The primary role of enzymes is catalytic. They cause the raw materials of nutrition to evolve or change into something the various areas of the body need. Just as a sparkplug energizes the gasoline and air mixture in a car engine, an enzyme does the same in the body.
Each enzyme has a specific function in the body. The particular chemical shape of each enzyme can only combine with the configuration of certain substances and not others.
A few enzyme functions:
Digestive enzymes convert food into material that can be assimilated into the blood and used for immediate energy or stored in the liver and muscles.
Respiratory enzymes facilitate the elimination of carbon dioxide from the lungs.
Kidney, liver, lungs, colon and skin are organs of elimination of toxic waste by-products from the body.
Enzymes facilitate all of these actions.
Bones are possible because dietary phosphorus is converted by an enzyme into bone material. Likewise with nerves, skin, glands, etc.
Enzymes can be classified into two general types— digestive and metabolic . There are three main categories of digestive enzymes: amylase, protease, and lipase, which breakdown carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, respectively. Metabolic enzymes produce the chemical reactions within the cells that, among other things, produce energy and carry off waste by-products.
The body produces a supply of enzymes, and it also obtains enzymes from the food we eat. Even low to moderate heat (118º F or above) destroys most enzymes in food. For this reason, many nutritionists recommend eating 70-80 percent of your food raw and natural . An abundance of food enzymes helps prevent the depletion of the body's own enzymes and, therefore, helps maintain the supply of enzymes needed.
Enzymes are available at your natural health store in tablet, capsule, powder, and liquid forms.
In most cases, a dietary enzyme supplement should contain all three of the major digestive enzyme groups—amylase, protease, and lipase.
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