Naturally occurring in the body, enzymes help break down nutrients in the food we eat so that the body may utilize and absorb them. While most people have no trouble digesting food, a small percentage of the population has been shown to need extra support. Children, in particular, may be in need of digestive enzyme supplementation since poor eating habits, undiagnosed food sensitivities, and chronic stress has a significant impact on nutrient absorption.

How do digestive enzymes work?

Digestive enzymes work to speed up life-preserving chemical reactions within the body. In other words, they help to break down larger molecules (like food) into particles that can be more easily absorbed by the body. Although humans naturally produce different forms of enzymes in the digestive process, we lack digestive enzymes to break down compounds from plant cell walls. These compounds, also known as "fiber" is not digestible and cannot be absorbed.

How do I know if my child needs a digestive enzyme?

Symptoms like frequent gas and bloating, feeling full after just a few bites of food, and diarrhea may be signs that your child needs supplementary enzymes. We recommend having your child tested for food sensitivities by a reputable naturopath or nutritionist. If you are unable to find or afford testing, a food elimination diet can be easily performed at home under the guidance of your pediatrician. Further symptoms including colic and eczema may also be signs that your child needs additional support. We recommend paying careful attention to your child’s demeanor before and after he consumes food.

What are some common signs your child may need a digestive enzyme?

No one knows your child better than you do. If you notice that your child is suffering from eczema, skin rashes, headaches, gas or bloating after meals, joint pain, depressed mood and/or chronic anxiety, they may be in need of digestive enzymes.

Benefits of digestive enzymes

While scientific research continues, many believe that the addition of an enzyme supplement may have the power to replace gluten-free and allergy-free diets. While we don’t recommend implementing drastic dietary changes without pediatric supervision, do keep in mind that foods like eggs, dairy, and wheat are common culprits when it comes to food sensitivities in children. Digestive enzymes have also been shown to improve mood and reduce the symptoms of allergies, including those from external, non-food sources.

For those with food intolerances and some autoimmune disorders, supplemental enzymes may bring welcomed relief. Since kids tend to have picky eating habits, digestive enzymes might just be the ticket to fewer stomach aches and digestive discomforts. If you believe you or your child may benefit from taking a digestive enzyme, check out our large selection