Digestive enzyme preparations have been available in health food shops for years. There is a place for digestive enzyme preparations in medicine in individuals with deficiency in gut enzymes, for example in sufferers of cystic fibrosis who require enzyme preparations for effective assimilation of food in order to obtain adequate nutrition. Digestive enzymes also have a place in post gastro-intestinal surgery patients, and in people with lactose-intolerance, where a preparation containing the enzyme lactase may be required for proper digestion of milk sugar in order to help prevent side effects of too much lactose.
For healthy individuals, there is no need for digestive enzyme, and there is no evidence that these preparations will improve the efficiency of utilisation of nutrients.
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Ever since the fitness craze in the 1980’s, we have become a nation increasingly aware of our health and physique. Millions of dollars are spent every year in the quest for a perfect body. Gyms are big business, personal trainers are making a tidy living helping people stay fit, and body building supplements are at an all-time level of performance.