Enzymes...The Key To Good Health
from NaturalNews (2/08) "The Power of Enzymes - Discover the Key to Good Health " by Teya Skae
Good health starts with proper digestion and good digestion relies on the right
enzymes in the right amounts being at the right place and time. As we age we
become more challenged by various forms of stress, environmental pollution,
chemicals, and our emotional issues. All of these deplete our body's natural
ability to make enough enzymes to meet the demands of daily life. Our body
needs enzymes to function properly. Not only do we need them for healthy
digestion, but we also need them to live as without them we wouldn't be able to
breathe, swallow, drink, eat and digest our food.
Enzymes are complex protein molecules that are manufactured by all plant and
animal cells. Enzymes are very important because they break up large food
molecules into smaller units that are absorbed into the cells. They help the
body digest food and assimilate nutrients from proteins, carbohydrates, fats,
and plant fibers. In addition, enzymes assist in all chemical reactions taking
place in our body; including the regeneration of cells/tissues and the
elimination of waste products/toxins as well as supporting our immune system.
In short, enzymes make things happen! According to Dr. Edward Howell, pioneer
of Enzyme Therapy: "Enzymes are substances that make life possible. They are
needed for every chemical reaction that takes place in the human body. Without
enzymes, no activity at all would take place. Neither vitamins, minerals, nor
hormones can do any work without enzymes".
Do we have an infinite supply of enzymes? No, we do not. Until recently, the
scientific community believed that the digestive enzymes in our body are
constant and last forever. Researchers now know that we lose digestive enzymes
through sweat, body waste and the natural ageing process of the organs that
produce our digestive enzymes. Our current fast-paced society with its
preoccupation with convenience has resulted in more chemical pollution, overly
processed foods and microwave cooking, all of which create a lot of
free-radical damage in our body, also known as a process of accelerated ageing.
This process of free-radicals lowers the body's natural ability to produce
enzymes and meet its demands to function well.
There Are Three Main Categories Of Enzymes:
• Digestive Enzymes - secreted by the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, and the small intestine
help break down food into simple components.
• Food Enzymes - exist naturally in raw food. If the food is cooked above 47 degrees Celsius,
the high temperature involved in the cooking process destroys the enzymes.
Digestive enzymes and food enzymes serve the same function; they digest the
food so it can be absorbed into the blood stream. The difference between the
two is that food enzymes are derived from fresh, raw, uncooked foods such as
fruits, vegetables, eggs, raw unpasteurised dairy, meat and fish (sashimi),
whilst digestive enzymes are made inside our body.
• Metabolic Enzymes - produced in the cells and are found throughout the body in the organs, in the
bones, the blood, and inside the cells themselves. Metabolic enzymes help run
the heart, brain, lungs, and kidneys. Hundreds of metabolic enzymes are
necessary for the working of our body.
Enzyme supplementation in our diet:
• Improves overall digestion so we have more energy for life.
• Reduces the effects of aging, wrinkles, sun spots.
• Aids in disease prevention.
• Aids in the prevention of cancer and debilitating diseases.
• Minimizes the negative effects of cancer therapies.
• Boosts the immune system.
• Reduces inflammation/soreness of muscle and joint pain.
• Retards periodontal disease.
• Prevention of heart disease.
• Speeds healing after surgery.
• Reduces the negative effects of anesthetics.
• Aids in reproduction problems, regulating cycles, infertility and sterility.
• Cleanses our system from allergic reactions.
The enzymes and what they do:
Lipase: An enzyme that digests fats, helping to maintain correct gall bladder function.
When added to a meal as a supplement, it digests dietary fat, relieving the
gallbladder, liver, and the pancreas which would otherwise need to produce the
required enzymes. Protein absorption from fatty foods such as fish or seeds can
be improved by incorporating supplemental lipase enzymes in the diet.
Protease: This enzyme breaks down protein found in meats, poultry, fish, nuts, eggs and
cheese and may be helpful for people with food allergies or who have difficulty
Amylase: A natural plant extract which helps your body break down and assimilate starches
and carbohydrates. Works great for digesting starches and carbohydrates and may
be useful for people with gluten sensitivities.
Cellulase: An enzyme that breaks down food fiber (cellulose) found in fruits and
vegetables. Cellulase, which is not found in the human system, breaks the fiber
bonds and increases the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables.
Lactase: Digests milk sugar. Lactase deficiency is the most common and well-known form of
carbohydrate intolerance. It is estimated that approximately 70% of the world's
population is deficient in intestinal lactase. Supplemental lactase enzymes
have been found to decrease the symptoms of lactose intolerance associated with
the consumption of dairy foods.
Phytase: This enzyme breaks down phytic acids in grains, seeds, and simple sugars into
fructose and glucose.
Maltase: Digests complex and simple sugars. Maltase breaks down unused glycogen in
muscle. Glycogen is a thick, sticky substance that is converted from sugars and
starches and is stored in your muscle cells for future use. If stored glycogen
continues to build up in the muscle tissues, it leads to progressive muscle
weakness and degeneration.
Papain from papaya and Bromelain from pineapple, both help digest protein. Bromelain is also a natural
Dr. DicQie Fuller PhD, in her book The Healing Power of Enzymes, emphasizes the
importance of enzymes for digestion:"Eighty percent of our body's energy is
expended by the digestive process. If you are run down, under stress, living in
a very hot or very cold climate, pregnant, or are a frequent air traveler, then
enormous quantities of extra enzymes are required by your body. Because our
entire system functions through enzymatic action, we must supplement our
enzymes. Aging deprives us of our ability to produce necessary enzymes. The
medical profession tells us that all disease is due to a lack or imbalance of
enzymes. Our very lives are dependent upon them!"
Approximately 80 per cent of digestive enzyme supplements are plant-based. Look
for combinations that have high Protease, Lipase, Amylase units with added
lactase and bromelain. This would be a very good combination to take with each
meal. This combination may also be taken in between meals to clean the blood of
impurities.If taking straight pancreatic enzymes, make sure they are of good
quality and reputable sources.
For vegans and vegetarians, plant based and fungi derived enzymes would be ideal
and the good thing is that plant based enzymes do the job well. In some cases,
plant based enzymes might even be more effective as they survive the acidity of
the stomach whereas pancreatic enzymes may not and might not get to the small
intestine where they do their job.
When we improve our digestion we are improving our health. Eating our food as
close to its raw state as possible is a good place to start. If eating well
cooked/cured/smoked meats, then adding digestive enzymes would be necessary to
ensure they are digested. When cooking eggs, soft boiled or poached is best,
instead of omelettes and frying. Eggs have some of the best enzymes and
nutrients particularly for our thyroid gland and our liver, so it pays to
preserve these delicate enzymes in eggs as well as other proteins. This is
because proteins are the building blocks of life, and we constantly need these
building blocks in rebuilding and maintaining lean muscle tissue, regenerating
organs/glands, synthesising hormones, regulating our brain chemistry, and
supporting our immune system. If we are not digesting our protein well, we
don't have the necessary building blocks for life and that of course would
diminish our health. The key to good digestion is enzymes, and ensuring we have
enough supply in our system for optimal digestion, energy and overall
About the author: Teya Skae M.A., B.A.,Dip Health Sciences, Dip Clinical
Nutrition Kinesiologist/Nutritionist/Writer Health/Life Coach and Educator.
Teya is the founder of Empowered Living www.empowered-living.com.au
specialising in Metabolic Typing Nutrition and Results Fat Loss.