Distinguish between probiotics and digestive enzymes

Currently, many people confuse probiotics and digestive enzymes when used for children. If you confuse these two types of enzymes and use them incorrectly, it can have the opposite effect, affecting the digestive system of children later on. So how are digestive enzymes and probiotics different?


Probiotics are preparations containing beneficial microorganisms, when taken orally, they help improve the balance of the intestinal flora and are beneficial for the user's health. In the large intestine of a healthy person, there are many types of bacteria residing here, in addition to pathogenic bacteria, there are also beneficial bacteria (good bacteria). Beneficial bacteria help digest food in the best way, create a balanced ecosystem in the intestinal tract and protect the large intestine. Supplementing probiotics to improve intestinal resistance is necessary, especially after a bout of digestive disorders.

Usage: Probiotics are indicated when the balance of intestinal microflora is disturbed, leading to disorders, common in patients treated with long-term antibiotics. Symptoms: Raw stools, diarrhea, indigestion, bloating...

Time of use: Use 30 minutes before meals or 1 hour after meals. Relatively safe so it can be used for 2-3 consecutive weeks.

Notice: Do not use probiotics in cases of acute pancreatitis or intestinal surgery. Do not mix probiotics in boiling water. Once mixed, you should drink it immediately. Don't leave it for too long as it will cause the microorganisms to die and be ineffective.

Digestive enzyme

Digestive enzymes, also known as enzymes, are secreted by the body (pancreas, salivary glands…) to digest and absorb food (cut food into small particles to absorb into the blood). Digestive enzymes function to help the body break down large pieces of food into small pieces of food and gradually into nutritional molecules such as simple sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids for the body to absorb. For that reason, digestive enzymes are a tool to help the body regain strength during periods when it is weak and not strong enough to digest food on its own.

Usage: Prescribed by doctors for patients with digestive enzyme deficiency such as: People with food poisoning, often under stress, people who use alcohol for a long time, patients taking drugs (especially antibiotics), bloating, indigestion, diarrhea…

Time of use: Use during meals or immediately after meals. Use for a short time, do not use for more than 10 days.

Notice: Do not use antacids (drugs to treat inflammation - stomach and duodenal ulcers in general) because it will neutralize the effect of the enzyme.

Can we use probiotics and digestive enzymes together?

In fact, probiotics and digestive enzymes have practical support in treating digestive diseases. They promote the transport of nutrients in the intestines, helping the absorption and digestion of food achieve optimal efficiency. 

Depending on the symptoms, doctors choose digestive enzymes or probiotics for treatment. The doctor may prescribe both of these enzymes at the same time if the patient is deficient in both. Improper use or misuse of any type of yeast will pose potential adverse health risks. Therefore, it is best for patients to only use it when necessary or under the guidance of medical staff.

Source: Hanoi Department of Health