Enzymes are a vital element in maintaining good health; they are responsible for every single reaction in the body. Our bodies cannot utilize essential vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other nutrients without them.
According to Dr Edward Howell, author of Enzyme Nutrition, enzyme shortages are commonly seen in patients suffering from chronic illnesses such as certain types of cancer, allergies, aging, skin disorders, obesity and heart disease.
Naturopath Christopher Pick tested urine samples for over 800 patients to try and assess the health of the nation. When his findings were expressed as percentage of the adult population of the UK (42 million) they showed, some surprising results – 82.39% (34,603,800 million!) potentially have digestive problems.
Most illnesses start from an abnormal digestive process. So we can have many health problems when enzyme production is insufficient.
How do we get enzymes?
Enzymes are responsible for the actual digestion of the food we eat.
Almost every type of food contains within it the enzymes needed to digest it – raw, un-cooked, un-processed food that is!
However, a meal of only cooked food in which there are no enzymes sits in the upper stomach and can cause bloating, gas formation and that full indigestion feeling; which is exactly what it is - in-digestion.
Our pancreas then has to produce sufficient enzymes to digest this food so that we can gain some nourishment from it.
Why is this a problem?
Our pancreas normally produces metabolic enzymes to take care of the other processes that are constantly occurring in our bodies e.g. cleaning our systems, breaking down fats and other harmful substances and providing a strong immune system.
In order to compensate for the enzyme deficiencies in the foods we are eating the body will actually interrupt the making of vital metabolic enzymes.
When our bodies are constantly overburdened by manufacturing excess enzymes in order to digest enzyme deficient food then at some point our body's ability to manufacture metabolic enzymes for other processes is compromised.
This is when the problems begin and we set the stage for accelerated aging and the manifestation of disease and thus the shortening of our life.
Colon Cancer – the most prevalent cancer in the US
The benefits of fibre in the diet – lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure – are well known. It also speeds the transit time of food in the digestive tract, promotes bowel regularity and helps to keep the bowel clean.
However, fibre cannot do its job properly unless enzymes do theirs.
When the digestive organs are no longer functioning efficiently, there is a build up of partially digested food in the bowel as a result. This can be as much as 20 pounds of undigested, putrefactive food in the colon by middle age!
Toxins from this putrefactive food are reabsorbed into the bloodstream creating autointoxication or self-poisoning. The result is a seriously weakened immune system which can lead to major health problems including colon cancer.
Supplemental food enzymes can work to help eliminate the accumulation of toxic wastes in the stomach and colon.
A study on long-term effects of eating cooked foods.
Dr Francis Pottenger carried out an independent study on 900 cats, over 10 years, to determine the long-term effects of eating cooked foods.
The results showed that cats that ate raw food were healthy, did not suffer with diseases and produced healthy kittens generation after generation.
The cats that ate cooked food showed physical degeneration, increasing with each generation, and died out completely by the fourth generation.
The full article can be found here:
Regardless of whether we are cats, dogs or humans our bodies become over burdened as a result of producing enzymes to aid digestion when foods that are enzyme deficient are eaten.
Early signs of enzyme deficiency.
Digestive complaints – heartburn, gas, bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea and constipation. Other symptoms can include - Headaches, stomach ache, chronic fatigue, yeast infections, nutritional deficiencies and allergies.
Different enzymes are responsible for digesting different food types e.g. protease digests proteins, lipase digests fats and amylase digests complex carbohydrates.
When choosing an enzyme supplement select one that contains a combination of enzymes for complete digestion.
By Jakki Francis
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