Enzymes and enzyme therapy

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YOU'RE NOT WHAT YOU EAT, BUT WHAT YOU ABSORB

EVERY LIFE PROCESS DEPENDS ON THE action of enzymes, protein "go-betweens" that control the fueling and energy output of each cell in the body. Bodies rich in enzymes function at their best, with high energy levels, and full powers of disease resistance.

It is the energizing, staying power of enzymes that helps start the day and keep you going. Enzymes are the way to recover faster from injuries, cut the risk of cancer, relieve back pain and circulation problems, and combat viruses. Enzymes have even demonstrated positive effects in cases of AIDS and multiple sclerosis.

COPING WITH THE JEKYLL-AND-HYDE EFFECT

If you're tired, first look to your yo-yo blood-sugar level as the culprit of chronic or periodic fatigue. What does sugar have to do with energy? Ever hear of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)? When your blood sugar (glucose) level drops, you feel tired, and your energy mysteriously disappears. Don't be blinded by claims of increased or instant energy with sugar-laden or caffeine-laced foods and beverages. The roller coaster ride they provide begins with your blood sugar shooting up in a burst of energy, then plummeting downward. This rapid rise and fall is accompanied by fatigue and loss of energy. The ups and downs of this deadly yo-yo drain you of energy and can affect you emotionally. For a period of time, you're on top of the world and then, suddenly, you hate everyone.

Ideally, complex sugars gradually raise your blood-sugar level. Sugar from fruits and other complex carbohydrates is slowly released into the bloodstream, creating a gradual and prolonged elevation in energy.

Today's fast-food diet, plus constant pressures of school or job and/or home and family, seem to pull the cork and set free our vital body energy. We can practically feel energy ooze from our bodies. This constant and prolonged state of stress drains energy from our enzymes, as well as every one of our systems, especially our immune system.

We have become our own assassins. We kill our enzymes, and the guardian of good health, our immune system, which leaves us defenseless. Why shouldn't we feel like a load of laundry squeezed through a wringer?

Research says we're a sick society. We can't get a well-balanced diet because of all the preservatives, additives, storage, canning, freez-ing, drying, and adulteration of our foods. But even if it's fresh, is our food still alive?

What keeps food alive?

Enzymes, energy-rich enzymes.

WHAT ARE ENZYMES?

Enzymes are substances that occur naturally in all living things, including the human body. If it's an animal or a plant, it has enzymes.

Enzymes are critical for life. At present, researchers have identified more than 3,000 different enzymes in the human body. Every second of our lives these enzymes are constantly changing and renewing, sometimes at an unbelievable rate.

Our body's ability to function, to repair when injured, and to ward off disease is directly related to the strength and numbers of our enzymes. That's why an enzyme deficiency can be so devastating.

All life processes consist of a complex series of chemical reactions. These reactions are referred to as metabolism. Enzymes are the catalysts that make metabolism possible. A catalyst is a substance that initiates a chemical reaction, enabling it to proceed under different conditions (such as at a lower temperature) than would otherwise be possible.

Some writers compare enzymes to the clergy and judges who make and break marriages. When you stand in front of the preacher, he acts as a catalyst; he joins you and your spouse, making you a "married couple." He, however, is not changed in the process. Without the preacher or the judge, you couldn't get married or divorced.

Enzymes work this same way. Without them, many of the body's chemical reactions would never take place. Without enzymes, there would be no breathing, no digestion, no growth, no blood coagulation, no perception of the senses, and no reproduction. Our bodies contain millions of enzymes, which continually renew, maintain, and protect us. No person, plant or animal could exist without them.

Because enzymes are catalysts, their effectiveness can be greatly influenced by their environment. An acid or alkaline environment will affect their activity, as will temperature, concentration of substrate (the substance upon which they work), coenzymes or cofactors, and inhibitors.

