Many factors contribute to a person’s weight, and digestive enzymes are just one piece of the puzzle. However, they are an essential piece and one that is often overlooked.
Digestive enzymes play a significant role in how the body processes and absorbs nutrients, which can directly impact weight.
For people who are overweight or obese, digestive enzymes can help to improve nutrient absorption and promote weight loss. On the other hand, digestive enzymes can help increase appetite and promote weight gain for underweight people.
How Digestive Enzymes Lead to Incomplete Digestion and Weight Gain
Over 22 million Americans experience gastrointestinal problems because of incomplete digestion, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And incomplete digestion may occur when a person does not have enough digestive enzymes.
Digestive enzymes break down the food we eat so our bodies can absorb the nutrients. Without enough enzymes, our bodies can’t properly digest food, leading to several gastrointestinal problems, including indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Additionally, undigested food can lead to intestinal inflammation and even gastrointestinal infections.
Incomplete digestion also affects your weight. When food is not digested correctly, it can lead to malabsorption syndrome, which can cause nutrient deficiencies. This can potentially lead to weight gain, as your body tries to store more calories than it can use.
What Causes Lack of Digestive Enzymes
There are a number of reasons why a person may not have enough digestive enzymes.
The pancreas may not produce the hormone cholecystokinin, which triggers the pancreatic synthesis of digestive enzymes. Additionally, certain medications can interfere with the production of digestive enzymes. And finally, as we age, our bodies produce fewer digestive enzymes.
How Digestive Enzymes Affect Leptin
Leptin is a hormone that plays a vital role in regulating appetite and weight. When leptin levels are high, it signals to the brain that the body has enough energy and doesn’t need to eat. This leads to feelings of fullness and satiety, which reduces the urge to eat.
Conversely, when levels of leptin are low (i.e., when you don’t eat), it signals to the brain that the body is hungry and needs more food. This increases hunger and can lead to overeating because you will eat more and burn less fat.
Because leptin is produced by fat cells, its level goes down when you lose weight because your body fat also goes down and vice versa. Therefore, it plays a vital role in regulating energy balance within the body and promoting weight loss or preventing weight gain.
But how does the lack of digestive enzymes affect leptin?
Remember that the production of digestive enzymes is triggered by cholecystokinin. When this hormone triggers the release of these enzymes, it suppresses the feeling of hunger and makes you feel full.
The lack of digestive enzymes means that you will not be able to digest the food properly, leading to feeling hungry and overeating. And when you overeat, your body increases leptin levels drastically and exponentially, leading to leptin resistance.
Leptin resistance is a condition where the body does not respond properly to the hormone leptin. When leptin-resistant, your body does not correctly regulate energy intake and expenditure. This can lead to increased appetite and overeating, ultimately leading to fat gain.
Leptin resistance is thought to be one of the main contributors to obesity. It is also thought to play a role in other conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
No matter what your weight goals are, digestive enzymes can be a helpful tool in achieving them. If you have been trying to lose weight without success, it may be because you have an enzyme deficiency that is preventing your body from digesting food properly and getting the proper nutrients to your body. This can lead to weight gain, muscle loss, or other health problems.
If you are struggling to lose weight, it may be because you have an enzyme deficiency. At Melinda Silva, MD, weight loss in San Diego is possible by implementing the proper treatment options. We will work with you to create a plan that fits your needs and helps you reach your goals. Let us help you achieve the weight loss results you desire! Schedule an appointment with us today!