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Enzymes: The Master Key To Health

In past articles we have touched on the importance of diet and the questionable practice of vaccination. We have had the audacity to question even the basic theory of disease as it is accepted to-day.

We have made some very bold statements about the nature of the immune system and the ability of the body to take care of itself if we allow it to function as it was designed to do, by nature.

Are these just the wild flights of imagination? Is there a reality here that can be grasped and substantiated by modern technology?

In this series on enzymes, we will bring you some of the latest scientific research that not only confirms what we have been saying, but goes a long way in helping to understand how the body functions. It will help to explain why nutritional deficiencies can be a major factor in disease. It will touch on the roll of ‘trace elements’ so necessary to ‘good health’. It will help us understand the dangers of ‘suppression’ with drugs, antibiotics and cortisone.

This is such an exciting field of research! There are wonderful new natural enzyme therapies being developed in many different countries all over the world.

After you have read this series, you will have in your hands, the basic knowledge to judge the level of understanding of most health care professionals. You will know when a recommended therapy makes sense and when it is nonsense (i.e. based on faulty theory").

Don’t be surprised if you end up knowing more then they do.

In ancient times it was known by the Egyptians and the Arabians that there was an invisible force which made all living things change. It was a ‘mysterious’ force that transforms one substance into another. Milk became cheese, fruit to wine, etc.

Every living thing is in a constant state of change. Minute by minute, hour by hour the constituents of our body continue to change. Today we are beginning to know how this works, through the action and interaction of enzymes that flow throughout our entire body.

In 1930, we only knew of 80 enzymes. By 1993, more than 2,700 enzymes had been identified. We do not know how many more are left to be discovered. Each enzyme is specific in how and where it will react, to generate a predetermined result.

In technical terms, enzymes are albuminoid macromolecular bodies, with a complex structure and are active biocatalytically speaking. These albumines are made of 20 different amino acids.

In biochemistry, when something is designated with the ending "ase," you can almost be sure that we are talking about an enzyme. In the early stage of the discovery of enzymes, they were known by names that ended usually with an "in." like the well-known pepsin and trypsin.

Simply speaking, enzymes are catalysts. Nature does not like to waste energy. She uses a ‘catalyst’ to produce a big effect with a small effort. Thus an enzyme could be described as a substance whose presence causes the transformation of an organic substance and accelerates the change.

So what’s the big deal? Simply this. Enzymes are necessary for the proper functioning of our whole metabolism. In our body, every part is related to all the rest so that even one tiny disturbance (biochemically speaking) can result in a complete imbalance. Diseases are the consequence of this disorder!!

Enzymes are constantly produced within the body. There are certain organic molecular pieces that in small quantities are required to form these enzymes. These pieces are the vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Altogether they are called "co-enzymes". The deficiency of any of these co-enzymes will result in a specific medical condition. (example: B1 deficiency will cause "beriberi")

These co-enzymes are different from enzymes. Enzymes are made of albumin and the co-enzymes are not. The enzymes are rather large molecules while co-enzymes are relatively small. Enzymes are not consumed in the true sense during their activity, while co-enzymes are consumed and must be replaced through diet.

Some enzymes live only 20 minutes and must be replaced by new enzymes of the same type, recently produced. Others remain active for a period of several weeks before they are eliminated (because of their age).

To do their job, enzymes must be exposed to certain physical conditions. Each of them need a specific temperature and PH, which causes them to have different speeds of action.

To give you a rough idea of the speed that enzymes change substratum (the place where they work), lysozyme (an enzyme that helps in the elimination of bacteria) produces a change of approximately 30 molecules per minute ( 1 every 2 seconds). The fastest is carboanhydrase, which changes an incredible 36 million parts of substratum in one minute!

To bring about certain tasks of great importance within our organism and to keep our system in a perfect balance between too much and too little, the enzymes work most of the time in small continuous steps. This is called "enzymatic cascade". Like dominoes, one enzyme activates the next enzyme, and in turn, that enzyme activates another enzyme, until one last enzyme finally produces the desired effect.

If an enzymatic cascade is wrongly activated, there can be dangerous consequences that may even lead to death. Thus Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom built into our system two security systems to protect us from this happening.

The first lock of the security system is to produce new enzymes, but the characteristic of these enzymes is that they are not active. That is, they will not work until they are activated by certain changes in the structure of the amino acids. Thus, the innocuous enzymes flow all over the lymphatic system and the bloodstream. Whenever the body needs to have a certain effect, a corresponding enzymatic cascade is activated accordingly!!

