T Nation

Digestive Enzymes and Probioyics

Are digestive enzyme and probiotics supplements worth using.There’s a bodybuilding magazine that strongly encourages using them.If so, what are the proper dosages and what brand and how much are they?

After reading the same magazine,I started to take Probiotics and glutamine.This combo really cleans out your system.I took the pro-biotics after meals and followed a low protien diet for a week.My stomach lost that heavy feeling and my energy increased.

First note, the magazine you’re alluding to (M&M Power) has an editor who is coming out with a line of supps that includes, who’d a thunk it, probiotics and enzymes. Obviosly, they’re plugging the product a little.

Notwithstanding, I'm taking Udo's probiotics and enzymes and think it does help considerable, IF you are either (a) eating a shit load of food, or (b) eating very high (by non-bodybuilding standards) amounts of protein.

Finally, they’re really cheap, so give 'em a shot.

My stomach / digestive system could not handle all the extra liquid protein I was taking. I would flush it out within 1 hour of drinking my shakes. Someone suggested ProBiotics Acidophilus(available at GNC). Works soup to nuts for me.

Hi Bart,

here is the scoop. No, I don’t work for the magazine - nor did I read the damned article. Probiotics are merely plant forms. Eat your veggies fresh and raw and you will get most of what you need.

Now let’s talk Enzymes. To answer your question. YES thay are very good for food processing. Stay out of GNC - tyhere stuff is generally junk with ton’s of filler products.

The digestive enzyme Protease is the Enzyme that breaks down proteins. When we cook our food over 112 degrees the enzymes start to die. By the time the temperature reaches 118 to 121 they are all pretty well dead. Replacing those enzymes with “Plant Sourced” enzymes will help the utilization of the foods, including proteins.

Here is the gig.

  1. Pancreatic Based Enzymes work in a pH of 8.5 to 9.0 mostly. Pretty Base, Joke there. Not good to use considering your mouth pH is about 6.8 average, your output urine is about 6.5 average and your blood is 7.35 average (assuming all optimums). Don’t take these animal based enzymes, as they will not work for you.

  2. Plant based enzymes, especially those made from mushrooms, work in pH of 4.0 to 9.5. They will be effective for you.

  3. Focus your attention on the HUT level of Protease, if protein synthesis is your concern. The highest is about 350,000.

  4. You can’t overdose on them, as they are rather safe. however, if you are somewhat toxic - taking too many to start with, might make you puke. Start with 1/2 of bottle instructions and work up.

  5. If you have a stomach ulcer, avoid them. use some Cayanne Pepper (Capsules) and kill the bacteria that is causing it first. Then heal the stomach lining, then use the enzymes.

  6. The other main Digestive enzymes are Lipease (fats) and Amylase (Carbs).

Hope it helps. Most of what you will get from Health Food Stores are crap. I do supply some from my practice (the best I have found), but, am careful to not advertise them here.


Questions for Rob (as you seem knowledgeable about this stuff):

I had a problem digesting grain, ir gives me severe stomach cramps. My Dr. said I’m too big to be celiac, and gave me the blood test to make sure I wasn’t, and left it there. I looked around the health food stores and found a maltase supplement that seems to make the discomfort go away when I use it. The problem is that it has other enzymes with it, such as amylase and protease. Is there anything I need to worry about? I haven’t had been able to get any medical help.


Amylase is simply an enzyme that breaks down Carbs and Protease breaks down Proteins. These will actually help with your problem as grains are full of both. Typically this kind of response is due to reduced Amylase in the system (but, not always). Try it in smaller doses, if you hvae no difficulty with it then increase it to normal doses. Just remember that most direction on Supplement Bottles are set for a 150 pound person.