Enzymes are the keys to good digestion and maintaining a healthy immune system. All of the biological pathways within the body are dependent on enzymes because they allow the body to function at the ideal temperature of 98.6 and maintain standard ph levels for various parts of the body. If it weren’t for enzymes, we’d need an extremely high body temperature and vastly different ph levels to sustain life as we know it. Our entire body makeup would be very different if it weren’t for enzymes.
Enzymes act as catalysts in the many varied biochemical reactions of the body. Enzymes are used in digestion, energy production, and protection from invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Although the body produces many of the necessary digestive enzymes, others must be obtained through food. Ideally, at least 65% should be obtained through food. Fresh raw vegetables and fruits are great sources of enzymes. Meat and raw dairy are also sources. However, not all raw foods are rich sources of enzymes. For example, peaches, peas, apples, and salad greens have a low enzyme content (The Untold Story of Milk, pg. 84).
To get the most benefit of obtaining enzymes from food, it’s important to understand how temperature affects them. When the temperature of food is heated higher than 114-118 degrees Fahrenheit, enzymes start to be destroyed. The higher the temperature, the more enzymes are destroyed. To obtain adequate amounts of these precious enzymes, you should strive to eat at least half of your food raw.
There are enzyme packages in each cell of the food you eat. Chewing your food allows you to break open the enzyme packages which aid digestion. These enzyme packages are also known as, suicide packs. This means they give the cell the ability to self-destruct if they feel they have become a threat to the rest of the body.
Food must be chewed thoroughly so the enzyme packages can be opened, but it’s not easy for people that have poor teeth or poorly fitting dentures to chew their food well. Also, some people just don’t like to eat vegetables. In these situations, a high-end blender can be used to break healthy food into ultra small pieces. A Vitamix is expensive but has a strong motor that can pulverize food quickly. Another popular blender is the updated NutriBullet, not to be confused with the earlier version of this blender. There are others as well, but having something with the muscle to grind things small without producing heat may be a wise investment for your health. Since heat kills enzymes, a blender that gets hot would be counterproductive.
In the land of supplements, there are many kinds of enzymes that aid digestion. Of the three main varieties, some are better than others. First are animal based enzymes, and there are approximately 27 of them. They require very narrow temperatures and ph ranges to work properly. For this reason, they are the least popular. Next, there are about 5-8 plant enzymes of which work well in a variety of temperatures and ph ranges. This is good because if you’re sick and looking for help, your temperature and ph will probably not be normal. The third type of enzymes is based on a fungal model. While this sounds unusual, these enzymes are actually the most beneficial. People are more like fungus than plants. Fungus has the ability to break down a wider variety of things than plants do, which is why it can be more beneficial for us.
There have been some recent variations in enzyme formulation to help deal with problems we are now facing because of the altered foods that we are eating. One of the most common problems is an inability to digest gluten and gliadins in the new so-called wheat. There are also new sugars in this wheat that are nearly impossible to digest, such as Amylopectin A. These sugars have caused problems for people both with and without gluten sensitivity due to lack of specific enzymes to break it down. You can find more information on reputable websites of nutritional experts such as Dr. Mercola and Dr. Blaylock. And we’ll talk more in depth about these problems and how enzymes can help at our workshop on November 19th.
Enzymes do not work alone but rather in conjunction with vitamins, co-enzymes and the hydrochloric acid produced by your stomach. One of the more popular co-enzymes is known as, Co Q10.
Enzymes are utilized in every part of the body. For example, mitochondria rely on enzymes to produce the energy used to run the body. Mitochondria are found in every cell in the body, except for mature red blood cells. The greatest number of mitochondria per cell is found in brain cells. Glial cells in the brain produce and use extremely high potency enzymes to protect the brain from virus, bacteria, or other invaders.
Other cells that produce special enzymes to protect the inside of the cells are called Redox molecules. I’m planning to write an entire article on this new science in the upcoming months.
Anyone who makes a habit of eating commercial foods has an increased need for supplemental enzymes. Commercial food producers have reduced the normal enzyme levels in foods to increase the shelf life. While some people believe that a long shelf life is beneficial because the food doesn’t look bad, they forget that the same process that causes the food to break down outside the body also allows it to be digested inside the body. In order to have a longer shelf life, the natural enzymes in many foods have been reduced through methods including heat, low level radiation, or other chemical or biological methods. In many commercial foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, the enzymes have been destroyed or altered. While no one likes lost revenue, we shouldn’t have to eat altered foods.
Dr. William H. Karl, D.C.
Join him Thursday, November 19 at 7pm for our FREE monthly workshop, Keys to Digestion and Health. Register by calling: 734-425-8220. For more information: www.karlwellnesscenter.com