Life Is Not Possible without Enzymes
Enzymes are the construction workers of your body. Your food provides all the building materials from proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. All of these require enzymes in order to be properly absorbed and used.
Every breath you take, every move you make, every thought you think, is reliant upon enzymes.
Dr. Edward Howell is one of the pioneers in studying and understanding the function of enzymes. His two very important books, Food Enzymes for Health & Longevity and Enzyme Nutrition, are responsible for the founding of modern plant enzyme therapy.
Dr. Howell's "Enzyme Nutrition Axiom" pretty well says it all. “The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism.” In other words, as the amounts of your body's enzymes decline, you experience less quality and length of life. The result is increased susceptibility to degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer and a myriad of others.
Dr. Howard Loomis recognized the importance of Dr. Howell's work and developed the first concentrated enzyme and herbal supplements. The first page of the introduction of Dr. Loomis' book, Enzymes: The Key to Health, is the source for the two footnotes1,2 above.
After five years of personal and clinical testing, Dr. Loomis began presenting seminars to train health professionals how to recognize specific enzyme deficiencies and what to do to help correct them. I've been studying and working with Dr. Loomis' protocols and formulas since 1984. I've also presented introductory seminars for his company, Enzyme Formulations, Inc.
What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are made of several things. First, they contain a group of amino acids combined to form a very large molecule of protein. Second, they have coenzymes of B vitamin derivatives like B3 and B12 as well as cofactors of minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. Together they function as catalysts to speed up chemical reactions. At normal body temperatures chemical reactions such as digestion and energy production occur too slowly or infrequently to maintain life. Under optimal conditions enzymes can speed up chemical reactions millions to billions of times faster than without them. Enzymes are not food. They cannot be digested; nor do they digest other enzymes. Each of them, however, does have a specific three dimensional shape to allow it to attach to specifically what it needs for accomplishing its work.
What do Enzymes do?
The enzymes in your body are the only things capable of doing work. Simply stated, they break chemical bonds and add a molecule of water. Technically this is called hydrolysis which is a fancy way of saying digestion. Your body uses about twenty-eight enzymes for digestion. Besides digestion, one of the other major uses of enzymes is for metabolism. Your body needs over three thousand enzymes to run all the day-to-day metabolic functions of your organs and tissues, your immune system and to repair damaged tissues.
Naturally Occurring Enzymes in Your Foods
Every living thing contains all the enzymes necessary to keep it alive as well as all the enzymes necessary to completely break it down to its basic molecules and atoms. Seems there's great truth in the saying “Dust to Dust.” This is precisely why the food industry learned very early to heat foods to inactivate their naturally occurring enzymes so they would have a longer shelf life. Enzymes are destroyed at 115 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. The problem is foods without their enzymes are much harder for your body to digest.
There are four basic enzyme groups found in raw foods in the exact amounts to digest all of it.
- Protease breaks proteins into amino acids.
- Lipase digests fats or lipids into essential fatty acids.
- Amylase separates carbohydrates, starches and sugars into glucose.
- Cellulase digests fiber in the cell walls of plants. Your body does not contain cellulase. Other than supplements your only source for cellulase is raw or very lightly cooked vegetables.
Digestion is one of the most energy-intensive functions in your body. To truly understand and appreciate how enzyme therapy works, you need to know how digestion works. Everyone is aware saliva is mixed with food in your mouth as you chew. Chewing also helps break cell walls of plants, separate fibers of foods and break larger pieces of food to smaller. This process accomplishes three of the very important things necessary for enzymes to work properly.
- Chewing releases enzymes from raw foods as you eat.
- Food enzymes work best at body temperature.
- Water in your food is mixed with water you consume as well as with your watery mix of enzymes called saliva.
You also need the proper pH range. pH is how acid or alkaline something is. Saliva is alkaline and helps to digest everything, especially carbohydrates. Then, after food enters your stomach, it is slowly exposed to increasing acidity. Stomach acid, hydrochloric acid, does not digest protein but it does change pepsinogen to pepsin. Pepsin digests your proteins. Next, the first part of your small intestine is alkaline. This is where most of your digestion is completed.
