We’ll talk more about what enzymes and probiotics actually are, but first, we need to understand the digestive system. Did you know that the digestive system is roughly 30 feet long? But what is the digestive system made of, exactly, and how does it work? In actuality, the digestive process is complex, involving a series of organs and substances that aid in the breaking down of food and the absorption of nutrients.
Digestion is something we do effortlessly; in fact, we do it automatically – after we’ve chewed and swallowed our food, of course. Nonetheless, it is a fascinating and integral process in our metabolism, and digestive health is important to our overall well-being. Digestion is aided by numerous enzymes and probiotics, and Isotonix® offers several great products, such as our Digestive Health Kit or our Digestive Enzymes Formula with Probiotics, that are formulated to support a healthy digestive tract.
Functions of the Digestive System: How Does the Digestive System Work?
Digestion is the process by which your body turns the food you eat into nutrients that are used for energy, growth, and cell repair. It is one of the key metabolic processes, and involves a complex series of organs that move food through the digestive system so it can be broken down and absorbed by the body.
When food is digested, it must be broken down into smaller molecules so nutrients can be absorbed. The body breaks food down into four main types of molecules, depending on the composition of the food, which you may be familiar with as the sources of nutrition.
Carbohydrates: Sugars, starches, and fiber are all examples of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates, which have a simple chemical structure, can be found naturally in fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and as sugar that is added to food. Complex carbohydrates, which have a more complex chemical structure, are starches and fiber that may be found in starchy vegetables and whole-grain products.
Protein: Proteins are comprised of smaller molecules called amino acids, which the body absorbs through the digestion of meat, eggs, and beans.
Fats: Some fats are healthier than others, but fat molecules may help the body absorb vitamins, and can be a source of energy. Certain oils, such as olive oil or sunflower oil, are examples of healthy fats, whereas butter and greasy snack foods are less healthy fats.
Vitamins: Every vitamin has a different role in the body’s growth and health. Vitamins are classified by the fluid in which they dissolve: all the B vitamins and vitamin C are water-soluble, and vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble.
Understanding the Human Digestive System: the Digestive Process
Now that we understand the types of nutrients foods are converted into when they are digested, we can explore the way by which the body digests food: the digestive system organs.
The digestive tract, primarily known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, is the portion of the digestive system that physically moves food through your body and absorbs nutrients. It is aided in breaking down this food by the liver, gallbladder, and the pancreas.
The Human Digestive System.
The GI tract is comprised of various tube-like organs, including:
Esophagus: The esophagus connects your mouth to the GI tract; food passes down your throat, through this organ after you’ve chewed and swallowed.
Stomach: The stomach is a muscular organ that stores food, and mixes it with digestive juices and enzymes (which we’ll talk about shortly) that further aid in breaking it down.
Small Intestine: Food passes from stomach into the small intestine, where the majority of digestion and the absorption of nutrients takes place. Here, the small intestine mixes food with digestive juices from the pancreas and
liver. Nutrients pass from the walls of GI tract into the bloodstream so they can be delivered to the body.
Large Intestine: Whatever is left from digestion by the small intestine passes through the large intestine as waste. The large intestine absorbs any remaining water or nutrients, and excretes it as waste.
Digestion involves the movement of food through the GI tract, which, as you can gather, is a long process that requires the effort of several key organs. So, how does digestion work? The movement required to digest food is actually involuntary, which is how this process occurs without much conscious effort besides chewing – and deciding what you’re going to eat for lunch, of course!
The organs of the GI tract are hollow, and as we discussed in our guide on muscular health, hollow organs are lined with smooth muscle. The smooth muscle lining the esophagus, stomach, and intestines contracts to push food through the digestive system. This process of involuntary muscular contractions is known as peristalsis.
Along the way, digestive juices are used at each stage to break down food particles into smaller molecules. In addition to these juices, two other important substances are present in the digestive system: enzymes and probiotics.
What Are Digestive Enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are special proteins that help your body break down food. There are three basic food enzymes, each specifically targeting the digestion of a different kind of food molecule:
Protease, which helps digest proteins,
Amylase, which helps digest starch, and
Lipase, which helps digest fats.
In addition to these basic enzymes, there are four specialty food enzymes:
Lactase, for the sugar called “lactose”, which is found in dairy products,
Maltase, for the sugar called “maltose”,
Sucrase, for the sugar found in fruits, as well as the granulated sugar you put in your coffee, and
Cellulase, which helps us digest cellulose fibers.
Isotonix® Digestive Enzymes and the Isotonix Digestive Health Kit, which contains Digestive Enzymes, are formulated to help supplement these enzymes to promote digestion.*
What are Isotonix Digestive Enzymes?
There are between 400 and 500 different types of bacteria present in the digestive tract. Some of these bacteria, however, are healthy, and help support the body in maintaining proper digestive functions. The “good” bacteria help absorb vitamins and minerals, and contribute to the breaking down of fibers and undigested starch.
