Healthy Decisions for the Love of Health

Introduction to Enzymes

Enzymes
What are they? They are almost invisible protein molecules which are contained in the food we eat and are produced by our bodies. Scientists believe there are thousands of different enzymes, many of which have yet to be discovered. We can divide enzymes into three primary categories for purpose of discussion: metabolic, digestive and food.

Metabolic enzymes are those enzymes that catalyze various chemical reactions within the cells such as detoxification and energy production. Digestive enzymes are secreted along the gastrointestinal tract to break down food so the nutrients can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Food enzymes are naturally present in all raw foods, providing an exogenous source of digestive enzymes when consumed. Plant enzymes are a special preparation of the enzymes present naturally in raw food in supplement form.

Plant enzymes, as your probably guessed, come from plants and they can assist the body in the digestion of the food we eat if taken with meals. Taken between meals they can fortify the blood and be stored in the liver and other organs to be used when needed. In short they enhance our body's nutritional health.

Why are plant enzymes important? It is thought that our body's organs and glands have a lifetime "enzyme potential". This means that based on our genetics and other environmental factors our body can produce only so many enzymes during our lifetime. As we age our body automatically tries to conserve its dwindling resources and to produce fewer and fewer enzymes of all types. When this lifetime enzyme potential is reached, the body can no longer sustain life. We die because nothing takes place in the body without enzymes. Enzymes constitute the '`life force" which powers our whole system.

Raw food contains its own enzymes necessary for its digestion. But there is nothing extra to help with the digestion of other food. Cooking and processing of food kills all enzymes. Since we often can not eat a diet comprised only of raw foods, when we consume cooked or processed food our body has to draw on its "enzyme potential" and produce metabolic enzymes to do duty as digestive enzymes. This is important because nature did not tailor metabolic enzymes to perform digestive functions very efficiently. Therefore, we frequently experience the problems associated with incomplete or partial digestion. Large quantities of partially digested organic material remains in the colon and rots, putrefies and ferments over time. Plus, by metabolic enzymes having to perform digestive work, our body diverts some of its energy away from infection fighting and cell repair. In other words, we have our "A- Team" (our body's metabolic army against infection, disease and illness) doing "B-Team (digestion) work. This diversion by the body is automatic since it places a higher priority on digestion than it does on repair, maintenance and infection fighting.

When we eat cooked or processed food, the body receives a signal that it needs to produce enzymes to take care of the digestion task. Some of the enzymes pressed into service are metabolic enzymes normally used for cell repair, DNA strand repair, infection fighting, etc. These special purpose enzymes, including white blood cells, find themselves trying to digest fats, protein, starches, cellulose and carbohydrates. They do the best they can but often it is not enough. And frequently they have to do their digestive work in the blood rather than the digestive tract because the products of incomplete digestion have somehow managed to get into the blood stream. All of this takes place while the body ignores the infection fighting/cell repair functions which need constant attention. Again, your A-Team is doing B- Team work, and your body and general health pays the price. This is critical because it just does not happen once or twice. This is the "constant' which most of our bodies experience. It is constant, continuous, daily and regular because the digestive process takes hours to complete and most of us have a diet that is comprised 99% of cooked and processed foods.

It is important to understand that we can free our body's A-Team to do A-Team work by supplementing our diets with plant enzymes to handle the job of digestion and clean up our blood of impurities. This not only frees our A-Team to do the job that nature intended but also reduces the demand on our "enzyme potential", especially important as we get older. If we do this what effect will we notice? First, you will experience improved digestion. For many people, this alone will be a blessing. Second, nagging, chronic problems which a person may have had so long that we almost assume they are part of living, may begin to clear up. Energy levels can improve and our general feeling of well being can be heightened.

While improvement in health will be experienced it is important to recognize that plant enzymes are not magic pills but are simply special purpose supplements designed to help our body's natural functions. Plant enzymes don't cure any illness or disease. Rather, they reduce the burden on the body's natural curative powers allowing it to perform its natural, healing function.

WHAT ARE ENZYMES?
Enzymes are a delicate life-like substance found in all living cells whether animal or vegetable. Enzymes are energized protein molecules necessary for life. They catalyze and regulate nearly all biochemical reactions that occur within the human body. In other words, enzymes turn the food we eat into energy and unlock this energy for use in the body. They are difficult to see even with the most powerful microscope, but their presence and strength have long been known to scientists based on improved blood and immune system functioning.

PLANT ENZYMES are grown from food such as soybean and wheat in a laboratory setting with specific actions rendered in units. They are nonpathogenic Aspergillus species and are free of mycelium contamination. Removal of all the aspergilli and fungi leave only the enzymatic action. Aspergillus enzymes have a strong record of safe use in the food industry. They are considered food by the FDA. The plant enzymes available from New Roots are of the highest quality. These enzymes are to be taken with meals to aid in the digestion of al/ foods. They may also be taken following or between meals to feed and fortify the body.

