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Enzymes and Nutrition, Part II

This compilation of information is Copyright 2005 by and Loring Windblad. This article may be freely copied and used on other web sites only if it is copied complete with all links and text, including this header, intact and unchanged except for minor improvements such as misspellings and typos.

It is important in understanding enzymes and nutrition to really have a firm grasp of what enzymes are, where they come from, what role they play in nutrition. We have already covered this area of nutrition in Part I. Here in Part II we will discuss which enzymes digest which type of food, whether I have an infinite supply of enzymes, what happens when I start to run low on digestive enzymes, what I can do to maintain my enzyme level and whether there are certain enzymes I can take for specific health conditions.

Which digestive enzymes digest food?

Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are the three main food groups that make up the bulk of our daily diet. A "balanced" diet means we consume the proper proportions of these three basic food groups on a daily basis. This balance, when combined with the assurance that we also get the essential nutrients, can help provide a healthy life 'if we properly process and metabolize these nutrients. To do this we also need an adequate source of the major types of digestive enzymes: Proteases, Amylases and Lipases.

Let's build a small chart and take a look at just what these food groups and enzymes are:

Proteins20-25%ProteaseDigests Protein
Carbohydrates50-60%AmylaseDigests Carbohydrates
Fats20-30%LipaseDigests Fats (Lipids)

There are numerous categories of digestive enzymes, but for the purpose of this discussion, we will cover the three primary classes of digestive enzymes that digest our food. [NOTE: generally speaking, enzymes end with the suffix "ase."]

If the proper QUANTITY and required TYPE of enzymes are not present, your body becomes TOXIC from the left over WASTE of incomplete digestion. This is the reason why most illnesses and diseases are initially a dietary mistake. This can be prevented and it can be reversed. It's all a matter of having the right amount and the right kind of enzymes available at the right time to prevent your body from becoming a receptacle for pollution and waste 'a receptacle that then breeds and harbors disease.

Do I have an infinite supply of enzymes?

No. Until recently, many within the scientific community labored under the misconception that the digestive enzymes in our body are constant and last forever; that they can be used and reused; that they never get old and never wear out.

Researchers now know that we lose digestive enzymes through sweat and body waste. Through constant use, enzymes lose their strength and ability to do their work. As we age, the organs responsible for producing our digestive enzymes become less efficient. Today's environmental pollution, overly processed fast foods, genetically modified foods, high anti-biotic content and microwave cooking can result in free radical damage, which lowers the body's effectiveness to produce enzymes. To offset this loss, we need to supplement our system with oral digestive enzymes. One such enzyme supplement is an organic greens, Bio 88+ (Plus).

What are some of the causes of low enzyme supply?

When our bodies are nutritionally out of balance, which may lead to chronic illness. Also, our digestive enzymes become depleted when we go on long-term restrictive diets which cut out one basic food group for too long a period, when we eat too many overcooked foods, when we eat foods that are laced with antibiotics, when we eat foods which have traces (or more) of artificial fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides.

Nor do those foods contain any systemic replenishing enzymes. Our body's stock of beneficial organisms (metabolic and digestive enzymes) also becomes depleted when we are ill and must take antibiotics. In these instances we must have outside sources of enzyme replenishment.

What happens when we start to run low on enzymes?

Here's the bottom line. Many illnesses and poor health conditions are the result of a digestive malfunction causing toxemia inside the body. This malfunction is the result of insufficient quantities of Digestive Enzymes to properly digest and metabolize nutrients. Significant short- and long-term health problems could develop when these nutrients are not digested.

Some lifestyle problems like high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver problems, indigestion and heartburn, adult onset diabetes, fibromyalgia, migraines, PMS, even hyperactivity in children, often have their starting point in nutritional problems.

When our body is stressed by a shortage of digestive enzymes two things can happen and both are bad.

1.Because our body finally becomes so overworked it can't make enough enzymes to properly digest our food. As this undigested food begins to pollute our body, the chances of chronic disease increase.
2.Our body continues to work overtime to create the needed enzymes required to digest our food. This extra stress adversely affects our immune system and lowers our ability to protect ourselves from and fight off disease.

Supplemental digestive enzymes will deliver the necessary nutrients to fortify your body and can enhance your body's healing system, often resulting in improved overall health and vitality.

What can I do to restore and/or maintain my enzyme levels?

You don't need to be in this predicament and there are some ways to stay out of it. The digestive enzymes you need for the process of restoring and maintaining your health are available through several sources. One of them is the author's website, at the bottom of this page. However, you are urged to follow the advice given in the closing paragraph.

Which special health conditions might benefit from enzyme treatment?

Here are some specific health problems or conditions which may benefit from specific enzyme treatment.

1. Chronic indigestion, heartburn, or gastric disorders (i.e., gastroenteritis).

2. Nervousness, anxiety and difficulty sleeping.

3. Irregularity, constipation and diarrhea.

4. Digesting fats (lipids) including whole milk, a situation often associated with high cholesterol, heart disease and obesity.

5. Weight problems, either high or low.

As you may be aware there are extensive studies and research on soy that have discovered remarkable and wide-ranging benefits to good health. Soy's beneficial health properties have proven successful in alleviating many hormonal-related issues (such as hot flashes), preventing bone density loss, reducing some cancer tumors, lowering cholesterol levels, and promoting cardiovascular health to name just a few. The problem with soy products (see digestive problems above) is that 'good soy' has virtually all, worldwide, become contaminated with the Genetically Modified (BMO) versions.

Disclaimer: These articles in no way should be taken as medical advice on any product or condition, nor do they constitute in any way medical advice endorsing any specific product, specific result, nor any possible cure for any condition or problem. They are meant as a source of information upon which you may base your decision as to whether or not you should begin using a greens product as a dietary supplement. If in doubt, or if you have questions, you should consult your physician and, if possible, consult a second physician for a possible different opinion. The author bears no responsibility for your decisions nor for the outcome of your actions based upon those decisions.

About the Author
Loring Windblad has studied nutrition and exercise for more than 40 years, is a published author and freelance writer. His latest business endeavor is at

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