Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Health benefits of food enzymes

Enzymes are natural catalytic proteins that speed up biochemical reactions by lowering the activation energy. All plants and animals produce enzymes. All vital processes in human body are dependent on enzymes. Enzymes aid in the digestion of food and are essential for all metabolic activity in the body. Each organ has its own set of enzymes. Enzymes vary in different individuals, depending on genetics and life style. More than 3000 different enzymes have been identified in the body.
Kinds of Human enzymes
In humans enzymes can be categorized into 3 classes: metabolic enzymes, digestive enzymes and food enzymes. Metabolic enzymes catalyse many different biochemical reactions that take place in the body’s cell and tissues. Metabolic enzymes are involved in the processes of energy production, synthesis and repair of cell structures and replication of genetic material. Digestive enzymes are secreted along the gastrointestinal tract, help break down macronutrients such as protein, fats and carbohydrates found in our diet and enable absorption of nutrients into the blood stream. Humans secrete about 24 different digestive enzymes depending on the type of foods eaten. Digestive enzymes fit into 3 primary categories: proteases digest proteins, amylases digest carbohydrates and lipases digest fats.
Food enzymes
Food enzymes are introduced to the body through the raw foods we eat and through consumption of supplemental enzyme products. Food enzymes are vital helpers to predigest food and aid greatly in the absorption of nutrients. Food enzymes include digestive enzymes but also enzymes unique to particular foods. Food enzymes of particular food cannot be stored in the body for later use. The three major food enzymes are: amylase, which breaks down starches into sugars; lipase, which breaks down fats into fatty acids and protease, which breaks down proteins into amino acids. Fresh raw foods are capable of self –digestion by its own self-contained enzymes. The cooking and processing of natural foods destroys all of its enzymes.

Definition of enzyme

Dixon and Webb (1979) defines an enzyme as a “protein with catalytic properties due to its power of specific activation.” Enzymes are protein catalysts that increase the velocity of a chemical reaction and are not consumed during the reaction they catalyse.

The food enzyme concept

When ingested, the enzymes in raw food or supplementary enzymes result in a significant degree of digestion, thus lowering the drain on the organism’s own enzyme potential.

The law of adaptive secretion of digestive enzymes

This law states that the organism values its enzymes highly and will make no more than are needed for the job. If enzymes in the food digest some of the food, the body will make less concentrated enzymes.

The concept of food enzyme stomach

The human stomach consists of two physiologically distinct parts: the upper cardiac region(the fore-enzyme stomach) and the lower pyloric region. The peptic digestion of protein takes place in the lower part of the stomach whereas the upper portion is where food enzymes in raw foods predigest food material. According to the food enzyme concept of Dr. Edward Howell, the duration of life varies inversely with the intensity of metabolism. In other words the length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential.

Food enzyme hypotheses

1. Raw foods contain enough food enzymes for that particular food.
2. Enzymes in raw foods are destroyed with cooking, radiation and processing of food(critical temperature above, wet heat 47 degree Celsius / 118 degree Farenheit)
3. Food enzymes are reduced by long-term storage, shipping and treatment with organic chemicals and toxins.
4. Eating cooked foods deplete the body’s limited enzyme capacity.
5. Modern processes of pasteurization, canning, baking, drying, freezing and microwaving are particularly harmful to the enzymes in food.
6. The enzyme shortage in processed foods may be the direct cause of shortened lifespan, inferior health of the organs and chronic illnesses.

Enzyme-friendly foods

Enzyme research has revealed the importance of raw foods in the diet. The enzymes in raw foods help start the process of digestion and reduce the body’s need to produce digestive enzymes. Plant based enzymes are the most popular choice of enzymes. The plant based proteases are papain from the papaya, ficin from the fig tree and bromelain from the pineapple. Grains are naturally endowed with amylase, and some protease and lipase. Raw honey has considerable amounts of amylase.  Sprouted foods (seeds, grains and legumes) are one of the best sources of living enzymes. Bovine milk contains 35+ different known enzymes most of which are destroyed by pasteurization. Fermented foods (e.g., miso, kabitofu, Toyu, Natto, Tempeh, masato, malakachisu, tofu, certain soybean products such as soy sauce) are loaded with enzymes. Some fruits that contain lots of enzymes include avocados, papayas, pineapples, bananas, kiwi, figs, grapes and mangos. Grains, nuts, legumes and seeds are rich in enzymes as well as other nutrients, but also contain enzyme inhibitors. Unless deactivated, these enzyme inhibitors  can put an even greater strain on the digestive system than cooked foods.

Enzyme – specific foods

Papayas contain large amounts of proteolytic enzyme (protease) called papain. Papain is known to alleviate the inflammation and pain.When digestion is poor, many people use papaya, which is actually a digestant. Pineapples also contain proteolytic enzyme called bromelain, which helps to dissolve antigens that are responsible for allergies and inflammation. Protease enzymes help with food allergies or intolerances to animal protein. Apples contain a number of enzymes including ascorbates oxidase, beta galactosidase, catechol oxidase, pectase, pectin methyl esterase, peroxidase, polygalactouronase, polyphenol oxidase and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Apricots contain amylase, invertase, polyphenol oxidase, and other enzymes. Avocados contain amylase, cellulose, lipase and other enzymes. Green beans contain amylase, lipoxygenase, peroxidase and SOD. Broccoli contains amylase, casein, kinase and SOD. Cabbage contains allene oxidase, cyclise, amylase and other enzymes. Cherries contain beta glycosidase and polyphenol oxidase.

Advantages of food enzyme intake

1. Improves digestion, elimination and bowel disorders.
2. Reduces bloating, belching, gas, heartburn and food allergies.
3. Enhances physical stamina, energy and vitality.
4. Promotes balanced pH in the body.
5. Protects form degenerative diseases.
6. Strengthens the immune system.
7. Relieves muscle stiffness and inflammation.
8. Promotes the efficiency of cardiovascular system.
9. Slows down aging process and contributes to longevity.
10. Influences overall health and weight management.

Enzyme therapy

Presently enzymes are used in supplement form to improve health, in injectable form to treat heart attacks and in topical form to treat skin problems such as burns. The enzymes used most frequently to treat digestive problems include proteases, amylases and lipases. Enzymes are wonderous aids used to improve health, maintain wellness and fight disease and injuries. Enzyme therapy is a plan of dietary supplements of plant and animal enzymes used to facilitate the digestive process and improve the body’s ability to maintain balanced metabolism. Enzyme supplements are often prescribed for patients suffering from disorders that affect the digestive process such as cystic fibrosis, Gaucher’s disease and celiac disease. Supplementary enzymes have the ability to purify blood, strengthen the immune system, enhance mental capacity, cleanse the colon and maintain proper pH balance in urine. Enzyme supplements are extracted from plants like pineapple and papaya and from the organs of cows and pigs.
              Food enzymes lower the drain of organism’s own enzyme potential.


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