[Review] Digestive Enzymes: How to choose?

The old saying, “you are what you eat” isn’t exactly correct. The reality is, you are what you digest. Eating health foods means little if you can’t effectively absorb their vitamins and nutrients. That’s where digestive enzymes come in, and they play a crucial role in making sure that you’re getting those nutrients.

They’re necessary for breaking down large molecules from the food you eat into smaller particles that can more easily flow into your system. More specifically, they help you digest the carbohydrates, fats and proteins that you need to survive.

After research began revealing just how integral digestive enzymes are to our bodies, enzyme supplements began shooting up in popularity. They now fill whole sections on grocery store shelves, and popular doctor shows are raving about their whole-body effects.

Do I Really Need A Digestive Enzyme Aid?

We know that naturally produced digestive enzymes are crucial, but we decided to research whether a supplement is actually necessary, or if simple diet changes are enough to get the job done.

We found that the depleting nutrient supply in our modern diets means that we need to squeeze the most nourishment that we can out of our food. Additionally, as we age, we produce less digestive enzymes on our own. We found that supplementing with the right digestive enzyme product can not only improve digestion, but help prevent future health issues.

Research has only just begun connecting our gut health to other functions in our body, and starting with an enzyme supplement could be the way to whole-body health.

digestive enzymes

You May Benefit From A Digestive Enzyme Aid If You Have:

  •  Constipation, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, and bloating
  •  An age-related enzyme insufficiency
  •  Low stomach acid
  •  Air, soil, and water pollution in your city
  •  Drinking water treated with fluoride

As you can see, most of us could probably benefit from a digestive enzyme supplement. But digestive enzymes are confusing, and it’s difficult to get a clear answer about what types of enzymes we need, the ideal serving sizes, and which formulas are most effective. There are multiple layers of complexity to consider when purchasing a digestive enzyme.

We weren’t surprised when many of our Shoppers reported regretting their first digestive enzyme purchase. With that in mind, we filtered through the clutter to find the top mistakes first-time digestive enzyme buyers make.

You May Be Buying The Wrong Digestive Enzyme If:

The label lists dangerous fillers, including:

    • Magnesium stearate
    • Maltodextrin
    • Silicon dioxide
    • Artificial colors and flavors

 Your supplement lacks potency or isn’t full-spectrum

    • Many lower-priced digestive enzyme supplements don’t contain the potency necessary for real results. Some shoppers had to buy multiple supplements to get the ingredients they needed. Either way, this will hurt your wallet.

The Right Digestive Enzyme Supplement Has:

  • Plant-based enzymes. Unlike their animal-based counterparts, these enzymes target guts with both low and moderate acidity. They also help relieve stress on your small intestine, making them generally more effective than animal-based enzymes.
  • Probiotics. More specifically, Saccharomyces boulardii, a yeast that’s crucial for dairy digestion. In the long term, it can help balance your gut.
  • Doctor-formulation. It takes expertise to form an digestive enzyme. Look for real doctors specializing in gut health backing the supplement.
  • A good guarantee. Invest in a digestive enzyme that offers a 100% money-back guarantee that shows the company’s faith in its product.

When it comes to the enzymes themselves, make sure to choose a formula that includes the most clinically proven choices. We scoured through studies to find the top enzymes for effective digestion.

–> Read our review: Which Are The Most Effective Probiotic Supplements?

Look For These Enzymes In a Full-Spectrum Blend:

  • Protease: Proteases break down proteins into smaller polypeptides or single amino acids for nutritional absorption and optimal digestion.
  • Amylase: Amylase breaks the starch, sugar and fiber found in grains, fruits and vegetables down into smaller molecules.
  • Lipase: Lipase breaks down fats like butter, cheese, olive and fish oils into fatty acids and glycerol. Look for at least 2,000 FIPs.
  • Cellulase: Cellulase helps us digest fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, humans can’t produce it naturally, so we need supplements or fermented foods.
  • Bromelain: Sourced from pineapples, this proteolytic enzyme helps you digest proteins found in meats, nuts, cheese and grains.
  • Papain: Another crucial proteolytic enzyme for protein digestion, papain is sourced from papaya. Look for at least 800,000 PUs of papain per serving.

With these guidelines in mind, we scoured the market for the best enzyme supplements available today.

