You have probably heard of them or maybe even take them, but do you know why enzymes are so important? Enzymes are what break down food into molecules the body can use for energy. Sounds simple enough right? Well, without enzymes, the food you eat would not be digested and you would die from starvation. But enzymes go way beyond the digestive system; they are the catalyst for all actions in the body including breathing! They are involved in every single biochemical process that occurs in the body and they make life possible. Sound like a big deal? It is!
Enzymes are so important, Hanna Kroeger created two different formulations. The first is Digestive Enzyme™and the second, which is stronger than the first, is Enzymes™. Digestive Enzymes is a favorite digestive aid. It’s gentle and effective and contains herbs to tone the liver. Enzymes is much more than a strong digestive aid, it also soothes digestive tract irritation and is designed to assist in the body’s own creation and production of enzymes for the whole system, not just within the digestive tract. True to Hanna’s formulations, both of these are designed to aid as well as assist in healing underlying issues.
This is what Hanna taught us about enzymes:
“Enzymes are found in all living cells, including raw foods or those that are cooked at a temperature lower than 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Enzymes begin to perish when the temperature increases beyond this. The degree of enzyme destruction is a function of time and temperature.
Enzymes are needed to help control all mental and physical functions. Enzymes work with other substances such as minerals, vitamins and proteins. Enzymes help extract the minerals from food. Enzymes work with vitamins in every chemical reaction inside and outside the cells. Enzymes aid in transforming proteins into amino acids (protein does not perform its function unless broken down into amino acids). Enzymes rule over all other nutrients. Enzymes are responsible for nearly every facet of life and health and far outweigh the importance of every other nutrient.
Many experts believe that enzyme deficiency is a forerunner to disease and that nearly all people, because of improper diet over the years, need to replenish their enzyme supply. Enzymes are, therefore, justified as a supplemental dietary substance just as we add vitamins and minerals to our diet.”
–Excerpt from God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
There are thousands of enzymes that affect our health, all with specific functions and they fall into three categories:
1) Metabolic enzymes- responsible for healing and repairing cells all over the body, cellular energy, organ health and processes, as well as toxin removal. Produced by every cell in the body, however, the pancreas, liver and gallbladder are intricately involved.
2) Digestive enzymes- assimilate carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals into the body. Most are produced in healthy digestive systems and most people are deficient in them.
3) Food Enzymes- Must be received from raw food and contain enough enzymes to break down that food only. Foods that are cooked or processed do not have enzymes and require enzymes from another source to be digested.
Important digestive enzymes:
Amylase-digests sugars/carbohydrates and starches. Is therapeutically used for heartburn, indigestion and pancreatitis.
Bromelain-from pineapple, digests fats. Is also anti-inflamatory. Used for immune, heart and circulatory health, as well as breathing conditions.
Catalase-works with SOD and has powerful anti-oxidant properties.
Cellulase- digests cellulose (fruits & veggies). Has been linked with balancing blood sugar levels.
Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10)- found in all live foods and is an enzyme activator important in cellular energy. Used therapeutically for immunity, cardiovascular health including high blood pressure and weight loss.
Lactase- digests milk sugars, commonly deficient in adults.
Lipase-digests fats and oils and has been used therapeutically for celiac disease and cystic fibrosis.
Pancreatin- secreted by the pancreas, essential in the digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Papain-from papaya, digests tough proteins and is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.
Pepsin-breaks down proteins, stimulates bile production and helps absorb vitamin B12. Used for a wide variety of health issues.
Protease- breaks down proteins into amino acids. Has been linked to assisting with osteo-arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcers.
SOD (Superoxide Dismutase)- master enzyme manufactured in the liver. Considered “anti-aging” (see blog Cell Fit: Cellular Antioxidant from Hanna Kroeger for more information) and is an extremely important antioxidant as well.
Trypsin and Chymotrypsin- comes from the pancreas (or intestines) of pigs and ox. Is used for assisting the pancreas and small intestine. Is usually coated to be able to make it to the small intestine so the body can use it.
Adding enzymes to your daily diet can have numerous and long-term benefits. Taking enzymes with food will help your body to utilize all the good nutrients each meal has to offer. This is especially important if you have digestive issues including feeling heavy after meals, bloating, constipation, gas or even food allergies have been diminished. Taking enzymes in between meals will give your body the chance to “clean the rest of the house”, helping alleviate inflammation! Check out our Digestive Section to find the best one for you!