Discover the health benefits of digestive enzymes - the dangers of not having enough – and what you can do about it.
One of the most essential jobs our digestive system does – is breaking down food. Why does it need to do this? Simple - food molecules containing vital nutrients are far too big to enter our bodies.
The fact is – the food we eat cannot nourish our bodies until it is fully prepared and this critical role is the responsibility of our digestive enzymes.
What Are Digestive Enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are chemical compounds that breakdown food particles into smaller molecules for the body to absorb. These molecules are also converted into substances like amino acids, which our body’s can absorb at a cellular level.
For example, proteins are broken down and converted into amino acids, complex carbohydrates from wholegrains are broken down into glycogen and glucose for energy and fat into glycerol and fatty acids.
The digestive tract produces up to 10 liters of digestive juices that contain enzymes every single day. The body uses specific enzymes at different times and for specific reasons.
The Digestive Enzyme Family
There are four specific types of digestive enzymes as follows:
Amylase - for the digestion of carbohydrates.
Protease - for the digestion of protein.
Lipases - for the digestion of fats.
Peroxidase/Catalase - these are antioxidant enzymes that help the body neutralize free radicals
There are other forms of enzymes, but these are the most important.
When we are born the body produces a reserve of its own digestive enzymes. For example, our pancreas produces amylase which is released into the duodenum, the tube connecting the stomach to the small intestines. Here the amylase breaks down carbohydrates in preparation for absorption in the small intestines.
Even though we have our own reserve of enzymes, our body was designed to replenish these through eating foods that are also rich in digestive enzymes.
Why You Need Digestive Enzymes
Our body is a complex structure of chemical interactions and reactions between billions of cells. All these chemical interactions/reactions would be impossible without digestive enzymes. Remove the enzymes and you simply – die. That’s how important these enzymes are.
From your cells, major organs, digestive system, immune system, brain functioning, energy production and your functions of sight, smell and touch - are all dependent on digestive enzymes. When your body has the right amount you will experience optimal health both physically and mentally.
You will be free from disease because enzymes ensure you absorb the nutrients you need to support and strengthen your immune system. Enzymes convert carbohydrates into fuel for energy and proteins for strength and stamina.
In a nutshell - enzymes are the key to life.
Why The Human Race Is Getting Sicker
Since the industrialization of food the human race has become sicker and the primary cause is a lack of digestive enzymes in the western diet. As I pointed out earlier, our bodies have their own reserves, but these need topping up because they decline with age.
Processed foods are devoid of enzymes and nutrients. Actually, they are dead foods because they are pasteurized – cooked at high temperatures which destroys the live enzymes.
We humans are the only species living on this planet that cook their food.
Many of us have become so far removed from nature we don’t even realize it. Many people consider it normal to eat pink or yellow processed gunk out of a plastic packet and think that it is real food.
Foods in their raw state contain living enzymes and micro nutrients that our bodies crave. But instead of savoring the goodness the way nature intended, we boil, fry, roast, and micro wave the life out of food.
Eating processed foods are actually accelerating the rate of enzyme depletion, especially as we get older. As food enters our stomach a lack of enzymes means we can no longer digest it properly.
It just sits there in a lump. The gastric acid secreted from your stomach will do its best to break it down, but it has an impossible task to do.
This half digested lump will make its way through to the duodenum and small intestines. Here pancreatic enzymes are released, but because the food is not digested properly enormous pressure is put on the pancreas to produce more enzymes to do the job.
This has an negative knock on effect with the rest of the body as it has to tap into its reserves to break down the food properly. This is a common situation for many people and the effect on their health is clearly seen with increased rates of diabetes, enlarged pancreas, and pancreatic cancer.
Added to that, the high levels of fat, sodium and chemicals in processed foods are putting further stress and demands on the pancreatic lipases.
Nutrient and Enzyme Deficiencies Lead To Degeneration And Disease
A lack of nutrients will compound the problem further because the production of digestive enzymes relies on certain vitamins and minerals. For example, zinc is needed for the pancreas to produce the enzyme protease.
This enzyme is important for breaking down hard to digest proteins. Zinc also helps with production of hydrochloric acid – the acid your stomach secretes to digest food.
Pancreatic enzymes also play a vital role in preventing cancer.
They support the bodies immune system in cleaning out rogue cells and if cancer has taken hold these enzymes have healing qualities to repair the damage caused by treatment.
Are Digestive Enzymes The Key To Long Life?
There is a strong link between the longevity of life and the rate at which digestive enzymes decline. Therefore, slowing down the rate of decline can extend the length and quality of your life.
