multivitamins contain both water and fat soluble vitamins, be sure to include some healthy fats with your meal for optimal absorption. If your multivitamin formula recommends more than one capsule per day, take them in divided doses at breakfast and lunch.

B-Complex vitamins – Taking B vitamins with breakfast helps to boost your metabolism and convert your food into energy, which can be used throughout the day. As B vitamins help to fight fatigue and create energy, it’s best to avoid taking them late in the day.

Vitamin C Vitamin C is best taken in the morning to support the immune system and boost energy levels. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that lasts only a few hours in the blood stream, so if your formula recommends more than 1 tablet per day, take it in divided doses with meals to get the full benefit.

Vitamin EThis fat soluble antioxidant vitamin is best absorbed when dietary fats are present, so if your breakfast includes some healthy fats, such as yogurt or nut butters, morning is a good time. Otherwise, lunch or dinner time is fine as long as you are having some healthy fats with your meal.

Fish oil – Important to support many aspects of health, fish oil is best taken with a main meal to aid absorption. Take omega-3 supplements at breakfast along with your multivitamins or if more than one capsule is recommended, take them in divided doses at breakfast and dinner.  

Afternoon:

CoQ10 – CoQ10 is involved in energy production and can be found in every cell, especially in the heart, which has high energy requirements. CoQ10 is best taken with a meal that contains dietary fats, and avoid taking it late in the day so that it doesn’t disturb your sleep.

Iodine – Iodine is not stored in the body, so regular intake is needed. Iodine supports normal cognitive function and healthy skin, and also increases energy levels. Table salt is fortified with iodine, but if you are not a regular salt user or use unadulterated salt, kelp tablets taken with lunch may boost midday energy levels.

Vitamin D – Vitamin D is best taken with a meal that contains dietary fats. It’s possible that Vitamin D can negatively affect sleep, so lunch time is a good time to get your Vitamin D.

Vitamin K – Vitamin K is best absorbed along with dietary fats and ideally should be taken along with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin C. Avoid taking vitamin K if you are taking Coumadin or any anticoagulant prescription drug, as Vitamin K can interfere with the effects of the medication.  

Evening:

Calcium – Calcium aids nerve transmission and muscle function. To get the full benefit, take calcium in the evening along with magnesium.

Magnesium – Magnesium has a calming effect on the muscles and nervous system and may aid restful sleep. Magnesium works synergistically with calcium, so take these together either as individual supplements or in a combined formula.

In addition:

Digestive Enzymes – Digestive enzymes can be taken with any meal or within 30 minutes of your meal. Unless you have serious digestive issues, they don’t necessarily need to be taken with light meals or snacks, but can be very beneficial for optimal breakdown and absorption of nutrients when taken with main meals.

FiberFiber supplements may be taken either first thing in the morning or before bed. Be sure to take fiber with a full glass of water and get plenty of water during the day. Always check with your healthcare provider before taking any fiber supplement, as fiber may delay or reduce the absorption of certain medications. Additionally, do not take fiber supplements at the same time as medications.

Should you have any questions about the best time to take any supplements, please call or email Professional Supplement Center. If you are taking any medications, check with your healthcare provider or your pharmacist before starting any supplement regime.

References:
Taking iron supplements.
Best Time to Take Probiotics.
Best Time of Day to Take Vitamins.
Psyllium.
Vitamin K.

The Importance of Digestive Enzymes

DigestiveEnzymesJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

By some estimates, more than 100 million Americans appear to have digestive issues that can impact their ability to properly digest their food.  The inability to completely digest foods can lead to uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain and problems with elimination.  For some, this can be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).  For many others, low-grade inflammation, infections, allergies, dysbiosis, food intolerances, poor diet or simply aging may lead to improper digestion of food and poor absorption of nutrients.  A properly working digestive system allows for food to be broken down into small, usable molecules and for the complete absorption of the nutrients without causing intestinal discomfort.

Enzymes are not only essential but are required for all biochemical and metabolic processes and play a critical role in everyday health and maintenance.  They turn the food we eat into energy, support the immune system and hormone production, and enable the ability to utilize vitamins and minerals.  In order to utilize nutrients from foods, several organs release specific enzymes that individually break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats as well as vitamins, minerals and other compounds into small absorbable particles. 

