For individuals who need a broad-spectrum digestive aid, Thorne offers Bio-Gest. Bio-Gest contains hydrochloric acid, pepsin, pancreatin, and ox bile, all of which are important for individuals who need support for protein and carbohydrate digestion, as well as fat emulsification and absorption.*
Hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach does several positive things: it assists protein digestion by activating pepsinogen to pepsin; it renders the stomach sterile against ingested pathogens; it inhibits undesirable overgrowth in the small intestine; and it encourages the flow of bile and pancreatic enzymes.* Hydrochloric acid also facilitates the absorption of nutrients such as folate, vitamin B12, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, iron, and some forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc.* Numerous studies have shown that hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach declines with advancing age. Overuse of antacids can lead to low levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which can result in poor protein digestion.*
The pancreatin in Bio-Gest come from a porcine source. Pancreatin is a mixture of several digestive enzymes produced by cells in the pancreas. Pancreatin is composed of amylase, lipase, and protease. Pancreatin production and secretion by the pancreas is essential to digestion and the absorption of numerous nutrients, especially fats.*
The pepsin in Bio-Gest also comes from a porcine source, and, unlike many supplement companies, the pepsin utilized in Bio-Gest is pure, undiluted, and lactose-free.
Situations such as illness, gall bladder removal, the overuse of antacids, and normal aging can contribute to the insufficient secretion of stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, and bile, as well as adversely affecting digestive enzyme activity, all of which can lead to heartburn, gas, bloating, and other symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort.*
Maldigestion can lead to digestive problems and the poor absorption of nutrients, resulting in vitamin deficiencies (particularly fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K). Food allergies can develop when inadequately digested proteins are absorbed through the gut. As large proteins are absorbed intact, the body might recognize them as foreign and create antibodies to them, resulting in an allergic response to the food. An individual who has frequent indigestion should make sure to have adequate enzyme support.*