Digestive Enzymes Side Effects

What are the Side Effects of Digestive Enzymes?


The side effects of digestive enzymes are generally mild and temporary. The use of these types of enzymes can be very useful for people who may have difficulties in breaking down proteins, carbohydrates and fats or have trouble properly absorbing nutrients from foods. Although the side effects of digestive enzymes are often mild, there are some other effects and possible drug interactions to be aware of.


Digestive enzymes are absolutely essential to life. Digestive enzymes allow the human body to absorb nutrients from foods. These enzymes are normally secreted from the pancreas. The enzymes work as catalysts to the cell processes that break down proteins. In order for any chemical process in the human body to take place, enzymes must first lower the amount of energy it takes to start the process. By lowering the activation energy required to begin the chemical process, enzymes allow each process to occur an extremely elevated rate. Without these enzymes, chemical processes would be too slow to have any effect. So, without enzymes the human body would not be able to sustain any life.

When many different types of enzymes work together to create a succession of chemical processes, it is called a metabolic pathway. The digestive tract is an example of such a metabolic pathway. Many different types of enzymes, each specifically designed to start chemical processes in certain cell types, work together to start each chemical process that allows the digestive tract of the human body to break down proteins and absorb nutrients. This digestive process begins in the mouth and travels all the way to the end of the digestive tract. Any problems with these digestive enzymes can lead to digestive conditions and difficulties in obtaining sufficient amounts of nutrients from foods. Artificial digestive enzymes can be prescribed for people with digestive difficulties to aid in the digestion process.

There are three types of digestive enzymes, Amylases break down carbohydrates, Lipases break down fats and the Proteolytic enzymes digest proteins. A health care profession can prescribe digestive enzymes to help anyone who may have a type of disorder that limits their body’s ability to absorb nutrients. This can include problems like pancreatic cancer, Chron’s disease and Celiac disease. Because these enzymes alter the body’s function they often have side effects. These side effects are often seen in the first few days of taking them. Most of these are temporary and are digestive tract and stomach related. Side effects of digestive enzymes may include: stomach pain, nausea, appetite problems, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Other side effects may involve other parts of the body in forms such as headaches, fatigue and dizziness.

It is important to report side effects to the prescribing doctor to make sure there are no signs of a more serious problem and to make sure that the problems do not get any worse. Another common side effect of these types of enzymes can be a reducing of natural lipases. This occurs because the enzymes destroy them. This can result in a difficulty in breaking down fats. There may also be some negative drug interactions. People taking any form of anticoagulants should be especially careful. Many forms of these digestive enzymes are for sale as over the counter supplements or medications. As with any form of supplements or medical prescriptions, it is important to discuss the risks and rewards with a health care professional. The proper dosage of digestive enzymes is important, as is the specific types of digestive supplements that should be used. This is another important reason to consult with your doctor. Digestive enzymes are generally a safe way to help the body break down foods and absorb nutrients.