Food enzymes work in a pH range of 3, very acidic, to 9, very alkaline. Animal enzymes work in a pH range of 7, neutral, to 9, very alkaline. Obviously, since plant enzymes can work throughout your digestive tract, they are much more capable of reducing the amount of energy your body needs for digestion than animal enzymes.
Dr. Howell's work shed light on a very important, but often overlooked, aspect of digestion. You have a “pre-digestive” stomach. No, you don't have multiple stomachs like a cow. It means your food is collected in your stomach after you eat and has thirty to sixty minutes before the pH of your stomach becomes acid enough to begin working. During this time enzymes in the foods you've eaten and in your saliva begin pre-digesting your meal. If the food you've eaten contains no naturally occurring enzymes, either because they've been destroyed during food processing or during the preparation of your meal, little or no pre-digestion occurs. The result is your body has to produce all the enzymes to digest your meal. Over time your enzyme potential becomes less. When this happens your digestive system will compensate by begging, borrowing or stealing enzymes from other organs, systems or tissues, especially your immune system.
In fact, there is a phenomenon called “digestive leucocytosis” where white blood cells, leucocytes, gather in extremely large numbers around your digestive organs as they work. Interestingly, the more enzyme depleted your food, the greater the number of white blood cells around your stomach and small intestines. Leucocytes are the most important part of the first-line of defense of your immune system. It doesn't take a medical genius to see what will happen over time if your immune system has to use its powerful enzymes whenever you eat. Could this be one of the most obvious and most overlooked causes of chronic degenerative diseases?
The Ten Most Common, Earliest Symptoms of Enzyme Deficiency
- Stiff, Sore Joints
- Muscle Spasms or Cramping
- Gas Pains or Bloating
- Constipation or Diarrhea
- Anxiety or Irritability
- Restlessness or Insomnia
Know anyone with any of these? If you or someone you love has any of these symptoms, you or they might need help with digestion.
So What Can You Do?
You could eat only natural, organic, raw foods all the time. Sure, but who's going to do this every meal? Not me. I've tried. Salads, no matter how good, get really boring after a while.
A much better solution is to eat more raw foods and take supplemental digestive enzymes to help completely digest whatever you eat. The best supplemental enzymes will work throughout your digestive tract, especially in your pre-digestive stomach and in your duodenum, the first part of your small intestine where your digestion is completed. The enzyme formulas created by Dr. Loomis work throughout your digestive tract.
Natural Enzyme Formulas
- For Men – Helps digest everything, especially protein. 2 capsules at the beginning of meals
- For Women – Helps digest everything especially fats for hormone production. 2 capsules at beginning of meals
- For Children – Helps digest everything especially carbohydrates. 1 capsule at the beginning of meals
- For Kids – Powder form for kids who have trouble taking capsules. 1 teaspoon in water at the beginning of meals
- For Adults 45 and older – Helps digest everything especially protein. 1 capsule at the beginning of meals
- For Antacid Users – Helps digest everything and helps heal stomach and intestine linings. 1 capsule at the beginning of meals
- Advanced Formula – Provides nutrients for chronic immune problems and lymphatic congestion. 2 capsules between meals twice a day such as mid-morning and mid-afternoon
- N-UR – Helps control bedwetting in children and incontinence in adults. Children – 1 capsule at the beginning of meals and at bedtime. Adults – 2 capsules at the beginning of meals and at bedtime
- Probiotics – Provides friendly bacteria and supportive enzymes. 2 capsules between meals twice a day such as mid-morning and mid-afternoon
Advanced Enzyme Formulas
If one or more of the above Natural Enzyme formulas does not adequately take care of your problems, you will need a more complete evaluation. This can be accomplished by one of the Enzyme Therapy Associates trained by Dr. Loomis. The easiest way to find the name, address and phone number of one close to where you live is to call 1-800-614-4400.
Enzyme Therapy Associates are thoroughly trained in taking histories, evaluating urine and blood lab work, and in doing a complete examination to help you find the underlying cause of your problem. Once this is determined, lifestyle changes, dietary modifications and/or one or more of the sixty-plus professional enzyme formulas are recommended. These more concentrated formulas are designed to provide the specific nutrients and enzymes your body needs to repair itself. Periodic followup examinations are scheduled to monitor your progress and make any changes necessary to help you continue progressing toward optimal health.
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