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Is the Cellulase Digestive Enzyme the missing link to your fatigue?

The cellulase enzyme is one of the most important enzymes for digesting vegetables and fruits and humans can't produce it!

This article discusses the implications of a cellulase enzyme deficiency and how to boost levels so you can squeeze more nutrients from the fruit and vegetables you eat.

Ever wondered why a cow can weight up to 1,500 pounds on a diet of grass?

It doesn't make sense...

Until you realise that grass is bursting with nutrients and stored energy.

But the problem with grass is that it primarily consists of cellulose (source) which is notoriously hard to break down.

Fortunately, the humble cow has perfected a way around this problem.

Unlike humans, cows have a 4 stomachs full of cellulose digesting bacteria that breakdown and digest the tough fibrous grass. That's how they get big and strong on a diet of grass and hay. 

What we humans do have in common is the inability to produce the enzyme cellulase.

Its a very important enzyme that increases the availability of plants and fruits nutritional properties. 

It would be a shame spending money on healthy fruits and vegetables and not get the full benefits of their nutritional value. 

In this article I'm going to show how you can.

What is Cellulase

We know fruits and vegetables are good for us however, their natural goodness is not easily accessible because they're hidden behind a tough fibrous wall of cellulose.

This is where cellulase comes in. Its an important digestive enzyme that breaks down and digests cellulose.

Cellulase is an important digestive enzyme to digest fruits and vegetables and humans can't produce it.

The problem with us humans is that we can't produce cellulase.

But were not the only ones. Most omnivorous animals can't either.

Animals surviving on plant based diets have found ways to get around this problem and I give an example of how the cow was able to this.

How does the cellulase digestive enzyme break down Cellulose?

Cellulase comprises of three different natural enzymes. They all work together to breakdown the plant fibers into beta-glucose, simple sugars, that our bodies use for energy.

Once cellulase converts cellulose to glucose the remaining byproducts and indigestible fibers are expelled.

These cellulose plant fibers act like a bulking agent as they move through the colon and then eliminated in the stool. 

How Cellulase Enzyme Benefits Our Health 

We know Cellulase can help unlock the health benefits of fruit and vegetables.

But there's more health benefits cellulase can offer:

  • Essential Energy provider - breaks down and converts plant fibers into usable energy for the human body
  • Controls blood sugar - cellulase converts cellulose to glucose slower than other carbohydrates. This property slows the absorption of carbohydrates and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Manages Cholesterol - a byproduct of the cellulose-digesting enzyme is indigestible fiber which helps reduce fat absorption. 
  • Anti-oxidant support - cellulase can extract more anti-oxidants from fruits and vegetables (1). 
  • Detoxify the digestive tract - cellulase may help with inhibiting the growth of harmful pseudomonas bacterial biofilms (2). 

The Problem with Cellulase 

We've learned that cellulase is an important enzyme for digesting cellulose, the carbohydrate building block of all fruits and vegetables. 

As we can't produce cellulase we rely on our gut bacteria and fermentation to break it down, but this happens only partially. Most of the undigested fibers are eliminated from the body.

The partial digestion of cellulose fibers means we don't extract all the nutrients and energy from the vegetables and fruits we eat. 

So, if you're eating a diet with lots of fruit and vegetables you won't be extracting the maximum goodness from them. 

And as cellulose is an indigestible fiber the fermentation in our gut can cause uncomfortable bloating and excessive gas

And its a bigger problem for vegetarians , especially vegans who relay solely on fruit and vegetables for their protein intake.

Cellulase Deficiency Symptoms?

What are the signs you may need cellulase?

Bloating and excessive gas

Because we can't generate cellulase, our gut microbes partially breakdown and ferment the cellulose fibers leading to excessive gas and bloating.

Unhealthy cholesterol profile

Unhealthy cholesterol could mean high absorption of fat in the intestinal tract. Cellulose is an insoluble fiber and has no effect in reducing fat absorption.

Cellulase converts cellulose into beta-glucose a sticky substance that helps reduce fat absorption.

Unhealthy blood sugar levels 

Cellulase can slow down the absorption of glucose. Therefore, high blood sugar levels may indicate a fast metabolism of glucose into the bloodstream.