In addition, enzymes are very specific. Each enzyme promotes one type of chemical reaction and One type only. Some enzymes break down large nutrient molecules (the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in our foods) into smaller molecules for digestion. Others are responsible for different functions, such as the storage and release of energy or the processes of respiration, reproduction, vision, and others.

THE BODY'S BATTERY CHARGER

Every activity that occurs within the body involves enzymes: 1) the beating of the heart 2) the building and repairing of tissue 3) the digestion and absorption of food among others. Nothing can take place without energy and energy cannot be used or produced without enzymes. Enzymes are involved in all bodily functions. In fact, the very existence of each living cell depends on complicated chemical reactions that require a constant supply of energy and enzymes. Without energy, cells become disorganized, resulting in illness and death. It is for this reason that the body's energy needs take precedence over all other body requirements.

Cells take energy from the protein, carbohydrates, and fats that we eat. They do this with the help of enzymes. Before they reach the cell, practically all proteins are converted into amino acids, fats are converted into fatty acids, and carbohydrates are changed to glucose. The cells oxidize these nutrients, releasing large quantities of energy in the process. Inside the cell, oxygen reacts chemically with the nutrients under the influence of certain enzymes, which control the rate of reactions and direct the released energy toward its proper use.

In combination with oxygen, the foods we eat can release large amounts of energy when burned outside the body in an actual fire. In this instance, the energy is released suddenly and all in the form of heat. For physiological processes, however, the body needs energy, not heat. We need energy to cause mechanical muscle movement, and other body functions to occur. To produce this energy, chemical reactions must be "coupled" with the systems responsible for these physiological functions. This coupling is achieved through special energy transfer systems and cellular enzymes.

CELLS AND ENERGY FROM NUTRIENTS

Metabolism includes all the physical and chemical processes involved in the activities of life. Enzymes are the means within the cells by which the building-up and breaking-down processes of metabolism take place.

Nature has devised a brilliant plan to supply the constant demand for energy, called biologic oxidation. This process allows us to obtain energy from food without burning up body tissue at the same time. Because of the catalytic activity of enzymes, food can be burned at low temperatures which are compatible with the life of the cell.

The process of biologic oxidation progresses in a step-by-step fashion and has been compared with the orderly progression of a boat through a series of locks in a river, as opposed to plunging over the falls all in one effort.

SHORT CIRCUITS

Enzymes are important for your nervous system, too. Nervous system function is regulated by various neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, the catecholamines (dopamine and norepinephrine), and acetycholine. These neurotransmitters are manufactured by the action of enzymes in the brain on the precursor amino acids, tryptophan, tyrosine, and choline, respectively. Because the brain cannot make adequate quantities of the various precursors, it must obtain these precursors from the bloodstream.

But what if your digestive system hasn't properly broken down the protein you eat into its component amino acids, thus leading to a deficiency state in your bloodstream?

SOURCES OF ENZYMES?

Now that we have established our need for enzymes and their importance in energy production and the nervous system, where do we get them? Traditionally, foods have been the primary source, but did you know that the heat of cooking can kill enzymes? Uncooked foods (such as fruits and vegetables) are usually high in enzyme activity and fortunately, taste good, too.

In theory, this works (take food-get enzymes). However, in practice, with the magnitude of food additives, preservatives, radiation, long-term storage, canning, freezing and drying, the actual enzymatic activity level of foods can be grossly reduced. Because of this there is an energy drain.

As we age, the quantity of our body's enzymes decreases and so does the quality. The speed with which this happens is greatly influenced by our life style and diet. An enzyme-poor diet can overtax an already deficient system.

THE SOLUTION

What's the solution to an energy drain? Can daily supplementation (in addition to foods) ensure an adequate supply of enzymes? Say "yes" to complex carbohydrates and live enzymes, and "no" to deadly caffeine and refined sugar. The unwanted insulin response that is associated with refined carbohydrates is curbed when we take in complex carbohydrates, allowing blood sugar levels to rise at a normal rare. Eating complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits, and vegetables (which are loaded with active enzymes), allows natural sugars to enter the blood stream slowly, resulting in a more gradual, but longer-lasting buildup of energy.

