Aug 25, 2011 Posted Under: Other

Digestive Enzymes

You probably don’t think about digestive enzymes on a daily basis. However, if they failed you would certainly devote some time to thinking about them.

Just what are they and why are they important? There are three classes of enzymes:

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  1. Metabolic enzymes – they run the body;
  2. Digestive enzymes – they digest our foods;
  3. Enzymes we get from raw food that start digestion.

The ones we will discuss here are digestive enzymes; which are proteins that change food into nutrients that the body needs. In total there are around 22 which are produced by the body and each of them has different purposes and deal with a specific type of food. It is not only our bodies that have enzymes; they can also be found in meat, plants, fruits and vegetables. It is said that the reason why people suffer different illnesses is because they lack specific enzymes due to a poor diet.

Good health depends on all these different classes of enzymes working properly and being plentiful. When we are born we are given an enzyme bank, but if we keep taking enzymes out and do not replace them we are soon bankrupt. The pancreas is eventually forced to produce more and more enzymes and therefore enlarges and silently causes stress to the entire system. It is not healthy to have any organ in our body enlarged and eventually these enlarged organs will deteriorate completely.

Unfortunately, the thing that destroys our natural enzymes is the food that we eat, especially if we eat mainly cooked foods laden with sugar, fat and additives. Lack of enzymes causes many different problems.

When you eat, the digestive enzymes break down the food into macromolecules. The body would then reap the nutrients taken from the food. The breaking down of food commences in the mouth as the teeth grinds it into smaller pieces and concludes as it reaches the small intestine. There are different types of digestive enzymes that break down food and turn them into fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It is thus vital to know the significance of proper nutrition and how the digestive body gets the nutrients from food.

  • One of the digetive enzymes that aids in the digestion process is lipase.Lipase helps break down lipids which are fats and oils from food. Lipids have three fatty acid chains which are in turn responsible in producing energy in the human cells. With lipase, the meat and oils in food are broken down into triglyceride molecules needed by the intestines.
  • Another important enzyme is protease which breaks down protein molecules found in food. Proteins have amino acids and each of these amino acids have a vital function in the body. When the body gets these amino acids, its functions will be performed rightfully thus achieving good health.
  • Amylase is another enzyme which is responsible for breaking down food into carbohydrates. Of all the molecules, it is the molecules of carbohydrates that are not easy to break down. Amylase comes out from both the saliva and the pancreas and it aids in breaking down sugar bonds into the glucose named maltose. When the small intestines take in these glucose molecules, they will be released to the blood. That is why too much carbohydrate is unhealthy for diabetics because carbohydrates become sugar.
  • Pepsin is another enzyme found in the stomach and it starts the proteins’ metabolism. The stomach also has acids which help break down food. The lower sphincter of the tummy is the one that dispenses food into the small intestine where they are broken down into waste and directed to the large intestine.
  • The liver creates a substance called bile which is responsible for breaking down fat. When the liver secretes bile, this goes to the gallbladder. When foods with fat are eaten, the gall bladder releases the bile so as to break down fatty food. It engulfs the fats and softens it for the lipases to cling to them. The lipases then break down the tiny molecules of fats to turn them into even tinier parts.

Remember cooking destroys all natural enzymes. When we waste so much of our natural enzymes by cooking so much of our food, we are making our bodies work even harder to produce even more enzymes. This in turn enlarges and harms our digestive organs, especially the pancreas.

Since cooking destroys our enzymes, many nutritional authorities recommend that the diet should be 50-70% raw food.

As you can see, all these enzymes must work in concert with one another in order for our bodies to perform all it’s natural functions properly. When you understand how our modern diet destroys these important molecules in our bodies you can see how we need to supplement them in our diets each and every day. Good digestion prolongs life and natural digestive enzyme supplements aid good digestion.

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