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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics


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  • Enzymes Introduction
  • Functions of Enzymes
  • Lipase Enzyme Description
  • Lipase Enzyme Uses
  • Lipase Dosage Information
  • Lipase Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Lipase Enzyme Supplements & Products



    The late Dr. Edward Howell, a physician and pioneer in enzyme research, called enzymes the "sparks of life." These energized protein molecules play a necessary role in virtually all of the biochemical activities that go on in the body. They are essential for digesting food, for stimulating the brain, for providing cellular energy, and for repairing all tissues, organs, and cells. Life as we know it could not exist without the action of enzymes, even in the presence of sufficient amounts of vitamins, minerals, water, and other nutrients.

    In their primary role, enzymes are catalysts, the substances that accelerate and precipitate the hundreds of thousands of biochemical reactions in the body that control life's processes. If it were not for the catalytic action of enzymes, most of these reactions would take place far too slowly to sustain life. Enzymes are not consumed in the reactions they facilitate.

    Each enzyme has a specific function in the body that no other enzyme can fulfill. The chemical shape of each enzyme is specialized so that it can initiate a reaction only in a certain substance, or in a group of closely related chemical substances, and not in others. The substance on which an enzyme acts is called the substrate. Because there must be a different enzyme for every substrate, the body must produce a great number of different enzymes.



    Enzymes assist in practically all bodily functions. Digestive enzymes break down food particles for energy and for storage in the liver or muscles. This breakdown chemical reaction is called Hydrolysis, and it involves using water to break the chemical bonds to turn food into energy. This stored energy is later converted by other enzymes for use by the body when necessary and as required by the body. Iron is concentrated in the blood by the action of enzymes; other enzymes in the blood help the blood to coagulate in order to stop bleeding. Uricolytic enzymes catalyze the conversion of uric acid into urea. Respiratory enzymes facilitate the elimination of carbon dioxide from the lungs. Enzymes assist the kidneys, liver, colon, and skin in removing wastes and toxins from the body. Enzymes also utilize the nutrients ingested by the body to construct new muscle tissue, nerve cells, bone, skin, and glandular tissue. One enzyme can take dietary phosphorus and convert it into bone. Enzymes prompt the oxidation of glucose, which creates energy for the cells. Enzymes also protect the blood from dangerous waste materials by converting these substances to forms that are easily eliminated by the body. Indeed, the functions of enzymes are so many and so diverse that is would be impossible to name them all.

    Enzymes are often divided into two groups: Digestive Enzymes & Metabolic Enzymes.

    DIGESTIVE ENZYMES are secreted along the gastrointestinal tract and break down foods, enabling the nutrients to be absorbed into the blood stream for use in various bodily functions. There are three main categories of digestive enzymes: Amylase, Protease, and Lipase.
      AMYLASE ENZYMES: Amylase is found in saliva and in the pancreatic and intestinal juices and it breaks down carbohydrates. It begins to act as soon as you start chewing (this is why it is important to chew your food well). Different types of Amylase break down specific types of sugars. For example, Lactase breaks down lactose (milk sugar), maltase breaks down maltose (malt sugar), and sucrase breaks down sucrose (cane and beet sugar).

      PROTEASE ENZYMES: Protease is found in the stomach juices and also in the pancreatic and intestinal juices and it helps digest proteins.

      LIPASE ENZYMES: Lipase is found in the stomach and pancreatic juices, and also present in fats in foods, and aids in fat digestion.

    Another component of the digestive process is hydrochloric acid. While not technically an enzyme itself, it interacts with digestive enzymes as they perform their functions.

    METABOLIC ENZYMES are those enzymes that catalyze the various chemical reactions within the cells, such as energy production and detoxification. All of the body's organs, tissues, and cells are governed and activities run by the metabolic enzymes. They are the workers that build the body from proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Metabolic enzymes are found in the blood, organs, and tissues doing their specific work. Each body tissue has its own specific set of metabolic enzymes.

    Two particularly important metabolic enzymes are Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and its partner, Catalase. SOD is an antioxidant that protects the cells by attacking a common free radical, superoxide.

    Catalase breaks down hydrogen peroxide, a metabolic waste product, and liberates oxygen for the body to use.

    The body uses most of its enzyme-producing potential to produce about 2 dozen enzymes. These control the breakdown and utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to create the hundreds of metabolic enzymes necessary to maintain the rest of the tissues and organs in their functions.


    Enzymes can be found naturally in many different foods, both from plant and animal sources. Avocados, papaya, pineapples, bananas, and mangoes are all high in enzymes. Sprouts are the richest source. Unripe papaya and pineapple are excellent sources of enzymes. The enzymes extracted from papaya and pineapple are Papain and Bromelain, respectively, and are Proteolytic Enzymes, which break down proteins.

    Many fat-containing foods also supply Lipase, which breaks down fats. In fact, fat in food exposed only to Pancreatic Lipase (the Lipase produced by the body) in the intestines is not as well digested as fat that is first worked on by the stomach by Food Lipase. Pancreatic Lipase digests fat in a highly alkaline environment (the intestines), whereas Lipase found in food fats works in a more acidic environment (the stomach). The optimal extraction of nutrients from fats depends on the work of different fat-digesting enzymes in successive stages.

    Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) comes in several different forms, including Lysine HCl and Betaine HCl. Betaine HCl is derived from sugar beets. When new, HCl capsules and tablets are almost white in color, but sometimes they can turn a deep purple when they age. Supplemental HCl is not sold in powder or liquid form because contact with the teeth can damage tooth enamel. HCl has a sulfur-like odor. Betaine HCl is often combined with Pepsin to aid in stomach function.

