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Enzymes

Nature's Life Preservers

When we eat cooked, enzyme-free food, the body is forced to produce enzymes needed for digestion.  This stealing of enzymes from other parts of the body sets up a competition for enzymes among the various organ systems and tissues of the body.  The resulting metabolic dislocations may be the direct cause of cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes and many chronic incurable diseases.

Dr Edward Howell

Enzymes are responsible for digestion, absorption, transporting, metabolizing and eliminating waste. Every cell in our body, over 100 trillion, is dependent on enzymes. Of all the life-sustaining forces operating within each of us, enzymes are probably the least known, least understood, yet the most important and needed. Nutrition cannot be explained without describing the part that enzymes play.

Nutrition is the body's ability to consume 45 foundational nutrients, which are protein, carbohydrates, fats, water, 13 vitamins, 9 amino acids, and 19 minerals,. Eating foods that contain these elements, along with supplemental enzymes in their proper amounts will ensure god nutrition.  Enzymes turn the food we eat into energy and unlock this energy for use in the body. Life depends on enzymes. Enzymes and proteins are dependent upon one another. If there are to few enzymes, protein cannot be broken down. Conversely, if there is not enough protein, enzymes cannot be formed. Without enzymes, even the most balanced dietary lifestyle would be worthless because food cannot be digested and used by the body. There are thousands of enzymes manufactured in the body and they fall into three main categories:

  • Food enzymes  are found in raw food
  • Metabolic enzymes work in blood, tissues and organs
  • Digestive enzymes work in breaking down proteins, carbohydrates and fats

Food Enzymes…

...are those enzymes that are present only in raw food and contain varying quantities of the four basic types of plant enzymes: protease used in protein digestion, amylase for carbohydrate digestion, lipase for fat digestion and cellulose for fiber digestion. Every raw food contains exactly the right amount and type of enzyme necessary to digest a particular food. For example, fruit high in carbohydrates, i.e., bananas contain high amounts of amylase. Fruits high in fat, such as, avocados contain high amounts of lipase. Food enzymes enter the body along with raw food.  Although enzymes are present in all raw foods, they break down when cooking temperatures are greater than 118 degrees F. If we ate a diet consisting of 75% raw foods, supplemental enzymes would not be required, however…

Metabolic Enzymes…

...are responsible for initiating chemical reactions within the body. Much of this enzyme activity goes on within the cells to protect them from damage and maintain the process of cell respiration and regeneration. Enzymes help protect cells from wear and tear, which we know as the aging process. Metabolic enzymes run all our organs, tissues and cells.  Vitamins, minerals and hormones need enzymes to be present in order to get their work done properly. Enzymes are nature's life preservers.

Digestive Enzymes…

...are secreted along the gastrointestinal tract and break down foods, enabling the nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream for use in various bodily functions. There are three main categories of digestive enzymes: amylase protease, and lipase. Amylase, found in saliva and in the pancreatic and intestinal juices, breaks down carbohydrates.  Protease, found in the stomach juices, helps to digest proteins.  Lipase, found in the stomach and pancreatic juices, and present in fats, aids in fat digestion.

Enzyme Deficiency

When the body receives foods that are deficient in enzymes, it increases its numbers of white blood cells as a defense mechanism.  Enzymes are then released from these cells as well as, from the lymphatic tissue and spleen where they also are stored in the body to digest toxins.  When white blood cells are continually elevated due to a diet of enzyme dead foods, the immune system becomes compromised. This is because enzymes, normally held in storage to fight infection, are drawn out of storage for the purpose of digesting food.

There is a direct link between the strength of our immune system and our enzyme levels. The more enzymes we have the stronger our immune and digestive system will be. Leukocytes are white blood cells that contain eight different amylase enzymes, which assists the white blood cell to engulf foreign substances and reduce them to a form that the body can eliminate. Research has shown that leukocytes increase after one has eaten a cooked meal. However, there is no increase in leukocytes after a person has eaten a raw food meal. Research has shown that enzymes are related to all diseases via the immune system whether the disease is acute or chronic, if the pancreatic output of enzymes is hindered, the whole body is affected.

There is a greater amount of enzymes found in the young person's tissue than in an elderly person's tissue. Understanding this fact of life, doing all you can to maintain and enhance your enzyme levels would be a benefit to unlimited health. Enzymes are used up more rapidly during all acute and chronic illnesses. Those with diabetes, hypoglycemia, endocrine gland weakness, obesity, digestive dysfunction and stress related problem would all benefit from plant enzyme supplementation. The importance of enzymes cannot be overemphasized. If the lack of enzymes can cause diseases, then adding enzymes to the diet, through supplementation and proper food intake will prevent premature aging and break down of the body. 

