Proteins: "Protein molecules must be broken down into single amino
acids to be digested. If protein is not properly broken down, a host of problems
can ensue. Toxic substances can be produced if bacteria, rather than enzymes,
break down the protein. This process is known as putrefaction. Enzymes help
prevent putrefaction through the proper breakdown of proteins." Julian
Whitaker, M.D., Guide to Natural Healing
An enzyme formula should contain all enzymes necessary to digest starches, fats, protein, fiber, sugars, and dairy foods. It helps pre-digest food in the upper stomach for optimal digestion and absorption of the nutrition in foods, and allows metabolic enzymes to do their vital work throughout the body rather than robbing them for food digestion.
Enzymes break down toxins, strengthen the immune system, build protein into muscle, eliminate carbon dioxide from lungs, and reduce stress on the pancreas and other vital organs. They also reduce or eliminate a bloated or sleepy feeling after meals.
The fact that we need enzymes to properly digest and assimilate the food we eat is certainly no secret in our informed world. Nor is it a secret that incompletely digested food can create toxins and clog our intestines, which can result in a wide variety of illnesses, diseases, and premature aging.
Enzymes are complex molecules that enable thousands of essential chemical reactions in the body. There are different classes of enzymes. Metabolic Enzymes are produced by the body, and play a vital role in the functioning of virtually every system and organ within us. Digestive Enzymes, which are produced by the pancreas and other organs, break down the food we eat, enabling the body to get the benefit of the life-giving nutrients food offers.
Our body was never meant to produce all the digestive enzymes needed for proper digestion. Nature packed raw, pure foods with yet another class of enzymes -- Food Enzymes -- which happens to be many of the exact enzymes needed to let the body break down and digest the foods that contain them.
Unfortunately, few food enzymes available in fresh, raw foods are still alive when we finally eat our food. We kill these enzymes with cooking, chemical preservatives, irradiation, and other processing and preservation methods.
The result? Many of the foods (and even nutritional supplements) that we eat pass through and out of our bodies not fully digested. Our bodies do not get many of the nutrients they offer. Thus, we literally "starve" ourselves for wholesome nutrition, even while we're engorging our bodies.
In addition, the undigested foods often putrefy in our intestines, and in this putrefaction process, produce dangerous toxic substances that literally poison our bodies.
That's not all. When we eat enzyme-deprived foods, our bodies "steal" metabolic enzymes from other parts of the body and put them to work digesting this food. Yet these enzymes are needed for the proper functioning of the body's organs and systems. The more we use them to digest food, rather than letting them do what nature intended them to do, the more we jeopardize our health and vitality.
Increasing numbers of health professionals and nutritional scientists are becoming alarmingly aware that eating enzyme-depleted foods is a prime cause of illness, degenerative diseases, and premature aging. But where do we turn?
THE ENZYME SOLUTION
Eating a diet of raw, live, organic foods would supply us with most of the enzymes needed for easy and complete digestion of those foods. Realistically, however, such a diet would be almost impossible in our modern society. But even if we did switch to a raw, live diet, what about the enzyme deficiencies we've built up over the years? Some people have gone on live, raw diets, only to realize that they still need additional enzymes in supplements.