Digestive Health Support
Pancreatin Background and Benefits
Pancreatin is a mixture of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas, including amylase, lipase and trypsin. It is also commonly known as pancreatic acid, although it isn’t actually an acid or even a specific chemical. Pancreatin is also taken as a health supplement by people who don’t naturally produce an adequate supply of pancreatin. This form of pancreatin is often known as pancrelipase, since it contains a larger proportion of lipase than natural pancreatin.
Pancreatin is highly effective at digestion because it contains enzymes that specifically target each type of food, including carbohydrates, fats and protein. For example, amylase hydrolyzes, or splits, carbohydrates into simpler sugars such as maltose. Three specific forms of amylase exist, including alpha-amylase, beta-amylase and gamma-amylase, although the pancreas only produces alpha-amylase.
Lipase digests fats by hydrolyzing triglycerides into glycerols and fatty acids. The collective term “lipase” refers to any enzyme that digest fats, rather than a specific enzyme. Trypsin is a specific protease, which is an enzyme that digests proteins by hydrolyzing them into smaller polypeptides.
Most of the pancreatin in supplements is prepared from a fresh or frozen pancreas, usually from pigs. However, some people are allergic to porcine proteins. Beef pancreas may be used as a source of pancreatin, although it’s generally less potent than pancreatin that comes from a porcine pancreas. Alternatives to pancreatin may also be prepared from non-animal sources.
n.zimesPA® is a proprietary pancreatin alternative produced by National Enzyme company in the United States. It contains a mixture of amylases, proteases and lipases from fungal sources, that’s uniquely suitable as a digestive aid. n.zimesPA® is a safe, humane alternative to animal sources of pancreatin.
The enzymes in n.zimesPA® are the fermentation byproducts of the fungi species Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae. Both of these fungi are also commonly used in the commercial production of many other organic compounds. All of the enzymes in n.zimesPA® have an extensive history of use in the health industry.
n.zimesPA® is especially effective at hydrolyzing triglycerides into mono- and di-glycerides. It also hydrolyzes most soluble proteins efficiently, since n.zimesPA® has significant endo-peptidase activity and exo-peptidase and endo-peptidase activity. These properties allow the proteases in n.zimesPA® to hydrolyze proteins into both short polypeptide chains and single amino acids.
n.zimesPA® has optimum enzyme activity in the pH range of 3.0 and 8.0. It is a dry powder that is generally tan in color and free of offensive odor.
Uses of Pancreatin
The primary benefits of pancreatin are associated with the digestive system. It also supports the heart, immune system and normal growth.
Immune system support
Viruses are protected by a coating of proteins that pancreatin can help to digest. This property allows pancreatin to support the immune system.
Digestive health support
Pancreatin may improve the digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. This effect can help to manage digestive problems such as bloating, constipation, fatigue and gas.
Heart health support
Homocysteine is an amino acid that is a byproduct of protein digestion. It may play a role in the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, which can harm the cardiovascular system. Pancreatin may support health by helping to convert homocysteine into cystathionine, which is a harmless amino acid.
Pancreatin may support normal growth in children due to its ability to improve nutrient absorption.
Signs You May Need Pancreatin
The most significant sign that you may need pancreatin is the inadequate production of pancreatin by the pancreas. Pancreatin production normally declines with age, so many people may benefit from pancreatin when they reach middle age.
Pancreatitis is a condition characterized by an inflamed pancreas that typically reduces pancreatin production. The most common signs of pancreatitis include abdominal discomfort and a high level of amylase or lipase in the blood. High alcohol consumption and gallstones are common causes of pancreatitis. The loss of the pancreas will generally require the patient to take pancreatin supplements regularly.