Digestive Enzymes - What's The Difference?

August 4, 2022 by Leyla Moudden
Digestive Enzymes - What's The Difference?

Do you know your way around a product label?

How do you know whether the products you are taking, or considering, are good value and effective? If you want to compare products, below are some of the things you may want to look out for. All of this information is contained on the product label. For example, does it matter if the product is a tablet or a capsule? How pure is the product? Have lots of potential allergens or fillers been added to ‘bulk out’ the product? What information is there about allergens? Does weight matter?

1. Milligrams v active units – does it matter? – Yes.

You may have noticed that Enzymedica’s enzymes are labelled in active units, whilst many other brands state their units in milligrams, but what is the difference?

Choosing an enzyme based on milligrams, is like choosing a lightbulb based on its weight and physical size; it means very little in terms of how brightly it will shine. Two lightbulbs can be the same size and weight – but the strength of light can be quite different. The same goes for enzymes, you can have the same weight of material in a capsule, but the potency will vary.


2. Active Units

Active units tell you the potency and level of activity of an enzyme, similar to how watts are a measure of the output of a lightbulb. Enzymedica chooses enzymes solely for their potency and effectiveness, not for their weight. Measuring in active units is an internationally recognised standard and makes comparisons of potency easier. So beware, products stating weight in milligrams, are not really telling you as much, as products declaring active units.

3. 'Other Ingredients'

500mg may sound like a lot of product in a capsule, but how is that made up? Always check the ‘other ingredients’ section. Fillers such as silica, stearic acid, corn starch and colourings also contribute to the total weight of a capsule – the more of them, the less ‘good enzymes’ and therefore lower potency.

The only ‘other ingredient’ in Enzymedica enzymes is the 100% vegetarian capsule itself. You will only find active enzymes inside the capsule, therefore offering the highest level of potency.

No fillers, binders, colourants or ‘other ingredients’ can be found in any of the Enzymedica products.

4. Does it matter whether the enzymes are in tablets or capsules? – Yes.


Tablets are usually heavily manufactured. They are made by mixing, heating and compressing powdered ingredients into a hard solid pill. Often cheaper to manufacture than capsules, they can cause irritation and leave a bad aftertaste. They are also less likely to be absorbed in the body which then reduces their effectiveness. This process can easily deactivate the contents and reduce the effectiveness of enzymes. 

Capsules on the other hand, have the medication enclosed in a protective outer shell. They tend to be faster acting, tasteless, tamper resistant, more absorbable by the body and therefore more effective. This is why Enzymedica only uses capsules for all the products in their range.

In conclusion

Next time you are choosing enzymes, be sure to check the label and see exactly what you are paying for.

Enzymedica, The Enzyme Experts