Difference between probiotics and digestive enzymes

Digestion is the process that turns the food we eat into useful energy. It is unarguably one of the essential functions of the body, which is why it needs to be facilitated and aided in every way possible. Let’s take a look at two critical ways in which the human body does that:

Digestive enzymes

Digestive enzymes are protein molecules that speed up the chemical reactions happening during the digestion process. For this reason, they are also referred to as biological catalysts. Their primary function is to break down food molecules into smaller components so that the gut wall can absorb the energy and nutrients to send them into the bloodstream.

The working principle of an enzyme is known as the lock and key analogy, with the enzyme being the lock and the substrate (molecule to broken down) being the key. Each enzyme has an active site with a geometric shape to fit a particular substrate, much like a lock can fit only one specially shaped key. Once the substrate binds itself to the active site, the chemical reaction for it to be broken down is sped up by a significant margin (up to a million times).


Probiotics are bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to the human body, particularly for the digestive system. These “good” bacteria can be found in various foods and supplements such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi. They can effectively facilitate the absorption of nutrients through the gut walls by acting on nerves that control gut movement, speeding the digestion process.

Benefits of digestive enzymes

Digestive enzymes are vital to the human body. Lack of them would result in significant digestive problems and a severe deficiency of vitamins and nutrients. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a healthy enzyme-level in the body, which can be done through the regular intake of plant enzymes supplements.

Here are a few of the main benefits of digestive enzymes:

Nutrient absorption

As stated before, digestive enzymes turn the food you eat into useful nutrients. Without them, all of that food would go to waste!

Reduced digestive issues

Digestive enzymes can help prevent the following digestive problems:

  • Constipation
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Colic
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Healthy skin

This may sound surprising, but proper digestion can even result in more youthful skin! Getting proper nutrients reduces inflammation in the body, which helps the skin glow.

Probiotics vs. digestive enzymes

Even though probiotics and digestive enzymes serve primarily the same purpose, they are quite different. Most people would recommend both of them for a healthy digestive tract, but it is important to note their major differences:

  • Probiotics are living microorganisms, whereas enzymes are chemical substances.
  • Enzymes can occur naturally in the body, whereas probiotics cannot.

Both probiotics and digestive enzymes are critical components of the body’s digestive system. While digestive enzyme break down foods, probiotics enhance the process by forming a natural protective bacterial layer. Therefore, it is a good idea to include plant enzymes supplements and probiotics in your diet.