Natures Life: DGL Licorice* (Chewable) 100ct

DGL Licorice* (Chewable) - 100ct

by   Natures Life
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UPC: 040647004320
# 15432

Ingredients: Amount per serving: % Daily Value: +
Total Carbohydrate 1 g <1%
Sugars 0 g ~
Sugar Alcohol 0 g ~
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) (root extract) (Deglycyrrhizinated [NMT 3% Glycrrhizinic Acid]) 380 mg ~

Other Ingredients:
Xylitol, Dextrates, Cellulose, Sorbitol, Stearic Acid, Glycine, Mannitol, Natural Flavor, Silica and Magnesium Stearate.

Digestion is the process by which the body breaks down food into absorbable nutrients. The body absorbs and assimilates everything that we ingest. Digestion includes physical actions such as chewing and peristalsis (involuntary contraction and dilation of muscles to force forward movement), as well as the chemical actions of enzymes, bile and acids.

An enzyme is a protein that acts as a catalyst in a biological reaction. It binds itself to a substance and converts it into another substance. Enzymes are very specific in their functions, which is why there are different enzymes for different biological reactions. In the case of digestion, distinct forms of food require specific enzymes. Food is digested in three areas of the body: the mouth, the stomach and the intestines.

The Mouth

Beginning in the mouth with chewing, food is physically broken up into small pieces to facilitate the beginning of complete digestion. Chewing thoroughly is an important step because smaller pieces offer more surface area for contact with the digestive enzymes and acids in the stomach and are therefore more easily digested. Chewing also stimulates the release of hormones that control appetite. The longer you chew, the less likely you are to overeat.

Only one digestive enzyme, amylase (for starch), is present in the mouth. However, food is normally not in the mouth long enough to permit complete digestion and little nutrient absorption takes place in the mouth.

The Stomach

The primary function of the stomach is to break large proteins into smaller peptides and peptones. The acidic environment in the stomach (1.5 to 7.0 pH) is home to the enzyme pepsin, used to digest proteins. Pepsin breaks up proteins into smaller peptides of varying lengths. Other enzymes such as gelatinase (for gelatin) digest specific proteins.  

Amylase (for starch) is inactivated, or destroyed, when stomach pH falls below 6.5.1 Before this happens however, up to 50% of starches may be partially broken down. Some fat is emulsified (broken up into smaller pieces) in the stomach by bile acids, and the enzyme lipase, to aid digestion in the small intestine. At the average stomach pH of 2.0, however, most fat is formed into large globules that pass unchanged into the small intestine. Small amounts of sucrose (table sugar) may be broken apart into glucose and fructose by acid hydrolysis from the bile acids in the stomach.

The Intestines

Virtually all absorption of nutrients (macronutrients such as carbohydrates and fats and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals) occurs in the intestines. Absorption of nutrients is, in fact, the primary function of the small intestine. Most carbohydrates, for instance, are absorbed in the small intestine. The pancreatic enzymes secreted into the small intestine also contain amylase which breaks down starches into a disaccharide (a complex carbohydrate) called maltose.2 In the intestines, enzymes such as maltase and lactase break disaccharides into single sugars, such as glucose. When adults and older children do not have enough lactase to digest lactose (the sugar in milk) lactose intolerance results and milk cannot be completely digested.

When food leaves the stomach, digestion is completed in the small intestine with the help of the enzymes secreted by the pancreas (lipase, amylase, protease, maltase, trypsin and chymotrypsin). The pH of food mass increases from about 2.0 to 6.5 (still slightly acidic), as it passes from the stomach through the small intestine to the colon. Very few nutrients, except water, is absorbed by the large intestine (colon).

WATER is the most important macro nutrient we consume. Over 50% of our body weight is water. Beverages provide just under half of the water we require each day. The rest of the water is from food. Water also aids digestion as part of the food mass in the intestines. Motility, the movement of food in the digestive tract, is more effective if more water is retained in the food. When food reaches the colon, most of the water is reabsorbed.

CARBOHYDRATE digestion occurs primarily in the small intestine. Most carbohydrates are easily digested and 90% to 98% are absorbed.1 Bile acids in the stomach aid in acid hydrolysis to break sucrose down into glucose and fructose. Before the stomach pH falls below 6.5, destroying amylase, up to 50% of starches may be partially broken down, but digestion of most carbohydrates is done in the small intestine.1

FIBER, a complex carbohydrate, makes up the remaining 2% to 10% of unabsorbed carbohydrates. Dietary fiber can be further subdivided into soluble and insoluble fibers.1  Insoluble fibers (such as lignins and cellulose from vegetables, grains and nuts) increase fecal bulk and decrease transit time through the intestines.3 They are partially digested by intestinal bacteria but are not absorbed well. Soluble fibers (such as pectins and gums from fruits, beans and grains) delay stomach emptying, slow the absorption rate of glucose and help to lower the levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood.4  Pectins are neither digested nor absorbed, but gums may be partially digested by intestinal bacteria and absorbed1 providing food for the cells lining the colon.