Top 5 Digestive Enzyme Supplements


enzyme MD


  • 18 plant-based enzymes
  • Probiotic strain Saccharomyces boulardii
  • Doctor-formulated
  • 100% natural, vegan formula
  • 90-day 100% money-back return policy
  • Made in the USA


  • Due to popular demand, frequently out of stock
The Bottom Line

We chose EnzymeMDTM by 1MD because it’s the only supplement that meets our criteria. 

Its doctor-formulated blend includes 18 plant-based enzymes that naturally help break down nutrients. We also confirmed that it contains the probiotic strain Saccharomyces boulardii to help boost digestion over the long term. The formula is free of glutendairy, and dangerous additives. It’s also non-GMO.

1MD’s return policy was also more generous than others we reviewed, and their customer service department was knowledgeable and easy to reach. They confirmed that their product is made in the USA and 100% vegan. We not only felt comfortable with their ingredients and potency, but we also loved that the brand is devoted to educating the public about their health. With all this in mind, we decided to put EnzymeMDTM by 1MD at the top of our list.



  • Contains a high concentration of Protease
  • Strong 365-day return policy
  • 100% Vegan, organic
  • Made in the USA


  • Not formulated by a gastroenterologist
The Bottom Line

LiveWell’s DigestWell was the obvious pick for our #2 because it contains 10 broad spectrum, plant-based digestive enzymes that have each been shown to help you absorb key nutrients and improve your digestion.

The addition of the clinically studied probiotic DE111® and powerful botanicals, ginger, fennel, and peppermint, all clinically proven to aid in digestion, also bring quick relief to the uncomfortable symptoms related to indigestion. Many customers said they saw quicker results after increasing their daily dosage by 2 to 3 capsules.

We also found that LiveWell recently opened an Amazon store where you can buy this digestive enzyme supplement for a discounted price. It does, however, appear to be a new listing, explaining the lack of reviews.

–> Learn more and buy products HERE

digest gold


  • Many positive customer reviews
  • Potent enzymes
  • Free of fillers and additives


    • No probiotic strains
    • Short return policy
The Bottom Line

While Digest Gold by Enzymedica gets rave customer reviews, we were wary of putting it anywhere above our #3 spot. This was mainly due to their extremely limited return policy. This makes us worried that they don’t have as much faith in their product as they claim. On the bright side, the product does contain a potent serving of enzymes, however, there are no probiotic strains listed on the nutrient label. All in all, while Digest Gold is a strong contender, we couldn’t put it higher than #3 on our list.

–> Learn more and buy products HERE

maximum strength digestive enzyme


  • Potent serving size
  • Made in the USA


  • Contains maltodextrin
  • No probiotics
  • Some negative customer reviews
The Bottom Line

Instant Digest’s Maximum Strength Digestive Enzyme comes in at #4 on our list. While it clearly listed its ingredients on its label, we were concerned to see that it included one filler: maltodextrin. Additionally, we noticed some negative customer reviews. We wanted to keep it on our list based on the fact that it’s one of the few digestive enzymes made in the USA, and it’s covered under the Amazon Guarantee and Worry Free Return Policy. With that in mind, we put Instant Digest at #4.

–> Learn more and buy products HERE

super enzymes


  • Great customer reviews


    • Contains magnesium stearate and other dangerous fillers
    • Non-vegetarian capsule
    • Unclear return policy
The Bottom Line

We weren’t sure abut putting Super Enzymes by Now on our list, but we felt compelled to based on rave customer reviews.  Unfortunately, this supplement does contain dangerous fillers, including magnesium stearate. Super Enzymes doesn’t appear to be vegetarian, which can definitely be a drawback. It also doesn’t offer a very high potency of enzyme, and the label doesn’t list any probiotic strains at all. We also had a hard time finding their return policy, and when we did, it wasn’t very clear. That said, we didn’t want to put Super Enzymes any higher on our list than #5.

–> Learn more and buy products HERE


Originally posted 2019-09-10 09:21:19.

About Amy

Yogi is a passionate advocate for liver health and an esteemed expert in the field of fatty liver disease. With years of experience working in clinical settings and a deep understanding of the complexities of liver-related conditions, she brings a compassionate and evidence-based approach to her work. Her expertise lies in providing practical advice, educational resources, and empowering individuals with the knowledge to take control of their liver health.

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