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I’ve been experiencing some digestive issues, mainly an inability to digest fats properly.

Q. Dear Terry, “I’ve been experiencing some digestive issues, mainly an inability to digest fats properly. I love healthy fats, especially olive oil, but currently have to limit my intake. I’m going to see a naturopathic doctor next month, is there anything I can try now?” — L.R., Greensboro, NC

A. Dear L.R., Olive oil is one of the healthiest foods around and a personal favorite of mine. Consuming olive oil is just one way to get the health benefits from olives, but there are other options that do not involve the oil.

While olive oil provides healthy fats from olives, there are many powerful compounds contained within the leaf, fruit, and fruit oil concentrate. Olives contain high levels of polyphenols, which have scientifically validated abilities to improve our health.

Olive polyphenols help to preserve neural connections, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, prevent tumor growth, reduce the risk of diabetes, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, and stop inflammation throughout the body.

I think a polyphenol extract of olives is a great way to get some of the health benefits from olives, without experiencing digestive upset. I prefer a blend of olive leaf and fruit extract, and olive fruit oil concentrate. I would take an olive extract once or twice per day.

To help improve fat digestion, I think digestive enzymes would be a great place to start. Enzymes help us absorb nutrients, create valuable hormones, heal muscles, relieve inflammation, fight cellular and other immune threats, and we could not live without them. Because of age, or many other factors, our bodies may not produce adequate levels of these important compounds.

While the pancreas secretes some of the most important digestive enzymes, supplementing with additional enzymes can significantly improve poor digestion.

An undiluted, full-strength pancreatin should contain three key enzymes: protease for protein digestion, amylase for carbohydrate digestion, and lipase for fat digestion. I believe that full strength pancreatin, from a porcine source, is better because it closely resembles the enzymes created by the human body.

I recommend taking a full-strength, undiluted pancreatin with each meal. 

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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