1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2017 »
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Digestive Enzymes: An Unexpected Diabetes Game Changer

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by Winnie53, May 20, 2016.

  1. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    1,708
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Digestive Enzymes: An Unexpected Diabetes Game Changer

    I crossed over into type 2 diabetes in 2005.

    In early 2015, I thought I had a urinary tract infection. I didn’t. The next day, my doctor’s office informed me that my non-fasting blood glucose was 282 mg/dL, my A1c 9.9%, and that I needed to start taking metformin and a statin immediately. With my doctor’s support, I chose to try diet and walking again, then have the lab work repeated in six weeks.

    With the help of a lot of books beginning with Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, 4th edition, and many on the Low-carb Diet Forum at http://www.diabetes.co.uk, all of my lab work is now within or just above the normal range, except my fasting and post meal blood glucose levels. A1c at last check was 5.4%. Fasting glucose is typically in the 110 – 115 mg/dL range, 2-hour post meal levels are typically 10 – 30 mg/dL higher, lipid panel is the best it's been in my entire adult life.

    Despite following the low carb ketogenic diet, taking lots of thoughtfully chosen supplements, and walking regularly for the last 15 months, my blood glucose levels haven’t changed much beyond what they were within a month of beginning the low carb diet. That is, until recently.

    I’d just finished reading Dr. Richard Maurer’s book, The Blood Code (2014) - (which is excellent, a must read for all type 2 diabetics) - and decided to increase my intake of Alpha Lipoic Acid from 200 mg to 400 mg a day. At about the same time, I ran out of my whole foods B-complex, available only online, so I bought a different B-complex locally that also includes a variety of organic fruits and vegetables, enzymes, and probiotics.

    When my fasting blood glucose dropped into the 90’s (mg/dL), I didn’t think much about it as this occasionally happens. But one morning, after testing, I looked at my monitor, and it said 85 mg/dL. Stunned, I showed my husband.

    In the days that followed, blood glucose, both fasting and post meal levels, dropped by 10 – 20 mg/dL. I couldn’t believe it. Told everyone it was the Alpha Lipoic Acid. What a difference the 200 mg increase had made!

    When I finished the B-complex, I switched back to the one I’ve taken for more than a year now, and my blood glucose levels began going back up. I was stumped. I kept asking myself, what else had changed? I was missing something.

    Then I realized it had to be the B-complex. I went out, bought another bottle, and started taking it again. Blood glucose levels dropped almost immediately.

    The new B-complex contains lipase, protease, aspergillopepsin, beta-glucanase, bromelain, phytase, lactase, papain, peptidase, pectinase, xylanase, hemicellulase, [lactobacillus bulgaricus, lactobacillus plantarum] (500 million CFU), saccharomyces ceraviciae

    organic apple (fruit), beet (root), broccoli (stalk and flower), carrot (root), spinach (leaf), tomato (fruit), strawberry (fruit), tart cherry (fruit), blackberry (fruit), green bell pepper (fruit), brussels sprout (leaf), blueberry (fruit), ginger (root), garlic (bulb), green onion (bulb), raspberry (fruit), parsley (leaf), cauliflower (flower and stem), red cabbage (leaf), kale (leaf), cucumber (gourd), celery (stalk), asparagus (flower and stem)

    I’ve taken a B-complex most of my adult life. I eat some of the fruits and most of the vegetables listed, though usually not raw, and I’d taken a probiotic for almost a year, so it had to be the enzymes. Today, I began looking for more information and came across this article – (http://www.livestrong.com/article/423609-digestive-enzymes-for-diabetes/)…

    Digestive Enzymes for Diabetes
    Last Updated: Nov 03, 2015 | By Brindusa Vanta

    Digestive enzymes are important for a variety of functions of your body and are best known for their role in breaking down the foods in nutrients that can be easily absorbed in the bloodstream and further used by your body. Digestive enzymes in supplement form can be used by diabetics to help improve the digestion and proper absorption and utilization of nutrients. Before taking any supplements, including digestive enzymes you should first consult your health care provider.

    About Digestive Enzymes

    There are three key digestive enzymes. Protease, found in the juices of the stomach, pancreas and intestine help break down the proteins from the food you eat. Lipase, also found in the stomach and pancreas help break down the fats. Amylase from saliva, pancreatic and stomach juices help digest the sugars or carbohydrates.

    Digestive Enzymes for Diabetics

    Diabetes does not only cause impairment in the metabolism of sugars but is also associated with abnormal metabolism of fats and proteins. Therefore all three key enzymes — lipase, protease and amylase — are important in managing diabetes because they will help digest all three groups of nutrients: proteins, fats and sugars.

