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Continued Enzyme Success


According to Markets and Markets, North America’s specialty enzyme market is known for its niche con- sumer segment and developed technologies. Global industrialization is a major driver behind growing market share for specialty enzyme, but the U.S. is the single largest market for specialty enzymes. 

“The enzyme market is growing rap- idly and has been for the last few years,” said Amanda Brown, sales representative for American Laboratories Inc. in Nebraska. 

“We expect to see this trend continue for many years to come as consumers are becoming more educated on the benefits of enzymes. With health care coverage getting more expensive, people are looking for any way possible to keep out of the doctors’ offices and stay healthy.” 

Scott Ravech, CEO of Deerland Enzymes in Georgia, confirmed that the demand for enzyme-based supplements has never been stronger, and despite a weak economy this growth has been very consistent over the past six years. “While digestive health remains our largest category, we have also experienced significant growth in both systemic enzyme supplements and antioxidants,” he said. “I expect this trend to continue in the coming years.” 

A Advancements 

With many advances in enzyme formulation over the last year, new benefits have been found outside of simply a digestive aid, said Brown. They are also being added to different supplements to make it a “one-stop-shop” when it comes to taking your daily multivitamins. If you can take one pill for every- thing, that is much more appealing than taking four or five to get everything you need for the day. 

At Deerland Enzymes, advancements from recent clinical studies involve its products ProHydrolase® (patent pending) and Glutalytic, Ravech noted. ProHydrolase is a proteolytic enzyme blend designed to maximize muscle building and recovery for use in protein supplements. In two separate clinical studies, ProHydrolase was found to increase levels of amino acids in the blood, as well as decrease levels of C-reactive protein (an indicator of inflammation). 

Glutalytic is also a blend of protease enzymes, uniquely designed to break down gluten more quickly and efficiently than typical DPPIV-only supplements for gluten digestion. Participants in the double-blind, randomized, placebo- controlled clinical study showed statistically significant improvements in a wide variety of common digestive issues. 

These studies are scheduled for publication in peer-reviewed journals in the coming months. 

Working with Enzymes 

Challenges associated with enzyme product formulations are usually deter- mined by the customer’s level of knowledge about the properties of enzymes, Ravech noted. “Those with little experience dealing with enzymes have less understanding of the activity/potency properties.” 

So it’s important to understand that the potency of enzymes is not measured in the same way as other nutritional supplements,” he added. “Enzymes are not measured by weight, so the number of milligrams of a product would not describe the true potency. Low potency enzymes may weigh as much as those with high potency, and fillers may add to the weight but not the effectiveness of an enzyme supplement. The determining factor of an enzyme product’s potency is its ‘activity’—the effect it has on proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Different enzymes use different units of measurement to determine potency. The national standards (testing methodologies) for determining enzyme potency are defined in the Food Chemical Codex (FCC).”beyond enzyme-only formulations, according to Ravech. “Deerland Enzymes’ research and development team invests significant effort in developing technologies that will be compatible and complementary to our enzyme-based supplements. These formulations could include ingredients such as chelating agents, essential oils, pre/probiotics, antioxidants and botanicals.” 

Along with meeting FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) requirements and representing products accurately, deciding on the best delivery system for enzymes is often a challenge for any supplement formulator, Ravech continued. “In the case of enzymes, it’s important for customers to understand that if tablets are used, when tablets are com- pressed it generates heat and pressure necessitating the addition of an enzyme ‘overage’ to compensate for any activity (potency) loss.” 

Missy Lowery, senior marketing man- ager with South Carolina-based Capsugel, Americas Region, added that some enzymes are susceptible to degradation due to stomach acids, while others are not. 

In 2013, Capsugel performed an invivo scintigraphic study that document- ed a successful delayed release primari- 34 Nutrition Industry Executive ly in the intestines of ingredients filled in its plant-based DrcapsTM capsules. “This makes it an excellent delivery choice for acid-sensitive ingredients, even when compared to a regular vege- tarian capsule,” Lowery noted. 

