Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Why the body needs Enzymes

You’re undoubtedly aware of the role a balanced diet can play in healthy aging and disease prevention, but do you know there is a non-nutritive element that can also exert a profound positive influence on your health? Proper function of the human body is dependent on the continuous activity of thousands of different enzymes. These essential biological molecules are the catalysts in all of the body’s biochemical reactions.

Here are three important health benefits attributable to enzymes. Talk to your doctor for more information about enzymes and their value in maintaining health and wellness.

1. Digestion: Digestive enzymes, which are secreted in saliva and pancreatic juices, are responsible for the breakdown of food. This process helps facilitate proper nutrient absorption. In patients with pancreatic insufficiency or with food allergies, supplementation with a mild digestive enzyme blend can enhance nutrient uptake as well as gastrointestinal comfort. In addition, anyone who consumes a diet high in processed foods may benefit from enzyme supplementation.
 
2. Inflammation: Another known benefit of enzyme supplementation is the treatment of inflammatory and immune mediated conditions. Proteolytic enzymes, such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, bromelain, and papain, have the ability to neutralize inflammatory chemicals to aid in the healing of damaged tissues. It is believed that proteolytic enzymes have the ability to promote healing by decreasing capillary permeability, improving circulation, and dissolving fibrin clot deposits. Enzymes have also been shown to have positive effects on natural killer cells and macrophages, thus enhancing the overall immune response and body’s defense against infection.
 
3. Cancer: The use of enzymes in cancer therapy was first proposed by the embryologist Dr. John Beard in the early 1900s. In his research, The Enzyme Therapy of Cancer, published in 1911, Dr. Beard discussed his theory on injection of pancreatic proteolytic enzymes as a form of cancer therapy. Cancer cells, as well as nearly all pathogens, are often protected by a thick, protein-based, fibrin coating. Proteolytic enzymes have the ability to assist in the breakdown of this fibrin coating, allowing the body’s immune functions to take action against proliferating cancer cells. Although the original research was conducted almost a century ago, proteolytic enzymes are being used as a new and innovative way to combat cancer.

One of the simplest ways to enhance your enzyme levels is to increase your intake of raw foods.  Uncooked, unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables contain natural enzymes that support digestion and overall enzymatic activity. However, since many Americans consume inadequate amounts of these foods, supplementation may be necessary to ensure enzyme activity is supported. Increasing your intake of enzymes can help support every mode of cellular activity as well as improve overall body communication.

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April 2, 2011 - Posted by | Health and Fitness |

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