Probiotics and Enzymes = Gut Health

Master Supplements, Inc. has made the connection, probiotics plus enzymes equal optimum gut health. When a high quality probiotic supplement is ingested two things must happen to get beneficial results:

  1. The probiotics must arrive alive in the small intestine in huge numbers, meaning they must be acid-proof and survive transit through the acidic stomach and guaranteed to provide 10 billion or more CFU (Colony Forming Units) per dose. Visit for detailed information on Theralac® probiotics.
  2. The probiotics must be fed upon arriving in the small intestine so they can multiply and effectively colonize the intestinal epithelium (soft lining). This feeding requires both cobiotics and prebiotics and this is where enzymes come in, but not just any enzymes.

Probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species benefit gut health by colonizing the soft lining of the intestinal tract, Lactobacilli prefer the ileum section of the small intestine while Bifidobacteria do best in the large intestine. When probiotics colonize both the mucin layer surrounding the epithelial lining and the cells themselves a protective microbial barrier is established that prevents pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella from attaching, it’s called competitive exclusion. Such probiotic colonization depends on the availability of proper nutrients to feed the probiotics.

Probiotic Nutrition

In a microbiology lab probiotic bacteria are cultured in a liquid growth medium called MRS broth. It contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, peptones, fatty acids, and simple sugars and that’s just the short list. Sterile flasks of this broth are inoculated with a particular probiotic strain and the flasks are incubated at 37 C (body temperature) for 18-24 hours. MRS broth allows billions of CFU to develop – it provides optimum probiotic nutrition.

To get probiotic nutrition you could drink MRS broth, it tastes like salty, vinegar laced, bullion broth. A better alternative would be to duplicate the probiotic nutrition provided by MRS broth in the human diet. ENZALASE® has been created to do just that! The digestive enzymes in ENZALASE®, besides supporting the body’s digestive enzymes and helping with digestion, have been formulated to feed probiotics by releasing microbial nutrients from the diet. Cobiotic nutrients feed the Lactobacillus probiotics. Amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sugars along with certain vitamins and minerals are the main cobiotic categories. The scientists at Therabiotics, Inc. call these nutrients cobiotics because they are also human nutrients, thus the “co” prefix.

The three protease enzymes in ENZALASE® effectively release amino acids from whole proteins in the diet, a percentage of these proteases are designed to release deep in the small intestine where they benefit the Lactobacillus probiotics (Patent Pending). The same is true for the lipase and carbohydrase enzymes in ENZALASE® - a percentage deep release and support the Lactobacilli. By comparison, the body’s major digestive enzymes release in the stomach and duodenum and the end products of their digestion get absorbed before they reach the ileum section of the small intestine where most of the Lactobacilli colonize. ENZALASE® generates cobiotic nutrients deep in the small intestine where they can be utilized by the Lactobacillus probiotics.

Prebiotics are the next class of probiotic nutrients; they are mostly active in the large intestine where they feed the Bifidobacteria. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and Inulin are two prebiotics that have received attention in the news, these soluble fiber substances are not digested by the human body’s digestive enzymes so they make it into the large intestine undigested. Here they become a food source for Bifidobacteria and certain other bacteria, butyric acid, a healthy compound that stimulates the growth of colonic epithelial cells, is one of the beneficial end products of Bifidobacteria feeding on FOS and inulin. But there’s a problem with these and other prebiotics now used in foods, it can be summed up in a word: GAS. Also, cramping, bloating, and mild to severe intestinal discomfort that go along with the gas. This is because other bacteria, the heavy gas producers, also feed on prebiotics. Believe it, when 4-10 grams of synthetic FOS is consumed in a functional food, the result can be quite explosive and not very social. Unfortunately, there is nothing natural about loading a food, such as a gelatin dessert, with FOS or its chemical cousins. By comparison, whole foods that contain these prebiotics also contain moderating micronutrients that largely offset the negative gastrointestinal effects.