The second security system is that nature also provided us with inhibitors of enzymes. These can stop the activation of the enzymes when the quantity of enzymes is too large.

There are several other substances that have been discovered to help neutralize certain enzymes. By this means we can intentionally act on the process of metabolism. In veterinary medicine, almost all drugs, such as antibiotics, steroids, etc., are in reality enzymatic inhibitors.

By now you are aware that these can have different adverse side effects. It would be better to help the body react, instead of inhibiting it.

For those of you who have read this far--Congratulations!! If you can absorb the foregoing and stay on the journey for knowledge on enzymes, your reward will come in learning how enzymes are being used therapeutically to cure most diseases, prevent most illness and even go so far as to correct genetic problems.

By now you know that enzymes are protein molecules necessary for life. There are three main groups of enzymes: metabolic enzymes, digestive enzymes and food enzymes. Although most of this series of articles will concentrate on ‘metabolic’ enzymes and therapeutic research, I do want to touch on the other two groups here.

Food enzymes are naturally present in all raw foods, and provide an outside source of digestive enzymes when consumed. Modern food processing techniques and all types of cooking destroy almost 100% of these enzymes. Cooking at any temperature over 118° F, virtually destroys this type of enzyme. This in turn means that a heavier burden is placed on the digestive enzymes in the body.

We can say that in spite of the different foods we eat, they are all made of carbohydrates, proteins and fat. To be able to utilize these, we also need three groups of digestive enzymes:

  • Proteolytic enzymes--degraders of proteins
  • Lipolytic enzymes---degraders of fat
  • Amylolytic enzymes--degraders of carbohydrates

The digestive process is really an enzymatic transformation that begins the moment we place a piece of food in our mouth. As usual in nature, there is an order in which this happens. Carbohydrates are first degraded, then albumins (proteins) and finally fat.

Enzymes not only degrade foods, they also play a specific role in the process of absorption of substances. There are several enzymes that are essential as transporters of the nutrient substances.

Most commercial dog/cat foods are essentially ‘dead’ and rely totally on digestive enzymes to obtain nutrition. The problem here is that when the digestive enzymes are overworked, the body identifies the incompletely digested food molecules as foreign ‘antigens’ (bad guys). When this happens, the ‘metabolic’ enzymes are called on to mobilize macrophage leukocytes (these are the good guys that clean up the garbage) to digest the food. The problem here is that these are taken from their ‘immune system’ duties and we end up with a weakened immune system causing all kinds of other problems.

I hope from the above you will understand the underlying reason to strongly consider a raw diet for your pet. This is truly the best way of providing enough ‘food’ enzymes to allow the ‘digestive enzymes’ to do their job most effectively.

If you must compromise, please recognize that adding ‘live’ food to the diet does help, but don’t count on it doing the whole job. Raw food provides enough enzymes to digest that particular food only! There are no extra enzymes provided to digest cooked or processed food.

If nothing else, you should now understand the basic reason for adding a good quality (live) ‘digestive’ enzyme such as ‘Prozyme’, to your animal’s diet. You should also now be able to distinguish between the ‘sense’ and ‘nonsense’ of the so called 100% complete dog food in a bag!!

From all of the foregoing you should now be getting your first clues as to ‘why’ we have experienced the large increase in ‘auto-immune’ problems over the last few decades.

Before getting into the subject of ‘metabolic’ enzymes, I want to remind you that it is important to remember that ‘medicine’ does not heal. In the strict sense of the word, doctors and veterinarians do not ‘cure’ any disease. All of them can contribute in different ways to support the body, but the healing and the maintenance of health is a task done by the body’s own defense system.

The defense mechanisms of the body are fortified by the enzymes. When someone gets sick of any disease we can be sure that something is wrong with his/her enzymes. If the enzymes had been able to eliminate the cause of the disease, the body would not have become sick.

Faulty enzymes in the body can be caused by genetic defects and/or by environmental conditions. For example, in humans there have been more than 150 diseases that are due directly to ‘enzymatic defects’ genetically preconditioned. This means that the patient’s organism does not form a specific enzyme or it manufactures a similar enzyme which has only ‘weak’ activity that replaces the right one.

What we logically must do, in almost any disease, is to replace the type and quantity of the required enzymes as soon as possible. The body will automatically do the rest. Of course, enzymes can also be taken as a preventive measure against many diseases.

Enzymes are ‘natural agents. This means that they do not alter the physiology of the body, instead, they just stimulate the body to act according to its own inner wisdom. This is fascinating in that enzymes will work only if they are needed to do so!! From a safety point of view, you should note that no toxicity level has ever been found.