    Enzyme Therapy for Diabetes and Its Complications

    In addition to a multivitamin and multi-mineral formula, supplementation with digestive enzymes is recommended by the author of “The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy” for managing both type 1 and 2 diabetes. These enzymes will help improve digestion, as well as break down the fats, proteins and sugars. In addition, digestive enzymes may improve circulation, which is often poor in diabetics, boost the immune system, decrease inflammation, help the transportation of nutrients throughout the body, eliminate waste products and enhance overall wellness. Digestive enzymes may be also useful for gastroparesis a complication of diabetes. Gastroparesis is a complication of diabetes characterized by symptoms like heartburn, belching, bloating, nausea and changes in bowel movement pattern. Digestive enzymes, particularly protease may help prevent kidney complications of diabetes, and all enzymes may help prevent nerve damage caused by this condition, based on research conducted to date, indicates Cickohe.
    Supplements like probiotics, aged garlic extract, L-carnitine, L-glutamine and Coenzyme CoQ10 may enhance the absorption of digestive enzymes and therefore should be also taken by diabetics, according to “The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy.”


    Considerations

    Consult a qualified health care professional to find out the optimal dosage to help improve your condition. A healthy diet and daily exercise are also important for a diabetic. Keep in mind that digestive enzymes do not replace, and should not be used to replace, any anti-diabetes drugs.

    I next went to http://diabetes.co.uk to do a search on “enzymes” and found an exchange between @Indy51 and I in which she'd shared that digestive enzymes had helped her. Sheesh…wish I’d tried this a lot sooner. Thanks Indy!

    I don't know if this is a permanent change or not. I hope so. Will keep you all posted.

    I should add here that in addition to having severe insulin resistance, I also was formally diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in 2000 - (though I've only had two flares, one in 1999/2000, the other in 2015; I've been back in remission since December 2015; I've used the Specific Carbohydrate Diet since 2000, the LCHF diet since 2015, and a soil based probiotic since 2015) - and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity in 2011 - (though I do not have the either gene for Celiac, 95% of people with celiac disease have the HLA-DQ2 gene and most of the remaining 5% have the HLA-DQ8 gene).

    Also, I live in the US, so it's possible my gut and microbiome have been damaged by Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals. I stopped eating wheat, barley, and rye in 2011, but didn't stop eating all grains until last year. Additionally, I didn't stop eating GMO foods, and non-organic foods until last year.

    I'm going to speculate that I'm responding well to digestive enzymes because my gut and microbiome have been damaged by the foods I've eaten in the past. Don't know. All I know is that these enzymes are working for me.
     
    • Informative Informative x 6
    • Like Like x 4
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    #1 Winnie53, May 20, 2016 at 7:49 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2016
  2. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,064
    Likes Received:
    26,898
    Trophy Points:
    278
    Ha! I was all ready to tag Indy51 for this, but you got there first. :D

    I am delighted you have discovered this works for you... Am fascinated.

    I had a great friend, years ago, who swore by digestive enzymes (she was not D, but had complex health issues vaguely labelled MS because they could find no better diagnosis).
     
  3. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,976
    Likes Received:
    5,312
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Glad you've found something that works so well for you, @Winnie53 - hope it keeps on working :)

    Can you tell us the name of the new B complex?

    There is a great talk by Kiran Krishnan on the Rebel Health Tribe site that covers all things enzymes - lots of fascinating information. You can sign up as a free member and get access to his entire (9 episodes so far) Microbiome series and the enzyme interview is part of that. His K2 interview is also really worth watching. I think you'll find the whole series worthwhile viewing ;)
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Useful Useful x 1
  4. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    1,708
    Trophy Points:
    178
    @Indy51 that sounds interesting. I often watch at least one summit a month. Right now I'm midway through watching the Cancer Prevention Summit, May 16 - 23, 2016, hosted by Razi, founder of Naturopathic Doctor News and Review. It's a good one. Members of my group are becoming increasingly curious about the microbiome. I am too. Will check it out. Thank you.

    The supplement is Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B-Complex. I've heard the founder of this company interviewed twice, but haven't read his books, and can't speak to the quality of their products, so my post is not intended as an endorsement. All that said, I do like organic, whole food supplements, and that's what they sell. Thanks to their B-complex, I've made a big stride forward in my health. For this I'm grateful.

    @Brunneria thanks for the well wishes and the report of your friend's positive experience with digestive enzymes. With Indy's report, that makes two. Hoping to hear other's experiences too. I think for some with diabetes, there's more than one issue driving the problem. I believe I'm one of those people.

    Here's my last four blood glucose readings...

