Probiotics and digestive enzymes both support digestive health, but they each provide benefits in a different way. When both are used together regularly, it is possible to experience both short- and long-term digestive, immune, and overall health benefits.
How Do Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes Work?
Your digestive health is directly influenced by the gut microbiota. Gut microbes produce digestive enzymes that the body does not otherwise produce — specifically, the enzymes needed to digest complex carbohydrates and polysaccharides found in plant foods. When the microbes are out of balance, digestive discomfort can occur.
Enzymes play a critical role in the digestion of food and in overall health (1). They help break down the foods we eat into nutrients that can be absorbed by the body. Because most key nutritional components are too complex for immediate absorption, they must be broken down by enzymes (2). Supplementation can help promote the availability of nutrients from those foods as well as limit the occasional bloating and gas that can occur when eating foods such as cruciferous vegetables and legumes or products containing lactose (3).
Probiotics, on the other hand, are live bacteria in the digestive tract that provide long-term health benefits to the host: you (4). The body does not produce probiotics the same way that it produces digestive enzymes. Because of this, probiotics must be added to the body by eating fermented foods, such as yogurt and kefir, or taking supplements.
The microbes in your gut are constantly changing, and the more diverse the microbes are, the more health benefits you can experience. Regular support via daily probiotic supplementation keeps the digestive tract in balance and promotes microbiome diversity for better overall health (5).
Should You Take Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics Together?
Chances are, either you or someone you know suffers from some sort of digestive concern. One out of every three people in the United States are affected by digestive disturbances (6).
Research has shown that a Western-style diet, characterized by a high intake of salt, sugar, and fat, reduces microbial diversity in the gut. As microbial diversity decreases, so do the enzymes that are produced by those microbes (7). The loss of digestive enzymes may lead to increased discomfort as the body digests fibrous plant foods, thereby reducing the consumption of nutritious foods that cause digestive distress.
Supplementation with enzymes can help relieve some of that discomfort and increase the likelihood of eating a more varied diet. In turn, the consumption of a larger variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can help increase microbial diversity in the gut.
The IsaBiome System
The Isagenix solution to digestive health and well-being is the newly released IsaBiome™ Daily Digestive Health System. Consisting of both digestive enzymes and probiotics personalized to either a conventional meat-inclusive diet or vegetarian plant-based diet, IsaBiome was formulated for microbial diversity and digestive comfort with you in mind.
Digestive enzymes and probiotics are two different supplements that can be taken separately, but they work even better when taken together and can help address a range of digestive issues. Remember: probiotics (healthy bacteria) diversify your gut microbiome and produce enzymes that support digestion. That’s why the IsaBiome Daily Digestive Health System includes both probiotics and digestive enzymes to help promote optimal health and well-being.
- Ianiro G, Pecere S, Giorgio V, et al. Digestive enzyme supplementation in gastrointestinal diseases. Curr Drug Metab. 2016 Feb; 17(2): 187-93.
- Janiak MC. Digestive enzymes of human and nonhuman primates. Evol Anthropol. 2016 Sep; 25(5): 253-66.
- Deng Y, Misselwitz B, Dai N, et al. Lactose intolerance in adults: biological mechanism and dietary management. Nutrients. 2015 Sep; 7(9): 8020-35.
- Hill C, Guarner F, Reid G, et al. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic. Nature Rev Gastroenterol & Hepatol. 2014 June 10; 11: 506-14.
- Kechagia M, Basoulis D, Konstantopoulou S, et al. Health benefits of probiotics: a review. ISRN Nutr. 2013 Jan; 2013: ID481651.
- Everhart JE, editor. The burden of digestive diseases in the United States. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2008; NIH Publication No. 09-6443.
- Vangay P, Johnson AJ, Ward TL, et al. US immigration westernizes the human gut microbiome. Cell. 2018 Nov; 175(4): 962-72.