Acid Armor® vs Enteric-Coating
For years there has been the belief that Serrapeptase and other systemic enzymes will be destroyed by acid in the stomach if they are not protected. According to the companies that circulate this belief, the only way to shield Serrapeptase from destruction is to use enteric coated Serrapeptase enzyme powder. This coating contains plastic and other chemicals. This process protects the enzymes from being broken down by stomach acids before it is absorbed into the intestines. However, there is no clinical evidence or peer-reviewed studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of using enteric coatings for enzymes compared to their raw or uncoated counterparts.
While it is true that certain enzymes, usually those derived from the pancreas of animals, become less active in very acidic environments, this is not always true for enzymes derived from plant, fungal or microbial sources. In nature, certain organisms use enzymes to break down and digest materials under a wide variety of conditions. Even when exposed to extreme pHs and temperatures, the enzymatic secretions have evolved in order to be able to survive a wide range of different pHs and these organisms do not naturally process any form of enteric coating on their enzymes. Therefore, enteric coatings are only important (in theory) for animal-based enzymes that are naturally released in the digestive tract below the stomach because they can only survive in a narrow pH range.
Some studies have even shown that enteric-coated enzyme powder may make a supplement less bioavailable. In a series of third-party tests, products containing enteric-coated Serrapeptase powder lost more activity than supplements using non-entericcoated Serrapeptase powder.
Instead of using any type of enteric-coated Serrapeptase, the Serrapeptase supplement Serretia® uses a different technology known as Acid Armor®. Acid Armor capsules are made of an extra-thick layer of cellulose (the main component of veggie caps), which improves the way the two sides of the capsules are sealed together and limits leaking. Acid Armor capsules have also been designed to delay the release of the capsule's contents for up to one hour. When a product like Serretia® is taken on an empty stomach, the capsule enters and leaves the stomach in 30 minutes or less. This means that the Acid Armor provides more than enough time for the Serrapeptase enzyme to get through the stomach and into the more "enzyme friendly" environment of the intestines.
In addition, Serrapeptase capsules themselves do not cause the stomach to start producing acid when they are taken on an empty stomach. Acid production only occurs when the stomach fills with food and its lining is stretched. Therefore, any tests that supposedly "prove" the necessity of enteric-coated Serrapeptase by exposing enzymes to extremely acidic environments for several hours do not accurately demonstrate the real-life conditions in an empty stomach!