    Thursday, 10:33 p.m. 101 mg/dL (pre-sleep)
    Friday, 10:12 a.m. 87 mg/dL (fasting)
    Friday 2 p.m. 106 mg/dL (post breakfast)
    Friday 4 p.m. 94 mg/dL (post lunch)

    As you can see, I try to give myself 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. I've never had numbers this consistently low before. I hope it continues...

    Lisa
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Contralto

    Contralto Other · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    4,891
    Trophy Points:
    198
    This is really interesting. I take something called Wholezymes from WHole Foods. Haven't noticed much of a difference except better in the gastro department. I take Pure B complex with methylfolate instead of folic acid. Some of the ingredients in your complex have devastating effects on me so I'm not going to ask the brand. Additional biotin and B12 as per needs.

    I will now look into the protease, thanks for that recommendation

     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    1,708
    Trophy Points:
    178
    @Galja The enzymes listed in your Wholezymes is similar to what I'm taking, though the B-complex I'm taking with whole food vegetables and fruits, enzymes and probiotics doesn't have amylase or cellulose.

    Also the B-complex I'm taking has a few things not listed in your Wholezymes supplement: aspergillopepsin, beta-glucanase, phytase, peptidase, pectinase, and zylanase.

    I found these posts from 2011 interesting... https://www.diabetesdaily.com/forum/food-diet/52677-role-digestive-enzymes/ NewdestinyX's and Dolby's posts mentioned improvement in their blood glucose levels.

    Oh, this is interesting. According to John Douillard, amylase may be a problem...

    If you do take a digestive enzyme formula, please check the ingredients and make sure it doesn’t contain enzymes for digestion commonly listed as Amylases. The bad news is that most of them do. In fact, they play a leading role in most digestive enzyme formulas.

    Amylases are enzymes produced in the pancreas that are secreted into the small intestine to help break down dietary starches and sugar. Taking extra of these amylases can increase the speed with which the body breaks down carbohydrates, which can cause excess and rapidly-absorbing glucose into the bloodstream. This can cause dangerously high after meal blood sugar spikes and high blood sugar (1). So Beware! These are dangerous enzymes for digestion.


    Read the entire article here... http://lifespa.com/digestive-enzymes-might-be-spiking-your-blood-sugar/
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Contralto

    Contralto Other · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    4,891
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Thanks for this. I take the Wholezymes after breakfast with my first Metformin of the day. I read the article and it says something I naturally do :

    Eat more beets, radishes, fennel, fenugreek, leafy greens and small amounts of cinnamon to thin your bile.
    I don't know what thinning my bile means but I certainly eat all that stuff in large quantities cause it works for me.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    #7 Contralto, Jun 5, 2016 at 4:49 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2016
  8. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    1,708
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Oh that's interesting @Galja Dr. Mercola features both fennel and fenugreek on his website. I've never had either. This recipe included in the fennel article is so tempting... http://foodfacts.mercola.com/fennel.html I see it in the grocery store. I need to try it.

    I periodically come across references to the role of bile when reading about alternative cancer treatments, so while I don't know anything about it either, it's important, likely both for digestion and detoxification processes, but I really don't remember.

    It's nice to know that others here are also taking digestive enzymes. I'm curious as to whether or not it will continue to be helpful for me. Hope so.

    After thinking more about the "problem" with the enzyme amylase, I'm not sure that digesting carbohydrates more efficiently is a problem for those of us who eat low carb. :)
     
  9. Contralto

    Contralto Other · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    4,891
    Trophy Points:
    198

    Let's put it this way - my GERD is gone. So I don't think I want to give up those enzymes.

    As for fennel, it is wonderufl but unique stuff. Tastes like mild anise, the stalks look a bit like celery and it had dill looking lovely fronds of green. Each part can be used differently. If you take the bulb part and slice it thinly and use mayonaise, it makes an unique salad. You can chop up the stalks and they can make a great stock which, after sieving, you can add dry peas in a slow cooker and sprinkle some chives after and swirl sour cream or yoghurt or regular cream through for an amazing soup.The fronds can be dried and used like an herb also
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    1,708
    Trophy Points:
    178
    @Galja I wonder why you and I both benefitted from taking digestive enzymes in addition to eating low carb. So, so curious... Good to know it helped your GERD too.

    Those uses of fennel you describe sound so good...
     
