our Health Index for More Subjects, Conditions and
Health by Naturally Increasing Enzymes in Your Body
You've probably heard of enzymes, and you probably already
know they are important for your digestion. But you
may not be aware of just how necessary enzymes are to
every cell in your body—not just for digestion but
for ALL your body’s processes.
Enzymes are composed of amino acids and are secreted by
your body to help stimulate functions that would
normally not occur at normal body temperatures. They
literally make magic happen and are absolutely vital
to your life.
More than 3,000 different enzymes have been identified.
Each enzyme has a different function—like 3,000
specialized keys cut to fit 3,000 different locks. In
this example, the locks are biochemical reactions.
Enzymes drive biological processes necessary for your body
to build raw materials, circulate nutrients, eliminate
unwanted chemicals, and many other biochemical
processes that go on.
For starters, here are just some of the activities in
your body requiring enzymes:
Absorption of oxygen
Fighting infections and healing wounds
Getting nutrients into your cells
Carrying away toxic wastes
Breaking down fats in your blood, regulating
cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Dissolving blood clots
Proper hormone regulation
Slowing the aging process
And small amounts of enzymes can affect profound
changes! Enzymes are the stimulators that cause many
essential biochemical reactions to happen—but they
are not "used up" IN the reaction. They
merely assist—meaning, they accelerate
reactions—sometimes to a mind-boggling several
million reactions per second!
But enzymes don't work alone. Enzymes rely on other
elements to accomplish their tasks, such as certain
vitamins and minerals. These elements are called
You are probably already familiar with one of
these—coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is found in the
mitochondria (power centers) of your cells where it is
involved in making ATP, every cell's principal energy
source. Another example is magnesium, which
participates in over 300 enzyme reactions.
There are three basic categories of enzymes:
Digestive enzymes, as their name implies, help you break
down food into smaller parts that can be absorbed,
transported and utilized by every cell in your body.
Digestive enzymes are extra-cellular—meaning,
they are found outside your cells.
Metabolic enzymes are intra-cellular—meaning,
inside your cells, where they help the cell carry out
a variety of functions related to its reproduction and
Your pancreas produces most of these digestive and
metabolic enzymes. Fortunately, you get (or should
be getting) many enzymes from the foods you
consume—particularly, raw foods. These directly help
with your digestive process.
The more raw foods you eat, the lower the burden on your
body to produce the enzymes it needs, not only for
digestion, but for practically everything. Whatever
enzymes are not used up in digestion is then
available to help with other important physiological
There are eight primary digestive enzymes, each designed
to help break down different foods:
Protease: Digesting protein
Amylase: Digesting carbohydrates
Lipase: Digesting fats
Cellulase: Breaking down fiber
Maltase: Converting complex sugars from grains into
Lactase: Digesting milk sugar (lactose) in dairy
Phytase: Helps with overall digestion, especially in
producing the B vitamins
Sucrase: Digesting most sugars
Amylase in your saliva begins to break down
carbohydrates. As food passes into your stomach,
proteins are worked on by protease. From there, the
food passes into your small intestine, where lipase
begins to break down fats, and amylase finishes off
of your digestion and absorption takes place in your
small intestine. From here, the micronutrients are
absorbed into your bloodstream through the walls of
your intestines. But what happens when this process
Insufficient enzyme production is at the root of much
"tummy trouble" in our country.
It is a sad fact that 90 percent of the food Americans buy
is processed food. Diets heavy in cooked, processed,
and sugary foods, combined with overuse of
pharmaceutical drugs such as antibiotics, deplete your
body's ability to make enzymes.
Heating your food above 116 degrees F makes most enzymes
This is one of the reasons it's so important to eat
your food raw. Raw foods are enzyme-rich, and consuming them decreases
your body's burden to produce its own enzymes. The
more food that you can eat raw, the better. Ideally,
you should get 75 percent of your digestive enzymes
from your food.
In addition to heat, different enzymes work in different
parts of your digestive tract, based on the acidity or
alkalinity each enzyme needs in order to function.
Enzyme deficiency results in poor digestion and poor
This creates a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms,
Flatulence and belching
Heartburn and acid reflux
Chronic mal-absorption can lead to a variety of illnesses.
If your body doesn't have the basic nutritional
building blocks it needs, your health and ability to
recover from illness will be compromised.
Besides breaking down food, enzymes (particularly the
proteases) can help with gut healing, controlling
pathogens, and immune support. Your immune
system begins in your gut—and if you have
enzyme and digestive issues, chances are your immune
system isn't functioning as well as it should be.
Research has shown that your natural enzyme production
starts to decline by the time you're about 20.
Let's take a look at another type of enzymatic
activity—your metabolic enzymes. Metabolic enzymes
are intimately involved with running your circulatory,
lymphatic, cardiac, neurologic, endocrine, renal,
hepatic, and reproductive systems, and maintaining
your skin, bones, joints, muscles and other tissues.
Every one of your 10 trillion cells depends on these
enzymes and their ability to catalyze energy
production. As I said before, each of these enzymes is
highly specialized as a function of its particular
One of the most important functions of metabolic enzymes
happens in your blood. We know that bacteria, fungi,
and parasites are comprised of protein, as is the
shell encompassing viruses. Enzymes in your
blood—primarily proteases (proteolytic
enzymes)—serve to break down protein-based foreign
bodies, effectively cleansing your blood.
