T Nation

Systemic Enzyme Therapy. Need Critical Review

Had a friend see advertisements for these products touting their ability to decrease systemic inflammation and some products claim to ameliorate every lifestyle disease. Naturally I’m skeptical of everything, so he asked me if they are worth it.

Like most natural health products there seems to be just enough research to lend weight to the claims without any real conclusions.

Is this something that could/should be consumed for general health? Is there any truth to the claims that it “smooths out the arteries and reduces plaque”?

Looking for people who can understand research better than I. @EyeDentist @ActivitiesGuy


I think the sciencebasedmedicine.org article does an excellent job of laying out the paucity of evidence supporting systemic enzyme therapy. I would tl;dr the article thusly:

There is no reason to believe orally-ingested enzymes would be absorbed intact through the GI tract. Further, those molecules that did manage to get through would by degraded shortly after absorption. Thus, they would not be expected to exist in appreciable concentrations for any length of time in the vascular system. This renders doubtful their ability to impact inflammatory processes throughout the body.

I would tl;dr my tl;dr like this:

They don’t work.