nzymes are essential for proper functioning of our body. They are found in all living plant and animal matter. Their primary job is to maintain balanced body functions, digest food, and aid in the repair of tissue. Made up of proteins, the thousands of known enzymes play a critical role in virtually all body activities.
Life cannot be sustained without enzymes, despite the presence of sufficient amounts of vitamins, minerals, water, and proteins. Scientists are unable to manufacture enzymes synthetically. Each enzyme has a very specific biochemical function in the body and no other enzyme can be substituted.
Enzymes: Conductors for Metabolic Functions
According to Dr. Howard F. Loomis, Jr., "It is the enzymes that are responsible for the vast majority of all the biochemical reactions that bring our foods to maturity or ripeness." Enzymes are energy, and energy is defined in high school physics textbooks as the "capacity to do work." Enzymes are the electrical connectors driving metabolic functions. Enzymes do not perform the work; rather they are the conductors.
The shape of each specific enzyme is so specialized it will initiate a reaction in only certain substances. Because enzymes are needed at various body sites, it is important they not be overworked. In an over-worked system, production and efficiency are greatly reduced. A healthy body does its work of manufacturing enzymes, while maintaining the capacity of subsidizing its supply obtained from food.
Unfortunately, enzymes are extremely sensitive to heat; even low temperatures will destroy enzymes. To obtain enzymes from a food source, the food must be eaten raw (as in fresh juice). Cooking or heating foods deplete all enzymes. So if your diet consists mostly of cooked food, you're lacking enzymes.
Uses & Types of Digestive Enzymes
The primary work of digestive enzymes is to break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into smaller particles so the body can more easily absorb the nutrients through the stomach and small intestine. Digestion is primarily performed in the stomach and finished in the small intestine. The effect on intestinal micro-flora as a consequence of digestive efficiency includes stimulating the "good" bacteria in the gut, detoxifying and cleansing the colon, and improving digestive disorders, including food and environmental allergies.
The body contains over 3,000 types of enzymes. Many work in synchronicity with one another.
The primary enzymes used for digestion include:
Proteases: break down proteins (beef, chicken, poultry, fish)
Amylases: break down carbohydrates, including starches (bread, pasta, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, sugars)
Cellulase: break down cellulose (plant fiber), the indigestible part of fiber found in many fruits and vegetables
Lipase: break down fats
Papain (proteolytic enzyme): break down proteins
Bromelain (proteolytic enzyme): break down proteins
Maltase: break down malt sugar, grains
Lactase: break down milk sugar
Invertase: break down sucrose (table sugar)
Supplementing Your Diet: Enzymes for Digestion
I alternate between two combinations very effectively, as do my clients, VegiZyme®by BioGenesis® and Zygest® from PhysioLogics®. Alternating is important to keep the body from rejecting the substance after a prolonged period of consumption. This also assists digestion in the best possible way by selectively choosing the combination that suits the meal being consumed.
For protein or hard to digest foods, I take one high potency VegiZyme® because it contains three types of Protease that specifically assist in protein digestion: Protease, Protease II, Protease III. For other meals, two Zygest® prove effective. If you experience heartburn or indigestion at any time, especially at bedtime, take an additional one to two capsules of VegiZyme®. Usually the symptoms are eliminated within 15 minutes. Your healthcare provider will provide individual guidance for product use and dosage.
Note: Take digestive enzymes at the start of, or during, a meal.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Lucky Press.
Excerpted From the Book:
I Was Poisoned By My Body
by Gloria Gilbere.
Well-documented explanation of Leaky Gut Syndrome, symptoms and remedies.
Newer book by this author:
Invisible Illnesses (2nd edition)
by Gloria Gilbere.
About the Author
Gloria Gilbere, N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D., is a doctor of naturopathy and natural health and a Diplomate of the Academy of Homeopathy. She's an internationally respected practitioner and lecturer, consultant in EcoErgonomics, natural medicine researcher, health educator, and one of America's leading advocates of integrative and preventive medicine. She studied homeopathy, environmental psychology, nutrition, herbology, and Chinese medicine with masters in the United States, China, Argentina, England, Spain and Switzerland. Dr. Gilbere has helped thousands worldwide recover from "dead-end" symptom-care. Visit her website at www.drgloriagilbere.com.