Feature Blog: Digestive Health During Seasonal Transitions

Smiley face stomach

by Erin Stokes, ND, Medical Director at FoodState®

Autumn is the season of harvest, as well as a time of transition. We see evidence of this transition everywhere, as the days become shorter and the nights grow longer. Leaves change color and fall from the trees, and animals prepare for the upcoming winter by gathering food.

What are humans doing to adapt to the seasonal change? Usually, not much.

At this time of year, our bodies need more sleep (but we often don’t get it), and it’s also an ideal time to focus on optimizing digestive function. Between 60-80% of immune cells are located in and around the gastrointestinal tract. So, it stands to reason that a healthy GI tract is an excellent way to prepare ahead of time for winter’s immune challenges.

It’s a concept called seasonal therapeutics. No matter which season it is, there is always an emphasis on being proactive to get ahead of seasonal challenges.

Here are a few ways to support your patient’s digestive and overall health during the fall season:

  1. Avoid individual food allergens and high glycemic load carbohydrates. Focus instead on whole foods with a strong emphasis on increasing vegetable intake. This is a good time of year to help people identify those food allergens and sensitivities. Food allergens can be identified with an elimination diet, or alternatively, some prefer to selectively eliminate the most common offenders one at a time, such as gluten or dairy.
  2. Support a healthy inflammatory response in the GI tract with herbs such as tumeric root, boswelia serrate, and ginger root.
  3. Depending in the individual, consider proactively increasing frequency and/or potency of probiotics when moving into the Autumn months. Some individuals may need additional immune support as the seasons transition. One way to improve digestive and immune support is with probiotics.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Posted with permission from Innate Response™

Guest Post: Which Enzymes Should You Be Taking?

Reposted from the website of Dr. DicQie Fuller-Looney

Food enzymes are preserved intact in raw foods. Uncooked fruit and vegetables contain their own enzymes. A ripening banana is a good example of how raw-food enzymes work. The banana transforms itself from a hard, starchy plant into a very soft, brown and sweet one through a process requiring energy from its enzymes. Their plant enzymes work first to take in nutrients and then allow them to ripen with the same enzyme process the soil, tree or host they grow on. They are not available during human digestion. There is confusion in the raw food world over the enzymes that raw foods contain. These food enzymes are specifically for the food itself to obtain their own nutrients from because they are destroyed and/or made dormant in the acid environment of the human stomach. We may eat or juice these raw foods but their enzymes are only present to work for their own needs. Such enzymes are not available for our needs because they have to first go through our stomach where they are made dormant.

Plant Enzymes are bromelain, kiwi and papain. Bromelain is a proteolytic (breaks down protein) and milk-clotting enzyme derived from the pineapple stem. Papain is taken from the fruit of the papaya tree. Both bromelain and papain are used in tenderizers and to break down proteins. In the human digestive tract and because of their ultimate pH they are used mostly for inflammation between meals rather than in the main digestive tract. Kiwi has some value in the breaking down of fiber and some dairy products. There are those who experience bowel irritation with the use of kiwi and papain similar to the bloating from eating at salad bars.

Plant based supplemental digestive enzymes is the third source for these miraculous substances. They are grown on plant foods (as their host) in a laboratory where they are fed to become whatever digestive enzyme type is required, but they do not contain their host. The host is a plant source and its use is just a platform to host the mycelial or biochemical enzymes. When mature, the fungus is removed and the remainder is a pure fluid that is dried to a fine powder substance. They are known as plant enzymes but they are really mycelial or microbial produced bio-identical enzymes to the human body. Enzymes cannot be made like synthetic vitamins and minerals. They must be grown in plant form and extracted without chemicals in a laboratory process. Supplemental plant-based enzymes are usually sold in capsule form. They are swallowed with food to assist in the digestion of a particular meal. They work throughout the entire digestive system, from esophagus to rectum.

Animal enzymes also known as glandular enzymes are the other enzymes available for human consumption. For instance, pancreatin comes from the pancreas of a slaughterhouse hog or ox. Pancreatin requires an alkaline pH setting to work. Therefore, It begins working only in the latter stages of the digestive process. Parts of the glands enzymes are chymotrypsin, trypsin and pepsin. They all require an enteric coating for protection from the human stomach. Their best work is in the alkaline setting of the blood but not necessarily for digestive purposes. Animal produced enzymes are not recommended for children or pregnant women due to their coating.

