“We are what we eat , AND can digest and absorb….”
Enzymes digest and break down large food particles into smaller units (protein → amino acids; carbohydrates → simple sugars; fat → fatty acids + glycerol); The pancreas, stomach, intestinal wall and liver, produce 1-2 liters of digestive juices. For the body to make enzymes, it needs nutrients. If you become nutrient-deficient, enzyme deficiency soon follows e.g. zinc is needed to make stomach acid and proteases (protein splitting enzymes) -a zinc-deficient person stops breaking down protein efficiently. Large food molecules end up where they should not be – in the small intestines. If the intestinal wall is not intact, undigested food particles get inside the body where they are seen as invaders and attacked – the basis of most food allergies!. Every time an allergic food is eaten, it causes inflammation. This reaction disturbs the normal balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Digestive enzyme deficiency, which triggers a food allergy, is the cause for: indigestion, bloating, flatulence, digestive pain, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and candidiasis.
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 three main families of digestive enzymes are amylases (digest sugars), proteases (digest protein) and lipases (digest fat). A fourth family, peroxidase and catalase, disarm free radicals. Many nutritional supplements like freeze-dried plant enzymes (e.g. bromelian from pineapples and papain from papya) contain chemicals similar to pepsin, a powerful protein-digesting enzyme.
Fermented and aged foods are examples of pre-digested foods, where the enzymes amylase and protease, are put to work. RAW foods, contain significant amounts of these enzymes, which become active when we chew them. The cooking process tend to destroy enzymes; the food enzymes are not denatured by stomach acid and more than half reach the colon intact.
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.