Enzyme PowerAndrew Hurko December 1, 2014
Enhancing Digestion with Enzymes Helps to Liberate Your Energy
“Enzyme preservation is the secret to health.” ~ Ann Wigmore
Enzymes possess special life energy-transferring properties, unlike any other factor in our diet. By understanding the ‘enzyme concept’ it becomes clear how easy it is to boost vitality.
The heat used by modern cooking and pasteurization or irradiation destroys virtually all enzymes in our food and this terminates the transfer of life energy. In fact, this produces a reverse flow which removes enzymes from the digestive system to make up for their loss, insidiously undermining our health and steadily draining our reserves of energy. We may get away with this for a time, particularly when we are young and healthy, but years of this process slowly erode our health and can open the door to a host of ‘mysterious’ ailments.
The Vital Energy of Life
What are enzymes and what do they do? Enzymes are biochemical catalysts which run the body. “They serve as the body’s labour force to perform every single function required for our daily activities and are required to keep us alive,” according to Enzymes: The Fountain of Life, by D.A. Lopez. They are a measure of our life and immunity. “The immune system depends heavily on enzymes to conduct its protective functions. When enzyme activity stops, life stops and the person or organism dies!” In other words, enzymes are our supply of the vital energy of life.
There are three classes of enzymes: metabolic, digestive, and food, and they all interface to keep the body running smoothly. We have the most control over food enzymes, through diet.
Food enzymes can be divided into three categories: proteases (to break down protein), lipases (to break down fat) and amylases (to break down starch and sugar). Raw foods contain just the right amount of each for predigestion. “Researchers have conclusively shown that there are two distinctly different digestive sections of the stomach,” the upper and lower. The upper part is where food sits for 30-60 minutes as food enzymes do their work of predigestion. What happens when there are too few enzymes in the food due to processing, cooking, or microwaving? The food starts to ferment, rot, and putrefy, according to Edward Howell, author of Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity.
Then it gets passed down to the lower portion of the stomach, where digestive juices have to work harder to deal with it. No wonder so many people suffer from indigestion! In the process, some key amino acids are lost and can start to build up in the colon. Thus begins the downward spiral of ill health and loss of vitality.
Foods in the supermarket are sometimes stripped of their own natural enzymes by heat processing or irradiation to prolong shelf life. When you eat these foods, your body has to make up for the missing enzymes by ‘borrowing’ from your reserves — and this can lead to disease. The Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes, confirmed by many researchers, states: “the body calls for exactly the quantity and type of enzymes needed according to the character of each meal eaten.”(Enzyme Nutrition) Your body will not waste the production of enzymes, as they are a limited and precious resource. Unfortunately, we are not as conscientious with regards to our food intake.
In his incisive book Enzyme Nutrition, Dr. Edward Howell suggests that detrimental organ changes occur when we consume too many cooked and processed foods. The pancreas swells, the brain shrinks, and the pituitary and thyroid glands enlarge. It is my contention that as we continue to denature our food, we are contributing to the degeneration of the human species.
Rebuilding Enzyme Reserves
We need to rebuild our enzyme reserves by greatly increasing the amount of enzymes we take into our system. This could be crucial in times of excessive personal and ecological stress. Enzyme reserves can be compared to the energy of your car battery. If the alternator does not feed the battery, it will wear out and you won’t be going anywhere. The same thing happens with your body. If you expend more energy than you take in, you will eventually become fatigued to the point of exhaustion, thereby shortening your life span and attracting chronic ailments. When you significantly increase your enzyme intake, your stamina and vitality are gradually restored.
“The enzyme activity of an organism is a way to measure the life force of the organism,” according to Conscious Eating by Gabriel Cousens.
Cooking can be marvelous if done well. It’s a kind of alchemy that stimulates the senses, titillates the taste buds and nourishes both body and soul. Question: A shared meal can be an act of communion with friends, and this kind of pleasure is a virtual nutrient in itself – but what do we do about the loss of enzymes? Answer: Supplement cooked meals with high quality digestive enzymes. It would be an enlightened development if at meal times we each had a bottle of enzymes on our table alongside the salt and pepper. Luckily, we have developed concentrated plant enzymes (from the non-toxic fungi aspergillus oryzae and aspergillus niger, as well pineapples, papayas, sprouts, and other plant sources) to make up for deficient foods. Thanks to modern production techniques, the enzymes are pure and powerful, with no trace of fungus or growing medium, making them safe for people who have sensitivities or allergies to fungi.*
The latest supplemental enzymes (which are comprehensive, multi-fold, and broad pH) are a tremendous breakthrough in technology. They complement digestion, purify the blood, benefit the immune system, and generally accelerate healing from illness or injury. Some researchers see enzymes as the “fountain of life,” containing the spark of life relative to the body’s chemistry and transmission of nerve impulses.
In addition, it is wise to eat as much raw organic food as possible – in particular sprouted seeds, organic bananas, avocados, mangoes, aged garlic, green barley, algae, kefir, unpasteurized honey, and olive oil, for they are high in beneficial enzymes. If you are having trouble digesting raw foods, this may be an indication that your enzyme reserves are low, and supplemental enzymes would help you catch up. You may also be needing sea vegetables or celtic sea salt to help you create hydrochloric acid as well as to supply you with balanced minerals.