Supplemental plant based digestive enzymes, which work from a pH of 2 to 9 throughout the digestive system and into the pH of the blood are obviously the best choice for digestive supplementation.

You would want to ingest those enzymes that are most available to your system for proper digestion. For instance there are 13 different carbohydrate-splitting enzymes not just amylase, which is limited to the breaking down of starch into glucose.

There are a few lipase enzymes to assist in the breaking down of fats and moving them into the lymphatic system to make their way to the liver. One type does not call for bile, which is good for those with the gallbladder removed.

Protease enzymes come in different pH factors from acid bearing to work in the stomach, acid to neutral to work in the small intestine and alkaline to work in the blood.

Enzymes 101: Help Beat The Bloat This Holiday Season


As the holidays roll on, our free time suddenly becomes filled with dinners, parties and potlucks. All that eating can put a strain on even the most ruthlessly efficient digestive system, and enzymes can help our bodies process all of the gluten-, sugar- and fat-laden holiday food that keeps getting set out on the office counter. If you’ve ever taken Beano, you’re already well acquainted with digestive enzymes and their wonders, but there’s so much more to these little catalysts than keeping the gas at bay when you’re forced to eat your aunt’s 12-bean salad at the family reunion.

You’ve probably heard the word enzymes thrown around as something that’s important for good health, but in order to figure out what it means, and how important enzymes are for digestion, we’ll first have to crack open our 9th-grade chemistry books: Enzymes, at their most basic, are molecules that act as catalysts to speed up chemical reactions in living organisms. They are present in all living cells, and help regulate every biochemical reaction that happens in the human body.

When it comes to digestion, enzymes are the catalyst that help break down the food you eat into its constituent nutrients (amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals) so they can be used by your body to fuel all of its processes. Without enzymes, your body would still process the food you eat—eventually. Instead of taking days, enzymes make this process happen in hours so that the food you eat can provide nutrients to your body instead of rotting in your intestines.

The three most important digestive enzyme types are amylases, which break down starches into simple sugars, proteases, which break down proteins into amino acids, and lipases, which break down fats. Humans produce these enzymes in the mouth, stomach and intestines, but they are also present in our food in its raw form—Papain (from papayas) and Bromelain (from pineapples) are two of the most well-known plant-based enzymes that our body doesn’t produce. Chronic stress, low stomach acid, aging, and gut inflammation can decrease our body’s ability to product enzymes on its own, and the modern American diet full of overcooked, over-processed, under-chewed, enzyme-deficient food only adds to our body’s inability to process what we eat.

This lack of enzymes and inability to efficiently digest food is what leads to the gas, bloating, heartburn and feeling of a rock in our stomach that we all know and hate. Because our body has to work so much harder during digestion, enzyme deficiency can also lead to the dreaded food coma. For some, a change in diet and even chewing more can help alleviate the enzyme deficiency, but most people find that they need additional supplementation from outside sources.

Enzymes supplements usually come from three main sources: Fruit (papain and bromelain), animal (pancreatin), or fungus. Fungus-based sources tend to be the most stable, and encompass a broad spectrum of enzymes, so look for a supplement that uses an extensive blend.

You’ll want to take your digestive enzymes with meals so that the enzymes can be used by the body as its digesting your food. Systemic enzymes may be taken between meals to replenish enzyme stores in the rest of your body.

Our favorite enzyme products come from Transformation Enzymes. TEC uses the highest-quality enzymes available in broad-spectrum, synergistic blends for a variety of digestive problems. These are our three favorite TEC products:

  • Digest: Digest is Transformation’s flagship product, and is a wonderful blend of essential enzymes to help digest all food molecules, from proteins and fats to carbohydrates and lactose. If you’re trying digestive enzymes for the first time, this is the most comprehensive blend available. Digest is available in 60 count, 90 count and 120 count bottles.
  • DigestZyme: With its smaller capsule DigestZyme is a great introduction to digestive enzymes. This gentle formula includes probiotics to further aid proper digestion. DigestZyme is available in 120 count and 240 count capsules, or a powder that can easily be mixed with food.
  • Gastro: Gastro is a complex, active enzyme formulation that is designed to alleviate occasional gastrointestinal discomfort, improve digestive function, and strengthen epithelial cell vitality in the gut.



