  • Amylase and other sugar-specific enzymes break down large starch or carbohydrate molecules into a two-sugar molecule known as maltose.  Other digestive enzymes are released in the small intestine to further break down maltose into simple sugars, which are then absorbed by the cells. 
  • Lipase is manufactured by the pancreas and, when combined with bile produced by the liver, breaks down dietary fats, or triglycerides, into fatty acids and monoglyceride molecules that then can pass through the small intestine and into the blood stream. 
  • Protease, peptidase and other protein digestive enzymes break down large protein molecules into a pool of single amino acids, which are then absorbed by the small intestine. 
  • Lactase is essential to the complete digestion of milk and dairy products.  Lactase breaks down lactose, a simple milk sugar.  When an insufficient amount of lactase is present, lactose intolerance or the inability to digest milk sugar can result. 

Intestinal health is critical to the health of your immune system and your optimal health.  A properly working digestive tract is essential to energy production, proper bodily functions, and overall wellness.  Insufficient digestion can lead to a very wide range of health concerns including autoimmune disease, arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and migraine headaches.  Lifestyle changes, dietary modification and enzyme supplementation can often help to lessen the uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms associated with impaired digestion.  Although we produce enzymes in our bodies, we must continually replenish enzymes through proper nutrition and good eating habits. 

  • Consume more raw foods, especially organically grown raw foods, as they naturally contain the necessary enzymes needed to digest and absorb the nutrients contained in the food.  Processing and cooking destroy natural food enzymes.  Food enzyme deficiency places unnecessary stress on the pancreas and other enzyme releasing organs to produce the additional enzymes needed for proper digestion. 
  • To reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, add more cleansing and alkalizing vegetables and eat a small amount of fruits.  Celery, cucumber, avocado, arugula, melon, pineapple, and blueberries are helpful choices. 
  • Avoid pro-inflammatory foods such as gluten, sugar, alcohol and processed foods.  Foods processed with additives, preservatives or nitrates are often lacking the enzymes needed for proper digestion. 
  • Consume more anti-inflammatory foods including essential fatty acids found in cold water fish and eat leafy greens, high fiber whole fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods, which support a healthy gut microflora. 
  • The proper chewing of food, along with the enzymes and lubricants contained in saliva, initiates the digestive process, allows for food to enter the stomach in a pre-digestive state, and relieves some of the stress on an overburdened digestive system.  Unfortunately, many of us do not properly chew our food. When we rush through our meals, foods entering the stomach can be sadly lacking in pre-digestive enzymes. 
  • Regular supplementation with digestive enzymes can take the stress off the pancreas and the entire body.  Powerful digestive enzymes support normal body organ functioning while preserving the natural production of digestive enzymes.  Taking a digestive enzyme supplement with meals reduces the amount of energy we spend digesting our foods and helps to maximize our enzyme producing potential. 

Below is a sampling of enzyme supplements for digestive support.  Choose the one that’s right for you and say goodbye to common digestive inefficiency and hello to healthy digestion and increased nutrient absorption. 

Digest Gold™ Plus ProbioticsDigest Gold™ Plus Probiotics by Enzymedica provides award winning, high potency digestive enzymes along with guaranteed delivery of specially coated TherActive™ probiotic cultures for maximum performance.  Formulated to assist in the digestion of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber, these digestive enzymes plus probiotics supply a complete formula for optimal digestive health. 

Similase® (Tyler)Similase® (Tyler) by Integrative Therapeutics provides comprehensive support for digestion and absorption of all food groups including protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber and phytate.  This physician developed formula contains pure plant enzymes, including amylase, protease, lipase, lactase, phytase, cellulase, sucrase and maltase, that are active in both acidic and alkaline gastrointestinal environments. 

Digestzyme-VDigestzyme-V by Ortho Molecular contains a full spectrum of 20 vegetarian digestive enzymes to provide comprehensive digestive support in a broad range of pH levels.  This unique formula also includes artichoke and gentian root, which stimulate bile production and support the body’s natural enzyme production. 

Digestive Enzymes UltraDigestive Enzymes Ultra by Pure Encapsulations contains a high-strength blend of vegetarian enzymes that support enhanced digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, dairy, and fiber that promote optimal nutrient absorption and bioavailability.