Pancreatic enzymes help break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates. A normally functioning pancreas secretes about 8 cups of pancreatic juice into the duodenum, daily. This fluid contains pancreatic enzymes to help with digestion and bicarbonate to neutralize stomach acid as it enters the small intestine.Pancreatic juice contains enzymes that help the body to digest and absorb nutrients such as fat, carbohydrate and protein. ... Studies have shown that taking a pancreatic enzyme supplement can improve the absorption of nutrients from the digestive system, help nutrition and prevent weight loss.
A variety of conditions can damage your pancreas and lead to EPI. Some of them, such as pancreatitis, cause EPI by directly damaging the pancreatic cells that make digestive enzymes. Inherited conditions such as Shwachman-Diamond syndrome and cystic fibrosis can also cause EPI, as can pancreatic or stomach surgery.