How do you increase cellulase enzyme activity? 

We've established that we need cellulase to maximize our digestion of the fruit and vegetables in our diet.

Unfortunately, the human body can't produce it, so how do we get it? 

We have a two options to increase cellulase activity in our body.

Option One

Eat more raw natural foods because they contain the most natural vital enzymes.

Fruits and vegetables containing the highest enzymatic activity are:

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Grapefruit
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  •  Tomatoes

Option Two

The modern western diet is highly processed. 

Also, cooking food destroys the enzymes our body needs to digest and absorb nutrients.

But, its easy to make up the shortfall with a cellulose digestive enzyme supplement. Even better, is combining cellulase with other enzymes that support and compliment it.

An ideal way to do this is with a full spectrum formula of proteins, carbohydrate and fat digesting enzymes.

A great example is Digestive Enzymes by Vitapost

Its a comprehensive multi-strain formula with 18 digestive and systematic enzymes. 

What's more, Vitaposts includes the additional enzymes cellulase, hemicellulase, xylanase, and pectinase. These powerful enzymes breakdown hard to digest plant fibers. 

If you're a person whose interested in knowing more about how Vitapost Digestive Enzymes can help improve your digestive health, click here.

Where Can I Find the Best Source of Cellulase?

Vitapost digestive enzymes is a comprehensive multi-enzyme formula containing 1000 (CU) of cellulase. In addition, there are supporting enzymes such as hemicellulase, xylanase, and pectinase all support the breakdown of plant cell walls. All enzymes strains come from non-GMO certified sources and made in the USA.  

What is the difference between amylase and cellulase?

Amylase and cellulase are both enzymes involved in the break down and digestion of carbohydrates and polysacccharides.

The key difference is that amylase is produced by in the pancreas and secreted from glands in the mouth. Specifically, amylase breaks down the alpha 1 - 4 between the d-glucose molecule chains which frees up the glucose that can be absorbed by the body as energy.

Cellulase isn't produced by the human body but is created from variety of microorganisms (fungi, bacteria and protozoa). These micro-organisms break down the beta bonds within the cellulose. 

As humans cannot digest cellulose therefore, most of cellulose travels through the digestive tract as insoluble fiber.

However, herbivores such as cows and horse are able to secrete microorganisms in their gut that can break down cellulose. Through fermentation cellulose converts into glucose which is partially absorbed in the body and also used as a food source for the microorganisms. 

What is the difference between cellulose and cellulase?

Cellulose is a carbohydrate and polysacccharide and is present in the cell walls of plants. Cellulose is what gives plants and vegetables their stiffness.

Cellulase is the enzyme that breaks down and digests cellulose. The human body does not produce cellulase, therefore humans cannot digest cellulose. 

In-order to digest cellulase you need to take either an cellulase enzyme supplement or even better a multi-enzyme formula containing cellulase.

What enzymes digests cellulose?

The only enzyme to effectively breakdown and digest cellulose is cellulase. Humans and animals do not produce cellulase. However, certain animals do produce anaerobic bacteria in the intestinal tract that breakdown indigestible cellulase. They only way people can digest cellulose is by taking a digestive enzyme supplement.

How to understand the Units of Measurement for Cellulase?

Digestive enzymes are measured by their activity not weight. Beware of digestive enzyme supplements that are measured in mgs. Quality enzyme supplements use the Food Chemical Codex (FCC) units of measurements which establishes the activity levels of each digestive enzyme strain. Cellulase is measured in cellulase units (CU). For best results look for enzyme supplements that provide a minimum of 450 CU's of cellulase.


(1) Effect of a cellulase treatment on extraction of antioxidant phenols from black currant (Ribes nigrum L.) pomace - Department of Food Biosciences, School of Chemistry, Food Biosciences and Pharmacy, The University of Reading, PO Box 226, Whiteknights, Reading RG6‚ÄČ6AP, United Kingdom. (source)

(2) The use of cellulase in inhibiting biofilm formation from organisms commonly found on medical implants - Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, 177 Anderson Hall, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0046, USA. (source)