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  • Writer's pictureDr. Alla Arutcheva

Why do we need food enzymes?

Updated: Jan 25, 2018

Each living organism contains the enzymes. Food enzymes are found in all raw foods. These enzymes “pre-digest “food and prepare to enzymatic digestion in stomach and duodenum.

Unfortunately, they are systematically removed from our food supply to extend shelf-life. Essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals are added back into processed food but the enzymes are not. Food enzymes play an important role in health maintenance.

The digestive glands that act first are in the mouth are the salivary glands. Saliva contains an enzyme that begins to digest the starch from food into smaller molecules. An enzyme is a substance that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.

The next set of digestive glands is in the stomach lining. They produce stomach acid and an enzyme that digests protein. A thick mucus layer coats the mucosa and helps keep the acidic digestive juice from dissolving the tissue of the stomach itself.

After the stomach mass of partly digested food (chyme) is expelled by the stomach into the duodenum. The pancreas produces a wide array of enzymes to break down the carbohydrate, fat and protein in food. Secretions from the pancreas, liver and gallbladder mix with the chyme in the duodenum to facilitate chemical digestion. Other enzymes that are active in the process come from glands in the wall of the intestine.

The liver produces bile. Bile is stored between meals in the gallbladder. Bile moves through the bile ducts into the intestine and the bile acids dissolve fat into the watery contents of the intestine, much like detergents that dissolve grease. After fat is dissolved, it is digested by enzymes from the pancreas.

Enzyme Deficiencies

PROTEASE DEFICIENCY. Protease digests protein. Acidity is created through the digestion of protein with protease. Because acidity comes from the digestion of protein with protease, protease-deficient people may have excess alkaline which can produce state of anxiety.

Protein is also required to carry protein-bound calcium in the blood. Insufficient protein-bound calcium lays the foundation for a multitude of calcium metabolism problems, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, gouty arthritis, degenerative disc problems, bone spurs, and related disorders such as sciatica and ligament problems.

Because 46% of digested protein is converted to glucose upon demand, inadequate protein digestion leads to hypoglycemia (hypoglycemia also has other causes such as hypothyroidism and vitamin deficiency). Symptoms include moodiness, mood swings, and irritability among many others.

Because water follows protein in the body, inadequate protein in the blood also means inadequate hydration. This causes tissue swelling (edema).

Protein maldigestion leads to a toxic colon. People in this category often have problems in the area of the descending colon (lower right quadrant of the abdomen). This includes developing an appendicitis and even more serious problems such as mucous colitis and even colon cancer.

Another one of the most common results of protein maldigestion is chronic ear infections and fluid in the ears, especially in children. This is a protease-calcium deficiency.

Protease is also involved in the immune system via its action on bacterial debris, certain viruses, and its ability to break down circulating immune complexes.

Protease has an ability to digest unwanted debris in the blood and should be considered your friendly blood cleanser. Protease deficient people are immune compromised, making them susceptible to bacterial, viral and yeast infections, and a general decrease in immunity.

Protease deficient women are predisposed to PMS.

The only people who cannot tolerate protease are those who suffer from ulcers, gastritis or hiatus hernias. Previously damaged mucosal tissue cannot handle the extra acidity from the digested protein.

AMYLASE DEFICIENCY. Amylase digests carbohydrates or polysaccharides into smaller disaccharide units. If the person's diet contains excessive carbohydrates they can develop an amylase deficiency.

Amylase not only digests carbohydrates, but also dead white blood cells (pus). For example, when you are low in amylase you are a candidate for abscesses.

Amylase is involved in anti-inflammatory reactions such as those caused by the release of histamine and similar substances.

Amylase deficiency can include skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, hives, insect bites, allergic bee and bug stings, atopic dermatitis, and all types of herpes. Lung problems, including asthma and emphysema, require amylase as well as other enzyme formulas depending on the particular condition.

Carbohydrate digestion requires phosphorus. If excess refined carbohydrates are consumed, a phosphorus deficiency will result.

Phosphorus deficiencies include: thick blood, tendency towards inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and stiff joints, especially in the morning.

LIPASE DEFICIENCY. Since lipase digests fat and fat-soluble vitamins, lipase deficient people can have a tendency towards high cholesterol, high triglycerides, difficulty losing weight and diabetes, or a tendency towards glucosuria (sugar in the urine without symptoms of diabetes), which can lead to heart disease.

Because lipase requires the co-enzyme chloride, lipase deficient people have a tendency towards hyphochlorhydria (low chlorides in our electrolyte balance). This can be easily remedied with lipase. Lipase requires a high pH for its activation among food enzymes. That is why fats are the hardest of all foods to digest.

Fat intolerant people can be helped by taking a lipase supplement, but ONLY if the fat intolerant person minimizes fat consumption.

Lipase deficient people have decreased cell permeability, meaning nutrients cannot get in and waste cannot get out of the cell. For example, diabetics are lipase deficient and therefore cannot get glucose into their cells, and waste or unwanted substances cannot get out. People with "hidden viruses" that are often diagnosed with "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" also fall into this category. Lipase modulates cell permeability so that nutrients can enter and wastes can exit.

People with the "spastic colon" may be lipase deficient.

The condition of vertigo, also called Meniere's Disease (dizziness aggravated by movement such as walking or driving), can result from lipase deficiency. The dizziness is accompanied by severe nausea and vomiting which is aggravated by movement. This condition can last several days. Lipase can relieve a condition like this, often within minutes.

The condition of menopause is often associated with lipase deficiency because lipase addresses the gonadal tissue. However, PMS is more often associated with protease deficiency.

CELLULASE DEFICIENCY. Our body makes no cellulase at all. ONLY RAW FOODS contain cellulase. Of all the enzymes deficiency, this one carries with it the categories of problems.

Cellulase deficiency is a malabsorption syndrome (impaired absorption of nutrients, vitamins, or minerals from the diet by the lining of the small intestine) which causes many symptoms including lower abdominal gas, pain, bloating and problems associated with the small intestine and pancreas.

Other conditions associated with cellulase deficiency include nervous system conditions such as Bell's palsy, tic and facial neuralgia, all of which respond remarkably well to cellulase.

As you see enzyme deficiencies create not only gastrointestinal track problems, but other body systems malfunction as well. We can help you to determine enzyme deficiency and restore your nutritional balance.

Contact Antalee Wellness at (847) 486-1130 and set up an appointment.

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