Isotonix produces the world’s most advanced nutraceuticals. Our dietary supplements are isotonic capable, meaning they are delivered into the body via an isotonic delivery system to making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient, while delivering maximum results.
Isotonic means “same pressure”, and refers to a solution that bears the same chemical resemblance as the body’s blood, plasma, and tears. All bodily fluids have a certain concentration, or osmotic pressure, and the body’s common osmotic pressure allows for a consistent maintenance of the body’s tissues.*
In order for a substance to be absorbed by the digestive tract, it must be transported in an isotonic state. Isotonix dietary supplements, when mixed with water, are already isotonic, which means the body has less work to do in obtaining maximum absorption.
Isotonix Digestive Enzymes Formula with Probiotics, that utilizes this advanced isotonic delivery system to provide you with essential nutrients that promote digestive health. Check out the video to learn more, and keep reading to further explore the benefits.
Certain Isotonix products contain essential vitamins, digestive enzymes, and probiotics that may help support the digestive tract, including:
Supporting a healthy digestive tract*
Helping to ease occasional upset stomach*
Providing beneficial bacteria to promote healthy digestion*
Promoting digestive comfort*
Promoting bowel regularity*
Promoting a healthy intestinal tract.*
The Isotonix® Digestive Health Kit
The Isotonix® Digestive Health Kit, which contains several products that work synergistically to support digestive health, and the Isotonix Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics, are formulated to provide an optimal blend of the enzymes and probiotics your body needs.* The Digestive Health Kit contains:
Ultimate Aloe Vero Juice for Digestive System
The whole leaf aloe vera Linne gel found in our Ultimate Aloe® contains nutrients that support healthy digestion. Linne gel is named after the scientist Carl von Linne, who categorized “aloe” as the genus of the plant, and “vera” as the species. Our aloe vera contains amylase and lipase, two of the basic food enzymes used in digestion.*
NutriClean® Probiotics contains 10 bacterial strains to help your body maintain bacterial balance and optimal digestive health. The bacteria in this product are probiotics, or “good” bacteria, as we discussed earlier, and may also help the body maintain healthy bacterial balance. Probiotics may help to counter the negative effects that processed foods may have on the bacterial balance in the gastrointestinal tract, which supports digestion.*
The probiotics included in this probiotic supplement are:
Lactobacillus plantarum: May help promote proper balance of bacteria, while preserving vital nutrients.*
Lactobacillus acidophilus: Helps maintain the proper balance of bacteria within the digestive tract and may help promote digestive functions.*
Lactobacillus rhamnosus: May helps maintain the integrity of the stomach lining and may help promote a healthy urinary tract system.*
Lactobacillus salivarius: Resides in the mouth and small intestine.*
Lactobacillus casei: Found in milk, cheese, and dairy, and aids in promoting optimal digestive health.*
Lactobacillus helveticus: May help to promote the normal digestion of lactose. *
Bifidobacterium bifidum: Present in the intestine and provides barrier protection.*
Bifidobacterium longum: Provides barrier protection.*
Bifidobacterium breve: Helps produce lactic and acetic acid in the digestive tract.*
Bifidobacterium infantis: Plays an important role in basic digestion and proper metabolism.*
The Isotonix® Digestive Health Kit also contains our Digestive Enzyme Formula with Probiotics, which is available separately in both bottle and packet form. As we’ve discussed, enzymes are important for the body’s proper absorption and utilization of food. The Digestive Enzymes Formula with Probiotics supplements the body’s own natural enzyme production, helping to maintain a healthy digestive tract and promote normal digestion.*
This Isotoninx Dogestive Enzyme contains five of the essential enzymes previously discussed, including:
Amylase, the enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of polysaccharides (carbohydrates), breaking them down into smaller molecules.*
Protease, the enzymes that break the bonds between amino acids in proteins.*
Lactase, the enzyme that helps digest the sugar lactose, found in dairy products, hydrolyzing it into galactose and glucose – the sugar molecules that comprise it.*
Lipase, the enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of lipids, or fats, into smaller molecules.*
Cellulase, the enzyme that breaks down cellulose, or plant sugar, into beta-glucose. Cellulase is not produced by the body.*
The “probiotics” component of Isotonix Digestive Enzyme Formula with Probiotics, is lactobacillus sporogenes, a lactic acid bacteria, which promotes normal digestion. This product also contains potassium, which supports the normal contraction of muscles, including the smooth muscle lining the organs of the GI tract, and magnesium.*
Activated B Complex
Certain B vitamins found in our Activated B Complex also support digestive health. Methylcobalamin, or vitamin B12, supports the maintenance of cells in the intestinal tract, and vitamins B1 (Thiamin HCl) and B3 (Niacinamide) support the digestive process and the proper functioning of the digestive system.*