Most…

...everyone, young and old, has an enzyme deficiency to one degree or anther. Dr. Dick Couey, professor of Physiology and Nutrition at Baylor University states, "I will never eat another meal without taking a plant enzyme supplement." As long as we continue to eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) of enzyme deficient foods, our bodies need an enzyme supplement to assist in digestion and nutrient uptake. As long as we live and breathe there is a need for enzyme supplementation. Data from over sixty years has revealed that there has not been one report of side effects from enzyme consumption. Remember plant enzymes are food!

Frequently Asked Questions

Isn't taking a daily multi vitamin & mineral supplement enough?

No, not if your body cannot use the dietary supplements that you are taking. Vitamins & minerals are co-enzymes, as such, they require that other enzymes act on them in order to release their benefits. If the body is unable to supply those necessary enzymes in the proper quantities at the proper time the vitamins & minerals simply become inert materials and pass through your body unused.

Am I able to combine prescription, and/or over-the-counter (OTC) medications with plant enzymes?

Yes, continue taking your medications and follow all of your pharmacist's instructions. Since plant enzymes are from natural organic sources, the FDA classifies them as food. Thus, they will not adversely effect your medication plan.

Do obese people have a shortage of enzymes?

Yes, there is some evidence that overweight/obese individuals do have a shortage of lipase. Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine conducted some tests on the abdominal fat of 11 obese individuals, average weight of 340 pounds, and found a lipase enzyme deficiency in their fat cells. This could be explained by the fact that obesity and abnormal cholesterol deposits both have their beginnings in our failure to permit fat pre-digestion of cooked or processed foods in the upper stomach (fundus) due to the fact that the natural lipase content of fatty foods has been destroyed by cooking.

Can enzymes help my insomnia?

There are many causes of insomnia. The causes that are associated with hormonal imbalances in the endocrine system have been shown to respond favorably to enzyme therapy. The lack of metabolic enzymes will definitely affect the secretions of the pituitary gland, which could lead to insomnia. Build your meal around a salad or raw food and take plant enzymes to nourish and enhance your endocrine system.

Will enzyme therapy help my arthritis?

Some researchers believe that rheumatoid arthritis might be a deficiency disease from an inability to deal adequately with protein digestion and metabolism in the small intestine. Enzymes extracted from intestinal mucosa in the small intestine were given to people with rheumatoid symptoms. Among the 700 patients treated with the enzyme over a period of seven years, results obtained were good in RA, osteoarthritis and fibrositis. 

How will taking enzymes improve my health?

  1. Breaks down lipids to enhance weight & fat loss
  2. Effective in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  3. Helps maintain proper pH balance in the GI tract and the urine
  4. Aids in overcoming sleep disorders of insomnia and sleep apnea
  5. Ameliorates chronic fatigue and lethargy induced by a nutrient deficiency
  6. Provides relief from discomfort caused by gas, bloating, heartburn and bowel irritation
  7. Promotes strengthening of the stomach lining and intestinal mucosa and helps normalize gut flora
  8. Aids the body in absorbing and assimilating the 45 nutrients, thereby reducing calories and sugar cravings
  9. Ameliorates depression, anxiety attacks and other mental disturbance brought on by nutritional deficiency

References:

  • Fuller, DicQie, PhD. The HealingPower of Enzymes.  (NY: Forbes Pub, 1999).
  • Cichoke, Anthony, J, DC. Enzymes & Enzyme Therapy.  ( CT:  Keats Pub, 1994).
  • Wolf, Mas, MD & Ransbager, Karl, PhD. Enzyme Therapy. (CA: Regent House, 1972).
  • Couey, Dicj, PhD & Fuller, DicQie, PhD. Living Longer. (TX:  Serendipity Comm., 1996).
  • Howard, Edward, MD. Enzyme Nutrition: The Food Enzyme Concept. (NJ: Avery Pub, Group, 1985).
  • Santillo. Humbart, MH, ND. Food Enzymes: The Missing Link to Radiant Health. (AZ: Hohm Press, 1993).
  • Whitney, Eleanor Noss, PhD & Rolfes, Sharon Rady, MS. Understanding Nutrition. (NY: Thomson Pub, Co. 1999).

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