Digestive Enzymes FAQ


What's in the new and improved Digestive Enzyme formula?

Any of you who have followed my work over the years know that I do not often change my formulas. Yes, I am constantly upgrading ingredient sources and am always on the lookout for cleaner more potent sources for those ingredients. And that’s the reason, for example, that my rice/yellow pea protein powder has some of the lowest heavy metals in the industry. But as for changing the formulas themselves, not so much—and for three reasons.

If a formula works, why mess with it unless you’re actually improving its efficacy.

I don’t believe in adding ingredients just to look good on labels. If it doesn’t improve efficacy, then it’s deceptive.

In most, but not all, cases, if you add something to a formula, you have to take something out. There’s only so much room in a capsule. If you add 75 mg of a new ingredient to a formula, you have to remove 75 mg of something already in the formula to make room for it in the capsule—with three caveats:

  1. If you can add the new ingredient without removing anything essential from the old formula, that works. And this is what I did with my heavy metal formula when I added fulvic/humic acid to improve it. By using a liquid form of fulvic acid, I was able to substitute it for an equivalent amount of water/alcohol in the original formula. Water and alcohol are not “active” ingredients in the formula. They are essential solvents for “making” the formula, but they don’t play an active role in the formula, so removing some of their volume to make room for the liquid fulvic acid had zero impact on the formula. In other words, you had all the benefit of adding the fulvic/humic acid with no downside.
  2. If the new ingredient improves the formula more than the removal of the old ingredient harms it, then it’s worth it. This was what I did with my sugar/lipid metabolic enhancement formula when moving from version 1 to version 2. By dropping out a small amount of nopal cactus and Konjac mannan, which were both present at substantial levels, I was able to add Corosolic acid, Bitter melon, and Cinnulin to the formula, which substantially improved the efficacy of the formula without notably impacting the efficacy of the nopal and Konjac. In other words, the cost in efficacy of slightly lowering the nopal and Konjac was offset many times over by the addition of the new ingredients. Overall, a huge win.
  3. And then, as with my digestive enzyme formula, which is what we’re talking about today, we have a third option. If the new ingredient you’re adding doesn’t take up too much room, you might be able to find a stronger version of the ingredients you’re reducing in the formula so that you end up with exactly the same efficacy for those ingredients, even though you’re slightly reducing the amount you’re using. To make room for the AstraZyme™ we’ve added, we slightly reduced the milligrams of two of the enzymes in the formula. But you will notice there is no difference in the activity units listed on the label. And that’s because I was able to find more concentrated versions of those two enzymes that produced the exact same activity level at slightly lower milligrams. This is a nice trick if you can pull it off.

So, now that you understand HOW I did it, let’s take a look at WHY I did it?


AstraZyme™ is a proprietary and clinically proven combination of enzymes and herbs that, takes the digestive and absorption of protein to its highest level.

To understand AstraZyme™ and why it is now included in my Digestive Enzyme formula, we need to begin with a discussion of the first two main aspects to the full utilization of any protein: breakdown and absorption. In order to utilize the food ingested, complete breakdown of the long chains of amino acids into smaller peptides and single amino acids must occur. Digestive enzymes play a major role in this process.

The second essential mechanism of digestion is absorption. For the molecules to be of value, efficient absorption of the amino acids and smaller peptides must also take place. Break down and absorption are separate processes and optimum health requires both. Digestive enzymes as currently formulated CAN HELP with this process, but it’s not really what they’re designed to do. But something called AstraGin™ can do exactly that.

For the absorption process, combining enzymes with AstraGin™ makes all the difference. AstraGin™ is a proprietary combination of extracts from Astragalus membranaceus and Panax notoginseng. This unique combination allows the uptake of small peptides and amino acids on a cellular level. Numerous clinical studies have been done both in-vitro (in a test tube) as well as several in-vivo (in a living being).

Studies conducted over the past 14 years continue to prove the efficacy of this amazing combination. Specifically, they document dramatic increases in the absorption rates of the following substances:

  • L-Arginine by 66%
  • L-Citrulline by 45%
  • L-Tryptophan by 53%
  • Glucose by 55%
  • Folate by 50%
  • Glucosamine by 23%
  • Agmatine by 36%
  • B-alanine by 26%
  • Creatine by 33%
  • Omega-7 fatty acid by 39%
  • Peptides by 40%
  • Curcumin by 92%

As you will note from the study data, the relationship between enzymes and AstraGin™ is synergistic; together the two produce exceptional results. But recently an advance was made that takes this improvement to the next level. The spark that ignites our enzyme/AstraGin™ combination is a trace mineral combination consisting of 72 individual minerals. This is important and worth looking at in some detail.

To begin with, you need to understand that each enzyme depends on a specific mineral to reach its full catalytic effect. An example of this is zinc, which is responsible for aiding over 300 different enzymes in performing more effectively. It has been said that minerals are the enzymes for enzymes! The mineral combination mentioned above has been demonstrated to produce the most potent results. But that’s just the beginning. This trace mineral complex also mirrors the same microscopic geometric pattern as those of the enzymes, tetrahedrons or four-sided pyramids. Found within these miniature pyramids are all the trace minerals. The pyramid acts as a vehicle or delivery system for the minerals.