More scientists are taking an interest in ‘systemic enzyme therapy’ and are starting to realize that ‘orthodox’ medicine can only offer "suppression" remedies. Supporting the body’s natural immune system is finally being recognized as the wave of the future.

We've already mentioned that the defense systems of the body are fortified by the enzymes. I’m going to try to simplify how this works so bear with me while we make sure that some of the words used are clear.

In describing functions of the immune system there are four main terms used that must be understood. The first of these is the word "antigen". Basically this is the enemy! The body recognizes a substance that doesn’t belong there (such as a virus, bacteria, chemical substance, or mutated cells) as an "antigen."

In response to the presence of these antigens, the body produces "antibodies." The main function of an antibody is to combine with an antigen and render it harmless. Antibodies are also large molecules similar in size to that of an enzyme. Antibodies are also called gammaglobulins.

When an antibody couples with and antigen it forms an "immune complex."

To clear the system of the unwanted "immune complex" the body uses a "macrophage." I’ve referred to these guys before as the garbage collectors of the immune system. They are in charge of destroying these immune complexes enzymatically. I don’t know what union they belong to but these macrophages only look for large immune complexes, so sometimes the medium size immune complexes are ignored.

These ignored complexes begin to flow through the lymphatic system and bloodstream until they finish up sticking on a tissue wall, penetrating that tissue. Eventually they are stored there. From that moment on, these "immune complexes" become pathogenic—that is, they can cause a disease.

During this situation we also find macrophages less active because the more immune complexes we have, the less get cleaned up. (Union rules say only so much work per macrophage. Overdo it and we go on slowdown strike). We have then arrived at a vicious circle, where one bad situation produces the other bad situation and that in turn produces the first situation.

When the number of immune complexes is so high, the second defense system of the body is alerted. (The garbage is piled so high that somebody finally calls City Hall to do something about it.)

You’ll remember from other sections of our "Journey" that the second immune system is called the "complement system". It is also made of a cascade of nine enzymes activated one by one. When the whole enzymatic cascade has been activated, a huge dissolving activity of albumins begins and this causes an inflammatory reaction.

Consequently, not only the garbage is destroyed but also the surrounding tissue. Suddenly that which we call an "auto immune disease" arises and the organism attacks itself. (Trust the boys at City Hall to over react and wipe out the city to get rid of the rats!)

There is a long list of diseases elicited by the activation of the complement system. All of them are so-called "auto immune diseases". Until recently they were considered as incurable.

Modern research has led to a method of interrupting the cascade of the complement system by diluting enzymatically the pathogenic immune complexes and activating the macrophages. In this way they are interrupting the vicious circle that leads to chronic degenerative diseases.

Specific enzymes are used to dissolve and to eliminate immune complexes. They also stimulate the body’s defenses and accelerate inflammatory mechanisms.

In the beginning of the treatment it may appear that things are getting worse. This is because the enzymes are taking the immune complexes back to the bloodstream. Thus there is a greater quantity of circulating immune complexes and this can temporarily increase the symptoms in the patient.

Enzymes are not anti-inflammatory drugs, instead they promote inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response of the body to rid itself of a noxious stimulus. Most of us look at inflammation as something bad. It should not be so. It is simply the tool our body uses in trying to get rid of the harmful foreign agents. When inflammation ends, the body repairs the area affected. So if the inflammation finishes sooner, the repair will begin earlier. That’s the reason why enzymes are promoters instead of inhibitors of inflammation. Enzymes can help the body "heal" itself!

By promoting the breakdown of toxic metabolites and inflammatory products, enzymes thus contribute substantially to the detoxification of the body. They serve to promote the body’s own regenerative processes.

In many parts of the world, enzyme research is leading to new therapies that are exciting and effective. For example in Vienna, enzyme therapies are being used to treat cancer. The use of enzymes in the treatment of HIV infection is being investigated and looks promising. Another field of application for enzymes is substitution in genetic defect disorders. The list goes on and on.

By having at least a little basic knowledge on enzymes you should now be able to better understand the underlying benefits of utilizing a totally natural rearing method for your animals.

Without proper nutrition, the co-enzymes (i.e. vitamins, minerals, trace elements, etc.) are not available for the proper production of health supporting enzymes. You now have an awareness of the dangers of "suppression" with drugs, antibiotics and steroids. By answering the simple question of "am I helping or hindering" the enzymes of the body, you can determine the effectiveness of your health care program.