FATS, (or lipids) such as those found in egg yolks, can be broken into glycerol and fatty acids by stomach acids, but most fat digestion occurs in the small intestine. Bile, secreted by the gall bladder, emulsifies large fat particles and breaks them into a smaller size so that pancreatic and intestinal lipases can digest the fats. The lipase enzymes are responsible for the majority of fat digestion. Fats are 95% to 100% digestible in healthy people.1 Bile salts also facilitate absorption of fatty acids.

PROTEIN digestion starts with stomach enzymes (proteases) such as pepsin that break apart specific links in the amino acid chains that comprise proteins. These chains are reduced to much shorter lengths, called peptides and peptones. The partially digested proteins move onto the small intestine where pancreatic protease continues digestion, breaking the peptides and peptones into individual amino acids which are absorbed directly or attached (chelated) to minerals, thus allowing mineral absorption.

Protein digestibility varies widely 1:

  • from vegetables and fruits: 65% to 85%  

  • from legumes: 78%  

  • From cereals and grains: 76% to 84%  

  • from milk, meat and eggs: 97%

If protein digestion is incomplete, longer peptide chains of undigested proteins can be absorbed, possibly causing allergic reactions.5 Symptoms of food allergies vary widely and can affect any part of the body.

BACTERIA and PROBIOTICS such as Lactobacillus acidophilus also are important digestive aids and sources of nutrition. Intestinal bacteria synthesize biotin and vitamin K, both essential nutrients.5 Lactobacillus acidophilus and other friendly intestinal bacteria can help the intestines maintain a healthy colon against an onslaught of unhealthy pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella, especially in infants.6 These friendly probiotic bacteria also help the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.6, 7 Probiotics (or “friendly” bacteria) can be found naturally in the body, but the majority are ingested in foods or as supplements.

The digestion of foods and the absorption of nutrients is the first, and most important, step to good health. Our bodies are designed to get the highest possible benefit from food, but digestive aids are sometimes needed. Many of us also supplement our diet to ensure we obtain adequate nutrition. The proper absorption of dietary supplements is just as important as the proper digestion of food, and the two work closely together. 

Nature’s Life digestive aids and enzymes can be the answer for those who have trouble digesting foods, or those who merely want to insure optimal nutrient absorption.  Remember, eat a healthy balanced diet, chew your food thoroughly, drink plenty of water and take Nature’s Life Digestive Aids for nutritional insurance.



  1. Guthrie, J.A., Ph.D. Introductory Nutrition, The C.V. Mosby Company, St Louis; 1975.

  2. Pike, R.L., Ph.D. & Brown, M.L., Ph.D., Nutrition: An Integrated Approach, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York;1975

  3. Kundsen, K.E.B., et al. Physiological Implications of Wheat and Oat Dietary Fibers in New Developments in Dietary Fiber, 1990; Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 1990;270:135-147.

  4. Anderson, J.W. and Ward, K. High carbohydrate, high fiber diets for Insulin-treated men with diabetes mellitus. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1979;32-2312.

  5. Alpers, D.A. M.D., Clouse, R.E., M.D. & Stenson, W.F., M.D. Manual of Nutritional Therapeutics, Little Brown & Company, 1984.  

  6. Friend, B.A. et al. Nutritional and Therapeutic Aspects of Lactobacilli. Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1984;36(2):125-153. 

  7. Fernandes, C.F., et al. Therapeutic role of dietary Lactobacilli and Lactobacillus fermented dairy products. Fed of Eur Microbiol Rev, 1987;46:343-356.  

Chewable DGL Licorice

  • Licorice flavonoids help inhibit acid secretion*

  • Increases blood flow to gastric mucosal cells*

  • Promotes secretion of the protective mucosa*

  • Promotes growth and activity of mucosal cells*

  • Licorice extract is de-glycyrrhizinated to avoid side-effects

  • Delicious sugar-free tablet; sweetened with sugar alcohols

Healthy Stomach Function

A balance of adequate acid and protective lining in the stomach is needed to ensure comfortable, easy digestion. Gastric acid is secreted to kill bacteria and help break down food before it passes into the small intestine, where nutrient absorption occurs. Gastric acid is a highly effective digestant because it is extremely corrosive. The pH of gastric acid (~1.7) is strong enough to eat through the skin. The stomach is lined with mucosal cells that secrete a protective layer of mucin. Usually, this natural protection is effective in guarding the stomach wall against acid damage. If there is an imbalance between acid secretion and mucosal protection, acids can begin to irritate the stomach wall. The presence of harmful intestinal bacteria, such as Helicobacter pylori, can also disrupt this balance. Maintaining normal acidity and supporting the stomach’s natural protective mechanisms are therefore essential for normal stomach function and comfort.

Facts about Licorice / DGL

Licorice, or Glycyrrhiza glabra, is a perennial herb, the root of which has been used for over 3,000 years to treat a wide range of complaints, making it one of the most widely used medicinal herbs in history.* However, the naturally occurring glycyrrhizin in licorice has been shown to cause undesirable side effects such as elevated blood pressure. Therefore, Nature’s Life chewable licorice tablets contain De-Glycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL).

