Why Is Carbohydrate Digestion Important?

carbohydrate digestion

What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates (also known as carbs or saccharides) are one of the three primary macronutrients (the other two being fats and proteins) that we take in our diet. They are the main source of energy as their final breakdown yields glucose, the blood sugar that provides energy to our body cells to meet daily life challenges.

Where does Carbohydrate digestion take place in your body?

Carbohydrate digestion starts in the mouth and then continues through the pancreas and small intestine. Various enzymes in your body take part in digesting carbs—the major ones being amylase, sucrase, maltase, and lactase.  

What happens if Carbohydrates cannot be digested?

While carbohydrate digestion is important, your body doesn’t carry all the enzymes to digest various forms of carbs. For instance, fiber is a complex carb, but your body doesn’t contain any enzyme to digest it. Instead, the bacteria residing in your gut will ferment it. However, only a minor portion of it is fermented while a major, hard-to-digest bulk stays in your system as it is until flushed out via the stool. The fermentation process produces gases, which in turn, causes an upset stomach with tummy aches, bloating, and belching.

Not all humans can ferment such complex carbs efficiently. In such cases, an attempt of your digestive system to break them can upset your stomach, giving rise to the aforementioned symptoms. Inability to digest carbs can also make you feel lethargic and drained as the glucose obtained from their digestion is not readily available to power your body cells.

What is the importance of Carbohydrate digestion?

Given the above factors, you can see how important it is for your body to be able to digest carbs effectively. Your body requires carbohydrates to energize it, be able to function to its full potential, and go about your day. A compromised carbohydrate digestion can take a heavy toll on your health.

How can you avoid Carbohydrate Indigestion?

Imagine a product that can help digest all forms of dietary carbs, extract energy from each nutrient, and distribute it to all your body cells, allowing you to reap the benefits of every single nutrient. Microbiome Plus+ Premium Digestive Formula is a super supplement as the 18 enzymes packed in this formula function individually to serve the above purpose. Not only does it allow to digest simple carbs, complex carbs, and starchy food products, but also accelerates the digestion of other hard-to-digest Biomolecules like proteins (including gluten) and fats.

Since this post is primarily about carbohydrate digestion, we’ll focus on a few important enzymes present in the Premium formulation responsible for digestion of this macronutrient.

 

 

Amylase

Normally released from the pancreas and saliva, amylase splits indigestible starch molecules into simple sugars. Deficiency of this enzyme will slow down the digestion of starch, which, in turn, contributes to bloating, abdominal discomfort, and gas. The presence of amylase in our Premium formula helps ensure proper digestion and absorption of hard-to-digest carbohydrates.

Cellulase

Cellulase helps in the digestion of cellulose (a complex carbohydrate) to glucose (a simple carbohydrate). We get cellulose from a plant-based diet. But because our body does not produce the cellulase enzyme required to digest cellulose, taking an enzyme supplement can take off the load from your digestive system required to digest cellulose. Otherwise, the bacteria residing in your gut will try to ferment cellulose, giving rise to bothersome GI symptoms like abdominal gases, tummy aches, bloating, and belching.

The presence of cellulase in our formulation can assimilate the undigested cellulose, which in turn, prevents abdominal discomfort that occurs due to the intake of a plant-based diet.

Glucoamylase

This enzyme helps digest complex dietary starch found in foods like potatoes, rice, corn, and wheat. The glucose freed from the ends of starch is then used by your body to power your cells. Glucoamylase can optimize the digestion of starch, which, if undigested, can contribute to common digestive issues like bloating, cramps, gas, and loose stools.

Glucoamylase offers an additional benefit of stabilizing your blood sugar levels.

Alpha-Galactosidase

This enzyme catalyzes the breakdown of complex carbohydrates attached to proteins or fats (termed as glycoproteins or glycolipids), which are hard to be broken down by your digestive system.

A study conducted by the Italian scientists showed a reduction in gas production and the intestinal discomfort associated with the intake of a carbohydrate-rich meal following supplementation with alpha-galactosidase. [1]

Pectinase

Pectinases are a group of enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of a complex gelatinous carbohydrate called pectin found in citrus fruits and fruit spreads like jams, jellies, and marmalades. By digesting pectin, pectinase can help augment the availability of nutrients derived from these food products. [2]

Xylanase

Xylanase is an enzyme that splits the backbone of xylan, a complex plant-cell wall component. Assisting in the digestion of plant-based foods, xylanase can help your body obtain the energy from these food products.

References

  1. Di Stefano M, Miceli E, Gotti S et al. The effect of oral alpha-galactosidase on intestinal gas production and gas-related symptoms. Dig Dis Sci. 2007;52(1):78-83.
  2. Liu X, Kokare C. Microbial Enzymes of Use in Industry. Biotechnology of Microbial Enzymes. 2017;267–298.

 

 

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