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What is it?

Lipase is an enzyme that breaks down fats during digestion. It is found in many plants, animals, bacteria, and molds. Some people use lipase as a medicine.

Since lipase breaks down fat into smaller pieces, it is possible that lipase supplements might make digestion easier.

Lipase is used for indigestion (dyspepsia), heartburn, and other gastrointestinal problems, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Do not confuse lipase with pancreatic enzyme products. Pancreatic enzyme products contain multiple ingredients, including lipase. Some of these products are approved by the US FDA for digestion problems due to a disorder of the pancreas (pancreatic insufficiency).

How effective is it?

There is interest in using lipase for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Is it safe?

When taken by mouth: There isn't enough reliable information to know if lipase is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if lipase is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: There isn't enough reliable information to know if lipase is safe for full-term infants or older children. But in premature infants, a specific form of lipase, called bile salt-stimulated lipase, is possibly unsafe. Adding this type of lipase to formula can increase the risk of side effects in the gut.

Are there interactions with medications?

It is not known if this product interacts with any medicines.

Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.

How is it typically used?

There isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of lipase might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Other names

Bile Salt-Dependent Lipase, Bile Salt-Stimulated Lipase, Carboxyl Ester Lipase, Lipasa, Recombinant Bile Salt-Dependent Lipase, Triacylglycerol Lipase, Triglyceride Lipase.


To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.


  1. Menden A, Hall D, Hahn-Townsend C, et al. Exogenous lipase administration alters gut microbiota composition and ameliorates Alzheimer's disease-like pathology in APP/PS1 mice. Sci Rep 2022;12:4797. View abstract.
  2. Casper C, Hascoet JM, Ertl T, et al. Recombinant bile salt-stimulated lipase in preterm infant feeding: A randomized phase 3 study. PLoS One. 2016;11:e0156071. View abstract.
  3. Levine ME, Koch SY, Koch KL. Lipase supplementation before a high-fat meal reduces perceptions of fullness in healthy subjects. Gut Liver. 2015;9:464-9. View abstract.
  4. Stern RC, Eisenberg JD, Wagener JS, et al. A comparison of the efficacy and tolerance of pancrelipase and placebo in the treatment of steatorrhea in cystic fibrosis patients with clinical exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Am J Gastroenterol 2000;95:1932-8. View abstract.
  5. Owen G, Peters TJ, Dawson S, Goodchild MC. Pancreatic enzyme supplement dosage in cystic fibrosis. Lancet 1991;338:1153.
  6. Thomson M, Clague A, Cleghorn GJ, Shepherd RW. Comparative in vitro and in vivo studies of enteric-coated pancrelipase preparations for pancreatic insufficiency. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1993;17:407-13. View abstract.
  7. Tursi JM, Phair PG, Barnes GL. Plant sources of acid stable lipases: potential therapy for cystic fibrosis. J Paediatr Child Health 1994;30:539-43. View abstract.
Last reviewed - 01/04/2024