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 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.
- 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 contains this type of fiber, even if it is just something like dough made from wheat.
- 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.
- 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.