Monday, August 22, 2011

Enzymes & Digestion

Enzymes are specialized protein molecules that are necessary in all biochemical activities going on in the body—they stimulate the brain, are essential for digesting food, they spark the repair of all tissues, organs and cells. Essential for their creation are minerals as well as vitamins and other nutrients. Life's processes are the result of hundreds of thousands of biochemical actions and reactions, which enzymes start and keep going in the body.

Every enzyme has a particular function in the body that no other enzyme can do. Enzymes make possible the removal of toxins and wastes from the body via the kidneys, liver, colon, lungs, and skin. They help build and repair muscle, tissue, bone, skin, glands, and nerve cells. Enzymes cause iron to be concentrated in the blood; they generate energy in all the cells. Nutrients in raw foods help supplement the body's supply of enzymes.

Digestive Enzymes: Digestion starts, of course, in the mouth. Then the stomach secretes hydrochloric acid and pepsin, which work primarily on proteins. Then the pancreatic enzymes go to work. The pancreas produces and secretes four types of enzymes needed in the breakdown and conversion of food into body fuel and energy:

1. Amylase breaks down carbohydrates.
2. Protease helps to digest protein and thus helps prevent allergies.
3. Lactase breaks down milk sugars and dairy products.
4. Lipase aids in the digestion of fats.

Examples of cell protection enzymes are superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, which protect cells by attacking free radicals that damage or kill healthy cells. The pancreatic digestive enzymes mentioned above obviously work to convert food into fuel the body can use. A lack of any type of digestive enzyme will interfere with this. Many people take digestive enzymes at each meal because they feel the need. Under certain conditions the pancreas can get to the point of exhaustion, so some help may be needed.

In addition to taking a pancreatic enzyme supplement, it is good to try to activate the enzyme producing capacity of the pancreas, and this requires sufficient minerals. Blackstrap Molasses is a good source of minerals (1 Tbsp at breakfast and dinner); a multi-mineral supplement or goat whey are also good sources.

The hydrochloric acid (HCL) production in the stomach usually diminishes with age. This in turn will impede the absorption of minerals. Good digestion is fundamental to good health. It is not only what you eat, but what you assimilate. Hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzyme tablets are an inexpensive form of anti-cancer insurance. They can help dissolve and destroy tumors. Many allergies have their roots in inadequate digestion.

Researchers feel that underdigested protein is a significant cause of disease. Some tell us that if there is excessive weight in the abdominal area, incomplete digestion of protein is the problem. Taking pancreatic enzymes and hydrochloric acid with pepsin at meals could be helpful (along with mineral tablets and daily vitamins); particularly as we get older or are under undue stress, these are very helpful. These enzymes help tremendously in losing weight and keeping the body healthy. Remember, “It is not just what you eat, but WHAT YOU ASSIMILATE.”

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