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Serrapeptase - Non-Enteric v Enteric Coated

Serrapeptase is a food supplement, and UK and EU law restricts any "medicinal" claims.  This article is not intended to imply any such claims, but to discuss the issue of enteric coatings for the benefit of our customers.


Natural Comes First

Everything we do is always natural.  Enteric coatings are simply not an option for us being made from synthetic, and often toxic substances.

That's not to say we sacrifice efficacy on the grounds of ethics - we would never, ever sell an ineffective supplement.  Take a look around our site, and we hope you will see that we are totally committed to the health and well being of our customers.  

You may or may not care about the natural issue, not everyone does, and we respect this.  It is not for us to convince you!  We often tell customers confused by enteric coatings, that personal preference may be relevant.  But for many, "natural" is important, so this article will help clear up some of the confusions regarding enteric coatings for those who prefer to avoid them.


Being Additive Free is Next

Because we are always 100% additive free our supplements have the very best possible absorption and results (whether that be Serrapeptase or any other supplement).  So before we even get into a broader discussion, our Serrapeptase will always yield better results than many others on the market because of this absolute purity.


Too Much Coating?

Poor quality tablets with lots of additives can actually pass all the way through the digestion without any absorption whatsoever! And too much enteric coating will greatly inhibit dissolution.  Are all these enteric coatings always assayed for their dissolution properties or are they simply applied as a matter of course because that's the way it is done? We would argue the latter; full testing would be entirely cost prohibitive for nutritional supplements, it is typically not even done in the pharmaceutical world.! So an enteric coated Serrapeptase with a large amount of additives can easily be compromised at the point of manufacture.


Looking for Direct Comparisons in Trials?

If you are looking for double blind, controlled trials on non-enteric Serrapeptase compared to an enteric coated - they do not exist! There are some major issues with double blind trials in any event, but this is a subject for another day. There are many excellent studies on Serrapeptase in general, but many of these do not even detail the enteric issue, or even the measurement, which brings us on to the next point...


The First Problem With Enzymes - Measurement

Surprisingly perhaps, there are no industry standards when it comes to enzymes.  The method of measurement varies wildly from IU, to MG, to USP, to Armour units, to Rohrer units, to MCU, to GDU, to FCC to HUT and NF.  So, as you see, enzymes are behest with great confusion at the very outset, and it's no surprise that studies often produce different results and interpretations.

Additionally, due to the surge in popularity in the use of NSAIDs for certain health issues, during the 70s right through to the 90s, enzymes were given very little attention, and certainly weren't used in trials.  With their usefulness becoming more and more clear in clinical settings, this will of course change and there will be more research on enzymes in general.


Some Sell Both!

Now, why would a manufacturer supply both enteric, and non enteric coated versions of Serrapeptase if only one works? Yes customer demand is relevant, however, the key point is that even those who sell enteric versions agree that enteric coatings are not needed on a high dose product, and as long as taken on an empty stomach.  Perhaps in the early days of Serrapeptase when 20,000IU doses where the norm, the argument had a little merit possibly. But with a high dose supplement such as ours, we are all in agreement, that Serrapeptase IS effective without a coating.


The Confusion Regarding Absorption

Now, this is where we can get blinded by science, or not as the case may be - we will try and keep this in simple terms!

There are still many in the scientific and medical who flatly deny that any enzyme can be absorbed into the bloodstream.  On this basis, they would tell us all that neither an enteric nor non enteric coated proteolytic enzyme whether that be Serrapeptase or some other type, can have any therapeutic value.  But of course we know this is not the case.

Another group suggest that an enzyme must reach the small intestine to be effective.  This is also not the case.  Lets look at another proteolytic enzyme Bromelain here. It has has had far more widespread use, including the use of the hallowed "double blind" trials.

In the case of bromelain some studies have shown considerable benefits for non enteric coated products. And others have shown that enteric coated bromelain is actually less effective.  Yet still, most companies insist (as they do with Serrapeptase) that an enteric coating is needed.

"Later studies implied that bromelain failed in some of these early studies because of the enteric coating as well as inadequate dosages" Dr. Michael Murray, The Healing Power of Herbs

Papain from papaya is another well known example of a proteolytic enzyme.  In our experience, and that of studies, dried papaya fruit added to meals is absolutely effective, yet here again, many would assert that Papain must be enteric coated to be effective, but here again we disagree.

Then another view is that should an enzyme reach the small intestine in an "intact" form, even then, it will be rendered inactive within this environment, just as some argue this for the stomach.

Then of course we must make the point that many many studies looking at enteric coatings are in vito, or animal based, and assertions are therefore largely theoretical.

We would like to provide more food for thought here from the world of pharmaceuticals.  Money is no object when it comes to testing, and aspirin is one of the most widely used drugs.  Yet even here, studies have failed to understand why non enteric coated aspirin works differently than enteric coated.  Some studies show one more effective than the other, but with varying winners ... how interesting!

It's all very confusing isn't it.


Science Doesn't Fully Understand Enzymes

So, it's fair to say that basically, science doesn't have that much clarity as to exactly how some of the biggest drugs in the world work, let alone enzymes.  The precise mechanism through which enzymes exert their therapeutic power simply isn't known, although of course many conclusions are drawn. 

Are they digested as macro molecules, as true proteins, as amino acids, or as dipeptides and tripeptides? Or could in fact it be all of these, in varying amounts, dependant on many many factors including digestive transit time, an individual's particular profile, prexisting health conditions, consistency and amount of dose etc etc. 

Proteolytic enzymes are ubiquitous in nature, and in our body, they have many functions, and we are only just scratching the surface of their modes of action.  Some of the enzyme may do its work in the stomach, some in the small intestine, some on the bloodstream, all of these options are open for scientific study.