So, prebiotics are good for you if they come in natural packages like a banana or an apple and, particularly, if such foods are consumed with a good quality probiotic supplement rich in Bifidobacteria. Some of the many foods that contain naturally occurring prebiotics are asparagus, beans, rye bread, honey, garlic, onions, pears, apples, most berries, barley, tomatoes, and bananas. But there’s a problem, it’s hard to get enough FOS or inulin by eating fruits and vegetables. For example, using the 4-5 gram rule as the minimum effective prebiotic dose, you need to eat 4 or 5 bananas to get 4 grams of FOS. With rye bread, 6 slices provides 4 grams of FOS. For asparagus, you need to eat two pounds to get four grams of FOS. So a question arises, why did nature provide such inadequate levels of prebiotics in these foods? Might it relate more to bioavailability than amount?

There are several nutritional factors that relate to the bioavailability of naturally occurring prebiotics:

  1. Soluble prebiotics such as FOS are often chemically bound to or in a matrix of insoluble fiber such as cellulose which limits bioavailability.
  2. Potential prebiotics such as fruit pectins need some help from enzymes before they can perform as effective prebiotics.
  3. Other non-FOS oligosaccharides need to be cracked by enzymatic action to be rendered active as prebiotics. Guar gum is an example.

ENZALASE® comes to the rescue: ENZALASE® was developed to improve the bioavailability of naturally occurring prebiotics in whole foods, specifically their bioavailability to Bifidobacteria. Such an effect is called bifidogenic and you will see ENZALASE® advertised as containing BIFIDOGENIC ENZYMES (Patent Pending). It’s the high potency cellulase (3,000 CU/capsule), hemicellulase (6,400 HCU/capsule) and pectinase (7,500 ADJU/capsule) enzymes in ENZALASE® that are bifidogenic although these enzymes get synergistic support from the other nine digestive enzymes. The cellulase in ENZALASE® digests cellulose that traps prebiotics like FOS and inulin, freeing them so they’re more available to Bifidobacteria. The hemicellulase digests non-cellulose polysaccharides like galactomannoglucans yielding polysaccharides with lower molecular weight and greater bifidogenic activity, and the pectinase renders fruit pectins more bifidogenic. The overall result of this unique combination of enzymes is a dramatic stimulation of the growth of Bifidobacteria.

Experiment: Stimulation of Bifidobacteria with ENZALASE®

The following is an example of one of the many experiments run by the scientists at Therabiotics, Inc. during the development of ENZALASE® (Patent Pending):

Method Summary

A prebiotic salad containing a lettuce base was fortified with liberal portions of raw asparagus, red onions, diced apples, kidney and garbanzo beans, and cherry tomatoes. Four hundred grams of this salad was blended in one liter of distilled water for 10 minutes at high speed in a VitaMix® blender, held at room temperature for four hours, and filtered through a cheese cloth. The filtrate was filled into 50 ml aliquots in Pyrex, screw cap test tubes labeled “Control Tubes”. The above procedure was repeated AND two (2) ENZALASE® capsules were added to the blender prior to blending, the test tubes filled with filtrate from this mixture were labeled “ENZALASE® treated”. All test tubes were autoclaved for 20 minutes at 121 C, 15 psi to render them sterile.

The test tubes were then inoculated with Bifidobacterium lactis H-19 (present in Theralac® probiotics at 10 billion CFU/capsule): Triplicate control and ENZALASE® treated tubes were inoculated with 100 million CFU each. This is equivalent to a starting population of 2 million CFU/ml. All tubes were incubated at 37 C (human body temperature) under anaerobic conditions for 72 hours and subsequently plated for total CFU (colony forming units) on MRS agar.


Control Tubes (average of 3) > 6 million CFU/ml at 72 hours.

ENZALASE® treated tubes (average of 3) > 740 million CFU/ml at 72 hours.


Treatment of the blended prebiotic salad with ENZALASE® for 4 hours rendered the salad significantly more bifidogenic, resulting in 123 times (740/6) greater growth of the Bifidobacterium strain H-19.

Note: This result has been verified with additional Bifidobacterium strains and that data is part of a U.S. patent application.