A number of clinical studies on animals have been undertaken to determine how cooked food can impact their health. One such study was the Pottenger Cat Study undertaken by F.M. Pottenger and D.G. Simonsen. They tested the two groups of cats with one being fed raw meat and the other group cooked meat- and the finding were amazing.
The cat group that was fed a diet of raw meat maintained their levels of health. However, the cat group that was fed cooked meat developed a range of degenerate conditions that ranged from curvature of the spine, rickets, paralysis, seizures, enlarged colon and infertility.
Although no similar studies have been conducted on humans, there is plenty of evidence that strongly suggests there is a direct link between the type of diet and life span.
For example, the Okinawan people from Southern Japan are famous for their longevity. There are more centenarians in Okinawa that any other part of the world. Even in to their late 90′s the Okinawans move freely without the aid of a crutches or wheel chairs unlike their counterparts in the West.
Their long span is contributed greatly to the diet they eat, which is rich in raw fish, vegetables and fermented foods such as miso and tofu.
As you can see digestive enzymes play a vital role in your health and how long you can live.
Here is a few health benefits from taking enzymes;
- Reduction of digestive problems including indigestion, diarrhea and acid reflux.
- Reduced incidents of allergies because meat proteins are digested far more efficiently.
- Dairy produce is easier to digest and therefore, less incidence of lactose intolerance.
- More effective digestion of complex carbohydrates resulting in less gas.
- Greater energy levels and less stress on the body as it no longer needs to dig into its own reserves.
How Do I Increase My Intake Of These Vital Enzymes
Eating fresh raw vegetables and fruit is one the best ways to top up your enzymes. Many raw foods contain the two main digestive enzymes amylase and protease.
These enzymes come to life by simply chewing the food in your mouth and for that reason it is very important to chew your food properly.
Actually - food should be digested in the mouth before it even reaches your stomach.
Therefore, chew your food at least 50 times before you swallow.
Here are a list of fruits rich in digestive enzymes;
Papaya – this fruit contains the enzyme papain a protease that is good at breaking down proteins.
Pineapple - contains the enzyme bromelain another protein digester with anti-flammatory qualities.
Kiwifruit – highly nutritious fruit containing many digestive enzymes including the protease enzyme actinidin – this is similar to papain and is a very potent protein dissolver.
Should You Use Digestive Enzyme Supplements?
Taking a good quality digestive enzyme supplement can help you replenish lost enzymes. However, you need to be careful about which one you choose. Many digestive enzyme supplements use protein based enzymes.
The problem with these enzymes is that your body recognizes the protein as food. Once they enter the stomach the pepsin – an enzyme secreted by the stomach - digests them, rendering them useless.
Food based enzymes are very fragile meaning they are very sensitive to heat. Unfortunately, many dietary supplements are made using production processes that use very high temperatures which ends up destroying most of the enzymes.
Also, fruit based enzymes need to be picked when the fruit is fully ripened. Picked too early the enzymes or less potent – picked too late, their potency and quality degrades.
The Solution To Obtaining The Benefits Of Digestive Enzymes
There is one supplement we recommend that ensures you get the optimal amount of enzymes for a balanced digestive system.
MaxaLife - a leading natural dietary supplement company – has conducted intensive clinical studies and testing into the health benefits of kiwifruit and its effect on our digestion.
Because the studies revealed amazing results MaxaLife have invested considerable time and resources into developing a 100 per cent natural digestive health supplement made entirely from kiwifruit – and its name is MX Kiwi Biotic.
Unlike other health supplement companies, MaxaLife use a patented extraction process that uses cold temperatures to preserve the kiwifruits essential digestive enzymes.
The kiwifruit used for MX Kiwi Biotic are of the highest quality. The fruits are harvested when they are perfectly ripe, ensuring the enzymes are at their most potent.
Not only that, MX Kiwi Biotic also provides you with prebiotics, phenolic compounds and dietary fibre. These are health boosting nutrients that are essential for all round digestive health.
Before you would have to buy 3 separate supplements in order to acquire the same amount of nutrients that just one capsule of Kiwi-Klenz can provide you with.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of digestive enzymes to your health. Your own longevity – and quality of life – is directly related to the speed in which your own enzymes deplete.
Eating enzyme rich foods and replenishing them with a quality digestive health supplement will slow down the rate of enzyme depletion – and as a result – extend the length and quality of your life.
If you’re interested in achieving this you can take a closer look at MX Kiwi Biotic by clicking here.