Enzymes have been called the ” Spark of Life”. Every biochemical function of the body depends on enzymes. They are proteins that facilitate the chemical breakdown of our food into smaller, absorbable components. We could not survive without Enzymes!
We depend on Enzymes to convert our food to energy. Normally, digestive enzymes are produced within our body, with 90 percent of digestion and absorption taking place in our small intestine.
But, because of circumstances, such as processing and cooking the food we eat, the pancreas and other organs of the endocrine system are put under tremendous stress. They have to draw on reserves from the entire body in order to produce the massive amounts of the proper digestive enzymes. The pancreas, liver and gallbladder become stressed and over-burdened.
It is also theorized that the extra work the pancreas is called on to do leads to stress on the pituitary gland, which is followed by thyroid imbalances and weight problems.
Enzymes Assist in Absorption of Food
Science will tell you that “Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down polymeric macromolecules into their smaller building blocks, in order to facilitate their absorption by the body.”
Polymeric macromolecules are large molecules of many similar “units” linked together. Four macromolecules are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acid.
Digestive enzymes are specialized proteins, each designed to break apart a specific type of molecule in your food, enabling the body to absorb the nutrients into the bloodstream.
Enzymes Other Benefits
Here are just some of the activities in your body requiring enzymes:
- Energy production
- Absorption of oxygen
- Fighting infections and healing wounds
- Reducing inflammation
- Getting nutrients into your cells
- Carrying away toxic wastes
- Breaking down fats in your blood, regulating cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Dissolving blood clots
- Proper hormone regulation
- Slowing the aging process
Anti-inflammatory Properties of Enzymes
Many of us that live with Fibromyalgia, are also plagued with Arthritis. A study from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland found protease (a type of enzyme that processes protein) therapy had anti-inflammatory ability in the early inflammatory phase of collagen-induced arthritis, similar to the NSAID Ibuprofen. (“Treatment of collagen induced arthritis by proteolytic enzymes: immunomodulatory and disease modifying effects.” J. Rheumatol 2001 Sep;28(9): 2049-59).
Studies have found that as blood cleansers, enzymes combat chronic inflammation, which left unchecked can lead to everything from autoimmune diseases, to cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Any disease caused by inflammation—which is practically every chronic disease we face today—can be benefited by increased levels of functional enzymes in your blood.
Enzymes and Weight Loss
Weight is a symptom of what is going on throughout your whole body: the elimination system, glandular system, emotions, sleep patterns, stress levels, liver, colon, skin, lungs, blood, spirit and chi or energy levels. An imbalance in one part of the body effects your entire system.
Faulty digestion, which leads to malnutrition, due to poor absorption of nutrients, can slow metabolic rate. Moreover, undigested food can form blockages in the digestive system, slowing elimnation and promoting toxic buildup, accornding to Dale Kiefer of “Life Extension Magazine”. This is why it is essential to add digestive enzymes to your diet!
The endocrine system is our metabolism and is driven by hormones, which are made from fat. Contrary to what we’ve been taught in the past, properly digested, healthy fats such as raw butter, nuts and seeds and fish oils are essential.
Healthy fats satisfy the appetite and help us keep going longer without snacking. Don’t exclude fat from your diet, but make sure it is an uncooked, healthy source and you have sufficient lipase to digest it.
Some experts believe that obese people suffer from a deficiency of lipase in their fatty tissues. Lipase specifically helps break down and utilize fats, while protease is used to break down proteins and eliminate toxins. Without the enzyme lipase, fat is stored or accumulates in arteries.
How To Choose an Enzyme Supplement
As mentioned earlier, food enzymes work with the body’s pancreatic enzymes. Without proper enzymes, our white blood cells try to perform the purpose of the enzymes, usually leaving one feeling tired after eating, and compromising the immune system.
The product I use, E3 Live, comes in powder form to mix with food or in capsules. All of their products arrive in a dark amber glass bottle, which I like, so the viability of the products aren’t lost from exposure to light.
- Choose vegetarian enzymes. Vegetarian enzymes begin digesting food almost immediately after they enter the stomach. Manufacturers cultivate vegetarian enzymes in a carefully controlled environment that’s free of pesticides and other contaminants, and can be more concentrated. Incidently, when you are shopping for enzyme supplements, check to be sure that not only the enzymes but also the capsules are vegetarian.
- Choose capsules or powder. Enzymes in capsule form are more available to the body than tablets. The enzymes in E3 Live capsules are the same as the powder form. Some find taking capsules more convenient than mixing in water or sprinkling the powder on their food. Powder provides an even faster action. Vegetable capsules take about 20 minutes to break down before the enzymes are released.
The enzymes in E3Live include:
- Protease Blend – Blend of 5 proteolytic enzymes including peptidase, which aid in the digestion and utilization of dietary proteins. Helps deliver the specific nutrients necessary for muscle and tissue repair, as well as for vibrant immune system function.
- Amylase – digests starch and carbohydrates. Acts in concert with Protease to stimulate immune system function. Acts in association with lipase to digest fragments of viruses and reduce inflammation and infections.
- Lipase – digests fats, thereby aiding in weight control, maintaining and enhancing cardiovascular health, and helping maintain proper gall bladder function.
- Cellulase – digests fiber cellulose into smaller units which include D-glucose. Helps remedy digestive problems such as malabsorption. Cellulase is a very important enzyme because the human body cannot produce it on its own.
- Malt Diastase (Maltase) – digests maltose, malt and grain sugars. May help relieve environmental sensitivities and allergies.
- Invertase (Sucrase) – digests sugars. Beneficial in helping prevent gastrointestinal problems and discomfort.
- Alpha-Galactosidase – aids in the digestion of difficult to digest foods such as beans, legumes and cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower
- Lactase – digests the milk sugar lactose. Extremely useful for individuals suffering from lactose intolerance. May be beneficial for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders in which a high percentage are adversely affected by dairy products.
- Hemicellulase – breaks down carbohydrates called hemi-celluloses, which are found in plant foods.
- Bromelain – an enzyme from the stem of pineapples, breaks down protein and fights inflammation and reduces swelling. May speed the recovery of injuries and swelling resulting from athletics, childbirth and surgery
When these enzmes aren’t present, or aren’t working correctly, GI abnormalities can result, such as constipation, diarrhea, malnutrition, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), indigestion, Crohn’s disease, to name a few.
Remember— Digestion begins in your mouth! Improving digestion leads to more weight loss!
Make sure you chew your food properly! Aim for 20 chews taking the time to chew in a relaxed manner. You can even try setting your fork down as you chew during a meal. It will be less stressful and more productive when your stomach and intestines take over the process. Your body will thank you and you are ensuring that you are absorbing all essential nutrients.
I would love to hear from you!
I invite you to fill out the free, no obligation product consultation form, or you can email me at email@example.com,
To read more about my journey living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia – click here.
Photo courtesy of: healthfindersmn.org