Enzyme Activity

Unlike other nutritional supplements, the potency or efficacy of an enzyme is not measured by weight or concentration, because the number of milligrams of any enzyme would not determine its true efficacy. Hence, “activity” is the determining factor of potency of an enzyme—in other words, the “effect” it has on proteins, fats, or carbohydrates. The enzyme activity is measured using “Activity units” and is generally determined by various assays (test methods) that are performed under specific conditions.

The accepted national standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (testing methodologies) for determining enzyme potency are defined in the Food Chemical Codex (FCC) and published by the National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. This system establishes activity levels and potency for enzymes.

Activity Units of Digestive Enzymes

EnzymeActivity Units
as per FCC
Enzyme Activity
α-AmylaseDU24000 U/g
(Dextrinizing Unit/g)
CellulaseCU1100 CU/g
(Cellulase Unit/g)
LipaseFIP200 FIP/g
(Fédération Internationale Pharmaceutique Unit/g)
LactaseALU4000 ALU/g
(Acid Lactase Unit/g)
Neutral ProteasePC6000 PC/g
(Protease Unit on L-tyrosine basis/g)