Optimize Your Digestion: Digestive Enzymes

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each day, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Optimize Your Digestion: Digestive Enzymes

Like stomach acid, age and other factors can affect our body’s ability to produce sufficient digestive enzymes. If these aren’t available in large enough amounts, some of our food will not be digested and you may not enjoy the complete benefits of healthy nutrition from your diet. Research published recently in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology found that between 5% and 10% of all adults in their 50’s suffered some decrease in the amount of digestive enzymes they produced and that over 15% suffered some decrease by their 70’s.3 In order to counteract this, individuals can add spices to their food. In fact, spices provide health benefits far beyond their digestive properties.

Many spices, including cinnamon, curcumin, coriander, fennel, garlic, ginger and tamarind (major components of foods such as curry), are known to stimulate the production of bile acids and digestive enzymes. If some undigested food still appears regularly in your stool – that’s right, you need to look again – you also might want to consume (with some water) a dietary supplement containing a mixture of digestive enzymes either before or during meals.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Optimize Your Digestion: Keep Your Inner Insides Wet

References:
3. Rothenbacher D, Low M, Hardt PD, Klor HU, Ziegler H, Brenner H. Prevalence and determinants of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency among older adults: Results of a population-based study. Scand J Gastroenterol 2005;40:697-704.


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