Pancreatin is a mixture of several digestive enzymes produced by cells in the pancreas. Pancreatin is composed of amylase, lipase, and protease. Pancreatin production and secretion by the pancreas is essential to digestion and absorption of numerous nutrients, especially fats.*
Indigestion affects millions of people every day. For some, eating fatty foods can bring on heartburn. For others, simple carbohydrates (like bread and pasta) may cause gas and bloating. And for other individuals, spicy foods can cause them grief. Although what we eat greatly influences the frequency and severity of indigestion, this discomfort could be related to an underlying problem – poor digestive enzyme activity.
Situations such as illness, gall bladder removal, overuse of antacids, and aging can contribute to insufficient secretion of stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, and bile, and can adversely affect digestive enzyme activity and lead to heartburn, gas, bloating, and other forms of gastrointestinal discomfort.*
Equally important in taking the right digestive enzyme product is assuring the quality of the digestive enzymes you take. For example, lactose intolerance – due to a deficiency of the enzyme lactase – is a frequent reason for prescribing a digestive enzyme support product. Yet many of the digestive enzymes on the market (pancreatin, pepsin, papain, and bromelain) are actually diluted with hidden lactose! Why? Because lactose is used as a means of diluting the potency of a digestive enzyme to meet a given specification. The U.S. Pharmacopeia calls for pepsin and pancreatin to have a specified digestive power. Anything greater than the specified U.S. Pharmacopeia requirement is listed on the label as 2X, 3X, etc. – meaning the product has two or three times the specified digestive power. Pure, raw pancreatin typically has a 9X digestive power. In other words, 9X means the pancreatin is undiluted. Anything less than 9X is diluted, often with lactose. And both prescription and non-prescription digestive enzyme products might contain lactose. Thorne Research's digestive enzyme products are hypoallergenic and do not contain lactose – they never have.*
Thorne's pure pancreatin is a lactose-free product and has the highest potency and purity possible. Thorne uses only pure, undiluted pancreatin.
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