Dr. Leia Describes Enzymes Function in Our Body and Function of the Digestive System
Question for Dr. Leia: Could you please tell me more about the functions of the digestive system and how do enzymes function in our body?
I understand the human body digestive system doesn’t just digest our food but also does other functions but do not understand how taking more enzymes can help.
I would think our body should be equipped to digest our food already. I am in my thirties, fit, and feel I am healthy, but at times I do get indigestion when I eat to much dairy products, so I am curious. Thanks, Martin
Dr. Leia’s Answer: Dear Martin, the human body digestive system plays an important and crucial role in the total health of the body. There are enzymes present along the complete tract of the digestive system all the way from the mouth to the intestines.
In the mouth, the first area where the food enters, there are enzymes which emulsify and help to break down the food into a soft liquid mass which then easily slides down the esophagus and enters the stomach where further enzymes dilute the food mass and are responsible for changing the pH of the food so that it can more easily be absorbed into the cells from the intestines.
At times, due to heredity, aging, or eating and drinking too much or the wrong kinds of foods, the gastrointestinal tract can become deficient in some or all of its enzymes.
There are enzymes which are responsible for digesting fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. All of these enzymes work in concert together to insure a smooth working and active digestive system. If the food molecules are not totally digested and broken down via these enzymes, they can sometimes pass through the intestinal barrier into the cells in large particles which then cannot be efficiently utilized by the body. This is one way that food allergies can develop.
Also, there is a term called Leaky Gut Syndrome, which also refers to the fact that the digestive system has sprung a leak and has allowed the larger particles to pass into the cells. This can lead to all sorts of symptoms which can in turn lead to more serious degenerative problems if not corrected. So you can see enzymes function in our body plays a very important role.
You mentioned that you tend to get indigestion from eating dairy products. Usually if dairy causes problems, it may mean a food allergy or more commonly it may mean that your body lacks the enzyme lactase which is responsible for digesting the milk or dairy sugar called lactose. This is referred to as lactose intolerant, and is usually a very simple problem to rectify. Either abstinence from all dairy products is recommended, or the simple addition of a product called Lactaid, which contains the lactase enzyme. Some companies add Lactaid to their milk or dairy products to alleviate this problem.
I hope this gives you an overview of the importance of the digestive system in the maintenance of the body’s health.
Dr. Leia Melead
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To learn more how the digestive system works, click > Dr. Leia on Functions of the Digestive System