Getting Started: What do I do?

First, pick the style you learn best from. Several options are given so pick the ones that appeal to you most.

last updated 4.25.06

Online Guide

Click on the links below in the suggested order. This will walk you through the basic information in a logical manner. It will be helpful to have a paper and pencil with you.

Step 1.Write down the foods you want to target or have problems with. If it is general digestion, pain control, yeast or something else, write that down. If it is something vague like 'improved behavior' with a child, write that down. If it is something you are not sure of, write down 'don't know yet'.

Example 1: I want to use enzymes instead of a casein-free, gluten-free diet (GFCF diet).
Example 2: I want to use enzymes be reduce pain in my body (due to inflammation, arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines...).
Example 3: I have a billion food intolerances and leaky gut.

The following link will take you to a page. Do not try to memorize it. Just read over it so you are familiar with the key points. Here are the key points below you should get from it:

  1. Identify your goal for enzymes
  2. Match the enzyme type to the goal, or target food
  3. Pick a product(s) that contains these enzymes, or targets that goal
  4. Read the product label for number of capsules and enzyme activity. Is the price okay, or is it going to be really expensive for what you need?
  5. Read label and look for additional ingredients
  6. Ask others their opinions on the selected product for your target needs, if you want:

Now go to this page and read it. . .then come back to this spot and continue. It may be helpful for you to write down your responses to the steps as you proceed (as much as you can).
Selecting Enzyme Products

Step 2: You have goals written down. If you identified specific foods you want the enzymes to work on, see the following link and write down which enzymes the product needs to have in order to deal with those foods. For overall digestion or leaky gut, write down 'broad-spectrum' product. If you did not write down specific foods, skip this part.

Example 1: To break down casein and gluten proteins, I need special proteases including one called DPP IV taken with meals.

Example 2: Didn't list specific foods. For pain, strong proteases are helpful taken between meals. I need a strong protease product.

Example 3: Leaky gut, so I need a good broad-spectrum product.

The following page will help you match which types of enzymes will target which foods.

Click the link below to go to this page and read it right now..then come back to this spot and continue.
Which Enzymes with Which Foods

Step 3: Now, look over the commonly used products and see if any categories of products match the enzymes and goals you have written down. If so, keep these in mind as potential choices.

Example 1: Products that contain DPP IV along with other proteases. There are currently several products on the market that can be used to supplement or replace a GFCF diet. Here is a list of DPP IV containing products

Example 2: For pain control, some strong protease products are Repair Gold, GlutenEase, and Virastop (by Enzymedica), Peptizyde (by Houston Nutraceuticals), Vital-zym (World Nutrition), and Wobenzym (Mugos-Wobenzym)

Example 3: There are many many broad-spectrum products out. Most are desigend for typical digestion in a healthy person eating a typical meal and wanting to maintain their current situation. These are not designed for therapeutic or healing use. A good quality enzyme product can bring significantly more improvement than an average one. Digest Gold (Enzymedica), Vital-zyme Complete (Klaire Labs), Elite-zyme Ultra (Thropps), Maximum Complete (Kirkman), or Omega-zyme (Garden of Life) are good ones to try.

Go to and read this page now..then come back to this spot and continue.
Enzyme Product Guide

Step 4: Of all the potential choices, see if any ingredients in the product are not acceptable. Of those products still okay, look at cost, capsules per serving, etc.

Click the link below to go to the next page to read and read it now. . .then come back to this spot and continue. Yes, it is the same one as before, but re-read it again because now you will pick up different points now than before.
Selecting Products

Example 1: Of all the products that contain DPP IV, I am very sensitive to papain and bromelain (phenols, salicylates). So of the DPP IV containing products, mark off the ones with papain and bromelain in them. This shortens the list considerably. The remaining products fitting this description are:

  • Lacto, GlutenEase, and Digest Gold (Enzymedica)
  • Vital-zyme Complete (Klaire Labs, not the Vital-zyme Forte)
  • Maximum Complete (Kirkman)
  • AFP Peptizyde (not the regular Peptizyde, Houston)

Example 2: Of all the products for pain control, I am very sensitive to papain and bromelain and cannot consume those. This eliminates Repair Gold from the Enzymedica choices, and leaving ViraStop . I won't name all the others...you get the idea.

Example 3: I can't afford more than one product at the moment. I want a broad-spectrum product for all foods plus the extra DPP IV to help with dairy and gluten sensitivities. Papain and bromelain are not a problem, but I do not want to take a chance on addition herbs in the product. The products fitting this description include:

  • Lacto and Digest Gold (Enzymedica)
  • Vital-zyme Complete (Klaire Labs, not the Vital-zyme Forte)
  • Maximum Complete (Kirkman)

Step 5: Now look at this page to get an idea of what to expect when you begin enzymes. You may have some adjustment affects or your may not. You very likely won't have all of these, just one or two. These adjustments happen because enzymes help improve nutrition, clean out gunk in the gut, kill off pathogens causing die-off, etc. These adjustment effects go away after a little bit after your body adjusts. Also, just feeling better is change too. You may need to adjust to feeling better.

Go to this page and read it now..then come back to this spot and continue.
What to Expect When Starting enzymes

Step 6: You probably have a better idea of what might happen now.

If you want to minimize the chance that these will happen, there is a method called the Great Low-n-Slow Method which drastically improves initial results while minimizes any adjustments. This method is recommended particularly for children, those with notable yeast overgrowth, those with serious gut injury, or those with sensitive guts (leaky gut, GERD, reflux, colon diseases...). If you are unsure how to proceed, follow this method as a 'best bet' method for success.

These strategies were developed through actual use and prove successful over and over. They are just guidelines for convenience and to improve success. There isn't any real right or wrong way to begin enzymes so if you do something differently and it works for you, GREAT! There are additional guidelines for using enzymes in special situations:

Go to this page and read it now..then come back to this spot and continue.
The Great Low-n-Slow Method

Step 7: Now you have a product picked out, a good idea of what to expect and are ready to go. But....how to you get the enzymes into someone???? Especially if they are extremely picky eaters, have a gagging reflex, or something else? Fortunately, enzymes can be mixed in any food or drink. Or the capsules swallowed whole at the beginning of the meal. There are lots of tips and ideas at the page called Mixing Suggestions.

Go to and read these pages now..then come back to this spot and continue.
Mixing Suggestions

Step 8: Yea! You may have a good idea about what to do now. And you probably have specific questions. This would be a good time to go to the enzymes discussion group and ask those questions. Over 5600 families belong and there is a wealth of experiences to help you find the answers you need. You are welcome to email for a personal answer too.

Go to discussion group: enzyme discussion group

Send an email: Ask an Enzyme Question

 

Selecting Products
Which Enzymes?
Dosing Guidelines
Mixing Suggestions
Interactions w/ other things
What to Expect Starting
General Trends
At School
Getting Started Step-by-Step
Enzyme Safety

Sensory Integration
Migraines/Pain
Digestive Disorders
Food Sensitivities

Leaky Gut
Bacteria / Yeast
Viruses

PDD/Autism Spectrum
AD(H)D

Autoimmune / Neuro Cond.
Cancer
Celiac
Heart/ Vascular Health
Sports Medicine

This independent site is for education and information about digestive enzymes. There is a large need to provide practical and general information on enzyme therapy for a wide range of uses.

Enzymes have been around a very long time. Hopefully this site will help reduce the learning curve.

Ideas, comments, and questions are welcome.

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