Enzymes are specialized proteins that act as catalysts to facilitate various processes in the body. They accelerate the rate of biological reactions without themselves being used up in the reaction.  Enzymes act as catalysts by binding with the substance involved in the reaction and converting it to another substance.  Enzymes are specific in the type of reaction they catalyze and there are thousands of different types of enzymes produced in the body to facilitate all that goes on physiologically and even psychologically. 

Digestive enzymes:

       There are digestive enzymes that break down the foods that we eat. Digestive enzymes is a broad term for the many enzymes that catalyze the splitting (hydrolysis) of large molecules ingested from foods.  When you eat a meal, your stomach produces the enzyme pepsin to help begin the process of breaking down protein. Your pancreas gland produces a group of enzymes called amylases to break down carbohydrate, proteases to breakdown protein and lipases to break down fats in your small intestine.

       If you are experiencing digestive problems, digestive enzymes can be taken supplementally.  Digestive enzyme formulas are available that will provide support for the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  You can also purchase enzymes products that will break down milk sugar and certain fibers.  If you are having digestive problems such as bloating, flatulence, burping, acid indigestion, etc., a good quality enzyme supplement may be the answer.  At Milk ‘N Honey we provide a variety of such products.

       Proteolytic (protein digesting) enzymes are especially important as they not only break down protein in the food we eat; they also help to keep the small intestine free of parasites, yeasts and intestinal worms.  Research has demonstrated that proteases are effective in treating food allergies and in preventing tissue damage during inflammation.  An important benefit of proteases is that they help prevent the disposition of immune complexes in joint tissue which is a major factor in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Metabolic enzymes:

       Various metabolic enzymes are involved in how the nutrients from food are utilized by the body.  There are a variety of enzymes that are protective in nature and guard our bodies from the assault of free radicals. For example, the enzyme nitrate reductase is known to resolve all manner of cancer causing petroleum based nitro-compounds.  The enzyme super-oxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase are known to effectively neutralize oxygen free radicals.  The enzymes glutathione peroxidase and methione reductase protect us from cell breakdown caused by lipid oxidation and radiation.  P4D1 is an enzyme that stimulates the body’s repair of DNA in the cell nucleus.

       Our bodies have the ability to manufacture all these enzymes.  In order to do so, however, it becomes imperative that we provide the nutrients necessary for their synthesis.  Such nutrients will only be supplied on a consistent basis if we eat a diet rich in whole foods and we avoid the processed and refined foods so often found in the typical American diet.

Food enzymes:

      It has been shown in research that if we place all the burden of enzyme production on our bodies, we can actually deplete our enzyme making capacity and subsequently place ourselves at risk for degenerative disease. Dr. Edward Howell, in his classic book entitled Enzyme Nutrition, showed how we place undue stress on our enzyme producing organs by eating a diet of refined food and how eating food enzymes will increase our health and vitality.

       What are food enzymes?  Food enzymes are the wide range of enzymes found in unprocessed food.  This range will include antioxidant and digestive enzymes.  Anytime you heat a food above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, most of the enzymes in that food are destroyed. Food enzymes are ones that have not been destroyed through heat and are therefore still available to be used by the body.  Such enzymes are only found in raw foods that have not been cooked, fried or boiled.  Enzymes, because of their catalytic nature, are virtually the “spark plugs” of life.  In that respect they can be seen as giving life to food, no different than they are the facilitators of life in our bodies.

       An example of a specific food derived proteolytic enzyme and what it can accomplish is the enzyme nattokinase.  Nattokinase will break down fibrin in the blood.  It is derived from natto, a fermented soy bean food that is commonly eaten by the Japanese.  Nattokinase has been the subject of 17 studies.  These studies have shown nattokinase to successfully dissolve clots, facilitate better blood flow and lower blood pressure.  The recommended dosage of nattokinase is 2000 FU (fibrin units) per day.  Nattokinase is available at Milk ‘N Honey. 

        Serrapeptase is another type of proteolytic enzyme. It is produced in the intestines of silk worms in order to break down the walls of cocoons.  It can also be made through the fermentation process of certain bacteria.  Orally-administered serrapeptase is well absorbed in the small intestine and actively transferred into the general circulation. It must be taken in enteric coated tablets or capsules in order to by-pass stomach acid.  This enzyme has been shown to dissolve plaque in the arteries, alleviate inflammation and reduce the viscosity of mucous connected with bronchitis and sinusitis. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 193 subjects suffering from acute or chronic ear, nose or throat disorders revealed that significant regression of symptoms were observed after 3-4 days of taking 30 mg per day of serrapeptase. This product has been found to be exceptionally effect in relieving the symptoms associated with sinusitis.   Serrapeptase is available at Milk ‘N Honey.

       Most Americans live on a diet largely made up of “dead” food.  By dead food we mean food that has had its life giving enzymes destroyed through processing.  Such food puts the entire responsibility for enzyme production on the body.  Eventually this can result in the onset of degenerative disease.   As we age, our body’s production of enzymes slows down.  This makes it all the more imperative that we do all we can to support the body’s production of enzymes and eat a diet rich in food enzymes.

       Eating plenty of raw foods such as broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, collards, peppers, apples, oranges, and bananas will provide enzymes to your diet along with many of the vitamins which are also destroyed in cooking. 

      These enzymes will help with digestion and will also provide the necessary components for your own body’s production of enzymes. If you can’t include in your diet a daily portion of raw foods, it is recommended that you take a green food concentrate, such as BarleyLife, which will provide an abundance of enzymes, including many protective enzymes that act as anti-oxidants.  Avoid foods exposed to irradiation as it has been demonstrated that this process destroys enzymes.

       A pioneer in the field of health and nutrition, V.E. Irons, once made this classic statement: “Eat only those things that will spoil or rot, but eat them before they do.”   His point was that the majority of our diet should be “live” foods, foods that have their nutritional content in tack, foods that are enzymatically active, foods that have the ability to spoil in a short time.  Most Americans consume “dead” foods as a major part of their diet.  Such foods have been devitalized and made stable through processing to the point were they will not spoil or rot for a long, long time.  Unfortunately such foods do not produce health but lead to disease.  I recommend that you eat fresh “live” foods that are nutritionally dense. You will notice a difference in the status of your health in a short time.

Lesson Nine: Water