A word of caution on raw nuts, seeds and legumes, including soya beans: they contain “enzyme inhibitors” and so are best used sprouted, which actually multiplies their store of enzymes. Make sure your olive oil is as crude, thick, and dense as you can get; it is a great source of lipase, good for the heart system. Honey, a good source of amylase (helpful in controlling blood sugar and allergies) and other enzymes, should be solid and opaque, because that ensures it has not been heat-treated and so retains its beneficial qualities.
What’s most devious about having low reserves is that your body may end up craving enzymes so badly that it will even attract yeast, fungi and bacteria to use their enzymes. But with a well-stocked enzyme reserve, your body could be spared this unpleasant detour.
When you do not consume enzymes with your food, you are causing havoc in your system. There have been startling findings by Paul Kouchakoff, a Swiss physician, which have been regularly repeated by Dr. Howard Loomis on hundreds of patients. “In 1930, Kouchakoff showed that the eating of cooked foods caused leucocytosis, which is an increase in white blood cells.” This indicates that the immune system can react to the cooked food being eaten as if it’s a foreign substance. But if you add more than 50% raw enzyme-rich food to the meal, then the body calms down and there is no increase in white blood cells.
Some people feel tired after eating, to the point of falling asleep. Having more enzymes in the tissues, along with increasing activity, is the best way I know of to reach the perfect body weight, including fat/muscle ratio. As Dr. Gabriel Cousens says in Conscious Eating: “…eating raw foods liberates enzymes for use in other parts of the body.”
An encouraging tendency I’ve noticed when people start taking digestive enzymes with meals is that they begin to be attracted to food that is nourishing. They receive more nutrients from their food and therefore can more easily rein in their poor eating habits. In time, it’s possible to become the master of your own stomach!
A lack of enzymes, oxygen, and sugar supplied to the cells of your body can keep your energy at a low ebb. Taking stabilized oxygen “may help by ‘jump-starting’ the body’s oxidative processes,” thus helping clear the body of toxic substances, viruses and other invading organisms. This would greatly improve metabolism.
Pycnogenol™ (which comes from pine bark and is one of the strongest and best-tested antioxidants), also works well with enzymes to unstick and recharge blood cells, allowing them to carry more nutritive life energy. Taking probiotics, which are also a source of enzymes, help protect and cleanse the digestive system to provide good elimination which further aids in absorption of nutrients.
Enzymes also need co-enzymes to complete their activation. This would include certain vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients. That’s why it’s so vital to eat a variety of nourishing foods. Making sure you have enough enzymes with meals results in good digestion – indispensable for better health and regeneration. Liberate your energy!
On the Safety and Effectiveness of Enzymes
(Excerpt from a statement by Dr. Zoltan Rona, MD, BSc.)
I have been writing about and prescribing digestive enzyme supplements successfully for over 30 years. These over-the-counter products are manufactured by at least a dozen different companies and are sold in health food stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies. Manufacturers include NAKA, Biotics Research, Natural Factors, SISU, Platinum Naturals, Thorne Research, Metagenics, Advanced Orthomolecular Research, Integra, New Roots, and Professional Health.
In general, I have found various types of digestive enzymes (pancreatin, serrapeptase, bromelain, papain, other plant enzymes, betaine and pepsin hydrochloride) to be effective in reversing chronic gastrointestinal problems. These include diarrhea, gas, bloating, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, micronutrient malabsorption, diverticulitis and diverticulosis.
In addition, I have found that digestive enzymes will reduce the severity of inflammation just about anywhere in the body, especially in the joints (arthritis), the tendons (tendonitis) and the bursa (bursitis). I also find them to be effective in speeding healing from just about any sports injury. Some of my pancreatic cancer patients have also found that taking digestive enzymes reduces the severity of their pain and discomfort and allows them to eat a more complete diet, thereby prolonging their survival.
There is no truth that the taking of digestive enzymes shuts down the body’s own production of enzymes. This thinking only applies to hormones in the body that have feedback inhibition mechanisms. The same concept does NOT apply to digestive enzymes. At least there is no supportive scientific research that confirms this line of thinking. In my clinical experience of over 33 years, I have never witnessed any patient, to whom I prescribed digestive enzymes, then become dependent on the enzymes from an external source. In fact, what I have witnessed was that after 3 – 6 months of enzyme supplementation, the patient’s digestion improved substantially enough to go without the enzymes. In other words, the digestive enzyme supplement healed the enzyme insufficiency of the body’s own production.
Ed. note: View the complete statement by Dr. Rona.
- Enzymes, The Fountain of Life, by D.A. Lopez, M.D.; R.M. Williams, M.D., Ph.D; M. Miehlke, M.D., 1994
- Food Enzymes for Health Longevity, 2nd ed., — by Dr. Edward Howell, 1994
- Enzyme Nutrition, by Dr. Edward Howell, 1985
- Conscious Eating, by Dr. Gabriel Cousens, 2000
- Alternative Medicine, The Definitive Guide
- letter from Don Smyth, President of R-Garden, Inc. Oct. 30, 1997