  11. Tweetypie

    Tweetypie Other · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    1,480
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Hello, I haven't posted on here for ages due to health issues (gastro/digestive and anxiety related), but I am searching for info on digestive enzymes in the hope they may help. I just came across this thread, albeit from few days ago but I wondered if anyone could suggest a good digestive complex please? I can't find the wholefoods/wholezyme one mentioned.
    Many thanks

    edited to add:
    I eat a lot of fat due to being on low carb/high fat, which I feel I am not digesting very well
     
    • Like Like x 4
  12. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    1,708
    Trophy Points:
    178
    UPDATE

    As some of you know, I started, stopped, and restarted taking digestive enzymes recently, around the same time I increased my alpha lipoic acid from 200 mg to 400 mg. Incredibly, I experienced a 10 - 20 point decrease in blood glucose levels, both fasting and 2-hour post meals. When I stopped the digestive enzymes, my blood glucose levels went back up. When I restarted them, they went back down. Earlier this week I asked a local naturopath if he had an explanation for this.

    His response was interesting. While he'd not heard a report like mine in his 34 years of practice, he speculated that the digestive enzyme lipase may have improved my ability to digest the fats I'm eating which in turn would slow the absorption rate of the carbohydrates I'm eating. I think he might be right.

    @Tweetypie I'm new to this too. The digestive enzymes I take are included with my Garden of Life B complex and vitamin C. What part of the world are you writing from? I imagine brands may vary from country to country. Perhaps not. Don't know.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Tweetypie

    Tweetypie Other · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    1,480
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Thanks for the update @Winnie53 . I am in the UK. Currently I take Quest Enzyme Digest, from H&B - are you taking the Wholezyme ones? What interesting results you've had from taking yours.....
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    1,708
    Trophy Points:
    178
    @Tweetypie is this what you're taking? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quest-Enzyme-Digest-Pack-Tablets/dp/B00324CIR4 It lists lipase which I believe helps the body digest fats so that's good. :)

    I take the Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW B-Complex (and Vitamin C too; both contain enzymes). Mine differs from yours in that it is a whole foods supplement which I prefer. I don't know how they compare to your supplement - (click on the "Supplement Facts" tab to learn more... https://www.gardenoflife.com/vitamin-code-raw-b-complex-formula-60-vegan-capsules-658010113809

    I take my enzymes in combination with a total of 400 mg alpha lipoic acid, which also is known to lower blood glucose, in divided doses throughout the day. Because the result I got was so unexpected, and I initially thought it was due to the ALA alone, I don't know how long it took before the change happened, perhaps 1 to 2 weeks? Had I anticipated the surprising improvement in blood glucose levels, I would have documented what I doing daily during that period.

    That said, had I not been testing my blood glucose throughout the day, every day - (pre-sleep, upon awakening; pre-meal, 2 hours post meal, etc.) - I don't if I would have been able to attribute the change to the enzymes, which I started, stopped, then restarted. I don't feel any different. Only the blood glucose meter tells the story.

    Yesterday, I started an analysis of my blood glucose levels. I'm going to compare my results from my first 9 weeks on the low carb ketogenic diet early last year to my most recent 6 weeks.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
    #14 Winnie53, Jun 11, 2016 at 7:05 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2016
  15. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Likes Received:
    1,708
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I need a place to list links to studies and other information on lipase and amylase. Apologies for the lack of explanation...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipase Lipase (Wikipedia.org)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amylase Amylase (Wikipedia.org)

    http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/functions-amylase-protease-lipase-digestive-enzymes-3325.html What Are the Functions of Amylase, Protease and Lipase Digestive Enzymes

    https://www.researchgate.net/public...ents_with_type_1_and_type_2_diabetes_mellitus Biochemical analysis of serum pancreatic amylase and lipase enzymes in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (2005)

    http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ajbio.20140205.11.pdf Evaluation of amylase activity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (2014)

    https://cardiab.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2840-10-34 Low serum amylase in association with metabolic syndrome and diabetes: A community-based study (2011)

    http://journals.lww.com/pancreasjou...pase_and_Amylase_Activity_in_Subjects.15.aspx LEADER 3—Lipase and Amylase Activity in Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes: Baseline Data From Over 9000 Subjects in the LEADER Trial (2014)
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Like Like x 2
    #15 Winnie53, Jun 11, 2016 at 10:16 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2016
  16. Alicki

    Alicki Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    113
    Trophy Points:
    83
    This is great thanks


    Sent from my iPad using DCUK Forum mobile app
     
    • Like Like x 4
  17. KevinPotts

    KevinPotts Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,976
    Likes Received:
    5,662
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Great! I bought a small trial pack off Amazon and will feed back my personal observations.


    Sent from my iPad using DCUK Forum mobile app
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  18. Tweetypie

    Tweetypie Other · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    1,480
    Trophy Points:
    158
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Alicki

    Alicki Reactive hypoglycemia · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    113
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Off amazon? Need to look. I was trying to get them fromthe US but they don't deliver them to Europe


    Sent from my iPad using DCUK Forum mobile app
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    3,721
    Trophy Points:
    178
    • Like Like x 2
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook