Digestive enzymes help break down your food. Most people's bodies make plenty of these enzymes, but people with certain conditions, such as pancreatic insufficiency or lactose intolerance, may need supplemental enzymes to properly digest certain foods. There isn't much evidence that enzyme supplements help you lose weight, however, so you may be better off saving your money and following a balanced, reduced-calorie diet to shed pounds.
Digestive Enzymes and Weight
Taking digestive enzymes isn't likely to cause you to lose weight. These enzymes help you absorb more nutrients from your food. Some weight-loss medications, such as orlistat, work by inhibiting
your digestive enzymes so you absorb fewer calories. Thus, taking digestive enzymes could theoretically contribute to weight gain if they help you absorb more calories from your food. There's no evidence directly linking digestive enzymes to significant weight gain, though.
Other Potential Benefits
If you experience gas when you eat beans or other high-fiber foods, taking digestive enzymes may help limit this unpleasant effect. Likewise, if you're lactose-intolerant, taking the enzyme lactase may make it possible for you to enjoy a small amount of dairy without adverse gastrointestinal effects. Some digestive enzymes may also have an anti-inflammatory effect, helping to reduce any pain or inflammation you experience, according to Cleveland Clinic. Digestive enzymes that help digest fat, called lipases, may help limit indigestion in those prone to this condition.