As blood cleansers, these enzymes combat chronic
inflammation, which left unchecked, can lead to
everything from autoimmune diseases, to cardiovascular
disease and even cancer. Enzymes reduce inflammation
in your body by:
Breaking down foreign proteins in the blood that cause
inflammation and facilitating their removal via your
blood stream and lymphatic system
Removing “fibrin,” a clotting material that can
Reducing edema in the inflamed regions
It follows, then, that any disease caused by
inflammation—which is practically every chronic
disease we face today—can be benefited by increased
levels of functional enzymes in your blood. Although
taking an enzyme supplement may be helpful, NO
manufactured product can duplicate the positive
effects of a nutrient-rich diet.
Your Enzyme Levels Naturally
There are four ways to naturally increase your enzyme
Increase your intake of raw, living foods
Eat fewer calories
Chew your food thoroughly
Avoid chewing gum
The very best way to get enzymes into your body is by
consuming at least 75 percent of your foods raw. For
many of you, you'll have to work toward this goal
While all raw foods contain enzymes, the most powerful
enzyme-rich foods are those that are sprouted (seeds
and legumes). Sprouting increases the enzyme content
in these foods tremendously. Besides sprouts, other
enzyme-rich foods include:
Papaya, pineapple, mango, kiwi, and grapes
Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil
Raw meat and dairy
By eating these types of foods, you supply your body with
the amino acids and the enzyme co-factors needed to
boost your own natural enzyme production.
Another way to lower your body's demand for enzymes is to
reduce your caloric intake. The average person spends
80 percent of his available energy simply digesting
By reducing overall consumption, as well as introducing
more living foods, you reduce your need for digestive
enzymes, which allows your body to put more of its
energy into producing metabolic enzymes.
Which brings us to the subject of chewing. Quite apart from the esthetic
pleasure of an unhurried meal, there are important
reasons to chew your food well.
Chewing stimulates saliva production, and the more time
you spend chewing, the longer your saliva enzymes have
to work in your mouth, lessening the workload of your
stomach and small intestine. Chewing also stimulates a
reflex that sends a message to your pancreas and other
digestive organs, "Gear up—we've got
And don't chew gum. Chewing gum fools your
body into believing it is digesting something, so it
pumps out digestive enzymes unnecessarily. Why waste
those precious resources?
Digestive enzymes should be taken WITH a meal.
Besides digestive enzyme supplementation, there is another
way to use oral enzymes—for systemic use.
This requires taking enzymes between meals so they can
be absorbed through your gut and into your
bloodstream, where your cells can use them
Getting enzymes from your digestive tract into your
bloodstream isn't as easy as it would seem. They are
often given an "enteric coating" to help
them survive the journey through your digestive tract.
And then, there is the matter of absorption.
It is crucial that, in order for enzymes to be used
systemically, they must be ingested on an
empty stomach. Otherwise, your body will use
them for digesting your food, instead of being
absorbed into the blood and doing their work there.
Hopefully you can now appreciate just how important
enzymes are to your overall health, right down to the
cellular level. Once you understand this, you may
begin to see just how important it is to eat a diet
rich in fresh, organic, raw foods. You may even want
to try juicing some of your vegetables as a way of
getting more nutrients—and enzymes—into
It has been said, "You are what you eat." But
really, "You are what you digest" is closer
to the truth.
Digestion. Build Digestive Health
These are excellent products
by Dr. Eric Berg that we
Trace minerals are involved in millions of chemical reactions in our bodies. Enzymes, those tiny proteins, which break down food, build our body tissues and take waste out all require trace minerals to function. Trace minerals are needed in DNA replication and repair. Trace minerals are becoming more deficient in our food supply and soils.
more about Dr.
Berg's Trace Minerals
Support a Healthy Digestive System:
Dr. Berg's Digestive Kit
Dr. Berg's Digest Formula
The importance of stomach acids has not been focused on enough. The correct pH (acid level) for the stomach should be between 1 to 3. This is VERY acidic, but is necessary to break down proteins, collagen, absorb minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, etc.) and B12 as well as to help kill off unfriendly microbes before entering the intestines. A strong acid stomach is also necessary to help release bile from the liver and enzymes from the pancreas.
Gallbladder Formula contains natural ingredients to help break down gallstones and provide bile salts for bloating and digestive stress.
This product has a blend of gallbladder targeted nutrients to thin bile, reduce digestive stress, break down stones and improve the digestion of fats. Most digestive drugs work by reducing acid and this natural product enhances the bile, a commonly omitted factor.
Support a Healthy Digestive System
Read more: Dr. Berg's Digestive Kit
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? EMAIL AND GET YOUR
If you would like to receive the
McVitamins.com Weekly Newsletter, Please
Sign up by clicking here: Newsletter Signup
take privacy and security seriously, read about it
McVitamins.com is an affiliate of Dr. Berg Nutritionals
Tips Health Concerns
© 2000-2018 McVitamins.com
. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of this website in full or in part is prohibited without the express written permission of McVitamins.com
We have used our best judgment in compiling this information. The Food and Drug Administration may not have evaluated the information presented. Any reference to a specific product is for your information only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease