How do you know if your digestive enzyme supplement is truly active? The only way to know for sure is to test it on fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and parts of food which it is expected to digest.
That’s exactly what ConsumerLab.com recently did with nine popular digestive enzyme supplements purchased online and from retail stores. It found that seven of the products had the major enzyme activity claimed, but two did not.
While the FDA only requires supplements to list the amounts (in milligrams or grams) of enzyme ingredients, only measurements of enzyme activity, listed as activity units, can indicate how well they will digest foods. Clinical studies show that at certain activity levels, some enzymes can help to reduce gas and bloating after a meal, or increase the absorption of nutrients such as protein or iron.
ConsumerLab determined the lipase (fats), amylase (carbohydrates), and protease (protein) activities of supplements.
ConsumerLab’s test results appear online in its Digestive Enzyme Supplements Review. The report includes test results and quality ratings for nine products selected by ConsumerLab and three which passed the same tests in ConsumerLab’s voluntary Quality Certification Program.
The following products are included in the report:
- Doctor’s Best Best Digestive Enzymes,
- Dr. Mercola Digestive Enzymes,
- Garden of Life RAW Enzymes Women,
- GNC Super Digestive Enzymes,
- Healthy Origins Digestive Enzymes,
- Life Extension Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes,
- NOW Super Enzymes,
- Rainbow Light All-Zyme Double Strength,
- Shaklee EZ-Gest,
- Solgar Comfort Zone Digestive Complex,
- Source Naturals Daily Essential Enzyme and
- Standard Process Enzycore.
The report also explains which enzymes to take with certain foods, the amount of activity and type of activity units to look for on the label, which products provide the highest amount of enzyme activity for a specific need (such as digestion of a high-fat or high-protein meal), tips when taking enzymes, and potential side-effects and drug interactions with digestive enzymes.
Founded in 1999, ConsumerLab is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Membership to ConsumerLab is available online and provides immediate access to reviews of more than 1,000 products from over 400 brands. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.