10 best enzymes for digestion

If the advertisements are to be believed, no meal should be without digestive enzyme preparations. Not trying to appeal to readers to moderation – no one is perfect – we must note: the main indication for the use of enzymes – insufficiency of the functions of various parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Abusing digestive enzymes in the absence of an indication can cause the body to stop producing them. Here is a rating of the best enzymes for digestion.

What are enzymes and why do they work?

Only relatively small molecules, such as amino acids, monosaccharides (glucose, fructose), and fatty acids, can pass through the intestinal wall into the blood. These are all elementary “building blocks” of more complex substances: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Enzymes break down complex substances into simple “bricks.”

  1. Amylases – complex carbohydrates;
  2. lipases – fats;
  3. proteases – proteins.

Digestion, that is, the breakdown of complex substances to simple ones, begins already in the mouth, where salivary amylases are activated. In the stomach, where the environment is acidic, the activity of amylase is suspended, the food is processed by the proteolytic enzyme pepsin, which can only work in an acidic environment. At the exit from the stomach (in the antral section), the acidic environment of the food is neutralized, and the food lump goes to the duodenum, the initial section of the small intestine. Here it is processed by bile, which emulsifies the fat – turning it into a suspension of tiny droplets. This increases the contact area of fats with lipases. In addition to lipases, amylases and proteases work in the duodenum. This enzyme complex is produced by the pancreas, so its drug analog is called pancreatin (lat.pancreas).

If for some reason enzymes are not produced enough or they cannot be active (for example, when the acidity of gastric juice is lowered proteins in the stomach cannot be broken down), the process of digestion is disturbed. Not fully processed food components begin to irritate the intestinal walls, causing diarrhea, pain, bloating. Half an hour to an hour after eating, there are sharp urges to the toilet, the excreted stool becomes abundant, frothy, has a pungent unpleasant odor.

Often this problem occurs with chronic pancreatitis, when the cells that produce enzymes die under the influence of inflammation. Another common cause is impaired bile flow due to biliary dyskinesia or after removal of the gallbladder. Insufficiently emulsified fat has less contact with enzymes and is less likely to be broken down.

Rating of the best enzymes for digestion

Nominationplaceproduct nameprice
Best enzymes for adults1Micrazyme635€
The best enzymes for kids1Coliph drops for children1 573€
2Creon Micro 50001 224€
THE BEST ENZYMES FOR VEGANS1Now Foods, Plant Enzymes1750 €
3Vegan Enzymes390€

Best enzymes for adults

In this group of rankings, we have collected the most popular digestive enzymes suitable for adults.


Rating: 4.9


Pancreatic enzyme complex – pancreatin – containing amylase, lipase and protease; placed in microspheres, which are in turn packed in capsules. The capsule dissolves in the stomach, the microspheres mix evenly with the food lump, passing into the intestines and there already dissolve under the action of an alkaline environment, releasing enzymes. Thus, the enzymes appear to be evenly mixed with the food and act as efficiently as possible.

The clinical guidelines for the treatment of pancreatic external secretory failure specifically state that the only effective form of enzyme delivery into the intestine is the microspheres or microtablets, which are only activated in the small intestine lumen.

Take a capsule three times a day with meals. Considering the form of the medicine, the capsules should not be chewed. If the shell of the microspheres is damaged, the enzymes are inactivated in the acidic environment of the stomach.

If the drug is used occasionally for overeating, a dosage of 10,000 IU is sufficient. In other cases, the remedy should be prescribed by a doctor, and he will determine the necessary dose.

Possible analogues – Hermital, Creon.


  • Microgranules provide more efficient enzymes.


  • high price.


Rating: 4.6


Economy variant: the same extract of animal pancreas – pancreatin, as in the previous remedy, but placed in tablets with an enteric-soluble coating. Enzymes are not inactivated in the stomach, they start to work only after they enter the intestine, but considering that the tablet needs time to dissolve, it is more difficult to talk about the effective interaction of enzymes with food (as we remember, the higher the contact area of enzymes with food slurry, the higher their activity).

However, given the fivefold difference in price with the previous drug from our ranking, it is not surprising that the drug has many fans. Still, we would recommend it above all healthy people, whose quality of life is not too dependent on the effectiveness of the drug.

Possible analogues – Penzital.


  • low price.


  • Less effective than microgranule enzymes.


Rating: 4.5


Again, pancreatin, that is, amylase, lipase, and protease. In combination with the enzyme hemicellulase, which breaks down fiber (normally it is produced by normal intestinal microflora) and bile components.

It is because of the complex of bile acids and we included the product in the rating of the best enzymes for digestion. They facilitate absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins and correct biliary insufficiency – reduced gallbladder activity or its complete absence. Therefore, among the indications for the use of Festal, in addition to traditional for enzyme preparations of pancreatic insufficiency and overeating, there are also pathologies of the liver and biliary tract:

  1. Alcoholic and toxic diffuse liver lesions, cirrhosis;
  2. biliary dyskinesia,
  3. cholecystitis,
  4. Condition after cholecystectomy.

Hemicellulase, by breaking down fiber, helps reduce abdominal bloating and flatulence. characteristic of dysbiotic conditions.

Possible analogs: Enzistal.


  • contains bile acids that correct biliary insufficiency;
  • reasonable price.


  • Reduced enzyme efficacy compared with preparations containing microgranules.


Rating: 4.4


If all the other remedies in our rating are designed to support the work of the small intestine, this drug contains a complex of enzymes to improve digestion in the stomach.

