Enzymes Units Explained

Enzymes Units Explained

When you look at an enzyme label, it may be confusing at first. Trying to decipher what’s important and what’s not on complex labels can get very frustrating. You may not understand what all the different ingredients mean, or which numbers are important. You are not alone! The label information on most products is dense and full of abbreviations that mean nothing to someone who doesn’t have a degree in microbiology. Let me take a moment to unravel the mystery of enzyme supplement labels, and clue you in on the different enzymes, the measurement units, and the general layout of the label itself.

The first thing you’ll see on the label line is the enzyme itself, which may be protease, amylase, lipase, or another, less common enzyme.

What you’re looking for as far as numbers per specific enzymes is units of activity. These are the units in an enzyme capsule that will actually help you to break down food; they’re the important stuff.

The FCC measurement units vary from enzyme to enzyme, so as you look at the label you won’t see “units of activity” or “ua,” but rather the specific unit of measurement for the specific enzyme.


For example, you may look at an enzyme label and see “Protease 170,000 HUT/g.”

  • “Protease” is the type of enzyme.

  • “HUT” is the unit of measurement for the unit of activity.

  • “/g” denotes the number of active units in a gram.

Weight is not a good way to measure the quality of an enzymatic product. All it tells you is the bulk of the product, not the number of active units that will help to digest food.


Basic enzyme label terms:

  • Protease is an enzyme that helps break down protein.

    • The standard unit of measurement for this is HUT or Hemoglobin Unit Tyrosine base. Sometimes you may also see SAPU.

  • Amylase is an enzyme that helps break down carbohydrates.

    • The standard unit of measurement for this is DU or Alpha-amylase Dextrinizing units.

  • Lipase is an enzyme that helps break down fats.

    • The standard unit of measure for this is FIP, LU, and FCCLU.


I hope this helps to de-mystify the enzyme label information!