How to Test for Digestive Enzymes

Use oatmeal to test for digestive enzymes.
Use oatmeal to test for digestive enzymes. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Digestive enzymes are enzymes that occur naturally in the digestive tracts of humans or animals. These enzymes can also be extracted from plants. Digestive enzymes break down food in the stomach so that it can be digested easier, so that nutrients can be absorbed into the body. Sometimes, because of the food people eat, there are not enough digestive enzymes in the body to break down food, causing indigestion. An effective way to break this food down is to take supplemental digestive enzymes. You can test these enzymes to see if they will be effective.

Things You'll Need

  • Instant oatmeal
  • Hot water
  • 3 bowls
  • Spoon
  • Digestive enzyme capsules

Pour a package of instant oatmeal into the amount of hot water the package recommends to make oatmeal. Follow the directions on the instant oatmeal package to ensure it is cooked correctly.

Distribute the cooked oatmeal into two separate bowls. Try to pour equal amounts of oatmeal in each bowl so that you can see the effects of this test.

Break open one digestive enzyme capsule and pour the contents into one of the bowls of oatmeal.

Gently mix the bowl of oatmeal you have just poured the enzymes into using your spoon.

Compare the two bowls of oatmeal. You should notice after about one minute of mixing the bowl you poured the enzymes into, that the oatmeal becomes more liquefied. The other bowl of oatmeal should remain very thick and hard to stir since it does not have digestive enzymes in it. If this is what you notice, then your digestive enzymes are working. If no change has been made to the oatmeal after a few minutes of pouring the digestive enzymes in it and mixing, they are likely not working.

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