Digestive system support
Our body gets the nutrients (vitamins, minerals), energy and water it needs to function from the outside world (in the form of food and drink).
The digestive system includes the oral cavity, esophagus, stomach and intestinal tract.
Our body tries to break down the nutrients it receives into its constituent parts, and digestive enzymes play a role in this. An example of digestive enzymes:
- Proteins are broken down by protease enzymes (papain, pepsin, bromelain)
- Carbohydrates: carbohydrase enzymes
- Fats: lipase enzymes
- Starch: amylase enzymes (starch is made up of many sugar molecules)
- Lactose is broken down by the enzyme lactase
Many people can experience digestive difficulties after consuming a variety of certain nutrients (say lactose). To avoid this, it is a good idea to take the enzyme (in this case lactase enzyme) in the form of a food supplement before meals.
Digestion also starts in the oral cavity (although still limited), if you chew a starchy food for a long time it will become sweet after a while, this is because the amylase enzyme has started to break down the starch into sugar.
Once in the stomach, the food finds itself in a very acidic environment which is very conducive to further breakdown. Stomach acid is a very strong acid (pH between 1 and 3, 1 being the strongest acid). It is mainly for the breakdown of proteins that such a strong pH is needed (since the amino acids that build proteins also have an acidic pH, strong acid is needed for breakdown). Contrary to popular belief, in most cases the pH of the stomach is shifted towards alkaline, which can cause a number of digestive problems, including reflux. Therefore, acidic foods such as apple cider vinegar can help to restore this. The stomach already starts to excrete (for use) some of the nutrients.
From the stomach, the food is passed into the intestinal tract, where the nutrient content of the already digested food is excreted. Here the pH is more alkaline. Our intestinal tract is home to many bacteria. The gut flora is the collection of 'micro-organisms' that live throughout the digestive system of our body. They perform many functions in our bodies, including fermenting indigestible fibre. Fermentation produces short-chain fatty acids, which are used by the muscle, colon and liver. In this way the fibres stimulate the function of these cells. In addition, the intestinal flora breaks down bile acids and produces vitamins B and K.
In addition, there is a growing body of research that shows that the gut flora is linked to the immune system and the brain. Many diseases have been linked to inadequate gut flora.
The gut flora contains billions of tiny bacteria and its balance is very important, to support this we offer probiotic formulations containing these bacteria. The question may arise: does stomach acid not digest the bacteria in probiotics? To eliminate this, today's probiotic formulations contain capsules that contain cellulose and other substances that are insoluble in an acidic environment, but can dissolve in the alkaline environment of the intestinal tract, releasing the bacteria from the capsule at the target site.