Enzymes are substances that make life possible. They are needed for every chemical reaction that takes place in the human body. Without enzymes, no activity at all would take place. Neither vitamins, minerals, nor hormones can do any work without enzymes. This is what makes enzyme depletion especially concerning, and why it needs to stop in the interest of human health. Learn the causes and signs of enzyme depletion.
How enzymes and digestion works
The human body makes approximately 22 digestive enzymes, capable of digesting protein, carbohydrates, sugars, and fats. Food is digested in stages, beginning in the mouth, moving to the stomach, and finally through the small intestine. At each step, specific enzymes break down different types of foods.
As enzymes begin digesting food in the mouth and continue to do the same in the stomach, plant enzymes also become active. The food then enters the upper portion of the small intestine where the pancreas provides pancreatic enzymes to further break down food. The final breakdown of remaining small molecules of food occurs in the smaller lower intestine. Ideally, the different types of enzymes work together to help digest food and deliver nutrients to cells to maintain their health.
Causes of enzyme depletion
Unfortunately, enzymes are being depleted at every stage from seed to plate. This has caused enzyme deficiencies in the human body that leads to all kinds of health conditions. The main causes of enzyme depletion include:
• Pesticides and chemicals
• Hybridization and genetic engineering
• Bovine growth hormone
• Irradiated food
• Excess intake of unsaturated and hydrogenated fats
• Cooking at high temperatures
• Radiation and electromagnetic fields
• Geopathic stress zones
• Fluoridated water
• Heavy metals
• Mercury amalgam dental fillings
• Root canals
Health conditions caused by enzyme deficiencies
Due to their critical role in a variety of functions in the body, enzyme deficiencies can cause many health related symptoms, and many of them can be traced back to the type of enzymes depleted. The following are some of those health conditions associated with each of the four basic enzymes:
Protease (digests proteins): anxiety, low blood sugar, kidney problems, water retention, depressed immunity, bacterial and viral infections, cancer, appendicitis, bone problems (such as osteoporosis, arthritis, and bone spurs).
Amylase (digests non-fiber carbohydrates): skin problems such as rashes, hives, fungal infections, herpes, and canker sores; lung problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema; liver or gall bladder disease.
Lipase (digests fats): high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, hardening of the arteries and other cardiovascular problems, chronic fatigue, spastic colon, dizziness.
Cellulase (digests fibers): gas and bloating, acute food allergies, facial pain or paralysis, candidiasis (bowel and vaginal yeast infections).
Basic solutions to overcome enzyme deficiency
To overcome enzyme depletion, consider the following:
• Eat as raw, clean, natural, and fresh as possible.
• Cook food less, and use lower temperatures when possible.
• Use filtered or spring water only.
• Remove heavy metals from the body.
To increase the amount of enzymes in the body, consider the following:
• Foods rich in enzymes such as papaya, pineapples, melons, mango, kiwi, grapes, avocado, raw honey, bee pollen, kefir, fermented vegetables, and wheatgrass.
• Chewing as completely as possible.
• High quality digestive and systemic enzyme supplements.
It takes some time to increase the amount of enzymes in the body, and these are just a few tips to get started. Consider other lifestyle factors as well, to round out a holistic approach to replenishing these life saving nutrients.
Sources for this article include:
Trivieri, Larry, and John W. Anderson. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Second ed. Celestial Arts, 2002.