What is Xylanase?
Your xylan fiber-degrading enzyme.
Did you know that your body doesn’t actually produce all of the enzymes required to digest the fiber you consume?
Nope, it is actually beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract that produce xylanase, an enzyme which breaks down a specific type of plant fiber called xylan. When broken down, this xylan turns into xylose, a simple sugar that the body can use for energy.
Xylan (fiber) is the second most common component of plant cell walls and cereal grains. This means that all the fiber-rich foods we are advised to consume in a healthy diet – like beans, grains, and vegetables – must be broken down by intestinal bacteria that produce xylanase to get the maximum health benefits.
As such, xylanase is essential for maintaining a happy, healthy digestive tract. Not only does xylanase promote the proper digestion of fiber-rich foods, it also boosts the body’s natural enzyme activity to curtail digestive discomfort.
Get in the Xylanase Zone
You now know that xylanase plays an indispensable role in breaking down fiber-rich foods so that your body receives the nutrition it needs.
But according to scientific studies, only a small amount of xylanase is actually secreted into the intestines by those beneficial bacteria. In fact, only about 70% of the dietary fiber people consume is broken down into usable energy by the xylanase-producing bacteria.
As a result, the other 30% of fibrous foods are left undigested in the digestive tract. And when undigested fiber accumulates, the symptoms are not fun: indigestion, gas, abdominal pain, and bloating.
Because the human gastrointestinal tract cannot thoroughly break down fibrous foods with the limited supply of xylanase produced by beneficial bacteria, supplementation is essential.
Adding xylanase to your supplement regimen assists your body in fully breaking down fiber-rich foods to ease digestive discomfort as well as improve the bioavailability of nutrients.
Research has shown that intestinal bacteria do not promote the complete digestion of fiber (xylans). One study demonstrated the significance of xylanase supplementation, finding that just 1.0 g/kg of the enzyme for 7 to 21 days efficiently breaks down wheat-based food into small fragments, such as xylose (simple sugar), in the small intestine.
The result is enhanced digestibility of fibrous foods by reducing their viscosity (thickness).
Many enzymes are necessary for the complete digestion of fiber, but xylanase paves the way for your body’s other natural enzymes to get to work faster and more efficiently!
According to Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, xylanase is the key enzyme in a process that initially breaks down complex carbohydrates, known as polysaccharides, into fewer carbohydrates called oligosaccharides (‘poly’ means many, ‘oligo’ stands for fewer). After xylanase releases the oligosaccharides, additional enzymes continue to break down these shorter carbohydrates into sugars, such as fructose and glucose, that the body uses for energy.
When xylanase is in short supply, complex carbohydrates are only partially broken down, which leads to carb-buildup that may cause excess gas, bloating, and other digestive complaints. Furthermore, improper digestion hinders the release of essential nutrients into the bloodstream.
In short, xylanase stimulates the activity of other enzymes that work together to release all of the nutrients from food into simple sugars that the body can use.
What does all this xylanase talk mean for you?
The consumption of healthy, fiber-rich foods is only as beneficial as the extent to which they are digested. Here are two reasons why:
- Undigested fiber can accumulate in the digestive tract, causing indigestion, bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.
- Improperly digested fiber impacts the amount of bioavailable nutrients that your body can use for energy.
As you can see, the health benefits of dietary fiber are lost unless key enzymes like xylanase are added to the diet. In fact, people who experience frequent digestive problems after eating vegetables, legumes, and grains may have low levels of xylanase. Additionally, the beneficial bacteria in the body can only produce so much xylanase, making supplementation of this enzyme a key component in optimal digestion and well-being.
Xylanase helps your body to thoroughly digest the fiber you consume both by breaking it down into bioavailable nutrients and by stimulating other enzymes to finish the job before it builds up and causes health problems.
The Xylanase Zenith
Check out our favorite digestive enzyme blend to help you get the greatest health benefits from the dietary fiber you consume!
Devigest combines many enzymes to ease digestive complaints from sensitive foods, including xylanase, which has the ability to digest artificial food dyes and preservatives, and is often lacking in other digestive formulas.