Wobenzym N Review: Ingredients, Potential Side Effects, Clinical Evidence, and More

By HighYa Research Team
Published on: Sep 6, 2018

Wobenzym N is a systemic dietary supplement that uses a synergistic combination of plant-based enzymes, pancreatic (non-vegetarian) enzymes, and antioxidants to help improve joint health, comfort, mobility, and range of motion.

And compared to other joint supplements, we’re told its vegetable-based enteric coating will optimize absorption into the bloodstream each time you take a three-capsule dose.

Together, the website advertises Wobenzym N has been the subject of six human clinical studies involving more than 2,400 patients, has been used by over 29 million people for decades, and is sold in 22 countries worldwide. Does this mean it will necessarily deliver value for the money in your case?

Only you can answer this important question; this article will arm you with what you need to know.

What Causes Joint Problems?

Just like most other conditions, joint pain and other issues can occur as a result of a wide range of causes. The Mayo Clinic explains that common ones include (to name just a few):

  • Trauma – Strains, sprains, breaks, dislocations, tendonitis
  • Cancer and Other Diseases – Bone cancer, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, leukemia, lupus, rickets
  • Arthritis – Gonococcal, gout, rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, psoriatic, reactive, septic

And as you might imagine, the specific treatment recommended by a healthcare professional will largely depend on the underlying cause. For example, trauma might require little more than over the counter painkillers, rest, and elevation, while cancer and other diseases might require chemotherapy or surgery to address properly.

With this perspective in mind, the Mayo Clinic goes on to explain that joint pain is rarely an emergency, although you should seek immediate medical care if you’re experiencing deformity, intense pain, or sudden swelling.

Which ingredients does Wobenzym N use to battle joint pain? And what do authoritative sources have to say about their effectiveness?

Taking a Closer Look at Wobenzym N’s Ingredients

The website reports that Wobenzym N contains the following:

  • Pancreatin 56,000 USP units protease (pancreas) Sus scrofa 300 mg
  • Papain 492 FIP-units Carica papaya 180 mg
  • Bromelain 675 FIP-units Ananas comosus 135 mg
  • Trypsin 2,160 FIP-units (pancreas) Sus scrofa and/or Bos taurus 72 mg
  • Chymotrypsin 900 FIP-units (pancreas) Bos taurus 3 mg
  • Rutoside trihydrate (Rutin) Sophora japonica 150 mg

They go on to explain, “FIP is the measurement of enzyme activity according to the methods of the International Pharmaceutical Federation.”

The company recommends that beginning users take three tablets twice per day on an empty stomach with water, at least 45 minutes before meals. Advanced users can gradually increase to a total of 12 tablets, split into four equal doses, on an empty stomach.

According to their summaries of the available clinical evidence, Examine.com, the Natural Medicines Database, and WebMD cumulatively report that pancreatin is effective for addressing the inability to properly digest food (known as pancreatic insufficiency). Feasibly, this might allow your body to better receive the vitamins and minerals it (and its joints) need, if a deficiency is what's causing your discomfort.

They also indicate that a combination of rutin (100 mg), trypsin (48 mg), and bromelain (90 mg) three times daily ”seems to work about as well as a medication called diclofenac in relieving [osteoarthritis] pain and improving knee function.”

Similarly, some of these sites have specific entries for Wobenzym PS, indicating that its combination of rutin (600 mg), trypsin (288 mg), and bromelain (540 mg) “seems to be about as effective as the medication diclofenac (Voltaren) in relieving pain and improving knee function in people with osteoarthritis.”

These same site report insufficient clinical evidence for the remainder of Wobenzym’s ingredients, as related to Garden of Life’s advertising claims.

Potential Wobenzym N Side Effects

All dietary supplements and multivitamins come with a potential risk of side effects, although these are often limited to temporary, mild nausea or digestive upset.

However, WebMD, Examine.com, and the Natural Medicines also report that in some instances (no dosages or other specifics provided), pancreatin can cause mouth and skin irritation, while rutin can cause a headache, flushing, or rashes.

Finally, the website emphasizes that Wobenzym N is not intended for children, and that you’ll want to consult with a healthcare professional before using the product. This is something we strongly recommend with any dietary supplement, which can help maximize value and minimize the potential for side effects and medication interactions.

» Related: Can Dietary Supplements & Vitamins Cause Dangerous Side Effects?

How Much Does Wobenzym N Cost and Where Can You Buy?

