Help for Digestion
In this health video you will receive help for your digestion.
Raena Morgan: Hello, I’m Raena Morgan with iHealthTube. We’re visiting with Nena Dockery. She’s the Technical Services Manager for National Enzyme Company. Let’s talk about digestion in terms of genetics, and may I give you an example?
Nena Dockery: Yes.
Raena Morgan: I’m from Virginia originally. My granddaddy used to sit and just belch after every meal. He would erupt with belches. Well, my mother was the same way, and I have had a gas problem all my life. Is this genetic or is it the way we eat—poor digestion?
Nena Dockery: It could be either one, but in this case probably it is genetic. It is the formation of gas that is occurring, probably in the upper small intestine, and that gas is being released upward. As we all know, it could go either way.
Raena Morgan: Right, that’s what I was thinking.
Nena Dockery: But usually that’s the result of the lack of the action of a particular intestinal enzyme.
Raena Morgan: Which could be hereditary?
Nena Dockery: Which could be hereditary that you have a hereditary lack of that enzyme—that particular enzyme. We see that very distinctly in the case of gluten intolerance—or, really the more severe form of that which is Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease or Celiac Enteropathy is a genetic disorder; it is the lack of the ability to break down a certain peptide that is in certain grains, such as wheat, rye, barley. And, the body sets up an immune response, a real immune response to that short peptide. That is a hereditary condition. We see a lot of these digestive disorders, some of which are caused by our habits, our bad habits, but some of which, as you have alluded to, are caused by genetics. We inherit them from our parents and our grandparents.
Raena Morgan: Okay. So, if it is genetic, there are enzymes that we can take to take care of the fact that we’re missing something?
Nena Dockery: Right and I think we see that very, very distinctly in the case of lactose intolerance that as a society in America there are, oh probably less than half of Americans, who are actually lactose intolerant. But, if we look at other societies, other ethnicities we see that it is very prevalent, such as in the Asian world where upwards to 70% of the population is lactose intolerant; it is a genetic condition. Well, what do we do for lactose intolerance? We either avoid all dairy products which is very difficult to do, or we take lactase, an enzyme that can substitute for the lack of that enzyme that would be produced in our intestinal track.
Raena Morgan: Okay, so if it were something like wheat, or something that causes gas, we’re lacking this enzyme, so we have gas. Is there any kind of enzyme we can take to help that?
Nena Dockery: It depends on what is missing. For certain problems, for people who cannot eat, say certain beans, we can take a certain enzyme alpha galactosidase that will substitute for the enzyme that our bodies many times cannot produce. It breaks down these raphano sugars—they’re called raphano sugars—that are produced through the breakdown of certain—particularly legumes, some grains—and by taking alpha galactosidase it can alleviate some of the discomfort and embarrassment from not being able to break down those sugars, those particular sugars.
Raena Morgan: So, that’s why someone would say, like my granddaddy would say, “I love chili but chili doesn’t love me”?
Nena Dockery: Exactly. Especially the chili with beans.
Raena Morgan: Right. So, a lot of people have that inability to digest that, so there is an enzyme that we can take for that.
Nena Dockery: Right. Right, there certainly is.
Raena Morgan: Well, that’s good news for us who like to eat legumes because there’s a lot of good protein in that kind of starch.
Nena Dockery: It is, and you know in this day and age when we are trying to eat more healthy, you look at the foods that are the healthy foods, which are the grains, the legumes, the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and these are the ones that typically cause those same problems. So, it is nice to know that there are some enzymes, such as alpha galactosidase, that can help in digesting those.
Raena Morgan: And, that’s your field of expertise.
Nena Dockery: I guess so.
Raena Morgan: All right. Well, thank you very much Nena, we’ll visit again.
Nena Dockery: Thank you.
Help for Digestion
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