Warning: We will be Talking About Poop!…

What’s the Difference between Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics?


Should I Take Probiotics or Digestive Enzymes?

First, lets find out the difference between the two. How do they work? What are the Signs and Symptoms of Deficient Enzymes vs Imbalanced Probiotics within the body?…


What are Digestive Enzymes?

Digestive enzymes are proteins made in the GI tract to break down food so it can be digested and used by the body.

So, Digestive Enzymes Help You Digest Your Food.

  • From Raw Foods
  • From Supplements
  • Not Alive

(Only Alive in Food form, not supplement form)


So, if the Body Makes Enzymes, Why Supplement?

Though made in the GI, eating processed foods in place of raw foods, lowers these enzymes needed for proper digestion. There is an epidemic of processed foods in the Modern diet. This is why we hear so much about supplementing with digestive enzymes today. Enzymes Improve Poor Digestion.


What Do Digestive Enzymes Help?

  • Help break down foods & Improve Energy
  • Improve nutrients absorbed from food
  • Lack of Stomach acid (breaks down food)
  • Lack of Pepsin (breaks down food)


How Enzymes Help:

Digestive Enzymes assist your body when there is impaired ability to break down any of the three major macros in your food.

Essentially, digestive enzymes help you turn these into energy…

Macros- 3 main types of nutrients found in foods:

  1. Proteins
  2. Fats
  3. Carbohydrates

Macros & Specific Enzymes that Help Digestion:

  1. Protein (Proteases)
  2. Fats (Lipases)
  3. Carbohydrates (Amylases)

(Unless you know which specific macro your body needs help with, look for digestive enzymes to help you digest all Three).


Signs & Symptoms of Deficient Enzymes:

Look for Signs in Your Stool:

  • Pale or floating stool
  • Diarrhea (within 1 hour of meals)
  • Undigested food in stool (within 1 hour of meals)
  • streaking, fatty deposits of stool left in toilet
  • Lowered Immunity

Look for Digestive Symptoms:

  • Abdominal bloating after meals
  • Gas after meals
  • Acid reflux

Diagnosed Disease or Deficiencies:

  • Vitamin D
  • B-12 Deficiency
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Liver disease
  • Leaky Gut
  • IBS

Deficiencies or Diseases dealing with malabsorption issues may result in becoming more prone to Digestive Enzyme Deficiency.

Where Digestive Enzymes are Located in Your Body:

  • Saliva
  • Stomach
  • Upper GI tract
  • (Helping) the entire GI tract

How to Use Digestive Enzymes?

  • Take 20-30 minutes prior to meal
  • Take half dose before and half dose with first bite (if this seems to help)
  • Take with meals that tend to cause digestive upset (avoid these foods when you can)

What to Watch Out for in Digestive Enzyme Supplements:

Be sure the product is a practitioner- quality supplement. You want Digestive Enzymes without added fillers, free from common allergens such as; gluten, wheat, corn, milk, eggs, fish, tree nuts, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Individuals who already have impaired digestion are more prone to sensitivities of one of more of the above-mentioned additives.

Aleesha D Acupuncture carries practitioner-grade brands of Digestive Enzyme Supplements which are free of additives and fillers.


What are Probiotics?

Bacteria that live mostly in the lower GI tract. These are good bacteria that fight the bad bacteria. This good bacteria is easily wiped out by antibiotics taken. Probiotics are living organisms.

  • Protect Digestive Tract from Harmful bacteria
  • Alive

Where are Probiotics?

Probiotics are mostly in the small and large intestines.



More on Probiotics Here


What Are Prebiotics?


Should I Take Probiotics or Digestive Enzymes?

Take Enzymes for: Breaking Down the Nutrients in Food (Digestion Issues)

  • Low Immunity
  • Acid Reflux
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • IBS


Acupuncture Helps with Acid Reflux or Heartburn 

Help with Digesting Foods

Take Probiotics for: Improving Microbial Balance in Intestinal Tract (Bacterial Imbalance Issues)

  • Low Immunity
  • Imbalanced Diet
  • Imbalanced Lifestyle
  • After Infection or Antibiotic use
  • Skin issues

How to Take Probiotics

Take Probiotic supplement with meal, right before meal or right after meal. This way the food provides some friendly bacteria

Aleesha D Acupuncture carries Probiotic supplements in practitioner-grade brands which are free of fillers and additives.

A Note of Caution:

Start out slowly with Probiotics in supplement for as well as Probiotic-rich foods, as they can have a powerful effect on digestion. If you start out taking too much, you will know… hello, Gas and Bloating!! If this happens, just back off of it or stop taking for a while until the symptoms subside. When you start taking again, use smaller dosage or try another brand. As always, check with your doctor before starting any new supplement such as Probiotics or Enzymes.

Thanks for Reading!

Written by Aleesha Ackerman, LAc.

Aleesha Ackerman is a certified and state licensed acupuncturist with a Master’s degree in acupuncture. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hamline University. Aleesha owns and operates Aleesha D Acupuncture clinic for Pain and Women’s Health in Anoka, MN.

She became interested in acupuncture and holistic medicine when acupuncture cured her of debilitating migraine pain after an auto collision with a semi-truck. Aleesha specializes in treating acute and chronic pain and Women’s Health. Women come to her everyday with issues such as hot flashes, mood imbalance and low energy. Read more about Aleesha and what she specializes in Here.

Patients at Aleesha D Acupuncture report feeling cared for, listened to and are happy to get the much-needed pain and stress relief from their treatments!

Aleesha treats digestion issues successfully by treating the root cause and by treating the whole individual.

Why wait? Start Your Relief Today- contact Aleesha D Acupuncture in Anoka today to schedule your acupuncture appointment!

Feel Better, Move Forward

Aleesha D Acupuncture is located in historic downtown Anoka at 207 East Main Street close to Andover, MN with free parking.


This article is not intended to replace any health care. No information on this site should be relied on to determine medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. As with any health concerns, always be sure to consult your health care provider with any health concerns.

Licensed Acupuncturist in Anoka Serving Andover, Anoka, Big Lake, Champlin, Circle Pines, Columbus, Coon Rapids, Dayton, East Bethel, Elk River, Forest Lake, Fridley, Ham Lake, Isanti, Lino Lakes, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Now Then, Oak Grove, Osseo, Ostego, Ramsey, Saint Francis, Saint Paul, Shoreview, Spring Lake Park, Vadnais Heights and White Bear Lake.

Zip codes we treat: 55304, 55303, 55309, 55014, 55316, 55433, 55448, 55327, 55330, 55432, 55040, 55401, 55402, 55403, 55404, 55406, 55407, 55408, 55409, 55410, 55411, 55412, 55413, 55416, 55418, 55419, 55421, 55422, 55011, 55311, 55369, 55102, 55103, 55104, 55105, 55106, 55107, 55108, 55101, 55109, 55110, 55111, 55113, 55114, 55116, 55117, 55120, 55124, 55125, 55115, 55118, 55119, 55121, 55122, 55123, 55126, 55129, 55130, 55146, 55127, 55128, 55133, 55144, 55145, 55155, 55164, 55165, 55166, 55166, 55168, 55170, 55175, 55187, 55188, 55171, 55172, 55014, 55025, 55371, 55398, 55308, 55960

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