Although Drcaps maintains stability and protects ingredients from early activation in packaging because it is made of low-moisture HPMC (four to six percent in 50 percent relative humidity compared to gelatin at 12 to 14 percent), the capsule’s unique polymer properties formulated into the HPMC capsule also slow opening after swallowing and resist acid in order to protect nutritional ingredients from full release and disintegration in the stomach—thus allowing for complete dissolution in the intestines. 

Data and images from this human clinical study empirically demonstrated the capsules’ effective protection from early activation caused by stomach acids and, for a majority of study sub- jects, complete release in the intestines. 

Expanding Usage 

Enzymes are now being used in products for more than just digestion and can be used to help with inflammation, help build immune support and aid in breaking down gluten within foods to reduce digestive side effects (i.e. bloating), Brown explained. 

Ravech agreed. “Systemic enzymes (such as for inflammation and cardio health) are gaining popularity. For example, supplements that support proper inflammatory response in the body include pro- tease enzymes, such as serratiopeptidase and nattokinase. 

Deerland Enzymes has recently released ThioZymeYD, an enzyme-based for- mulation to support normal levels of yeast in the body, such as candida.” 

Enzymes can also be used for protein hydrolysis, such as for use in a protein supplement or meal replacement, making it ideal for body- builders, runners, or anyone with an active lifestyle. 

“People are always looking for the latest trends and it is not any different in the enzyme market,” Brown noted. “Recently, American Laboratories has been working on a formula for gluten digestion and a formula to help with immune support. Both of which have been very popular when introduced to the enzyme market.” 

Another major trend across the supplement industry is obtaining Non- GMO Project verification. “It’s a common misconception that enzyme products are GMO (genetically modified organism), due to some enzymes’ association with food processing and industrial applications,” Ravech explained. “However, the proteins and organisms used for dietary supplement enzymes are, in most cases, non-GMO. Along with other categories in the supplement industry, such as vitamins and probiotics, we are currently working closely with the Non-GMO Project team towards certification for enzymes.” 

Gluten and dairy intolerances are especially good candidates for an enzyme-based solution, such as Deerland Enzymes’ latest products GlutalyticTM and DairylyticTM. “These enzyme-based products hydrolyze wheat and dairy proteins and break them down into smaller protein constituents so they can be more easily managed by the body,” Ravech said. Glutalytic helps minimize the unintended consequences of inadvertent gluten consumption. Dairylytic works to help break down not only the lactose associated with dairy foods, but also the proteins that can be difficult to digest and may cause dis- comfort to sensitive individuals. 

In addition, multi-component enzyme-based blends continue to gain popularity and for the most part have become the norm. To take this trend to the next level, Deerland Enzymes has invested significant R&D effort in developing products incorporating unique but very effective ingredients such as herbals/botanicals and antioxidants. Its ThioZyme line of products includes natural ingredients proven to enhance the benefits of enzymes, including essential oils, peptides and chelators.


■ American Laboratories, (402) 339-2494
■ Capsugel, American Region
(800) 845-6973
■ Council for Responsible Nutrition,
(202) 204-8179
■ Deerland Enzymes, (800) 697-8179

Enzyme Guidelines

In December, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the Enzyme Technical Association (ETA) announced the release of their voluntary guidelines for enzyme-containing dietary supplements: the “Enzyme Dietary Supplement Products Best Practices Guide.” 

CRN’s Duffy MacKay, ND, senior vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, noted The Best Practices Guide for Enzyme Dietary Supplement Products was developed as a free tool to provide information to help promote the safe production, storage, and use of enzymecontaining dietary supplements. “The goal is to provide information that will help all companies provide effective enzyme-containing dietary supplements and to facilitate transparency and uniformity in the dietary supplement and enzyme industries,” he said.

“For many CRN companies the guidelines reinforce practices that were already in place, but serve as additional support that these practices are fitfor- use with enzyme-containing dietary supplements,” MacKay continued. “These companies also welcome the awareness and transparency that a formal industry Guideline document provides to help other companies raise the bar and improve their own practices. At the end of the day, the consumer benefits the most by ensuring that enzyme containing dietary supplements have in the bottle what is listed on the label, at the amount listed, with the activity level needed to have the intended effect when consumed.” 

For more information, visit www.crnusa.org

Non-GMO Project