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November 15, 2014

Enzymes and good health

by Helene van den Berg

ENZYMES AND GOOD HEALTH

Enzymes play a vital role in human nutrition. So far 3000 enzymes are known in the human body.

Enzymes are organic catalysts produced by living cells, that are responsible for most of the chemical reactions and energy transformation in plants and animals. They are found throughout the body:

in organs, serum and all secretions except for bile and urine.

Enzymes are the protein portion or apoenzyme and their cofactor portion is the coenzyme. Enzymes are

CATALYSTS – they accelerate the biochemical reaction without consumption or without the enzyme itself being used up.

An enzyme helps a reaction that converts substance A to substance B :

(e.g. A + enzyme + energy → B + unchanged enzyme).

Factors for maximum enzyme efficiency depends on :

  • An enzyme and a substance for a biochemical reaction.
  • different enzymes are involved in digestion, that act on similar food stuffs( e.g. the enzymes, pepsin, rennin and gastric lipase, compose gastric juice, yet their action on the food differs specifically).
  • The degree of alkalinity or acidity differs( e.g. acidity differ in the protein splitting enzyme of the gastric juice and those of the pancreatic juice).
  • Food should be adequately broken down, before the enzyme can go to work ( e.g. improper mastication (chewing) of food, does not allow the enzyme, ptyalin in saliva, to prepare the food for the next stage of digestion in the stomach; insufficient or weak hydrochloric acid in the stomach (drink too much with meals), leads to retarded enzyme function and undigested protein in the stomach, passing the increasing digestive burden on to the small intestines etc. Hydrochloric acid and bile are not enzymes, but provide the medium for the optimum function of enzymes.

Enzymes are required for:

  • the proper and normal functioning of every organ system. They direct, accelerate, modify or retard all body functions in a step-by-step, efficient, safe and economical manner. Enzymes are the body’s labor force (life energy) to perform every single function required to keep us alive.
  • They also support our body’s defenses and immune system e.g. in the complement system (part of immune system) there are 9 step-by-step primary components involving 27 known subproteins, 22 of which are enzymes!
  • eating, digestion and absorption of our nutrients
  • to see, hear, smell, taste, breathe and move.
  • Blood and coagulation system.
  • Cardiovascular, kidneys, liver functions
  • Elimination of toxins
  • excretion
  • reproduction (a highly coordinated sequence of enzymatic activity are required for fertilization and conception, cell division, formation of new cells with exactly the same genetic composition)
  • think, dream, sexual excitement (enzymes are present in pheromones that produce attraction, sexual excitement and arousal between man and woman).
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