Throw Away Your Digestive Enzyme Supplements.

The Truth About Digestive Enzymes

If you are taking digestive enzymes, you may have noticed two things: first, you digest way better when taking them and second, you begin to realize that you are becoming dependent on them.

You may think, “Am I going to need to take digestive enzymes for the rest of my life?”

Contrary to what you might have heard, the answer is no.

After 28 years of practice, it still amazes me how many people are taking digestive enzymes. We are told by an arsenal of pundits that the ability to make enzymes decreases with age and that we must all take digestive enzymes in order to digest our food properly.

I am a firm believer that we can all have the digestive strength of an 18-year-old, even as we age, without the help of pills or powders.

If your digestion is dependent on digestive enzymes, please join me as I share with you some digestive reset strategies.

Cleansing Casualties

A few years ago, I was honored to lecture with one of the most brilliant natural medicine doctors of our time, Bernard Jensen. He was in his 90s, and after writing 50 books, developing iridology and numerous colon cleansing therapies, I was shocked to find out that he was taking 17 digestive enzymes with every meal.

I had so much respect for this man; I just could not believe he was on digestive enzymes—let alone 17 with each meal. Interestingly, he had developed the first bentonite clay intestinal cleanse (which I did when I was 18) and the Colema Board, a slant board enema system.

When I heard he was on so many enzymes, I immediately thought of the hundreds of patients I have seen over the years that I’ve called “cleansing casualties”—folks who have cleansed themselves into having a digestive system that only works if they keep cleansing it.

It became painfully obvious in my practice that you can cleanse out the gut and feel great for a spell, but getting the gut to function on its own long after such a cleanse was the real test.

I was also struck by the antithetical approach Ayurveda uses to clean the colon. Rather than hosing the gut down with water, which can dry it out, Ayurveda suggests soaking the gut in herbalized oils that have a soothing and lubricating effect.

I also notices that Dr. Jensen’s belly was largely distended and bloated—a telltale sign that the villi inside the gut, and the lymph directly outside the gut, were congested and inflamed.

How Can Cleansing Your Colon Turn Off Digestive Strength?

The intestinal wall is dependent on a very delicate balance of not being too wet or too dry. We have all experienced dry skin after a shower. In the same way that water can dry out the outer skin, water enemas may slowly dry out the villi, forcing them to become dry or produce reactive mucus. As a result, your stools may become constipated, loose or both.

This intestinal irritation will congest the villi and force toxins through a default route back to the liver for a second chance to detoxify.

The toxins build up and slowly congest the liver. Thick bile slowly congests the gallbladder and bile ducts. Bile flow from the liver to the gallbladder to the intestines may become blocked.

Just before the bile duct reaches the small intestine, it joins with the pancreatic duct. Thick bile will block bile flow, as well as the flow of pancreatic (digestive) enzymes. Bile helps break down fat, scrubs the villi, escorts toxins out and much more. The pancreas produces those famous digestive enzymes. In one study, 46 percent of patients who had pancreatitis had thick or viscous bile, indicating that thick bile will affect the function of the pancreas.

Digestive Enzyme Summary

1.    Irritated intestinal villi: too dry or too loose.
2.    Toxins drain from the gut to the liver.
3.    The bile in the liver becomes congested.
4.    The bile becomes too thick to flow through the bile ducts.
5.    The gallbladder becomes congested.
6.    The thick bile congests the bile duct and pancreatic duct.
7.    Digestive enzymes cannot pass with the bile into the small intestine.

Alternatives to Digestive Enzymes

Now that you understand why we are lacking in these enzymes, you may ask, why not just decongest the bile and pancreatic ducts and improve the bile flow?

My sentiments exactly! Here’s how:

Step 1: Eat more raw beets and leafy greens. Greens should make up 2/3 of your plate. The cellulose in greens will attach to the toxic bile and escort it to the toilet like a non-stop flight!

Step 2: Drink fenugreek tea. It acts a decongestant for the bile ducts and helps support normal bile flow.

Step 3: Have cinnamon with every meal. Cinnamon supports healthy blood sugar while supporting health bile flow.

Step 4: Mix 1-2 tbsp of olive oil with 1-2 tsp of lemon juice. Shake and drink every morning or night on an empty stomach for one month. This will exercise the liver and gallbladder while supporting healthy bile flow in the bile and pancreatic ducts.

Step 5: Drink a big glass of water 15-20 minutes before each meal. This will super-hydrate your stomach, encouraging it to produce more hydrochloric acid and increasing the flow of bile and pancreatic enzymes.

Step 6: Consider regular detoxification of the liver and fat cells, which store toxins that are processed through the liver. Regularly cleansing these is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to optimal digestion.


Editor: Brianna Bemel


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David Kynaston Apr 7, 2016 2:10am

I find supplementation a must as someone living without a gall bladder. Try living without one and then tell us how it is we are better off not supplementing. Eating enough of all these liver support foods is simply out of the question for me. I suffer constipation (not diarrhea) and as a result ended up with an anal fissure. These are but just a few of the complex side effects to living life without a gall bladder. I know for a FACT that for myself and my own experiences, that supplementation makes me a lot healthier than no supplementation. It's not as straight forward as this presentation suggests when you factor in people who have NO gall bladder.
If you don't have a gall bladder and live without supplementation – then please do share.

Katie Apr 1, 2016 12:23pm

Awesome article. I’ve been struggling with digestive problems for about a year now, it all started when I went Paleo to address supposed food allergy symptoms. The lack of yogurt had a huge effect, and probiotic supplements are now a regular thing for me. However there still seems to be more to it. I took defective enzymes for about 3 months because my stomach acid was at a pH level of 10. :/ So those pills helped that very much and I haven’t needed to revisit them since I finished. I’m a firm believer in trying to let your body regulate itself as much as possible, and just generally having good eating habits: whole, unprocessed foods, etc. I think I may still have some damage control to do in terms of getting my tract back up to snuff. I am drinking a liver support tea, but I’m going to add these tips and see how my tummy fares.

Digestive problems seem to be popping up a lot in health discussions lately. It’s great because the digestive system is one of the most integral systems in maintaining overall health, and it’s also highly susceptible to your daily habits, and it’s bacteria can be altered from bad eating habits, to keep your body craving unhealthy foods. That blew me away when I learned that. Be kind to your body! This also means don’t get too Gung ho about interfering. 😛

william scales Dec 26, 2015 3:38am

I have been diagosed the on set of cancer in the blood , commonly called miloma , this is protin being produced in the bone marrow and thrown into the blood steam , but all of the symtoms of emzyme problems i have had for the last 2 years , ie cramps bloating runny stools wind , i have had scans cameras down my throat to my stomach and the other end and yet they have told me they cannot find the problem , yet 3months ago i was hit with this bad news , looking through all the items on emzyms deficiency seem to point to all my problems for the last 2 years ,i am having no treatment as yet from the heamatolagist, any advise on how to reverse my bad gut and how to stop the bone marrow producing protine into my blood .

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Dr. John Douillard

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com, the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web with over 7 million views on YouTube. LifeSpa is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world with over 1000 articles and videos proving ancient wisdom backed by modern science. Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development and nutrition advisor for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of 7 health books, a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and featured in USA Today, LA Times, and dozens of other national publications. He has been in practice for over 30 years and has seen over 100,000 patients. —————————————————————————————————–
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