Holistic Health Notebook: The workers of your body
Let’s say you plan to build a house. You draw up the plans and assemble a huge pile of lumber, nails, plumbing fixtures, electrical supplies and paint on your front lawn. That pile of material will remain there, as is, until the workers show up to assemble the house.
This is a great analogy of your body.
The materials are the proteins, carbohydrates, fats, oxygen and water. The workers are enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that increase the rates of chemical reactions, millions of times faster than could happen without enzymes. Virtually every biochemical reaction happens as a result of enzymes.
Dr. Edward Howell was one of the founding fathers of enzyme research and clinical use. He believed that biological aging was, in large part, a function of enzyme quantity and activity. The body tends to conserve enzymes but if we use a lot of enzymes in the digestion and metabolism of food (because we eat cooked, dead food), we may run short in the thousands of enzymes needed elsewhere, thereby speeding up the disease and aging process.
Enzymes “gobble up” matter that is diseased, dead, or does not belong. Taken in supplemental form, they do not harm living tissue (the exception being using protease when you have an active ulcer).
I have wanted to use enzymes as a therapeutic tool for some time, a desire that became more urgent at the beginning of the year when I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Many sources I read used enzymes as part of the healing process. Large amounts of enzymes. For example, proteases (which digest proteins) are used to “unmask” the protein surface of cancer cells, making them vulnerable to attack by the immune system. They reduce inflammation, one of the key factors in the onset of cancer. Proteases rid the body of mucus, thereby supporting the body’s own immune system.
After my surgery, it was recommended that I take large amounts of protease to reduce the risk of metastasis. The protease helped reduce the inflammation that was a natural consequence of the invasive surgery so I healed much quicker and with much less pain, but I will continue to take high dose protease for the rest of my life to increase the odds of living cancer free.
Honestly, I think that everyone who has had a diagnosis of cancer needs to be on protease therapy! Check with your doctor to make sure but I see nothing in the literature that would contraindicate the use of enzymes.
Just to give you an idea of the many uses of enzymes: enzymes to relieve digestive distress include protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, lactase, maltase, invertase and many others.
If you suffer from gluten intolerance but occasionally ingest gluten, try glutenase that helps break down gluten. Dairy sensitivity? Try lactase.
Does eating carbohydrates cause bloating? Try a blend of carbohydrate-digesting enzymes like amylase, cellulase, alpha-galactosidase, xylase and phytase.
Struggling with increased blood viscosity (stickiness or thickness of the blood)? Try nattokinase.
This is just a brief overview to give you perspective on the broad use of enzymes.
Next week, we’ll talk about specific recommendations.
Carol is a certified lifestyle educator. She can be reached at the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel, at 472-4499 or at www.carolsimontacchionline.com.