by Dr. Baruch
Enzymes are the sparks that start the essential chemical reactions ourbodies need to live. They are necessary for digesting food, forstimulating the brain, for providing cellular energy, and for repairingall tissues, organs, and cells. Humbart Santillo, B.S., M.H., in hisbook Food Enzymes, quotes a Scottish medical journal that says it well:"Each of us, as with all living organisms, could be regarded as anorderly, integrated succession of enzyme reactions."Three TypesThere are three types of enzymes: metabolic enzymes, digestive enzymes,and food enzymes. Metabolic enzymes catalyze, or spark, the reactionswithin the cells. The body’s organs, tissues, and cells are run bymetabolic enzymes. Without them, our bodies would not work. Among theirchores are helping to turn phosphorus into bone, attaching iron to ourred blood cells, healing wounds, and seeing that our hearts beat.Digestive enzymes are secreted by the pancreas and break down foods,allowing their nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream and usedin body functions. They ensure that we get the greatest possiblenutritional value from foods. Digestive enzymes include protease, whichdigests protein; amylase, which digests carbohydrates; lipase, whichdigests fats and oils; and maltase, which digests malt sugars andgrains.Food enzymes are enzymes supplied to us through the foods we eat. Theyinclude digestive enzymes, but also enzymes unique to the particularfoods. Food enzymes help us "predigest" foods; that is, start breakingdown foods before our bodies’ enzymes begin to do so. According toSantillo, the enzymes found in raw foods digest 5 to 75 percent of thefoods themselves without the help of other enzymes. This way, ourbodies’ digestive enzymes have help in the digestive process, and we donot use as many of the body’s "in-house" enzymes.The importance of enzymesDr. Edward Howell, who has written two books on enzymes, theorizes thathumans are given a limited supply of enzyme energy at birth, and thatit is up to us to replenish our supply of enzymes to ensure that theirvital jobs get done. If we don’t replenish our supply, we run the riskof ill health. In the enzyme nutrition axiom, Howell postulates that "The length oflife is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzymepotential of an organism. The increased use of food enzymes promotes adecreased rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential."In other words, the more enzymes you get, the longer and healthier youlive.The key is to remember that food enzymes are destroyed at temperaturesabove 118 °F. This means that cooked and processed foods contain few,if any, enzymes, and that the typical diet found in industrializedcountries is enzyme-deficient. When we eat cooked and processed foods,we could well be eating for a shorter and less-than-healthy life. This points back to the importance of eating raw fruits and vegetablesbecause they are "live foods"; that is, foods in which the enzymes areactive. The more enzymes you get, the healthier you are. And the moreraw foods you eat, the more enzymes you get.The benefits of enzymesThe benefits of providing your body with more enzymes are many. Asnoted, getting more enzymes aids the body’s own enzyme supply, whichmay lead to a longer and healthier life.Digestive enzymes help us digest foods more completely. This means morenutrients (and maybe eating less!) and the good health that goes withthem.There is another advantage to being sure that foods are well-digested.When foods are not well-digested, they remain in the stomach and canrot and putrefy. This results in a buildup of waste in the colon. Thisfecal matter begins to decay, producing bacteria and toxins. The toxinseventually seep through the bowel wall, where blood capillaries pickthem up and distribute them throughout the body. This can result inhealth problems. These problems include constipation, stomach bloat,poor digestion, gas, malodorous gas fatigue, weight gain and weightloss, headaches, and more. Using digestive enzymes ensures that yourfoods are more completely digested, helping to eliminate potentialproblems due to toxins.Dr. Howell says that high calorie foods have far more of the three maindigestive enzymes, but unfortunately these foods are eaten cooked andhence without enzymes.In his opinion bananas, avocados, grapes, mangoes, olives from the tree,fresh raw dates, fresh raw figs, inhibitor-fee raw cereal grains andseeds and germinated, inhibitor-fee raw tree nuts are endowed with bothcalories and enzymes.Dr. Howell concludes that the best way to help the body keeping a highenzyme content is to follow a diet rich in raw foods based on fruits,nuts, seeds and vegetables. This can prevent many diseases and the bodywill have a long life of health and well-being.Please contact me for speaking engagements and nutritional consultationsfor you or a friend. "Together we can make the world healthier."