Check Our Our Essentials For Back To School


As September quickly approaches and summer draws to a close, everyone turns their attention away from vacations and sunshine towards books, school buses and homework. Back-to-school time is fast approaching, and along with the essentials for class, such as backpacks and pencils, it’s time to think about the other back-to-school essentials to ensure your child stays happy and healthy all year long.

Below are some of our best products to help your child stay healthy in mind and body through all the germs, school lunches, homework stresses and rapidly cooling weather. We’ve broken our favorites down into three categories: Multivitamins, Immune and Digestive Support, and Learning and Attention Support.


  • Nature’s Dynamics Berry Garden Gummies: These organic, whole-food gummies are a delicious blend of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants fruits and vegetables that provide your child with all of the nutrients needed to support growing minds and bodies. These gummies come in great-tasting Cherry and Assorted flavors, and because they’re from whole foods, they won’t cause upset stomachs.
  • Genestra Pediatri Vite Liquid Multivitamin: This liquid multivitamin and mineral blend easily blends with juice, milk or water to provide a full spectrum of nutrition for kids who may not want to know they’re taking their vitamins. Its great-tasting cherry flavor makes it easy to give to smaller children, and the multivitamin formula helps support tissue formation and normal growth and development.
  • Metabolic Maintenance Little One: Made for children ages 6-12, these small capsules provide an easy-to-swallow multivitamin uniquely formulated to support their nutritional needs. Each vitamin and mineral contained in this multi is in its most bioavailable form, so your child can get the most out of each capsule.

Immune & Digestive Support

  • Argentyn 23 Silver Hydrosol: Argentyn 23 silver hydrosol is a practitioner-grade, potent colloidal silver product that’s the safest and purest available on the market, so it’s great as an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal treatment for anything your child might pick up at school. It’s available in a 1 oz. and 2 oz. first-aid gel, or a 2 oz. fine mist spray to treat playground cuts and scrapes, or a 2 oz. vertical mist spray to help clear up stuffy noses and sinus infections. It’s also available in liquid form, in a 2 oz. dropper bottle for ear infections, or  4 oz., 8 oz., or 16 oz. bottles. There’s even a large 32 oz. bottle for the entire family.
  • Nature’s Dynamics Berry Garden Chewable Probiotics: Probiotics are important at all ages for optimal digestive health, especially children who may be on antibiotics for ear infections or other illnesses. Because most of our immune system is found in our gut, a healthy digestive tract also means a healthy body. These chewable probiotics are a great-tasting way to get 6 powerful probiotic strains to help calm upset stomachs and boost immune support.
  • Genestra HMF Child Chewable Probiotics: These human-strain probiotics provide 12.5 billion colony-forming units of probiotics to stimulate healthy gut flora and boost your child’s immune system. The convenient chewable format makes them easy to take, and the delicious blackcurrant flavor is great for even the pickiest child.

Attention & Learning Support

  • Genestra DHA Pediaburst: This is a highly concentrated DHA fish-oil blend to help support brain, eye and nerve development for growing young minds. It’s also a great source of EPA and Omega-3 fatty acids to support general health and development. These great-tasting orange-flavored chews have no fishy taste, and contain the highest-quality fish oil available.
  • Nature’s Dynamics Berry Garden Omega-3 Gummies: This organic, whole-food gummy provides Omegas 3, 6 & 9, as well as EPA and DHA to support good brain and joint function and development. The delicious orange-flavored gummy is naturally derived and easily digestible, so it won’t upset young stomachs.
  • SafeCareRx Attention & Learning Enhancement: This high-quality homeopathic supplement provides multiple potencies in one easy-to-use spray to help support mental and physical development in children that have attention and learning difficulties. The tasteless formula also means easy administration.