Plant Digestive Enzymes available from HealthSmart Nutrition or Ultra Life Inc. do not contain fillers. This is very important since the primary job of an enzyme is to facilitate delivery. That means any fillers in the product would be delivered as well.

Plant enzymes are not sloughed off as if the body has no need for them. They exit only after there is no more activity in them to do the work. Since they are food which is natural to the body, and since they are proven to be a catalyst, they are completely different from other supplements. Some enzymes can be stored in the organs for future work and used to rebuild cells.

Enzyme Supplementation 

Humans that eat a diet void of enzymes will use up a tremendous amount of their own enzyme potential. Enzymes act as energy or a catalyst and every action of our organs and glands needs this energy to work. We receive energy from the nutrients in out blood. These nutrients are put there through the digestion of food and carried to and throughout our system by the energy of enzymes. A lack of enzymes can create illness, lower resistance to infection and aggravate all types of stresses and physiological environments that can lead to a shortened life span and chronic physical conditions.

Does the addition of raw food or juicing to the diet guarantee enough enzymes to meet our needs? Raw food provides only enough enzymes to digest that particular food. There are no extra enzymes in raw food to digest cooked or processed food. Although a totally raw diet may appear to be the best solution, it is generally not practical, and in most cases, not medically advisable. Due to the risk of bacterial contamination, many foods should not be eaten raw, including meats, poultry, eggs and beans. Many people find the fiber content in large quantities of raw food difficult to digest.

* Why is Enzyme Supplementation Important? Several characteristics of the modern day diet make the use of enzyme supplementation critical. Consider the following: Most people will choose cooked foods over raw foods.

* Some scientists believe we have lost our rich top soil necessary for producing nutritious food.

* Our body makes our metabolic enzymes from the complete amino acid food (protein) we ingest.

* Complete amino acids are mostly found in animal products. Hemp protein is one of the plant that do give complete amino acids that are required. Otherwise it takes a combination of plant products to make a complete amino source such as soybean mixed with wheat.

* We usually cook our animal products, robbing them of their enzymes.


* Nuts that are raw contain an enzyme inhibitor (as do most beans).
There are some foods, seeds and nuts, that contain what are called enzyme inhibitors.

These enzyme inhibitors are present for the protection of the seed. Nature doesn't want the seed to germinate prematurely and lose its life. It wants to make sure that the seed is present in soil with sufficient moisture to grow and continue the species.

Therefore, when you eat raw seeds or raw nuts, you are swallowing enzyme inhibitors which will neutralize some of the enzymes your body produces. In fact, eating foods with enzyme inhibitors causes a swelling of the pancreas.

All nuts and seeds contain these inhibitors. Raw peanuts, for example, contain an especially large amount. Raw wheat germ is also one of the worst offenders. In addition, all peas, beans and lentils contain some.

Potatoes, which are seeds, have enzyme inhibitors.

In eggs, which are also seeds, the inhibitor is contained mainly in the eggwhite.

As a general rule, enzyme inhibitors are confined to the seed portions of food. For instance, the eyes of potatoes. The inhibitors are not present in the fleshy portions of fruits or in the leaves and stems of vegetables.

There are two ways to destroy enzyme inhibitors. The first is cooking; however, this also destroys the enzymes. The second way, which is preferable, is sprouting. This destroys the enzyme inhibitors and also increases the enzyme content from a factor of 3 to 6.

Some foods, like soybeans, must be especially well heated to destroy the inhibitors. For example, many of the soy flours and powders on the market were not heated enough to destroy the inhibitors. The only time these products are okay are when they are fermented or sprouted.

* Grains and flour are processed, robbing them of their enzymes. Enzyme supplements assure an adequate enzyme supply.

What Constitutes A Healthy Body?
It is probably safe to say that our complete health is the sum total of the health of our individual cells, organs and glands. When we are ill, it is because our organs and glands individually or collectively, cannot function at ideal levels. Diet is an influence on the health of our glands and organs and it interacts directly with our genetics. Good nutrition can help you attain the genetic potential of your organs and glands in terms of the highest level of functioning. When your nutrition is not adequate, your glands and organs cannot receive the specific nutrients that they require. Among the many consequences of such deficiencies is an increased susceptibility to infection, an inability to deal with stress and an overall degeneration of the body.

What About the Aging Factor? Another factor affecting health is the process of aging. As you grow older, many of your nutritional requirements increase and your glands and organs do not function as well as when you were younger. Often organs and glands begin to atrophy and are not as capable of producing the supply of enzymes which your body requires. This is why we generally become more susceptible to degenerative and infectious diseases as we age. Enzymes are connected to every working organ and gland in our body and run our life's processes.

