In my last post on enzymes (Why I don’t Recommend HCL and Enzymes), I outlined why I don’t see enzymes as an essential part of the first stages of a good healing program. In short, we want, first, to bolster or assess our own bodily ability to produce enzymes before we supplement. Too many people jump right in to lots of supplements in the beginning, supplements that they may not need. We want our body to improve digestion and decrease transit time (to heal) on its own, if possible.

Enzymes, however, can be beneficial in the healing process. The caution from my last post on enzymes was to ensure that we are:

  1. Examining our diet, getting enough rest, and trying other, more established therapies, like probiotics, before we start another supplement; making sure we have a real imbalance before we start HCL (which can increase diarrhea in Crohn’s and colitis)
  2. Allowing time for other treatments, like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, to work before we add another layer of treatment.

Those are my preferences—to use as few supplements as necessary to heal. With that said, enzymes have proven helpful to many people, and it’s worth outlining here, why and how they can be helpful.

The basic theory is, that if used properly, enzymes can:

  • Increase the metabolic energy available to the body such that the body can then utilize that energy to heal from disease, imbalance, etc.
  • In the case of digestive disease, using digestive enzymes can decrease the digestive energy burden on the body, which may help encourage healing.
  • Using digestive enzymes can also help to decrease the burden of undigested matter that reaches the colon, and assists your body in breaking down the food you consume, which can lead to better nutrition for those of us with active symptoms. Read the rest of this entry