Even though enzymes have been in the media recently, reporters do not always cover the subject well, since so much of today’s healthcare research focuses on disease management instead of going right to the foundational issue that would unleash the body’s natural healing powers. Just because most doctors won’t tell you about the importance of enzymes, however, doesn’t mean you must stay in the dark. Here is some light.
What Exactly Are Enzymes?
Enzymes are special proteins that make chemical reactions happen throughout the major systems of the body. One might say enzymes are where the rubber hits the road. Your body is full of enzymes designed to perform different, essential tasks: They allow you to see, think and laugh, they make synapses fire in your brain, they are why your organs can do their jobs, and they are how your stomach breaks down the food matter so you body can obtain the energy the food provides.
Think of a baseball game without the baseball. The players are present and dressed, the field looks beautiful, the stands are full of spectators, clear blue sky ahead and above, no threat of a rain out, and the national anthem has just finished. The only problem is there is no baseball present. That baseball is the enzyme of the game. No matter how good things good look, without that baseball, without that enzyme, nothing happens.
Enzymes are catalysts used to perform the essential functions in your body. Without them, the basic chemistry in our body fails and we simply curl up and die. Enzyme disruption can trigger this same failure but on a much slower timeline. This is the problem most of us are facing, yet many people don’t understand how important enzymes are.
What Are Digestive Enzymes?
There are many types of enzymes, but amylase, lipase and protease are critical digestive enzymes, playing the largest roles in digestion.
• Amylase breaks down complex starch into glucose, which is the only type of sugar you can use to create energy.
• Lipase does a similar job, but it breaks down complex fats into glycerin and fatty acids that are absorbed by your gut wall and distributed throughout your body, to be used as another source of energy.
• Protease breaks down protein into amino acids so your bloodstream can deliver them to the cells, where they are remanufactured back into special proteins needed by that cell’s functions.
What Happens Without Enzymes?
A lot of people already experience what happens without sufficient levels of digestive enzymes, which is why they feel sick and tired, and over time become far more susceptible to serious illness. If you generally don’t feel well, you might not have enough digestive enzymes present in your gut for your body to properly fuel and repair itself.
Without enzymes, your body will do its best to fuel itself from the whole foods you eat. Your gut, however, will not have the right tools to break those foods down into the small pieces it can use. Even if you’re eating large meals three times a day, your cells are starved of the fuel and nutrients they need to do their jobs, when digestion is incomplete due to a lack of enzymes.
Mary often says when she is working with our patients on the BioScan machine, that they “look like they are starving,” the patient always laughs and says, “Look at all my fat! I’m not starving!” But they are, because they are not breaking down their foods properly, and no matter how much they eat, they are not being “fed.” We always make the mistake of equating body size with being well-fed. That is terribly incorrect. It is usually the other way around. Poorly fed people are very often overweight and when you have poor food choices coupled with a sluggish enzyme production you can not help but be overweight.
Some of the more common symptoms of inadequate of low enzymes levels will be the sensations of gas, bloating, stuffiness, sleepiness following a meal, bad breath and mental fogginess. YOu should not even be aware you have a digestive system, in the sense that you should never feel the effects of what you eat, other than the disappearance of your hunger and sustained energy. For that matter you shouldn’t even matter that you have lungs, or a heart, or kidney’s. Anytime you feel a disturbance with ay of these organs you might first look to whether or not you have sufficient levels of enzymes.
A low amount of enzymes can even increase your risk of certain types of cancer. Specialized enzymes, such as trypsin and chymotrypsin, search your body for cells that could eventually become cancer; they leave the healthy cells alone, but they are capable of targeting the ones that can lead to cancer or other abnormalities.
A “Good Diet” Void of Enzymes Will Not Help
The modern lifestyle tempts you into eating processed foods. The word “food” probably isn’t right, since these products do not give your body any nutrition. If you don’t know how to tell the difference between natural and processed foods, just ask yourself how many steps it took to get to the final product that you are eating. Corn chips offer a great example. Food manufacturers make corn chips by harvesting corn, milling it, then drying it with too much heat that further reduces the nutritional content. Then it is formed into large sheets of a yellow mash and cut into pieces to resemble the various kinds of chips, Then, they deep fry the milled corn in unhealthy oils and add unnatural flavorings that were created in a laboratory to trick your brain into thinking it is food.
Your body can not identify corn chips as food because they are too far removed from what nature intended you to eat.
Other processed foods can retard or prevent enzyme catalysts from properly doing their jobs – the food you swallow can actually be undermining basic digestive chemical processes! Some of these non-food ingredients are actually enzymes disruptors that disable the natural enzyme effect of proper digestion.
Adding Enzyme Supplements to Your Diet
Ideally, everyone would eat fresh, natural foods that would improve health. Such as fresh fish, fresh milk and cream, fresh eggs, and grass fed and finished meat. Few people in the United States, however, eat a healthful diet free from processed foods. Few people can realistically avoid processed foods in their day to day lives, and most people actually further process some of the best, natural forms of food, making it all the harder on our stomachs. Such as pasteurized dairy.
Raw meat, for example, is one of the best things you can eat, but most Americans are taught to overcook their hamburgers, steaks and other sources of protein, which destroys many of those essential enzymes in the gut you need for a healthy digestive system. When you go to countries where people enjoy healthy lives, you see them eating things like steak tartar and foie gras. Those foods aren’t dangerous when well-prepared and freshly served; they’re similar to the things human beings have eaten for millions of years.
Unfortunately, a lot of people won’t make these dietary changes. However, there are ways to mitigate or even undo some of our worst food choices. You can still add crucial enzymes to your diet by taking supplements that will give your gut the tools it needs to break down even tougher foods into something your cells can use.
Adding enzymes to your diet can improve your health quickly. Before you turn to drugs, give your gut a chance to heal with an enzyme boost, better nutrition, and avoid too many simple sugars and other processed foods. If you follow these basic steps, the enzyme supplements can do their job, and your body will then have the fuel to maintain real inner healing.
Dr. Jack and Mary Stockwell, CGP