We eat food, but our system doesn’t absorb food – it absorbs nutrients.
Food has to be broken down to its nutrient pieces: amino acids, fatty acids, simple sugars as well as vitamins, minerals, and a variety of other things. Digestive enzymes break down our food into nutrients so that our bodies can absorb them. Enzymes are the workers in our digestive system.
Digestive enzymes are primarily produced in the pancreas and small intestine to convert food to a usable form. Some disabilities may cause a reduced production of these enzymes. Without them, people can experience digestive issues including: weight problems, allergies, indigestion, low energy, bloating, heartburn, fatigue, gas, headaches, upset stomach and constipation.
People cannot get enzymes from cooked food. They must eat raw fruits, vegetables or otherwise supplement these enzymes for proper function.
However, there are many other reasons why one may experience improper digestion. If you have concerns, you should consult a physician.
Tom is a peer advocate in Missoula and can be reached at email@example.com