The root of the licorice plant contains 10 triterpenes and 22 flavonoids1, which are the constituents believed to be responsible for its beneficial properties.* Flavonoids, in general, are known to inhibit both acid secretion and the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria.*2 The flavonoid component isoliquiritigen found in licorice has been shown to protect gastric mucosal cells.*3 The proposed mechanism for DGL’s action is that it stimulates the stomach’s protective factors, particularly the growth and activity of mucosal cells.*4 One reason for this beneficial effect may be that DGL increases blood flow to these tissues.*5

Several clinical trials have shown DGL to be extremely effective in providing relief for severe stomach discomfort.* In one trial, 40 people with over twelve years’ history of severe stomach discomfort were given DGL in amounts of either 3 g or 4.5 g daily.6 All 40 patients showed substantial improvement, usually within 5 to 7 days.* Another double-blind, placebo-controlled trial reported that 16 people with significant stomach discomfort showed an average improvement of 78% when given 360 mg of DGL thrice daily, compared to 34% in the placebo group.*7

Subsequent trials have compared DGL’s effectiveness to that of prescription drugs such as cimetidine. Results have shown that DGL is equally, if not more effective than prescription drugs and antacid tablets.* In one such study, 100 people with gastric discomfort received either 760 mg DGL three times daily, or cimetidine.8 The two groups were equally improved at 6 and 12 weeks, yet scientists monitoring this study reported that DGL provided relief without the side effects associated with prescription drugs.* The largest of these trials involved a group of 874 individuals with long histories of severe stomach discomfort.9 Once again, DGL was compared to cimetidine, as well as common antacids. Results showed that 91% of all subjects experienced total relief within 12 weeks.* Return of symptoms in the DGL group was less than that reported in the cimetidine and antacid groups; 8.2%, 12.9% and 16.4%, respectively.*

Taking aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause significant stomach discomfort. Alcohol, smoking, and caffeine are also known contributors to stomach discomfort. DGL has been shown to reduce gastric discomfort caused by aspirin.* 10 It is therefore strongly recommended for bringing relief to individuals requiring long-term treatment with aspirin, NSAIDs and/or corticosteroids.*

Ingredient Highlights

Each tablet contains 380 mg of deglycyrrhizinated licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) as a 10:1 concentrated extract. This product is sugar-free. The sugar alcohol sweeteners used in Nature’s Life chewable DGL tablets (xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol) have minimal effect on blood glucose levels and insulin production, and help to inhibit tooth decay.*11,12

The root of the licorice plant contains a naturally occurring substance known as glycyrrhizin. When consumed, glycyrrhizin is converted by the body into glycyrrhetinic acid. Prolonged intake of glycyrrhizin and/or glycyrrhetinic acid has been shown to induce a pseudoaldosterone effect in the body, resulting in increased blood pressure and water retention.*13 Nature’s Life deglycyrrhizinated licorice does not cause these potentially harmful side effects.*


  1. Snow J. Monograph: Glycirrhiza glabra Leguminacae The Protocol Journal of Botanical Medicine 1996;Winter:9-14.

  2. Beil W, Birkholz C, Sewing KF. Effects of flavonoids on parietal cell acid secretion, gastric mucosal prostaglandin production and Heliobacter pylori growth. Arzneim Forsch 1995;45:697-700.

  3. Yamamoto K, Kakegawa H, Ueda H, et al. Gastric cytoprotective anti-ulcerogenic actions of hydroxychalcones in rats. Planta Med 1992;58:389-93.

  4. Van Marle J, Aarsen PN, Lind A, et al. Deglycyrrhizinised liquorice (DGL) and the renewal of rat stomach epithelium. Eur J Pharmacol 1981;72:219-25.

  5. Johnson B, McIsaac R. Effect of some anti-ulcer agents on mucosal blood flow. Br J Pharmacol 1981;1:308.

  6. Tewari SN, Wilson AK. Deglycyrrhizinated liquorice in duodenal ulcer. Practitioner 1973;210:820-23.

  7. Turpie AGG, Runcie J, Thomson TJ. Clinical trials of deglycyrrhizinated liquorice in gastric ulcer. Gut 1969;10:299-302.

  8. Morgan AG, McAdam WA, Pacsoo C, et al. Comparison between cimetidine and caved-s in the treatment of gastric ulceration, and subsequent maintenance therapy. Gut 1982;23:545-51.

  9. Kassir ZA. Endoscopic controlled trial of four drug regimens in the treatment of chronic duodenal ulceration. Ir Med J 1985;78:153-6.

  10. Rees WD, Rhodes J, Wright JE, et al. Effect of deglycyrrhizinated liquorice on gastric mucosal damage by aspirin. Scand J Gastroenterol 1979;14:605-7.

  11. Brunzell JD. Use of fructose, xylitol, or sorbitol as a sweetener in dibetes mellitus. Diabetes Care 1978;1:223-30.

  12. Makinen KK, Makinen PL, Pape HR, etal. Conclusion and review of the Michigan Xylitol Programme (1986-1995) for the prevention of dental caries. Int Dent J 1996;46:22-34.

  13. Stormer FC, Reistad R, Alexander J. Glycyrrhizic acid in liquorice- evaluation of a health hazard. Fd Chem Toxic 1993;31:303-12.

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