Pancreatin Enzyme

The Healthy Benefits Of Taking A Pancreatin Enzyme

Pancreatin enzyme is a supplement that can be taken orally if you are suffering from a pancreatic enzyme deficiency.  These enzymes help the body to digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates from consumed food.  According to statistics, middle aged people are most prone to pancreatitis, which is why so many physicians recommend a pancreatin enzyme supplement.

Pancreatin Enzyme And Pancreatitis Link

When there is a dysfunction with the pancreas it can result in diseases such as pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas.  The affected person cannot properly digest food components and therefore does not receive adequate amounts of essential nutrients from their consumed foods.  In order to treat this condition, pancreatin enzyme tablets are produced from animal pancreatic extracts and vegetable sources that help to break down starch, fat and protein.

Pancreatin enzyme tablets are recommended not only for pancreatitis but also for pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, post-gastrointestinal bypass surgery, post-pancreatectomy and pancreatic tumors.  These supplements are available in over the counter as well as prescription dosages with the amount of enzymes varying greatly between brands.  The dosage will be different for each person so it is always recommended to consult your physician for recommended dosage prior to using.  It is also advised to not switch brands once you find a brand that works for you.

Tips For Taking Pancreatin Enzymes

  • Always be sure to drink plenty of fluid when on this medication.
  • You should take the tablet with every meal or snack that contains a fat, especially with meat, bread, dairy and desserts.
  • Avoid taking this supplement along side magnesium or calcium supplements as these can reduce the effectiveness of the pancreatin enzyme.
  • Start out with a very small dosage first and then you can adjust your intake accordingly as needed.
  • These tablets should never be chewed or crushed, only swallowed whole, which is why they are covered with a special coating.
  • Never take the capsule with milk, yogurt, ice-cream or any other dairy product as the high pH could dissolve the coating on the tablet and destroy the important enzyme activity before it even has the chance to reach your stomach.
  • For maximum benefits, take the enzyme prior to eating because they will not function as well if they are taken after.  Some people take one prior to and after which is acceptable as well depending on dosage.

Side Effects Of Pancreatin Enzyme

  • The most common reported side effect is constipation.
  • Other side effects are nausea, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
  • The enzyme may affect some diabetic medications.
  • Improper dosage could cause extreme weight loss in some people.
  • Allergic reaction could occur in which case you should discontinue using the product immediately.
  • When used in children that have cystic fibrosis, the large intestine could be compromised causing a condition that is known as fibrosing colonopathy.
  • If you have an allergy to pork, beef, papaya or pineapple, consult your physician prior to using for a brand that can accommodate you.
  • If the supplement is not swallowed immediately, the enzymes could begin to digest the mucous membranes within your mouth resulting in irritation.  This could cause mouth, tongue and lip ulcerations.

If you find that you have a difficult time taking the tablet whole, place in a spoonful of applesauce, pureed banana or any other non-dairy soft food that allows you to swallow without chewing.  It is always advised to talk to your medical care provider prior to taking a pancreatin enzyme to discuss any concerns, allergies or potential side effects and they will be able to determine a proper dosage that you should start out with.