We can't produce energy without catalysts, and enzymes are those catalysts.

You can't jump start your day and feel young, with energy and vitality, if your body has lost its enzyme punch. If your get-up-and-go has got up and gone, your wake-up call may go unheard!

Life is similar to walking on a tightrope. Like everything else, there is a beginning and an end on this tightrope called life. As we move along on our journey, we must balance our bodies (this is known as homeostasis) or we can fall off the tightrope before our time, before reaching our scheduled end. This balancing act involves the total body (mind and spirit), yin and yang, temperature, pH, vitamins, minerals, anabolic-catabolic ratio, the oxidation of body cells, and enzymes.

All must be in harmony and enzymes help us maintain that balance.

Now that we know that enzymes help give us energy, how do we get the nutrients from the fields to the fork and into our body machinery? That's the function of digestion and absorption.

JUMP START DIGESTION

Here comes a forkful of food. Open wide and into the chasm it goes. Your eyes and nose have already checked out the food and told your brain, "Be on the lookout, mouth; something good is coming your way." In response, your mouth begins to water. Saliva and other enzyme juices are secreted and are ready to mix with the food. The tongue tosses the food around (much like cement is tossed around in a cement mixer), positioning it so your grinding teeth can break it down and tear it apart. It is especially important that the cellular membranes covering the fruits and vegetables be broken; in fact, good digestion depends on it.

How can some people eat nutritious foods and yet be continually tired, develop chronic diseases, and/or age prematurely?? Quite possibly it could be poor digestion and/or absorption of foods. In other words, an individual could be eating a healthy diet, but the nutrients aren't getting to the body. Literally, one can eat the best and yet the body is starving. There is a road block on the chnveyor belt of life! "You're not what you eat, but what you absorb," says Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D.

One way to support an overworked digestive system is to take natural digestive enzymes. Pepsin is probably the best known and is essential for protein digestion. Enzyme preparations contain many enzymes capable of breaking down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Some sources of digestive enzymes include pineapple, papaya, malt, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus oryzae, ox bile, and hog pancreas. Enzymes are available in capsules, tablets (chewable too), liquids, sublingual, powders, and granules. Because most digestion takes place in the small intestine, some digestive aids are enterically coated to dissolve there, and not in the stomach.

Today's scientific research indicates that large enzyme molecules can be absorbed from the intestines, passing into the circulatory and Iymphatic systems and, ultimately, to every cell of the body. For a long time people didn't think we could absorb supplemental enzymes. We now know that we can absorb enzymes in a number of ways, primarily through a mechanism known as pinocytosis. Pinocytosis is actually a system whereby enzymes, after connection to a receptor in the mucosa of the intestinal wall, are absorbed into that wall, guided through the intestinal cells, and finally released into the blood, much like an elevator going from one floor to the next.

Researchers are now able to produce enzymes to treat specific acute and chronic disorders. This treatment is called systemic enzyme therapy. Since many chronic disorders involve disturbed enzyme function, it seems logical to take supplemental enzymes. You can look forward to much more information on enzyme therapy in future issues.
Some of the major applications of enzyme therapy include the following:

1. Energizer
2. Helps with all metabolism
3. Digestive aid
4. Detoxifier
5. Vitamin and mineral helper
6. Slows aging
7. Better skin, fewer wrinkles
8. Weight loss
9. Faster response from
injury/inflammation
10. Chronic condition buster
11. Immune system booster
12. Fights arthritis
13. Helps bad backs
14. Helps fight cancer
15. Helps fight many
women's diseases
16. Circulation rejuvenator
17. Victorious over viruses
18. New hope for AIDS/HIV
19. Fights multiple sclerosis.

PHOTO (COLOR): Introduction to Chiropractic Health
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by ANTHONY J. CICHOKE, D.C.

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