As already mentioned, this is where the first stage of protein digestion takes place. But for gastric proteases to work, an acidic environment is needed. In atrophic gastritis, the glands that produce both enzymes and gastric juice die because of prolonged inflammation. Appears as insufficient digestion in the stomach with heaviness after meals, rapid satiety, belching of air. Demping syndrome, caused by the ingestion of large quantities of insufficiently processed food into the intestines, is also not uncommon:

  1. Sudden weakness after eating, up to and including fainting;
  2. drowsiness,
  3. pallor,
  4. sweating,
  5. hiccups.

In this situation, the doctor may prescribe Acidin-pepsin.

It contains a complex of stomach enzymes (pepsin) and betaine hydrochloride. Pepsin, an extract from the mucous membrane of the pig stomach. Betaine hydrochloride, once in the water, is hydrolyzed (decomposed), releasing hydrochloric acid, providing the optimum environment for the action of pepsin.

Two pills should be dissolved in half a glass of water and drunk with a meal.


  • low price.


  • uncomfortable way to use.

The best enzymes for children

Medications for children have their own peculiarities. First, it is forbidden to give tablets to children under 3 years of age, and capsules – up to 5 years, it is believed that only at this age a child is able to swallow the medicine without choking. Children don’t like to take pills. And if, say, for antipyretic drugs you can use the “grandma’s” method, stirring the crushed medicine in jam, with digestive enzymes this method of treatment is unacceptable – because if the shell of the tablet with pancreatic enzymes breaks down in the stomach, the active ingredient will lose its activity.

In addition, for children are more relevant not problems with the pancreas, and the lack of a single enzyme – lactase – without which the baby is unable to properly digest the disaccharide contained in the milk – lactose.

It is manifested by a sharp bloating of the stomach, bubbling, colic, and frequent copious stools. And while an adult who is intolerant of milk can simply not drink it, a child, especially an infant, will not do without milk. Of course, there are some lactose-free formulas, but they are not breast milk and are not cheap. That’s why we start the rating of the best enzymes for children with a drug containing lactase.

Coliph drops for children

Rating: 4.8


It is a dietary supplement recommended for children suffering from lactase deficiency. Available in a bottle with a dropper. 1 dose of the drug – 4 drops. Before you feed your baby, you need to decant 2 – 3 teaspoons of milk, stir the medicine in them, give from the spoon to the baby and then give the breast as usual. To a baby on artificial feeding, 4 drops of the drug are diluted for the entire volume of formula intended for one feeding.

The medicine and milk diluted with it can neither be frozen nor heated above 37 degrees.

As a rule, by half a year in children suffering from lactase deficiency, the production of their own enzyme is established. So by this age, you can smoothly reduce the amount of the product. But sometimes the problem stays for life.

Possible analogues: Baby – Doc.

Advantages of

  • easy to use.


  • high cost.

Creon micro 5000

Rating: 4.7


And this medicine is necessary for children with impaired pancreatic function. While in adults it is usually the result of chronic inflammation, in babies it is usually a manifestation of a congenital pathology – cystic fibrosis.

It contains pancreatin (amylase, lipase, protease) in mini-crospheres, which are not placed in capsules, but are simply poured into a bottle with a measuring spoon. In this form they can be added to any sour food. Not requiring chewing: yogurts, apple puree, for infants – into the decanted breast milk. In the stomach, the pellets remain intact, mixing with the entire volume of the food lump, and once in the intestines, they begin to work as they are intended.

The formula should never be chewed.


  • convenient release form for children;
  • Higher enzyme activity.


  • high price.


Rating: 4.3


This is another dietary supplement that contains lactase, this time in capsules. Therefore, the product can only be given to children over 5 years of age at the rate of 1 capsule per 100 ml of milk.


  • are easy to dose.


  • Only from the age of 5.

The best enzymes for vegans

As readers may have noticed, most digestive enzymes are pancreatic or animal stomach extracts. And people who ethically eschew animal products are left with the choice of giving up principles or health. Specifically for vegetarians and vegans, there are products based on plant-based enzymes.

It should be noted that these products are not included in the clinical guidelines, so wishing to replace the animal enzymes prescribed by the doctor plant enzymes are at their own risk.

Now Foods, Plant Enzymes

Rating: 4.2.


Complex of plant origin enzymes. Interesting because in addition to traditional proteases, lipases and amylases it contains acid-fast proteolytic enzymes that improve digestion in the stomach, lactase, cellulase, which breaks down fiber, as well as plant complexes papain and bromelain. The last two are ascribed anti-inflammatory and immunomodeling effect (remember: papain is the basis of the famous drug “wobenzyme”), but the medical community has not come to an unambiguous opinion.

Take 1 capsule with each meal.


  • Good value for money.


  • No clinical evidence of effectiveness in GI diseases.


Rating: 4.1


Coated Tablets. Contains the proteolytic enzyme papain, simethicone (reduces intestinal gas), fungal diastase (mixture of amylases). That is, it breaks down protein and carbohydrates; it has no effect on fats. Therefore, we would not recommend it to people suffering from chronic pancreatic pathology, in which impaired digestion of fats comes to the fore. But the remedy may be good for overeating and for the prevention of bloating due to excess vegetable fiber in food.

1 – 2 pills should be dissolved in half a glass of water and consumed with a meal.


  • Contains simethicone, which prevents flatulence.


  • no lipase,
  • Must be dissolved before meals.

Vegan Enzymes

Rating: 3.9


Biologically active additive of Russian origin. Contains bromelain, papain, amylase, and gingerol, a compound found in ginger root that promotes greater gastric juices and improves peristalsis. Gingerol is also credited with rejuvenating and anti-inflammatory effects.

Although the product’s instructions indicate the lipolytic effect of bromelain and papain, it should be noted that it is much lower than the protease activity. Therefore, again, while it promotes the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates, it “neglects” the fats.

Another drawback – a relatively high price: three days of use (10 pills) cost more than 200 rubles.


  • Possibly has anti-inflammatory and rejuvenating effects.


  • expensive.
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