healthy lifestyleNutritionenzyme deficiency


One of the extreme challenges inside the human body is to emphasize metabolic enzyme deficiency. enzyme deficiency results in the accumulation of toxic compounds that may disrupt normal body functioning and causes failure of biological compounds.

What are digestive enzymes and what function do they perform?

Digestive enzymes are proteins that our body makes to break down food and aid in digestion. However, the process of digestion starts after eating a meal. Saliva in our mouth contains the salivary enzyme salivary amylase that starts breaking down the food into an absorbed form in the body.Indeed, the digestive process involves different steps where enzymes are released and activated.

Our digestive tract is responsible for making digestive enzymes in the stomach and small intestine. The pancreas is called the powerhouse of enzymes.

Types of digestive enzymes:

There are many types of digestive enzymes, but the main enzymes are three.

  1. Amylase enzyme: It is present in the mouth and pancreas; breaking down complex carbohydrates.
  2. Lipase: It is made in the pancreas and breaks down fats.
  3. Protease: it is made in the pancreas and breaks down proteins.

What is digestive enzyme deficiency?

Digestive enzyme deficiency occurs when our body does not release enzymes to break down food and absorb nutrients, but enzyme deficiency may include:

1-Lactose intolerance:

When your body does not produce lactase you have a problem digesting sugar found in milk and dairy products.

2-Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency:

It occurs when your pancreas does not produce enough of the enzymes necessary to digest carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

3-Congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency:

It occurs when your body does not have enough sucrase to digest sugars.

Symptoms of digestive enzyme deficiency:

  • Bloating
  • Belly pain or cramps
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Oily stools
  • Unexplained weight loss

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Which conditions are associated with digestive enzyme deficiency?

Some enzyme insufficiencies are genetic and they are the result of the abnormal gene. However, enzyme insufficiencies can be congenital or develop over time.

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Gastrointestinal surgeries  (1)

What is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency?

When the pancreas does not make enough digestive enzymes it causes exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). Consequently, children with cystic fibrosis and adults with chronic pancreatitis are most likely to have EPI.

What causes exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) in adults?

10 out of 8 adults suffer from this disorder. Pancreatitis causes inflammation and swelling of the pancreas and chronic inflammation can damage the pancreatic cells.

Causes of EPI in adults may include:
  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Digestive tract surgery for weight loss

How is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency treated?

EPI is a lasting condition, but treatment focuses on your body to get nutrients for health maintenance.

1-Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy:

This is a prescription for the missing digestive enzyme. It must be taken with meals to help your body break down nutrients in food.

2-High-calorie, high-fat diet:

Fats and calories are necessary for your body. Fats help your body absorb nutrients.


Vitamins help your body to maintain healthy nutrient levels. Vitamin A, D, E, and K are essential for the body. People with EPI may have difficulty absorbing fat-soluble nutrients from food. (2)


enzyme deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency and its symptoms:

Vitamin D is sometimes called the sunshine vitamin and our body makes it from cholesterol when it is exposed to sunlight.

Significance of vitamin D:

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and plays an important role in body functioning, including bone health and immunity. It may help to prevent cancer and protect against chronic conditions.

  • Bone loss
  • Depression
  • Type II diabetes
  • Heart diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis

One research indicates that almost 42% of US adults have vitamin D deficiency. Hispanic adults have 63% and African American adults have 82%.

Signs of vitamin D deficiency:

1-Frequent illness or infections:

Vitamin D supports immune health and prevents viruses and bacteria. However, in case of fever or severe cold, vitamin D levels may become low and several studies have shown a connection between deficiency and respiratory tract infections.

2-Bone and back pain:

Inadequate vitamin D levels may cause bone and lower back pain. Moreover, vitamin D helps in bone maintenance and by body’s absorption of calcium. One study shows that 98 adults with lower back pain are associated with lower levels of vitamin D.

3-Bone loss:

Vitamin D plays a significant role in calcium absorption and bone metabolism. Vitamin D and calcium at the same time maximize absorption in your body. Lower bone density is a major indication of lost calcium in your bones. Older adults, especially women are at risk of more fractures. One study found that women deficient in vitamin D experienced no improvement in bone mineral density. However, vitamin D in adults yielded mixed results. While some studies show benefits, such as reduced muscle pain and no fracture related to bone loss.

4-Hair loss:

Foods and nutrients have a connection with hair growth. However, stress is most commonly associated with hair loss or it may be due to nutrient deficiency. Hair loss in women is also linked to low levels of vitamin D.

5-Muscle pain:

The causes of muscle pain vary from individual to individual. However, some evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency is a potential cause of muscle pain. A previous study showed that people with chronic muscle pain were found deficient in muscle pain. Vitamin D is present in nerve cells called nociceptors, which may sense pain. One study found that 120 children with vitamin D deficiency had growing muscle pain that a single dose of vitamin D experienced reduced pain by an average of 57%.

What factors are responsible for vitamin D deficiency?

  • Dark skin
  • Diet lacking in fish or dairy
  • Obesity or overweight
  • Working overnight shifts
  • Chronic kidney disease or liver disease
  • Having gastric bypass surgery
  • Age factor (3)