Many people ask whether systemic enzymes should be enterically coated or not. This question is founded in the belief that the stomach acid will destroy the enzymes if they are unprotected. However enzymes are different to other types of supplements like probiotics. Stomach acid or hydrochloric acid (HCL) takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes after food reaches the stomach for enough to be present to start to the digestion process; and rather than destroy the enzymes the HCL simply deactivates them. When the enzymes reach the upper intestinal tract, where there is an alkaline environment, they are reactivated.
If the enzymes are taken on an empty stomach there isn’t enough HCL present to deactivate them, therefore providing they are not enterically coated they are immediately more bio-available once they reach the intestinal tract. Furthermore, if the enzymes are taken away from food, their potential isn’t used on digesting food but is allowed to pass into the body and focus on other systemic processes.
This bio-availability of the enzymes is of particular benefit for people who are taking a systemic enzyme for inflammation and pain control, as it prevents a delay in the activation of the enzymes. Therefore, when chosing a systemic enzyme it is good to question whether the supplement is enterically coated but not for the reasons you might previously have thought.