Because of their ability to help the body maintain a healthy inflammation response, many health professionals say that a systemic oral enzyme supplement is as important as a multivitamin to take daily.

However, unlike vitamins or minerals, the manufacture of systemic oral enzymes requires technological sophistication and specialization to ensure both potency and delivery of the enzymes to the body’s targeted tissues.

How can you ensure that the formula you are using is manufactured to deliver the results that have been demonstrated in clinical studies? How can you ensure that the company you choose to patronize is committed to the same values as you are when it comes to a healthy environment and therefore a healthier and safer nutritional supplement?

Today, systemic enzymes are used globally to help prevent a number of age-related health challenges as well as to support the immune system during cancer treatment. But before this success became possible, numerous scientific and technical challenges had to be overcome.

One of the major challenges was to preserve the integrity of the enzymes during the manufacturing process. Enzymes are notoriously fragile: Exposure to heat deactivates them. In addition, even the slightest exposure to moisture prods them to chewing themselves up. Proteolytic enzymes break themselves down (auto-proteolysis). Very few companies understand just how fragile enzymes are or take the means necessary for product consistency and quality. Purity and potency of enzymes is absolutely necessary to be effective.

Naturally Vitamins, of Phoenix, Arizona, has been at the forefront to ensure that their systemic enzymes are purified to the highest possible degree and are stabilized such that their biological activity is retained and verified.

For example, pancreatic enzymes require a specific alkaline pH in order to become active. However when taken orally, most enzymes are digested in the highly acidic environment of the stomach. Other companies claim to enteric coat their product but have no evidence of their product’s absorption. They simply do not know if their enzymes are being systemically absorbed or passed through the digestive tract, undigested. In contrast, Naturally Vitamins developed an enteric non-protein coating that would protect the pancreatic enzymes in the stomach, allowing for their passage into the upper intestine with its more nurturing alkaline environment and eventual release into the bloodstream.

Naturally Vitamins has an extensive research network throughout the world dedicated to studying their enzyme formulations both in the laboratory and university settings. Their in-house laboratory has chemists who specialize in areas such as HPLC, FT-IR and ionic coupled plasma testing; hardness, disintegration, and weight variations; raw material handling; and protein-dissolution activity. This attention to detail ensures the quality of each batch of enzymes that is sold to the consumer or medical professional.

The next challenge is the manufacturing of enzymes in tablet form. Making tablets during the manufacturing process generates considerable heat; yet, enzymes are notoriously heat sensitive. The enzymes must be placed into the tablets much as vases are packaged into boxes, very carefully, maintaining the integrity of each enzyme. Due to enzymes’ heat-sensitive nature, it is absolutely necessary to keep the temperature down in order for the enzymes to remain active. With remarkable ingenuity, Naturally has optimized manufacturing conditions in their manufacturing plant to cool down the tablet machinery and equipment to maintain exactly the correct temperatures throughout the manufacturing process for enzymes to remain “alive” and biologically active.

The quality of the enzymes is extraordinarily important. Where you get your enzymes is critical. Naturally obtains its chymotrypsin, trypsin and pancreatin from North American sources, but many other companies obtain their enzymes from China.

The quality and integrity of Chinese products made from porcine sources is, unfortunately, suspect these days, particularly in view of the deadly scandal involving heparin (a blood thinning medication derived from porcine sources). The company’s commitment to North American sourcing for their porcine-derived enzymes is important to consumer confidence. When we receive our enzymes we not only have certificates of analysis, but also statements ensuring that ours are from non-genetically modified sources.

The company uses Fourier Transform InfraRed (FT-IR), the preferred method of infrared spectroscopy. In infrared spectroscopy, IR radiation is passed through a sample. Some of the infrared radiation is absorbed by the sample and some of it is passed through (transmitted). The resulting spectrum represents the molecular absorption and transmission, creating a molecular fingerprint of the sample. Like a fingerprint, no two unique molecular structures produce the same infrared spectrum. Each sample is tested for moisture content, which can dilute potency and deactivate them. Not only is pre-tablet testing done but so is the post-manufactured testing. That is because mixing enzymes with other ingredients actually may alter their stability thereby changing their ability to perform. Since introducing Medizym, Naturally Vitamins has incorporated several analytical steps to ensure that each tablet contains the correct amount of enzyme activity which includes a pharmaceutical-grade weighing system. Disintegration in gastric and intestinal fluid is performed on every finished lot.

Over the years, breakthrough thinking combined with a burning desire to find safe and wholesome healthcare solutions has been the hallmark of Naturally Vitamins. The company is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of pancreatin-based systemic enzymes, with the most scientific evidence on the real health benefits you should expect from a quality formula.

The company is also a green leader. The plant’s design incorporates technological features that conserve energy. Solar panels heat the plant’s water while a NASA-developed ceramic roof coating protects the plant from excess heat, even during intense Arizona summers. An energy-efficient air conditioning system cools the facility using only one chiller. Shade trees surrounding the building reduce the need for air conditioning by reducing internal heat up to 10 percent.

Green manufacturing practices help Naturally Vitamins to manufacture products that challenge the industry standard for purity. Although chemicals are commonly used in supplement manufacturing, Naturally Vitamins does not use chemical solvents or drying agents in the production of tablets or to sanitize manufacturing areas. Instead, tablets air-dry in a humidity-controlled room and the plant is sanitized using environmentally friendly bio-cleaners.

Naturally Vitamins’ environmental practices were a key to being chosen as the Arizona Association of Industries Small Manufacturer of the Year. Their “global earth philosophy and day to day operations display their commitment to environmentally friendly production,” said James Tunnell, AAI vice president of policy and operations.

In regards to pancreatic enzyme technology, Naturally Vitamins has introduced a new level of expertise and sophistication to their manufacturing that should give consumers and retailers alike confidence they are working with a product with top integrity.

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