Uses of Plant Digestive Enzymes

The regular use of plant enzymes can accomplish a number of important nutritional tasks for the body. Listed below are several tasks which plant enzymes are specifically designed to accomplish.

PURIFY BLOOD: Is it possible that an enzyme can clean up or purify the blood? When you look at it from the simplest perspective it makes sense. It is a known fact that fungal forms, parasites, and bacteria are made up of protein. The shell that protects a virus in our body is in fact a protein coating. The enzyme protease breaks down proteins and since the invaders of our blood system are protein, would it not make sense that ingesting protease on an empty stomach would do the job by breaking down the protein invaders? An empty stomach is recommended since the protease would not have to be held in the digestive system to digest protein.

STRENGTHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: Enzymes deliver nutrients, carry away toxic wastes, digest food, purify the blood, deliver hormones by feeding and fortifying the endocrine system, balance cholesterol and triglyceride levels, feed the brain and cause no harm to the body. All of these factors contribute to the strengthening of the immune system.

BREAK DOWN FATS: It is a proven fact that the enzyme lipase breaks down (digests) fat. When added to your meal as a supplement it is able to do this job in the digestive tract. This takes stress off the gallbladder, liver and pancreas. When taken between meals, it will be stored in your liver and called upon as needed. 

LOWERS CHOLESTEROL: Lipase aids in lowering cholesterol. Lipase is often combined with various herbs to do the work of lowering cholesterol, as well as assisting in controlling appetite.

ENHANCE MENTAL CAPACITY: Your body uses glucose called from the liver to feed and fortify the hypothalamus. This long lasting glucose is made from the protein stored in the liver. All plant enzymes are amino acids which come from protein foods. Your red blood cells do the work of carrying oxygen to your brain. Nutrients have to be delivered throughout your body by means of the enzyme delivery system. When this is not accomplished, you become fatigued and are less able to think clearly. The hypothalamus directs our endocrine system and is responsible for water balance, body temperature, appetite, and even emotions. 

CLEANSE THE COLON: Undigested foods that are stored in the colon are evidence of a digestive problem. In the colon, undigested protein will putrefy; starch, sugars and carbohydrates will ferment; and fats will turn rancid. We should experience at least two bowel movements per day (if we eat more than one meal) to rid our body of these toxins. It is not normal for undigested foods to remain in our colon for long periods of time. Plant Enzymes will aid your natural colon functioning. If New Roots Acidophilus is added the pH of the gut will be maintained also.

ENHANCE SLEEP: Nutrients that are unable to get past the brain's barrier create insomnia and depression. The undernourished endocrine system may create a malfunction in our hormonal system which can upset our nervous system and sleep patterns. Herb combinations delivered by enzymes can enhance sleep. However, if we are able to correctly digest our food and deliver the nutrients to keep the endocrine and nervous system in sync, we can rebuild our and energy pattern.

SHED EXCESS WEIGHT AND FAT: Many over weight people have a metabolism imbalance or will soon create one. The endocrine system is our metabolism. Once we are able to fortify the endocrine system, get the bowels working regularly, and digest our food rather than turning it into fat, we have a successful combination for losing weight. Rather than creating common "weight loss" which is often nothing more than water loss, we will instead burn fat and properly digest our food. This process is not instantaneous because we have to lose fat instead of just water. A person has to lose a great deal of fat to equal one pound of weight.  It takes longer, but it is more healthy and lasts longer. Best of all, it does no harm.

IMPROVE AGING SKIN: An adequate supply of enzymes is absolutely essential for keeping your skin youthful and healthy.

According to some researchers enzymes fight the aging process by increasing blood supply to the skin, bringing with it life-giving nutrients and carrying away waste products that can make your skin look dull and wrinkled. Circulation slows down as we get older. Eating a diet of raw fruits and vegetables, which are enzyme rich, and taking a complete enzyme supplement becomes more important with age.

PROPER pH BALANCE: Friendly flora such as L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium are important to the intestinal tract for maintaining proper pH and also for controlling the population of potential pathogenic organisms like Clostridium and Candida.

Plant flora has now been proven to be most effective in the pathogen control role of beneficial bacteria. A lesser-known role of the beneficial bacteria is the actual synthesis of highly favorable natural chemicals in the colon through the fermentation process. These fermentive products include such molecular species as natural antibiotics and, very importantly, digestive enzymes. These enzymes can play an extremely important role in the digestion of otherwise incompletely digested food substances, especially proteins. The beneficial bacteria are an important ingredient for the "natural," detoxification of the body.

The organism L. Plantarium its believed to be especially productive of proteolytic enzymes and capable of clearing protein wastes from the system.

So are enzymes important? You Bet They are!!!!

Copyright 2005 HealthSmart Nutrition. All rights reserved.
Revised: June 23, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

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