Garden of Life prices Wobenzym N as follows:

  • 100 tablets: $33.59
  • 400 tablets: $110.39
  • 800 tablets: $181.59

We also found the supplement available from a wide variety of online retailers, including Vitamin Shoppe, Vitacost, LuckyVitamin, eVitamins, iHerb, and Amazon. Prices for the different quantities were as low as $24, $76, and $118, respectively.

All Garden of Life-direct orders come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H charges, which you can request by calling customer support at 866-465-0051.

What Are Customers Saying in Their Wobenzym N Reviews?

Among more than 1,500 combined Amazon reviews, the Wobenzym N supplement held an average rating of about 4.3 stars at the time of our research.

Compliments? They typically related to effectiveness (reduced joint pain, improved functionality, increased energy, etc.), while the few complaints cited no results, in addition to side effects like cramping and digestive upset.

Among hundreds of additional reviews across many of the same sites mentioned in the previous section, Wobenzym N seemed to have a similar overall rating, as well as many of the same compliments and complaints.

Wobenzym N vs. Other Joint Pain Systemic Enzyme Supplements

The official definition of an enzyme is “a substance produced by a living organism that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction.” Sciencing.com explains there are three types of enzymes, which perform very different functions:

Digestive enzymes (protease for fats, amylase for carbohydrates, lipase for proteins), metabolic enzymes that help organs and tissue work properly, and food enzymes that break down key nutrients in food for the body to use. As such, the term enzyme therapy simply references adding specific enzymes to your diet in order to improve some aspect of whole-body health.

A quick online search will reveal perhaps dozens of joint-related enzyme supplements competing for the same customers as Wobenzym N, including popular results like:

Brand Price Enzymes Available
Wobenzym N $24+ (120 capsules) Pancreatin, Papain, Bromelain, Trypsin, Chymotrypsin, Rutoside trihydrate
Enzymedica Repair Gold $21+ (120 capsules) Bromelain, Protease, Amylase, Catalase, Papain, Serrapeptase, Lipase
Arthur Andrew Medical Serretia $56+ (90 capsules) Serrapeptase
Pure Encapsulations Systemic Enzyme Complex $56+ (180 capsules) Bromelain, Papain, Amylase, Protease, Lipase, Rutin
World Nutrition Vitalzym, Extra Strength $95+ (180 capsules) Bromelain, Papain, Rutin, Amylase, Protease, Lipase, Amylase, Serrapeptase
Bio-Zyme by Integrative Therapeutics $24+ (100 tablets) Pancreatic enzymes, Trypsin, Papain, Bromelain, Amylase, Lipase, Lysozyme, Chymotrypsin

Despite the widely varying cost-per-dose among these competitors, we can see that they contain more of the same ingredients than not. Given this, how can you make the most informed decision possible?

As always, you should start by attending an in-depth appointment with your healthcare professional, who can learn more about the issue you're facing and recommend appropriate treatments after providing a science-based diagnosis.

With this said, ScienceBasedMedicine.org indicates, “Enzyme supplementation can be science-based.” For example, “its use in pancreatic disease is common, as well as diseases like cystic fibrosis. But those are not uses where the enzymes need to be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.”

In other words, “getting large proteins like enzymes to be absorbed is a drug design challenge,” they explain. And “even if absorbed,” they point out, “how large molecules would escape rapid metabolism and elimination isn’t clear, either.”

In regards to Wobenzym N, specifically, ScienceBasedMedicine reports that none of the clinical studies performed on the supplement are located in the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed, all but one are in a language other than English, and most are unblinded, unduplicated, and uncontrolled.

» Related: How to Tell the Difference Between Legit and Fake Clinical Studies

Our Bottom Line About Wobenzym N

Since enzymes are substances that initiate change in the body, they’re immensely important for proper health. However, as sites like ScienceBasedMedicine explain, the problem is that—regardless of the brand or quantity—enzymes are difficult to absorb from the gastrointestinal tract.

As such, whether you choose Wobenzym N or another supplement brand, they indicate that many of these manufacturers’ claims aren’t supported by sound clinical research.

Still, Wobenzym N came with almost wholly positive online customer feedback at the time of our research, as well as a very competitive price compared to other systemic enzyme blends. Garden of Life also stands behind the supplement with a 30-day refund policy, with no restocking fees noted, even if the bottle is empty.

Taking all of this together, you might not have much to lose by giving Wobenzym N a try—after having an in-depth conversation with your doctor, of course—other than perhaps return S&H charges if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

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