So as you can see, the issues relating to absorption are fundamental reasons why we can have so much disagreement when it comes to Serrapeptase. And this is why in most cases, the wording is the stomach acid "may" effect an enzyme because it certainly isn't a clear cut argument!


Bacteria Survive, so Can Enzymes

Probiotics are sometimes supplied with enteric coatings, here again, we beg to differ! Enteric coatings are enemies to probiotics, and that's why we don't use them.  The same argument is applied here by many however, and that probiotics can be destroyed by stomach acid, this is absolutely not the case and anyone worth their nutritional salt will agree with us!  Just like proteolytic enzymes, probiotics are stable in a wide range of ph conditions, including the stomach (when empty). 

And it's important to remember here that Serrapeptase is basically a living bacteria, and a cultured, fermented one too, so really, it's not that surprising to find that yes, it can survive in a wide range of pH situations from stomach through to the small intestine. Additionally, it is a plant enzyme, and these are widely accepted as being tolerant to stomach acid, surely nature would not single out just the one proteolytic enzyme and make it completely different to all the others?


Marketing Hype

Enteric coatings sound very fancy and scientific don't they!  And there are quite a few lucrative patents in place on various coatings. But in short, a sprinkling of science means a premium can be charged, it doesn't get much simpler than that in our opinion!  Another example where the pharmaceutical industry which owns many of the big "nutritional players" has taken a fancy to complicating things is herbal extracts, more on this here


Ensuring a Natural Serrapeptase Works

OK, so assuming you decide that non-enteric coated is your choice, how do you ensure good results?  THE most important thing is that you consume on  an empty stomach.  Because it is certainly true that we don't want Serrapeptase acting on any contents that may be in the stomach!

We recommend first thing in the morning for the best results as this is when your stomach is as empty as possible.  This does include even a cup of tea or coffee with milk must be avoided first thing.  If you are one of the many whose morning routine includes a cuppa first thing, this can present a slight issue, and may need you to adjust your lifestyle slightly.  Many customers keep their Serrapeptase by their bedside with some water and take as soon as they wake, this can increase the time frame before you reach your cuppa time!  But you may need to switch to your first drink being a herbal tea, and indeed, this in itself can be beneficial as part of your health routine.


Results Count

Whilst some will find anecdotal evidence irrelevant, the wide range of excellent results our customers enjoy with our non-enteric coated Serrapeptase, and indeed amongst our own friends, family and peer groups speaks for itself.  These results extend further than any argument of placebo will allow for, especially with conditions involving tangible and visible issues improving and even resolving completely.  Because of legislative restricitons, we cannot discuss these however, as they would be that dreaded word again "medicinal".  Does that require a certain amount of trust on you the customers part? Well, yes, it does, but we do try to present as much information as we can within the framework we are allowed by law. 


To Conclude

So there you have it, a very complex subject, and one it is difficult to enter into and keep it in terms that are nutritional in focus, easy for customers to understand and stay within the legislative requirements. 

We hope that we have presented some of the issues clearly, but any questions, do of course let us know.  There will be those that disagree with our stance, and that's ok, there is plenty of room for difference of opinion in science and nutrition.  For us, it is a simple decision. But we will leave it to you the customer however to make up your own mind when it comes to Serrapeptase and the choice to go enteric coated or not.

And remember, we do also provide a money back guarantee because we stand by each and every one of our supplements. You can't really get better than that can you.



The 'Miracle' Enzyme Is Serrapeptase The 2nd Gift from Silkworms Robert Redfern

The Healing Power of Herbs: The Enlightened Person's Guide to the Wonders of Medicinal Plants - Michael T. Murray N.D.

Oral Controlled Release Formulation Design and Drug Delivery: Theory to Practice edited by Hong Wen, Kinam
Barrett A.J., Rawlings ND, Woessner JF. The Handbook of Proteolytic Enzymes, 2nd ed. Academic Press, 2003 Park

History, literature, and theory of enteric coatings - Herman O. Tbompsont, C. O. Lee

Therapeutic Enzymes: Using the Body's Helpers as Healers Chris D. Meletis and Jason E. Barker. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. April 2005, 11(2): 74-77. doi:10.1089/act.2005.11.74

Absorption of proteolytic enzymes from the gastrointestinal tract. Clinical Medicine October 1968;75:35-40 Miller J.

Proteolytic enzymes in inflammation: rationale for use. Postgrad Med. 1956 Jan;19(1):16-22 Miller.

Effects of different doses, enteric-coated preparation of aspirin, and sex on urinary 11-dehydrothromboxane B2 in healthy volunteers - Dharmasaroja PA, Sae-Lim S.

Nutrition Applied to Injury Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1995 Bucci L.

Interview with Luke Bucci Proteolytic Enzymes G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN

Dose-related bioavailability of bromelain and trypsin after repeated oral administration. Clinical Pharmacology Therapeutics 1997;61:157 - Donalp H, et al

Kline M. Introduction to systemic enzyme therapy and results of experimental trials. In: Hermans G, Mosterd W (eds.) Sports Medicine and Health. Excerpta Medica, 1990;1131

Intestinal absorption of serrapeptase (TSP) in rats N. Moriya, M. Nakata, M. Nakamura, M. Takaoka, S. Iwasa, K. Kato, A. Kakinuma

Intestinal Absorption of Serrapeptase and Its Distribution to the Inflammation Sites MORIYA NORIHIKO ASANO SHOICHI HARA YOKO HARIGUCHI FUMIO KIMURA YOSHIAKI


The Article "Serrapeptase - Non-Enteric Coated v Enteric Coated" is copyright to Seventh Wave Supplements Ltd and reproduction is strictly prohibited without our express permission. 


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