Xylanase (pronounced zy-lan-ase) is an naturally-occurring enzyme commonly found in microbes and fungi that can play a vital role in human digestion. Scientifically speaking, it is an enzyme that breaks down a type of fiber known as hemicellulose by converting one of its components (beta 1,4 xylan) into a simple sugar called xylose.
This is very useful for these smaller organisms since it allows them to extract nutrients from vegetable matter that has lots of fiber. These same properties also make xylanase commercially important because it is able to break down plant fiber for a variety of uses from dough conditioning to papermaking.
It also can break down hemicellulose in your digestive tract, helping you to liberate more plant nutrients from vegetables with a high fiber content and, hopefully, preventing some of the gas or digestive discomfort that is often associated with fibrous veggies, grains, and legumes.
What Does Xylanase Do?
Xylanase breaks the bonds that hold hemicellulose fiber together. Humans are not able to produce this particular digestive enzyme despite the fact that all of us eat some plant-based foods that contain this type of fiber, even if it is just something like dough made from wheat.
Researchers have discovered several types of naturally-present bacteria in the human intestine that produce xylanase. However, they concluded that these bacteria use what they produce, primarily to break down fiber and use it as a source of energy and secrete little into the intestines themselves.
Given that we cannot produce it and that our own “good bacteria” share little of what they make, it makes sense to take supplemental xylanase along with a blend of other carbohydrate-digesting enzymes that can help to completely digest fibrous foods, helping you to avoid indigestion and discomfort.
Health Benefits of Xylanase
- Better digestion of plant-based foods which may help to increase availability of nutrients
- Potentially increase xylan-based prebiotics to support health intestinal bacteria
- Help to reduce gas or intestinal discomfort from eating some some difficult-to-digest plant foods such as beans, cereals, and fibrous vegetables
- Degrade biofilms associated with various microorganisms. Many microbes produce a protective film that protects them from destruction, including some that can cause food poisoning and more serious infections.
How to Read the Units of Measurement for Xylanase
Xylanase activity is measured as Xylanase Units per gram (XU/g). One XU is defined as the amount of enzyme necessary to increase the optical density at a rate of one OD per ten minutes under standard conditions for a particular wheat substrate. Basically, this is a standardized way of measuring how quickly the enzyme breaks down the hemicellulase in a controlled environment, allowing scientists to develop a way to compare the strength of one enzyme preparation with another.
Where Can I Find The Best Source of Xylanase?
Xylanase can be derived from a few different sources; however the material in VeganZyme® is derived from the fungal organism T. reesei. It is appropriate for vegetarians and vegans just like all of the other enzymes in this blend. It comes from all vegetarian, non-GMO sources, is kosher certified, gluten free, contains no animal product and is completely suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
VeganZyme is the most advanced full-spectrum systemic and digestive enzyme formula in the world and is free from fillers and toxic compounds. This formula contains digestive enzymes, which help digest fats (lipids), sugars, proteins, carbohydrates, gluten, fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes, bran, nuts and seeds, soy, dairy, and all other food sources.
VeganZyme may also be used as a systemic enzyme blend to break down excess mucus, fibrin, various toxins, allergens, as well as excess clotting factors throughout your body.
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- Zofia Olempska-Beer. Cylanases from bacillus subtilis expressed in b.subtilis (PDF). 63rdJECFA. 2004.