Enzymes are protein molecules that play a role in many body functions, from digestion to cell repair. They are commonly found in both digestive supplements and personal care products.
Fruit-derived enzymes such as bromelain and papain are clinically shown to aid protein digestion, while lactase aids in digestion of the milk sugar lactose. Because enzymes in food are destroyed by cooking, most people not on a raw foods diet will benefit from a digestive enzyme supplement to aid nutrient absorption. Enzymes also have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and enzyme supplements are available for treatment of osteoarthritis and joint pain.
In personal care, fruit enzymes in particular are widely used in facial creams and cleansers. They have several mechanisms of action, including exfoliating properties to leave skin more smooth, antioxidant activity to combat skin aging, and the ability to increase skin’s water-absorption properties.