Enzyme usage in diagnostic tests has increased dramatically in medical practice worldwide. By measuring enzymes present in our blood and other tissues, physicians can learn how the body is functioning, alert us about illness and monitor response to various treatments; to manipulate enzymes at cellular levels, where they may be defective and cause disease; enzyme treatment (therapeutic enzymes) to correct/prevent disease causing abnormalities. They are used for digestive disorders; in the treatment of blood clots (in heart attacks and occlusion of veins and legs); congenital deficiency diseases; and specific subtypes of emphysema.
The activity of enzymes in a sample of blood (3000 or more enzymes in bloodstream), will remain the most common diagnostic tool. In addition to enzymatic analysis, diagnosis and pharmacology, a new era in enzyme THERAPY has begun. It has been applied to correct metabolic disorders e.g. to correct disturbances of organ function or cell formation, to correct metabolically-developed intoxications and to correct or neutralize genetic defects. Genetic defects are almost always enzyme defects as well – either the patient’s body does not produce a particular enzyme or a similar, but less active enzyme instead. More than 200 different diseases resulting from genetically-dependent enzyme defects have already been described in the medical literature.
In healthy individuals blood enzyme levels are low; however, in certain diseases necrosis occurs in the organ and the cellular enzymes are released into the blood. The measurement of serum enzyme levels can pinpoint the location and the degree of the disease (e.g. myocardial infarction). The measurement of enzyme levels is an aid in differential diagnosis. The course of a disease may be followed by monitoring serum enzyme levels e.g. GOT (glutamic-oxalacetic transaminase) is elevated within 6-8 hours of a myocardial infarction and peaks at 24 hours. Normal levels are reached within 4-6 days. If there is a second infarction, GOT levels will remain elevated- this is useful, because it will not show on an electrocardiogram. Five enzymes provide useful information about a myocardial infarction: GOT, CPK (creatine phosphokinase), LDH (lactic acid dehydrogenase), α-Hydroxy-butyric acid dehydrogenase and Phosphohexose Isomerase.
Enzymes are classified in 6 major categories: transferases, oxidoreductases, hydrolases, lyases, isomerases and ligases. About 15 of these enzymes are used for diagnostic purposes. The isoenzymes of lactic dehydrogenase, creating phosphokinase, alkaline phosphatase and amylase, have been used for diagnosis.
NOTE: Home treatment with concentrated enzyme supplements for various ailments are NOT advised!!. It requires specialized knowledge and experience. Success with therapy in established diseases usually involves massive and/or frequent dosages and is strictly a job for a doctor. In many cases a special diet is required.
ENZYMES effect in INFLAMMATORY DISORDERS:
Enzymes have a beneficial therapeutic effect on various disturbances affecting the body’s defense system, including inflammation, injuries, circulatory disturbances, cell degeneration and viral infections. All of these conditions have one common denominator: INFLAMMATION!. When inflammation occurs, fibrin is deposited at the inflamed site, immune complexes develop, more fibrin is deposited, which result in tissue damage, which eventually leads to degenerative diseases like cancer etc. Enzymes help to eliminate the excessive fibrin and to break down the excessive immune complexes, thus allowing our own defenses to function more effectively and to better protect us.
Legumes, nuts and seeds are enzyme inhibitors, but through germination (sprouting), the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized or inactivated. Enzyme activity in the seed is at it’s height when the sprout is ¼ inch long, whereas little enzyme activity is found in the sprout. During 24 hours of germination, enzyme inhibitors were completely inactivated. The world is looking for someone to market germinated tree nuts and cereal grains in a palatable form, untouched by heat and free from enzyme inhibitors. The world desperately needs high-grade protein and fat and tree nuts have them.
The addition of protein-digesting enzymes to seeds would free their enzymes from the bondage and increase enzyme activity greatly. Cooking the legumes, seeds and nuts, destroy not only the enzyme inhibitors, but the enzymes themselves.
Research has shown that young rats being fed raw soybeans, experienced poor health and growth, due to the inhibitors in the raw beans and enzymes being wasted by excretion into feces and lost. In addition, the pancreas had to fight the inhibitors with an over secretion of pancreatic enzymes and was forced to enlarge to do this. Soya is a very poor source of protein, compared to ‘real” animal protein. According to Tim Noakes, a highly respected scientist and South African professor of exercise and sport science at UCT, “soya is never recommended by anyone who has a shred of scientific nutritional knowledge.” Soybeans are a very cheap crop to grow and over 95% is genetically modified (GMO). Even organic soya has toxic phytochemicals and an extensive list of problems is associated with it’s use:
- malnutrition ( phytates prevent absorption of protein, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc)
- possesses anti-nutrients: phytates, enzyme inhibitors and goitrogens
- very high levels of oestrogen, affects sperm (Harvard study showed a correlation between soy intake and low sperm count)
- promotes fat storage
- suppression of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism goiters)
- digestive distress
- some cancers (soybean oil linked to cancer)
- hexane is used during manufacture
- immune system breakdown
- severe allergies
- ADD and ADHD
- higher risk of heart disease
Artificial inhibition of an enzyme interferes with some aspects of the body’s metabolism. Therefore, enzyme- inhibiting drugs like, steroids (cortisone), cytostatics (anticancer agents inhibits cell division in cancer patients) or antibiotics, always risk side effects. They are generally prescribed for short periods of time. It makes more sense:
“during illness, to activate desired enzymes, rather than inhibit undesired enzymes”