Enzyme therapy is a way by which to restore the level of enzymes in the digestive system. Capsules containing enzymes can be taken with or after meals to compensate for the lack of enzymes in food or decreased enzyme production by the body.
Enzymes can also have a beneficial effect on conditions involving inflammation as they help to breakdown areas of fibrosis and excessive immune complexes. This can help to improve conditions such as viral infections, injuries and reduce the development of tissue damage that could produce cardiovascular disorders and cancer etc.
Enzymes are sometimes used as a treatment for cancer and for this purpose they are taken between meals so that there are enough free enzymes available to act on the tumor. In effect the enzymes ‘digest’ the tumor by breaking down the excessive fibrin and other abnormal accumulations.
Enzyme therapy can help with the attainment of ideal body weight. When digestive impairment is present there is a reduced absorption of nutrients. This leads to an increased appetite in an attempt to obtain the missing ingredients required by the body. With enzyme supplements the food will be completely digested and all of its nutrients available to the body. This produces a feeling of satiety with much less food thus enabling weight loss to occur without effort.
Proper digestion also reduced putrefaction in the small intestine and improves colon function, reducing toxicity in the colon. These factors have a dramatic impact on improving health and supporting increased energy levels which provide the ideal conditions for the removal of excess body fat.
The same effects can be achieved with a raw food diet as raw foods contain naturally high levels of enzymes. Each food is thought to contain the enzymes that are required to break down that particular food.
When the same food is cooked the body has to use more of its own digestive enzymes to enable the food to be properly digested an absorbed. This has the effect of depleting the body’s enzyme supply which reduces the efficiency of metabolism and energy levels thus producing conditions that are more likely to favor increased levels of body fat.
In comparison when the majority of the diet consists of raw foods it is much easier to lose excess weight and then maintain and ideal body weight.
When attempting to enrich the enzyme level in the diet with an increased intake of raw foods it is important to be aware of the presence of enzyme inhibitors in some foods. These substances are designed to inhibit the actions of the enzymes present in seeds, nuts, grains and beans so that they remain dormant until the stage when the seed is germinated. This preserves the integrity of the seed until the conditions become suitable for the growth of a seedling. When this occurs and moisture is absorbed by the seed, the enzyme inhibitors become inactivated.
Awareness of this phenomenon can guide the optimal preparation of these foods for weight control and improved digestion. The sprouting process is ideal as it increases the level of enzymes as well as inactivating enzyme inhibitors. Soaking these foods for at least 24 hours also inactivates the enzymes and at this stage they can be consumed raw (e.g. nuts and seeds) or cooked (e.g. grains and legumes). However the cooking process will destroy enzymes but for beans and grains it is the only suitable alternative to sprouting.
If these foods are consumed without soaking, sprouting or are consumed cooked, the effects of enzyme inhibitors and lack of enzymes can be neutralized to some degree if digestive enzyme supplements are taken with the meal. Enzyme supplements can help to conserve body enzymes and compensate for reduced enzyme levels and enzyme inhibitors in food.
Other substances can inhibit enzyme activity in the body such as heavy metals, pesticides, hormones, trans fatty acids, fluoridated water, microwaved food and a wide range of other chemicals. For effective weight control and health maintenance these substances should be avoided because they deplete enzyme levels in the body (and have other negative effects).