I’ve been searching everywhere for information!
On what you ask?
Well you probably guessed by the title, I’ve been trying to find information about administering a baby with digestive enzymes.
Unfortunately we have had to put our little man on formula (at 5 weeks of age) as a result of his silent reflux.
I read in an old forum how a mother used enzymes with her child who suffered from very bad silent reflux. She had amazing results!
What did she do? Unfortunately her answer was somewhat SHORT and not very helpful! And I couldn’t contact her!
I searched and searched everywhere for an answer as to whether it would be safe to give my son digestive enzymes with his powdered milk and also any guidance as to dosage, timings etc.
I found very little to no information – I spoke to qualified dieticians, nutritionists, paediatricians, just about everyone you can imagine, all resulting with some form of disparity in their answers – though somehow I managed to piece everything together to come to my own conclusion.
Why digestive enzymes?
Breast milk contains many natural enzymes which help the baby digestive and assimilate the food quickly and easily.
However, with powdered milk, there are NO enzymes at all (unless you have a hydrolysed version – and this is only for the milk protein in the milk which is “pre-digested”, therefore there are no real enzymes present in the actual milk), as a result the baby’s system is overwhelmed with having to produce and utilise its owns enzymes to digest the food.
I wanted to say this in my own words, however Jon Barron summed it up so well, I just had to quote him:
After a few weeks of running about (mentally as well as physically) searching for any information, I received a surprise reply from someone at enzymedica (company specialising in enzymes), they told me that it would be safe to give the baby approximately 1/4 to 1/2 a capsule before each feed.
This is exactly what I did!
I was also happy to learn that their capsules were Vegan friendly – not that it would make much difference to my son.
At first, I was a bit apprehensive, as you can probably imagine, however I really wanted my son to take the enzymes as I personally knew the benefits of having them in my own diet.
I first started taking digestive enzymes back in 2004, when I read an article propounding their benefits.
At the time, I had acne and I was trying to solve this dilemma!
I had tried so many different pills, diets, skin care regimes…the list goes on!
When I read about digestive enzymes and how they help an overburdened system digest food, it seemed to make sense to try them.
Just before I started taking the enzymes, I was on quite a restricted diet to figure out what was causing my acne, hence I was in a long process of elimination.
From one extreme to another!
The same day I received my enzymes (in the morning), I had to go up north to visit some family too.
This was BAD news!
Some of my family eat quite unhealthy food, very processed and high in fat!
I knew this would be a big test for the enzymes so I decided to eat everything and not stress too much.
I was tired of restricting my diet!
I also wanted to see how far I could push it! Would these enzymes allow me to eat everything without getting acne?
The enzymes worked very well and my acne didn’t reappear unless I really overate and had very high fat meals.
I was pleasantly surprised and somewhat excited!
Anyway back to the topic…
My son’s results
After the first day all seemed well, his stools were normal and there was no sign of any disturbance.
He has been on the enzymes for nearly two months now and no problems at all!
I spoke to two paediatricians who didn’t object to the enzyme supplementation.
After initially giving my son a ¼ to ½ a capsule before each feed, I ended up mixing the enzymes with his actual milk as it was proving to be too difficult to give the enzymes in a little water via a syringe (especially when we travel!).
If you want to give your infant some form of digestive enzyme to ease the burden put on their system, I advise you speak to a paediatrician/specialist before going ahead.
If you’re given the green light, then great! It’s probably one of the best decisions you’ll make for your child(ren).
In terms of taking enzymes for breast fed babies, this is something that I would not emphasize as much, though it is still good to do so. However, from my “fact finding mission” I did learn that undigested proteins in the mother’s diet can seep into the breast milk, thereby causing the baby problems (this has been especially noticed with dairy products in the mother’s diet).
- Further reading:
(2) Jon Barron – Enzymes, Part 3 (You’ll also find parts 1 & 2 there too, I highly recommend you read them!)
- Acne – My Story, Part 3: Vitamins, Antibiotics and Herbs
- Overeating and Overindulging – what to do next?
- Acne – My Story, Part 1: Introduction
- Blast from the Past!
- Cure for Hay fever
- Acid and Alkaline Food Diet, Part 2
- Milk: Good or Bad?
- Raw Milk: United Kingdom?
- Cookies benefit breast milk
- Off to the Airport again!