Once the payload of minerals has been delivered to the cell, this unique tetrahedron complex also aids in the uptake of various toxins like heavy metals. These microscopic structures act like sponges that soak them up heavy metals and safely pull them out of the body. The unique aspect regarding this particular type and source of mineral complex is that it enjoys a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status in the supplement industry and is used in medical and pharmaceutical applications. Because of the purity and potency of the minerals only very small doses are required.

The results achieved by the trio of enzymes, AstraGin™ and trace minerals are astounding and have been documented in a landmark clinical study. The name of this unique combination is AstraZyme™. “Astra” which relates to the energy source of the enzyme as well as a reference to AstraGin™; “Zyme” which corresponds to the physical or vehicle portion of the enzyme. The word AstraZyme™ literally means “energy vehicle” or “vehicle of energy”.

AstraZyme™ enhances digestion by successfully addressing both aspects of protein utilization:

  1. Its complete breakdown
  2. Its full absorption

AstraZyme™ is:

  • Non-GMO
  • Non-dairy
  • Non-soy
  • Gluten-free
  • Allergen-free
  • Vegan

For all the above reasons, I have added AstraZyme™/AstraGin™ to my Digestive Enzyme formula

Do you have an Allergen Statement?

This product is manufactured in an allergen-free facility with regard to the following:

None of the eight major allergens or their derivatives are present: milk, egg, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy or wheat.

Do you use magnesium stearate in any of your products?

We do not use magnesium stearate. We use vegetable sourced stearic acid. Some people claim they are identical. They are not. The simplest difference to understand is that magnesium stearate contains magnesium (Mg(C18H35O2)2). Vegetable stearate does not (C18H36O2). It is required as a flow agent whenever you send a powder with any tendency to stick through either a tableting or encapsulation machine. Otherwise the powder gums up the works and jams the equipment. Stearic acid is an essential saturated fatty acid that is found in all vegetable, seed, nut, and animal oils. Although stearic acid can be derived from several sources, including bovine, the most common source in better quality nutritional supplements is vegetable stearic acid primarily from coconut and palm oils. Incidentally, the amount of stearic acid in a typical tablet or capsule is much less than what you'll find in a salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing. (Olive oil is a source of stearic acid.)

Why don't Digestive Enzymes contain bromelain?

"Our digestive enzymes formula no longer contains bromelain for three reason:

  1. First and foremost, it's primary benefit is in the bloodstream, not the digestive tract. Thus, it's best taken without food. Once we developed pHi-Zymes, a dedicated proteolytic formula, we put it there. If you take bromelain with food, it pretty much negates its ability to reach the bloodstream since it's pretty utilized digesting food.
  2. A significant number of people are allergic to bromelain. They couldn't use the digestive formula with bromelain in it -- and digestive enzymes are the formula that Jon Barron places number one for formulas that should be used every day.
  3. By removing the bromelain, we were able to make room for pectinase. Pectin coats proteins eaten in the same meal, thereby inhibiting their complete digestion. Pectinase breaks down the pectin coating the proteins, thus allowing for the complete digestion of proteins -- and thus reducing the possibility of food allergies. We thought that was a good exchange in place of the bromelain -- particularly since the bromelain was in now the dedicated proteolytic formula, where it would work better."

Should I take both digestive enzymes and pHi-Zymes® as a regular health routine? Is one type enough?

Digestive Enzymes and pHi-Zymes® are very, very different. Digestive Enzymes are designed to be taken with food to aid in the digestion of that food. pHi-Zymes® are designed to be taken without food so that they make their way into the bloodstream and work there. If you want the benefits of both, you need to take both.

What does 1,400 FIP equal in LU in the Digestive Enzymes mean?

The short answer to your question is that the ratio is about 1:10, which means if expressed in LU, the formula on the website would read Lipase 14,000 LU.

The long answer is that FIP and LU are both attempts to accurately assay enzyme activity. Assay accuracy and reproducibility are the most stringent requirements for the determination of enzyme potencies in nutraceutical formulations. Weight measures such as mgs tell you nothing about enzyme activity. You could have 5,000 mg of an enzyme that had been cooked at high temperature and have 0 activity left. FIP (an acronym for Federation Internationale Pharmaceutique/International Pharmaceutical Federation) is a more accurate standard than LU (an acronym for Lipase Units). Over the last 20 years, FIP has emerged as the overwhelming choice over LU for measuring enzyme activity in fats because it produces more accurate and consistent results

Enzyme activity is determined by the quantity of substrate (fats, proteins, carbohydrates -- whatever substance the enzyme is working on) broken down by the enzyme per unit of time. Accuracy in determining activity becomes a problem because the reaction rate that is measured depends on a number of experimental conditions such as temperature, pH, ionic strength, and the presence or absence of inhibitors or activators. It is only under the conditions specified in the prescribed assay procedure that enzyme units are defined. This is where different standards produce different accuracy.

I noticed your Digestive Enzymes contain malt diastase, are they Gluten Free?

Malt diastase is an enzyme made from barley malt through microbial fermentation. Theoretically, it contains no gluten and qualifies as gluten free. However, there may be minute traces of gluten left from the original malt. Some people who are highly gluten intolerant may have a problem with it.