Digestive enzyme supplementation in prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and enzyme foods

Hyun Jung Park, Hwa Jeong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Digestive enzyme supplements are used in various fields, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and enzyme foods, but few comprehensively organized data are available. In addition, the classification of products containing digestive enzymes differs by country, and except for the treatment of pancreatic insufficiency (PEI), clinical data are lacking. Area covered: This review summarizes current knowledge about digestive enzymes used in pharmaceuticals and foods. Products containing digestive enzymes are divided into prescription drugs for PEI treatment, over-the-counter medicines for dyspepsia, and food enzymes, and the related diseases, prevalence, and market sizes are examined. In addition, the characteristics of enzyme raw materials listed in the Pharmacopoeia and Food Enzyme Database and the characteristics of commercially available products are reviewed. Expert opinion: The market for digestive enzymes is growing rapidly, and its boundaries are becoming unclear. More accurate verification of the efficacy of enzyme products is required, and the selection of enzyme raw materials and design of formulations that consider the pH in the digestive tract are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-355
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Korea Basic Institute (National Research Facilities and Equipment Center) grant funded by the Ministry of Education (2021R1A6C101A442).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s) under exclusive licence to The Korean Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology.


  • Digestive enzymes
  • Dyspepsia
  • Enzyme supplement
  • Food enzyme
  • Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy
  • Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency


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