What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are biologically active proteins found in all living cells. Metabolic enzymes catalyse and regulate every biochemical reaction that occurs within the human body, making them essential for cellular function and overall health.
Digestive enzymes such as lipases, proteases, and amylases, turn the food we eat into energy which may be utilised by the body for various biological processes.
There are approximately 1,300 different enzymes found in a human cell. These enzymes can combine with coenzymes to form nearly 100,000 various chemicals that enable us to see, hear, feel, move, think and digest food.
Every organ, every tissue, and all the 37.2 trillion cells in our body depend upon the reactions of metabolic enzymes and their energy factor. Nutrition cannot be explained without describing the part that enzymes play.
How are Enzymes Utilised in the Body?
Digestive Enzymes are secreted along the digestive tract to break food down into nutrients and waste. Most of the digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas. The liver, gallbladder, small intestine, stomach and colon also play pivotal roles in the production of these enzymes. Digestive enzymes allow the nutrients found in the foods we consume to be absorbed into the blood stream and the waste to be discarded.
Where do Enzymes Come From?
Food Enzymes are introduced to the body through the raw foods we eat and through consumption of supplemental enzyme products. Raw foods naturally contain enzymes, providing a source of digestive enzymes when ingested. However, raw food manifests only enough enzymes to digest that food. The cooking and processing of food destroys all its enzymes. Since most of the foods we eat are cooked or processed in some way; and because the raw foods we do eat contain only enough enzymes to process that particular food, our bodies must produce the majority of the digestive enzymes we require, unless we use supplemental enzymes to aid in the digestive process.
Take the Enzyme Deficiency Test
Are you deficient in any enzymes? Answer these 4 questions and find out.
Why Take Digestive Enzyme Supplements?
Soothe Digestive Distress: When undigested foods travel through the intestines they can irritate and potentially damage the sensitive intestinal wall. Over time, this irritation reduces our digestive capacity and negatively influence the vital absorption process.
Increase Energy: Up to 80% of our body’s vital energy is spent on digestion. By aiding the breakdown and absorption of foods, we can free up enormous amounts of energy, increasing physical vitality and enhancing energy levels.
Promote Regularity: Promoting proper digestion encourages a healthy intestinal environment, and helps relieve occasional constipation, wind, bloating and indigestion.
Looking at the label of a high-quality enzyme product such as the Enzymedica brand, you will find measurement units you may not be familiar with. For example:
- HUTs (Haemoglobin Unit on a L-Tyrosine basis),
- ALU (Acid Lactase Units) and
- DU (Dextrinising Units)
With most supplements, we are used to comparing products based on weight. However, with enzymes, we are interested in the activity and potency available. It is important to recognise that there is no direct relationship between weight and enzyme activity.
Improving Gut Health Beyond Probiotics
Some manufacturers would have us believe that probiotics are the answer to all gut issues. There is no question that they are important, but, they do not always represent the best natural solution for common digestive complaints.
The real issue and the underlying cause of most gut discomfort is that the body is not able to digest food properly. Some people compound the problem by choosing an over-the-counter acid-blocking product, while others jump on the probiotic bandwagon only to be disappointed. Many others will simply suffer with the embarrassing and uncomfortable effects of improper digestion, because they feel they have tried everything, and nothing has worked. The reality is, they have not tried the right enzyme product.