Nutrition Articles




The Importance of Enzymes

Each of us has about 75 trillion cells in our body. Each cell depends on enzymes, which are living proteins, to function efficiently. Without enzymes, all of the chemical reactions in our body would come to a halt. All of our tissues, muscles, bones, organs, and cells are run by enzymes

Where do enzymes come from? First of all, our bodies, when they are healthy, produce their own enzymes. Each cell can and does produce the metabolic enzymes that it needs to function normally. The pancreas and endocrine glands (thyroid, adrenals, etc.) produce extra enzymes which they "loan out" to other organs that may need them.

But the second source of enzymes is raw, living food. Raw fruits and veggies are full of enzymes. In contrast, dead, processed, and cooked foods have few, if any, enzymes. Why? Because enzymes die when they're heated above 118 degrees, or when the food they call home, is chemically processed. That includes just about everything in boxes and cans at your supermarket.

When you eat an apple, banana, or any living food, you put it in your mouth and chew it. The saliva in your mouth is full of digestive enzymes. So the chewed apple heads for your stomach with (1) its own living enzymes, and (2) your digestive enzymes from the saliva.

That makes digestion an easy process for your body. Some of the digestion takes place in your stomach, but much of it takes place in your small intestine. Your stomach turns the apple into chyme, a kind of watery gruel. When the chyme gets to your small intestine, your pancreas secretes enzymes that turn the chyme into a liquid that your body can absorb.

But when you eat DEAD FOOD -- a Big Mac, French fries, ice-cream, and diet soda pop -- all that food has virtually NO enzymes. You chew it quickly, so it gets coated with very few digestive enzymes from your saliva. And the next thing you know, all that dead, processed food is sitting in your stomach -- with few, if any, digestive enzymes to break it down.

What happens? Digestion is a priority in your body, so your stomach sends alarm signals to every cell and organ. "Send me some enzymes ASAP! I'm full of dead food, and I need help quickly!"

Your body responds. It "borrows" enzymes from other places, especially from glands like your thyroid. It may borrow enzymes from your eyes, knees, sexual organs, or any of the other organs in your body. And your stomach uses those borrowed enzymes to help digest the fast food.

You can get away with that for awhile; if you're lucky, a number of years or even decades. But eventually, those other organs which have been supplying their OWN much-needed enzymes to the stomach and intestines, begin to break down. At that point, you've got a chronic health problem.

So what do you do? Two things: The easy answer if to take a digestive enzyme with EACH meal that you eat. Then if you eat a slice of pizza (dead food), your stomach WON'T have to borrow/rob enzymes from other organs. It will use the enzymes in the tablet you ate, to help digest the pizza.

The harder solution is to phase out the dead, cooked, and processed food from your eatinregimen, or at least, to cut down on it. Instead of eating meat twice each day, cut it back to three times a week. Try not to eat cooked food at every meal. If you do eat cooked food, make sure you take a digestive enzyme before you begin eating.

Doctor Jon Barron is one of the superstars of alternative health therapy. Several years ago, someone asked John this question: If you were limited to just ONE nutritional supplement, what would it be? Jon chose digestive enzymes. I, for one, believe him. That's why I take a digestive enzyme with each meal, even though most of the food I eat is alive. And I make sure to chew my food thoroughly, so as to coat it with saliva.

There are lots of enzyme products out there. I've used a number of them for the last 15 years. My current choice is Mega-Zymes, made by Enzymatic Therapy. It contains 7 digestive enzymes, and 3 pancreatic enzymes. I think it's the best enzyme supplement on the market.

I buy Mega-Zymes from Swanson Vitamins, which has the lowest price I've seen. They sell a bottle of 200 tablets for $18.09. I take 3 tablets each day, so a bottle lasts me a little over 3 months. I consider that a bargain.

Swanson's website is: Their phone # is 1-800-437-4148. Mega-Zyes is product # R9 ET255.

You can also buy Mega-Zymes, as well as other good enzyme products, in any health food store.

I hope this information is helpful to you, San2006. If you give digestive enzymes a try for 6 months, I think your health will be significantly better.