    Superoxide Dismutase occurs naturally in a variety of food sources, including barley grass, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, wheatgrass, and most green plants.

    As powerful as they are, enzymes cannot act alone. They require adequate amounts of other substances, known as coenzymes, to be fully active. Among the most important coenzymes are the B-Complex Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Zinc.


    While the body manufactures a supply of enzymes, it can also obtain enzymes from food. In fact, the body's ability to manufacture enzymes is being seriously taxed by our diet of processed and highly cooked food. Unfortunately, enzymes are extremely sensitive to heat. Even low to moderate heat (118°F or above) destroys most enzymes in food. To obtain enzymes from the diet, one must eat raw foods. Eating raw foods or, alternatively, taking enzyme supplements, helps prevent the depletion of the body's own enzymes and thus reduce the stress on the body.

    Anyone who has a malabsorption problem, a yeast infection (candidiasis), or is over age 60 and whose digestive process seems to be stalling out, resulting in unpleasant symptoms should take enzyme supplements. Ingredients should include Pancreatin, Lipase, Amylase, and Protease. This combination ensures digestion and absorption of amino acids, fat-soluble nutrients, and carbohydrates. Bromelain, derived from pineapple stems, along with Papain, derived from the papaya fruit, also are welcome. Specific problems can be addressed by the addition of specific enzymes. For instance, people who have trouble with dairy sugars should consider Lactase; people who cannot digest legumes might try Legumase. Hydrochloric Acid supplements also might be necessary in the form of Betaine Hydrochloride taken as capsules at the start of each meal.

    The majority of commercially available enzymes are digestive enzymes extracted from various sources. Enzymes are not manufactured synthetically. Most commercial enzyme products are made from animal enzymes, such as pancreatin and pepsin, which help in the digestion of food once it has reached the lower stomach and the intestinal tract. Some companies make their supplements from enzymes extracted from aspergillus, a type of fungus.

    These enzymes begin their pre-digestive work in the upper stomach. All of these products are used primarily to aid the digestion of foods and absorption of nutrients especially protein. If proteins are not completely digested, undigested protein particles may make their way into the bloodstream through the intestinal wall with other nutrients. This phenomenon is known as leaky gut syndrome, and it can result in allergic reactions that may be more or less severe, depending upon the strength of the immune system. This is one reason why the proper digestion of proteins is so important.

    Any enzyme that acts on protein and prepares it for absorption is called a proteolytic enzyme. Proteolytic enzymes available in supplement form include pepsin, trypsin, rennin, pancreatin, chymotrypsin, bromelain, and papain. In addition to aiding digestion, proteolytic enzymes have been shown to be beneficial as anti-inflammatory agents. Pancreatin, derived from secretions of animal pancreas, is a focus of cancer research, because people with cancer are often deficient in this enzyme. Pancreatin is used in the treatment of digestive problems, viral infections, and sports injuries, as well as pancreatic insufficiency, food allergies, cystic fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, and other chronic illnesses.

    Also available in supplement form are the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase.The following table lists some common enzymes and their substrates (the substance acted upon).





    Proteins, Adhesions, Fibrin
    Lactose (Milk, Sugar)
    Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates
    Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates













    Enzyme supplements may not be for everyone. During pregnancy, it is a rule to be careful with supplements in general. Nursing mothers also should be careful about supplements, to avoid affecting their milk. If you are pregnant or nursing, contact your midwife or health care provider before taking any supplement, formula, or medication of any kind.

    People who have hemophilia or who take anticoagulants (blood thinners) should consult with their health care providers before taking large amounts of enzymes. Anyone contemplating surgery where there is high risk of bleeding should as his or her physician for advice before taking any supplement.



    Lipase is a fat-digesting enzyme. Lipase is a digestive enzyme that helps the body absorb and digest nutrients in the intestines. It breaks down lipids (fats), particularly triglycerides, which are fatty substances in the body that come from fat in the diet. Lipase is produced mainly in the pancreas, but the mouth and stomach manufacture small amounts as well. This enzyme helps the pancreas secrete insulin and glucagon, which are hormones that help the body break down sugar in the bloodstream.



    Anyone can take Lipase supplements for the benefits of healthy digestion and keeping nutrient levels balanced throughout the body. Specifically though, this enzyme can help treat Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and indigestion, and while there is no hard scientific evidence, health care providers prescribe Lipase supplements to treat food allergies, symptoms of cystic fibrosis, and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.


    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Crohn's Disease
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Celiac Disease
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Indigestion
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Ulcerative Colitis
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Arthritis - Rhematoid
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Lupus



    The standard dose for adults is 1 to 2 capsules of 6,000 LU (Lipase Activity Units) 3 times per day.
    For children, it is best to speak with your pediatrician to determine the appropriate amount for the treatment of their condition.



    A Lipase deficiency means the enzyme levels are too low to break down dietary fats, which can result in a condition known as steatorrhea.

    Taken in the recommended doses, Lipase does not cause any side effects.

    Lipase should not be taken with betaine HCI or hydrochloric acid because they destroy enzymes, unless the enzymes are enteric-coated to protect against destruction by stomach acid.


  • Lipase Enzyme Supplement Products


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    Amazon: Lipase Enzyme Supplement Products
    Amazon: Lipase Concentrate-HP, Integrative Therapeutics, 90 VCaps
    Amazon: Lypo Gold With Lipase Enzymes, Enzymedica, 120 Caps
    Amazon: Lipase #5, Ness Enzymes, 90 Caps
    Amazon: Lipase Formula, R-Garden Inc, 180 Caps.

  • Nutrition Basics: Lipase Enzyme Information

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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
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